497 1 d480851d497.htm GAMCO NATURAL RESOURCES, GOLD & INCOME TRUST GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust
Table of Contents

GAMCO NATURAL RESOURCES, GOLD & INCOME TRUST
Filed Pursuant to Rule 497(c)
Registration Statement No. 333-217013

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

(To Prospectus dated October 17, 2017)

$30,000,000

1,200,000 Shares

5.20% Series A Cumulative Preferred Shares

(Liquidation Preference $25.00 per share)

GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust (the “Fund”) is offering 1,200,000 shares of 5.20% Series A Cumulative Preferred Shares, par value $0.001 per share (the “Series A Preferred Shares”). Investors in Series A Preferred Shares will be entitled to receive, when, as and if declared by, or under authority granted by, the Fund’s Board of Trustees, out of funds legally available therefor, cumulative cash dividends and distributions at the rate of 5.20% per annum of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference on the Series A Preferred Shares. Dividends and distributions on Series A Preferred Shares will be payable quarterly on March 26, June 26, September 26 and December 26 in each year commencing on December 26, 2017. The Series A Preferred Shares will rank on parity with any future preferred shares and senior to our common shares with respect to dividend and distribution rights and rights upon our liquidation.

The Series A Preferred Shares are redeemable at our option on or after October 26, 2022 and are subject to mandatory redemption by us in certain circumstances. See “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares — Redemption.”

The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide a high level of current income from interest, dividends and option premiums. The Fund’s secondary investment objective is to seek capital appreciation consistent with the Fund’s strategy and its primary objective. Under normal market conditions, the Fund attempts to achieve its objectives by investing at least 80% of its assets in securities of companies principally engaged in the natural resources and gold industries. The Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in the securities of companies principally engaged in the group of industries that constitute the natural resources industries, which includes companies principally engaged in the exploration, production or distribution of natural resources, such as metals (including both precious metals—such as silver and platinum—and base (i.e., non-precious) metals—such as copper, lead, nickel and zinc), paper, food, agriculture, forestry products, water, gas, oil, sustainable energy and other commodities as well as related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers. The Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in the securities of companies principally engaged in the gold industry, which includes companies principally engaged in the exploration, mining, fabrication, processing, distribution or trading of gold or the financing, managing, controlling or operating of companies engaged in “gold-related” activities. The Fund may invest in the securities of companies located anywhere in the world. As part of its investment strategy, the Fund intends to provide current income from short-term gains earned through an option strategy which will normally consist of writing (selling) call options on equity securities in its portfolio (“covered calls”), but may, in amounts up to 15% of the Fund’s assets, consist of writing uncovered call options on securities not held by the Fund and indices comprised of Natural Resources Companies or Gold Companies (each as defined in the accompanying prospectus (the “Prospectus”)) or exchange-traded funds comprised of such issuers and writing put options on securities of Natural Resource Companies or Gold Companies. When the Fund sells a covered call option, it generates current income from short-term gains in the form of the premium paid by the buyer of the call option, but the Fund forgoes the opportunity to participate in any increase in the value of the underlying equity security above the exercise price of the option. See “Investment Objectives and Policies” in the accompanying Prospectus for additional information. Gabelli Funds, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as investment adviser to the Fund.

Our common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “GNT.” On October 23, 2017, the last reported sale price of our common shares was $7.05. The net asset value of the Fund’s common shares at the close of business on October 23, 2017 was $7.09 per share. As of the date hereof, the Fund has outstanding 20,897,510 common shares.

Application has been made to list the Series A Preferred Shares on the NYSE. If the application is approved, the Series A Preferred Shares are expected to commence trading on the NYSE under the symbol “GNT PR A” within thirty days of the date of issuance.

An investment in the Fund is not appropriate for all investors. We cannot assure you that the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved. You should read this prospectus supplement (the “Prospectus Supplement”) and the accompanying Prospectus before deciding whether to invest in Series A Preferred Shares and retain them for future reference. The Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus contain important information about us. Material that has been incorporated by reference and other information about us can be obtained from us by calling 800-GABELLI (422-3554) or by writing to the Fund or from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) website (http://www.sec.gov).

Investing in Series A Preferred Shares involves certain risks that are described in the “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares” section of this Prospectus Supplement and the “Risk Factors and Special Considerations” section beginning on page 49 of the accompanying Prospectus.

NEITHER THE SEC NOR ANY STATE SECURITIES COMMISSION HAS APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED THESE SECURITIES OR DETERMINED IF THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT IS TRUTHFUL OR COMPLETE. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

 

     Per Share      Total  

Public offering price

   $ 25.00      $ 30,000,000  

Underwriting discounts and commissions

   $ 0.7875      $ 945,000  

Proceeds, before expenses, to the Fund (1)

   $ 24.2125      $ 29,055,000  

 

(1) The aggregate expenses of the offering (excluding underwriting discounts and commissions) are estimated to be $180,000.

The underwriters are expected to deliver the Series A Preferred Shares in book-entry form through the Depository Trust Company on or about October 26, 2017.

Wells Fargo Securities

G.research, LLC

The date of this Prospectus Supplement is October 23, 2017.


Table of Contents

You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus. Neither the Fund nor the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide you with different information. The Fund is not making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should not assume that the information contained in this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus is accurate as of any date other than the date of this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus, respectively. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates. In this Prospectus Supplement and in the accompanying Prospectus, unless otherwise indicated, “Fund,” “us,” “our” and “we” refer to GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust, a Delaware statutory trust. This Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus also include trademarks owned by other persons.

 

P-2


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prospectus Supplement

 

     Page  

CAUTIONARY NOTICE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     P-4  

SUMMARY OF THE TERMS OF THE SERIES A PREFERRED SHARES

     P-5  

DESCRIPTION OF THE SERIES A PREFERRED SHARES

     P-8  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     P-9  

CAPITALIZATION

     P-10  

DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES

     P-11  

ASSET COVERAGE RATIO

     P-12  

SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS AND RISKS OF THE SERIES A PREFERRED SHARES

     P-12  

CERTAIN EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN AND IRA CONSIDERATIONS

     P-19  

UNDERWRITING

     P-21  

LEGAL MATTERS

     P-23  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     P-23  

 

Prospectus

 

  

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

     1  

SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES

     29  

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

     31  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     33  

THE FUND

     34  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

     34  

RISK FACTORS AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

     49  

HOW THE FUND MANAGES RISK

     74  

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

     75  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS

     78  

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

     78  

AUTOMATIC DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT AND VOLUNTARY CASH PURCHASE PLANS

     79  

DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES

     81  

ANTI-TAKEOVER PROVISIONS OF THE FUND’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS

     93  

CLOSED-END FUND STRUCTURE

     94  

REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES

     95  

RIGHTS OFFERINGS

     96  

TAXATION

     96  

CUSTODIAN, TRANSFER AGENT AND DIVIDEND DISBURSING AGENT

     99  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     99  

LEGAL MATTERS

     101  

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

     101  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     102  

PRIVACY PRINCIPLES OF THE FUND

     102  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     102  

TABLE OF CONTENTS OF STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     103  

CORPORATE BOND RATINGS

     A-1  

 

P-3


Table of Contents

CAUTIONARY NOTICE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Prospectus Supplement, the accompanying Prospectus and the Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) contain “forward-looking statements.” Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words “may,” “will,” “intend,” “expect,” “estimate,” “continue,” “plan,” “anticipate,” and similar terms and the negative of such terms. Such forward-looking statements may be contained in this Prospectus Supplement as well as in the accompanying Prospectus and SAI. By their nature, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Several factors that could materially affect our actual results are the performance of the portfolio of securities we hold, the price at which our shares (including the Series A Preferred Shares) will trade in the public markets and other factors discussed in our periodic filings with the SEC.

Although we believe that the expectations expressed in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results could differ materially from those projected or assumed in our forward-looking statements. Our future financial condition and results of operations, as well as any forward-looking statements, are subject to change and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, such as those disclosed in the “Risk Factors and Special Considerations” section of the accompanying Prospectus and “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares” in this Prospectus Supplement. All forward-looking statements contained or incorporated by reference in this Prospectus Supplement or the accompanying Prospectus or SAI are made as of the date of this Prospectus Supplement or the accompanying Prospectus or SAI, as the case may be. Except for our ongoing obligations under the federal securities laws, we do not intend, and we undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this Prospectus Supplement, the accompanying Prospectus and SAI are excluded from the safe harbor protection provided by Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”).

Currently known risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations include, but are not limited to, the factors described in the “Risk Factors and Special Considerations” section of the accompanying Prospectus as well as in the “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares” section of this Prospectus Supplement. We urge you to review carefully those sections for a more detailed discussion of the risks of an investment in the Series A Preferred Shares.

 

P-4


Table of Contents

SUMMARY OF THE TERMS OF THE SERIES A PREFERRED SHARES

This Prospectus Supplement sets forth certain terms of the Series A Preferred Shares that we are offering pursuant to this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus that is attached to the back of this Prospectus Supplement. This section outlines certain specific legal and financial terms of the Series A Preferred Shares that are more generally described under the headings “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares” and “Description of the Series A Preferred Shares” herein and in the accompanying Prospectus under the heading “Description of the Securities.” Capitalized terms used in this Prospectus Supplement and not otherwise defined shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the accompanying Prospectus or in the Statement of Preferences (as defined herein) governing and establishing the terms of the Series A Preferred Shares.

 

The Fund

GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust is a non-diversified, closed-end, management investment company organized as a Delaware statutory trust on June 26, 2008. Throughout this Prospectus Supplement, we refer to GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust as the “Fund” or as “we.”

 

  The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide a high level of current income from interest, dividends and option premiums. The Fund’s secondary investment objective is to seek capital appreciation consistent with the Fund’s strategy and its primary objective. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will attempt to achieve its objectives by investing at least 80% of its assets in securities of companies principally engaged in the natural resources and gold industries. See the accompanying Prospectus under the heading “Investment Objectives and Policies” for additional information. Gabelli Funds, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as investment adviser to the Fund.

 

  The Fund’s outstanding common shares, par value $0.001 per share, are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “GNT.” On October 23, 2017, the last reported sale price of our common shares was $7.05. The net asset value of the Fund’s common shares at the close of business on October 23, 2017 was $7.09 per share. As of the date hereof, the Fund had outstanding 20,897,510 common shares. As of September 30, 2017, the net assets of the Fund attributable to its common shares were $148,942,504. As of September 30, 2017, the Fund had outstanding 20,897,510 common shares.

 

Securities Offered

1,200,000 shares of 5.20% Series A Cumulative Preferred Shares (the “Series A Preferred Shares”). The Series A Preferred Shares will rank on parity with any future preferred shares and senior to our common shares with respect to dividend and distribution rights and rights upon our liquidation.

 

Dividend Rate

Dividends and distributions on the Series A Preferred Shares are cumulative from their original issue date at the annual rate of 5.20% of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference on the Series A Preferred Shares.

 

P-5


Table of Contents

Dividend Payment Date

Holders of Series A Preferred Shares will be entitled to receive, when, as and if declared by, or under authority granted by, the Fund’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”), out of funds legally available therefor, cumulative cash dividends and distributions at the rate of 5.20% per annum of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference on the Series A Preferred Shares. Dividends and distributions will be paid quarterly on March 26, June 26, September 26 and December 26 in each year, commencing on December 26, 2017.

 

Liquidation Preference

$25.00 per share.

 

Use of Proceeds

The Fund estimates the total net proceeds of the offering to be $28,875,000, based on the public offering price of $25.00 per share and after deduction of the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

  The Fund will use the net proceeds from the offering of Series A Preferred Shares to purchase portfolio securities in accordance with its investment objectives and policies. The Investment Adviser anticipates that the investment of the proceeds will be made in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies as appropriate investment opportunities are identified, which is expected to be substantially completed within approximately three months of the issue date; however, changes in market conditions could result in the Fund’s anticipated investment period extending to as long as six months from the issue date. This could occur because the Investment Adviser follows a value-oriented investment strategy; therefore market conditions could result in the Investment Adviser delaying the investment of proceeds if it believes the margin of risk in making additional investments is not favorable in light of its value-oriented investment strategy. Pending such investment, the proceeds of the offering of the Series A Preferred Shares will be held in high quality short term debt securities and similar instruments.

See “Use of Proceeds.”

 

Non-Call Period/Redemption

The Series A Preferred Shares generally may not be called for redemption at the option of the Fund prior to October 26, 2022. The Fund reserves the right, however, to redeem the Series A Preferred Shares at any time if it is necessary, in the judgment of the Board, to maintain its status as a regulated investment company (a “RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The Fund may also be required under certain circumstances to redeem Series A Preferred Shares before or after October 26, 2022, in order to meet certain regulatory or rating agency asset coverage requirements.

 

  Commencing October 26, 2022, and thereafter, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and Delaware law, the Fund may at any time, upon notice of redemption, redeem the Series A Preferred Shares in whole or in part at the liquidation preference per share plus accumulated unpaid dividends through the date of redemption.

 

P-6


Table of Contents

Stock Exchange Listing

Application has been made to list the Series A Preferred Shares on the NYSE. Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for Series A Preferred Shares. The Fund has no other series of preferred shares. If the application is approved, it is anticipated that trading on the NYSE will begin within thirty days from the date of this Prospectus Supplement under the symbol “GNT PR A.”. Before the Series A Preferred Shares are listed on the NYSE, the underwriters may, but are not obligated to, make a market in Series A Preferred Shares. Consequently, it is anticipated that, prior to the commencement of trading on the NYSE, an investment in Series A Preferred Shares will be illiquid.

 

Taxation

See “Taxation” in the accompanying Prospectus and SAI for a discussion of U.S. federal income tax considerations affecting the Fund and holders of Series A Preferred Shares.

 

ERISA

See “Certain Employee Benefit Plan and IRA Considerations.”

 

Dividend Disbursing Agent

American Stock Transfer & Trust Company.

 

P-7


Table of Contents

DESCRIPTION OF THE SERIES A PREFERRED SHARES

The following is a brief description of the terms of the Series A Preferred Shares. This is not a complete description and is subject to and entirely qualified by reference to the Fund’s Statement of Preferences for the Series A Preferred Shares (the “Statement of Preferences”). The Statement of Preferences will be attached as an exhibit to post-effective amendment number 1 to the Fund’s registration statement. Copies may be obtained as described under “Additional Information” in the accompanying Prospectus. Any capitalized terms in this section and the “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares” section of this Prospectus Supplement that are not defined have the meaning assigned to them in the Statement of Preferences.

The Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust (the “Declaration of Trust”), as amended from time to time, provides that the Board may authorize and issue classes of shares with rights and preferences as determined by the Board, by action of the Board without the approval of the holders of the common shares. Currently, an unlimited number of the Fund’s shares are available for classification by the Board as preferred shares, par value $0.001 per share. The Statement of Preferences authorizes the issuance of up to 1,200,000 Series A Preferred Shares. All Series A Preferred Shares will have a liquidation preference of $25.00 per share plus accumulated and unpaid dividends. Holders of Series A Preferred Shares shall be entitled to receive, when, as and if declared by, or under authority granted by the Board, out of funds legally available therefor, cumulative cash dividends and distributions at the rate of 5.20% per annum (computed on the basis of a 360 day year consisting of twelve 30 day months) of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference on the Series A Preferred Shares. Dividends and distributions on Series A Preferred Shares will accumulate from the date of their original issue, which is expected to be October 26, 2017.

The Series A Preferred Shares, when issued by the Fund and paid for pursuant to the terms of this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus, will be fully paid and non-assessable and will have no preemptive, exchange or conversion rights. Any Series A Preferred Shares purchased or redeemed by the Fund will, after such purchase or redemption, have the status of authorized but unissued preferred shares. The Board may by resolution classify or reclassify any authorized and unissued Series A Preferred Shares from time to time by setting or changing the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends and distributions, and qualifications or terms or conditions of redemption of such shares. So long as any Series A Preferred Shares are outstanding, the Fund may not, without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund’s preferred shares outstanding at the time, voting separately as one class, amend, alter or repeal the provisions of the Statement of Preferences so as to in the aggregate adversely affect the rights and preferences of any preferred shares of the Fund. To the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, in the event that more than one series of the Fund’s preferred shares is outstanding, the Fund will not effect any of the actions set forth in the preceding sentence which in the aggregate adversely affects the rights and preferences for a series of preferred shares differently than such rights and preferences for any other series of preferred shares without the affirmative vote of the holders of at least a majority (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund’s preferred shares outstanding of each series adversely affected (each such adversely affected series voting separately as a class to the extent its rights are affected differently). The holders of the Series A Preferred Shares are not entitled to vote on any matter that affects the rights or interests of only one or more other series of the Fund’s preferred shares. The Fund will notify the relevant Rating Agency 10 Business Days prior to any such vote described above. Unless a higher percentage is required under the Governing Documents (as defined in the Statement of Preferences) or applicable provisions of the Delaware Statutory Trust Act or the 1940 Act, the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the outstanding preferred shares, including Series A Preferred Shares, voting together as a single class, will be required to approve any plan of reorganization adversely affecting the Fund’s preferred shares or any action requiring a vote of security holders under Section 13(a) of the 1940 Act. The class vote of holders of the Fund’s preferred shares described above will in each case be in addition to a separate vote of the requisite percentage of common shares and preferred shares, including Series A Preferred Shares, voting together as a single class, necessary to authorize the action in question. An increase in the number of authorized preferred shares pursuant to the Governing Documents or the issuance of additional shares of any series of preferred shares (including Series A Preferred Shares) pursuant to the Governing Documents shall not in and of itself be considered to adversely affect the rights and preferences of the Fund’s preferred shares.

 

P-8


Table of Contents

Any dividend payment made on the Series A Preferred Shares will first be credited against the dividends and distributions accumulated with respect to the earliest Dividend Period for which dividends and distributions have not been paid.

The disclosure set forth in this Description of the Series A Preferred Shares and under the heading “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares” is intended to be a summary of the material provisions of the Series A Preferred Shares. Since this Description of the Series A Preferred Shares is only a summary, you should refer to the Statement of Preferences for a complete description of the obligations of the Fund and your rights. The disclosure set forth in this Description of the Series A Preferred Shares and under the heading “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares” supplements the description of the preferred shares set forth under the caption “Description of the Securities – Preferred Shares” in the accompanying Prospectus, and in the event that any provision described in the disclosure set forth in this Description of the Series A Preferred Shares and under the heading “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares” is inconsistent with any description contained in the accompanying Prospectus, the disclosure set forth in this Description of the Series A Preferred Shares and under the heading “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares” will apply and supersede the description in the accompanying Prospectus.

USE OF PROCEEDS

The Fund estimates the total net proceeds of the offering to be $28,875,000, based on the public offering price of $25.00 per Series A Preferred Share and after deduction of the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by the Fund.

The Investment Adviser anticipates that the investment of the proceeds will be made in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies as appropriate investment opportunities are identified, which is expected to be substantially completed within approximately three months of the issue date; however, changes in market conditions could result in the Fund’s anticipated investment period extending to as long as six months from the issue date. This could occur because the Investment Adviser follows a value-oriented investment strategy; therefore market conditions could result in the Investment Adviser delaying the investment of proceeds if it believes the margin of risk in making additional investments is not favorable in light of its value-oriented investment strategy. Pending such investment, the proceeds of the offering of the Series A Preferred Shares will be held in high quality short term debt securities and similar instruments.

 

P-9


Table of Contents

CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth (i) the audited capitalization of the Fund as of December 31, 2016, (ii) the unaudited capitalization of the Fund as of June 30, 2017 and (iii) the unaudited adjusted capitalization of the Fund assuming the issuance of the 1,200,000 Series A Preferred Shares offered in this Prospectus Supplement and the use of proceeds thereof.

 

     As of December 31, 2016     As of June 30, 2017  
     Actual
(audited)
    As adjusted
(unaudited)
    Actual
(unaudited)
    As adjusted
(unaudited)
 

Preferred shares, $0.001 par value per share

        

(The “Actual” column reflects the Fund’s outstanding capitalization as of December 31, 2016 and June 30, 2017, respectfully; the “As adjusted” column assumes the issuance of 1,200,000 Series A Preferred Shares at $25.00 liquidation preference per share)

   $ 0     $ 30,000,000     $ 0     $ 30,000,000  

Shareholders’ equity applicable to common shares:

        

Common shares, $0.001 par value per share; unlimited shares authorized

        

(The “Actual” and “As adjusted” columns reflect the Fund’s outstanding capitalization of 20,864,818 common shares outstanding as of December 31, 2016 and 20,897,510 common shares outstanding as of June 30, 2017, respectfully)

     20,865       20,865       20,898       20,898  

Paid-in surplus*

     294,078,502       292,953,502       292,308,061       291,183,061  

Distributions in excess of net investment income

     (133,027     (133,027     (68,172     (68,172

Distributions in excess of net realized gain on investments, securities sold short, written options, and foreign currency transactions

     (119,501,435     (119,501,435     (118,360,073     (118,360,073

Net unrealized depreciation on investments, securities sold short, written options, and foreign currency translations

     (25,432,920     (25,432,920     (25,521,165     (25,521,165
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net assets applicable to common shares

     149,031,985       147,906,985       148,379,549       147,254,549  

Liquidation preference of preferred shares

     0       30,000,000       0       30,000,000  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net assets, plus the liquidation preference of preferred shares

     149,031,985       177,906,985       148,379,549       177,254,549  

 

* As adjusted paid-in surplus reflects a deduction for the estimated underwriting discounts of $945,000 and estimated offering costs of $180,000 for the Series A Preferred Shares.

For financial reporting purposes, the Fund will deduct the liquidation preference of its outstanding preferred shares from “net assets,” so long as the senior securities have redemption features that are not solely within the control of the Fund. For all regulatory purposes, the Fund’s preferred shares will be treated as equity (rather than debt).

 

P-10


Table of Contents

DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES

The following information regarding the Fund’s authorized shares is as of the date hereof.

 

Title of Class

   Amount
Authorized
     Amount
Held by
Fund or
for its
Account
     Amount
Outstanding
Exclusive of
Amount
Held by
Fund
 

Common Shares

     Unlimited        —          20,897,510  

Series A Preferred Shares

     1,200,000        —          0  

Other Series of Preferred Shares

     Unlimited        —          0  

 

P-11


Table of Contents

ASSET COVERAGE RATIO

Pursuant to the 1940 Act, the Fund generally will not be permitted to declare any dividend, or declare any other distribution, upon any outstanding common shares, purchase any common shares, or issue preferred shares, unless, in every such case, all preferred shares issued by the Fund have at the time of declaration of any such dividend or distribution or at the time of any such purchase or issuance an asset coverage of at least 200% (“1940 Act Asset Coverage Requirement”) after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution, or purchase price, as the case may be. As of the date of this Prospectus Supplement, all of the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares are expected to have asset coverage on the date of issuance of the Series A Preferred Shares of approximately 590%.

In addition to the 1940 Act Asset Coverage Requirement, the Fund is expected to be subject to certain restrictions on investments imposed by guidelines of one or more rating agencies that are expected to issue ratings for the Series A Preferred Shares. See “Special Characteristics and Risks of the Series A Preferred Shares — Risks — Credit Rating Risk” in this Prospectus Supplement. As a condition of the underwriters’ obligation to purchase the Series A Preferred Shares, the Series A Preferred Shares must be rated at a minimum level by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”).

SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS AND RISKS OF THE SERIES A PREFERRED SHARES

Dividends

Holders of Series A Preferred Shares shall be entitled to receive, when, as and if declared by, or under authority granted by the Board, out of funds legally available therefor, cumulative cash dividends and distributions at the rate of 5.20% per annum (computed on the basis of a 360 day year consisting of twelve 30 day months) of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference on the Series A Preferred Shares. Dividends and distributions on Series A Preferred Shares will accumulate from the date of their original issue, which is expected to be October 26, 2017.

Dividends and distributions will be payable quarterly on March 26, June 26, September 26 and December 26 in each year (each a “Dividend Payment Date”) commencing on December 26, 2017 (or, if any such day is not a business day, then on the next succeeding business day) to holders of record of Series A Preferred Shares as they appear on the share register of the Fund at the close of business on the fifth preceding business day (each, a “Record Date”). Dividends and distributions on Series A Preferred Shares that were originally issued on the Date of Original Issue (i.e., the Series A Preferred Shares to be issued in this offering) shall accumulate from the Date of Original Issue. Dividends and distributions on all other Series A Preferred Shares (i.e., any additional Series A Preferred Shares that may be issued in future offerings) will accumulate from (i) the date on which such shares are originally issued if such date is a Dividend Payment Date, (ii) the immediately preceding Dividend Payment Date if the date on which such shares are originally issued is other than a Dividend Payment Date and is on or before a Record Date or (iii) the immediately following Dividend Payment Date if the date on which such shares are originally issued is during the period between a Record Date and a Dividend Payment Date. Each period beginning on and including a Dividend Payment Date (or the date of original issue, in the case of the first dividend period after the first issuance of the Series A Preferred Shares) and ending on but excluding the next succeeding Dividend Payment Date is referred to herein as a “Dividend Period.” Dividends and distributions on account of arrears for any past Dividend Period or in connection with the redemption of Series A Preferred Shares may be declared and paid at any time, without reference to any Dividend Payment Date, to holders of record on such date as shall be fixed by the Board that is not more than 30 days before the Dividend Payment Date.

No full dividends or distributions will be declared or paid on Series A Preferred Shares for any Dividend Period or part thereof unless full cumulative dividends and distributions due through the most recent Dividend Payment Dates therefor on all outstanding shares of any series of preferred shares of the Fund ranking on a parity

 

P-12


Table of Contents

with the Series A Preferred Shares as to the payment of dividends and distributions have been or contemporaneously are declared and paid through the most recent Dividend Payment Dates therefor. If full cumulative dividends and distributions due have not been paid on all of the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares, any dividends and distributions being paid on such preferred shares (including the Series A Preferred Shares) will be paid as nearly pro rata as possible in proportion to the respective amounts of dividends and distributions accumulated but unpaid on each such series of preferred shares on the relevant Dividend Payment Date.

Restrictions on Issuance, Dividend, Redemption and Other Payments

Under the 1940 Act, the Fund is not permitted to issue preferred shares (such as the Series A Preferred Shares) unless immediately after such issuance the Fund will have an asset coverage of at least 200% (or such other percentage as may in the future be specified in or under the 1940 Act as the minimum asset coverage for senior securities representing stock of a closed-end investment company as a condition of declaring distributions, purchases or redemptions of its stock). In general, the term “asset coverage” for this purpose means the ratio which the value of the total assets of the Fund, less all liabilities and indebtedness not represented by senior securities, bears to the aggregate amount of senior securities representing indebtedness of the Fund plus the aggregate of the involuntary liquidation preference of the preferred shares. The involuntary liquidation preference refers to the amount to which the preferred shares would be entitled on the involuntary liquidation of the Fund in preference to a security junior to them. The Fund also is not permitted to declare any cash dividend or other distribution on its common shares or purchase its common shares unless, at the time of such declaration or purchase, the Fund satisfies this 200% asset coverage requirement after deducting the amount of the dividend, distribution or purchase price, as applicable.

In addition, the Fund may be limited in its ability to declare any cash distribution on its shares (including the Series A Preferred Shares) or purchase its capital stock (including the Series A Preferred Shares) unless, at the time of such declaration or purchase, the Fund has an asset coverage on its indebtedness, if any, of at least 300% after deducting the amount of such distribution or purchase price, as applicable. The 1940 Act contains an exception, however, that permits dividends to be declared upon any preferred shares issued by the Fund (including the Series A Preferred Shares) if the Fund’s indebtedness has an asset coverage of at least 200% at the time of declaration after deducting the amount of the dividend. In general, the term “asset coverage” for this purpose means the ratio which the value of the total assets of the Fund, less all liabilities and indebtedness not represented by senior securities, bears to the aggregate amount of senior securities representing indebtedness of the Fund.

The term “senior security” does not include any promissory note or other evidence of indebtedness in any case where such a loan is for temporary purposes only and in an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of the total assets of the Fund at the time when the loan is made. A loan is presumed under the 1940 Act to be for temporary purposes if it is repaid within 60 days and is not extended or renewed; otherwise it is presumed not to be for temporary purposes. For purposes of determining whether the 200% and 300% asset coverage requirements described above apply in connection with dividends or distributions on or purchases or redemptions of Series A Preferred Shares, the asset coverages may be calculated on the basis of values calculated as of a time within 48 hours (not including Sundays or holidays) next preceding the time of the applicable determination.

In addition to those circumstances described in the accompanying Prospectus under “Description of the Securities—Preferred Shares—Restrictions on Dividends and Other Distributions for the Preferred Shares,” the Fund may not pay any dividend or distribution (other than a dividend or distribution paid in common shares or in options, warrants or rights to subscribe for or purchase common shares) in respect of the common shares or call for redemption, redeem, purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration any common shares (except by conversion into or exchange for shares of the Fund ranking junior to the preferred shares as to the payment of dividends or distributions and the distribution of assets upon liquidation), unless after making the distribution, the Fund meets applicable asset coverage requirements described under “—Rating Agency Guidelines” below.

 

P-13


Table of Contents

Voting Rights

Except as otherwise provided in the Fund’s Governing Documents (including the Statement of Preferences) or a resolution of the Board, or as required by applicable law, holders of Series A Preferred Shares will have no power to vote on any matter except matters submitted to a vote of the Fund’s common shares. In any matter submitted to a vote of the holders of the common shares, each holder of Series A Preferred Shares will be entitled to one vote for each Series A Preferred Share held and the holders of the outstanding preferred shares of the Fund, including Series A Preferred Shares, and the common shares will vote together as a single class; provided, however, that the holders of the outstanding preferred shares of the Fund, including Series A Preferred Shares, shall be entitled, as a separate class, to the exclusion of the holders of all other securities and classes of capital shares of the Fund, to elect two of the Fund’s Trustees.

During any period in which any one or more of the conditions described below shall exist (such period being referred to herein as a “Voting Period”), the number and/or composition of Trustees constituting the Board will be automatically adjusted as necessary to permit the holders of outstanding preferred shares of the Fund, including the Series A Preferred Shares, voting separately as one class (to the exclusion of the holders of all other securities and classes of capital shares of the Fund) to elect the number of Trustees that, when added to the two Trustees elected exclusively by the holders of the Fund’s preferred shares as described in the above paragraph, would constitute a simple majority of the Board as so adjusted. The Fund and the Board will take all necessary actions, including effecting the removal of Trustees or amendment of the Declaration of Trust, to effect an adjustment of the number and/or composition of Trustees as described in the preceding sentence. A Voting Period shall commence:

(i) if at any time accumulated dividends and distributions (whether or not earned or declared, and whether or not funds are then legally available in an amount sufficient therefor) on the outstanding Series A Preferred Shares equal to at least two full years’ dividends and distributions shall be due and unpaid and sufficient cash or specified securities shall not have been deposited with American Stock Transfer & Trust Company and its successors or any other dividend disbursing agent appointed by the Fund for the payment of such accumulated dividends and distributions; or

(ii) if at any time holders of any other preferred shares of the Fund are entitled to elect a majority of the Trustees of the Fund under the 1940 Act or statement of preferences creating such shares.

Additional voting rights are described in “Description of the Series A Preferred Shares.”

Rating Agency Guidelines

The Fund anticipates Moody’s will initially rate the Series A Preferred Shares. The Fund expects that it will be required under the applicable rating agency guidelines to maintain assets having in the aggregate a discounted value at least equal to the Basic Maintenance Amount (as defined in the Statement of Preferences) for its outstanding preferred shares, including the Series A Preferred Shares. To the extent any particular portfolio holding does not satisfy the applicable rating agency’s guidelines, all or a portion of such holding’s value will not be included in the calculation of discounted value (as defined by such rating agency). The Moody’s guidelines also impose certain diversification requirements and industry concentration limitations on the Fund’s overall portfolio, and apply specified discounts to securities held by the Fund (except certain money market securities).

If the value of the Fund’s assets, as discounted in accordance with the rating agency guidelines, is less than the Basic Maintenance Amount, the Fund is required to use its commercially reasonable efforts to cure such failure. If the Fund does not cure in a timely manner a failure to maintain a discounted value of its portfolio equal to the Basic Maintenance Amount in accordance with the requirements of the applicable rating agency or agencies then rating the Fund’s preferred shares, including the Series A Preferred Shares, at the request of the Fund, the Fund will be required to mandatorily redeem its preferred shares, including the Series A Preferred Shares, as described below under “—Redemption.”

