485APOS 1 d859483d485apos.htm 485APOS 485APOS

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 11, 2020

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. 263  

and/or

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

   THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940  
   Amendment No. 265  

(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

Rafferty Asset Management, 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 Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF, Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF, and the Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF;

Part C of Form N-1A; and

Signature Page.


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 March 11, 2020
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
Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF (HIPR)
Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF (NIFE)
Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF (DYHG)
[ ]
The shares offered in this prospectus (each a “Fund” and collectively the “Funds”) are listed and traded on the NYSE Arca, Inc.
There is no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective and an investment in a Fund could lose money. 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 each 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
Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF
Investment Objective
The Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF (the “Fund”) seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the Russell 1000® Hyper Growth Index (the “Index”).
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold, and sell shares of the Fund (“Shares”). You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and example below.
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Management Fees [ ]%
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees 0.00%
Other Expenses (Operating Services Fees)(1) [ ]%
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses(2) [ ]%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses [ ]%
(1) Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty” or “Adviser”) has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with the Fund. Under this Operating Services Agreement, Rafferty has contractually agreed to pay all expenses of the Fund as long as it is the advisor of the Fund 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. The Operating Services Agreement may be terminated at any time by the Board of Trustees.
(2) Estimated for the Fund's current fiscal year.
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 the securities that comprise the Index.
The Index measures the performance of U.S. large- and mid-capitalization quality growth equity securities by utilizing the factor methodology as defined by FTSE Russell (the “Index Provider”). The Index includes companies that tilt towards the quality and momentum factors and the growth style, while maintaining a neutral position to the value and volatility factors. The quality factor attempts to capture companies with the ability to consistently generate strong future cash flows, while limiting exposure to companies that are unprofitable or highly leveraged. The momentum factor attempts to capture companies with strong recent performance (the prior 12 months), with the expectation that the strong performance will continue to produce short term excess returns in the future. The value factor attempts to capture stocks whose stock prices are at a reasonable price compared to their fundamentals. The volatility factor attempts to capture companies with historically low risk profiles relative to higher risk counterparts that exhibit relatively lower volatility. The growth style attempts to identify companies with high growth potential based on historical sales per share growth, forecasted earnings per share growth and forecasted cash flow per share growth.
The Index Provider determines the securities included in the Index by determining a security’s score for each factor (Quality, Momentum, Value, and Volatility) and style (i.e. Growth or Value, etc.). Securities with high scores in the Growth style and the Quality and Momentum factors, but neutral scores for the Value and Volatility factors are included in the Index. The Index is reviewed and rebalanced semi-annually.
As of [ ], the Index was comprised of [ ] constituents, which had a median total market capitalization of $[ ] billion, total market capitalizations ranging from $[ ] billion to $[ ] billion and were concentrated in the [ ] sector.
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 uses a “passive” or indexing approach to attempt to achieve its investment objective. The Fund does not try to outperform the Index and does not generally take temporary defensive positions. Although the Fund intends to fully replicate the Index, at times the Fund may hold a representative sample of the securities in the Index that have aggregate characteristics similar to those of the Index, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and other investment companies. This means the Fund may not hold all of the securities included in the Index, its weighting of
 
1 Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus

 

investment exposure to such stocks or industries may be different from that of the Index and it may hold securities that are not included in the Index. The Fund will rebalance its portfolio when the Index rebalances. Additionally, if the Fund receives a creation unit in cash, the Fund repositions its portfolio in response to assets flowing into or out of the Fund.
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. It is important that investors closely review all of the risks listed below and understand them before making an investment in the Fund.
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. Activities surrounding Index reconstitutions and other Index rebalancing events may hinder the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.
Index Strategy Risk Securities held by the Fund will generally not be bought or sold in response to market fluctuations and may be concentrated in a particular industry if the Index is so concentrated. 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.
Growth Investing Risk - Growth companies usually invest a high portion of earnings in their businesses and may lack the dividends of value stocks that can cushion stock prices in a falling market. The prices of growth stocks are based largely on projections of the issuer’s future earnings and revenues. If a company’s earnings or revenues fall short of expectations, its stock price may fall dramatically. Growth
stocks may be volatile and may also be more expensive, relative to their earnings or assets, compared to value or other stocks.
Momentum Securities Risk Stocks that have exhibited high momentum characteristics in the past may not experience positive momentum, or may experience more volatility than the market as a whole. There is no guarantee that the past performance, or the price trend, of these stocks will continue. These securities may be more susceptible to unexpected reversals in their prices, or unexpected changes in investor sentiment, than the market as a whole.
Quality Securities Risk - There is no guarantee that the past performance of stocks deemed quality stocks will continue. Companies that issue these stocks may experience lower than expected returns or may experience negative growth, as well as increased leverage, resulting in lower than expected or negative returns to Fund shareholders. Many factors can affect a stock’s quality and performance, and the impact of these factors on a stock or its price can be difficult to predict.
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.
Mid-Capitalization Company Risk - Mid-capitalization companies often have narrower markets for their goods and/or services and more limited managerial and financial resources than more established, larger-capitalization companies. Furthermore, those companies often have limited product lines, services, markets, financial resources or are dependent on a small management group. In addition, 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 it is based on fundamental analysis, can decrease the value and liquidity of securities held by the Fund. As a result, the performance of mid-capitalization companies can be more volatile and they face greater risk of business failure, which could increase the volatility of the Fund’s portfolio.
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.
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 2

 

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 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.
High Portfolio Turnover Risk - The Fund may engage in active and frequent trading, which may lead to increased portfolio turnover, higher transaction costs, and the possibility of increased short-term capital gains (which will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income when distributed to them) and/or long-term capital gains. Active and frequent trading may be due to Index rebalancing, cash purchases and sales of the Fund’s shares or other portfolio management reasons.
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.
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.
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 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). There may 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 at net asset value. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for Shares. 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, bid-ask spreads and premiums or discounts may widen.
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. 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 NYSE Arca, Inc.
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. Rafferty Asset Management, LLC is the Fund’s investment adviser.
Portfolio Managers. The following members of Rafferty’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 individual shares may only be purchased or sold in the secondary market through a broker, dealer or other financial intermediaries at market price rather than at net asset value. The market price of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in the value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for the Shares, which may result in shareholders purchasing or selling the Shares on the secondary market at a market price that is greater than
3 Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus

 

net asset value (a premium) or less than net asset value (a discount). Additionally, a shareholder may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for the Fund’s Shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for the Fund’s Shares (ask) when buying or selling Shares on the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”). Information regarding the Fund Shares such as net asset value, market price and related other information is available on the Fund’s website, www.direxion.com/etfs?producttab=performance.
The Fund’s shares are not individually redeemable by the Fund. 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 25,000 Shares.
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.
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 4

 

Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF
Investment Objective
The Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF (the “Fund”) seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the Indxx U.S. Fallen Knives Index (the “Index”).
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold, and sell shares of the Fund (“Shares”). You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and example below.
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Management Fees [ ]%
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees 0.00%
Other Expenses (Operating Services Fees)(1) [ ]%
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses(2) [ ]%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses [ ]%
(1) Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty” or “Adviser”) has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with the Fund. Under this Operating Services Agreement, Rafferty has contractually agreed to pay all expenses of the Fund as long as it is the advisor of the Fund 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. The Operating Services Agreement may be terminated at any time by the Board of Trustees.
(2) Estimated for the Fund's current fiscal year.
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 assets in the securities that comprise the Index.
The Index consists of U.S equity securities that have experienced considerable share price declines over the prior year, however, Indxx, LLC (“the Index Provider”) has determined that the security has the potential for share price recovery. Securities that are listed in the U.S., with a minimum total market capitalization of $500 million, and that have traded during at least 90% of the eligible trading days in the prior 6 months are eligible for inclusion in the Index. The Index Provider then calculates a composite financial health score based on each security’s current ratio, cash flow coverage ratio, and debt-to-equity ratio. The top 50 securities with the highest composite score, and if composite scores are equal, the security with the higher market capitalization, are included in the Index. Securities included in the Index are weighted based on the free-float adjusted security level market capitalization with an individual security capped at 4.9% of the value of the Index. The Index is reconstituted annually and rebalanced semi-annually.
As of [ ], the Index was comprised of 50 constituents, which had a median total market capitalization of $[ ] billion, total market capitalizations ranging from $[ ] billion to $[ ] billion and were concentrated in the [ ] sector.
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 uses a “passive” or indexing approach to attempt to achieve its investment objective. The Fund does not try to outperform the Index and does not generally take temporary defensive positions. Although the Fund intends to fully replicate the Index, at times the Fund may hold a representative sample of the securities in the Index that have aggregate characteristics similar to those of the Index, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and other investment companies. This means the Fund may not hold all of the securities included in the Index, its weighting of investment exposure to such stocks or industries may be different from that of the Index and it may hold securities that are not included in the Index. The Fund will rebalance its portfolio when the Index rebalances. Additionally, if the Fund receives a creation unit in cash, the Fund repositions its portfolio in response to assets flowing into or out of the Fund.
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. It is important that investors closely review all of the risks listed below and understand them before making an investment in the Fund.
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),
5 Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus

 

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. Activities surrounding Index reconstitutions and other Index rebalancing events may hinder the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.
Index Strategy Risk Securities held by the Fund will generally not be bought or sold in response to market fluctuations and may be concentrated in a particular industry if the Index is so concentrated. 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.
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.
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 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.
High Portfolio Turnover Risk - The Fund may engage in active and frequent trading, which may lead to increased portfolio turnover, higher transaction costs, and the possibility of increased short-term capital gains (which will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income when distributed to them) and/or long-term capital gains. Active and frequent trading may be due to Index rebalancing, cash purchases and sales of the Fund’s shares or other portfolio management reasons.
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.
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.
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
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 6

 