 

P-14


Table of Contents

Any rating agency providing a rating for the Fund’s preferred shares, including the Series A Preferred Shares, at the request of the Fund may, at any time, change or withdraw any such rating. The Board, without further action by the Fund’s shareholders, may amend, alter, add to or repeal any provision of the statements of preferences for the preferred shares, including the Statement of Preferences for the Series A Preferred Shares, that has been adopted by the Fund pursuant to the rating agency guidelines or add covenants and other obligations of the Fund to the statements of preferences, if the applicable rating agency confirms that such amendments or modifications are necessary to prevent a reduction in, or the withdrawal of, a rating of the Fund’s preferred shares, including the Series A Preferred Shares, and such amendments and modifications do not adversely affect the rights and preferences of and are in the aggregate in the best interests of the holders of the Fund’s preferred shares.

As described by Moody’s or any other rating agency then rating a series of the Fund’s preferred shares at the Fund’s request, the ratings assigned to each series of preferred shares, including the Series A Preferred Shares, are assessments of the capacity and willingness of the Fund to pay the obligations of each such series. The ratings on these series of preferred shares are not recommendations to purchase, hold or sell shares of any series, inasmuch as the ratings do not comment as to market price or suitability for a particular investor. The rating agency guidelines also do not address the likelihood that an owner of preferred shares will be able to sell such shares on an exchange, in an auction or otherwise. The ratings are based on current information furnished to Moody’s or any other rating agency then rating a series of the Fund’s preferred shares at the Fund’s request by the Fund and the Investment Adviser and information obtained from other sources. The ratings may be changed, suspended or withdrawn as a result of changes in, or the unavailability of, such information.

A rating agency’s guidelines apply to each series of preferred shares, including the Series A Preferred Shares, only so long as such rating agency is rating such series at the request of the Fund. The Fund will pay fees to Moody’s for rating the Series A Preferred Shares.

Redemption

Mandatory Redemption. Under certain circumstances, the Series A Preferred Shares will be subject to mandatory redemption by the Fund out of funds legally available therefor in accordance with the Statement of Preferences and applicable law.

If the Fund fails to have asset coverage, as determined in accordance with Section 18(h) of the 1940 Act, of at least 200% with respect to all outstanding senior securities of the Fund which are stock, including all outstanding Series A Preferred Shares (or such other asset coverage as may in the future be specified in or under the 1940 Act as the minimum asset coverage for senior securities which are stock of a closed-end investment company as a condition of declaring dividends on its common stock), as of the last Business Day of March, June, September and December of each year in which any Series A Preferred Shares are outstanding, and such failure is not cured as of the cure date specified in the Statement of Preferences (49 days following such Business Day), (i) the Fund shall give a notice of redemption with respect to the redemption of a sufficient number of its preferred shares, which at the Fund’s determination (to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and Delaware law) may include any proportion of Series A Preferred Shares, to enable it to meet such asset coverage requirements, and, at the Fund’s discretion, such additional number of Series A Preferred Shares or any other series of preferred shares in order for the Fund to have asset coverage with respect to the Series A Preferred Shares and any other series of preferred shares of the Fund remaining outstanding after such redemption of as great as 220%, and (ii) deposit an amount with American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, and its successors or any other dividend-disbursing agent appointed by the Fund, having an initial combined value sufficient to effect the redemption of the Series A Preferred Shares or other series of preferred shares to be redeemed.

If the Fund is required to redeem any preferred shares (including Series A Preferred Shares) as a result of a failure to maintain such minimum 1940 Act asset coverage as of an applicable cure date, then the Fund shall, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and Delaware law, by the close of business on such cure date fix a

 

P-15


Table of Contents

redemption date that is on or before the 30th Business Day after such cure date and proceed to redeem the preferred shares, including the Series A Preferred Shares. The Fund may fix a redemption date that is after the 30th Business Day after such cure date if the Board determines, in good faith, that extraordinary market conditions exist as a result of which disposal by the Fund of securities owned by it is not reasonably practicable, or is not reasonably practicable at fair value. On such redemption date, the Fund shall redeem, out of funds legally available therefor, (i) the number of its preferred shares, which, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and Delaware law, at the option of the Fund may include any proportion of Series A Preferred Shares or shares of any other series of preferred shares of the Fund, is equal to the minimum number of shares the redemption of which, if such redemption had occurred immediately prior to the opening of business on such cure date, would have resulted in the Fund having asset coverage immediately prior to the opening of business on such cure date in compliance with the 1940 Act or (ii) if asset coverage cannot be so restored, all of the outstanding Series A Preferred Shares, in each case at a price equal to $25.00 per share plus accumulated but unpaid dividends and distributions (whether or not earned or declared by the Fund) through and including the date of redemption. In addition, as reflected above, the Fund may, but is not required to, redeem an additional number of preferred shares (including Series A Preferred Shares) which, when aggregated with all other preferred shares redeemed by the Fund, permits the Fund to have with respect to the preferred shares (including Series A Preferred Shares) remaining outstanding after such redemption a 1940 Act asset coverage of as great as 220%.

Similarly, as reflected above under “—Rating Agency Guidelines,” so long as Moody’s or another rating agency is rating the Fund’s preferred shares (including the Series A Preferred Shares) at the request of the Fund, the Fund will be required to maintain, on the last Business Day of each month, assets having in the aggregate a discounted value at least equal to the Basic Maintenance Amount. So long as Moody’s or another rating agency is rating the Fund’s preferred shares (including the Series A Preferred Shares) at the request of the Fund, if the Fund fails to have assets having in the aggregate a discounted value at least equal to the Basic Maintenance Amount as of the last Business Day of any month, and such failure is not cured as of the cure date specified in the Statement of Preferences (10 Business Days following such Business Day), the Fund shall similarly follow the redemption protocol summarized above to restore compliance with the Basic Maintenance Amount, and the Fund may, but is not required to, redeem an additional number of preferred shares (including Series A Preferred Shares) which, when aggregated with all other preferred shares redeemed by the Fund, permits the Fund to have with respect to the preferred shares (including Series A Preferred Shares) remaining outstanding after such redemption assets having in the aggregate a discounted value equal to as great as 110% of the Basic Maintenance Amount.

Optional Redemption. Prior to October 26, 2022, the Series A Preferred Shares are not subject to optional redemption by the Fund unless the redemption is necessary, in the judgment of the Board, to maintain the Fund’s status as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. Commencing October 26, 2022, and thereafter, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and Delaware law, the Fund may at any time upon notice in the manner provided in the Statement of Preferences redeem the Series A Preferred Shares in whole or in part at a price equal to the liquidation preference per share plus accumulated but unpaid dividends and distributions through and including the date of redemption.

Redemption Procedures. Redemptions of Series A Preferred Shares will be made subject to the procedures described in the Prospectus under “Description of the Securities—Preferred Shares—Redemption Procedures,” except that a notice of redemption with respect to an optional redemption will be given to the holders of record of Series A Preferred Shares selected for redemption not less than 15 days (subject to NYSE requirements), nor more than 40 days prior to the date fixed for redemption. Holders of Series A Preferred Shares may receive shorter notice in the event of a mandatory redemption.

Liquidation

In the event of any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the affairs of the Fund, whether voluntary or involuntary, the holders of Series A Preferred Shares shall be entitled to receive out of the assets of the Fund available for distribution to shareholders, after satisfying claims of creditors but before any distribution or

 

P-16


Table of Contents

payment shall be made in respect of the Fund’s common shares or any other shares of the Fund ranking junior to the Series A Preferred Shares as to liquidation payments, a liquidation distribution in the amount of $25.00 per share (the “Liquidation Preference”), plus an amount equal to all unpaid dividends and distributions accumulated to and including the date fixed for such distribution or payment (whether or not earned or declared by the Fund, but excluding interest thereon), and such holders shall be entitled to no further participation in any distribution or payment in connection with any such liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Fund.

If, upon any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the affairs of the Fund, whether voluntary or involuntary, the assets of the Fund available for distribution among the holders of all outstanding Series A Preferred Shares and all outstanding shares of any other series of the Fund’s preferred shares ranking on a parity with the Series A Preferred Shares as to payment upon liquidation shall be insufficient to permit the payment in full to such holders of Series A Preferred Shares of the Liquidation Preference plus accumulated and unpaid dividends and distributions and the amounts due upon liquidation with respect to all outstanding shares of such other series of preferred shares of the Fund, then such available assets shall be distributed among the holders of Series A Preferred Shares and such other series of preferred shares of the Fund ratably in proportion to the respective preferential liquidation amounts to which they are entitled. Unless and until the Liquidation Preference plus accumulated and unpaid dividends and distributions has been paid in full to the holders of Series A Preferred Shares, no dividends or distributions will be made to holders of the Fund’s common shares or any other shares of the Fund ranking junior to the Series A Preferred Shares as to liquidation.

Stock Exchange Listing

Application has been made to list the Series A Preferred Shares on the NYSE. If the application is approved, the Series A Preferred Shares are expected to commence trading on the NYSE under the symbol “GNT PR A” within thirty days of the date of issuance.

Risks

Risk is inherent in all investing. Therefore, before investing in the Series A Preferred Shares you should consider the risks carefully. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations” in the accompanying Prospectus. Primary risks associated with an investment in the Series A Preferred Shares include:

Market Price Risk. The market price for the Series A Preferred Shares will be influenced by changes in interest rates, the perceived credit quality of the Series A Preferred Shares and other factors, and may be higher or lower than the liquidation preference of the Series A Preferred Shares. There is currently no market for the Series A Preferred Shares of the Fund.

Liquidity Risk. Currently, there is no public market for the Series A Preferred Shares of the Fund. As noted above, an application has been made to list the Series A Preferred Shares on the NYSE. However, during an initial period which is not expected to exceed thirty days after the date of its issuance, the Series A Preferred Shares will not be listed on any securities exchange. Before the Series A Preferred Shares are listed on the NYSE, the underwriters may, but are not obligated to, make a market in the Series A Preferred Shares. No assurances can be provided that listing on any securities exchange or market making by the underwriters will occur or will result in the market for Series A Preferred Shares being liquid at any time.

Redemption Risk. The Fund may at any time redeem Series A Preferred Shares to the extent necessary to meet regulatory asset coverage requirements or requirements imposed by credit rating agencies. For example, if the value of the Fund’s investment portfolio declines, thereby reducing the asset coverage for the Series A Preferred Shares, the Fund may be obligated under the terms of the Series A Preferred Shares to redeem some or all of the Series A Preferred Shares. In addition, commencing October 26, 2022, the Fund will be able to call the Series A Preferred Shares at the option of the Fund. Investors may not be able to reinvest the proceeds of any redemption in an investment providing the same or a higher dividend rate than that of the Series A Preferred Shares. Precipitous

 

P-17


Table of Contents

declines in the value of the Fund’s assets could result in the Fund having insufficient assets to redeem all of the Series A Preferred Shares for the full redemption price.

Subordination Risk. The Series A Preferred Shares are not a debt obligation of the Fund. The Series A Preferred Shares are junior in respect of distributions and liquidation preference to any indebtedness incurred by the Fund, and will have the same priority with respect to payment of dividends and distributions and liquidation preference as any other preferred shares that the Fund may issue. The Series A Preferred Shares are subject to greater credit risk than any of the Fund’s debt instruments, which would be of higher priority in the Fund’s capital structure.

Credit Rating Risk. The Fund is seeking a credit rating on the Series A Preferred Shares. Any credit rating that is issued on the Series A Preferred Shares could be reduced or withdrawn while an investor holds Series A Preferred Shares. A reduction or withdrawal of the credit rating would likely have an adverse effect on the market value of the Series A Preferred Shares. In addition, a credit rating does not eliminate or mitigate the risks of investing in the Series A Preferred Shares.

Distribution Risk. The Fund may not earn sufficient income from its investments to make distributions on the Series A Preferred Shares, in which case the distributions on the Series A Preferred Shares would be considered a return of capital. See “Prospectus Summary—Dividends and Distributions—Preferred Shares Distributions” in the Prospectus. Additionally, if the Fund were to issue notes, the Fund’s failure to meet certain asset coverage requirements with respect to such notes would prohibit the Fund from making distributions on the Series A Preferred Shares; any bank borrowings the Fund may enter into in the future could contain similarly restrictive terms. See “Description of the Securities—Notes—Limitations” in the Prospectus.

Interest Rate Risk. The Series A Preferred Shares pay dividends at a fixed rate. Prices of fixed income investments tend to vary inversely with changes in market yields. The market yields on securities comparable to the Series A Preferred Shares may increase, which would likely result in a decline in the value of the Series A Preferred Shares. Additionally, if interest rates rise, securities comparable to the Series A Preferred Shares may pay higher dividend rates and holders of the Series A Preferred Shares may not be able to sell the Series A Preferred Shares at their liquidation preference and reinvest the proceeds at market rates. Market interest rates recently have been significantly below historical average rates, which may increase the risk that these rates will rise in the future.

 

P-18


Table of Contents

CERTAIN EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN AND IRA CONSIDERATIONS

The following is a summary of certain considerations associated with the purchase of the Series A Preferred Shares by employee benefit plans that are subject to Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), plans, individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”) and other arrangements that are subject to Section 4975 of the Code, and entities whose underlying assets are considered to include “plan assets” of any such plan, account or arrangement (each, a “Benefit Plan”).

ERISA and the Code impose certain duties on persons who are fiduciaries of a Benefit Plan and prohibit certain transactions involving the assets of a Benefit Plan and its fiduciaries or other interested parties. Under ERISA and the Code, any person who exercises any discretionary authority or control over the administration of such a Benefit Plan or the management or disposition of the assets of such a Benefit Plan, or who renders investment advice for a fee or other compensation to such a Benefit Plan, is generally considered to be a fiduciary of the Benefit Plan.

Governmental plans (as defined in Section 3(32) of ERISA), certain church plans (as defined in Section 3(33) of ERISA), and foreign plans (as described in Section 4(b)(4) of ERISA) (each such governmental, church and foreign plan referred to as a “Non-ERISA Plan,” and together with Benefit Plans, referred to herein as “Plans”), are not subject to the fiduciary responsibility or prohibited transaction provisions of Title I of ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code, but may be subject to state, federal or other laws or regulations substantively similar to such portions of ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code (“Similar Law”).

In considering an investment in the Series A Preferred Shares of a portion of the assets of any Plan, a fiduciary or other person considering the investment should determine whether the investment is in accordance with the documents and instruments governing the Plan and the applicable provisions of ERISA, Section 4975 of the Code and Similar Law including, without limitation, the prudence, diversification, delegation of control and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA and the Code. The purchase of Series A Preferred Shares by a fiduciary for a Plan should be considered in light of such requirements.

In addition, Section 406 of ERISA and Section 4975 of the Code prohibit certain transactions involving the assets of a Benefit Plan and certain persons (referred to as “parties in interest” for purposes of ERISA and “disqualified persons” for purposes of the Code) having certain relationships to such Benefit Plans, unless a statutory or administrative exemption is applicable to the transaction. A party in interest or disqualified person who engaged in a nonexempt prohibited transaction may be subject to excise taxes and other penalties and liabilities under ERISA and/or the Code (or with respect to certain Benefit Plans, such as IRAs, a prohibited transaction may cause the Benefit Plan to lose its tax-exempt status). In this regard, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued certain prohibited transaction class exemptions (“PTCEs”) that may apply to the purchase of the Series A Preferred Shares. These class exemptions include, without limitation, PTCE 84-14 respecting transactions determined by independent qualified professional asset managers, PTCE 90-1 respecting insurance company pooled separate accounts, PTCE 91-38 respecting bank collective investment funds, PTCE 95-60 respecting life insurance company general accounts and PTCE 96-23 respecting transactions determined by in-house asset managers, PTCE 84-24 respecting purchases of shares in investment companies and PTCE 75-1 respecting sales of securities. In addition, Section 408(b)(17) of ERISA and Section 4975(d)(20) of the Code each provides a limited exemption, commonly referred to as the “service provider exemption,” from the prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA and Section 4975 of the Code for certain transactions between a Benefit Plan and a person that is a party in interest and/or a disqualified person (other than a fiduciary or an affiliate that, directly or indirectly, has or exercises any discretionary authority or control or renders any investment advice with respect to the assets of any Benefit Plan involved in the transaction) solely by reason of providing services to the Benefit Plan or by relationship to a service provider, provided that the Benefit Plan neither receives less, nor pays more, than adequate consideration. Each of the above-noted exemptions contains conditions and limitations on its application. Fiduciaries of Benefit Plans considering acquiring the Series A Preferred Shares in reliance on these exemptions or any other exemption should carefully review the exemption to assure it is applicable. There can be

 

P-19


Table of Contents

no assurance that all of the conditions of any such exemptions or any other exemption will be satisfied at the time that the Series A Preferred Shares are acquired, or thereafter while the Series A Preferred Shares are held.

The foregoing discussion is general in nature and is not intended to be all inclusive. Due to the complexity of these rules and the penalties that may be imposed upon persons involved in non-exempt prohibited transactions, it is particularly important that fiduciaries, or other persons considering purchasing the Series A Preferred Shares on behalf of, or with the assets of, any Plan, consult with their counsel regarding the potential applicability of ERISA, Section 4975 of the Code and Similar Law to such investment and whether an exemption would be applicable to the purchase and holding of the Series A Preferred Shares and whether the purchase and holding of Series A Preferred Shares otherwise will be in compliance with the applicable provisions of ERISA, Section 4975 of the Code and Similar Law.

By its acquisition of a Series A Preferred Share, each purchaser will be deemed to represent and warrant that either (i) the purchaser is not acquiring or holding such Series A Preferred Share or an interest therein with the assets of a Plan or (ii) neither the purchase nor the holding (nor disposition) of such Series A Preferred Share or an interest therein by such purchaser will result in a non-exempt prohibited transaction under ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code or a similar violation under any applicable Similar Laws.

Further, if the purchaser is a Benefit Plan, such purchaser or subsequent transferee will be deemed to have represented and warranted that (1) none of the Fund, the Investment Adviser, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC or any of its respective affiliates (“Transaction Parties”) has acted as the Benefit Plan’s fiduciary (within the meaning of ERISA or the Code), or has been relied upon for any advice, with respect to the purchaser or transferee’s decision to acquire the Series A Preferred Shares, and none of the Transaction Parties shall at any time be relied upon as the Benefit Plan’s fiduciary with respect to any decision to acquire, continue to hold or transfer the Series A Preferred Shares, and (2) the decision to purchase the Series A Preferred Shares has been made by a duly authorized fiduciary of the Benefit Plan that (i) is independent (as that term is used in 29 C.F.R. 2510.3-21(c)(1)), as amended from time to time (the “Fiduciary Rule”), of the Transaction Parties and there is no financial interest, ownership interest, or other relationship, agreement or understanding or otherwise that would limit its ability to carry out its fiduciary responsibility to the Benefit Plan; (ii) is a bank, insurance carrier, registered investment adviser, a registered broker-dealer, or an independent fiduciary that holds, or has under management or control, total assets of at least $50 million (in each case, as specified in the Fiduciary Rule); (iii) is capable of evaluating investment risks independently, both in general and with regard to particular transactions and investment strategies (including, without limitation, with respect to the decision to invest in the Series A Preferred Shares); (iv) has been fairly informed that the Transaction Parties have not and will not undertake to provide impartial investment advice, or to give advice in a fiduciary capacity, in connection with the purchase of the Series A Preferred Shares; (v) has been fairly informed that the Transaction Parties have financial interests in the Benefit Plan’s purchase of the Series A Preferred Shares, which interests may conflict with the interest of the Benefit Plan; (vi) is a fiduciary under ERISA or the Code, or both, with respect to the decision to purchase the Series A Preferred Shares and is responsible for exercising (and has exercised) independent judgment in evaluating whether to invest the assets of such Benefit Plan in the Series A Preferred Shares; and (vii) is not paying any Transaction Party, any fee or other compensation directly for the provision of investment advice (as opposed to other services) in connection with the Benefit Plan’s purchase of the Series A Preferred Shares.

The sale of Series A Preferred Shares to a Plan is in no respect a recommendation by the Transaction Parties with respect to whether any Plan should acquire Series A Preferred Shares or that that such an investment meets all relevant legal requirements with respect to investments by Plans generally or any particular Plan or that such an investment is appropriate for Plans generally or any particular Plan. Each purchaser and holder of the Series A Preferred Shares has exclusive responsibility for ensuring that its purchase, holding and subsequent disposition of the Series A Preferred Shares does not violate the fiduciary or prohibited transaction rules of ERISA, the Code or any applicable Similar Laws.

 

P-20


Table of Contents

UNDERWRITING

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC is acting as representative of each of the underwriters named below. Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in an underwriting agreement among the Fund, the Investment Adviser and the underwriters, the Fund has agreed to sell to the underwriters, and each of the underwriters has agreed, severally and not jointly, to purchase from the Fund, the number of Series A Preferred Shares set forth opposite its name below.

 

Underwriter

   Number of
Series A  Preferred
Shares
 

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

     1,080,000  

G.research, LLC

     120,000  
  

 

 

 

Total

     1,200,000  
  

 

 

 

Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the underwriting agreement, the underwriters have agreed, severally and not jointly, to purchase all of the Series A Preferred Shares sold pursuant to the underwriting agreement if any of the Series A Preferred Shares are purchased. If an underwriter defaults, the underwriting agreement provides that the purchase commitments of the nondefaulting underwriters may be increased or the underwriting agreement may be terminated.

The Fund and the Investment Adviser have each agreed to indemnify the underwriters and their controlling persons against certain liabilities in connection with this offering, including liabilities under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or to contribute to payments the underwriters may be required to make in respect of those liabilities.

The underwriters are offering the Series A Preferred Shares, subject to prior sale, when, as and if issued to and accepted by them, subject to approval of legal matters by their counsel, including the validity of the Series A Preferred Shares, and other conditions contained in the underwriting agreement, such as the receipt by the underwriters of officer’s certificates and legal opinions. The underwriters reserve the right to withdraw, cancel or modify offers to the public and to reject orders in whole or in part.

We expect that delivery of the Series A Preferred Shares will be made against payment therefor on or about the third business day following the date of confirmation of orders with respect to the Series A Preferred Shares (this settlement cycle being referred to as ‘‘T+3’’). Under Rule 15c6-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, trades in the secondary market generally are required to settle in two business days, unless the parties to any such trade expressly agree otherwise. Accordingly, purchasers who wish to trade prior to the delivery of the Series A Preferred Shares hereunder on the date hereof will be required, by virtue of the fact that the Series A Preferred Shares initially settle in T+3, to specify an alternative settlement arrangement at the time of any such trade to prevent a failed settlement. Purchasers of Series A Preferred Shares who wish to trade the Series A Preferred Shares prior to their date of delivery hereunder should consult their own advisors.

Commissions and Discounts

The representative has advised us that the underwriters propose initially to offer the Series A Preferred Shares to the public at the public offering price set forth on the cover page of this Prospectus Supplement and to certain dealers at such price less a concession not in excess of $0.50 per share. Any underwriter may allow, and such dealers may reallow, a concession not in excess of $0.45 per share to other underwriters or to certain dealers. After the initial offering, the public offering price, concession or any other term of the offering may be changed.

 

P-21


Table of Contents

The expenses of the offering, not including the underwriting discount, are estimated at $180,000 and are payable by the Fund.

No Sales of Similar Securities

The Fund and the Investment Adviser have agreed that the Fund will not, for a period of 90 days from the date of this Prospectus Supplement, without the prior written consent of Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, directly or indirectly, issue, sell, offer to contract or grant any option to sell, pledge, transfer or otherwise dispose of, any of its preferred shares or securities exchangeable for or convertible into its preferred shares, except for the Series A Preferred Shares sold to the underwriters pursuant to the underwriting agreement.

NYSE

Application has been made to list the Series A Preferred Shares on the NYSE. Prior to the offering, there has been no public market for the Series A Preferred Shares or any other series of preferred shares of the Fund. If the application is approved, the Series A Preferred Shares are expected to commence trading on the NYSE under the symbol “GNT PR A” within thirty days of the date of issuance. Before the Series A Preferred Shares are listed on the NYSE, the underwriters may, but are not obligated to, make a market in the Series A Preferred Shares. Consequently, it is anticipated that, prior to the commencement of trading on the NYSE, an investment in Series A Preferred Shares will be illiquid.

If a secondary trading market develops prior to the commencement of trading on the NYSE, holders of the Series A Preferred Shares may be able to sell such shares, however, such shares may trade at discounts from the liquidation preference of the Series A Preferred Shares.

Price Stabilization, Short Positions

Until the distribution of the Series A Preferred Shares is completed, SEC rules may limit underwriters and selling group members from bidding for and purchasing the Series A Preferred Shares. However, the representative may engage in transactions that have the effect of stabilizing the price of the Series A Preferred Shares, such as purchases and other activities that peg, fix or maintain that price.

In connection with the offering, the underwriters may purchase and sell Series A Preferred Shares in the open market. These transactions may include short sales and purchases on the open market to cover positions created by short sales. Short sales involve the sale by the underwriters of a greater number of Series A Preferred Shares than they are required to purchase in the offering. The underwriters must close out any short position by purchasing Series A Preferred Shares in the open market. A short position is more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there may be downward pressure on the price of the Series A Preferred Shares in the open market after pricing that could adversely affect investors who purchase in the offering.

The underwriters may impose a penalty bid. Penalty bids permit the underwriters to reclaim a selling concession from a syndicate member when the representative repurchases Series A Preferred Shares originally sold by that syndicate member in order to cover syndicate short positions or make stabilizing purchases.

Similar to other purchase transactions, the underwriters’ purchases to cover the syndicate short sales may have the effect of raising or maintaining the market price of the Series A Preferred Shares or preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of the Series A Preferred Shares. As a result, the price of the Series A Preferred Shares may be higher than the price that might otherwise exist in the open market.

None of the Fund, the Investment Adviser or any of the underwriters makes any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of the Series A Preferred Shares. In addition, none of the Fund, the Investment Adviser or any of the underwriters

 

P-22


Table of Contents

makes any representation that the representative will engage in these transactions or that these transactions, once commenced, will not be discontinued without notice.

Electronic Distribution

In connection with this offering, certain of the underwriters or securities dealers may distribute prospectuses by electronic means, such as e-mail.

Other Relationships

Some of the underwriters and their affiliates have engaged in, and may in the future engage in, investment banking and other commercial dealings in the ordinary course of business with the Fund, the Investment Adviser or their respective affiliates. They have received, or may in the future receive, customary fees and commissions for these transactions.

In addition, in the ordinary course of their business activities, the underwriters and their affiliates may make or hold a broad array of investments and actively trade debt and equity securities (or related derivative securities) and financial instruments (including bank loans) for their own account and for the accounts of their customers. Such investments and securities activities may involve securities and/or instruments of the Fund, the Investment Adviser or their respective affiliates. The underwriters and their affiliates may also make investment recommendations and/or publish or express independent research views in respect of such securities or financial instruments and may hold, or recommend to clients that they acquire, long and/or short positions in such securities and instruments.

The Fund anticipates that, from time to time, certain underwriters may act as brokers or dealers in connection with the execution of the Fund’s portfolio transactions after they have ceased to be underwriters and, subject to certain restrictions, may act as brokers while they are underwriters.

G.research, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Institutional Services Holdings, LLC, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Associated Capital Group, Inc., an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, which is, in turn, indirectly majority-owned by Mario J. Gabelli. As a result of these relationships, Mr. Gabelli is a “controlling person” of G.research, LLC.

The principal business address of Wells Fargo Securities, LLC is 550 South Tryon Street, 5th Floor, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202. The principal business address of G.research, LLC is One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580.

LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters will be passed on by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, New York, New York, our counsel in connection with the offering of the Series A Preferred Shares. Certain legal matters in connection with this offering will be passed upon for the underwriters by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, New York, New York. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP may rely as to certain matters of Delaware law on the opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The audited financial statements included in the annual report to the Fund’s shareholders for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, together with the report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP thereon, are incorporated by reference into the SAI.

The unaudited financial statements included in the semiannual report to the Fund’s shareholders for the six months ended June 30, 2017 are incorporated by reference into the SAI.

 

P-23


Table of Contents

BASE PROSPECTUS DATED OCTOBER 17, 2017

$200,000,000

GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust

Common Shares

Preferred Shares

Notes

Subscription Rights to Purchase Common Shares

Subscription Rights to Purchase Preferred Shares

Subscription Rights to Purchase Common and Preferred Shares

 

 

Investment Objectives. GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust (the “Fund”) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide a high level of current income from interest, dividends and option premiums. The Fund’s secondary investment objective is to seek capital appreciation consistent with the Fund’s strategy and its primary objective. Gabelli Funds, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as investment adviser to the Fund. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will attempt to achieve its objectives by investing at least 80% of its assets in securities of companies principally engaged in the natural resources and gold industries. The Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in the securities of companies principally engaged in the group of industries that constitute the natural resources industries, which includes companies principally engaged in the exploration, production or distribution of natural resources, such as metals (including both precious metals—such as silver and platinum—and base (i.e., non-precious) metals—such as copper, lead, nickel and zinc), paper, food, agriculture, forestry products, water, gas, oil, sustainable energy and other commodities as well as related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers. The Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in the securities of companies principally engaged in the gold industry, which includes companies principally engaged in the exploration, mining, fabrication, processing, distribution or trading of gold or the financing, managing, controlling or operating of companies engaged in “gold-related” activities. The Fund may invest in the securities of companies located anywhere in the world. As part of its investment strategy, the Fund intends to provide current income from short-term gains earned through an option strategy which will normally consist of writing (selling) call options on equity securities in its portfolio (“covered calls”), but may, in amounts up to 15% of the Fund’s assets, consist of writing uncovered call options on securities not held by the Fund and indices comprised of Natural Resources Companies or Gold Companies (each as defined in this prospectus (this “Prospectus”) or exchange-traded funds comprised of such issuers and writing put options on securities of Natural Resource Companies or Gold Companies. When the Fund sells a covered call option, it generates current income from short-term gains in the form of the premium paid by the buyer of the call option, but the Fund forgoes the opportunity to participate in any increase in the value of the underlying equity security above the exercise price of the option. See “Investment Objectives and Policies.” No assurances can be given that the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved.

The Fund was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on June 26, 2008, and commenced its investment operations on January 27, 2011. An investment in the Fund is not appropriate for all investors.

We may offer, from time to time, in one or more offerings, our common and/or fixed rate preferred shares, each with a par value $0.001 per share (together, “shares”), our promissory notes (“notes”), and/or our subscription rights to purchase our common and/or fixed rate preferred shares, which we refer to collectively as the “securities.” Securities may be offered at prices and on terms to be set forth in one or more supplements to this Prospectus (each, a “Prospectus Supplement”). You should read this Prospectus and the applicable Prospectus Supplement carefully before you invest in our securities.

Our securities may be offered directly to one or more purchasers, through agents designated from time to time by us, or to or through underwriters or dealers. The Prospectus Supplement relating to the offering will identify any agents


Table of Contents

or underwriters involved in the sale of our securities, and will set forth any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between us and our agents or underwriters, or among our underwriters, or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any sale of preferred shares will set forth the liquidation preference and information about the dividend period, dividend rate, any call protection or non-call period and other matters. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any sale of notes will set forth the principal amount, interest rate, interest payment dates, maturities, prepayment protection (if any) and other matters. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any offering of subscription rights will set forth the number of common and/or preferred shares issuable upon the exercise of each right and the other terms of such rights offering. We may offer subscription rights for common shares, preferred shares or common and preferred shares. We may not sell any of our securities through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of a Prospectus Supplement describing the method and terms of the particular offering of our securities. Our common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “GNT”. On October 2, 2017, the last reported sale price of our common shares was $7.01. The net asset value of the Fund’s common shares at the close of business on October 2, 2017, was $7.13 per share.

 

 

Shares of closed-end funds often trade at a discount from net asset value. This creates a risk of loss for an investor purchasing shares in a public offering.

Investing in the Fund’s securities involves risks. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations” beginning on page 49, “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Common Shares” beginning on page 69, and “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks of Notes to Holders of Preferred Shares” on page 73, for factors that should be considered before investing in securities of the Fund, including risks related to a leveraged capital structure.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved these securities or determined if this Prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

This Prospectus may not be used to consummate sales of securities by us through agents, underwriters or dealers unless accompanied by a Prospectus Supplement.

This Prospectus, together with an applicable Prospectus Supplement, sets forth concisely the information about the Fund that a prospective investor should know before investing. You should read this Prospectus, together with an applicable Prospectus Supplement, which contains important information about the Fund, before deciding whether to invest in the securities, and retain it for future reference. A Statement of Additional Information, dated October 17, 2017, containing additional information about the Fund, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is incorporated by reference in its entirety into this Prospectus. You may request a free copy of our annual and semiannual reports, request a free copy of the Statement of Additional Information, the table of contents of which is on page 103 of this Prospectus, request other information about us and make shareholder inquiries by calling (800) GABELLI (422-3554) or by writing to the Fund, or obtain a copy (and other information regarding the Fund) from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s web site (http://www.sec.gov). Our annual and semiannual reports are also available on our website (www.gabelli.com) The Statement of Additional Information is only updated in connection with an offering and is therefore not available on the Fund’s website.