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 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). There may 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 at net asset value. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for Shares. 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, bid-ask spreads and premiums or discounts may widen.
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. 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 NYSE Arca, Inc.
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. Rafferty Asset Management, LLC is the Fund’s investment adviser.
Portfolio Managers. The following members of Rafferty’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 individual shares may only be purchased or sold in the secondary market through a broker, dealer or other financial intermediaries at market price rather than at net asset value. The market price of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in the value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for the Shares, which may result in shareholders purchasing or selling the Shares on the secondary market at a market price that is greater than net asset value (a premium) or less than net asset value (a discount). Additionally, a shareholder may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for the Fund’s Shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for the Fund’s Shares (ask) when buying or selling Shares on the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”). Information regarding the Fund Shares such as net asset value, market price and related other information is available on the Fund’s website, www.direxion.com/etfs?producttab=performance.
The Fund’s shares are not individually redeemable by the Fund. 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 25,000 Shares.
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.
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Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF
Investment Objective
The Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF (the “Fund”) seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the Salt US Large Cap truVol Dynamic Hedge Index (the “Index”).
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold, and sell shares of the Fund (“Shares”). You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and example below.
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Management Fees [ ]%
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees 0.00%
Other Expenses (Operating Services Fees)(1) [ ]%
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses(2) [ ]%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses [ ]%
(1) Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty” or “Adviser”) has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with the Fund. Under this Operating Services Agreement, Rafferty has contractually agreed to pay all expenses of the Fund as long as it is the advisor of the Fund 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. The Operating Services Agreement may be terminated at any time by the Board of Trustees.
(2) Estimated for the Fund's current fiscal year.
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 assets in the securities that comprise the Index, which may include shares of exchange-traded funds.
The Index is designed to adjust its net exposure to a volatility-adjusted position in the S&P 500® Index by utilizing short futures contracts to hedge its long position in the S&P 500® Index in an attempt to capitalize on the inverse relationship between volatility and the returns of the S&P 500® Index. The Index utilizes a proprietary volatility model developed by Salt Financial Indices, LLC (the “Index Provider”), to estimate future market volatility to determine the size of the Index’s hedging (short position) in futures contracts. When market volatility is predicted to be high, the Index will generally decrease its net exposure to the S&P 500® Index by increasing its short position in S&P 500® futures contracts. When market volatility is predicted to be low, the Index will generally increase its net exposure to the S&P 500® Index by reducing its short position in S&P 500® futures contracts. The Index will evaluate its hedge (short position) on a daily basis based on the predicted volatility of the S&P 500® Index by the propriety model of the Index Provider and may change its hedge position as often as daily. The Index’s hedge or short position may range from 0% to 100% of the long position in the S&P 500® Index.
As of [ ], the Index was comprised of [ ] constituents, which had a median total market capitalization of $[ ] billion, total market capitalizations ranging from $[ ] billion to $[ ] billion and were concentrated in the [ ] sector and had net long exposure to the S&P 500 Index of [ ]%.
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 uses a “passive” or indexing approach to attempt to achieve its investment objective. The Fund does not try to outperform the Index and does not generally take temporary defensive positions. Although the Fund intends to fully replicate the Index, at times the Fund may hold a representative sample of the securities in the Index that have aggregate characteristics similar to those of the Index, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and other investment companies. This means the Fund may not hold all of the securities included in the Index, its weighting of investment exposure to such stocks or industries may be different from that of the Index and it may hold securities that are not included in the Index. The Fund will rebalance its portfolio when the Index rebalances. Additionally, if the Fund receives a creation unit in cash, the Fund repositions its portfolio in response to assets flowing into or out of the Fund.
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
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is not a complete investment program. It is important that investors closely review all of the risks listed below and understand them before making an investment in the Fund.
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. Activities surrounding Index reconstitutions and other Index rebalancing events may hinder the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.
Index Strategy Risk Securities held by the Fund will generally not be bought or sold in response to market fluctuations and may be concentrated in a particular industry if the Index is so concentrated. 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.
Long/Short Risk - The performance of the Fund will depend on the difference in the rates of return between its long positions and short positions. In a rising market, if the Fund’s long positions appreciate more rapidly than its short positions, the Fund would generate a positive return. If the opposite occurred, the Fund would generate a negative return. During a “bull” market, when most equity securities and long-only equity ETFs are increasing in value, the Fund’s short positions will likely cause the Fund to underperform the overall U.S. equity market and such ETFs. There is no guarantee that the returns on the Fund’s long or short positions will produce positive returns, and the Fund could lose money on either or both of the Fund’s long and short positions. In addition, the Fund will have enhanced exposure to the securities of the Index’s Long Component (i.e., investment exposure that exceeds the amount of Fund net assets, a form of leverage) and may, under certain circumstances, lose more money in market environments that are adverse to its long positions than funds that do not employ such enhanced exposure.
As a result, these investments may have losses that exceed the amount invested by the Fund in the Long Component.
Volatility Risk - The Fund’s investments are designed to respond to volatility based on a proprietary model developed and implemented by the Index Provider which may not be able to accurately predict the future volatility of the S&P 500® Index. If the S&P 500® Index is rapidly rising during periods when the Index Provider’s volatility model has predicted significant volatility, the Fund may be underexposed to the S&P 500® Index due to its short position and the Fund would not be expected to gain the full benefit of the rise in the S&P 500® Index. Additionally, in periods of rapidly changing volatility, the Fund may not be appropriately hedged or may not respond as expected to current volatility.
Shorting Risk - In order to achieve its investment objective, the Fund may engage in short sales, which are designed to provide the Fund gains when the price of a particular security, basket of securities or index declines. When the Fund shorts securities, including securities of another investment company, it borrows shares of that security or investment company, which it then sells. The Fund closes out a short sale by purchasing the security that it has sold short and returning that security to the entity that lent the security. The Fund may also seek inverse or “short” exposure through the use of derivatives such as swap agreements or futures contracts, which will expose the Fund to certain risks such as an increase in volatility or decrease in the liquidity of the securities of the underlying short position. If the Fund were to experience this volatility or decreased liquidity, the Fund’s return may be lower, the Fund’s ability to obtain inverse exposure through the use of derivatives may be limited or the Fund may be required to obtain inverse exposure through alternative investment strategies that may be less desirable or more costly to implement. If the securities underlying the short positions are thinly traded or have a limited market due to various factors, including regulatory action, the Fund may be unable to meet its investment objective due to a lack of available securities or counterparties. During such periods, the Fund’s ability to issue additional creation units may be adversely affected.
Derivatives Risk The Fund’s investments in derivatives may pose risks in addition to, and greater than, those associated with directly investing in or shorting securities or other investments, including risk related to the market, leverage, imperfect 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 or shorting securities. When the Fund uses derivatives, there may be imperfect correlation between the value of the reference 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.
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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 or futures contracts, exchange-traded note, or an ETF. Swaps are subject to counterparty, valuation and leveraging risks.
Futures Contracts. Futures contracts are typically exchange-traded contracts that call for the future delivery of an asset at a certain price and date, or cash settlement of the terms of the contract. There may be an imperfect correlation between the changes in market value of the securities held by the Fund and the prices of futures contracts. Futures contracts are subject to liquidity risks; there may not be a liquid secondary market for the futures contracts and the Fund may not be able to enter into a closing transaction. Exchanges may also limit the number of positions that can be held or controlled by the Fund or the Adviser, thus limiting the ability of the Fund to implement its investment strategy. Futures markets are highly volatile and the use of futures may increase the Fund’s volatility. Futures contracts are also subject to leverage risk.
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.
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 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.
High Portfolio Turnover Risk - The Fund may engage in active and frequent trading, which may lead to increased portfolio turnover, higher transaction costs, and the possibility of increased short-term capital gains (which will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income when distributed to them) and/or long-term capital gains. Active and frequent trading may be due to Index rebalancing, cash purchases and sales of the Fund’s shares or other portfolio management reasons.
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.
Market Risk Market risks include political, regulatory, market and economic developments, including developments
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 10

 

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.
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 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). There may 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 at net asset value. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for Shares. 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, bid-ask spreads and premiums or discounts may widen.
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. 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 NYSE Arca, Inc.
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. Rafferty Asset Management, LLC is the Fund’s investment adviser.
Portfolio Managers. The following members of Rafferty’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 individual shares may only be purchased or sold in the secondary market through a broker, dealer or other financial intermediaries at market price rather than at net asset value. The market price of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in the value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for the Shares, which may result in shareholders purchasing or selling the Shares on the secondary market at a market price that is greater than net asset value (a premium) or less than net asset value (a discount). Additionally, a shareholder may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for the Fund’s Shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for the Fund’s Shares (ask) when buying or selling Shares on the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”). Information regarding the Fund Shares such as net asset value, market price and related other information is available on the Fund’s website, www.direxion.com/etfs?producttab=performance.
The Fund’s shares are not individually redeemable by the Fund. 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 25,000 Shares.
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
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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.
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Overview of the Funds
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 ETFs noted in the table below (each, a “Fund” and collectively, the “Funds”). Rafferty Asset Management, LLC serves as the investment advisor to the Fund ("Rafferty" or the "Adviser").
Each Fund seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the performance of an underlying index as noted below:
Fund Underlying Index
Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF Russell 1000® Hyper Growth Index
Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF Indxx U.S. Fallen Knives Index
Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF Salt US Large Cap truVol Dynamic Hedge Index
Shares of the Funds (“Shares”) are 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 a Fund. Rather, each 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 25,000 Shares. Creation Units of the Funds are issued and redeemed in cash and/or in-kind for securities included in the relevant underlying index. As a result, retail investors generally will not be able to purchase or redeem Shares directly from, or with, each 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 a Fund, the Exchange, a market data vendor or other information provider, disseminates an Intraday Optimized Portfolio Value (“IOPV”) for each Fund. Each 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 a 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 Funds are not involved in, nor responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and make no representations or warranty as to its accuracy.
There is no assurance that the Funds will achieve their investment objective and an investment in a Fund could lose money. No single Fund is a complete investment program.
Changes in Investment Objective. Each Fund’s investment objective is not a fundamental policy and may be changed by the Funds' 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 each Fund. Each Fund seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the return of its underlying index. To do this, Rafferty uses statistical and quantitative analysis to determine the investments a Fund makes and the techniques it employs. In general, if a Fund is performing as designed, the return of the underlying index will dictate the return for the Fund. Rafferty does not invest the assets of a 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. Each Fund generally pursues its investment objective regardless of market conditions and does not take defensive positions.
For each Fund, Rafferty seeks a correlation over time of 0.95 or better between a Fund’s performance and the performance of its underlying index; a correlation of 1.00 would represent perfect correlation. To do this, at times each Fund may hold a representative sample of the securities in its underlying index. The sampling of securities that is held by a Fund is intended to maintain high correlation with, and similar aggregate characteristics (e.g., market capitalization and industry weightings) to, its underlying index. A Fund also may invest in securities that are not included in its underlying index or may overweight or underweight certain components of its underlying index. A Fund’s assets may be focused in an industry or group of industries to the extent that its underlying index focuses in a particular industry or group of industries. In addition, each 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 a Fund and the performance of its underlying index, certain factors will tend to cause a Fund’s investment results to vary from the stated investment objective. A Fund may have difficulty in achieving its investment objective due to fees, expenses, transaction costs, income items,
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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 a Fund's underlying 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 a Fund's underlying index may differ from the expected performance.
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Additional Information Regarding Principal Risks
An investment in a Fund entails risks. A Fund may not achieve its investment objective and may decline in value. It is important that investors closely review and understand all of a Fund’s risks before making an investment. A Fund is not a complete investment program. Risks of investing in the Funds are described below.
       
  Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF
Index Correlation/Tracking Risk X X X
Index Strategy Risk X X X
Long/Short Risk     X
Shorting Risk     X
Derivatives Risk     X
Other Investment Companies (including ETFs) Risk     X
Growth Investing Risk X    
Momentum Securities Risk X    
Quality Securities Risk X    
Volatility Risk     X
Large-Capitalization Company Risk X X X
Mid-Capitalization Company Risk X    
Small- and/or Mid-Capitalization Company Risk   X  
Cybersecurity Risk X X X
Early Close/Trading Halt Risk X X X
Equity Securities Risk X X X
High Portfolio Turnover Risk X X X
Investment Risk X X X
Market Risk X X X
Non-Diversification Risk X X X
Securities Lending Risk X X X
Special Risks of Exchange-Traded Funds X X X
Index Correlation/Tracking Risk
There is no guarantee that a Fund will achieve a high degree of correlation to its underlying index and therefore achieve its investment objective. A 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 a Fund, a 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 a Fund that are not incurred by its underlying index. Market disruptions, regulatory restrictions or extreme volatility will also adversely affect a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. Activities surrounding index reconstitutions and other index repositioning events may hinder a Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.
Index Strategy Risk
Securities held by a Fund will generally not be bought or sold in response to market fluctuations and may be concentrated in a particular industry if its underlying index is so concentrated. A 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 its underlying index.
A Fund’s underlying index relies on various sources of information to assess the securities included in its underlying 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 its underlying index’s securities. Errors in underlying index data, underlying index computations or the construction of the underlying 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 a Fund and its shareholders.
Long/Short Risk
The performance of a Fund will depend on the difference in the rates of return between its long positions and short positions. In a rising market, if a Fund’s long positions appreciate more rapidly than its short positions, a Fund would generate a positive return. If the opposite occurred, a Fund would generate a negative return. During a “bull” market, when most equity securities and long-only equity ETFs are increasing in value, a Fund’s short positions will likely cause a Fund to underperform the overall U.S. equity market and such ETFs. There is no guarantee that the returns for each Fund’s long or short positions will produce positive returns, and a Fund could lose money on either or both of a Fund’s long and short positions. In addition, each Fund will have
 
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enhanced exposure to the securities of the Index’s Long Component (i.e., investment exposure that exceeds the amount of a Fund’s net assets, a form of leverage) and may, under certain circumstances, lose more money in market environments that are adverse to its long positions than funds that do not employ such enhanced exposure. As a result, these investments may have losses that exceed the amount invested by a Fund in the Long Component.
Shorting Risk
A Fund may engage in short sales designed to earn the Fund a profit from the decline in the price of particular securities, baskets of securities or indices. Short sales are transactions in which a Fund borrows securities from a broker and sells the borrowed securities. A Fund is obligated to replace the security borrowed by purchasing the security at the market price at the time of replacement. If the market price of the underlying security goes down between the time a Fund sells the security and buys it back, a Fund will realize a gain on the transaction. Conversely, if the underlying security goes up in price during the period, a Fund will realize a loss on the transaction. Any such loss is increased by the amount of premium or interest a Fund must pay to the lender of the security. Likewise, any gain will be decreased by the amount of premium or interest a Fund must pay to the lender of the security. A Fund’s investment performance may also suffer if the Fund is required to close out a short position earlier than it had intended. This would occur if the securities lender required a Fund to deliver the securities the Fund borrowed at the commencement of the short sale and the Fund was unable to borrow the securities from another securities lender or otherwise obtain the security by other means. In addition, a Fund may be subject to expenses related to short sales that are not typically associated with investing in securities directly, such as costs of borrowing and margin account maintenance costs associated with the Fund’s open short positions. As the holder of a short position, a Fund also is responsible for paying the dividends and interest accruing on the short position, which is an expense to the Fund that could cause the Fund to lose money on the short sale and may adversely affect its performance.
Derivatives Risk
A 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 a Fund. The use of derivatives may expose a Fund to additional risks such as counterparty risk, liquidity risk and increased correlation risk. When a Fund uses derivatives, there may be imperfect correlation between the value of the underlying reference assets and the derivative, which may prevent a Fund from achieving its investment objective.
A Fund may use swaps on the underlying index. If the underlying index has a dramatic intraday move in value that causes a material decline in a Fund’s NAV, the terms of the swap agreement between a Fund and its counterparty
may allow the counterparty to immediately close out of the transaction with a Fund. In such circumstances, a Fund may be unable to enter into another swap agreement or invest in other derivatives to achieve the desired exposure consistent with a Fund’s investment objective. This may prevent a Fund from achieving its investment objective particularly if the underlying 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 a Fund’s return.
In addition, a 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 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
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  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.
Momentum Securities Risk
Stocks that have exhibited high momentum characteristics in the past may not experience positive momentum, or may experience more volatility than the market as a whole. There is no guarantee that the past performance, or the price trend, of these stocks will continue. These securities may be more susceptible to unexpected reversals in their prices, or unexpected changes in investor sentiment, than the market as a whole.
Quality Securities Risk
There is no guarantee that the past performance of stocks deemed quality stocks will continue. Companies that issue these stocks may experience lower than expected returns or may experience negative growth, as well as increased leverage, resulting in lower than expected or negative returns to Fund shareholders. Many factors can affect a stock’s quality and performance, and the impact of these factors on a stock or its price can be difficult to predict.
Volatility Risk
For the Fund designed to respond to volatility based on a proprietary model developed and implemented by its index provider, the index provider may not be able to accurately predict the future volatility of the S&P 500® Index. If the S&P 500® Index is rapidly rising during periods when that Fund’s index provider’s volatility model has predicted significant volatility, the Fund may be underexposed to the S&P 500® Index due to its short position and the Fund would not be expected to gain the full benefit of the rise in the S&P 500® Index. Additionally, in periods of rapidly changing volatility, that Fund may not be appropriately hedged or may not respond as expected to current volatility.
Other Investment Companies (including ETFs) Risk
Investment in the securities of other investment companies, including ETFs, may involve duplication of advisory fees and certain other expenses. By investing in another investment company or ETF, a Fund becomes a shareholder of that investment company or ETF. As a result, Fund shareholders indirectly bear a Fund’s proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by shareholders of the other investment company or ETF, in addition to the fees and expenses Fund shareholders bear in connection with a Fund’s own operations. As a shareholder, a Fund must rely on the investment company or ETF to achieve its investment objective. A Fund’s performance may be magnified positively or negatively by virtue of its investment in other investment companies or ETFs. If the investment company or ETF fails to achieve its investment objective, the value of a Fund’s investment will decline, thus affecting a Fund’s performance. In addition, because closed-end investment companies and ETFs are listed on national stock exchanges and are traded like stocks on an exchange, their shares potentially 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 a Fund. Finally, because the value of closed-end investment company or ETF shares depends on the demand in the market, the Adviser may not be able to liquidate a Fund’s holdings in those shares at the most optimal time, adversely affecting a Fund’s performance.
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.
Mid-Capitalization Company Risk
Mid-capitalization companies often have narrower markets for their goods and/or services and more limited managerial and financial resources than larger, more-established companies. Furthermore, those companies often have limited product lines, services, markets, financial resources or are dependent on a small management group. In addition, 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 a Fund. As a result, the performance of mid-capitalization companies can be more volatile and they face greater risk of business failure, which could increase the volatility of a Fund’s portfolio.
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 a Fund, resulting in more volatile performance. They also face greater risk of business failure, which could increase the volatility of a Fund’s portfolio.
Adverse Market Conditions Risk
The investment objective of each Fund is to provide performance that correlates to the performance of an underlying index. A Fund’s performance will suffer when market conditions are adverse to a Fund’s investment objective. If a Fund's underlying index rises on a given day, then a Fund’s performance should rise. Conversely, if a Fund's underlying index falls on a given day, then a Fund’s performance should also fall.
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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 a Fund expects to receive from a counterparty to a financial instrument entered into by a Fund. Each 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. A 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 a Fund is insufficient or there are delays in a Fund’s ability to access such collateral. If the counterparty becomes bankrupt or defaults on its payment obligations to a 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 a 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 a Fund (sometimes referred to as a “bail in”).
A 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 a Fund transacts. Each 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 each Fund to post collateral, marked to market daily, in an amount approximately equal to what the counterparty owes a Fund, subject to certain minimum thresholds. To the extent any such collateral is insufficient or there are delays in accessing the collateral, the Funds will be exposed to the risks described above. If a counterparty’s credit ratings decline, a Fund may be subject to a bail-in, as described above.
In addition, a Fund may enter into swap agreements with a limited number of counterparties, which may increase a Fund’s exposure to counterparty credit risk. A 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 a Fund and, as a result, a 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 a 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 a Fund and through its service providers. Similar types of cyber security risks are also present for issuers of securities in which a Fund may invest, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers. Unlike many other types of risks faced by a 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 a Fund, a Fund’s advisor, distributor, other service providers, counterparties, securities trading venues, or the issuers of securities in which a Fund invests have the ability to cause disruptions and negatively impact a Fund’s business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses to a 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 a 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, a Fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems of a Fund’s service providers or issuers of securities in which a 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 a 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, a 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
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securities in which a Fund invests will cause the NAV of the Fund to fluctuate.
High Portfolio Turnover Risk
Engaging in active and frequent trading due to Index rebalances, cash purchases or sales of Fund shares, or other reasons leads to increased portfolio turnover, higher transaction costs, and the possibility of increased short-term capital gains (which will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income when distributed to them) and/or long-term capital gains.
Investment Risk
An investment in a 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.
LIBOR Risk
A Fund may invest in certain debt securities, derivatives or other financial instruments that utilize the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) as a benchmark or reference rate for various interest rate calculations. LIBOR may be a significant factor in determining a Fund’s payment obligations under a derivative investment, the cost of financing to a Fund or an investment’s value or return to a Fund, and may be used in other ways that affect a Fund’s investment performance.
In July 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority, the United Kingdom’s financial regulatory body, announced that after 2021 it will cease its active encouragement of banks to provide quotations needed to sustain the LIBOR rate, which means that the LIBOR rate may no longer be published after 2021. Although there is still uncertainty regarding a replacement rate, it is anticipated that, beginning in 2020, derivatives and other transactions that currently utilize LIBOR will transition to using the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”), which is a broad measure of the cost of overnight borrowings secured by U.S. Treasury securities. However, various counterparties or other entities may be unwilling or unable to utilize SOFR prior to 2021 or may be unable to modify existing agreements or instruments in a timely manner. The transition from LIBOR to SOFR (or any other replacement rate) may lead to a reduction in the value of some LIBOR-based investments and the effectiveness of new hedges placed against existing LIBOR-based investments, as well as significant market uncertainty, increased volatility, and illiquidity in markets for various instruments, which may result in prolonged adverse market conditions and impact a Fund’s performance or NAV.
Liquidity Risk
Some securities held by a 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 a Fund is forced to sell
an illiquid security at an unfavorable time or price, a Fund may incur a loss. Certain market conditions may prevent a Fund from limiting losses, realizing gains or achieving a high correlation with its underlying index. There is no assurance that a security that is deemed liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid.
Market Risk
Market risks include political, regulatory, market and economic developments, including developments that impact specific economic sectors, industries or segments of the market. A Fund typically would lose value on a day when its underlying index declines and would gain value on a day when its underlying index increases. During a general downturn in the securities market, multiple asset classes may be negatively impacted.
Turbulence in the financial markets and reduced liquidity may negatively affect issuers, which could have an adverse effect on each Fund. A Fund’s NAV could decline over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns.
Non-Diversification Risk
A Fund invests a high percentage of its assets in a limited number of securities. A 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 a Fund’s NAV and may make a Fund more volatile than more diversified funds.
Regulatory Risk
Each 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 each Fund. For example, the regulatory environment for derivative instruments in which a Fund may invest is evolving, and changes in the regulation or taxation of derivative instruments may materially and adversely affect the ability of a Fund to pursue its investment objective or strategies. Such legislative or regulatory changes could pose additional risks and result in material adverse consequences to a Fund.
Securities Lending Risk
Securities lending involves the risk that a Fund may lose money because the borrower of the loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. A 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 a Fund has agreed to pay a borrower. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for a Fund. In the event of a large redemption while a Fund has
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loaned portfolio securities, a 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. A 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 a 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 a 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). There may be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly and a shareholder may trade shares at a premium or a discount to a Fund’s NAV. A 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 a Fund at NAV. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for Shares of a Fund. To the extent that exchange specialists, market makers, Authorized Participants, or other participants are unavailable or unable to trade a Fund’s Shares and/or create or redeem Creation Units, bid-ask spreads and premiums or discounts may widen and a 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.
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 a 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 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”) each 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 each Fund. Provided, generally, that a Fund’s investments comply with Section 12(d)(1)(A), registered investment companies are permitted to invest in a 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 a Fund.
The Trust and the Funds have obtained an exemptive order from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) allowing a registered investment company to invest in a 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 a 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
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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 a Fund.
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About Your Investment
Share Price of the Funds
A fund’s share price is known as its NAV. Each Fund’s share price is calculated as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE, usually 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (“Valuation Time”), each day the NYSE is open for business (“Business Day”). The NYSE is open for business Monday through Friday, except in observation of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, 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. Because a Fund is exchange traded, the price an individual shareholder will buy or sell Fund shares at will be based on the market price determined by the secondary market, which may be higher or lower than the NAV of a Fund.
If the exchange or market on which a 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 a 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 a Fund’s net assets by its shares outstanding. In calculating its NAV, each 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. Swap contracts are valued based on the value of the swap contract’s reference asset and are marked-to-market each day NAV is calculated. If such information is not available for a security held by a 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. Each 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 a 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 Funds' pricing service does not provide a valuation for such securities, the Funds' 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 a 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 Funds may value the instruments at fair value, taking into account such events when it calculates each Fund’s NAV. Fair value determinations are made in good faith in accordance with procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees. In addition, the Funds may also fair value an instrument if trading in a particular instrument is halted and does not resume prior to the closing of the exchange or other market.
Attempts to determine the fair value of securities introduce an element of subjectivity to the pricing of securities. As a result, the price of a security determined through fair valuation techniques may differ from the price quoted or published by other sources and may not accurately reflect the market value of the security when trading resumes. If a reliable market quotation becomes available for a security formerly valued through fair valuation techniques, Rafferty compares the market quotation to the fair value price to evaluate the effectiveness of the Funds' 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, each 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 a 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 each 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.
Frequent Purchases and Redemptions. Investors such as market makers, large investors and institutions who wish to deal in Creation Units directly with a 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. 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 each Fund’s shares because the Fund sells and redeems its shares
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 22