Our securities do not represent a deposit or obligation of, and are not guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank or other insured depository institution, and are not federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, or any other government agency.

You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this Prospectus and any applicable Prospectus Supplement. The Fund has not authorized anyone to provide you with different information. The Fund is not making an offer to sell these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should not assume that the information contained in this Prospectus and any applicable Prospectus Supplement is accurate as of any date other than the date of this Prospectus or the date of the applicable Prospectus Supplement.

 

ii


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

     1  

SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES

     29  

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

     31  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     33  

THE FUND

     34  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

     34  

RISK FACTORS AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

     49  

HOW THE FUND MANAGES RISK

     74  

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

     75  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS

     78  

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

     78  

AUTOMATIC DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT AND VOLUNTARY CASH PURCHASE PLANS

     79  

DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES

     81  

ANTI-TAKEOVER PROVISIONS OF THE FUND’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS

     93  

CLOSED-END FUND STRUCTURE

     94  

REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES

     95  

RIGHTS OFFERINGS

     96  

TAXATION

     96  

CUSTODIAN, TRANSFER AGENT AND DIVIDEND DISBURSING AGENT

     99  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     99  

LEGAL MATTERS

     101  

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

     101  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     102  

PRIVACY PRINCIPLES OF THE FUND

     102  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     102  

TABLE OF CONTENTS OF STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     103  

CORPORATE BOND RATINGS

     A-1  

 

iii


Table of Contents

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This is only a summary. This summary may not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in our securities. You should review the more detailed information contained in this prospectus (this “Prospectus”), including the section titled “Risk Factors and Special Considerations” beginning on page 49, the applicable Prospectus Supplement and the Statement of Additional Information, dated October 17, 2017 (the “SAI”).

 

The Fund   GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust is a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company organized as a Delaware statutory trust on June 26, 2008. Throughout this Prospectus, we refer to GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust as the “Fund” or as “we.” See “The Fund.”
  The Fund’s outstanding common shares, par value $0.001 per share, are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “GNT.” On October 2, 2017, the last reported sale price of our common shares was $7.01. The net asset value of the Fund’s common shares at the close of business on October 2, 2017 was $7.13 per share. As of October 2, 2017, the Fund had outstanding 20,897,510 common shares.
The Offering   We may offer, from time to time, in one or more offerings, our common and/or fixed rate preferred shares, $0.001 par value per share, our notes, or our subscription rights to purchase our common or fixed rate preferred shares or both, which we refer to collectively as the “securities.” The securities may be offered at prices and on terms to be set forth in one or more supplements to this Prospectus (each a “Prospectus Supplement”). The offering price per common share of the Fund will not be less than the net asset value per common share at the time we make the offering, exclusive of any underwriting commissions or discounts; however, transferable rights offerings that meet certain conditions may be offered at a price below the then current net asset value per common share of the Fund. You should read this Prospectus and the applicable Prospectus Supplement carefully before you invest in our securities. Our securities may be offered directly to one or more purchasers, through agents designated from time to time by us, or through underwriters or dealers. The Prospectus Supplement relating to the offering will identify any agents, underwriters or dealers involved in the sale of our securities, and will set forth any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between us and our agents or underwriters, or among our underwriters, or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any sale of preferred shares will set forth the liquidation preference and information about the dividend period, dividend rate, any call protection or non-call period and other matters. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any sale of notes will set forth the principal amount, interest rate, interest payment dates, maturities, prepayment protection (if any), and other matters. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any offering of subscription rights will set forth the number of common and/or preferred shares issuable upon the exercise of each right and the other terms of such rights offering.

 



 

1


Table of Contents
  While the aggregate number and amount of securities we may issue pursuant to this registration statement is limited to $200,000,000 of securities, our Board of Trustees (the “Board” and each member of the Board individually a “Trustee”) may, without any action by the shareholders, amend our Agreement and Declaration of Trust from time to time to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares or the number of shares of any class or series that we have authority to issue. We may not sell any of our securities through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of a Prospectus Supplement describing the method and terms of the particular offering.
Investment Objectives and Policies   The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide a high level of current income from interest, dividends and option premiums. The Fund’s secondary investment objective is to seek capital appreciation consistent with the Fund’s strategy and its primary objective.
  To meet the objective of providing a high level of current income, the Fund intends to invest in income producing securities such as equity securities, convertible securities and other securities and earn short-term gains from a strategy of writing covered call options on equity securities in its portfolio. The Fund will seek dividend income through investments in equity securities such as common stock or convertible preferred stock. The Fund will seek interest income through investments in convertible or corporate bonds.
  Under normal market conditions, the Fund will attempt to achieve its objectives by investing at least 80% of its assets, which includes the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities of companies principally engaged in the natural resources and gold industries. The Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in the securities of companies principally engaged in the group of industries that constitute the natural resources industries, which includes companies principally engaged in the exploration, production or distribution of natural resources, such as metals (including both precious metals—such as silver and platinum—and base (i.e., non-precious) metals—such as copper, lead, nickel and zinc), paper, food, agriculture, forestry products, water, gas, oil, sustainable energy and other commodities as well as related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers (“Natural Resources Companies”). Related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers, such as agriculture transportation vehicles and farm equipment manufacturers, are vital components of the natural resource industry and are therefore included within the definition of Natural Resources Companies. The Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in the securities of companies principally engaged in the gold industry, which includes companies principally engaged in the exploration, mining, fabrication, processing, distribution or trading of gold or the financing, managing, controlling or operating of companies engaged in “gold-related” activities (“Gold Companies”). Companies principally engaged in the

 



 

2


Table of Contents
 

financing, managing, controlling or operating of companies engaged in “gold-related” activities include companies that own or receive royalties on the production of gold; such companies are vital components of the gold industry and are therefore included within the definition of Gold Companies.

 

The Fund may invest without limitation in the securities of domestic and foreign issuers. The Fund expects that its assets will usually be invested in several countries. To the extent that the natural resources and gold industries are concentrated in any given geographic region, such as Europe, North America or Asia, a relatively high proportion of the Fund’s assets may be invested in that particular region.

 

Principally engaged, as used in this prospectus, means a company that derives at least 50% of its revenues or earnings from or devotes at least 50% of its assets to the indicated businesses.

 

Equity securities may include common stocks, preferred stocks, convertible securities, warrants, depositary receipts and equity interests in trusts and other entities. Other Fund investments may include investment companies, including exchange traded funds, securities of issuers subject to reorganization, or other risk arbitrage investments, certain derivative instruments, debt (including obligations of the U.S. government) and money market instruments.

 

As part of its investment strategy, the Fund intends to provide current income from short-term gains earned through an option strategy which will normally consist of writing (selling) call options on equity securities in its portfolio (“covered calls”), but may, in amounts up to 15% of the Fund’s assets, consist of writing uncovered call options on securities not held by the Fund and indices comprised of Natural Resources Companies or Gold Companies or exchange-traded funds comprised of such issuers and writing put options on securities of Natural Resource Companies or Gold Companies. When the Fund sells a call option, it generates current income from short-term gains in the form of the premium paid by the buyer of the call option, but the Fund forgoes the opportunity to participate in any increase in the value of the underlying equity security above the exercise price of the option. When the Fund sells a put option, it generates current income from short-term gains in the form of the premium paid by the buyer of the put option, but the Fund will have the obligation to buy the underlying security at the exercise price if the price of the security decreases below the exercise price of the option. Any premiums received by the Fund from writing options may result in short-term capital gains.

 

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in “convertible securities,” i.e., securities (bonds, debentures, notes, stocks and other similar securities) that are convertible into common stock or other equity securities, and “income securities,” i.e., nonconvertible debt or equity securities having a history of regular payments or accrual of income to holders.

 



 

3


Table of Contents
 

Under normal market conditions, the Fund may invest up to 35% of its assets in fixed-income securities. Short-term discounted Treasury Bills or certain short-term securities of U.S. government sponsored instrumentalities are not subject to this limitation. The Fund has no requirements as to maturity or duration of its fixed-income investments, and the Fund does not target any particular average duration or average maturity. The average duration and average maturity of the Fund’s fixed-income investments is expected to vary.

 

The Fund may invest up to 25% of its assets in “junk bonds” such as convertible debt securities (which generally are rated lower than investment grade) and fixed-income securities that are rated lower than investment grade, or not rated but of similar quality as determined by the Investment Adviser.

 

No assurance can be given that the Fund will achieve its investment objectives. See “Investment Objectives and Policies” in the Prospectus.

  The Fund is intended for investors seeking long term growth of capital. It is not intended for those who wish to play short term swings in the stock market.
  Gabelli Funds, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as investment adviser to the Fund. The Investment Adviser’s investment philosophy with respect to selecting investments in the natural resources and gold industries is to emphasize quality, value and favorable prospects for growth, as determined by such factors as asset quality, balance sheet leverage, management ability, reserve life, cash flow, and commodity hedging exposure. In addition, in making stock selections, the Investment Adviser looks for securities that it believes may provide attractive yields as well as capital gains potential and that allow the Fund to generate current income from short-term gains from writing covered calls on such stocks.
 

No assurances can be given that the Fund’s objectives will be achieved. The Fund’s investment objectives and its policies of investing at least 25% of its assets in normal circumstances in Natural Resources Companies and in Gold Companies are fundamental policies that cannot be changed without the affirmative vote of a majority, as defined in the 1940 Act, of the outstanding voting securities (voting together as a single class) of the Fund (which for this purpose and under the 1940 Act means the lesser of (i) 67% of the shares represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the outstanding shares are represented or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares). If the Fund issues and has outstanding preferred shares, the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority, as defined in the 1940 Act, of the outstanding preferred shares of the Fund voting as a separate class (which for this purposes and under the 1940 Act means

 



 

4


Table of Contents
 

the lesser of (i) 67% of the preferred shares, as a single class, represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares are represented or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding preferred shares) would also be required to change a fundamental policy. Unless specifically stated as such, no other policy of the Fund is fundamental and each policy may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval and the Fund will provide notice to shareholders of material changes. The Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its total assets in in securities of companies principally engaged in the natural resources and gold industries may be changed by the Board; however, if this policy changes, the Fund will provide shareholders at least 60 days’ written notice before implementation of the change in compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission rules.

 

The percentage and ratings limitations stated herein and in the SAI apply only at the time of investment and are not considered violated as a result of subsequent changes to the value, or downgrades to the ratings, of the Fund’s portfolio investments.

Preferred Shares   The terms of any series of preferred shares may be fixed by the Board and may materially limit and/or qualify the rights of holders of the Fund’s common shares. If the Fund’s Board determines that it may be advantageous to the holders of the Fund’s common shares for the Fund to utilize leverage, the Fund may issue series of fixed rate preferred shares (“Fixed Rate Preferred Shares”). Any Fixed Rate Preferred Shares issued by the Fund will pay distributions at a fixed rate. Leverage creates a greater risk of loss as well as a potential for more gains for the common shares than if leverage were not used. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risk Factors to Holders of Common Shares—Leverage Risk.” The Fund may also determine in the future to issue other forms of senior securities, such as securities representing debt, subject to the limitations of the 1940 Act. The Fund may also engage in investment management techniques which will not be considered senior securities if the Fund establishes a segregated account with cash or other liquid assets or sets aside assets on the accounting records equal to the Fund’s obligations in respect of such techniques. The Fund may also borrow money, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act.
Dividends and Distributions   Preferred Shares Distributions. In accordance with the Fund’s Governing Documents (as defined below) and as required by the 1940 Act, all preferred shares of the Fund must have the same seniority with respect to distributions. Accordingly, no complete distribution due for a particular dividend period will be declared or paid on any series of preferred shares of the Fund for any dividend period, or part thereof, unless full cumulative dividends and distributions due through the most recent dividend payment dates for all series of outstanding preferred shares of the Fund are declared and paid. If full cumulative distributions due have not been declared and made on all outstanding

 



 

5


Table of Contents
  preferred shares of the Fund, any distributions on such preferred shares will be made as nearly pro rata as possible in proportion to the respective amounts of distributions accumulated but unmade on each such series of preferred shares on the relevant dividend payment date. As used herein, “Governing Documents” means the Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust and By-Laws, together with any amendments or supplements thereto, including any Statement of Preferences establishing a series of preferred shares.
  The Fund’s annualized distributions on its preferred shares may contain a return of capital. Preferred shareholders who receive the payment of a distribution consisting of a return of capital may be under the impression that they are receiving net profits when they are not. Shareholders should not assume that the source of a distribution from the Fund is net profit. In addition, the amount treated as a tax-free return of capital will reduce a shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in its shares, thereby increasing the shareholder’s potential taxable gain or reducing the potential taxable loss on the sale of the shares.
  Distributions on Fixed Rate Preferred Shares, at the applicable annual rate of the per share liquidation preference, are cumulative from the original issue date and are payable, when, as and if declared by the Board, out of funds legally available therefor.
  The Fund had no outstanding preferred shares during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016.
  Common Shares Distributions. The Fund makes regular monthly cash distributions of all or a portion of its investment company taxable income (which includes ordinary income and net short term capital gains) to its common shareholders. The Fund also makes annual distributions of its “net capital gain” (which is the excess of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses). The Fund, however, may make more than one capital gain distribution to avoid paying U.S. federal excise tax. See “Taxation.” Various factors will affect the level of the Fund’s investment company taxable income, such as its asset mix, and use of covered call strategies. To permit the Fund to maintain more stable monthly distributions, the Fund may from time to time distribute less than the entire amount of income earned in a particular period, which would be available to supplement future distributions. As a result, the distributions paid by the Fund for any particular monthly period may be more or less than the amount of income actually earned by the Fund during that period.
  The Fund’s distribution policy, including its policy to make regular monthly cash distributions, may be modified from time to time by the Board as it deems appropriate, including in light of market and economic conditions and the Fund’s current, expected and historical

 



 

6


Table of Contents
  earnings and investment performance. Common shareholders are expected to be notified of any such modifications by press release or in the Fund’s periodic shareholder reports. Because the Fund’s income will fluctuate and the Fund’s distribution policy may be changed by the Board at any time, there can be no assurance that the Fund will pay distributions or dividends at a particular rate.
  In the event that for any taxable year the total distributions on the Fund’s shares exceed the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, the excess distributions will generally be treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of the shareholder’s tax basis in the shares (reducing the basis accordingly) and as capital gains thereafter. In determining the extent to which a distribution will be treated as being made from the Fund’s earnings and profits, earnings and profits will be allocated on a pro rata basis first to distributions with respect to preferred shares, and then to the Fund’s common shares. Distributions sourced from paid-in capital should not be considered as dividend yield or the total return from an investment in the Fund. Preferred or common shareholders who periodically receive the payment of a dividend or other distribution which may consist of a return of capital may be under the impression that they are receiving net profits when they are not. Shareholders should not assume that the source of a distribution from the Fund is net profit. In addition, the amount treated as a tax-free return of capital will reduce a shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in its shares, thereby increasing the shareholder’s potential taxable gain or reducing the potential taxable loss on the sale of the shares.
  A portion of the Fund’s common share distributions for each fiscal year since its inception have included a return of capital, and most of the Fund’s common share distributions for each of the fiscal years ended December 31, 2013 through 2016 have consisted of return of capital. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, the Fund made distributions of $0.84 per common share, approximately $0.82 of which constituted a return of capital. When the Fund makes distributions consisting of returns of capital, such distributions may further decrease the Fund’s total assets and, therefore have the likely effect of increasing the Fund’s expense ratio as the Fund’s fixed expenses will become a larger percentage of the Fund’s average net assets. In addition, in order to make such distributions, the Fund may have to sell a portion of its investment portfolio at a time when independent investment judgment may not dictate such action. These effects could have a negative impact on the prices investors receive when they sell shares of the Fund.
Indebtedness   Under applicable state law and our Agreement and Declaration of Trust, we may borrow money without prior approval of holders of common and preferred shares. We may issue debt securities, including notes, or other evidence of indebtedness and may secure any such

 



 

7


Table of Contents
  notes or borrowings by mortgaging, pledging or otherwise subjecting as security our assets to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or rating agency guidelines. Any borrowings, including without limitation any notes, will rank senior to the preferred shares and the common shares. The Prospectus Supplement will describe the interest payment provisions relating to notes. Interest on notes will be payable when due as described in the related Prospectus Supplement. If we do not pay interest when due, it will trigger an event of default and we will be restricted from declaring dividends and making other distributions with respect to our common shares and preferred shares.
Use of Proceeds   The Fund will use the net proceeds from the offering to purchase portfolio securities in accordance with its Investment Objectives and Policies. The Investment Adviser anticipates that the investment of the proceeds will be made as appropriate investment opportunities are identified, which is expected to substantially be completed within three months; however, changes in market conditions could result in the Fund’s anticipated investment period extending to as long as six months. This could occur because the Investment Adviser follows a value-oriented investment strategy; therefore market conditions could result in the Investment Adviser delaying the investment of proceeds if it believes the margin of risk in making additional investments is not favorable in light of its value-oriented investment strategy. See “Investment Objectives and Policies—Investment Methodology of the Fund” in the Prospectus. Depending on market conditions and operations, a portion of the proceeds to be identified in any relevant Prospectus Supplement may be used to pay distributions in accordance with the Fund’s distribution policy. See “Use of Proceeds” in the Prospectus.
Exchange Listing   The Fund’s outstanding common shares have been listed and traded on the NYSE under the trading or “ticker” symbol “GNT” since January 27, 2011. See “Description of the Securities.” The Fund’s common shares have historically traded at a discount to the Fund’s net asset value. Since the Fund commenced trading on the NYSE, the Fund’s common shares have traded at a premium to net asset value as high as 11.90% and discount as low as (18.29)%. Any series of Fixed Rate Preferred Shares or subscription rights issued by the Fund would also likely be listed on the NYSE.

Risk Factors and Special Considerations

  Risk is inherent in all investing. Therefore, before investing in the Fund’s securities, you should consider the risks carefully.
  A summary of certain risks associated with an investment in the Fund is set forth below. It is not complete and you should read and consider carefully the more detailed list of risks described in “Risk Factors and Special Considerations.”
  Total Return Risk. The Fund utilizes several investment management techniques in an effort to generate positive total return. The risks of

 



 

8


Table of Contents
  these techniques, such as option writing, concentration in certain industries, and investing in emerging markets, are described in the following paragraphs. Taken together these and other techniques represent a risk that the Fund will experience a negative total return even in market environments that are generally positive and that the Fund’s returns, both positive and negative, may be more volatile than if the Fund did not utilize these investment techniques. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Total Return Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Industry Risks. The Fund’s investments will be concentrated in the natural resources industries and gold industries. Because the Fund is concentrated in these industries, it may present more risks than if it were broadly diversified over numerous industries and sectors of the economy. A downturn in the natural resources or gold industries would have a larger impact on the Fund than on an investment company that does not concentrate in such industries.
 

The Fund invests in securities of Natural Resources Companies. A downturn in the indicated natural resources industries would have a larger impact on the Fund than on an investment company that does not invest significantly in such industries. Such industries can be significantly affected by the supply of and demand for the indicated commodities and related services, exploration and production spending, government regulations, world events and economic conditions. The metals (including both precious metals—such as silver and platinum—and base (i.e., non-precious) metals—such as copper, lead, nickel and zinc), paper, food and agriculture, forestry products, water, gas, oil, sustainable energy and other commodities industries can be significantly affected by events relating to international political developments, the success of exploration projects, commodity prices, and tax and government regulations. The stock prices of Natural Resources Companies may also experience greater price volatility than other types of common stocks. Securities issued by Natural Resources Companies are sensitive to changes in the prices of, and in supply and demand for, the indicated commodities. The value of securities issued by Natural Resources Companies may be affected by changes in overall market movements, changes in interest rates, or factors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as weather, embargoes, tariffs, policies of commodity cartels and international economic, political and regulatory developments. The Investment Adviser’s judgments about trends in the prices of these securities and commodities may prove to be incorrect. It is possible that the performance of securities of Natural Resources Companies may lag the performance of other industries or the broader market as a whole.

 

The Fund also invests in securities of Gold Companies. Securities of Gold Companies may experience greater volatility than companies not involved in the gold industries. Investments related to gold are considered speculative and are affected by a variety of worldwide

 



 

9


Table of Contents
  economic, financial and political factors. The price of gold may fluctuate sharply, including substantial decreases, over short periods of time due to changes in inflation or expectations regarding inflation in various countries, the availability of supplies of gold, changes in industrial and commercial demand, gold sales by governments, central banks or international agencies, investment speculation, monetary and other economic policies of various governments and government restrictions on private ownership of gold. The Investment Adviser’s judgments about trends in the prices of securities of Gold Companies may prove to be incorrect. It is possible that the performance of securities of Gold Companies may lag the performance of other industries or the broader market as a whole. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Industry Risks” in the Prospectus.
  Supply and Demand Risk. A decrease in the production of or exploration of, gold, metals (including both precious metals—such as silver and platinum—and base (i.e., non-precious) metals—such as copper, lead, nickel and zinc), paper, food and agriculture, forestry products, gas, oil and other commodities or a decrease in the volume of such commodities available for transportation, mining, processing, storage or distribution may adversely impact the financial performance of the Fund’s investments. Production declines and volume decreases could be caused by various factors, including catastrophic events affecting production, depletion of resources, labor difficulties, environmental proceedings, increased regulations, equipment failures and unexpected maintenance problems, import supply disruption, increased competition from alternative energy sources or commodity prices. Sustained declines in demand for the indicated commodities could also adversely affect the financial performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies over the long-term. Factors which could lead to a decline in demand include economic recession or other adverse economic conditions, higher fuel taxes or governmental regulations, increases in fuel economy, consumer shifts to the use of alternative fuel sources, changes in commodity prices, or weather. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Industry Risks—Supply and Demand Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Depletion and Exploration Risk. Many Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies are either engaged in the production or exploration of particular commodities or are engaged in transporting, storing, distributing and processing such commodities. To maintain or increase their revenue level, these companies or their customers need to maintain or expand their reserves through exploration of new sources of supply, the development of existing sources, acquisitions, or long-term contracts to acquire reserves. The financial performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies may be adversely affected if they, or the companies to whom they provide products or services, are unable to cost effectively acquire additional products or reserves sufficient to replace the natural decline. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Industry Risks—Depletion and Exploration Risk” in the Prospectus.

 



 

10


Table of Contents
  Regulatory Risk. Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies may be subject to extensive government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and in some cases the prices they may charge for the products and services they provide. Various governmental authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations and the permits issued under them, and violators are subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil fines, injunctions or both. Stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future, which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the financial performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Industry Risks—Regulatory Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Commodity Pricing Risk. The operations and financial performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies may be directly affected by the prices of the indicated commodities, especially those Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies for whom the commodities they own are significant assets. Commodity prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in market and economic conditions, levels of domestic production, impact of governmental regulation and taxation, the availability of transportation systems and, in the case of oil and gas companies in particular, conservation measures and the impact of weather. Volatility of commodity prices, which may lead to a reduction in production or supply, may also negatively affect the performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies which are solely involved in the transportation, processing, storing, distribution or marketing of commodities. Volatility of commodity prices may also make it more difficult for Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies to raise capital to the extent the market perceives that their performance may be directly or indirectly tied to commodity prices. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Industry Risks—Commodity Pricing Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Catastrophe Risk. The operations of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies are subject to many hazards inherent in the development of energy infrastructure and the acquisition, exploration, production, mining, processing (including fractionating), refining, transportation (including trans-loading), storage, servicing or marketing of natural resources, including, but not limited to, crude oil, refined products, petrochemicals, natural gas, natural gas liquids, coal, metals and renewable energy sources, including damage to production equipment, pipelines, storage tanks or related equipment and surrounding properties caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and other natural disasters or by acts of terrorism; inadvertent damage from construction or other equipment; leaks of natural gas, natural gas

 



 

11


Table of Contents
  liquids, crude oil, refined petroleum products or other hydrocarbons; and fires and explosions. These risks could result in substantial losses due to personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to and destruction of property and equipment and pollution or other environmental damage, and might result in the curtailment or suspension of their related operations. Not all Natural Resources Companies or Gold Companies are fully insured against all risks inherent to their businesses. If a significant accident or event occurs that is not fully insured, it could adversely affect a Natural Resources Company’s or Gold Company’s operations and financial condition. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Industry Risks—Catastrophe Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Interest Rate Risk for Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies. The prices of the equity and debt securities of the Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies that the Fund holds in its portfolio are susceptible in the short term to decline when interest rates rise. Rising interest rates could limit the capital appreciation of securities of certain investments as a result of the increased availability of alternative investments with yields comparable to those investments. Rising interest rates could adversely affect the financial performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies generally by increasing their cost of capital. This may reduce their ability to execute acquisitions or expansion projects in a cost-effective manner. The risk of rising interest rates may be more pronounced because certain rates are near historical lows, and the Federal Reserve has begun to raise the Federal Funds rate, each of which results in more pronounced interest rate risk in the current market environment. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Industry Risks—Interest Rate Risk for Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies” in the Prospectus.
  Risks Associated with Covered Calls and Other Option Transactions. There are several risks associated with transactions in options on securities. For example, there are significant differences between the securities and options markets that could result in an imperfect correlation between these markets, causing a given covered call option transaction not to achieve its objectives. A decision as to whether, when and how to use covered calls (or other options) involves the exercise of skill and judgment, and even a well-conceived transaction may be unsuccessful because of market behavior or unexpected events. The use of options may require the Fund to sell portfolio securities at inopportune times or for prices other than current market values, may limit the amount of appreciation the Fund can realize on an investment, or may cause the Fund to hold a security it might otherwise sell. As the writer of a covered call option, the Fund forgoes, during the option’s life, the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the security covering the call option above the exercise price of the call option, but has retained the risk of loss should the

 



 

12


Table of Contents
 

price of the underlying security decline. Although such loss would be offset in part by the option premium received, in a situation in which the price of a particular stock on which the Fund has written a covered call option declines rapidly and materially or in which prices in general on all or a substantial portion of the stocks on which the Fund has written covered call options decline rapidly and materially, the Fund could sustain material depreciation or loss in its net assets to the extent it does not sell the underlying securities (which may require it to terminate, offset or otherwise cover its option position as well).

 

There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist when the Fund seeks to close out an option position. If the Fund were unable to close out a covered call option that it had written on a security, it would not be able to sell the underlying security unless the option expired without exercise. Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market for exchange-traded options include the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening transactions or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the trading facilities may not be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) the relevant exchange could discontinue the trading of options. In addition, the Fund’s ability to terminate over-the-counter (“OTC”) options may be more limited than with exchange-traded options and may involve the risk that counterparties participating in such transactions will not fulfill their obligations. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Risks Associated with Covered Calls and Other Options Transactions” in the Prospectus.

  Limitation on Covered Call Writing Risk. The number of covered call options the Fund can write is limited by the number of shares of the corresponding common stock the Fund holds. Furthermore, the Fund’s covered call options and other options transactions will be subject to limitations established by each of the exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities on which such options are traded. As a result, the number of covered call options that the Fund may write or purchase may be affected by options written or purchased by it and other investment advisory clients of the Investment Adviser. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Risks Associated with Covered Calls and Other Option Transactions—Limitation on Covered Call Writing Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Risks Associated with Uncovered Calls. There are special risks associated with uncovered option writing which expose the Fund to potentially significant loss. As the writer of an uncovered call option, the Fund has no risk of loss should the price of the underlying security

 



 

13


Table of Contents
  decline, but bears unlimited risk of loss should the price of the underlying security increase above the exercise price until the Fund covers its exposure. As with writing uncovered calls, the risk of writing uncovered put options is substantial. The writer of an uncovered put option bears a risk of loss if the value of the underlying instrument declines below the exercise price. Such loss could be substantial if there is a significant decline in the value of the underlying instrument. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Risks Associated with Uncovered Calls” in the Prospectus.
  Equity Risk. Investing in the Fund involves equity risk, which is the risk that the securities held by the Fund will fall in market value due to adverse market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate and the particular circumstances and performance of particular companies whose securities the Fund holds. An investment in the Fund represents an indirect economic stake in the securities owned by the Fund, which are for the most part traded on securities exchanges or in the OTC markets. The market value of these securities, like other market investments, may move up or down, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably. The net asset value of the Fund may at any point in time be less than the net asset value of the Fund at the time the shareholder invested in the Fund, even after taking into account any reinvestment of distributions. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Equity Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Common Stock Risk. Common stock of an issuer in the Fund’s portfolio may decline in price for a variety of reasons, including if the issuer fails to make anticipated dividend payments because, among other reasons, the issuer of the security experiences a decline in its financial condition. Common stock in which the Fund will invest is structurally subordinated as to income and residual value to preferred stock, bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure, in terms of priority to corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater dividend risk than preferred stock or debt instruments of such issuers. In addition, while common stock has historically generated higher average returns than fixed income securities, common stock has also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Common Stock Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Distribution Risk for Equity Income Portfolio Securities. The Fund intends to invest in the shares of issuers that pay dividends or other distributions. Such dividends or other distributions are not guaranteed and an issuer may forgo paying dividends or other distributions at any time and for any reason. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Distribution Risk for Equity Income Portfolio Securities” in the Prospectus.

 



 

14


Table of Contents
 

Interest Rate Risk. The primary risk associated with dividend- and interest-paying securities is interest rate risk. A decrease in interest rates will generally result in an increase in the investment value of such securities, while increases in interest rates will generally result in a decline in its investment value. This effect is generally more pronounced for fixed rate securities than for securities whose income rate is periodically reset. Market interest rates are currently significantly below historical average rates and the Federal Reserve has begun to raise the Federal Funds rate, each of which results in more pronounced interest rate risk in the current market environment.

 

Additionally, during periods of declining interest rates, the issuer of a preferred stock or fixed income security may be able to exercise an option to prepay principal earlier than scheduled, forcing the Fund to reinvest in lower yielding securities. This is known as call or prepayment risk. During periods of rising interest rates, the average life of certain types of securities may be extended because of slower than expected principal payments. This may prolong the length of time the security pays a below market interest rate, increase the security’s duration and reduce the value of the security. This is known as extension risk. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Interest Rate Risk” in the Prospectus.

  Foreign Securities Risk. Investing in securities of foreign companies (or foreign governments), which are generally denominated in foreign currencies, may involve certain risks and opportunities not typically associated with investing in domestic companies. Foreign companies generally are not subject to the same accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements as those applicable to U.S. companies.
  Investing in securities of companies in emerging markets may entail special risks relating to potential political and economic instability and the risks of expropriation, nationalization, confiscation or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investment, the lack of hedging instruments and restrictions on repatriation of capital invested. Emerging securities markets are substantially smaller, less developed, less liquid and more volatile than the major securities markets. The limited size of emerging securities markets and limited trading volume compared to the volume of trading in U.S. securities could cause prices to be erratic for reasons apart from factors that affect the quality of the securities. For example, limited market size may cause prices to be unduly influenced by traders who control large positions. Adverse publicity and investors’ perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the value and liquidity of portfolio securities, especially in these markets. Many emerging market countries have experienced substantial, and in some periods extremely high, rates of inflation for many years. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates and corresponding currency devaluations have had and may continue to have negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging market countries.