 

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 a Fund directly and therefore does not cause a Fund to experience many of the harmful effects of market timing, such as dilution and disruption of portfolio management. In addition, each 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 each Fund reserves the right to reject any purchase orders, each Fund does not currently impose any trading restrictions on frequent trading or actively monitor for trading abuses. Transaction fees are imposed as set forth in the table in the SAI.
How to Buy and Sell Shares
Each Fund issues and redeems Shares only in large blocks of 25,000 Shares, called “Creation Units.”
Most investors will buy and sell Shares of each Fund in secondary market transactions through brokers. Individual Shares of each Fund, once listed for trading on the Exchange, can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded securities. The Funds do 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 a Fund. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
The Funds’ Exchange trading symbols are as follows:
Fund Symbol
Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF  
Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF  
Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF  
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 Funds 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 Funds
Rafferty provides investment management services to the Funds. Rafferty has been managing investment companies since 1997. Rafferty is located at 1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 28th Floor, New York, New York 10019. As of December 31, 2019, the Adviser had approximately $14.8 billion in assets under management.
Pursuant to an investment advisory agreement between the Trust and Rafferty, each Fund pays Rafferty the following fee at an annualized rate based on a percentage of each Fund’s average daily net assets:
Fund Advisory Fee Charged
Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF [ ]%
Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF [ ]%
Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF [ ]%
A discussion regarding the basis on which the Board of Trustees approved the investment advisory agreement for the Funds will be included in the Funds' Annual Report for the period ended October 31, 2020.
23 Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus

 

Rafferty has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with the Funds. Under this Operating Services Agreement, Rafferty, in exchange for an Operating Services Fee paid to Rafferty by each Fund, has contractually agreed to pay all Fund expenses as long as it is advisor of the Funds 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. 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 Funds (the “Portfolio Managers”). An investment trading team of Rafferty employees assists the Portfolio Managers in the day-to-day management of the Funds subject to their primary responsibility and oversight. The Portfolio Managers work with the investment trading team to decide the target allocation of each Fund’s investments and on a day-to-day basis, an individual portfolio trader executes transactions for the Funds consistent with the target allocation. The members of the investment trading team rotate periodically among the various series of the Trust, including the Funds, so that no single individual is assigned to a specific Fund for extended periods of time.
Mr. Brigandi has been a Portfolio Manager at Rafferty since June 2004. Mr. Brigandi was previously involved in the equity trading training program for Fleet Boston Financial Corporation from August 2002 to April 2004. Mr. Brigandi is a 2002 graduate of Fordham University.
Mr. Ng has been a Portfolio Manager 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 Funds' 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 Funds.
Portfolio Holdings
A description of the Funds' policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Funds' portfolio securities is available in the Funds' SAI.
other service providers
Foreside Fund Services, LLC (“Distributor”) serves as the Funds' distributor. U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (“USBFS”) serves as the Funds' administrator. Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”) serves as the Funds' transfer agent, fund accountant, custodian and index receipt agent. The Distributor is not affiliated with Rafferty, USBFS, or BNYM.
Distributions
Fund Distributions. Each Fund pays out dividends from its net investment income, and distributes any net capital gains, if any, to its shareholders at least annually. Each Fund is authorized to declare and pay capital gain distributions in additional Shares or in cash. A Fund may have extremely high portfolio turnover, which may cause it to generate significant amounts of taxable income. Each Fund will generally need to distribute net short-term capital gain to satisfy certain tax requirements. As a result of the Funds' high portfolio turnover, they 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 a Fund. If the Reinvestment Service is used with respect to a 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 24

 

a Fund and its shareholders. No attempt is made to present a complete explanation of the federal tax treatment of the Funds' 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 Funds 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.
Each Fund intends to qualify each taxable year for taxation as a “regulated investment company” under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code. If a 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 a 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 a 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 a 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 a 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. A 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 a 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 Funds may generate significant amounts of taxable income. Accordingly, the Funds 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 a 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 a Fund will be disallowed to the extent other Shares of the same Fund are purchased (whether through reinvestment
25 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 a 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. A 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 a 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 a 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 a Fund.
Withholding. Dividends paid by a 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” a Fund realizes (generally, the excess of a 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, a 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 a Fund designates the
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 26

 

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 Funds' 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 a Fund.
More information about taxes is available in the Funds' SAI.
Additional Information
The Trust enters into contractual arrangements with various parties, which may include, among others, the Funds' investment adviser, custodian, and transfer agent, who provide services to the Funds. 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 Funds 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 Funds 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
Indxx Index. “Indxx” is a service mark of Indxx and has been licensed for use for certain purposes by the Adviser. The Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF (the “Indxx Fund”) is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Indxx. Indxx makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the Indxx Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Indxx Fund particularly. Indxx has no obligation to take the needs of the Adviser or the shareholders of the Indxx Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Indxx U.S. Fallen Knives Index. Indxx is not responsible for, and has not participated in, the determination of the timing, amount or pricing of the Indxx Fund shares to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Indxx Fund shares are to be converted into cash. Indxx has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Indxx Fund.
FTSE/Russell Index. The Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Frank Russell Company (“Russell”). Russell makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF particularly or the ability of the Russell 1000® Hyper Growth Index to track general stock market performance or a segment of the same. Russell’s publication of the Russell 1000® Hyper Growth Index in no way suggests or implies an opinion by Russell as to the advisability of investment in any or all of the securities upon which the Russell 1000® Hyper Growth Index is based. Russell’s only relationship to the Trust is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names of Russell and of the Russell 1000® Hyper Growth Index which is determined, composed and calculated by Russell without regard to the Trust or Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF. Russell is not responsible for and has not reviewed the Trust or Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF nor any associated literature or publications and Russell makes no representation or warranty express or implied as to their accuracy or completeness, or otherwise. Russell reserves the right, at any time and without notice, to alter, amend, terminate or in any way change the Russell 1000® Hyper Growth Index. Russell has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF.
RUSSELL DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE RUSSELL 1000® HYPER GROWTH INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN AND RUSSELL SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. RUSSELL MAKES NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OF IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY THE TRUST, INVESTORS, OWNERS OF THE DIREXION U.S. HYPER GROWTH ETF, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE RUSSELL 1000® HYPER GROWTH INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. RUSSELL MAKES NO EXPRESS OR
27 Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus

 

IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE RUSSELL 1000® HYPER GROWTH INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL RUSSELL HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS), EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
Salt Index. The Salt US Large Cap truVolTM Dynamic Hedge Index (the “Salt Index”) is the exclusive property of Salt Financial Indices, LLC. Salt Financial, truBeta, and truVolTM are service marks of Salt Financial Indices, LLC and has been licensed for use by Direxion Shares ETF Trust.
The Direxion U.S. truVolTM Dynamic Hedge ETF (the “Dynamic ETF”) is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Salt Financial Indices, LLC (“SFI”) or any affiliate of SFI. Neither SFI nor any other party makes any representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the Dynamic ETF or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in funds generally or in the Dynamic ETF particularly or the ability of the Salt Index to track general stock market performance. SFI is the licensor of certain trademarks, service marks and trade names of SFI and of the Salt Index which is determined, composed and calculated by SFI without regard to the issuer of the Dynamic ETF. SFI has no obligation to take the needs of the issuer of the Dynamic ETF or the owners of the Dynamic ETF into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Salt Index. SFI is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the timing of, prices at, or quantities of the Dynamic ETF to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Dynamic ETF is redeemable for cash. Neither SFI nor any other party has any obligation or liability to owners of the Dynamic ETF in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of this fund.
ALTHOUGH SFI SHALL OBTAIN INFORMATION FOR INCLUSION IN OR FOR USE IN THE CALCULATION OF THE INDEXES FROM SOURCES WHICH SFI CONSIDERS RELIABLE, NEITHER SFI NOR ANY OTHER PARTY GUARANTEES THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEXES OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. NEITHER SFI NOR ANY OTHER PARTY MAKES ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY LICENSEE, LICENSEE’S CUSTOMERS AND COUNTERPARTIES, OWNERS OF THE FUNDS, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEXES OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN IN CONNECTION WITH THE RIGHTS LICENSED HEREUNDER OR FOR ANY OTHER USE. NEITHER PA NOR ANY OTHER PARTY MAKES ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND PA HEREBY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE WITH RESPECT TO THE INDEXES OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL PA OR ANY OTHER PARTY HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, CONSEQUENTIAL OR ANY OTHER DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
Financial Highlights
No financial information is available for the Funds because the Funds had not commenced operations prior to the date of this Prospectus.
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 28

 

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 Funds' SAI contains more information on each 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 Funds' reports will provide additional information on the Funds' investment holdings, performance data and a letter discussing the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Funds' 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
Reports and other information about the Funds 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.
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 March 11, 2020
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 to the public. The shares of the funds offered in this Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) are listed and traded on the NYSE Arca, Inc. This SAI relates to the funds listed below (each, a “Fund” and collectively, the “Funds”).
Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF (HIPR)
Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF (NIFE)
Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF (DYHG)
There is no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective and an investment in a Fund could lose money. No single Fund is a complete investment program.
This SAI, dated [ ], 2020, is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Funds' prospectus dated [ ], 2020 (“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.
[ ], 2020

 