 



 

15


Table of Contents
  The Fund may invest in companies whose securities are denominated or quoted in currencies other than U.S. dollars or have significant operations or markets outside of the United States. In such instances, the Fund will be exposed to currency risk, including the risk of fluctuations in the exchange rate between U.S. dollars (in which the Fund’s shares are denominated) and such foreign currencies, the risk of currency devaluations and the risks of non-exchangeability and blockage. As non-U.S. securities may be purchased with and payable in currencies of countries other than the U.S. dollar, the value of these assets measured in U.S. dollars may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and exchange control regulations. Fluctuations in currency rates may adversely affect the ability of the Investment Adviser to acquire such securities at advantageous prices and may also adversely affect the performance of such assets.
  For more details on certain pronounced risks with foreign investing, see “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Foreign Securities Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Income Risk. The income shareholders receive from the Fund is expected to be based primarily on income from short-term gains that the Fund earns from its investment strategy of writing covered calls and dividends and other distributions received from its investments. If the Fund’s covered call strategy fails to generate sufficient income from short-term gains or the distribution rates or yields of the Fund’s holdings decrease, shareholders’ income from the Fund could decline. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Income Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Non-Investment Grade Securities. The Fund may invest in fixed income securities rated below investment grade by recognized statistical rating agencies or unrated securities of comparable quality. The prices of these lower grade securities are more sensitive to negative developments, such as a decline in the issuer’s revenues or a general economic downturn, than are the prices of higher grade securities. Securities of below investment grade quality—those securities rated below Baa by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) or below BBB by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (“S&P”) (or unrated securities to comparable quality)—are predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal when due and therefore involve a greater risk of default and are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Non-Investment Grade Securities” in the Prospectus.
  Interest Rate Risk for Fixed Income Securities. The primary risk associated with fixed income securities is interest rate risk. A decrease in interest rates will generally result in an increase in the value of a fixed income security, while increases in interest rates will generally

 



 

16


Table of Contents
  result in a decline in its value. This effect is generally more pronounced for fixed rate securities than for securities whose income rate is periodically reset. Market interest rates are currently significantly below historical average rates and the Federal Reserve has begun to raise the Federal Funds rate, each of which results in more pronounced interest rate risk in the current market environment. Further, while longer term fixed rate securities may pay higher interest rates than shorter term securities, longer term fixed rate securities, like fixed rate securities, also tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes and, accordingly, tend to experience larger changes in value as a result of interest rate changes. An increase in market interest rates will also generally result in a decrease in the price of any of the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares.
  U.S. Government Securities and Credit Rating Downgrade Risk. The Fund may invest in direct obligations of the government of the United States or its agencies. Obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies, authorities and instrumentalities and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. guarantee only that principal and interest will be timely paid to holders of the securities. These entities do not guarantee that the value such obligations will increase, and, in fact, the market values of such obligations may fluctuate. In addition, not all U.S. government securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States; some are the obligation solely of the entity through which they are issued. There is no guarantee that the U.S. government would provide financial support to its agencies and instrumentalities if not required to do so by law.
  The events surrounding negotiations regarding the U.S. federal government debt ceiling and deficit reduction could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives. In 2011, S&P lowered its long term sovereign credit rating on the U.S. to “AA+” from “AAA.” The downgrade by S&P increased volatility in both stock and bond markets, resulting in higher interest rates and higher Treasury yields, and increased the costs of all kinds of debt. Repeat occurrences of similar events could have significant adverse effects on the U.S. economy generally and could result in significant adverse impacts on issuers of securities held by the Fund itself. The Investment Adviser cannot predict the effects of similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets or on the Fund’s portfolio. The Investment Adviser monitors developments and seeks to manage the Fund’s portfolio in a manner consistent with achieving the Fund’s investment objectives, but there can be no assurance that it will be successful in doing so and the Investment Adviser may not timely anticipate or manage existing, new or additional risks, contingencies or developments. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations— General Risks—U.S. Government Securities and Credit Rating Downgrade Risk” in the Prospectus.

 



 

17


Table of Contents
  Derivative Transactions. The Fund may participate in certain derivative transactions. Such transactions entail certain execution, market, liquidity, counterparty, correlation, volatility, hedging and tax risks. Participation in the options or futures markets and in currency exchange transactions involves investment risks and transaction costs to which the Fund would not be subject absent the use of these strategies. If the Investment Adviser’s prediction of movements in the direction of the securities, foreign currency or interest rate markets is inaccurate, the consequences to the Fund may leave the Fund in a worse position than if it had not used such strategies. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Special Risks Related to Investment in Derivatives” in the Prospectus.
 

Leverage Risk. The Fund may use financial leverage for investment purposes by issuing preferred shares and/or notes. As provided in the 1940 Act and subject to certain exceptions, the Fund may issue senior securities (which may be stock, such as preferred shares, and/or securities representing debt) only if immediately after such issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceeds 300% of the amount of the debt outstanding and exceeds 200% of the amount of preferred shares and debt outstanding.

 

If the Fund does use leverage, the Fund’s capital structure would create special risks not associated with unleveraged funds having a similar investment objectives and policies. These include the possibility of greater loss and the likelihood of higher volatility of the net asset value of the Fund and the asset coverage for the preferred shares. Such volatility may increase the likelihood of the Fund having to sell investments in order to meet its obligations to make distributions on the preferred shares or principal or interest payments on debt securities, or to redeem preferred shares or repay debt, when it may be disadvantageous to do so. The use of leverage magnifies both the favorable and unfavorable effects of price movements in the investments made by the Fund. To the extent that the Fund determines to employ leverage in its investment operations, the Fund will be subject to substantial risk of loss. The Fund cannot assure you that borrowings or the issuance of preferred shares or notes will result in a higher yield or return to the holders of the common shares. Also, if the Fund utilizes leverage, a decline in net asset value could affect the ability of the Fund to make common share distributions and such a failure to make distributions could result in the Fund ceasing to qualify as a regulated investment company (a “RIC”) under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).

 

The issuance of preferred shares or notes causes the net asset value and market value of the common shares to become more volatile. If the interest rate on the notes or the dividend rate on the preferred shares approaches the net rate of return on the Fund’s investment portfolio, the benefit of leverage to the holders of the common shares would be reduced. If the interest rates on the notes or the dividend rate on the

 



 

18


Table of Contents
 

preferred shares plus the management fee annual rate of 1.00% exceeds the net rate of return on the Fund’s portfolio, the leverage will result in a lower rate of return to the holders of common shares than if the Fund had not issued preferred shares or notes.

 

Any decline in the net asset value of the Fund’s investments would be borne entirely by the holders of common shares. Therefore, if the market value of the Fund’s portfolio declines, the leverage will result in a greater decrease in net asset value to the holders of common shares than if the Fund were not leveraged. This greater net asset value decrease will also tend to cause a greater decline in the market price for the common shares. The Fund might be in danger of failing to maintain the required asset coverage of the notes or preferred shares or of losing its ratings on the preferred shares or notes or, in an extreme case, the Fund’s current investment income might not be sufficient to meet the distribution requirements on the preferred shares or notes. In order to counteract such an event, the Fund might need to liquidate investments in order to fund redemption of some or all of the preferred shares or notes.

 

In addition, the Fund would pay (and the holders of common shares will bear) all costs and expenses relating to the issuance and ongoing maintenance of the preferred shares or notes, including any additional advisory fees on the incremental assets attributable to such preferred shares or notes. Holders of preferred shares and notes may have different interests than holders of common shares and at times may have disproportionate influence over the Fund’s affairs. As provided in the 1940 Act and subject to certain exceptions, the Fund may issue senior securities (which may be stock, such as preferred shares, and/or securities representing debt, such as notes) only if immediately after such issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceeds 300% of the amount of the debt outstanding and exceeds 200% of the amount of preferred shares and debt outstanding, which is referred to as the “asset coverage” required by the 1940 Act. In the event the Fund fails to maintain an asset coverage of 100% for any notes outstanding for certain periods of time, the 1940 Act requires that either an event of default be declared or that the holders of such notes have the right to elect a majority of the Fund’s Trustees until asset coverage recovers to 110%. In addition, holders of preferred shares, voting separately as a single class, have the right to elect two members of the Board at all times and in the event dividends become in arrears for two full years would have the right (subject to the rights of noteholders) to elect a majority of the Trustees until the arrearage is completely eliminated. In addition, preferred shareholders have class voting rights on certain matters, including changes in fundamental investment restrictions and conversion of the Fund to open-end status, and accordingly can veto any such changes. Further, interest on notes will be payable when due as described in a Prospectus Supplement and if the Fund does not pay interest when due, it will

 



 

19


Table of Contents
 

trigger an event of default and the Fund expects to be restricted from declaring dividends and making other distributions with respect to common shares and preferred shares. Upon the occurrence and continuance of an event of default, the holders of a majority in principal amount of a series of outstanding notes or the trustee will be able to declare the principal amount of that series of notes immediately due and payable upon written notice to the Fund. The 1940 Act also generally restricts the Fund from declaring distributions on, or repurchasing, common or preferred shares unless notes have an asset coverage of 300% (200% in case of declaring distributions on preferred shares). The Fund’s common shares are structurally subordinated as to income and residual value to any preferred shares or notes in the Fund’s capital structure, in terms of priority to income and payment in liquidation. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Common Shares—Leverage Risk” and “Description of the Securities—Preferred Shares—Asset Maintenance Requirements” and “Description of the Securities—Notes—Limitations” in the Prospectus.

 

Market Discount Risk. The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. Whether investors will realize gains or losses upon the sale of additional securities of the Fund will depend upon the market price of the securities at the time of sale, which may be less or more than the Fund’s net asset value per share or the liquidation value of any Fund preferred shares issued. The Fund cannot predict whether any such securities will trade at, below or above net asset value or at, below or above their public offering price. The risk of a market price discount from net asset value is separate and in addition to the risk that net asset value itself may decline. The Fund’s securities are designed primarily for long term investors, and investors in the shares should not view the Fund as a vehicle for trading purposes. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations— General Risks—Market Discount Risk” in the Prospectus.

  Special Risks to Holders of Preferred Shares. Prior to an offering, there will be no public market for Fixed Rate Preferred Shares. In the event any series of Fixed Rate Preferred Shares are issued, we expect to apply to list such shares on a national securities exchange, which will likely be the NYSE. However, during an initial period, which is not expected to exceed 30 days after the date of its initial issuance, such shares may not be listed on any securities exchange. During such period, the underwriters may make a market in such shares, although they will have no obligation to do so. Consequently, an investment in such shares may be illiquid during such period. Fixed Rate Preferred Shares may trade at a premium to or discount from liquidation value for various reasons, including changes in interest rates, perceived credit quality and other factors. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Preferred Shares” in the Prospectus.

 



 

20


Table of Contents
  Special Risks to Holders of Notes. An investment in our notes is subject to special risks. Our notes are not likely to be listed on an exchange or automated quotation system. We cannot assure you that any market will exist for our notes or if a market does exist, whether it will provide holders with liquidity. Broker-dealers that maintain a secondary trading market for the notes are not required to maintain this market, and the Fund is not required to redeem notes if an attempted secondary market sale fails because of a lack of buyers. To the extent that our notes trade, they may trade at a price either higher or lower than their principal amount depending on interest rates, the rating (if any) on such notes and other factors. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Notes” in the Prospectus.
  Special Risks of Notes to Holders of Preferred Shares. As provided in the 1940 Act, and subject to compliance with the Fund’s investment limitations, the Fund may issue notes. In the event the Fund were to issue such securities, the Fund’s obligations to pay dividends or make distributions and, upon liquidation of the Fund, liquidation payments in respect of its preferred shares would be subordinate to the Fund’s obligations to make any principal and interest payments due and owing with respect to its outstanding notes. Accordingly, the Fund’s issuance of notes would have the effect of creating special risks for the Fund’s preferred shareholders that would not be present in a capital structure that did not include such securities. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations — Special Risks of Notes to Holders of Preferred Shares” in the Prospectus.
  Common Share Repurchases. Repurchases of common shares by the Fund may reduce the net asset coverage of the notes and preferred shares, which could adversely affect their liquidity or market prices. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations — Special Risks to Holders of Notes and Preferred Shares — Common Share Repurchases” in the Prospectus.
  Common Share Distribution Policy. In the event the Fund does not generate a total return from dividends and interest received and net realized capital gains in an amount at least equal to its distributions for a given year, the Fund expects that it would return capital as part of its distributions on common shares. This would decrease the asset coverage per share with respect to the Fund’s notes or preferred shares, which could adversely affect their liquidity or market prices. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Notes and Preferred Shares—Common Share Distribution Policy” in the Prospectus.
  Credit Quality Ratings. The Fund may obtain credit quality ratings for its preferred shares or notes; however, it is not required to do so and may issue preferred shares or notes without any rating. If rated, the Fund does not impose any minimum rating necessary to issue such preferred shares or notes. In order to obtain and maintain attractive

 



 

21


Table of Contents
 

credit quality ratings for preferred shares or borrowings, if desired, the Fund’s portfolio must satisfy over-collateralization tests established by the relevant rating agencies. These tests are more difficult to satisfy to the extent the Fund’s portfolio securities are of lower credit quality, of longer maturity or not diversified by issuer and industry. These guidelines could affect portfolio decisions and may be more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act. A rating (if any) by a rating agency does not eliminate or necessarily mitigate the risks of investing in our preferred shares or notes, and a rating may not fully or accurately reflect all of the securities’ credit risks. A rating (if any) does not address liquidity or any other market risks of the securities being rated. A rating agency could downgrade the rating of our notes or preferred shares, which may make such securities less liquid in the secondary market. If a rating agency downgrades the rating assigned to notes or preferred shares, we may alter our portfolio or redeem the preferred securities or notes under certain circumstances. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations — Special Risks to Holders of Notes and Preferred Shares — Credit Quality Ratings” in the Prospectus.

 

Special Risk to Holders of Subscription Rights. There is a risk that changes in market conditions may result in the underlying common or preferred shares purchasable upon exercise of the subscription rights being less attractive to investors at the conclusion of the subscription period. This may reduce or eliminate the value of the subscription rights. Investors who receive subscription rights may find that there is no market to sell rights they do not wish to exercise. If investors exercise only a portion of the rights, the number of common or preferred shares issued may be reduced, and the common or preferred shares may trade at less favorable prices than larger offerings for similar securities. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risk to Holders of Subscription Rights” in the Prospectus.

  Dilution. Shareholders who do not exercise their subscription rights may, at the completion of such an offering, own a smaller proportional interest in the Fund than if they exercised their subscription rights. As a result of such an offering, a shareholder may experience dilution in net asset value per share if the subscription price per share is below the net asset value per share on the expiration date. If the subscription price per share is below the net asset value per share of the Fund’s shares on the expiration date, a shareholder will experience an immediate dilution of the aggregate net asset value of such shareholder’s shares if the shareholder does not participate in such an offering and the shareholder will experience a reduction in the net asset value per share of such shareholder’s shares whether or not the shareholder participates in such an offering. The Fund cannot state precisely the extent of this dilution (if any) if the shareholder does not exercise such shareholder’s subscription rights because the Fund does not know what the net asset value per share will be when the offer expires or what proportion of the subscription rights will be exercised.

 



 

22


Table of Contents
  Long Term Objective; Not a Complete Investment Program. The Fund is intended for investors seeking long term growth of capital. The Fund is not meant to provide a vehicle for those who wish to play short term swings in the stock market. An investment in shares of the Fund should not be considered a complete investment program. Each shareholder should take into account the Fund’s investment objectives as well as the shareholder’s other investments when considering an investment in the Fund. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations— General Risks—Long Term Objective; Not a Complete Investment Program” in the Prospectus.
  Portfolio Turnover Risk. The investment policies of the Fund, including its strategy of writing covered call options on securities in its portfolio, may result in portfolio turnover that is higher than that of many investment companies. Increased portfolio turnover rates will result in higher costs from brokerage commissions, dealer-mark-ups and other transaction costs and may also may decrease the after-tax return to individual investors in the Fund to the extent it results in a decrease in the portion of the Fund’s distributions that is attributable to long-term capital gain. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Portfolio Turnover Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Management Risk. The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. The Investment Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations— General Risks—Management Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Non-Diversified Status. The Fund is classified as a “non-diversified” investment company under the 1940 Act, which means the Fund is not limited by the 1940 Act in the proportion of its assets that may be invested in the securities of a single issuer. As a non-diversified investment company, the Fund may invest in the securities of individual issuers to a greater degree than a diversified investment company. As a result, the Fund may be more vulnerable to events affecting a single issuer and therefore, subject to greater volatility than a fund that is more broadly diversified. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund may present greater risk to an investor than an investment in a diversified company.
  Dependence on Key Personnel. The Fund is dependent upon the expertise of Vincent Hugonnard-Roche as the sole option strategist on the Fund’s portfolio management team. If the Fund were to lose the services of Mr. Roche, it could be temporarily adversely affected until a suitable replacement could be found. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations— General Risks—Dependence on Key Personnel” in the Prospectus.

 



 

23


Table of Contents
 

Market Disruption and Geopolitical Risk. The occurrence of events similar to those in recent years, such as the aftermath of the war in Iraq, instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Russia, Ukraine and the Middle East, ongoing epidemics of infectious diseases in certain parts of the world, terrorist attacks in the U.S. and around the world, social and political discord, debt crises (such as the Greek crisis), sovereign debt downgrades, continued tensions between North Korea and the United States and the international community generally, new and continued political unrest in various countries, such as Venezuela, the exit or potential exit of one or more countries from the EU or the EMU, the change in the U.S. president and the new administration, among others, may result in market volatility, may have long term effects on the U.S. and worldwide financial markets, and may cause further economic uncertainties in the U.S. and worldwide.

 

As a consequence of the United Kingdom’s vote to withdraw from the EU, the government of the United Kingdom gave notice of its withdrawal from the EU (“Brexit”). As a result of this decision, the financial markets experienced high levels of volatility and it is likely that, in the near term, Brexit will continue to bring about higher levels of uncertainty and volatility. During this period of uncertainty, the negative impact on not only the United Kingdom and European economies, but the broader global economy, could be significant, potentially resulting in increased volatility and illiquidity and lower economic growth for companies that rely significantly on Europe for their business activities and revenues. It is possible that certain economic activity will be curtailed until some signs of clarity begin to emerge, including negotiations around the terms for United Kingdom’s exit out of the EU. Any further exits from the EU, or the possibility of such exits, would likely cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties.

 

The occurrence of any of these above events could have a significant adverse impact on the value and risk profile of the Fund’s portfolio. The Fund does not know how long the securities markets may be affected by similar events and cannot predict the effects of similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets. There can be no assurance that similar events and other market disruptions will not have other material and adverse implications. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Market Disruption and Geopolitical Risk” in the Prospectus.

  Economic Events and Market Risk. Periods of market volatility remain, and may continue to occur in the future, in response to various political, social and economic events both within and outside of the United States. These conditions have resulted in, and in many cases continue to result in, greater price volatility, less liquidity, widening credit spreads and a lack of price transparency, with many securities remaining illiquid and of uncertain value. Such market conditions may make valuation of some of the Fund’s securities uncertain and/or result in sudden and significant valuation increases or declines in its holdings. If there is a significant decline in the value of the Fund’s portfolio, this may impact the asset coverage levels for the Fund’s outstanding leverage.

 



 

24


Table of Contents
 

Risks resulting from any future debt or other economic crisis could also have a detrimental impact on the global economic recovery, the financial condition of financial institutions and our business, financial condition and results of operation. Downgrades to the credit ratings of major banks could result in increased borrowing costs for such banks and negatively affect the broader economy. Moreover, Federal Reserve policy, including with respect to certain interest rates, may also adversely affect the value, volatility and liquidity of dividend- and interest-paying securities. Market volatility, rising interest rates and/or a return to unfavorable economic conditions could impair the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives.

 

See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Economic Events and Market Risk” in the Prospectus.

  Government Intervention in Financial Markets Risk. The U.S. government and certain foreign governments have in the past taken actions designed to support certain financial institutions and segments of the financial markets that have experienced extreme volatility, and in some cases a lack of liquidity, including through direct purchases of equity and debt securities. Federal, state, and other governments, their regulatory agencies or self-regulatory organizations may take actions that affect the regulation of the issuers in which the Fund invests, or the issuers of such securities, in ways that are unforeseeable. Legislation or regulation may also change the way in which the Fund is regulated. Such legislation or regulation could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Government Intervention in Financial Markets Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Inflation Risk. Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be worth less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the real value of the Fund’s shares and distributions thereon can decline. In addition, during any periods of rising inflation, dividend rates of any debt securities issued by the Fund would likely increase, which would tend to further reduce returns to common shareholders. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations— General Risks—Inflation Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Deflation Risk. Deflation risk is the risk that prices throughout the economy decline over time, which may have an adverse effect on the market valuation of companies, their assets and their revenues. In addition, deflation may have an adverse effect on the creditworthiness of issuers and may make issuer default more likely, which may result in a decline in the value of the Fund’s portfolio.
  Restricted and Illiquid Securities Risk. Unregistered securities are securities that cannot be sold publicly in the United States without registration under Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”). An illiquid investment is a security or other investment that cannot be

 



 

25


Table of Contents
  disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the value at which the Fund has valued the investment. Unregistered securities often can be resold only in privately negotiated transactions with a limited number of purchasers or in a public offering registered under the Securities Act. Considerable delay could be encountered in either event and, unless otherwise contractually provided for, the Fund’s proceeds upon sale may be reduced by the costs of registration or underwriting discounts. The difficulties and delays associated with such transactions could result in the Fund’s inability to realize a favorable price upon disposition of unregistered securities, and at times might make disposition of such securities impossible. The Fund may be unable to sell illiquid investments when it desires to do so, resulting in the Fund obtaining a lower price or being required to retain the investment. Illiquid investments generally must be valued at fair value, which is inherently less precise than utilizing market values for liquid investments, and may lead to differences between the price at which a security is valued for determining the Fund’s net asset value and the price the Fund actually receives upon sale. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations— General Risks—Restricted and Illiquid Securities Risk” in the Prospectus.
  Investment Companies. The Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds, to the extent permitted by law. To the extent the Fund invests in the common equity of investment companies, the Fund will bear its ratable share of any such investment company’s expenses, including management fees. The Fund will also remain obligated to pay management fees to the Investment Adviser with respect to the assets invested in the securities of other investment companies. In these circumstances, holders of the Fund’s common shares will be in effect subject to duplicative investment expenses. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—General Risks—Investment Companies” in the Prospectus.
  Status as a Regulated Investment Company. The Fund has elected to qualify as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. Qualification requires, among other things, compliance by the Fund with certain distribution requirements. Statutory limitations on distributions on the common shares if the Fund fails to satisfy the 1940 Act’s asset coverage requirements could jeopardize the Fund’s ability to meet such distribution requirements. While the Fund presently intends to purchase or redeem notes or preferred shares, if any, to the extent necessary in order to maintain compliance with such asset coverage requirements, there can be no assurance that such actions can be effected in time to meet the Code’s requirements. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations— General Risks—Status as a Regulated Investment Company” in the Prospectus.
  Anti-takeover Provisions. The Governing Documents include provisions that could limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund or convert the Fund to an open-end fund. See “Anti-Takeover Provisions of the Governing Documents” in the Prospectus.

 



 

26


Table of Contents
Management and Fees  

The Investment Adviser’s fee is computed weekly and paid monthly at the annual rate of 1.00% of the Fund’s average weekly net assets. Net assets are total assets minus the sum of the Fund’s liabilities (such liabilities will exclude the aggregate liquidation preference of outstanding preferred shares and accumulated dividends, if any, on those shares and the outstanding principal amount of any debt securities the proceeds of which were used for investment purposes, plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon). Therefore, the Fund will pay an advisory fee on any assets attributable to leverage it uses. The investment advisory agreement between the Fund and the Investment Adviser combines investment advisory and administrative responsibilities in one agreement.

 

Because the investment advisory fees are based on a percentage of managed assets, which includes assets attributable to the Fund’s use of leverage, the Investment Adviser may have a conflict of interest in the input it provides to the Board regarding whether to use or increase the Fund’s use of leverage. The Board bases its decision, with input from the Investment Adviser, regarding whether and how much leverage to use for the Fund on its assessment of whether such use of leverage is in the best interests of the Fund, and the Board seeks to manage the Investment Adviser’s potential conflict of interest by retaining the final decision on these matters and by periodically reviewing the Fund’s performance and use of leverage.

  See “Management of the Fund” in the Prospectus.
Repurchase of Common Shares   The Board has authorized the Fund to consider the repurchase of its common shares in the open market when the common shares are trading at a discount of 10% or more from net asset value (or such other percentage as the Board may determine from time to time). Although the Board has authorized such repurchases, the Fund is not required to repurchase its common shares. In total through June 30, 2017, the Fund has repurchased and retired 250,613 common shares in the open market at an average price of $5.51 per share and at an average discount of approximately 14.25% from the Fund’s net asset value. Such repurchases are subject to certain notice and other requirements under the 1940 Act. See “Repurchase of Common Shares” in the Prospectus.
Anti-Takeover Provisions   Certain provisions of the Governing Documents may be regarded as “anti-takeover” provisions. Pursuant to these provisions, only one of three classes of Trustees is elected each year; super-majority voting requirements apply to the authorization of the conversion of the Fund from a closed-end to an open-end investment company or to the authorization of certain transactions between the Fund and a beneficial owner of more than 5% of any class of the Fund’s shares; advance notice to the Fund of any shareholder proposal is required; and any shareholder proposing the nomination or election of a person as a

 



 

27


Table of Contents
  Trustee must supply significant amounts of information designed to enable verification of whether such person satisfies the qualifications required of potential nominees to the Board. The overall effect of these provisions is to render more difficult the accomplishment of a merger with, or the assumption of control by, a principal shareholder. These provisions may have the effect of depriving the Fund’s common shareholders of an opportunity to sell their shares at a premium to the prevailing market price. The issuance of preferred shares could make it more difficult for the holders of common shares to avoid the effect of these provisions. See “Anti-Takeover Provisions of the Fund’s Governing Documents” in the Prospectus.

Custodian, Transfer Agent, Auction Agent and Dividend Disbursing Agent

  The Bank of New York Mellon, located at 135 Santilli Highway, Everett, Massachusetts 02149, serves as the custodian (the “Custodian”) of the Fund’s assets pursuant to a custody agreement. Under the custody agreement, the Custodian holds the Fund’s assets in compliance with the 1940 Act. For its services, the Custodian will receive a monthly fee paid by the Fund based upon, among other things, the average value of the total assets of the Fund, plus certain charges for securities transactions and out of pocket expenses.
  American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, located at 6201 15th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11219, serves as the Fund’s distribution disbursing agent, as agent under the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Reinvestment and Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan (the “Plan”), and as transfer agent and registrar with respect to the common shares of the Fund.

 



 

28


Table of Contents

SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES

The following table shows the Fund’s expenses, including preferred shares offering expenses, as a percentage of net assets attributable to common shares. All expenses of the Fund are borne, directly or indirectly, by the common shareholders.

 

Shareholder Transaction Expenses

  

Sales Load (as a percentage of offering price)

     1.54     (1) 

Offering Expenses Borne by the Fund (excluding Preferred Shares Offering Expenses) (as a percentage of offering price)

     0.63     (1) 

Dividend Reinvestment and Cash Purchase Plan Fees

  

Sale transactions

   $ 1.00     (2) 

Preferred Shares Offering Expenses Borne by the Fund (as a percentage of net assets attributable to common shares)

     0.10 %(3) 

 

     Percentage of Net
Assets  Attributable
to Common Shares
 

Annual Expenses (as a percentage of net assets attributable to common shares)

  

Management Fees

     1.17 %(4) 

Interest Payments on Borrowed Funds

     None     (5) 

Other Expenses

     0.21 %(6) 
  

 

 

 

Total Annual Expenses

     1.38

Dividends on Preferred Shares

     0.88 %(7) 
  

 

 

 

Total Annual Expenses and Dividends on Preferred Shares

     2.26
  

 

 

 

 

(1) Estimated maximum amount based on offering of $150 million in common shares and $50 million in preferred shares. The estimates assume a 1.00% sales load on common shares and $950,425 in common offering expenses, and 3.15% sales load on preferred shares and $291,755 in preferred offering expenses. The total sales load was estimated by adding together the dollar amount of the estimated sales loads on the estimated common and preferred share offerings, and dividing by the total maximum offering price of securities that may be sold pursuant to this registration statement. Sales load on preferred shares is an expense borne by the Fund and indirectly by the holders of its common shares. This estimated expense, which amounts to $1,575,000, based on the estimated preferred share offering amount of $50 million, is reflected in the expense example following this table, and reflects an expense to common shareholders that is estimated to equal 0.53% of net assets attributable to common shares, assuming net assets attributable to common shares of approximately $298.4 million (which includes issuance of $150 million in common shares). Actual sales loads and offering expenses may be higher or lower than these estimates and will be set forth in the Prospectus Supplement if applicable. The Fund does not currently intend to issue notes during the one year following the date of this Prospectus.
(2) Shareholders participating in the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan do not incur any additional fees. Shareholders participating in the Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan would pay their pro rata share of brokerage commissions to purchase shares and $1.00 per transaction plus their pro rata share of brokerage commissions to sell shares. See “Automatic Dividend Reinvestment and Voluntary Cash Purchase Plans.”
(3) Assumes issuance of $50 million in liquidation preference of Fixed Rate Preferred Shares, net assets attributable to common shares of approximately $298.4 million (which includes issuance of $150 million in common shares) and $291,755 in preferred offering expenses. The actual amounts in connection with any offering will be set forth in the Prospectus Supplement if applicable.

 



 

29


Table of Contents
(4) The Investment Adviser’s fee is 1.00% of the Fund’s average weekly net assets including proceeds attributable to any outstanding preferred shares, with no deduction for liquidation preference of any preferred shares, and the outstanding principal amount of any debt securities the proceeds of which were used for investment purposes. Consequently, if the Fund has preferred shares or debt outstanding, the investment management fees and other expenses as a percentage of net assets attributable to common shares may be higher than if the Fund does not utilize a leveraged capital structure.
(5) The Fund has no current intention of borrowing from a lender during the one year following the date of this Prospectus.
(6) “Other Expenses” are based on estimated amounts for the current year assuming completion of the proposed issuances.
(7) Dividends on Preferred Shares represent the distributions that would be made assuming $50 million of preferred shares is issued with a fixed dividend rate of 5.25%. There can, of course, be no guarantee that any preferred shares would be issued or, if issued, the terms thereof.

The purpose of the table above and the example below is to help you understand the various costs and expenses that you, as a shareholder, would bear directly or indirectly. For a more complete description of the various costs and expenses a common shareholder would bear in connection with the issuance and ongoing maintenance of any preferred shares or notes issued by the Fund, see “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Common Shares—Leverage Risk.”

The following example illustrates the expenses you would pay on a $1,000 investment in common shares, followed by a preferred share offering, assuming a 5% annual portfolio total return.* The expenses illustrated in the following example include the maximum estimated sales load on common shares of $10 and on preferred shares of $31.50, and estimated offering expenses of $4.16 from the issuance of $150 million in common shares and $50 million in preferred shares. The preferred shares sales load is spread over the Fund’s entire net assets attributable to common shares (assuming completion of the proposed issuances); therefore, the allocable portion of such sales load to a common shareholder making a $1,000 investment in these circumstances is estimated to be $5.30. The actual amounts in connection with any offering will be set forth in the Prospectus Supplement if applicable.

 

     1 Year      3 Years      5 Years      10 Years  

Total Expenses incurred

   $ 42      $ 89      $ 138      $ 274  

 

* The example should not be considered a representation of future expenses. The example is based on total Annual Expenses and Dividends on Preferred Shares shown in the table above and assumes that the amounts set forth in the table do not change and that all distributions are reinvested at net asset value. Actual expenses may be greater or less than those assumed. Moreover, the Fund’s actual rate of return may be greater or less than the hypothetical 5% return shown in the example.

The example includes Dividends of Preferred Shares. If Dividends on Preferred Shares were not included in the example calculation, the expenses for the 1-, 3-, 5- and 10-year periods in the table above would be as follows (based on the same assumptions as above): $33, $62, $94 and $182.

 



 

30


Table of Contents

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

The selected data below sets forth the per share operating performance and ratios for the period presented. The financial information was derived from and should be read in conjunction with the Financial Statements of the Fund and Notes thereto, which are incorporated by reference into the SAI. The financial information for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 have been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, whose unqualified report on such Financial Statements is incorporated by reference into the SAI. The financial information for the period ended June 30, 2017 is unaudited.

Selected data for a common share of beneficial interest outstanding throughout the period.