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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.”
Each Fund seeks to provide investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond to the performance of an underlying index.
Shares of each 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 are 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 Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty” or the “Adviser”). Shares cannot be purchased from, and are not redeemable securities of, each Fund, except when aggregated in Creation Units. Therefore, most investors will buy and sell Shares of each 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 each Fund, and shareholders may tender their Shares for redemption directly to each Fund, only in Creation Units of 25,000 Shares, as discussed in the “Purchases and Redemptions” section below.
There is no assurance that the Funds will achieve their objectives and an investment in a Fund could lose money. No single Fund is a complete investment program.
Classification of the Funds
Each Fund is a “non-diversified” series of the Trust pursuant to the 1940 Act. A 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 a Fund assumes large positions in the securities of a small number of issuers, the Fund’s net asset value ("NAV") may fluctuate to a greater extent than that of a diversified company as a result of changes in the financial condition or in the market’s assessment of the issuers, and the Fund may be more susceptible to any single economic, political or regulatory occurrence than a diversified company.
Exchange Listing and Trading
The Shares are listed and traded on the Exchange. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares of each Fund will continue to be met. The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the Shares of a Fund from listing if (i) following the initial 12-month period beginning at the commencement of trading of a Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of the Shares of the Fund; (ii) the value of the underlying index is no longer calculated or available; (iii) a Fund's underlying 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 a Fund from listing and trading upon termination of such Fund.
As is the case with other publicly listed securities, when Shares of a 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 a Fund or an investor’s equity interest in a Fund.
The trading prices of each Fund’s shares in the secondary market generally differ from each Fund’s daily NAV per share and are affected by market forces such as supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors. Rafferty Asset Management, LLC ("Rafferty" or "Adviser") may, from time to time, make payments to certain market makers in the Trust’s shares pursuant to an Exchange authorized program.
In order to provide additional information regarding the value of Shares of a Fund, the Exchange, a market data vendor or other information provider, disseminates an Intraday Optimized Portfolio Value (“IOPV”) for each Fund. Each 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 a 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 Funds are not involved in, nor responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and make no representations or warranty as to its accuracy.
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Investment Policies and Techniques
Each Fund seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the performance of an underlying index as noted below:
Fund Underlying Index
Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF Russell 1000® Hyper Growth Index
Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF Indxx U.S. Fallen Knives Index
Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF Salt US Large Cap truVol Dynamic Hedge Index
Each Fund generally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in the securities of its underlying index.
Each Fund’s investment objective is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund that may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval.
Subject to the limitations described in the “Investment Restrictions” section, each 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 a Fund will result in the achievement of the Fund’s investment objective.
This section provides a description of the securities in which a 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
A 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. A 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”). A 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 a Fund’s ability to resell when it deems advisable to do so.
A 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.
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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. A Fund may invest in commercial paper rated A-l or A-2 by Standard & Poor’s® Ratings Services (“S&P®”) or Prime-1 or Prime-2 by Moody’s Investors Service®, Inc. (“Moody’s”), and in other lower quality commercial paper.
Corporate Debt Securities
A 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. A 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 a 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.
A Fund may invest in certain debt securities, derivatives or other financial instruments that utilize the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) as a benchmark or reference rate for various interest rate calculations. LIBOR may be a significant factor in determining a Fund’s payment obligations under a derivative investment, the cost of financing to a Fund or an investment’s value or return to a Fund, and may be used in other ways that affect a Fund’s investment performance.
On July 27, 2017, the head of the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) Financial Conduct Authority announced that after 2021 it will cease its active encouragement of banks to provide quotations needed to sustain the LIBOR rate, which means that the LIBOR rate may no longer be published after 2021. Also in 2017, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a group of large US banks working with the Federal Reserve, announced its selection of a new Secured Overnight Funding Rate (“SOFR”), which is a broad measure of the cost of overnight borrowings secured by Treasury Department securities, as an appropriate replacement for LIBOR. Bank working groups and regulators in other countries have suggested other alternatives for their markets, including the Sterling Overnight Interbank Average Rate (“SONIA”) in England.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York began publishing SOFR in April 2018, with the expectation that it could be used on a voluntary basis in new instruments and for new transactions under existing instruments. However, SOFR is fundamentally different from LIBOR. It is a secured, nearly risk-free rate, while LIBOR is an unsecured rate that includes an element of bank credit risk. Also, SOFR is strictly an overnight rate, while LIBOR historically has been published for various maturities, ranging from overnight to one year. Thus, LIBOR may be expected to be higher than SOFR, and the spread between the two is likely to widen in times of market stress.
Various financial industry groups have begun planning for the transition from LIBOR to SOFR (or another new benchmark), but there are obstacles to converting certain longer term securities and transactions. Neither the effect of the transition
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process nor its ultimate success can yet be known. The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets that currently rely on the LIBOR to determine interest rates. It also could lead to a reduction in the value of some LIBOR-based investments and reduce the effectiveness of new hedges placed against existing LIBOR-based instruments. Among other negative consequences, the transition away from LIBOR could:
Adversely impact the pricing, liquidity, value of, return on and trading for a broad array of financial products, including any LIBOR-linked securities, loans and derivatives in which a Fund may invest;
Require extensive negotiations of and/or amendments to agreements and other documentation governing LIBOR-linked investments products;
Lead to disputes, litigation or other actions with counterparties or portfolio companies regarding the interpretation and enforceability of “fall back” provisions that provide for an alternative reference rate in the event of LIBOR’s unavailability; or
Cause a Fund to incur additional costs in relation to any of the above factors.
The risks associated with the above factors are heightened with respect to investments in LIBOR-based products that do not include a fall back provision that addresses how interest rates will be determined if LIBOR stops being published. Other important factors include the pace of the transition, the specific terms of alternative reference rates accepted in the market and the depth of the market for investments based on alternative reference rates. The risks associated with this discontinuation and transition will be exacerbated if the work necessary to effect an orderly transition to an alternative reference rate is not completed in a timely manner. Since the usefulness of LIBOR as a benchmark could deteriorate during the transition period, these effects could occur prior to the end of 2021. Any such effects of the transition away from LIBOR, as well as other unforeseen effects, could result in losses to a Fund.
Equity Securities
Common Stocks. A 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. A 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, a Fund may invest in the lowest credit rating category.
Preferred Stock. A 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, a Fund may invest in the lowest credit rating category.
Warrants and Rights. A Fund may purchase warrants and rights, which are instruments that permit a 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
A 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.
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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, a 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 a 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 a 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 and future economic or political crises could lead to price controls, forced mergers, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, seizure, nationalization, or creation of government monopolies. The currencies of emerging market countries may experience significant declines against the U.S. Dollar. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging market countries. Additional risks of emerging markets securities may include: greater social, economic and political uncertainty and instability; more substantial governmental involvement in the economy; less governmental supervision and regulation; unavailability of currency hedging techniques; companies that are newly organized and small; differences in auditing and financial reporting standards, which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; and less developed legal systems. In addition, emerging securities markets may have different clearance and settlement procedures, which may be unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions or otherwise make it difficult to engage in such transactions.
Asia-Pacific Countries. In addition to the risks associated with foreign and emerging markets, the developing market Asia-Pacific countries in which a Fund may invest are subject to certain additional or specific risks. A 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 a Fund and may have an adverse impact on a 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,
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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 a 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 a Fund itself, as well as the value of securities in a 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 a 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. A 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 a 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 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.
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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 a 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.
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.
In January 2020, in response to the ongoing “trade war,” the U.S. and China signed a “Phase 1” trade agreement that reduced some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods while boosting Chinese purchases of American goods. However, this agreement left in place a number of existing tariffs, and it is unclear whether further trade agreements may be reached in the future. The ability and willingness of China to comply with the trade deal may determine to some degree the extent to which its economy will be adversely affected, which cannot be predicted at the present time.
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.
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, a Fund’s trading of eligible A-shares listed on the SSE would be effectuated through its Hong Kong broker.
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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 a Fund will be permitted to sell A-shares regardless of the quota balance). These limitations may restrict a Fund from investing in A-shares on a timely basis, which could affect a 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 a 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 a 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. A 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 a 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. 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 introduced significant uncertainties and instability in the financial markets as the UK negotiated its exit from the EU. The UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020, with a transitional period set to end on December 31, 2020. During this period, the UK effectively remains in the EU’s custom union and single market and continues to obey EU rules. However, the UK is no longer part of the political institutions. The effects of Brexit will depend on any agreement the UK makes to retain access to the EU Common Market either during the transitional period or more permanently and whether the UK enters into any trade deals with other countries, such as the United States. 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 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. Brexit may 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.
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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 a 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 a Fund’s ability to acquire or dispose of securities at the price or time that it desires or the Fund’s ability to track its underlying 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 a 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 a 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 a 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, a 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 a 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 years of mild recovery in the mid-2000s, Japan’s economy fell into another recession as a result of the recent global economic crisis. In December 2019, Japan’s government approved a fiscal stimulus package of nearly $120 billion in order to stimulate its slowing economy, which has been negatively affected by decreased demand from China and by recent political conflicts with South Korea. 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 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,
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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 competitiveness.
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. The economies of certain Latin American countries have experienced high interest rates, economic volatility, inflation, currency devaluations, government defaults, high unemployment rates and political instability which can adversely affect issuers in these countries. In addition, commodities (such as oil, gas and minerals) represent a significant percentage of the region’s exports and many economies in this region are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Adverse economic events in one country may have a significant adverse effect on other countries of this region. The governments of certain countries in Latin America may exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector and may own or control many companies. Future government actions could have a significant effect on the economic conditions in such countries, which could have a negative impact on the securities in which a Fund invests. Diplomatic developments may also adversely affect investments in certain countries in Latin America. Some countries in Latin America may be affected by public corruption and crime, including organized crime. Certain countries in Latin America may be heavily dependent upon international trade and, consequently, have been and may continue to be negatively affected by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which they trade. These countries also have been and may continue to be adversely affected by economic conditions in the countries with which they trade. In addition, certain issuers located in countries in Latin America in which a Fund invests may be the subject of sanctions (for example, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on certain Venezuelan individuals, corporate entities and the Venezuelan government) or have dealings with countries subject to sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism. An issuer may sustain damage to its reputation if it is identified as an issuer that has dealings with such countries. A Fund may be adversely affected if it invests in such issuers. 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. 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. In 2018, the United States, Mexico and Canada signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”), which replaces the current North American Free Trade Agreement among the three countries. USMCA has been ratified by the United States and Mexico, and it has been introduced in the Canada Parliament for implementation. The adoption of USMCA may have a significant impact on Mexico’s economy and, consequently, the value of the securities held by a Fund.
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
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prices. Mexico’s economy has also become increasingly manufacturing-oriented. 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 a 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 Funds.
As a result of continuing political tensions and armed conflicts, including the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the United States and the EU 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 a Fund’s investments. Russia may undertake countermeasures or retaliatory actions which may further impair the value and liquidity of a Fund’s investments.
Depositary Receipts
To the extent a Fund invests in stocks of foreign corporations, a 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. a 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 a 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 a Fund’s investment strategy.
Foreign Currencies
A 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 a 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 a Fund’s assets are invested in instruments denominated in foreign currencies and the currencies appreciate relative to the U.S. Dollar, a 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 a 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 a 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 a Fund’s assets also will be affected by the net investment income generated by the money market instruments in which each Fund invests and by changes in the value of the securities that are unrelated to changes in currency exchange rates.
A Fund may incur currency exchange costs when it sells instruments denominated in one currency and buys instruments denominated in another.
Currency Transactions. A 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. A 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, a 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.
A 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.
A 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 a 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.
A Fund may use forward currency contracts for position hedging if consistent with its policy of trying to expose its net assets to foreign currencies. A Fund is not required to enter into forward currency contracts for hedging purposes and it is possible that a Fund may not be able to hedge against a currency devaluation that is so generally anticipated that a 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 a Fund may have to limit its currency transactions 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.”
Each 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 a 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, a 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 a Fund engages in an offsetting transaction, it may later enter into a new forward currency contract to sell the currency.
If a 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 a 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, a 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, a 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 a Fund invests in money market instruments denominated in foreign currencies, it may hold foreign currencies pending investment or conversion into U.S. Dollars. Although a 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. A 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 a Fund at one rate, and offer to buy the currency at a lower rate if a 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, a 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 a 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 a Fund than if it had not engaged in such contracts. Moreover, there may be an imperfect correlation between a Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities denominated in a particular currency and the currencies bought or sold in the forward contracts entered into by a Fund. This imperfect correlation may cause a 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. A Fund may invest in foreign currency-denominated securities and may buy or sell put and call options on foreign currencies. A 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 a 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
A 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 a Fund to the credit risk of the issuer of the hybrids. These risks may cause significant fluctuations in the NAV of a 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, a 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
Each Fund may purchase and hold illiquid investments. A 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 a 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. A 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. Rafferty, 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 a 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, a 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, Rafferty will report such occurrence to the Board of Trustees and take such steps as are deemed advisable to protect liquidity in accordance with a Fund’s liquidity risk management program.
A Fund may not be able to sell illiquid investments when Rafferty considers it desirable to do so or may have to sell such investments at a price that is lower than the price that could be obtained if the investments were liquid. In addition, the sale of illiquid investments may require more time and result in higher dealer discounts and other selling expenses than does the sale of investments that are not illiquid. Illiquid investments also may be more difficult to value due to the unavailability of reliable market quotations for such investments, and investment in illiquid investments may have an adverse impact on NAV.
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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 Rafferty, under Board-approved guidelines, has determined are liquid. Each Fund currently does not anticipate investing in such restricted securities. However, to the extent that a Fund does invest in such restricted securities, an insufficient number of qualified institutional buyers interested in purchasing Rule 144A-eligible securities held by a Fund could adversely affect the marketability of such portfolio securities, and a Fund may be unable to dispose of such securities promptly or at reasonable prices.
Indexed Securities
A 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. A 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. A 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 a Fund needs to make its required annual distributions to shareholders in amounts that exceed the cash received. As a result, a Fund may need to liquidate certain investments when it is not
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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
A 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 a 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. A Fund will not necessarily dispose of a security when its rating is reduced below its rating at the time of purchase. However, Rafferty will monitor the investment to determine whether continued investment in the security will assist in meeting a Fund’s investment objective.
Mortgage-Backed Securities
A 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”) mandated 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 has a 55-day remittance cycle and can be used as collateral in either a Fannie Mae® or Freddie Mac® security or held for investment. 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 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
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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. A 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. A 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, each 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 a 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 a 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
A 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 a 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.
Each 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 a 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.
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, a Fund’s ability to use derivative instruments will be limited by tax considerations. See “Dividends, Other Distributions and Taxes.”
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Under current CFTC regulations, if a Fund uses commodity interests (such as futures contracts, options on futures contracts and swaps) other than for bona fide hedging purposes (as defined by the CFTC) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish these positions (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions and excluding the amount by which options that are “in-the-money” at the time of purchase) may not exceed 5% of a Fund’s NAV, or alternatively, the aggregate net notional value of those positions, as determined at the time the most recent position was established, may not exceed 100% of the fund’s NAV (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). Pursuant to a claim for exemption filed with the National Futures Association, the Funds are not deemed to be commodity pool operators or commodity pools under the Commodity Exchange Act ("CEA").
Each Fund is subject to the risk that a change in U.S. law and related regulations will impact the way a Fund operates, increase the particular costs of a Fund’s operation and/or change the competitive landscape. In this regard, any further amendment to the CEA or its related regulations that subject a Fund to additional regulation may have adverse impacts on a Fund’s operations and expenses. The SEC has issued a proposed rule under the 1940 Act providing for the regulation of registered investment companies’ use of derivatives and certain related instruments. The ultimate impact, if any, of possible regulation remains unclear, but the proposed rule, if adopted, could, among other things, restrict a Fund’s ability to engage in derivative transactions and/or increase the costs of such derivative transactions such that a Fund may be unable to implement its investment strategy.
In addition to the instruments, strategies and risks described below and in the Prospectus, Rafferty may discover additional opportunities in connection with derivative instruments and other similar or related techniques. These new opportunities may become available as Rafferty develops new techniques, as regulatory authorities broaden the range of permitted transactions and as new derivative instruments or other techniques are developed. Rafferty may utilize these opportunities to the extent that they are consistent with a Fund’s investment objective and permitted by a Fund’s investment limitations and applicable regulatory authorities. A 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, a 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 a 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 a Fund’s ability to sell a portfolio security or make an investment when it would otherwise be favorable to do so or require that a Fund sell a portfolio security at a disadvantageous time. A 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 a 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 a Fund on options transactions.
Cover. Transactions using derivative instruments, other than purchased options, expose a Fund to an obligation to another party. A 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. Each 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 a Fund’s assets to cover or accounts could impede portfolio management or a Fund’s ability to meet redemption requests or other current obligations.
Futures Contracts. A 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 a 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 a 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 a 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 a 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, a Fund will incur brokerage fees when it buys or sells futures contracts. A 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 a 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 a Fund or received by a 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 a Fund’s investment manager and custodian on a daily basis. When the futures contract is closed out, if a 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 a Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to a Fund. If a 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. A Fund’s use of futures contracts is subject to the risks associated with derivative instruments generally. A 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 a 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. A Fund would continue to be subject to market risk with respect to the position. In addition, a 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 a 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 a Fund. In addition, if a 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 a Fund to experience substantial losses on an investment in a futures contract. There is a risk of loss by a 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 a 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, a Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use a 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 a 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 a 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 a Fund. If the nature of hedgers and speculators in futures markets
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has shifted when it is time for a 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 a Fund’s investments to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities.
Forward Contracts. Each 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 a Fund’s illiquid investment limitations. A Fund will not enter into any forward contract unless Rafferty believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. A 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, a 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, a 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, a 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, a 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, a 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 a 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.
A Fund may effectively terminate its right or obligation under an option by entering into a closing transaction. For example, a 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, a 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 a 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 a Fund and its counterparty (usually a securities dealer or a bank) with no clearing organization guarantee. Thus, when a 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 a Fund as well as the loss of any expected benefit of the transaction.
A 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 a 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, a Fund might be unable to close out an OTC option position at any time prior to its expiration.
If a 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 a Fund could cause material losses because a 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 a 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 Rafferty are combined for purposes of these limits. Pursuant to these limitations, an exchange may order the liquidation of positions and may impose other sanctions or restrictions. These position limits may restrict the number of listed options that a 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 a 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 a 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 a Fund buys a call on an index, it pays a premium and has the same rights to such call as are indicated above. When a 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 a Fund’s exercise of the put, to deliver to a 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 a 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 a 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 a 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, a 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 a 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 a 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 a Fund writes a call, it assumes a short futures position. If it writes a put, it assumes a long futures position. When a 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 a Fund realizes a gain or loss from futures activities depends upon movements in the underlying security or index. The extent of a Fund’s loss from an unhedged short position from writing unhedged call options on futures contracts is potentially unlimited. A 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 a 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. A Fund would continue to be subject to market risk with respect to the position. In addition, except in the case of purchased options, a 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. A Fund may purchase and write options in combination with each other. For example, a 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
A 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. A Fund may be both a buyer and seller of these instruments. In addition, a 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 Funds may vary from the typical examples described here.
Swap Agreements
A Fund may enter into swap and other derivatives to obtain 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.
Each 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, a 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. A 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 a 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 a Fund on the notional amount. However, unlike cash investments in the underlying assets, a 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, Rafferty may substitute physical securities with a swap having investment characteristics substantially similar to the underlying securities. A Fund may also enter into swaps that provide the opposite return of their benchmark or a security. Their operations are similar to that of the swaps discussed above except that the counterparty pays interest to each Fund on the notional amount outstanding and that dividends or interest on the underlying instruments reduce the value of the swap, plus, in certain instances, each Fund will agree to pay to the counterparty commissions or trading spreads on the notional amount. These amounts are often netted with any unrealized gain or loss to determine the value of the swap.
The use of swaps is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks in addition to, and in some cases different from, those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. 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
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counterparty’s creditworthiness for an over-the-counter swap declines, the value of the swap would likely decline. Moreover, there is no guarantee that a Fund could eliminate its exposure under an outstanding swap by entering into an offsetting swap with the same or another party. In addition, a 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 a Fund invests in swaps 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 its underlying index as it would if a Fund used only swaps on the underlying index. Rafferty, under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, is responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of a Fund’s transactions in swaps.
Common Types of Swaps
A 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 a 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 a 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 a Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive interest. For example, a 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 a Fund’s exposure to long- or short-term interest rates. For example, a 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 a Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date.
Other Financial Instruments. Other forms of swaps that a 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 a 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. A 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 a 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 a 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. A 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 a Fund’s investment restriction concerning senior securities.
Counterparty Credit Risk. A Fund will not enter into any uncleared swap (i.e., not cleared by a central counterparty) unless Rafferty believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. The counterparty to an uncleared swap will typically be a major global financial institution. A 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, a 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 a 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 a Fund. Upon entering into a cleared swap, a Fund may be required to deposit with its futures
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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 is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the cleared swap and is returned to a Fund upon termination of the swap, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Subsequent payments to and from the broker will be made daily as the price of the swap fluctuates, making the long and short position in the swap contract more or less valuable, a process known as “marking-to-market.” The premium (discount) payments are built into the daily price of the swap and thus are amortized through the subsequent payments. The subsequent 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, a Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any.
Swap Regulation
In recent years, regulators across the globe, including the CFTC and the U.S. banking regulators, have adopted collateral requirements applicable to uncleared swaps. While a Fund is not directly subject to these requirements, where a Fund’s counterparty is subject to the requirements, uncleared swaps between a 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 collateral, 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 a Fund would agree with its counterparty in the absence of such regulation. In all events, where a 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 a Fund is in default on its obligations to the swap counterparty.
In addition to the marked-to-market collateral requirements, regulators have adopted “initial” collateral 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 marked-to-market 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 collateral rules do not apply to a 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 Funds. In the event that the rules apply, they would impose significant costs on a Fund’s ability to engage in uncleared swaps and, as such, could adversely affect Rafferty’s ability to manage a Fund, may impair a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective and/or may result in reduced returns to a 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 f standardized swaps; (3) imposing collateral 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. A 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, a 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 a Fund to the counterparty if all outstanding swaps between the parties were terminated on the date in question, including any early termination payments. 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 a 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 a Fund, the amount pledged by the counterparty and available to a Fund may not be sufficient to cover all the amounts due to a Fund and the Fund may sustain a loss. Rules requiring initial collateral to be posted by certain market participants for uncleared swaps have been adopted and are being phased in over time. When these rules
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take effect with respect to the Funds, if a Fund is deemed to have material swaps exposure under applicable swap regulations, it will be required to post initial collateral in addition to marked-to-market collateral.
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, a 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 a Fund to incur increased expenses to access the same types of swaps that it has used in the past. When a Fund enters into a cleared swap, it must deliver to the central counterparty (via the FCM) initial collateral. The initial collateral 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 collateral above the amount required by the central counterparty. During the term of the swap agreement, an additional collateral amount may also be required to be paid by a Fund or may be received by a Fund in accordance with collateral controls set for such accounts. If the value of the Fund’s cleared swap declines, the Fund will be required to make additional payments to the FCM to settle the change in value. Conversely, if the market value of a Fund’s position increases, the FCM will post additional amounts to the Fund’s account. At the conclusion of the term of the swap agreement, if a Fund has a loss equal to or greater than the collateral amount, the collateral amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the collateral amount. If a Fund has a loss of less than the collateral amount, the excess collateral is returned to a Fund. If a Fund has a gain, the full collateral amount and the amount of the gain is paid to a 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 a 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 a Fund will be less than its performance would have been if it had not used the swap agreements. The risk of loss to a 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 a Fund, the risk of loss to the Fund is loss of the entire amount that the Fund is entitled to receive. If a 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, a Fund’s risk of loss also includes any collateral 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 a Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, a 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.
Rafferty, under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, is responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of a 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 a Fund’s identity as intended. Certain IRS positions may limit a Fund’s ability to use swap agreements
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in a desired tax strategy. It is possible that developments in the swap markets and/or the laws relating to swap 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, a 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. A 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, a 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 a 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 a 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 a Fund of the initial and variation collateral deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which a Fund has an open position, or the central counterparty in a swap contract. The assets of a Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the FCM or central counterparty because a Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and collateral segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, a 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, a 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 collateral requirements with respect to a 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 collateral above the amount that is required at the initiation of the swap agreement. Currently, depending on a number of factors, the collateral required under the rules of the clearinghouse and FCM may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by a Fund to support its obligations under a similar uncleared swap. However, regulators have proposed and are expected to adopt rules imposing certain requirements on uncleared swaps in the near future, which are likely to impose higher collateral requirements on uncleared swaps.
Finally, a 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, a 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 collateral 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 a 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 a Fund’s ability to enter into desired swap agreements. New requirements, even if not directly applicable to a Fund, may increase the cost of a Fund’s investments and cost of doing business.
Other Investment Companies
Each 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
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expenses. By investing in another investment company, a Fund becomes a shareholder of that investment company. As a result, Fund shareholders indirectly will bear a 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 a Fund’s own operations.
Each 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 a 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 a 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 a 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 Funds' shareholders with regard to the voting of all proxies and vote in accordance with such instructions, or vote the shares held by a Fund in the same proportion as the vote of all other holders of such security. In addition, an investment company purchased by a 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), a 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 a Fund has complied with the requirements of such orders. To the extent that a 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. Each 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. ETPs and ETNs trade like stocks on a securities exchange at market price rather than NAV and, as a result, ETP and ETN shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount). A 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 a 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, a Fund may invest in swap agreements referencing ETFs. If a Fund invests in ETFs or swap agreements referencing ETFs, the underlying ETFs may not necessarily track the same index as a Fund.
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 a Fund’s yield and return potential.
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Passive Investment Risk
Each Fund is not actively managed and Rafferty does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.
Real Estate Companies
A 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 Rafferty’s view, a significant element of the securities’ value, and preferred stocks.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”)
A 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
A 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, a 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 a 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. A 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.
A 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 a Fund in each repurchase agreement. In the event of default or bankruptcy by the seller, a Fund will liquidate those securities (whose market value, including accrued interest, must be at least 100% of the amount invested by a Fund) held under the applicable repurchase agreement, which securities constitute collateral for the seller’s obligation to repurchase the security. If the seller defaults, a 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 a Fund may be delayed or limited.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements
A 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, a Fund sells securities and agrees to repurchase them at a mutually agreed to price. At the time a 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 a Fund may decline below the price of the securities a 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 a Fund’s obligation to repurchase the securities. During that time, a 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 a Fund’s limitation on borrowing.
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Securities Lending
Each Fund may lend portfolio securities to certain borrowers that Rafferty 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, marked to market daily. Borrowers continuously secure their obligations to return securities on loan from a Fund by depositing any combination of short-term U.S. government securities and cash as collateral with a Fund. No securities loan will be made on behalf of a Fund if, as a result, the aggregate value of all securities loaned by a 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 Rafferty or the Board. A Fund may terminate a loan at any time and obtain the return of the securities loaned. Each 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 Funds are 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, a 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 a Fund has agreed to pay a borrower), and credit, legal, counterparty and market risk. If a securities lending counterparty were to default, a 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 a 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 a Fund. A 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 a Fund while its securities are loaned out will not be considered qualified dividend income.