 

     Six Months Ended
June 30, 2017
(Unaudited)
  Year Ended
December 31,
2016
  Year Ended
December 31,
2015
  Year Ended
December 31,
2014
  Year Ended
December 31,
2013
  Year Ended
December 31,
2012

Operating Performance:

 

   

Net asset value, beginning of year

    $ 7.14     $ 6.49     $ 8.75     $ 10.91     $ 13.93     $ 15.06
   

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

 

Net investment income

      0.03       0.01       0.02       0.02       0.06       0.11

Net realized and unrealized gain/(loss) on investments, written options, and foreign currency transactions

      0.23       1.47       (1.44 )       (1.10 )       (1.58 )       0.44
   

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

 

Total from investment operations

      0.26       1.48       (1.42 )       (1.08 )       (1.52 )       0.55
   

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

 

Distributions to Common Shareholders:

 

   

Net investment income

      (0.02 )*       (0.03 )       (0.01 )       (0.02 )       (0.06 )       (0.10 )

Net realized short term gains

      (0.18 )*                               (1.05 )

Net realized long term gains

                                    (0.04 )

Return of capital

      (0.10 )*       (0.81 )       (0.83 )       (1.06 )       (1.44 )       (0.49 )
   

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

 

Total distributions to common shareholders

      (0.30 )       (0.84 )       (0.84 )       (1.08 )       (1.50 )       (1.68 )
   

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

 

Fund Share Transactions:

 

   

Increase/(Decrease) in net asset value from common share transactions

            0.01       0.00 (a)             (0.00 )(a)       0.00 (a)
   

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

 

Net Asset Value, End of Period

    $ 7.10     $ 7.14     $ 6.49     $ 8.75     $ 10.91     $ 13.93
   

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

 

NAV total return†

      3.65 %       23.53 %       (17.57 )%       (11.25 )%       (11.22 )%       3.90 %
   

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

 

Market value, end of period

    $ 6.76     $ 6.67     $ 5.73     $ 8.07     $ 10.02     $ 13.69
   

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

 

Investment total return††

      0.22 %       31.52 %       (19.98 )%       (10.48 )%       (16.78 )%       14.25 %
   

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

 

Ratios to Average Net Assets and Supplemental Data:

 

   

Net assets, end of period (in 000’s)

    $ 148,380     $ 149,032     $ 135,914     $ 184,118     $ 229,675     $ 290,964

Ratio of net investment income to average net assets

      0.76 %(b)       0.20 %       0.21 %       0.22 %       0.51 %       0.75 %

Ratio of operating expenses to average net assets (c)

      1.34 %(b)(d)       1.37 %(d)(e)       1.36 %(d)       1.25 %       1.22 %       1.17 %

Portfolio turnover rate

      114.2 %       183.0 %       58.0 %       101.5 %       81.5 %       51.6 %

 

Based on net asset value per share, adjusted for reinvestment of distributions at the net asset value per share on the ex-dividend dates. Total return for a period of less than one year is not annualized.
†† Based on market value per share, adjusted for reinvestment of distributions at prices obtained under the Fund’s dividend reinvestment plan. Total return for a period of less than one year is not annualized.

 



 

31


Table of Contents
* Based on year to date book income. Amounts are subject to change and recharacterization at year end.
(a) Amount represents less than $0.005 per share.
(b) Annualized.
(c) Ratio of operating expenses excluding interest and dividends on securities sold short to average net assets for the six months ended June 30, 2017 for the year ended December 31, 2016 was 1.33% and 1.36%, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012, the effect on the expense ratios was minimal.
(d) The Fund received credits from a designated broker who agreed to pay certain Fund operating expenses. For the six months ended June 30, 2017 and the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, there was no impact on the expense ratios.
(e) For the year ended December 31, 2016, the ratio of operating expenses to average net assets excluded dividend expense and service fees on securities sold short. Including dividend expense and service fees on securities sold short, to the year ended December 31, 2016, the ratio of operating expenses to average net assets should have been 1.39%.

 

     Period Ended
December 31,
2011(a)
 

Operating Performance:

  

Net asset value, beginning of year

   $ 19.06 (b) 
  

 

 

 

Net investment income

     0.02  

Net realized and unrealized gain/(loss) on investments, written options, and foreign currency transactions

     (2.76
  

 

 

 

Total from investment operations

     (2.74
  

 

 

 

Distributions to Common Shareholders:

  

Net investment income

     (0.05

Net realized short term gains

     (0.86

Net realized long term gains

     —    

Return of capital

     (0.35

Total distributions to common shareholders

     (1.26
  

 

 

 

Fund Share Transactions:

  

Increase/(Decrease) in net asset value from common share transactions

     0.00 (c) 
  

 

 

 

Net Asset Value, End of Period

   $ 15.06  
  

 

 

 

NAV total return†

     (15.00 )% 

Market value, end of period

   $ 13.44  

Investment total return††

     (27.46 )% 
  

 

 

 

Ratios to Average Net Assets and Supplemental Data:

  

Net assets, end of period (in 000’s)

   $ 310,777  

Ratio of net investment income to average net assets

     0.10

Ratio of operating expenses to average net assets

     1.17

Portfolio turnover rate

     37.5

 

Based on net asset value per share, adjusted for reinvestment of distributions at the net asset value per share on the ex-dividend dates. Total return for a period of less than one year is not annualized.
†† Based on market value per share, adjusted for reinvestment of distributions at prices obtained under the Fund’s dividend reinvestment plan. Total return for a period of less than one year is not annualized.
(a) The Fund commenced investment operations on January 27, 2011.
(b) The beginning of period NAV reflects a $0.04 reduction of costs associated with the initial public offering.
(c) Amount represents less than $0.005 per share.

 



 

32


Table of Contents

USE OF PROCEEDS

The Investment Adviser expects that it will initially invest the proceeds of the offering in high quality short term debt securities and instruments. The Investment Adviser anticipates that the investment of the proceeds will be made in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies as appropriate investment opportunities are identified, which is expected to substantially be completed within three months; however, changes in market conditions could result in the Fund’s anticipated investment period extending to as long as six months. This could occur because the Investment Adviser follows a value-oriented investment strategy; therefore market conditions could result in the Investment Adviser delaying the investment of proceeds if it believes the margin of risk in making additional investments is not favorable in light of its value-oriented investment strategy. See “Investment Objectives and Policies—Investment Methodology of the Fund” in the Prospectus. Depending on market conditions and operations, a portion of the proceeds to be identified in any relevant Prospectus Supplement any proceeds raised from this offering, may be used to pay distributions in accordance with the Fund’s distribution policy.

 



 

33


Table of Contents

THE FUND

The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on June 26, 2008. The Fund commenced investment operations on January 27, 2011. The Fund’s principal office is located at One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422.

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

Investment Objectives and Policies

The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide a high level of current income from interest, dividends and option premiums. The Fund’s secondary investment objective is to seek capital appreciation consistent with the Fund’s strategy and its primary objective.

To meet the objective of providing a high level of current income, the Fund intends to invest in income producing securities such as equity securities, convertible securities and other securities and earn short-term gains from a strategy of writing covered call options on equity securities in its portfolio. The Fund will seek dividend income through investments in equity securities such as common stock or convertible preferred stock. The Fund will seek interest income through investments in convertible or corporate bonds.

Under normal market conditions, the Fund will attempt to achieve its objectives by investing at least 80% of its assets, which includes the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities of companies principally engaged in the natural resources and gold industries. The Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in the securities of companies principally engaged in the group of industries that constitute the natural resources industries, which includes companies principally engaged in the exploration, production or distribution of natural resources, such as metals (including both precious metals—such as silver and platinum—and base (i.e., non-precious) metals—such as copper, lead, nickel and zinc), paper, food, agriculture, forestry products, water, gas, oil, sustainable energy and other commodities as well as related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers (“Natural Resources Companies”). Related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers, such as agriculture transportation vehicles and farm equipment manufacturers, are vital components of the natural resource industry and are therefore included within the definition of Natural Resources Companies. The Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in the securities of companies principally engaged in the gold industry, which includes companies principally engaged in the exploration, mining, fabrication, processing, distribution or trading of gold or the financing, managing, controlling or operating of companies engaged in “gold-related” activities (“Gold Companies”). Companies principally engaged in the financing, managing, controlling or operating of companies engaged in “gold-related” activities include companies that own or receive royalties on the production of gold; such companies are vital components of the gold industry and are therefore included within the definition of Gold Companies.

The Fund may invest without limitation in the securities of domestic and foreign issuers. The Fund expects that its assets will usually be invested in several countries. To the extent that the natural resources and gold industries are concentrated in any given geographic region, such as Europe, North America, Latin America or Asia, a relatively high proportion of the Fund’s assets may be invested in that particular region.

Principally engaged, as used in this prospectus, means a company that derives at least 50% of its revenues or earnings from or devotes at least 50% of its assets to the indicated businesses.

Equity securities may include common stocks, preferred stocks, convertible securities, warrants, depositary receipts and equity interests in trusts and other entities. Other Fund investments may include investment

 



 

34


Table of Contents

companies, including exchange traded funds, securities of issuers subject to reorganization or other risk arbitrage investments, certain derivative instruments, debt (including obligations of the U.S. government) and money market instruments.

As part of its investment strategy, the Fund intends to provide current income from short-term gains earned through an option strategy which will normally consist of writing (selling) call options on equity securities in its portfolio (“covered calls”), but may, in amounts up to 15% of the Fund’s assets, consist of writing uncovered call options on securities not held by the Fund and indices comprised of Natural Resources Companies or Gold Companies or exchange-traded funds comprised of such issuers and writing put options on securities of Natural Resource Companies or Gold Companies. When the Fund sells a call option, it generates current income from short-term gains in the form of the premium paid by the buyer of the call option, but the Fund forgoes the opportunity to participate in any increase in the value of the underlying equity security above the exercise price of the option. When the Fund sells a put option, it generates current income from short-term gains in the form of the premium paid by the buyer of the put option, but the Fund will have the obligation to buy the underlying security at the exercise price if the price of the security decreases below the exercise price of the option. Any premiums received by the Fund from writing options may result in short-term capital gains.

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in “convertible securities,” i.e., securities (bonds, debentures, notes, stocks and other similar securities) that are convertible into common stock or other equity securities, and “income securities,” i.e., nonconvertible debt or equity securities having a history of regular payments or accrual of income to holders.

Under normal market conditions, the Fund may invest up to 35% of its assets in fixed-income securities. Short-term discounted Treasury Bills or certain short-term securities of U.S. government sponsored instrumentalities are not subject to this limitation. The Fund has no requirements as to maturity or duration of its fixed-income investments, and the Fund does not target any particular average duration or average maturity. The average duration and average maturity of the Fund’s fixed-income investments is expected to vary.

The Fund may invest up to 25% of its assets in “junk bonds” such as convertible debt securities (which generally are rated lower than investment grade) and fixed-income securities that are rated lower than investment grade, or not rated but of similar quality as determined by the Investment Adviser.

In selecting securities for the Fund, the Investment Adviser will use a bottom-up, value approach. The Investment Adviser will primarily focus on company-specific criteria rather than on political, economic or other country-specific factors.

No assurance can be given that the Fund will achieve its investment objectives. The Fund’s investment objectives and its policies of investing at least 25% of its assets in normal circumstances in Natural Resources Companies and in Gold Companies are fundamental policies that cannot be changed without the affirmative vote of a majority, as defined in the 1940 Act, of the outstanding voting securities (voting together as a single class) of the Fund (which for this purpose and under the 1940 Act means the lesser of (i) 67% of the shares represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the outstanding shares are represented or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares). If the Fund issues and has outstanding preferred shares, the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority, as defined in the 1940 Act, of the outstanding preferred shares of the Fund voting as a separate class (which for this purposes and under the 1940 Act means the lesser of (i) 67% of the preferred shares, as a single class, represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares are represented or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding preferred shares) would also be required to change a fundamental policy. Unless specifically stated as such, no other policy of the Fund is fundamental and each policy may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval and the Fund will provide notice to shareholders of material changes. The Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its total assets in in securities of

 



 

35


Table of Contents

companies principally engaged in the natural resources and gold industries may be changed by the Board; however, if this policy changes, the Fund will provide shareholders at least 60 days’ written notice before implementation of the change in compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission” or “SEC”) rules.

The percentage and ratings limitations stated herein and in the SAI apply only at the time of investment and are not considered violated as a result of subsequent changes to the value, or downgrades to the ratings, of the Fund’s portfolio investments.

Gabelli Funds, LLC, a New York limited liability company, with offices at One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422, serves as investment adviser to the Fund.

Investment Methodology of the Fund

In selecting securities for the Fund, the Investment Adviser normally considers the following factors, among others:

 

   

the industry of the issuer of a security;

 

   

the ability of the Fund to generate current income from short-term gains from writing covered call options on such securities;

 

   

the interest or dividend income generated by the securities;

 

   

the potential for capital appreciation of the securities;

 

   

the prices of the securities relative to other comparable securities;

 

   

whether the securities are entitled to the benefits of call protection or other protective covenants;

 

   

the existence of any anti-dilution protections or guarantees of the security; and

 

   

the number and size of investments of the portfolio as to issuers.

The Investment Adviser’s investment philosophy with respect to selecting investments in the gold industry and the natural resources industries is to emphasize quality and value, as determined by such factors as asset quality, balance sheet leverage, management ability, reserve life, cash flow, and commodity hedging exposure. In addition, in making stock selections, the Investment Adviser looks for securities that it believes may have a superior yield as well as capital gains potential.

Certain Investment Practices

Natural Resources Industries Concentration. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in Natural Resources Companies. “Natural Resources Companies” are those that are principally engaged in the exploration, production or distribution of natural resources, such as metals (including both precious metals—such as silver and platinum—and base (i.e., non-precious) metals—such as copper, lead, nickel and zinc), paper, food and agriculture, forestry products, gas, oil and other commodities as well as related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers. Related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers, such as agriculture transportation vehicles and farm equipment manufacturers, are vital components of the natural resource industry and are therefore included within the definition of Natural Resources Companies.

Principally engaged, as used in this Prospectus, means a company that derives at least 50% of its revenues or earnings or devotes at least 50% of its assets to natural resources or gold related activities, as the case may be.

 



 

36


Table of Contents

Gold Industry Concentration. Under normal market conditions the Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in Gold Companies. “Gold Companies” are those that are principally engaged in the exploration, mining, fabrication, processing, distribution or trading of gold, or the financing, managing, controlling or operating of companies engaged in “gold-related” activities. Companies principally engaged in the financing, managing, controlling or operating of companies engaged in “gold-related” activities include companies that own or receive royalties on the production of gold; such companies are vital components of the gold industry and are therefore included within the definition of Gold Companies. The Fund’s investments in Gold Companies will generally be in the common equity of Gold Companies, but the Fund may also invest in other securities of Gold Companies, such as preferred stocks, securities convertible into common stocks, and securities such as rights and warrants that have common stock characteristics. The Fund will not invest in gold bullion and therefore the Fund’s performance will not track directly the price of gold.

In selecting investments in Gold Companies for the Fund, the Investment Adviser will focus on stocks that are undervalued, but which appear to have favorable prospects for growth. Factors considered in this determination will include capitalization per ounce of gold production, capitalization per ounce of recoverable reserves, quality of management and ability to create shareholder wealth. Because most of the world’s gold production is outside of the United States, the Fund may have a significant portion of its investments in Gold Companies in securities of foreign issuers, including those located in developed as well as emerging markets. The percentage of Fund assets invested in particular countries or regions will change from time to time based on the Investment Adviser’s judgment. Among other things, the Investment Adviser will consider the economic stability and economic outlook of these countries and regions. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations — Industry Risks.”

Covered Calls and Other Option Transactions. The Fund intends to provide current income from short-term gains earned through an option strategy which will normally consist of writing (selling) call options on equity securities in its portfolio (“covered calls”), but may, in amounts up to 15% of the Fund’s assets, consist of writing uncovered call options on additional amounts of such securities beyond the amounts held in its portfolio, on other securities not held in its portfolio and on indices comprised of Natural Resources Companies or Gold Companies or on exchange traded funds comprised of such issuers and also may consist of writing put options on securities of Natural Resources Companies or Gold Companies. Any premiums received by the Fund from writing options may result in short-term capital gains. Writing a covered call is the selling of an option contract entitling the buyer to purchase an underlying security that the Fund owns, while writing an uncovered call is the selling of such a contract entitling the buyer to purchase a security the Fund does not own or in an amount in excess of the amount the Fund owns. When the Fund sells a call option, it generates current income from short-term gains in the form of the premium paid by the buyer of the call option, but the Fund forgoes the opportunity to participate in any increase in the value of the underlying equity security above the exercise price of the option. The writer of the call option has the obligation, upon exercise of the option, to deliver the underlying security or currency upon payment of the exercise price during the option period.

A put option is the reverse of a call option, giving the buyer the right, in return for a premium, to sell the underlying security to the writer, at a specified price, and obligating the writer to purchase the underlying security from the holder at that price. When the Fund sells a put option, it generates current income from short-term gains in the form of the premium paid by the buyer of the put option, but the Fund will have the obligation to buy the underlying security at the exercise price if the price of the security decreases below the exercise price of the option.

If the Fund has written a call option, it may terminate its obligation by effecting a closing purchase transaction. This is accomplished by purchasing a call option with the same terms as the option previously written. However, once the Fund has been assigned an exercise notice, the Fund will be unable to effect a closing purchase transaction. Similarly, if the Fund is the holder of an option, it may liquidate its position by effecting a

 



 

37


Table of Contents

closing sale transaction. This is accomplished by selling an option with the same terms as the option previously purchased. There can be no assurance that either a closing purchase or sale transaction can be effected when the Fund so desires.

The Fund will realize a profit from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is less than the premium it received from writing the option, or is more than the premium it paid to purchase the option; the Fund will realize a loss from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is more than the premium it received from writing the option, or is less than the premium it paid to purchase the option. Since call option prices generally reflect increases in the price of the underlying security, any loss resulting from the repurchase of a call option may also be wholly or partially offset by unrealized appreciation of the underlying security. Other principal factors affecting the market value of a put or a call option include supply and demand, interest rates, the current market price and price volatility of the underlying security and the time remaining until the expiration date of the option. Gains and losses on investments in options depend, in part, on the ability of the Investment Adviser to predict correctly the effect of these factors. The use of certain options transactions cannot serve as a complete hedge since the price movement of securities underlying certain options will not necessarily follow the price movements of the portfolio securities that may be subject to the hedge.

An option position may be closed out only on an exchange that provides a secondary market for an option with the same terms or in a private transaction. Although the Fund will generally purchase or write options for which there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option. In such event, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in particular options, in which case the Fund would have to exercise its options in order to realize any profit and would incur brokerage commissions upon the exercise of call options and upon the subsequent disposition of underlying securities for the exercise of put options.

Although the Investment Adviser will attempt to take appropriate measures to minimize the risks relating to the Fund’s writing and purchasing of put and call options, there can be no assurance that the Fund will succeed in any option-writing program it undertakes.

Uncovered Calls. When the Fund writes an uncovered call option or put option, it will segregate liquid assets with its custodian in an amount equal to the amount, adjusted daily, by which such option is in the money or will treat the unsegregated amount as borrowings. See “— Leverage” and “Risk Factors and Special Considerations — Risks Associated with Uncovered Calls.”

Foreign Securities. The Fund may invest in securities principally traded in securities markets outside the United States. Foreign investments may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and in exchange control regulations. There may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than about a U.S. company, and foreign companies may not be subject to accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. Securities of some foreign companies may be less liquid or more volatile than securities of U.S. companies, and foreign brokerage commissions and custodian fees are generally higher than in the United States. Investments in foreign securities may also be subject to other risks different from those affecting U.S. investments, including local political or economic developments, expropriation or nationalization of assets and imposition of withholding taxes on dividend or interest payments.

American Depositary Receipts. The Fund may invest in American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”). Such investment may entail certain risks similar to foreign securities. ADRs are certificates representing an ownership interest in a security or a pool of securities issued by a foreign issuer and deposited with the depositary, typically a bank, and held in trust for the investor. The economies of many of the countries in which the issuer of a security underlying an ADR principally engages in business may not be as developed as the United States’

 



 

38


Table of Contents

economy and may be subject to significantly different forces. Political or social instability, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, and limitations on the removal of funds or other assets could adversely affect the value of the Fund’s investments in such securities. The value of the securities underlying ADRs could fluctuate as exchange rates change between U.S. dollars and the currency of the country in which the foreign company is located. In addition, foreign companies are not registered with the SEC and are generally not subject to the regulatory controls imposed on United States issuers and, as a consequence, there is generally less publicly available information about foreign companies than is available about domestic companies. Foreign companies are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to domestic companies.

Emerging Market Countries. The risks described above for foreign securities, including the risks of nationalization and expropriation of assets, are typically increased to the extent that the Fund invests in companies headquartered in developing, or emerging market, countries. Investments in securities of companies headquartered in such countries may be considered speculative and subject to certain special risks. The political and economic structures in many of these countries may be in their infancy and developing rapidly, and such countries may lack the social, political and economic characteristics of more developed countries. Certain of these countries have in the past failed to recognize private property rights and have at times nationalized and expropriated the assets of private companies. Some countries have inhibited the conversion of their currency to another. The currencies of certain emerging market countries have experienced devaluation relative to the U.S. dollar, and future devaluations may adversely affect the value of the Fund’s assets denominated in such currencies. Some emerging market countries have experienced substantial rates of inflation for many years. Continued inflation may adversely affect the economies and securities markets of such countries. In addition, unanticipated political or social developments may affect the value of the Fund’s investments in these countries and the availability of the Fund of additional investments in these countries. The small size, limited trading volume and relative inexperience of the securities markets in these countries may make the Fund’s investments in such countries illiquid and more volatile than investments in more developed countries, and the Fund may be required to establish special custodial or other arrangements before making investments in these countries. There may be little financial or accounting information available with respect to companies located in these countries, and it may be difficult as a result to assess the value or prospects of an investment in such companies.

Restricted and Illiquid Securities. The Fund may invest in securities that are illiquid. Illiquid securities include securities legally restricted as to resale, such as commercial paper issued pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act and securities eligible for resale pursuant to Rule 144A thereunder. Section 4(a)(2) and Rule 144A securities may, however, be treated as liquid by the Investment Adviser pursuant to procedures adopted by the Board, which require consideration of factors such as trading activity, availability of market quotations and number of dealers willing to purchase the security. If the Fund invests in Rule 144A securities, the level of portfolio illiquidity may be increased to the extent that eligible buyers become uninterested in purchasing such securities.

It may be difficult to sell such securities at a price representing their fair value until such time as such securities may be sold publicly. Where registration is required, a considerable period may elapse between a decision to sell the securities and the time when the Fund would be permitted to sell. Thus, the Fund may not be able to obtain as favorable a price as that prevailing at the time of the decision to sell. The Fund may also acquire securities through private placements under which it may agree to contractual restrictions on the resale of such securities. Such restrictions might prevent their sale at a time when such sale would otherwise be desirable.

Income Securities. Income securities include (i) fixed income securities such as bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stock, short term discounted Treasury Bills or certain securities of the U.S. government sponsored instrumentalities, as well as money market open-end funds that invest in those securities, which, in the absence of an applicable exemptive order, will not be affiliated with the Investment Adviser, and (ii) common stocks of

 



 

39


Table of Contents

issuers that have historically paid periodic dividends. Fixed income securities obligate the issuer to pay to the holder of the security a specified return, which may be either fixed or reset periodically in accordance with the terms of the security. Fixed income securities generally are senior to an issuer’s common stock and their holders generally are entitled to receive amounts due before any distributions are made to common shareholders. Common stocks, on the other hand, generally do not obligate an issuer to make periodic distributions to holders.

The market value of fixed income securities, especially those that provide a fixed rate of return, may be expected to rise and fall inversely with interest rates and in general is affected by the credit rating of the issuer, the issuer’s performance and perceptions of the issuer in the market place. The market value of callable or redeemable fixed income securities may also be affected by the issuer’s call and redemption rights. In addition, it is possible that the issuer of fixed income securities may not be able to meet its interest or principal obligations to holders. Further, holders of non-convertible fixed income securities do not participate in any capital appreciation of the issuer.

The Fund may also invest in obligations of government sponsored instrumentalities. Unlike non-U.S. government securities, obligations of certain agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. government, such as the Government National Mortgage Association, are supported by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government; others, such as those of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; others, such as those of the Federal National Mortgage Association, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase the agency’s obligations; and still others, such as those of the Student Loan Marketing Association, are supported only by the credit of the instrumentality. No assurance can be given that the U.S. government would provide financial support to U.S. government sponsored instrumentalities if it is not obligated to do so by law.

The Fund also may invest in common stock of issuers that have historically paid periodic dividends or otherwise made distributions to common shareholders. Unlike fixed income securities, dividend payments generally are not guaranteed and so may be discontinued by the issuer at its discretion or because of the issuer’s inability to satisfy its liabilities. Further, an issuer’s history of paying dividends does not guarantee that it will continue to pay dividends in the future. In addition to dividends, under certain circumstances the holders of common stock may benefit from the capital appreciation of the issuer.

Common stocks represent the residual ownership interest in the issuer and holders of common stock are entitled to the income and increase in the value of the assets and business of the issuer after all of its debt obligations and obligations to preferred shareholders 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.

Non-Investment Grade Securities. The Fund may invest up to 25% of its assets in “junk bonds” such as convertible debt securities (which generally are rated lower than investment grade) and fixed-income securities that are rated lower than investment grade, or not rated but of similar quality as determined by the Investment Adviser. These securities, which may be preferred shares or debt, are predominantly speculative and involve major risk exposure to adverse conditions. Securities that are rated lower than “BBB” by S&P, or lower than “Baa” by Moody’s or unrated securities considered by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable quality, are commonly referred to by the financial press as “junk bonds” or “high yield” securities.

Generally, such non-investment grade securities and unrated securities of comparable quality offer a higher current yield than is offered by higher rated securities, but also (i) will likely have some quality and protective characteristics that, in the judgment of the rating organizations, are outweighed by large uncertainties or major risk exposures to adverse conditions and (ii) are predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to

 



 

40


Table of Contents

pay interest and repay principal in accordance with the terms of the obligation. The market values of certain of these securities also tend to be more sensitive to individual corporate developments and changes in economic conditions than higher quality securities. In addition, such non-investment grade securities and comparable unrated securities generally present a higher degree of credit risk. The risk of loss due to default by these issuers is significantly greater because such non-investment grade securities and unrated securities of comparable quality generally are unsecured and frequently are subordinated to the prior payment of senior indebtedness. In light of these risks, the Investment Adviser, in evaluating the creditworthiness of an issue, whether rated or unrated, will take various factors into consideration, which may include, as applicable, the issuer’s operating history, financial resources and its sensitivity to economic conditions and trends, the market support for the facility financed by the issue, the perceived ability and integrity of the issuer’s management and regulatory matters.

In addition, the market value of securities in non-investment grade categories is more volatile than that of higher quality securities, and the markets in which such lower grade or unrated securities are traded are more limited than those in which higher rated securities are traded. The existence of limited markets may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing its portfolio and calculating its net asset value. Moreover, the lack of a liquid trading market may restrict the availability of securities for the Fund to purchase and may also have the effect of limiting the ability of the Fund to sell securities at their fair value to respond to changes in the economy or the financial markets.

Non-investment grade and unrated securities of comparable quality also present risks based on payment expectations. If an issuer calls the obligation for redemption (often a feature of fixed income securities), the Fund may have to replace the security with a lower yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. Also, as the principal value of bonds moves inversely with movements in interest rates, in the event of rising interest rates the value of the securities held by the Fund may decline proportionately more than a portfolio consisting of higher rated securities. Investments in zero coupon bonds may be more speculative and subject to greater fluctuations in value due to changes in interest rates than bonds that pay interest currently. Interest rates are at historical lows and, therefore, it is likely that they will rise in the future.

The Fund may purchase securities of companies that are experiencing significant financial or business difficulties, including companies involved in bankruptcy or other reorganization and liquidation proceedings. Although such investments may result in significant financial returns to the Fund, they involve a substantial degree of risk. The level of analytical sophistication, both financial and legal, necessary for successful investments in issuers experiencing significant business and financial difficulties is unusually high. There can be no assurance that the Fund will correctly evaluate the value of the assets collateralizing its investments or the prospects for a successful reorganization or similar action. In any reorganization or liquidation proceeding relating to a portfolio investment, the Fund may lose all or part of its investment or may be required to accept collateral with a value less than the amount of the Fund’s initial investment.

As part of its investments in non-investment grade securities, the Fund may invest not more than 5% of the total assets of the Fund in securities of issuers in default. The Fund will make an investment in securities of issuers in default only when the Investment Adviser believes that such issuers will honor their obligations or emerge from bankruptcy protection and the value of these securities will appreciate. By investing in securities of issuers in default, the Fund bears the risk that these issuers will not continue to honor their obligations or emerge from bankruptcy protection or that the value of the securities will not appreciate.

In addition to using statistical rating agencies and other sources, the Investment Adviser will also perform its own analysis of issues in seeking investments that it believes to be underrated (and thus higher yielding) in light of the financial condition of the issuer. Its analysis of issuers may include, among other things, current and anticipated cash flow and borrowing requirements, value of assets in relation to historical cost, strength of

 



 

41


Table of Contents

management, responsiveness to business conditions, credit standing and current anticipated results of operations. In selecting investments for the Fund, the Investment Adviser may also consider general business conditions, anticipated changes in interest rates and the outlook for specific industries.

Subsequent to its purchase by the Fund, an issue of securities may cease to be rated or its rating may be reduced. In addition, it is possible that statistical rating agencies might change their ratings of a particular issue to reflect subsequent events on a timely basis. Moreover, such ratings do not assess the risk of a decline in market value. None of these events will require the sale of the securities by the Fund, although the Investment Adviser will consider these events in determining whether the Fund should continue to hold the securities.

Fixed income securities, including non-investment grade securities and comparable unrated securities, frequently have call or buy-back features that permit their issuers to call or repurchase the securities from their holders, such as the Fund. If an issuer exercises these rights during periods of declining interest rates, the Fund may have to replace the security with a lower yielding security, thus resulting in a decreased return for the Fund.

The market for non-investment grade and comparable unrated securities has at various times, particularly during times of economic recession, experienced substantial reductions in market value and liquidity. Past recessions have adversely affected the ability of certain issuers of such securities to repay principal and pay interest thereon. The market for those securities could react in a similar fashion in the event of any future economic recession.

Temporary Defensive Investments. When a temporary defensive posture is believed by the Investment Adviser to be warranted (“temporary defensive periods”), the Fund may without limitation hold cash or invest all or a portion of its assets in money market instruments and repurchase agreements in respect of those instruments. The money market instruments in which the Fund may invest are obligations of the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities; commercial paper rated “A-1” or higher by S&P or “Prime-1” by Moody’s; and certificates of deposit and bankers’ acceptances issued by domestic branches of U.S. banks that are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. During temporary defensive periods, the Fund may also invest to the extent permitted by applicable law in shares of money market mutual funds. Money market mutual funds are investment companies and the investments in those companies by the Fund are in some cases subject to certain fundamental investment restrictions and applicable law. As a shareholder in a mutual fund, the Fund will bear its ratable share of its expenses, including management fees, and will remain subject to payment of the fees to the Investment Adviser, with respect to assets so invested. The Fund may find it more difficult to achieve its investment objectives during temporary defensive periods.

When Issued, Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments. The Fund may enter into forward commitments for the purchase or sale of securities, including on a “when issued” or “delayed delivery” basis, in excess of customary settlement periods for the type of security involved. In some cases, a forward commitment may be conditioned upon the occurrence of a subsequent event, such as approval and consummation of a merger, corporate reorganization or debt restructuring, i.e., a when, as and if issued security. When such transactions are negotiated, the price is fixed at the time of the commitment, with payment and delivery taking place in the future, generally a month or more after the date of the commitment. While it will only enter into a forward commitment with the intention of actually acquiring the security, the Fund may sell the security before the settlement date if it is deemed advisable. Securities purchased under a forward commitment are subject to market fluctuation, and no interest (or dividends) accrues to the Fund prior to the settlement date.

Short Sales. The Fund may make short sales as a form of hedging to offset potential declines in long positions in the same or similar securities, including short sales of securities in the Fund’s portfolio at the time of sale (shorting “against the box”). The short sale of a security is considered a speculative investment technique. At the time of the sale, the Fund will own, or have the immediate and unconditional right to acquire at no additional cost, identical or similar securities or establish a hedge against a security of the same issuer which may involve additional cost, such as an “in the money” warrant.

 



 

42


Table of Contents

Short sales “against the box” are subject to special tax rules, one of the effects of which may be to accelerate the recognition of income by the Fund. Other than with respect to short sales against the box, the Fund will limit short sales of securities to not more than 5% of the Fund’s assets. When the Fund makes a short sale, it must deliver the security to the broker-dealer through which it made the short sale in order to satisfy its obligation to deliver the security upon conclusion of the sale.

If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash, U.S. government securities or other highly liquid debt securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited.

Repurchase Agreements. Repurchase agreements may be seen as loans by the Fund collateralized by underlying debt securities. Under the terms of a typical repurchase agreement, the Fund would acquire an underlying debt obligation for a relatively short period (usually not more than one week) subject to an obligation of the seller to repurchase, and the Fund to resell, the obligation at an agreed price and time. This arrangement results in a fixed rate of return to the Fund that is not subject to market fluctuations during the holding period. The Fund bears a risk of loss in the event that the other party to a repurchase agreement defaults on its obligations and the Fund is delayed in or prevented from exercising its rights to dispose of the collateral securities, including the risk of a possible decline in the value of the underlying securities during the period in which it seeks to assert these rights. The Investment Adviser, acting under the supervision of the Board, reviews the creditworthiness of those banks and dealers with which the Fund enters into repurchase agreements to evaluate these risks and monitors on an ongoing basis the value of the securities subject to repurchase agreements to ensure that the value is maintained at the required level. The Fund will not enter into repurchase agreements with the Investment Adviser or any of its affiliates.