Short Sales
A Fund may engage in short sale transactions under which a Fund sells a security it does not own. To complete such a transaction, a Fund must borrow the security to make delivery to the buyer. A 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 a Fund. Until the security is replaced, a 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. A Fund will also incur transactions costs when conducting short sales.
Until a Fund closes its short position or replaces the borrowed stock, a 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 a Fund’s short position.
A 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 a Fund replaces the borrowed security or terminates the derivatives providing short exposure. A 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 a Fund may be required to pay, if any, in connection with a short sale or derivatives that provide short exposure.
U.S. Government Securities
A 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
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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 a Fund’s portfolio investments in U.S. government securities, while a decline in interest rates generally would increase the market value of a 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. In September 2019, the U.S. Treasury released its plan to reform the housing finance system, which includes reforms to Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac®. The impact of these reforms are not yet known. 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.
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.
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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 Rafferty is satisfied that the credit risk with respect to any such instrumentality is comparatively minimal.
When-Issued Securities
A Fund may enter into firm commitment agreements for the purchase of securities on a specified future date. A 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. A 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 a Fund enters into a firm commitment agreement, liability for the purchase price and the rights and risks of ownership of the security accrue to a 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 a Fund to purchase the security at a price above the current market price on the date of delivery and payment. During the time a 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
A 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, a 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 a 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, a 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, a Fund could be required at times to liquidate other investments to satisfy distribution requirements.
A 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. A Fund may borrow money for investment purposes, which is a form of leveraging. Leveraging investments, by purchasing securities with borrowed money, is a speculative technique that increases investment risk while increasing investment opportunity. Leverage will magnify changes in a Fund’s NAV and on a Fund’s investments. Although the principal of such borrowings will be fixed, a Fund’s assets may change in value during the time the borrowing is outstanding. Leverage also creates interest expenses for a Fund. To the extent the income derived from securities purchased with borrowed funds exceeds the interest a 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 a Fund will be less than it would be if leverage were not used, and therefore the amount available for shareholders will be reduced.
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A Fund may borrow money to facilitate management of a Fund’s portfolio by enabling a 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, a 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, a 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 a “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 each Fund’s annual portfolio turnover will vary. A 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 a 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, each 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 a Fund, including brokerage commissions or dealer mark-ups and other transaction costs on the sale of securities and reinvestments in other securities. Such sales also may result in adverse tax consequences to a Fund’s shareholders resulting from its distributions of increased net capital gains, if any, recognized as a result of the sales. The trading costs and tax effects associated with portfolio turnover may adversely affect a Fund’s performance.
Correlation and Tracking Risk
Several factors may affect a Fund's ability to track the performance of its underlying 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 underlying index being held by a Fund and securities not included in the underlying index being held by a Fund; (3) an imperfect correlation between the performance of instruments held by a 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) a Fund holding instruments that are illiquid or the market for which becomes disrupted; (6) the need to conform a Fund’s portfolio holdings to comply with the Fund’s investment restrictions or policies, or regulatory or tax law requirements; and (7) disruptions and illiquidity in the markets for securities or derivatives held by a 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, a Fund’s short-term performance will reflect such deviation from its underlying index. A Fund may use a combination of swaps on its underlying 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 its underlying index due to fees and other costs borne by the ETF and other factors. Thus, to the extent that a Fund invests in swaps that use an ETF as a reference asset, a Fund may be subject to greater correlation risk and may not achieve as high a degree of correlation with its underlying index as it would if a Fund used swaps that utilized an underlying index as the reference asset. Any financing, borrowing or other costs associated with using derivatives may also reduce a Fund’s return.
Cybersecurity Risk
Since the use of technology has become more prevalent in the course of business, the Funds 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 a Fund or a Fund service provider to suffer data corruption or lose operational functionality. A cybersecurity incident could, among other things, result in the loss or theft of customer data or funds, customers or employees being unable to access electronic systems (“denial of services”), loss or theft of proprietary information or corporate data, physical damage to a computer or network system, or remediation costs associated with system repairs. Any of these results could have a substantial impact on the Funds. 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
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systems to perform critical duties for the Funds, such as trading, net asset value ("NAV") calculation, shareholder accounting or fulfillment of Fund share purchases and redemptions. Cybersecurity incidents could cause a 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 a Fund to violate applicable privacy and other laws. The Funds' 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 a Fund does not directly control the cybersecurity systems of the issuers of securities in which each Fund invests or the Funds' third party service providers (including the Funds' transfer agent and custodian).
Investment Restrictions
The Trust, on behalf of each 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 a 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.
Each 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 a Fund’s total assets would be invested in the securities of companies whose principal business activities are in the same industry. However, each Fund that tracks an underlying index will only concentrate its investment in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent as its underlying index is so concentrated.
5. Purchase or sell real estate, except that, to the extent permitted by applicable law, each 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 a 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 a Fund may be considered an underwriter within the meaning of the 1933 Act in the disposition of restricted securities or other investment company securities.
Portfolio Transactions and Brokerage
Subject to the general supervision by the Trustees, Rafferty is responsible for decisions to buy and sell securities for each Fund, the selection of broker-dealers to effect the transactions, and the negotiation of brokerage commissions, if any. Rafferty expects that a 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.
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When selecting a broker or dealer to execute portfolio transactions, Rafferty considers many factors, including the rate of commission or the size of the broker-dealer’s “spread,” the size and difficulty of the order, the nature of the market for the security, operational capabilities of the broker-dealer and the research, statistical and economic data furnished by the broker-dealer to Rafferty.
In effecting portfolio transactions for a Fund, Rafferty seeks to receive the closing prices of securities that are in line with those of the securities included in a Fund's underlying index and seeks to execute trades of such securities at the lowest commission rate reasonably available. With respect to agency transactions, Rafferty may execute trades at a higher rate of commission if reasonable in relation to brokerage and research services provided to a Fund or Rafferty. Such services may include the following: information as to the availability of securities for purchase or sale; statistical or factual information or opinions pertaining to investment; wire services; and appraisals or evaluations of portfolio securities. Each Fund believes that the requirement to always seek the lowest possible commission cost could impede effective portfolio management and preclude a Fund and Rafferty from obtaining a high quality of brokerage and research services. In seeking to determine the reasonableness of brokerage commissions paid in any transaction, Rafferty relies upon its experience and knowledge regarding commissions generally charged by various brokers and on its judgment in evaluating the brokerage and research services received from the broker effecting the transaction.
Rafferty may use research and services provided to it by brokers in servicing a Fund; however, not all such services may be used by Rafferty in connection with a 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 a Fund by Rafferty, the receipt of such information and these services does not reduce the investment advisory fee paid by a 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 Funds because they have not yet commenced operations.
Portfolio Holdings Information
A Fund’s portfolio holdings are disclosed on the Funds' website at www.direxion.com each day the Funds are open for business. In addition, disclosure of a 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 a Fund’s portfolio holdings, are also made available daily, including to the Funds' service providers to facilitate the provision of services to the Funds 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 Funds 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 Funds' 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 Funds' 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) a 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.
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 Funds, which includes the general oversight and review of the Funds' investment activities, in accordance with federal law and the law of the State of Delaware, as well as the stated policies of the Funds. The Board
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oversees the Trust’s officers and service providers, including Rafferty, which is responsible for the management of the day-to-day operations of the Funds based on policies and agreements reviewed and approved by the Board. In carrying out these responsibilities, the Board regularly interacts with and receives reports from senior personnel of service providers, including personnel from Rafferty and 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 Funds, the Board oversees the management of risks relating to the administration and operation of the Trust and the Funds. Rafferty, as part of its responsibilities for the day-to-day operations of the Funds, is responsible for day-to-day risk management for the Funds. 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 Funds 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 Funds.
The Board has adopted, and periodically reviews, policies and procedures designed to address risks to the Trust and the Funds. In addition, under the general oversight of the Board, Rafferty and other service providers to the Funds have themselves adopted a variety of policies, procedures and controls designed to address particular risks to the Funds. 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 Funds through review of regular reports, presentations and other information from officers of the Trust and other persons. The Trust’s CCO and senior officers of Rafferty regularly report to the Board on a range of matters, including those relating to risk management. The Board also regularly receives reports from Rafferty and USBFS with respect to the Funds' investments. In addition to regular reports from these parties, the Board also receives reports regarding other service providers to the Trust, either directly or through Rafferty, USBFS or the CCO, on a periodic or regular basis. At least annually, the Board receives a report from the CCO regarding the effectiveness of the Funds' compliance program. Also, on an annual basis, the Board receives reports, presentations and other information from Rafferty in connection with the Board’s consideration of the renewal of each of the Trust’s agreements with Rafferty and the Trust’s distribution plan under Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act.
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 Funds' 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 Funds' 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 Funds, the number of series overseen by the Board, the arrangements for the conduct of the Funds' 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, [ ] 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 meeting, the Independent Trustees meet outside of management’s presence. The Independent Trustees may hold special meetings, as needed, either in person or by telephone.
The Trustees of the Trust are identified in the tables below, which provide information regarding their age, business address and principal occupation during the past five years including any affiliation with Rafferty, the length of service to the Trust, and the position, if any, that they hold on the board of directors of companies other than the Trust as of 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. Rafferty is also the sole owner of Direxion Advisors,
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LLC ("Direxion"), investment adviser to certain series of the Trust. 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: 76
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.
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: 72
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.
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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
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.
Kathleen M. Berkery(3)
Age: 52
Trustee Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation; Since 2019 Rynkar, Vail & Barrett, LLC, since 2018 as Manager – Trusts & Estates; Lee, Nolan & Koroghlian Life Planning Group, 2010-2017 as Financial Advisor [ ] None.
(1) Mr. O’Neill is affiliated with Rafferty and Direxion because he 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 [ ] 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.
(3) Ms. Berkery was elected as a Trustee on November 26, 2019.
In addition to the information set forth in the tables above and other relevant qualifications, experience, attributes or skills applicable to a particular Trustee, the following provides further information about the qualifications and experience of each Trustee.
Daniel D. O’Neill: Mr. O’Neill has extensive experience in the investment management business, including as managing director of Rafferty 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.
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.
Kathleen M. Berkery: Ms. Berkery has extensive experience with estate planning, estate administration, fiduciary income taxation, financial planning, finance, as well as business sales and development, and marketing.
Board Committees
The Trust has an Audit Committee, consisting of Messrs. Shanley, Driscoll, Gaffey, and Mulholland and Ms. Berkery. 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.
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The Trust also has a Nominating and Governance Committee, consisting of Messrs. Shanley, Driscoll, Gaffey and Mulholland and Ms. Berkery, 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 a 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 four times during the Trust’s most recent fiscal year.
The Trust has a Qualified Legal Compliance Committee, consisting of Messrs. Shanley, Driscoll, Gaffey and Mulholland and Ms. Berkery. 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 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:
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: 51
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
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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
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 [ ] 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, 2019.
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, 2019:
Dollar Range of Equity Securities Owned: Interested Trustee: Independent Trustees:
  Daniel D.
O’Neill
Gerald E.
Shanley III
David L.
Driscoll
Jacob C.
Gaffey
Henry W.
Mulholland
Kathleen M.
Berkery
Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity Securities in the Direxion Family of Investment Companies(1) Over
$100,000
$0 $0 $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 [ ] 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 Rafferty receives any compensation from the Funds 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, 2019:
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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 $100,000 $0 $0 $133,333
David L. Driscoll $100,000 $0 $0 $133,333
Jacob C. Gaffey $100,000 $0 $0 $133,333
Henry W. Mulholland $100,000 $0 $0 $133,333
Kathleen M. Berkery(3) $0 $0 $0 $0
(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, 2019, Trustees’ fees and expenses in the amount of $500,000 were incurred by the Trust.
(3)
Ms. Berkery was elected to the Board of Trustees on November 26, 2019 and therefore did not receive any compensation from the Direxion Family of Investment Companies for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2019.
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 a 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 a Fund.
Because the Funds had not commenced operations prior to the date of this SAI, the Funds did not have control persons or principal shareholders and the Trustees and Officers did not own shares of the Funds.
Investment Adviser
Rafferty, 1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 28th Floor, New York, New York 10019, provides investment advice to the Funds. Rafferty was organized as a New York limited liability company in June 1997. Michael Rafferty and Kathleen Rafferty Hay control Rafferty through their ownership in Rafferty Holdings, LLC and Daniel D. O’Neill controls Rafferty through his ownership in Minakian Partners, LLC.
Under an Investment Advisory Agreement (“Advisory Agreement”) between Rafferty and the Trust, on behalf of each Fund dated August 13, 2008, Rafferty provides a continuous investment program for each Fund’s assets in accordance with its investment objectives, policies and limitations, and oversees the day-to-day operations of each Fund, subject to the supervision of the Trustees. Rafferty bears all costs associated with providing these advisory services and the expenses of the Trustees who are affiliated with or interested persons of Rafferty. The Trust bears all other expenses that are not assumed by Rafferty as described in the Prospectus. The Trust also is liable for nonrecurring expenses as may arise, including litigation to which a Fund may be a party. The Trust also may have an obligation to indemnify its Trustees and officers with respect to any such litigation.
The Advisory Agreement was initially approved by the Trustees (including all Independent Trustees) and Rafferty, as sole shareholder of each Fund in compliance with the 1940 Act. After an initial approval period of two years, the Advisory Agreement is renewable with respect to each Fund, so long as its continuance is approved at least annually (1) by the vote, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose, of a majority of 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 a Fund. The Advisory Agreement automatically terminates on assignment and is terminable upon a 60-day written notice either by the Trust or Rafferty.
Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, each Fund pays Rafferty the following fee at an annualized rate based on a percentage of each Fund’s average daily net assets:
Fund Advisory Fee Charged
Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF [ ]%
Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF [ ]%
Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF [ ]%
No advisory fees had been paid by the Funds because the Funds have not yet completed a fiscal year.
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Effective June 28, 2019, Rafferty has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with the Funds. Under this Operating Services Agreement, Rafferty, in exchange for an Operating Services Fee rate paid to Rafferty by each Fund, has contractually agreed to pay all Fund expenses as long as it is the advisor to the Funds, 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.
Prior to June 28, 2019, Rafferty was party to an Operating Expense Limitation Agreement with the Funds. Under this Operating Expense Limitation Agreement, Rafferty contractually agreed to waive all or a portion of its management fee and/or to reimburse each Fund for Other Expenses incurred during the period in which the Operating Expense Limitation Agreement was in effect (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) to the extent that each Fund’s Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses exceed a specified amount. Any expense waiver or reimbursement was subject to recoupment by the Adviser within the following three years only if a Fund’s Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses fell below the lesser of the applicable percentage limitation and any percentage limitation in place at the time of the waiver.
Rafferty 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, Rafferty and the Funds' distributor have adopted Codes of Ethics. These codes permit portfolio managers and other access persons of a Fund to invest in securities that may be owned by a 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 Funds. An investment trading team of Rafferty employees assists Mr. Brigandi and Mr. Ng in the day-to-day management of the Funds subject to their primary responsibility and oversight. The Portfolio Managers work with the investment trading team to decide the target allocation of each Fund’s investments and on a day-to-day basis, an individual portfolio trader executes transactions for the Funds consistent with the target allocation. The members of the investment trading team rotate periodically among the various series of the Trust, including the Funds, so that no single individual is assigned to a specific Fund for extended periods of time.
In addition to the Funds, Mr. Brigandi and Mr. Ng manage the following other accounts as of [ ]:
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
Rafferty manages no other accounts with investment objectives similar to those of the Funds. In addition, two or more funds advised by Rafferty may invest in the same securities but the nature of each investment (long or short) may be opposite and in different proportions. Generally, due to the nature of the various Funds advised by Rafferty, if a Fund with a leveraged investment objective increases in value, the performance of a Fund with an inverse or an inverse leveraged investment objective will decrease in value and vice versa. Rafferty ordinarily executes transactions for a Fund “market-on-close,” in which funds purchasing or selling the same security receive the same closing price.
Rafferty has not identified any additional material conflicts between a 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 a Fund and other accounts. The management of a Fund and other accounts may result in unequal time and attention being devoted to a Fund and other accounts. Rafferty’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 a 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 Rafferty. Their compensation primarily consists of a fixed base salary and a bonus. The investment team’s salary is reviewed annually and increases are determined by factors such as performance and seniority. Bonuses are determined by the individual performance of an employee including factors such as attention
45