Registered Investment Companies. The Fund may invest in registered investment companies in accordance with the 1940 Act to the extent consistent with the Fund’s investment objectives, including exchange traded funds that concentrate in investments in securities of companies in the natural resources or gold industries. The 1940 Act generally prohibits the Fund from investing more than 5% of its assets in any one other investment company or more than 10% of its assets in all other investment companies. However, many exchange-traded funds are exempt from these limitations.

Investment Restrictions. The Fund has adopted certain investment restrictions as fundamental policies of the Fund. Under the 1940 Act, a fundamental policy may not be changed without the vote of a majority, as defined in the 1940 Act, of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (voting together as a single class subject to class approval rights of any preferred shares). See “Investment Restrictions” in the SAI.

Portfolio Turnover. The Fund will buy and sell securities to accomplish its investment objectives. The investment policies of the Fund, including its strategy of writing covered call options on securities in its portfolio, may lead to frequent changes in investments, particularly in periods of rapidly fluctuating interest or currency exchange rates, and are expected to result in portfolio turnover that is higher than that of many investment companies, may initially be higher than 100% and may result in the Fund paying higher commissions than many investment companies.

Portfolio turnover generally involves some expense to the Fund, including brokerage commissions or dealer mark-ups and other transaction costs on the sale of securities and reinvestment in other securities. The portfolio turnover rate is computed by dividing the lesser of the amount of the securities purchased or securities sold by the average monthly value of securities owned during the year (excluding securities whose maturities at acquisition were one year or less). Higher portfolio turnover may decrease the after-tax return to individual investors in the Fund to the extent it results in a decrease of the long term capital gains portion of distributions to shareholders.

 



 

43


Table of Contents

For the years ended December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2016, the portfolio turnover rate of the Fund was 58.0% and 183.0%, respectively.

Further information on the investment objectives and policies of the Fund is set forth in the SAI.

Leverage

The Fund may use leverage, including as a result of any issuances of preferred shares or notes pursuant to an applicable Prospectus Supplement. As provided in the 1940 Act and subject to certain exceptions, the Fund may issue senior securities (which may be stock, such as preferred shares, and/or securities representing debt) only if immediately after such issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceeds 300% of the amount of the debt outstanding and exceeds 200% of the amount of preferred shares and debt outstanding. Any such preferred shares may be convertible in accordance with the SEC staff guidelines, which may permit the Fund to obtain leverage at attractive rates. The use of leverage magnifies the impact of changes in net asset value. In addition, if the cost of leverage exceeds the return on the securities acquired with the proceeds of leverage, the use of leverage will diminish rather than enhance the return to the Fund. The use of leverage generally increases the volatility of returns to the Fund. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Common Shares—Leverage Risk.”

In the event the Fund had both outstanding preferred shares and senior securities representing debt at the same time, the Fund’s obligations to pay dividends or distributions and, upon liquidation of the Fund, liquidation payments in respect of its preferred shares would be subordinate to the Fund’s obligations to make any principal and/or interest payments due and owing with respect to its outstanding senior debt securities. Accordingly, the Fund’s issuance of senior securities representing debt would have the effect of creating special risks for the Fund’s preferred shareholders that would not be present in a capital structure that did not include such securities.

Additionally, the Fund may enter into derivative transactions that have economic leverage embedded in them. Derivative transactions that the Fund may enter into and the risks associated with them are described elsewhere in this Prospectus and in the SAI. The Fund cannot assure you that investments in derivative transactions that have economic leverage embedded in them will result in a higher return on its common shares.

To the extent the terms of such transactions obligate the Fund to make payments, the Fund may earmark or segregate cash or liquid assets in an amount at least equal to the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions or otherwise cover such transactions in accordance with applicable interpretations of the staff of the SEC. If the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions is represented by the notional amounts of such investments, the Fund would segregate or earmark cash or liquid assets having a market value at least equal to such notional amounts, and if the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions is represented by the market value of the Fund’s current obligations, the Fund would segregate or earmark cash or liquid assets having a market value at least equal to such current obligations. To the extent the terms of such transactions obligate the Fund to deliver particular securities to extinguish the Fund’s obligations under such transactions the Fund may “cover” its obligations under such transactions by either (i) owning the securities or collateral underlying such transactions or (ii) having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities or collateral without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, having earmarked or segregated an appropriate amount of cash or liquid assets). Such earmarking, segregation or cover is intended to provide the Fund with available assets to satisfy its obligations under such transactions. As a result of such earmarking, segregation or cover, the Fund’s obligations under such transactions will not be considered senior securities representing indebtedness for purposes of the 1940 Act, or considered borrowings subject to the Fund’s limitations on borrowings discussed above, but may create leverage for the Fund. To the extent that the Fund’s obligations under such transactions are not so earmarked, segregated or covered, such obligations may be considered “senior securities representing indebtedness” under the 1940 Act and therefore subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement.

 



 

44


Table of Contents

These earmarking, segregation or cover requirements can result in the Fund maintaining securities positions it would otherwise liquidate, segregating or earmarking assets at a time when it might be disadvantageous to do so or otherwise restrict portfolio management.

Derivative Instruments

The Fund may also utilize other types of derivative instruments primarily for hedging or risk management purposes. These instruments include futures, forward contracts, options on such contracts and interest rate, total return and other kinds of swaps. For a further description of such derivative instruments, see “Investment Objectives and Policies — Additional Investment Policies” in the SAI.

Options. The Fund may, from time to time, subject to guidelines of the Board and the limitations set forth in the Prospectus, purchase or sell (i.e., write) options on securities, securities indices and foreign currencies which are listed on a national securities exchange or in the OTC market, as a means of achieving additional return or of hedging the value of the Fund’s portfolio.

A call option is a contract that gives the holder of the option the right to buy from the writer of the call option, in return for a premium, the security or currency underlying the option at a specified exercise price at any time during the term of the option. The writer of the call option has the obligation, upon exercise of the option, to deliver the underlying security or currency upon payment of the exercise price during the option period.

A put option is a contract that gives the holder of the option the right, in return for a premium, to sell to the seller the underlying security at a specified price. The seller of the put option has the obligation to buy the underlying security upon exercise at the exercise price.

A call option is “covered” if the Fund owns the underlying instrument covered by the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that instrument without additional cash consideration (or for additional cash consideration held in a segregated account by its custodian) upon conversion or exchange of other instruments held in its portfolio. A call option is also covered if the Fund holds a call option on the same instrument as the call option written where the exercise price of the call option held is (i) equal to or less than the exercise price of the call option written or (ii) greater than the exercise price of the call option written if the difference is maintained by the Fund in cash, U.S. government securities or other high-grade short-term obligations in a segregated account with its custodian. A call option is “uncovered” if the underlying security covered by the call is not held by the Fund. A put option is “covered” if the Fund maintains cash or other liquid securities with a value equal to the exercise price in a segregated account with its custodian, or else holds a put option on the same instrument as the put option written where the exercise price of the put option held is equal to or greater than the exercise price of the put option written.

If the Fund has written an option, it may terminate its obligation by effecting a closing purchase transaction. This is accomplished by purchasing an option of the same series as the option previously written. However, once the Fund has been assigned an exercise notice, the Fund will be unable to effect a closing purchase transaction. Similarly, if the Fund is the holder of an option it may liquidate its position by effecting a closing sale transaction. This is accomplished by selling an option of the same series as the option previously purchased. There can be no assurance that either a closing purchase or sale transaction can be effected when the Fund so desires.

The Fund will realize a profit from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is less than the premium received from writing the option, or is more than the premium paid to purchase the option; the Fund will realize a loss from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is more than the premium received from writing the option, or is less than the premium paid to purchase the option. Since call option prices

 



 

45


Table of Contents

generally reflect increases in the price of the underlying security, any loss resulting from the repurchase of a call option may also be wholly or partially offset by unrealized appreciation of the underlying security, and any gain resulting from the repurchase of a call option may also be wholly or partially offset by unrealized depreciation of the underlying security. Other principal factors affecting the market value of a put or a call option include supply and demand, interest rates, the current market price and price volatility of the underlying security and the time remaining until the expiration date of the option. Gains and losses on investments in options depend, in part, on the ability of the Investment Adviser to correctly predict the effect of these factors. The use of options cannot serve as a complete hedge since the price movement of securities underlying the options will not necessarily follow the price movements of the portfolio securities subject to the hedge.

An option position may be closed out only on an exchange that provides a secondary market for an option of the same series or in a private transaction. Although the Fund will generally purchase or write only those options for which there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option. In such event it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in particular options, in which case the Fund would have to exercise its options in order to realize any profit and would incur brokerage commissions upon the exercise of call options and upon the subsequent disposition of underlying securities for the exercise of put options. If the Fund, as a covered call option writer, is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it will not be able to sell the underlying security until the option expires or it delivers the underlying security upon exercise, or otherwise covers the position.

To the extent that the Fund purchases options pursuant to a hedging strategy, the Fund will be subject to the following additional risks. If a put or call option purchased by the Fund is not sold when it has remaining value, and if the market price of the underlying security remains equal to or greater than the exercise price (in the case of a put), or remains less than or equal to the exercise price (in the case of a call), the Fund will lose its entire investment in the option.

Where a put or call option on a particular security is purchased to hedge against price movements in that or a related security, the price of the put or call option may move more or less than the price of the security. If restrictions on exercise are imposed, the Fund may be unable to exercise an option it has purchased. If the Fund is unable to close out an option that it has purchased on a security, it will have to exercise the option in order to realize any profit, or the option may expire worthless.

Options on Securities Indices. The Fund may purchase and sell securities index options. One effect of such transactions may be to hedge all or part of the Fund’s securities holdings against a general decline in the securities market or a segment of the securities market. Options on securities indices are similar to options on stocks except that, rather than the right to take or make delivery of stock at a specified price, an option on a securities index gives the holder the right to receive, upon exercise of the option, an amount of cash if the closing level of the securities index upon which the option is based is greater than, in the case of a call option, or less than, in the case of a put option, the exercise price of the option.

The Fund’s successful use of options on indices depends upon its ability to predict the direction of the market and is subject to various additional risks. The correlation between movements in the index and the price of the securities being hedged against is imperfect and the risk from imperfect correlation increases as the composition of the Fund diverges from the composition of the relevant index. Accordingly, a decrease in the value of the securities being hedged against may not be wholly offset by a gain on the exercise or sale of a securities index put option held by the Fund.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures. The Fund may, enter into futures contracts or options on futures contracts. It is anticipated that these investments, if any, will be made by the Fund primarily for the

 



 

46


Table of Contents

purpose of hedging against changes in the value of its portfolio securities and in the value of securities it intends to purchase. Such investments will only be made if they are economically appropriate to the reduction of risks involved in the management of the Fund. In this regard, the Fund may enter into futures contracts or options on futures for the purchase or sale of securities indices or other financial instruments including but not limited to U.S. government securities.

A “sale” of a futures contract (or a “short” futures position) means the assumption of a contractual obligation to deliver the securities underlying the contract at a specified price at a specified future time. A “purchase” of a futures contract (or a “long” futures position) means the assumption of a contractual obligation to acquire the securities underlying the contract at a specified price at a specified future time. Certain futures contracts, including stock and bond index futures, are settled on a net cash payment basis rather than by the sale and delivery of the securities underlying the futures contracts.

No consideration will be paid or received by the Fund upon the purchase or sale of a futures contract. Initially, the Fund will be required to deposit with the broker an amount of cash or cash equivalents equal to approximately 1% to 10% of the contract amount (this amount is subject to change by the exchange or board of trade on which the contract is traded and brokers or members of such board of trade may charge a higher amount). This amount is known as the “initial margin” and is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the contract. Subsequent payments, known as “variation margin,” to and from the broker will be made daily as the price of the index or security underlying the futures contract fluctuates. At any time prior to the expiration of the futures contract, the Fund may elect to close the position by taking an opposite position, which will operate to terminate its existing position in the contract.

An option on a futures contract gives the purchaser the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a position in a futures contract at a specified exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option. Upon exercise of an option, the delivery of the futures position by the writer of the option to the holder of the option will be accompanied by delivery of the accumulated balance in the writer’s futures margin account attributable to that contract, which represents the amount by which the market price of the futures contract exceeds, in the case of a call, or is less than, in the case of a put, the exercise price of the option on the futures contract. The potential loss related to the purchase of an option on futures contracts is limited to the premium paid for the option (plus transaction costs). Because the value of the option purchased is fixed at the point of sale, there are no daily cash payments by the purchaser to reflect changes in the value of the underlying contract; however, the value of the option does change daily and that change would be reflected in the net assets of the Fund.

Futures and options on futures entail certain risks, including but not limited to the following: no assurance that futures contracts or options on futures can be offset at favorable prices; possible reduction of the yield of the Fund due to the use of hedging; possible reduction in value of both the securities hedged and the hedging instrument; possible lack of liquidity due to daily limits on price fluctuations; imperfect correlation between the contracts and the securities being hedged; losses from investing in futures transactions that are potentially unlimited; and the segregation requirements described below.

Limitations on the Purchase and Sale of Futures Contracts, Certain Options, and Swaps. Subject to the guidelines of the Board, the Fund may engage in “commodity interest” transactions (generally, transactions in futures, certain options, certain currency transactions, and certain types of swaps) only for bona fide hedging or other permissible transactions in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”). Pursuant to amendments by the CFTC to Rule 4.5 under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), the Investment Adviser has filed a notice of exemption from registration as a “commodity pool operator” with respect to the Fund. The Fund and the Investment Adviser are therefore not subject to registration or regulation as a commodity pool operator under the CEA. In addition, certain trading restrictions are applicable to the Fund as a result of this status. These trading restrictions permit the Fund to engage in commodity interest

 



 

47


Table of Contents

transactions that include (i) “bona fide hedging” transactions, as that term is defined and interpreted by the CFTC and its staff, without regard to the percentage of the Fund’s assets committed to margin and options premiums and (ii) non-bona fide hedging transactions, provided that the Fund does not enter into such non-bona fide hedging transactions if, immediately thereafter, either (a) the sum of the amount of initial margin deposits on the Fund’s existing futures positions or swaps positions and option or swaption premiums would exceed 5% of the market value of the Fund’s liquidating value, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such transactions, or (b) the aggregate net notional value of the Fund’s commodity interest transactions would not exceed 100% of the market value of the Fund’s liquidating value, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such transactions. In addition to meeting one of the foregoing trading limitations, the Fund may not market itself as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the futures, options or swaps markets. Therefore, in order to claim the Rule 4.5 exemption, the Fund is limited in its ability to invest in commodity futures, options, and certain types of swaps (including securities futures, broad based stock index futures, and financial futures contracts). As a result, the Fund is more limited in its ability to use these instruments than in the past, and these limitations may have a negative impact on the ability of the Investment Adviser to manage the Fund, and on the Fund’s performance. If the Investment Adviser were required to register as a commodity pool operator with respect to the Fund, compliance with additional registration and regulatory requirements would increase Fund expenses. Other potentially adverse regulatory initiatives could also develop.

Swaps. The Fund may enter into total rate of return, credit default or other types of swaps and related derivatives for the purpose of hedging and risk management. These transactions generally provide for the transfer from one counterparty to another of certain risks inherent in the ownership of a financial asset such as a common stock or debt instrument. Such risks include, among other things, the risk of default and insolvency of the obligor of such asset, the risk that the credit of the obligor or the underlying collateral will decline or the risk that the common stock of the underlying issuer will decline in value. The transfer of risk pursuant to a derivative of this type may be complete or partial, and may be for the life of the related asset or for a shorter period. These derivatives may be used as a risk management tool for a pool of financial assets, providing the Fund with the opportunity to gain or reduce exposure to one or more reference securities or other financial assets (each, a “Reference Asset”) without actually owning or selling such assets in order, for example, to increase or reduce a concentration risk or to diversify a portfolio. Conversely, these derivatives may be used by the Fund to reduce exposure to an owned asset without selling it.

Because the Fund would not own the Reference Assets, the Fund may not have any voting rights with respect to the Reference Assets, and in such cases all decisions related to the obligors or issuers of the Reference Assets, including whether to exercise certain remedies, will be controlled by the swap counterparties.

Total rate of return swap agreements are contracts in which one party agrees to make periodic payments to another party based on the change in market value of the assets underlying the contract, which may include a specified security, basket of securities or securities indices during the specified period, in return for periodic payments based on a fixed or variable interest rate or the total return from other underlying assets.

A credit default swap consists of an agreement between two parties in which the “buyer” agrees to pay to the “seller” a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract and the seller agrees to pay the buyer the par value (or other agreed-upon value) of a referenced debt obligation upon the occurrence of a credit event with respect to the issuer of the referenced debt obligation. Generally, a credit event means bankruptcy, failure to pay, obligation acceleration or modified restructuring. The Fund may be either the buyer or seller in a credit default swap. As the buyer in a credit default swap, the Fund would pay to the counterparty the periodic stream of payments. If no default occurs, the Fund would receive no benefit from the contract. As the seller in a credit default swap, the Fund would receive the stream of payments but would be subject to exposure on the notional amount of the swap, which it would be required to pay in the event of a credit event with respect to the issuer of

 



 

48


Table of Contents

the referenced debt obligation. Accordingly, if the Fund sells a credit default swap (or a credit default index swap), it intends at all times to segregate or designate on its books and records liquid assets in an amount at least equal to the notional amount of the swap (i.e., the cost of payment to the buyer if a credit event occurs).

The Fund may also enter into equity contract for difference swap transactions for the purpose of increasing the income of the Fund. In an equity contract for difference swap, a set of future cash flows is exchanged between two counterparties. One of these cash flow streams will typically be based on a reference interest rate combined with the performance of a notional value of shares of a stock. The other will be based on the performance of the shares of a stock. Depending on the general state of short term interest rates and the returns on the Fund’s portfolio securities at the time an equity contract for difference swap transaction reaches its scheduled termination date, there is a risk that the Fund will not be able to obtain a replacement transaction or that the terms of the replacement will not be as favorable as on the expiring transaction.

Total rate of return swaps and similar derivatives are subject to many risks, including the possibility that the market will move in a manner or direction that would have resulted in gain for the Fund had the swap or other derivative not been utilized (in which case it would have been better had the Fund not engaged in the hedging transactions), the risk of imperfect correlation between the risk sought to be hedged and the derivative transactions utilized, the possible inability of the counterparty to fulfill its obligations under the swap and potential illiquidity of the hedging instrument utilized, which may make it difficult for the Fund to close out or unwind one or more hedging transactions.

Total rate of return swaps and related derivatives are a relatively recent development in the financial markets. Consequently, there are certain legal, tax and market uncertainties that present risks in entering into such arrangements.

There is currently little or no case law or litigation characterizing total rate of return swaps or related derivatives, interpreting their provisions, or characterizing their tax treatment. In addition, additional regulations and laws may apply to these types of derivatives that have not previously been applied. There can be no assurance that future decisions construing similar provisions to those in any swap agreement or other related documents or additional regulations and laws will not have an adverse effect on the Fund that utilizes these instruments.

Further information on the investment objectives and policies of the Fund is set forth in the SAI.

RISK FACTORS AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Investors should consider the following risk factors and special considerations associated with investing in the Fund:

General Risks

Total Return Risk. The Fund utilizes several investment management techniques in an effort to generate positive total return. The risks of these techniques, such as option writing, concentration in certain industries, and investing in emerging markets, are described in the following paragraphs. Taken together these and other techniques represent a risk that the Fund will experience a negative total return even in market environments that are generally positive and that the Fund’s returns, both positive and negative, may be more volatile than if the Fund did not utilize these investment techniques.

Industry Risk. The Fund’s investments will be concentrated in the natural resources and gold industries. Because the Fund is concentrated in these industries, it may present more risks than if it were broadly diversified

 



 

49


Table of Contents

over numerous industries and sectors of the economy. A downturn in the natural resources or gold industries would have a larger impact on the Fund than on an investment company that does not concentrate in such industries.

The Fund invests in Natural Resources Companies. A downturn in the indicated natural resources industries would have a larger impact on the Fund than on an investment company that does not invest significantly in such industries. Such industries can be significantly affected by the supply of and demand for the indicated commodities and related services, exploration and production spending, government regulations, world events and economic conditions. The metals (including both precious metals—such as silver and platinum—and base (i.e., non-precious) metals—such as copper, lead, nickel and zinc), paper, food and agriculture, forestry products, water, gas, oil, sustainable energy and other commodities industries can be significantly affected by events relating to international political developments, the success of exploration projects, commodity prices, and tax and government regulations. The stock prices of Natural Resources Companies may also experience greater price volatility than other types of common stocks. Securities issued by Natural Resources Companies are sensitive to changes in the prices of, and in supply and demand for, the indicated commodities. The value of securities issued by Natural Resources Companies may be affected by changes in overall market movements, changes in interest rates, or factors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as weather, embargoes, tariffs, policies of commodity cartels and international economic, political and regulatory developments. The Investment Adviser’s judgments about trends in the prices of these securities and commodities may prove to be incorrect. It is possible that the performance of securities of Natural Resources Companies may lag the performance of other industries or the broader market as a whole.

The Fund also invests in Gold Companies. Securities of Gold Companies may experience greater volatility than companies not involved in the gold industries. Investments related to gold are considered speculative and are affected by a variety of worldwide economic, financial and political factors. The price of gold may fluctuate sharply, including substantial decreases, over short periods of time due to changes in inflation or expectations regarding inflation in various countries, the availability of supplies of gold, changes in industrial and commercial demand, gold sales by governments, central banks or international agencies, investment speculation, monetary and other economic policies of various governments and government restrictions on private ownership of gold. In times of significant inflation or great economic uncertainty, Gold Companies have at times outperformed securities markets generally. However, in times of stable economic growth, traditional equity and debt investments could offer greater appreciation potential and the value of gold and the prices of securities of Gold Companies may be adversely affected, which could in turn affect the Fund’s returns. Some Gold Companies hedge, to varying degrees, their exposure to declines in the price of gold. Such hedging limits a Gold Company’s ability to benefit from future rises in the price of gold. The Investment Adviser’s judgments about trends in the prices of securities of Gold Companies may prove to be incorrect. It is possible that the performance of securities of Gold Companies may lag the performance of other industries or the broader market as a whole.

Supply and Demand Risk. A decrease in the production of or exploration of, gold, metals (including both precious metals—such as silver and platinum—and base (i.e., non-precious) metals—such as copper, lead, nickel and zinc), paper, food and agriculture, forestry products, gas, oil and other commodities or a decrease in the volume of such commodities available for transportation, mining, processing, storage or distribution may adversely impact the financial performance of the Fund’s investments. Production declines and volume decreases could be caused by various factors, including catastrophic events affecting production, depletion of resources, labor difficulties, environmental proceedings, increased regulations, equipment failures and unexpected maintenance problems, import supply disruption, increased competition from alternative energy sources or commodity prices. Sustained declines in demand for the indicated commodities could also adversely affect the financial performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies over the long-term. Factors which could lead to a decline in demand include economic recession or other adverse economic conditions, higher fuel taxes or governmental regulations, increases in fuel economy, consumer shifts to the use of alternative fuel sources, changes in commodity prices, or weather.

 



 

50


Table of Contents

Depletion and Exploration Risk. Many Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies are either engaged in the production or exploration of particular commodities or are engaged in transporting, storing, distributing and processing such commodities. To maintain or increase their revenue level, these companies or their customers need to maintain or expand their reserves through exploration of new sources of supply, the development of existing sources, acquisitions, or long-term contracts to acquire reserves. The financial performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies may be adversely affected if they, or the companies to whom they provide products or services, are unable to cost effectively acquire additional products or reserves sufficient to replace the natural decline.

Regulatory Risk. Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies may be subject to extensive government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and in some cases the prices they may charge for the products and services they provide. Various governmental authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations and the permits issued under them, and violators are subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil fines, injunctions or both. Stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future, which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the financial performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies.

Commodity Pricing Risk. The operations and financial performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies may be directly affected by the prices of the indicated commodities, especially those Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies for whom the commodities they own are significant assets. Commodity prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in market and economic conditions, levels of domestic production, impact of governmental regulation and taxation, the availability of transportation systems and, in the case of oil and gas companies in particular, conservation measures and the impact of weather. Volatility of commodity prices, which may lead to a reduction in production or supply, may also negatively affect the performance of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies which are solely involved in the transportation, processing, storing, distribution or marketing of commodities. Volatility of commodity prices may also make it more difficult for Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies to raise capital to the extent the market perceives that their performance may be directly or indirectly tied to commodity prices.

Catastrophe Risk. The operations of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies are subject to many hazards inherent in the development of energy infrastructure and the acquisition, exploration, production, mining, processing (including fractionating), refining, transportation (including trans-loading), storage, servicing or marketing of natural resources, including, but not limited to, crude oil, refined products, petrochemicals, natural gas, natural gas liquids, coal, metals and renewable energy sources, including damage to production equipment, pipelines, storage tanks or related equipment and surrounding properties caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and other natural disasters or by acts of terrorism; inadvertent damage from construction or other equipment; leaks of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined petroleum products or other hydrocarbons; and fires and explosions. These risks could result in substantial losses due to personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to and destruction of property and equipment and pollution or other environmental damage, and might result in the curtailment or suspension of their related operations. Not all Natural Resources Companies or Gold Companies are fully insured against all risks inherent to their businesses. If a significant accident or event occurs that is not fully insured, it could adversely affect a Natural Resources Company’s or Gold Company’s operations and financial condition.

Interest Rate Risk for Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies. The prices of the equity and debt securities of the Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies that the Fund holds in its portfolio are susceptible in the short term to decline when interest rates rise. Rising interest rates could limit the capital appreciation of securities of certain investments as a result of the increased availability of alternative investments with yields comparable to those investments. Rising interest rates could adversely affect the financial performance

 



 

51


Table of Contents

of Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies generally by increasing their cost of capital. This may reduce their ability to execute acquisitions or expansion projects in a cost-effective manner. The risk of rising interest rates may be more pronounced because certain rates are near historical lows.

Risks Associated with Covered Calls and Other Option Transactions. There are several risks associated with transactions in options on securities. For example, there are significant differences between the securities and options markets that could result in an imperfect correlation between these markets, causing a given covered call option transaction not to achieve its objectives. A decision as to whether, when and how to use covered calls (or other options) involves the exercise of skill and judgment, and even a well-conceived transaction may be unsuccessful because of market behavior or unexpected events. The use of options may require the Fund to sell portfolio securities at inopportune times or for prices other than current market values, may limit the amount of appreciation the Fund can realize on an investment, or may cause the Fund to hold a security it might otherwise sell. As the writer of a covered call option, the Fund forgoes, during the option’s life, the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the security covering the call option above the exercise price of the call option, but has retained the risk of loss should the price of the underlying security decline. Although such loss would be offset in part by the option premium received, in a situation in which the price of a particular stock on which the Fund has written a covered call option declines rapidly and materially or in which prices in general on all or a substantial portion of the stocks on which the Fund has written covered call options decline rapidly and materially, the Fund could sustain material depreciation or loss in its net assets to the extent it does not sell the underlying securities (which may require it to terminate, offset or otherwise cover its option position as well). The writer of an option has no control over the time when it may be required to fulfill its obligation as a writer of the option. Once an option writer has received an exercise notice, it cannot effect a closing purchase transaction in order to terminate its obligation under the option and must deliver the underlying security at the exercise price.

There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist when the Fund seeks to close out an option position. Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market for exchange-traded options include the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening transactions or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the trading facilities of an exchange or the Options Clearing Corporation (the “OCC”) may not be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) the relevant exchange could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options). If trading were discontinued, the secondary market on that exchange (or in that class or series of options) would cease to exist. However, outstanding options on that exchange that had been issued by the OCC as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms. The Fund’s ability to terminate over-the-counter options may be more limited than with exchange-traded options and may involve the risk that counterparties participating in such transactions will not fulfill their obligations. If the Fund were unable to close out a covered call option that it had written on a security, it would not be able to sell the underlying security unless the option expired without exercise.

The hours of trading for options may not conform to the hours during which the underlying securities are traded. To the extent that the options markets close before the markets for the underlying securities, significant price and rate movements can take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the options markets. Call options are marked to market daily and their value will be affected by changes in the value of and dividend rates of the underlying common stocks, an increase in interest rates, changes in the actual or perceived volatility of the stock market and the underlying common stocks and the remaining time to the options’ expiration. Additionally, the exercise price of an option may be adjusted downward before the option’s expiration as a result of the occurrence of certain corporate events affecting the underlying equity security, such as extraordinary dividends, stock splits, merger or other extraordinary distributions or events. A reduction in the exercise price of an option would reduce the Fund’s capital appreciation potential on the underlying security.

 



 

52


Table of Contents

Limitation on Covered Call Writing Risk. The number of covered call options the Fund can write is limited by the number of shares of the corresponding common stock the Fund holds. Furthermore, the Fund’s covered call options and other options transactions will be subject to limitations established by each of the exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities on which such options are traded. These limitations govern the maximum number of options in each class which may be written or purchased by a single investor or group of investors acting in concert, regardless of whether the options are written or purchased on the same or different exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities or are held or written in one or more accounts or through one or more brokers. As a result, the number of covered call options that the Fund may write or purchase may be affected by options written or purchased by it and other investment advisory clients of the Investment Adviser. An exchange, board of trade or other trading facility may order the liquidation of positions found to be in excess of these limits, and it may impose certain other sanctions.

Risks Associated with Uncovered Calls. There are special risks associated with uncovered option writing which expose the Fund to potentially significant loss. As the writer of an uncovered call option, the Fund has no risk of loss should the price of the underlying security decline, but bears unlimited risk of loss should the price of the underlying security increase above the exercise price until the Fund covers its exposure. As with writing uncovered calls, the risk of writing uncovered put options is substantial. The writer of an uncovered put option bears a risk of loss if the value of the underlying instrument declines below the exercise price. Such loss could be substantial if there is a significant decline in the value of the underlying instrument.

For combination writing, where the Fund writes both a put and a call on the same underlying instrument, the potential risk is unlimited. If a secondary market in options were to become unavailable, the Fund could not engage in losing transactions and would remain obligated until expiration or assignment.

Equity Risk. Investing in the Fund involves equity risk, which is the risk that the securities held by the Fund will fall in market value due to adverse market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate and the particular circumstances and performance of particular companies whose securities the Fund holds. An investment in the Fund represents an indirect economic stake in the securities owned by the Fund, which are for the most part traded on securities exchanges or in the OTC markets. The market value of these securities, like other market investments, may move up or down, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably. The net asset value of the Fund may at any point in time be less than the net asset value of the Fund at the time the shareholder invested in the Fund, even after taking into account any reinvestment of distributions.

Common Stock Risk. Common stock of an issuer in the Fund’s portfolio may decline in price for a variety of reasons, including if the issuer fails to make anticipated dividend payments because, among other reasons, the issuer of the security experiences a decline in its financial condition. Common stock in which the Fund will invest is structurally subordinated as to income and residual value to preferred stock, bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure, in terms of priority to corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater dividend risk than preferred stock or debt instruments of such issuers. In addition, while common stock has historically generated higher average returns than fixed income securities, common stock has also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns.

Distribution Risk for Equity Income Portfolio Securities. In selecting equity income securities in which the Fund will invest, the Investment Adviser will consider the issuer’s history of making regular periodic distributions (i.e., dividends) to its equity holders. An issuer’s history of paying dividends or other distributions, however, does not guarantee that the issuer will continue to pay dividends or other distributions in the future. The dividend income stream associated with equity income securities generally is not guaranteed and will be subordinate to payment obligations of the issuer on its debt and other liabilities. Accordingly, an issuer may forgo paying dividends on its equity securities. In addition, because in most instances issuers are not obligated to make periodic distributions to the holders of their equity securities, such distributions or dividends generally may be discontinued at the issuer’s discretion.

 



 

53


Table of Contents

Interest Rate Risk. The primary risk associated with dividend- and interest-paying securities is interest rate risk. A decrease in interest rates will generally result in an increase in the investment value of such securities, while increases in interest rates will generally result in a decline in its investment value. This effect is generally more pronounced for fixed rate securities than for securities whose income rate is periodically reset. Market interest rates are currently significantly below historical average rates and the Federal Reserve has begun to raise the Federal Funds rate, each of which results in more pronounced interest rate risk in the current market environment.

Additionally, during periods of declining interest rates, the issuer of a preferred stock or fixed income security may be able to exercise an option to prepay principal earlier than scheduled, forcing the Fund to reinvest in lower yielding securities. This is known as call or prepayment risk. Preferred stock and debt securities frequently have call features that allow the issuer to redeem the securities prior to their stated maturities. An issuer may redeem such a security if the issuer can refinance it at a lower cost due to declining interest rates or an improvement in the credit standing of the issuer. During periods of rising interest rates, the average life of certain types of securities may be extended because of slower than expected principal payments. This may prolong the length of time the security pays a below market interest rate, increase the security’s duration and reduce the value of the security. This is known as extension risk.

Preferred Stock Risk. There are special risks associated with the Fund’s investing in preferred securities, including:

 

   

Deferral. Preferred securities may include provisions that permit the issuer, at its discretion, to defer dividends or distributions for a stated period without any adverse consequences to the issuer. If the Fund owns a preferred security that is deferring its dividends or distributions, the Fund may be required to report income for tax purposes although it has not yet received such income.

 

   

Non-Cumulative Dividends. Some preferred securities are non-cumulative, meaning that the dividends do not accumulate and need not ever be paid. A portion of the portfolio may include investments in non-cumulative preferred securities, whereby the issuer does not have an obligation to make up any arrearages to its shareholders. Should an issuer of a non-cumulative preferred security held by the Fund determine not to pay dividends or distributions on such security, the Fund’s return from that security may be adversely affected. There is no assurance that dividends or distributions on non-cumulative preferred securities in which the Fund invests will be declared or otherwise made payable.

 

   

Subordination. Preferred securities are subordinated to bonds and other debt instruments in an issuer’s capital structure in terms of priority to corporate income and liquidation payments, and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than more senior debt security instruments.

 

   

Liquidity. Preferred securities may be substantially less liquid than many other securities, such as common stocks or U.S. government securities.

 

   

Limited Voting Rights. Generally, preferred security holders (such as the Fund) have no voting rights with respect to the issuing company unless preferred dividends have been in arrears for a specified number of periods, at which time the preferred security holders may be entitled to elect a number of directors to the issuer’s board. Generally, once all the arrearages have been paid, the preferred security holders no longer have voting rights.

 

   

Special Redemption Rights. In certain varying circumstances, an issuer of preferred securities may redeem the securities prior to a specified date. For instance, for certain types of preferred securities, a redemption may be triggered by a change in U.S. federal income tax or securities laws. A redemption by the issuer may negatively impact the return of the security held by the Fund.

 



 

54


Table of Contents

Foreign Securities Risk. Because many of the world’s Natural Resources Companies and Gold Companies are located outside of the United States, the Fund may have a significant portion of its investments in securities that are traded in foreign markets and that are not subject to the requirements of the U.S. securities laws, markets and accounting requirements. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve certain considerations and risks not ordinarily associated with investments in securities of domestic issuers and such securities may be more volatile than those of issuers located in the United States. Foreign companies are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. Foreign securities exchanges, brokers and listed companies may be subject to less government supervision and regulation than exists in the United States. Dividend and interest income may be subject to withholding and other foreign taxes, which may adversely affect the net return on such investments. There may be difficulty in obtaining or enforcing a court judgment abroad. In addition, it may be difficult to effect repatriation of capital invested in certain countries. In addition, with respect to certain countries, there are risks of expropriation, confiscatory taxation, political or social instability or diplomatic developments that could affect assets of the Fund held in foreign countries. Dividend income the Fund receives from foreign securities may not be eligible for the special tax treatment applicable to qualified dividend income. Moreover, certain equity investments in foreign issuers classified as passive foreign investment companies may be subject to additional taxation risk.

There may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than a U.S. company. Foreign securities markets may have substantially less volume than U.S. securities markets and some foreign company securities are less liquid than securities of otherwise comparable U.S. companies. A portfolio of foreign securities may also be adversely affected by fluctuations in the rates of exchange between the currencies of different nations and by exchange control regulations. Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures that could cause the Fund to encounter difficulties in purchasing and selling securities on such markets and may result in the Fund missing attractive investment opportunities or experiencing loss. In addition, a portfolio that includes foreign securities can expect to have a higher expense ratio because of the increased transaction costs on non-U.S. securities markets and the increased costs of maintaining the custody of foreign securities.

The Fund also may purchase ADRs or U.S. dollar-denominated securities of foreign issuers. ADRs are receipts issued by U.S. banks or trust companies in respect of securities of foreign issuers held on deposit for use in the U.S. securities markets. While ADRs may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the securities into which they may be converted, many of the risks associated with foreign securities may also apply to ADRs. In addition, the underlying issuers of certain depositary receipts, particularly unsponsored or unregistered depositary receipts, are under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications to the holders of such receipts, or to pass through to them any voting rights with respect to the deposited securities.

The following provides more detail on certain pronounced risks with foreign investing:

 

   

Foreign Currency Risk. The Fund may invest in companies whose securities are denominated or quoted in currencies other than U.S. dollars or have significant operations or markets outside of the United States. In such instances, the Fund will be exposed to currency risk, including the risk of fluctuations in the exchange rate between U.S. dollars (in which the Fund’s shares are denominated) and such foreign currencies, the risk of currency devaluations and the risks of non-exchangeability and blockage. As non-U.S. securities may be purchased with and payable in currencies of countries other than the U.S. dollar, the value of these assets measured in U.S. dollars may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and exchange control regulations. Fluctuations in currency rates may adversely affect the ability of the Investment Adviser to acquire such securities at advantageous prices and may also adversely affect the performance of such assets.

 

   

Certain non-U.S. currencies, primarily in developing countries, have been devalued in the past and might face devaluation in the future. Currency devaluations generally have a significant and adverse impact on the devaluing country’s economy in the short and intermediate term and on the financial

 



 

55


Table of Contents
 

condition and results of companies’ operations in that country. Currency devaluations may also be accompanied by significant declines in the values and liquidity of equity and debt securities of affected governmental and private sector entities generally. To the extent that affected companies have obligations denominated in currencies other than the devalued currency, those companies may also have difficulty in meeting those obligations under such circumstances, which in turn could have an adverse effect upon the value of the Fund’s investments in such companies. There can be no assurance that current or future developments with respect to foreign currency devaluations will not impair the Fund’s investment flexibility, its ability to achieve its investment objectives or the value of certain of its foreign currency-denominated investments.

 

   

Tax Consequences of Foreign Investing. The Fund’s transactions in foreign currencies, foreign currency-denominated debt obligations and certain foreign currency options, futures contracts and forward contracts (and similar instruments) may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned. This treatment could increase or decrease the Fund’s ordinary income distributions to you, and may cause some or all of the Fund’s previously distributed income to be classified as a return of capital. In certain cases, the Fund may make an election to treat gain or loss attributable to certain investments as capital gain or loss.

 

   

EMU and Redenomination Risk. As the European debt crisis progressed, the possibility of one or more Eurozone countries exiting the European Monetary Union (“EMU”), or even the collapse of the Euro as a common currency, arose, creating significant volatility at times in currency and financial markets generally. The effects of the collapse of the Euro, or of the exit of one or more countries from the EMU, on the U.S. and global economy and securities markets are impossible to predict and any such events could have a significant adverse impact on the value and risk profile of the Fund’s portfolio. Any partial or complete dissolution of the EMU could have significant adverse effects on currency and financial markets, and on the values of the Fund’s portfolio investments. If one or more EMU countries were to stop using the Euro as its primary currency, the Fund’s investments in such countries may be redenominated into a different or newly adopted currency. As a result, the value of those investments could decline significantly and unpredictably. In addition, securities or other investments that are redenominated may be subject to foreign currency risk, liquidity risk and valuation risk to a greater extent than similar investments currently denominated in Euros. To the extent a currency used for redenomination purposes is not specified in respect of certain EMU-related investments, or should the Euro cease to be used entirely, the currency in which such investments are denominated may be unclear, making such investments particularly difficult to value or dispose of. The Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek judicial or other clarification of the denomination or value of such securities.

 

   

Emerging Markets Risk. The considerations noted above in “Foreign Securities Risk” are generally intensified for investments in emerging market countries. Emerging market countries typically have economic and political systems that are less fully developed, and can be expected to be less stable than those of more developed countries. Investing in securities of companies in emerging markets may entail special risks relating to potential political and economic instability and the risks of expropriation, nationalization, confiscation or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investment, the lack of hedging instruments and restrictions on repatriation of capital invested. Economies of such countries can be subject to rapid and unpredictable rates of inflation or deflation. Emerging securities markets are substantially smaller, less developed, less liquid and more volatile than the major securities markets. The limited size of emerging securities markets and limited trading volume compared to the volume of trading in U.S. securities could cause prices to be erratic for reasons apart from factors that affect the quality of the securities. For example, limited market size may cause prices to be unduly influenced by traders who control large positions. Adverse publicity and investors’ perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the value and liquidity of portfolio securities, especially in

 



 

56


Table of Contents
 

these markets. Other risks include 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; overdependence on exports, including gold and natural resources exports, making these economies vulnerable to changes in commodity prices; overburdened infrastructure and obsolete or unseasoned financial systems; environmental problems; less developed legal systems; and less reliable securities custodial services and settlement practices. Certain emerging markets may also face other significant internal or external risks, including the risk of war and civil unrest. For all of these reasons, investments in emerging markets may be considered speculative.

 

   

Eurozone Risk. A number of countries in the EU have experienced, and may continue to experience, severe economic and financial difficulties. In particular, many EU nations are susceptible to economic risks associated with high levels of debt, notably due to investments in sovereign debt of countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. As a result, financial markets in the EU have been subject to increased volatility and declines in asset values and liquidity. Responses to these financial problems by European governments, central banks, and others, including austerity measures and reforms, may not work, 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 others of their debt could have additional adverse effects on economies, financial markets, and asset valuations around the world. Greece, Ireland, and Portugal have already received one or more “bailouts” from other Eurozone member states, and it is unclear how much additional funding they will require or if additional Eurozone member states will require bailouts in the future. One or more other countries may also abandon the euro and/or withdraw from the EU, placing its currency and banking system in jeopardy. The impact of these actions, especially if they occur in a disorderly fashion, is not clear but could be significant and far-reaching.

 

   

On March 29, 2017, the United Kingdom (the “UK”) notified the European Council, in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union (“Article 50”), of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the European Union (the “EU”). In issuing the notice, the UK has begun the two year process set out in Article 50 for the UK and the EU to negotiate the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, taking into account the framework for the UK’s future relationship with the EU. In accordance with Article 50 the UK will cease to be a member of the EU from March 30, 2019, absent any agreement between the UK and the EU which results in a change to this date. This historic event is widely expected to have consequences that are both profound and uncertain for the economic and political future of the United Kingdom and the EU, and those consequences include significant legal and business uncertainties pertaining to an investment in the Fund. Due to the very recent occurrence of these events, the full scope and nature of the consequences are not at this time known and are unlikely to be known for a significant period of time. At the same time, it is reasonable to assume that the significant uncertainty in the business, legal and political environment engendered by these events has resulted in immediate and longer term risks that would not have been applicable had the UK not sought to withdraw from the EU (“BREXIT Risks”).

BREXIT Risks include short and long term market volatility and currency volatility, macroeconomic risk to the UK and European economies, impetus for further disintegration of the EU and related political stresses (including those related to sentiment against cross border capital movements and activities of investors like the Fund), prejudice to financial services businesses that are conducting business in the EU and which are based in the UK, disruption to regulatory regimes related to the operations of the Fund and the Investment Adviser, legal uncertainty regarding achievement of compliance with applicable financial and commercial laws and regulations in view of the expected steps to be taken pursuant to or in contemplation of Article 50 and negotiations undertaken under Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and the unavailability of timely information as to expected legal, tax and other regimes.

 



 

57


Table of Contents

In view of these risks and their application to the Investment Adviser and the Fund’s portfolio, prospective investors should take into account the significance of the BREXIT Risks, including the wide ranging and serious nature of these risks, and retain advice as needed, for purposes of evaluating an investment in the Fund. There can be no assurance that the BREXIT Risks will not alter, and alter significantly, the attractiveness of an investment in the Fund by, among other things, giving rise to impediments to the intended implementation of the business strategy of the Fund that would have material effects on performance, including the potential for capital losses, delays, legal and regulatory risk and general uncertainty.

Income Risk. The income shareholders receive from the Fund is expected to be based primarily on income from short-term gains that the Fund earns from its investment strategy of writing covered calls and dividends and other distributions received from its investments. If the Fund’s covered call strategy fails to generate sufficient income from short-term gains or the distribution rates or yields of the Fund’s holdings decrease, shareholders’ income from the Fund could decline.

Non-Investment Grade Securities. The Fund may invest in below investment-grade debt securities, also known as “high-yield” securities or “junk bonds.” These securities, which may be preferred stock or debt, are predominantly speculative and involve major risk exposure to adverse conditions. Securities that are rated lower than “BBB” by S&P or lower than “Baa” by Moody’s (or unrated securities of comparable quality) are referred to in the financial press as “junk bonds” or “high yield” securities and generally pay a premium above the yields of U.S. government securities or securities of investment grade issuers because they are subject to greater risks than these securities. These risks, which reflect their speculative character, include the following:

 

   

greater volatility;

 

   

potentially greater sensitivity to general economic or industry conditions;

 

   

potential lack of attractive resale opportunities (illiquidity); and

 

   

additional expenses to seek recovery from issuers who default.

In addition, the prices of these non-investment grade securities are more sensitive to negative developments, such as a decline in the issuer’s revenues or a general economic downturn, than are the prices of higher grade securities. Non-investment grade securities tend to be less liquid than investment grade securities. The market value of non-investment grade securities may be more volatile than the market value of investment grade securities and generally tends to reflect the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and short term market developments to a greater extent than investment grade securities, which primarily reflect fluctuations in general levels of interest rates.

Ratings are relative and subjective and not absolute standards of quality. Securities ratings are based largely on the issuer’s historical financial condition and the rating agencies’ analysis at the time of rating. Consequently, the rating assigned to any particular security is not necessarily a reflection of the issuer’s current financial condition.

The Fund may purchase securities of companies that are experiencing significant financial or business difficulties, including companies involved in bankruptcy or other reorganization and liquidation proceedings. Although such investments may result in significant financial returns to the Fund, they involve a substantial degree of risk. The level of analytical sophistication, both financial and legal, necessary for successful investments in issuers experiencing significant business and financial difficulties is unusually high. There can be no assurance that the Fund will correctly evaluate the value of the assets collateralizing its investments or the prospects for a successful reorganization or similar action. In any reorganization or liquidation proceeding relating to a portfolio investment, the Fund may lose all or part of its investment or may be required to accept collateral with a value less than the amount of the Fund’s initial investment.

 



 

58


Table of Contents

As a part of its investments in non-investment grade securities, the Fund may invest in the securities of issuers in default. The Fund invests in securities of issuers in default only when the Investment Adviser believes that such issuers will honor their obligations and emerge from bankruptcy protection and that the value of such issuers’ securities will appreciate. By investing in the securities of issuers in default, the Fund bears the risk that these issuers will not continue to honor their obligations or emerge from bankruptcy protection or that the value of these securities will not otherwise appreciate.

In addition to using statistical rating agencies and other sources, the Investment Adviser will also perform its own analysis of issuers in seeking investments that it believes to be underrated (and thus higher yielding) in light of the financial condition of the issuer. Its analysis of issuers may include, among other things, current and anticipated cash flow and borrowing requirements, value of assets in relation to historical cost, strength of management, responsiveness to business conditions, credit standing and current anticipated results of operations. In selecting investments for the Fund, the Investment Adviser may also consider general business conditions, anticipated changes in interest rates and the outlook for specific industries.

Subsequent to its purchase by the Fund, an issue of securities may cease to be rated or its rating may be reduced. In addition, it is possible that statistical rating agencies might change their ratings of a particular issue to reflect subsequent events on a timely basis. Moreover, such ratings do not assess the risk of a decline in market value. None of these events will require the sale of the securities by the Fund, although the Investment Adviser will consider these events in determining whether the Fund should continue to hold the securities.

Fixed income securities, including non-investment grade securities and comparable unrated securities, frequently have call or buy-back features that permit their issuers to call or repurchase the securities from their holders, such as the Fund. If an issuer exercises these rights during periods of declining interest rates, the Fund may have to replace the security with a lower yielding security, thus resulting in a decreased return for the Fund.

The market for non-investment grade and comparable unrated securities has at various times, particularly during times of economic recession, experienced substantial reductions in market value and liquidity. Past recessions have adversely affected the ability of certain issuers of such securities to repay principal and pay interest thereon. The market for those securities could react in a similar fashion in the event of any future economic recession.

Interest Rate Risk for Fixed Income Securities. The primary risk associated with fixed income securities is interest rate risk. A decrease in interest rates will generally result in an increase in the value of a fixed income security, while increases in interest rates will generally result in a decline in its value. This effect is generally more pronounced for fixed rate securities than for securities whose income rate is periodically reset. Market interest rates are currently significantly below historical average rates and the Federal Reserve has begun to raise the Federal Funds rate, each of which results in more pronounced interest rate risk in the current market environment.

Further, while longer term fixed rate securities may pay higher interest rates than shorter term securities, longer term fixed rate securities, like fixed rate securities, also tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes and, accordingly, tend to experience larger changes in value as a result of interest rate changes. An increase in market interest rates will also generally result in a decrease in the price of any of the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares. For more risks associated with fixed income securities, see “Investment Objectives and Policies — Additional Investment Policies” in the SAI.

U.S. Government Securities and Credit Rating Downgrade Risk. The Fund may invest in direct obligations of the government of the United States or its agencies. Obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies, authorities and instrumentalities and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. guarantee only

 



 

59


Table of Contents

that principal and interest will be timely paid to holders of the securities. These entities do not guarantee that the value of such obligations will increase, and, in fact, the market values of such obligations may fluctuate. In addition, not all U.S. government securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States; some are the obligation solely of the entity through which they are issued. There is no guarantee that the U.S. government would provide financial support to its agencies and instrumentalities if not required to do so by law.

The events surrounding negotiations regarding the U.S. federal government debt ceiling and deficit reduction could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives. In 2011, S&P lowered its long term sovereign credit rating on the U.S. to “AA+” from “AAA.” The downgrade by S&P increased volatility in both stock and bond markets, resulting in higher interest rates and higher Treasury yields, and increased the costs of all kinds of debt. Repeat occurrences of similar events could have significant adverse effects on the U.S. economy generally and could result in significant adverse impacts on issuers of securities held by the Fund itself. The Investment Adviser cannot predict the effects of similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets or on the Fund’s portfolio. The Investment Adviser monitors developments and seeks to manage the Fund’s portfolio in a manner consistent with achieving the Fund’s investment objectives, but there can be no assurance that it will be successful in doing so and the Investment Adviser may not timely anticipate or manage existing, new or additional risks, contingencies or developments.

Special Risks Related to Investment in Derivatives. The Fund may participate in derivative transactions. Such transactions entail certain execution, market, liquidity, hedging and tax risks. Participation in the options or futures markets, in currency exchange transactions and in other derivatives transactions involves investment risks and transaction costs to which the Fund would not be subject absent the use of these strategies. If the Investment Adviser’s prediction of movements in the direction of the securities, foreign currency, interest rate or other referenced instruments or markets is inaccurate, the consequences to the Fund may leave the Fund in a worse position than if it had not used such strategies. Risks inherent in the use of options, foreign currency, futures contracts and options on futures contracts, securities indices and foreign currencies include:

 

   

dependence on the Investment Adviser’s ability to predict correctly movements in the direction of the relevant measure;

 

   

imperfect correlation between the price of the derivative instrument and movements in the prices of the referenced assets;

 

   

the fact that skills needed to use these strategies are different from those needed to select portfolio securities;

 

   

the possible absence of a liquid secondary market for any particular instrument at any time;

 

   

the possible need to defer closing out certain hedged positions to avoid adverse tax consequences;

 

   

the possible inability of the Fund to purchase or sell a security or instrument at a time that otherwise would be favorable for it to do so, or the possible need for the Fund to sell a security or instrument at a disadvantageous time due to a need for the Fund to maintain “cover” or to segregate securities in connection with the hedging techniques; and

 

   

the creditworthiness of counterparties.

Options, futures contracts, swaps contracts, and options thereon and forward contracts on securities and currencies may be traded on foreign exchanges. Such transactions may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States, may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees, and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the prices of, foreign securities. The value of such positions also could be adversely affected by (i) other complex foreign political, legal and economic factors, (ii) lesser availability than in the United States of data on which to make trading decisions, (iii) delays in the ability of the Fund to act upon economic events occurring in the foreign markets during non-business hours in the

 



 

60


Table of Contents

United States, (iv) the imposition of different exercise and settlement terms and procedures and margin requirements than in the United States and (v) less trading volume. Exchanges on which options, futures, swaps and options on futures or swaps are traded may impose limits on the positions that the Fund may take in certain circumstances.

Many OTC derivatives are valued on the basis of dealers’ pricing of these instruments. However, the price at which dealers value a particular derivative and the price which the same dealers would actually be willing to pay for such derivative should the Fund wish or be forced to sell such position may be materially different. Such differences can result in an overstatement of the Fund’s net asset value and may materially adversely affect the Fund in situations in which the Fund is required to sell derivative instruments. Exchange-traded derivatives and OTC derivative transactions submitted for clearing through a central counterparty have become subject to minimum initial and variation margin requirements set by the relevant clearinghouse, as well as possible margin requirements mandated by the SEC or the CFTC. These regulators also have broad discretion to impose margin requirements on non-cleared OTC derivatives. These margin requirements will increase the overall costs for the Fund.

While hedging can reduce or eliminate losses, it can also reduce or eliminate gains. Hedges are sometimes subject to imperfect matching between the derivative and the underlying security, and there can be no assurance that the Fund’s hedging transactions will be effective.

Derivatives may give rise to a form of leverage and may expose the Fund to greater risk and increase its costs. Recent legislation calls for new regulation of the derivatives markets. The extent and impact of the regulation is not yet known and may not be known for some time. New regulation may make derivatives more costly, may limit the availability of derivatives, or may otherwise adversely affect the value or performance of derivatives.

Counterparty Risk. The Fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to the counterparties to the derivative contracts purchased by the Fund. If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations under a derivative contract due to financial difficulties, the Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery under the derivative contract in bankruptcy or other reorganization proceeding. The Fund may obtain only a limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances.

The counterparty risk for cleared derivatives is generally lower than for uncleared OTC derivative transactions since generally a clearing organization becomes substituted for each counterparty to a cleared derivative contract and, in effect, guarantees the parties’ performance under the contract as each party to a trade looks only to the clearing organization for performance of financial obligations under the derivative contract. However, there can be no assurance that a clearing organization, or its members, will satisfy its obligations to the Fund, or that the Fund would be able to recover the full amount of assets deposited on its behalf with the clearing organization in the event of the default by the clearing organization or the Fund’s clearing broker. In addition, cleared derivative transactions benefit from daily marking-to-market and settlement, and segregation and minimum capital requirements applicable to intermediaries. Uncleared OTC derivative transactions generally do not benefit from such protections. This exposes the Fund to the risk that a counterparty will not settle a transaction in accordance with its terms and conditions because of a dispute over the terms of the contract (whether or not bona fide) or because of a credit or liquidity problem, thus causing the Fund to suffer a loss. Such “counterparty risk” is accentuated for contracts with longer maturities where events may intervene to prevent settlement, or where the Fund has concentrated its transactions with a single or small group of counterparties.

Failure of Futures Commission Merchants and Clearing Organizations Risk. The Fund may deposit funds required to margin open positions in the derivative instruments subject to the CEA with a clearing broker registered as a “futures commission merchant” (“FCM”). The CEA requires an FCM to segregate all funds

 



 

61


Table of Contents

received from customers with respect to any orders for the purchase or sale of U.S. domestic futures contracts and cleared swaps from the FCM’s proprietary assets. Similarly, the CEA requires each FCM to hold in a separate secure account all funds received from customers with respect to any orders for the purchase or sale of foreign futures contracts and segregate any such funds from the funds received with respect to domestic futures contracts. However, all funds and other property received by a clearing broker from its customers are held by the clearing broker on a commingled basis in an omnibus account and may be invested by the clearing broker in certain instruments permitted under the applicable regulation. There is a risk that assets deposited by the Fund with any swaps or futures clearing broker as margin for futures contracts may, in certain circumstances, be used to satisfy losses of other clients of the Fund’s clearing broker. In addition, the assets of the Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the clearing broker’s bankruptcy, as the Fund would be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds segregated on behalf of the clearing broker’s combined domestic customer accounts.

Similarly, the CEA requires a clearing organization approved by the CFTC as a derivatives clearing organization to segregate all funds and other property received from a clearing member’s clients in connection with domestic futures, swaps and options contracts from any funds held at the clearing organization to support the clearing member’s proprietary trading. Nevertheless, with respect to futures and options contracts, a clearing organization may use assets of a non-defaulting customer held in an omnibus account at the clearing organization to satisfy payment obligations of a defaulting customer of the clearing member to the clearing organization. As a result, in the event of a default of the clearing broker’s other clients or the clearing broker’s failure to extend its own funds in connection with any such default, the Fund would not be able to recover the full amount of assets deposited by the clearing broker on its behalf with the clearing organization.

Swaps Risk. Swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors for periods ranging from a few weeks to more than one year. In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested at a particular interest rate, in a particular foreign currency, or in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. The “notional amount” of the swap agreement is only a fictive basis on which to calculate the obligations that the parties to a swap agreement have agreed to exchange.

Historically, swap transactions have been individually negotiated non-standardized transactions entered into in OTC markets and have not been subject to the same type of government regulation as exchange-traded instruments. However, the OTC derivatives markets have recently become subject to comprehensive statutes and regulations. In particular, in the U.S., the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) requires that certain derivatives with U.S. persons must be executed on a regulated market and a substantial portion of OTC derivatives must be submitted for clearing to regulated clearinghouses. As a result, swap transactions entered into by the Fund may become subject to various requirements applicable to swaps under the Dodd-Frank Act, including clearing, exchange-execution, reporting and recordkeeping requirements, which may make it more difficult and costly for the Fund to enter into swap transactions and may also render certain strategies in which the Fund might otherwise engage impossible or so costly that they will no longer be economical to implement. Furthermore, the number of counterparties that may be willing to enter into swap transactions with the Fund may also be limited if the swap transactions with the Fund are subject to the swap regulation under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Swap agreements will tend to shift the Fund’s investment exposure from one type of investment to another. For example, if the Fund agreed to pay fixed rates in exchange for floating rates while holding fixed-rate bonds, the swap would tend to decrease the Fund’s exposure to long term interest rates. Caps and floors have an effect similar to buying or writing options. Depending on how they are used, swap agreements may increase or decrease

 



 

62


Table of Contents

the overall volatility of the Fund’s investments and its share price and yield. The most significant factor in the performance of swap agreements is the change in the specific interest rate, currency, or other factors that determine the amounts of payments due to and from the Fund. If a swap agreement calls for payments by the Fund, the Fund must be prepared to make such payments when due.

The Fund may enter into swap agreements that would calculate the obligations of the parties to the agreements on a “net” basis. Consequently, the Fund’s obligations (or rights) under a swap agreement 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”). The Fund’s obligations under a swap agreement will be accrued daily (offset against any amounts owing to the Fund) and any accrued but unpaid net amounts owed to a swap counterparty will be covered by the maintenance of liquid assets in accordance with SEC staff positions on the subject.

The Fund’s use of swap agreements may not be successful in furthering its investment objective, as the Investment Adviser may not accurately predict whether certain types of investments are likely to produce greater returns than other investments. Moreover, swap agreements involve the risk that the party with whom a Fund has entered into the swap will default on its obligation to pay a Fund and the risk that a Fund will not be able to meet its obligations to pay the other party to the agreement. The Fund may be able to eliminate its exposure under a swap agreement either by assignment or other disposition, or by entering into an offsetting swap agreement with the same party or a similarly creditworthy party.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures. Futures and options on futures entail certain risks, including but not limited to the following: no assurance that futures contracts or options on futures can be offset at favorable prices; possible reduction of the yield of the Fund due to the use of hedging; possible reduction in value of both the securities hedged and the hedging instrument; possible lack of liquidity due to daily limits on price fluctuations; imperfect correlation between the contracts and the securities being hedged; losses from investing in futures transactions that are potentially unlimited; and the segregation requirements for such transactions.

Options Risk. To the extent that the Fund purchases options pursuant to a hedging strategy, the Fund will be subject to the following additional risks. If a put or call option purchased by the Fund is not sold when it has remaining value, and if the market price of the underlying security remains equal to or greater than the exercise price (in the case of a put), or remains less than or equal to the exercise price (in the case of a call), the Fund will lose its entire investment in the option.

Where a put or call option on a particular security is purchased to hedge against price movements in that or a related security, the price of the put or call option may move more or less than the price of the security. If restrictions on exercise are imposed, the Fund may be unable to exercise an option it has purchased. If the Fund is unable to close out an option that it has purchased on a security, it will have to exercise the option in order to realize any profit or the option may expire worthless.

Short Sales Risk. Short-selling involves selling securities which may or may not be owned and borrowing the same securities for delivery to the purchaser, with an obligation to replace the borrowed securities at a later date. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash and liquid securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its Custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited.

 



 

63


Table of Contents

Short-selling necessarily involves certain additional risks. However, if the short seller does not own the securities sold short (an uncovered short sale), the borrowed securities must be replaced by securities purchased at market prices in order to close out the short position, and any appreciation in the price of the borrowed securities would result in a loss. Uncovered short sales expose the Fund to the risk of uncapped losses until a position can be closed out due to the lack of an upper limit on the price to which a security may rise. Purchasing securities to close out the short position can itself cause the price of the securities to rise further, thereby exacerbating the loss. There is the risk that the securities borrowed by the Fund in connection with a short-sale must be returned to the securities lender on short notice. If a request for return of borrowed securities occurs at a time when other short-sellers of the security are receiving similar requests, a “short squeeze” can occur, and the Fund may be compelled to replace borrowed securities previously sold short with purchases on the open market at the most disadvantageous time, possibly at prices significantly in excess of the proceeds received at the time the securities were originally sold short.

In September 2008, in response to spreading turmoil in the financial markets, the SEC temporarily banned short selling in the stocks of numerous financial services companies, and also promulgated new disclosure requirements with respect to short positions held by investment managers. The SEC’s temporary ban on short selling of such stocks has since expired, but should similar restrictions and/or additional disclosure requirements be promulgated, especially if market turmoil occurs, the Fund may be forced to cover short positions more quickly than otherwise intended and may suffer losses as a result. Such restrictions may also adversely affect the ability of the Fund to execute its investment strategies generally. Similar emergency orders were also instituted in non-U.S. markets in response to increased volatility. The Fund’s ability to engage in short sales is also restricted by various regulatory requirements relating to short sales.

Leverage Risk. The Fund may use financial leverage for investment purposes. A leveraged capital structure would create special risks not associated with unleveraged funds that have a similar investment objectives and policies. These include the possibility of greater loss and the likelihood of higher volatility of the net asset value of the Fund and the asset coverage for any preferred shares or debt outstanding. Such volatility may increase the likelihood of the Fund having to sell investments in order to meet its obligations to make distributions on the preferred shares or principal or interest payments on debt securities, or to redeem preferred shares or repay debt, when it may be disadvantageous to do so. The use of leverage magnifies both the favorable and unfavorable effects of price movements in the investments made by the Fund. To the extent the Fund is leveraged in its investment operations, the Fund will be subject to substantial risk of loss. The Fund cannot assure that borrowings or the issuance of preferred shares or notes will result in a higher yield or return to the holders of the common shares. Also, to the extent the Fund utilizes leverage, a decline in net asset value could affect the ability of the Fund to make common share distributions and such a failure to make distributions could result in the Fund ceasing to qualify as a RIC under the Code. For more information regarding the risks of a leverage capital structure to holders of the Fund’s common shares, see “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Common Shares—Leverage Risk.”

Market Discount Risk. The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. Whether investors will realize gains or losses upon the sale of additional securities of the Fund will depend upon the market price of the securities at the time of sale, which may be less or more than the Fund’s net asset value per share or the liquidation value of any Fund preferred shares issued. Since the market price of any additional securities the Fund may issue will be affected by such factors as the Fund’s dividend and distribution levels (which are in turn affected by expenses), dividend and distribution stability, net asset value, market liquidity, the relative demand for and supply of such securities in the market, general market and economic conditions and other factors beyond the control of the Fund, we cannot predict whether any such securities will trade at, below or above net asset value or at, below or above their public offering price or at, below or above their liquidation value, as applicable. For example, common shares of closed-end funds often trade at a discount to their net asset

 



 

64


Table of Contents

values and the Fund’s common shares may trade at such a discount. This risk may be greater for investors expecting to sell their securities of the Fund soon after the completion of a public offering for such securities. The risk of a market price discount from net asset value is separate and in addition to the risk that net asset value itself may decline. The Fund’s securities are designed primarily for long term investors, and investors in the shares should not view the Fund as a vehicle for trading purposes.