 

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 a Fund’s performance and as a result, no benchmarks are used. Along with all other employees of Rafferty, the investment team may participate in the firm’s 401(k) retirement plan where Rafferty may make matching contributions up to a defined percentage of their salary.
Mr. Brigandi and Mr. Ng did not own any shares of the Funds as of [ ].
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 Funds. 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 Funds. 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 Funds' 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 Funds 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 Funds' administrator. The Bank of New York Mellon, 101 Barclay Street, New York, New York 10286, serves as the Funds' transfer agent, and custodian. Rafferty also performs certain administrative services for the Funds.
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 a Fund’s assets. The custodian holds and administers the assets in a 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 Funds because they have not yet commenced operations.
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 each Fund. Each 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 a Fund’s relevant account on the date such amounts are delivered by the borrower to BNYM. BNYM receives and holds, on a 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 a Fund a monthly statement describing the loans made, and the income derived from the loans, during the period. Each Fund shall receive the net securities lending revenue based on the securities lent from its holdings. A Fund may also pay custodial fees and other expenses associated with a loan.
The Funds did not have any securities lending activity as of the date of this SAI because they had not yet commenced operations.
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 each 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 Funds 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, 2019, the Distributor received $1,092,816 as compensation from Rafferty for distribution services provided to the Trust. The Funds were not operational as of October 31, 2019, therefore Rafferty did not pay fees for distribution services for the Funds.
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For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2019, Foreside did not receive any underwriting commission or discounts, compensation on redemptions and repurchases, or brokerage commissions from the Funds.
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 each 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 each 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, a 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 each 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 Funds' principal underwriter, and Rafferty may have a direct or indirect financial interest in the Rule 12b-1 Plan or any related agreement. Pursuant to the Rule 12b-1 Plan, each 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 Funds.
The Rule 12b-1 Plan was approved by the Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees of the Funds. In approving the Rule 12b-1 Plan, the Trustees determined that there is a reasonable likelihood that the Rule 12b-1 Plan will benefit each 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 each 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 each Fund. In addition, the Rule 12b-1 Plan authorizes payments by each 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. Each Fund’s share price is calculated as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE, usually 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (“Valuation Time”), each day the NYSE is open for business (“Business Day”). The NYSE is open for business Monday through Friday, except in observation of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, 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 a 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 a 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 a 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 a 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. Swap contracts are valued based on the value of the swap contract’s reference asset and are marked-to-market each day a share price is calculated.
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 a 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 a Fund that are listed on national exchanges are valued at the last sales price of such securities; if no sales price is reported, the mean of the last bid and asked price is used.
Dividend income and other distributions are recorded on the ex-distribution date.
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 Rafferty or the officers of the Trust. The officers of the Trust report, as necessary, to the Trustees regarding portfolio valuation determinations. The Trustees, from time to time, will review these methods of valuation and will recommend changes that may be necessary to assure that the investments of a 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 a 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 Funds would not be able to meet the Trust’s obligations and this risk, thus, should be considered remote.
If a 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 each 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
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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 each Fund only in aggregations of Creation Units. The number of Shares of a Fund that constitute a Creation Unit for each Fund and the value of such Creation Unit as of each Fund’s inception were 25,000 and $1,250,000, 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 each 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 a Fund. The consideration for purchase of a Creation Unit of Shares of a Fund consists of either cash or the Deposit Securities (defined below) that may be a representative sample of the securities in a Fund's underlying 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 Rafferty 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 a Fund. The identity and number of shares of the Deposit Securities required for a Creation Unit will change from time to time. Each 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 a Fund changes as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by Rafferty with a view to the investment objective of a 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 a Fund's underlying index. In addition, the Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash (i.e., a “cash in lieu” amount) to be added to the Balancing Amount to replace any Deposit Security which may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or for other similar reasons. The adjustments described above will reflect changes, known to Rafferty on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Portfolio Deposit, in the composition of the subject index being tracked by a 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 a 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 a 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 second 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 two 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 each 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 each Fund; (b) the Deposit Securities delivered are not as specified by Rafferty and Rafferty has not
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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 a Fund; (d) the acceptance of the purchase transaction order would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (e) the acceptance of the purchase transaction order would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or Rafferty, have an adverse effect on the Trust or the rights of beneficial owners; (f) the value of a “Cash Purchase Amount”, or the value of the Balancing Amount to accompany an in-kind deposit exceed a purchase authorization limit extended to an Authorized Participant by the custodian and the Authorized Participant has not deposited an amount in excess of such purchase authorization with the custodian by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the Transmittal Date; or (g) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Distributor and Rafferty make it impractical to process purchase orders. The Trust shall notify a prospective purchaser of its rejection of the order. 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 Rafferty 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 a 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 a 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 a 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 each 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 each 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 each 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 a 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 a Fund specified in such order, which delivery must be made through DTC or the Federal Reserve System to the custodian by the second 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 a 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 two 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 second 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 two 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.
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.
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 each 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
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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 a Fund directly and therefore does not cause a Fund to experience many of the harmful effects of market timing, such as dilution and disruption of portfolio management. In addition, each 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 each Fund reserves the right to reject any purchase orders, each Fund does not currently impose any trading restrictions on frequent trading or actively monitor for trading abuses.
Transaction Fees
Transaction Fees payable to the Trust are imposed to compensate the Trust for the transfer and other transaction costs of a 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 are 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 will be assessed an additional charge for cash purchases.
Transaction fees are imposed as described below.
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Fixed Transaction Fee Maximum
Additional
Charge for
Purchases
and
Redemptions*
  In-Kind Cash
NSCC Outside NSCC Outside
NSCC
Direxion U.S. Hyper Growth ETF $[ ] Up to 300% of NSCC Amount $[ ] Up to 2.00%
Direxion U.S. Fallen Knives ETF $[ ] Up to 300% of NSCC Amount $[ ] Up to 2.00%
Direxion U.S. truVol Dynamic Hedge ETF $[ ] Up to 300% of NSCC Amount $[ ] Up to 2.00%
* As a percentage of the amount invested.
Regular Foreign Holidays
Each 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). A 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, 2020 to December 31, 2020 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 27
April 10
April 13
June 8