Long Term Objective; Not a Complete Investment Program. The Fund is intended for investors seeking long term growth of capital. The Fund is not meant to provide a vehicle for those who wish to play short term swings in the stock market. An investment in shares of the Fund should not be considered a complete investment program. Each shareholder should take into account the Fund’s investment objectives as well as the shareholder’s other investments when considering an investment in the Fund.

Portfolio Turnover Risk. The investment policies of the Fund, including its strategy of writing covered call options on securities in its portfolio, may result in portfolio turnover that is higher than that of many investment companies. Increased portfolio turnover rates will result in higher costs from brokerage commissions, dealer-mark-ups and other transaction costs and may also may decrease the after-tax return to individual investors in the Fund to the extent it results in a decrease in the portion of the Fund’s distributions that is attributable to long-term capital gain.

Management Risk. The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. The Investment Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results.

Non-Diversified Status. The Fund is classified as a “non-diversified” investment company under the 1940 Act, which means the Fund is not limited by the 1940 Act in the proportion of its assets that may be invested in the securities of a single issuer. As a non-diversified investment company, the Fund may invest in the securities of individual issuers to a greater degree than a diversified investment company. As a result, the Fund may be more vulnerable to events affecting a single issuer and therefore, subject to greater volatility than a fund that is more broadly diversified. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund may present greater risk to an investor than an investment in a diversified company.

Dependence on Key Personnel. The Fund is dependent upon the expertise of Vincent Hugonnard-Roche as the sole option strategist on the Fund’s portfolio management team. If the Fund were to lose the services of Mr. Roche, it could be temporarily adversely affected until a suitable replacement could be found.

Market Disruption and Geopolitical Risk. The occurrence of events similar to those in recent years, such as the aftermath of the war in Iraq, instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Russia, Ukraine and the Middle East, ongoing epidemics of infectious diseases in certain parts of the world, terrorist attacks in the U.S. and around the world, social and political discord, debt crises (such as the Greek crisis), sovereign debt downgrades, continued tensions between North Korea and the United States and the international community generally, new and continued political unrest in various countries, such as Venezuela, the exit or potential exit of one or more countries from the EU or the EMU, the change in the U.S. president and the new administration, among others, may result in market volatility, may have long term effects on the U.S. and worldwide financial markets, and may cause further economic uncertainties in the U.S. and worldwide.

As a consequence of the United Kingdom’s vote to withdraw from the EU, the government of the United Kingdom gave notice of its withdrawal from the EU (“Brexit”). As a result of this decision, the financial markets experienced high levels of volatility and it is likely that, in the near term, Brexit will continue to bring about higher levels of uncertainty and volatility. During this period of uncertainty, the negative impact on not only the United Kingdom and European economies, but the broader global economy, could be significant, potentially

 



 

65


Table of Contents

resulting in increased volatility and illiquidity and lower economic growth for companies that rely significantly on Europe for their business activities and revenues. It is possible that certain economic activity will be curtailed until some signs of clarity begin to emerge, including negotiations around the terms for United Kingdom’s exit out of the EU. Any further exits from the EU, or the possibility of such exits, would likely cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties.

The occurrence of any of these above events could have a significant adverse impact on the value and risk profile of the Fund’s portfolio. The Fund does not know how long the securities markets may be affected by similar events and cannot predict the effects of similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets. There can be no assurance that similar events and other market disruptions will not have other material and adverse implications.

Economic Events and Market Risk. Periods of market volatility remain, and may continue to occur in the future, in response to various political, social and economic events both within and outside of the United States. These conditions have resulted in, and in many cases continue to result in, greater price volatility, less liquidity, widening credit spreads and a lack of price transparency, with many securities remaining illiquid and of uncertain value. Such market conditions may adversely affect the Fund, including by making valuation of some of the Fund’s securities uncertain and/or result in sudden and significant valuation increases or declines in the Fund’s holdings. If there is a significant decline in the value of the Fund’s portfolio, this may impact the asset coverage levels for the Fund’s outstanding leverage.

Risks resulting from any future debt or other economic crisis could also have a detrimental impact on the global economic recovery, the financial condition of financial institutions and our business, financial condition and results of operation. Market and economic disruptions have affected, and may in the future affect, consumer confidence levels and spending, personal bankruptcy rates, levels of incurrence and default on consumer debt and home prices, among other factors. To the extent uncertainty regarding the U.S. or global economy negatively impacts consumer confidence and consumer credit factors, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be significantly and adversely affected. Downgrades to the credit ratings of major banks could result in increased borrowing costs for such banks and negatively affect the broader economy. Moreover, Federal Reserve policy, including with respect to certain interest rates, may also adversely affect the value, volatility and liquidity of dividend- and interest-paying securities. Market volatility, rising interest rates and/or a return to unfavorable economic conditions could impair the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives.

Government Intervention in Financial Markets Risk. Past instability in the financial markets has led the U.S. Government and certain foreign governments to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and segments of the financial markets that have experienced extreme volatility, and in some cases a lack of liquidity, including through direct purchases of equity and debt securities. The U.S. government and certain foreign governments and their regulatory agencies or self-regulatory organizations have in the past taken, and may in the future take, legislative and regulatory actions that may affect the Fund, its securities and/or the Fund’s investments in ways that are unforeseeable. Such legislation or regulation may change the way in which the Fund is regulated and could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

The Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010, contains sweeping financial legislation regarding the operation of banks, private fund managers and other financial institutions. The Dodd-Frank Act includes provisions regarding, among other things, the regulation of derivatives (see the SAI for more information), the identification, monitoring and prophylactic regulation of systemic risks to financial markets, and the regulation of proprietary trading and investment activity of banking institutions. The continuing implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act and any other regulations could adversely affect the Investment Adviser and the Fund. The Investment Adviser may attempt to take certain actions to lessen the impact of the Dodd-Frank

 



 

66


Table of Contents

Act and any other legislation or regulation affecting the Fund, although no assurance can be given that such actions would be successful and no assurance can be given that such actions would not have a significant negative impact on the Fund. The ultimate impact of the Dodd-Frank Act, and any additional future legislation or regulation, is not yet certain and the Investment Adviser and the Fund may be affected by governmental action in ways that are unforeseeable.

Additionally, the SEC and its staff are also reportedly engaged in various initiatives and reviews that seek to improve and modernize the regulatory structure governing investment companies. These efforts appear to be focused on risk identification and controls in various areas, including imbedded leverage through the use of derivatives and other trading practices, cybersecurity, liquidity, enhanced regulatory and public reporting requirements and the evaluation of systemic risks. Any new rules, guidance or regulatory initiatives resulting from these efforts could increase the Fund’s expenses and impact its returns to shareholders or, in the extreme case, impact or limit the Fund’s use of various portfolio management strategies or techniques and adversely impact the Fund. In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, there appears to be a renewed popular, political and judicial focus on finance related consumer protection. Financial institution practices are also subject to greater scrutiny and criticism generally. In the case of transactions between financial institutions and the general public, there may be a greater tendency toward strict interpretation of terms and legal rights in favor of the consuming public, particularly where there is a real or perceived disparity in risk allocation and/or where consumers are perceived as not having had an opportunity to exercise informed consent to the transaction. In the event of conflicting interests between retail investors holding shares of common stock of a closed-end investment company such as the Fund and a large financial institution, a court may similarly seek to strictly interpret terms and legal rights in favor of retail investors.

The recent change in presidential administration could significantly impact the regulation of United States financial markets. Areas subject to potential change, amendment or repeal include the Dodd-Frank Act, including the Volcker Rule and various swaps and derivatives regulations, the authority of the Federal Reserve and FSOC, and renewed proposals to separate banks’ commercial and investment banking activities. Other potential changes that could be pursued by the new presidential administration could include the United States’ withdrawal from, or attempt to renegotiate, various trade agreements or the taking of other actions that would change current trade policies of the United States. It is not possible to predict which, if any, of these actions will be taken or, if taken, their effect on the economy, securities markets or the financial stability of the United States. The Fund may be affected by governmental action in ways that are not foreseeable, and there is a possibility that such actions could have a significant adverse effect on the Fund and its ability to achieve its investment objective.

1940 Act Regulation. The Fund is a registered closed-end investment company and as such is subject to regulations under the 1940 Act. Generally speaking, any contract or provision thereof that is made, in violation of the 1940 Act or any rule or regulation thereunder, or the performance of which involves violation of the 1940 Act or any rule or regulation thereunder, is unenforceable by either party unless a court finds otherwise.

Legislation Risk. At any time after the date of this Prospectus, legislation may be enacted that could negatively affect the assets of the Fund. Legislation or regulation may change the way in which the Fund itself is regulated. The Investment Adviser cannot predict the effects of any new governmental regulation that may be implemented and there can be no assurance that any new governmental regulation will not adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Reliance on Service Providers Risk. The Fund must rely upon the performance of service providers to perform certain functions, which may include functions that are integral to the Fund’s operations and financial performance. Failure by any service provider to carry out its obligations to the Fund in accordance with the terms of its appointment, to exercise due care and skill or to perform its obligations to the Fund at all as a result of insolvency, bankruptcy or other causes could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s performance and

 



 

67


Table of Contents

returns to shareholders. The termination of the Fund’s relationship with any service provider, or any delay in appointing a replacement for such service provider, could materially disrupt the business of the Fund and could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s performance and returns to shareholders.

Cyber Security Risk. The Fund and its service providers are susceptible to cyber security risks that include, among other things, theft, unauthorized monitoring, release, misuse, loss, destruction or corruption of confidential and highly restricted data; denial of service attacks; unauthorized access to relevant systems, compromises to networks or devices that the Fund and its service providers use to service the Fund’s operations; or operational disruption or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support the Fund and its service providers. Cyber attacks against or security breakdowns of the Fund or its service providers may adversely impact the Fund and its stockholders, potentially resulting in, among other things, financial losses; the inability of Fund stockholders to transact business and the Fund to process transactions; inability to calculate the Fund’s NAV; violations of applicable privacy and other laws; regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs; and/or additional compliance costs. The Fund may incur additional costs for cyber security risk management and remediation purposes. In addition, cyber security risks may also impact issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, which may cause the Fund’s investment in such issuers to lose value. There can be no assurance that the Fund or its service providers will not suffer losses relating to cyber attacks or other information security breaches in the future.

Misconduct of Employees and of Service Providers Risk. Misconduct or misrepresentations by employees of the Investment Adviser or the Fund’s service providers could cause significant losses to the Fund. Employee misconduct may include binding the Fund to transactions that exceed authorized limits or present unacceptable risks and unauthorized trading activities, concealing unsuccessful trading activities (which, in any case, may result in unknown and unmanaged risks or losses) or making misrepresentations regarding any of the foregoing. Losses could also result from actions by the Fund’s service providers, including, without limitation, failing to recognize trades and misappropriating assets. In addition, employees and service providers may improperly use or disclose confidential information, which could result in litigation or serious financial harm, including limiting the Fund’s business prospects or future marketing activities. Despite the Investment Adviser’s due diligence efforts, misconduct and intentional misrepresentations may be undetected or not fully comprehended, thereby potentially undermining the Investment Adviser’s due diligence efforts. As a result, no assurances can be given that the due diligence performed by the Investment Adviser will identify or prevent any such misconduct.

Tax Risk. We cannot assure you what percentage of the distributions paid on the Fund’s shares, if any, will consist of tax advantaged qualified dividend income or long term capital gains or what the tax rates on various types of income will be in future years. See “Taxation.”

Tax Reform Risk. Legislative or other actions relating to taxes could have a negative effect on the Fund. The rules dealing with U.S. federal income taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department. According to publicly released statements, a top legislative priority of the new Congress and presidential administration may be to enact significant reform of the Internal Revenue Code, including significant changes to taxation of business entities and the deductibility of interest expense and capital investment. There is a substantial lack of clarity around the likelihood, timing and details of any such tax reform and the impact of any potential tax reform on the Fund, its portfolio investments or an investment in the Fund’s securities. We cannot predict how any changes in the tax laws might affect the Fund, investors or the Fund’s portfolio investments. New legislation, U.S. Treasury regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions, with or without retroactive application, could significantly and negatively affect the Fund’s ability to qualify as a RIC or the U.S. federal income tax consequences to the Fund and its investors of such qualification, or could have other adverse consequences. Investors are urged to consult with their tax advisor with respect to the status of legislative, regulatory or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect on an investment in the Fund’s securities.

 



 

68


Table of Contents

Inflation Risk. Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be worth less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the real value of the Fund’s shares and distributions thereon can decline. In addition, during any periods of rising inflation, dividend rates of any debt securities issued by the Fund would likely increase, which would tend to further reduce returns to common shareholders.

Deflation Risk. Deflation risk is the risk that prices throughout the economy decline over time, which may have an adverse effect on the market valuation of companies, their assets and their revenues. In addition, deflation may have an adverse effect on the creditworthiness of issuers and may make issuer default more likely, which may result in a decline in the value of the Fund’s portfolio.

Restricted and Illiquid Securities Risk. Unregistered securities are securities that cannot be sold publicly in the United States without registration under the Securities Act. An illiquid investment is a security or other investment that cannot be disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the value at which the Fund has valued the investment. Unregistered securities often can be resold only in privately negotiated transactions with a limited number of purchasers or in a public offering registered under the Securities Act. Considerable delay could be encountered in either event and, unless otherwise contractually provided for, the Fund’s proceeds upon sale may be reduced by the costs of registration or underwriting discounts. The difficulties and delays associated with such transactions could result in the Fund’s inability to realize a favorable price upon disposition of unregistered securities, and at times might make disposition of such securities impossible. The Fund may be unable to sell illiquid investments when it desires to do so, resulting in the Fund obtaining a lower price or being required to retain the investment. Illiquid investments generally must be valued at fair value, which is inherently less precise than utilizing market values for liquid investments, and may lead to differences between the price at which a security is valued for determining the Fund’s net asset value and the price the Fund actually receives upon sale.

Investment Companies. The Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including exchange traded funds, to the extent permitted by law. To the extent the Fund invests in the common equity of investment companies, the Fund will bear its ratable share of any such investment company’s expenses, including management fees. The Fund will also remain obligated to pay management fees to the Investment Adviser with respect to the assets invested in the securities of other investment companies. In these circumstances holders of the Fund’s common shares will be in effect subject to duplicative investment expenses.

Status as a Regulated Investment Company. The Fund has elected to qualify as a regulated investment company (a “RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Code. Qualification requires, among other things, compliance by the Fund with certain distribution requirements. Statutory limitations on distributions on the common shares if the Fund fails to satisfy the 1940 Act’s asset coverage requirements could jeopardize the Fund’s ability to meet such distribution requirements. While the Fund presently intends to purchase or redeem notes or preferred shares, if any, to the extent necessary in order to maintain compliance with such asset coverage requirements, there can be no assurance that such actions can be effected in time to meet the Code requirements. For a more complete discussion of these and other U.S. federal income tax considerations, see “Taxation” below.

Anti-Takeover Provisions. The Agreement and Declaration of Trust and By-Laws of the Fund include provisions that could limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund or convert the Fund to an open-end fund. See “Anti-Takeover Provisions of the Fund’s Governing Documents.”

Special Risks to Holders of Common Shares

Dilution Risk. If the Fund determines to conduct a rights offering to subscribe for common shares, holders of common shares may experience dilution of the aggregate net asset value of their common shares. Such dilution will depend upon whether (i) such shareholders participate in the rights offering and (ii) the Fund’s net asset value per common share is above or below the subscription price on the expiration date of the rights offering.

 



 

69


Table of Contents

Shareholders who do not exercise their subscription rights may, at the completion of such an offering, own a smaller proportional interest in the Fund than if they exercised their subscription rights. As a result of such an offering, a shareholder may experience dilution in net asset value per share if the subscription price per share is below the net asset value per share on the expiration date. If the subscription price per share is below the net asset value per share of the Fund’s shares on the expiration date, a shareholder will experience an immediate dilution of the aggregate net asset value of such shareholder’s shares if the shareholder does not participate in such an offering and the shareholder will experience a reduction in the net asset value per share of such shareholder’s shares whether or not the shareholder participates in such an offering. The Fund cannot state precisely the extent of this dilution (if any) if the shareholder does not exercise such shareholder’s subscription rights because the Fund does not know what the net asset value per share will be when the offer expires or what proportion of the subscription rights will be exercised.

Leverage Risk. The Fund may use financial leverage for investment purposes. As provided in the 1940 Act and subject to certain exceptions, the Fund may issue senior securities (which may be stock, such as preferred shares, and/or securities representing debt) only if immediately after such issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceeds 300% of the amount of the debt outstanding and exceeds 200% of the amount of preferred shares and debt outstanding.

A leveraged capital structure would create special risks not associated with unleveraged funds having a similar investment objective and policies. These include the possibility of greater loss and the likelihood of higher volatility of the net asset value of the Fund and the asset coverage for preferred shares. Such volatility may increase the likelihood of the Fund having to sell investments in order to meet its obligations to make distributions on the preferred shares or principal or interest payments on debt securities, or to redeem preferred shares or repay debt, when it may be disadvantageous to do so. The Fund’s use of leverage may require it to sell portfolio investments at inopportune times in order to raise cash to redeem preferred shares or otherwise de-leverage so as to maintain required asset coverage amounts or comply with the mandatory redemption terms of any outstanding preferred shares. The use of leverage magnifies both the favorable and unfavorable effects of price movements in the investments made by the Fund. To the extent that the Fund employs leverage in its investment operations, the Fund is subject to substantial risk of loss. The Fund cannot assure you that borrowings or the issuance of preferred shares or notes will result in a higher yield or return to the holders of the common shares. Also, if the Fund utilizes leverage, a decline in net asset value could affect the ability of the Fund to make common share distributions and such a failure to make distributions could result in the Fund ceasing to qualify as a RIC under the Code. See “Taxation.”

Any decline in the net asset value of the Fund’s investments would be borne entirely by the holders of common shares. Therefore, if the market value of the Fund’s portfolio declines, the leverage will result in a greater decrease in net asset value to the holders of common shares than if the Fund were not leveraged. This greater net asset value decrease will also tend to cause a greater decline in the market price for the common shares. The Fund might be in danger of failing to maintain the required asset coverage of its borrowings, notes or preferred shares or of losing its ratings on its preferred shares or notes or, in an extreme case, the Fund’s current investment income might not be sufficient to meet the distribution or interest requirements on the borrowings, preferred shares or notes. In order to counteract such an event, the Fund might need to liquidate investments in order to fund a redemption or repayment of some or all of the borrowings, preferred shares or notes.

 

   

Preferred Share and Note Risk. The issuance of preferred shares or notes causes the net asset value and market value of the common shares to become more volatile. If the dividend rate on the preferred shares or the interest rate on the notes approaches the net rate of return on the Fund’s investment portfolio, the benefit of leverage to the holders of the common shares would be reduced. If the dividend rate on the preferred shares or the interest rate on the notes plus the management fee annual rate of 1.00% exceeds the net rate of return on the Fund’s portfolio, the leverage will result in a lower rate of

 



 

70


Table of Contents
 

return to the holders of common shares than if the Fund had not issued preferred shares or notes. If the Fund has insufficient investment income and gains, all or a portion of the distributions to preferred shareholders or interest payments to note holders would come from the common shareholders’ capital. Such distributions and interest payments reduce the net assets attributable to common shareholders. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any sale of preferred shares will set forth dividend rate on such preferred shares.

In addition, the Fund would pay (and the holders of common shares will bear) all costs and expenses relating to the issuance and ongoing maintenance of the preferred shares or notes, including the advisory fees on the incremental assets attributable to the preferred shares or notes.

Holders of preferred shares and notes may have different interests than holders of common shares and may at times have disproportionate influence over the Fund’s affairs. As provided in the 1940 Act and subject to certain exceptions, the Fund may issue senior securities (which may be stock, such as preferred shares, and/or securities representing debt, such as notes) only if immediately after such issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceeds 300% of the amount of the debt outstanding and exceeds 200% of the amount of preferred shares and debt outstanding, which is referred to as the “asset coverage” required by the 1940 Act. In the event the Fund fails to maintain an asset coverage of 100% for any notes outstanding for certain periods of time, the 1940 Act requires that either an event of default be declared or that the holders of such notes have the right to elect a majority of the Fund’s Trustees until asset coverage recovers to 110%. In addition, holders of preferred shares, voting separately as a single class, have the right (subject to the rights of noteholders) to elect two members of the Board at all times and in the event dividends become two full years in arrears would have the right to elect a majority of the Trustees until such arrearage is completely eliminated. In addition, preferred shareholders have class voting rights on certain matters, including changes in fundamental investment restrictions and conversion of the Fund to open-end status, and accordingly can veto any such changes. Further, interest on notes will be payable when due as described in a Prospectus Supplement and if the Fund does not pay interest when due, it will trigger an event of default and the Fund expects to be restricted from declaring dividends and making other distributions with respect to common shares and preferred shares. Upon the occurrence and continuance of an event of default, the holders of a majority in principal amount of a series of outstanding notes or the trustee will be able to declare the principal amount of that series of notes immediately due and payable upon written notice to the Fund. The 1940 Act also generally restricts the Fund from declaring distributions on, or repurchasing, common or preferred shares unless notes have an asset coverage of 300% (200% in case of declaring distributions on preferred shares). The Fund’s common shares are structurally subordinated as to income and residual value to any preferred shares or notes in the Fund’s capital structure, in terms of priority to income and payment in liquidation. See “Description of the Securities—Preferred Shares—Asset Maintenance Requirements” and “Description of the Securities—Notes—Limitations.”

Restrictions imposed on the declarations and payment of dividends or other distributions to the holders of the Fund’s common shares and preferred shares, both by the 1940 Act and by requirements imposed by rating agencies, might impair the Fund’s ability to maintain its qualification as a RIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. While the Fund intends to redeem its preferred shares or notes to the extent necessary to enable the Fund to distribute its income as required to maintain its qualification as a RIC under the Code, there can be no assurance that such actions can be effected in time to meet the Code requirements.

 

   

Portfolio Guidelines of Rating Agencies for Preferred Shares and/or Credit Facility. In order to obtain and maintain attractive credit quality ratings for preferred shares or borrowings, the Fund must comply with investment quality, diversification and other guidelines established by the relevant rating agencies.

 



 

71


Table of Contents
 

These guidelines could affect portfolio decisions and may be more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act. In the event that a rating on the Fund’s preferred shares or notes is lowered or withdrawn by the relevant rating agency, the Fund may also be required to redeem all or part of its outstanding preferred shares or notes, and the common shares of the Fund will lose the potential benefits associated with a leveraged capital structure.

 

   

Impact on Common Shares. Assuming that leverage will (1) be equal in amount to approximately 14% of the Fund’s total net assets, and (2) charge interest or involve dividend payments at a projected blended annual average leverage dividend or interest rate of 5.25%, then the total return generated by the Fund’s portfolio (net of estimated expenses) must exceed approximately 0.75% of the Fund’s total net assets in order to cover such interest or dividend payments and other expenses specifically related to leverage. Of course, these numbers are merely estimates, used for illustration. Actual dividend rates, interest or payment rates may vary frequently and may be significantly higher or lower than the rate estimated above. The following table is furnished in response to requirements of the SEC. It is designed to illustrate the effect of leverage on common share total return, assuming investment portfolio total returns (comprised of net investment income of the Fund, realized gains or losses of the Fund and changes in the value of the securities held in the Fund’s portfolio) of -10%, -5%, 0%, 5% and 10%. These assumed investment portfolio returns are hypothetical figures and are not necessarily indicative of the investment portfolio returns experienced or expected to be experienced by the Fund. The table further reflects leverage representing 14% of the Fund’s total net assets, the Fund’s current projected blended annual average leverage dividend or interest rate of 5.25%, a management fee at an annual rate of 1.00% of the liquidation preference of any outstanding preferred shares and estimated annual incremental expenses attributable to any outstanding preferred shares of 0.03% of the Fund’s net assets attributable to common shares.

 

Assumed Return on Portfolio (Net of Expenses)

     (10 )%      (5 )%      0     5      10

Corresponding Return to Common Shareholder

     (12.65 )%      (6.84 )%      (1.02 )%      4.79      10.61

Common share total return is composed of two elements—the common share distributions paid by the Fund (the amount of which is largely determined by the taxable income of the Fund (including realized gains or losses) after paying interest on any debt and/or dividends on any preferred shares) and unrealized gains or losses on the value of the securities the Fund owns. As required by SEC rules, the table assumes that the Fund is more likely to suffer capital losses than to enjoy total return. For example, to assume a total return of 0% the Fund must assume that the income it receives on its investments is entirely offset by expenses and losses in the value of those investments.

Market Discount Risk. As described above in “– General Risks—Market Discount Risk,” common shares of closed-end funds often trade at a discount to their net asset values and the Fund’s common shares may trade at such a discount. This risk may be greater for investors expecting to sell their common shares of the Fund soon after completion of a public offering. The common shares of the Fund are designed primarily for long-term investors and investors in the shares should not view the Fund as a vehicle for trading purposes.

Special Risks to Holders of Preferred Shares

Illiquidity Prior to Exchange Listing. Prior to an offering, there will be no public market for any series of Fixed Rate Preferred Shares. In the event any series of Fixed Rate Preferred Shares are issued, we expect to apply to list such shares on a national securities exchange, which will likely be the NYSE. However, during an initial period, which is not expected to exceed 30 days after the date of its initial issuance, such shares may not be listed on any securities exchange. During such period, the underwriters may make a market in such shares, though they will have no obligation to do so. Consequently, an investment in such shares may be illiquid during such period.

 



 

72


Table of Contents

Market Price Fluctuation. Fixed Rate Preferred Shares may trade at a premium to or discount from liquidation value for various reasons, including changes in interest rates, perceived credit quality and other factors.

Special Risks to Holders of Notes

An investment in our notes is subject to special risks. Our notes are not likely to be listed on an exchange or automated quotation system. We cannot assure you that any market will exist for our notes or if a market does exist, whether it will provide holders with liquidity. Broker-dealers that maintain a secondary trading market for the notes are not required to maintain this market, and the Fund is not required to redeem notes if an attempted secondary market sale fails because of a lack of buyers. To the extent that our notes trade, they may trade at a price either higher or lower than their principal amount depending on interest rates, the rating (if any) on such notes and other factors.

Special Risks of Notes to Holders of Preferred Shares

As provided in the 1940 Act, and subject to compliance with the Fund’s investment limitations, the Fund may issue notes. In the event the Fund were to issue such securities, the Fund’s obligations to pay dividends or make distributions and, upon liquidation of the Fund, liquidation payments in respect of its preferred shares would be subordinate to the Fund’s obligations to make any principal and interest payments due and owing with respect to its outstanding notes. Accordingly, the Fund’s issuance of notes would have the effect of creating special risks for the Fund’s preferred shareholders that would not be present in a capital structure that did not include such securities.

Special Risks to Holders of Notes and Preferred Shares

Common Share Repurchases. Repurchases of common shares by the Fund may reduce the net asset coverage of the notes and preferred shares, which could adversely affect their liquidity or market prices.

Common Share Distribution Policy. In the event the Fund does not generate a total return from dividends and interest received and net realized capital gains in an amount at least equal to its distributions for a given year, the Fund expects that it would return capital as part of its distribution. This would decrease the asset coverage per share with respect to the Fund’s notes or preferred shares, which could adversely affect their liquidity or market prices.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, the Fund made distributions of $0.84 per common share, approximately $0.82 of which constituted a return of capital. The composition of each distribution is estimated based on earnings as of the record date for the distribution. The actual composition of each distribution may change based on the Fund’s investment activity through the end of the calendar year.

Credit Quality Ratings. The Fund may obtain credit quality ratings for its preferred shares or notes; however, it is not required to do so and may issue preferred shares or notes without any rating. If rated, the Fund does not impose any minimum rating necessary to issue such preferred shares or notes. In order to obtain and maintain attractive credit quality ratings for preferred shares or notes, if desired, the Fund’s portfolio must satisfy over-collateralization tests established by the relevant rating agencies. These tests are more difficult to satisfy to the extent the Fund’s portfolio securities are of lower credit quality, longer maturity or not diversified by issuer and industry.

These guidelines could affect portfolio decisions and may be more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act. With respect to ratings (if any) of the notes or preferred shares, a rating by a ratings agency does not eliminate or necessarily mitigate the risks of investing in our preferred shares or notes, and a rating may not fully

 



 

73


Table of Contents

or accurately reflect all of the securities’ credit risks. A rating does not address the liquidity or any other market risks of the securities being rated. A rating agency could downgrade the rating of our notes or preferred shares, which may make such securities less liquid in the secondary market. If a rating agency downgrades the rating assigned to our preferred shares or notes, we may alter our portfolio or redeem all or a portion of the preferred shares or notes that are then redeemable under certain circumstances.

Special Risk to Holders of Subscription Rights

There is a risk that changes in market conditions may result in the underlying common or preferred shares purchaseable upon exercise of the subscription rights being less attractive to investors at the conclusion of the subscription period. This may reduce or eliminate the value of the subscription rights. Investors who receive subscription rights may find that there is no market to sell rights they do not wish to exercise. If investors exercise only a portion of the rights, the number of common or preferred shares issued may be reduced, and the common or preferred shares may trade at less favorable prices than larger offerings for similar securities.

HOW THE FUND MANAGES RISK

Investment Restrictions

The Fund has adopted certain investment limitations designed to limit investment risk and maintain portfolio diversification. These limitations are fundamental and may not be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority, as defined in the 1940 Act, of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (voting together as a single class subject to class approval rights of any preferred shares). See “Investment Restrictions” in the SAI for a complete list of the fundamental investment policies of the Fund. The Fund may become subject to rating agency guidelines that are more limiting than its current investment restrictions in order to obtain and maintain a desired rating on its preferred shares, if any.

Interest Rate Transactions

The Fund may enter into interest rate swap or cap transactions to manage its borrowing costs, as well as to increase income. The use of such swaps and caps is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio security transactions. In an interest rate swap, the Fund would agree to pay to the other party to the interest rate swap (which is known as the “counterparty”) periodically a fixed rate payment in exchange for the counterparty agreeing to pay to the Fund periodically a variable rate payment that is intended to approximate the Fund’s variable rate payment obligation on its borrowings (or the Fund’s potential variable payment obligations on Fixed Rate Preferred Shares that may have certain variable rate features). In an interest rate cap, the Fund would pay a premium to the counterparty to the interest rate cap and, to the extent that a specified variable rate index exceeds a predetermined fixed rate, would receive from the counterparty payments of the difference based on the notional amount of such cap. Interest rate swap and cap transactions introduce additional risk because the Fund would remain obligated to pay interest or preferred shares dividends when due even if the counterparty defaulted. Depending on the general state of short-term interest rates and the returns on the Fund’s portfolio securities at that point in time, such a default could negatively affect the Fund’s ability to make interest payments or dividend payments on the preferred shares. In addition, at the time an interest rate swap or cap transaction reaches its scheduled termination date, there is a risk that the Fund will not be able to obtain a replacement transaction or that the terms of the replacement will not be as favorable as on the expiring transaction. If this occurs, it could have a negative impact on the Fund’s ability to make interest payments or dividend payments on the preferred shares. To the extent there is a decline in interest rates, the value of the interest rate swap or cap could decline, resulting in a decline in the asset coverage for the borrowings or preferred shares. A sudden and dramatic decline in interest rates may result in a significant decline in the asset coverage. If the Fund fails to maintain the required asset coverage on any

 



 

74


Table of Contents

outstanding borrowings or preferred shares or fails to comply with other covenants, the Fund may be required to prepay some or all of such borrowings or redeem some or all of such shares. Any such prepayment or redemption would likely result in the Fund seeking to terminate early all or a portion of any swap or cap transactions. Early termination of a swap could result in a termination payment by the Fund to the counterparty, while early termination of a cap could result in a termination payment to the Fund.

The Fund may enter into equity contract for difference swap transactions, for the purpose of increasing the income of the Fund. In an equity contract for difference swap, a set of future cash flows is exchanged between two counterparties. One of these cash flow streams will typically be based on a reference interest rate combined with the performance of a notional value of shares of a stock. The other will be based on the performance of the shares of a stock. Depending on the general state of short-term interest rates and the returns on the Fund’s portfolio securities at the time a swap transaction reaches its scheduled termination date, there is a risk that the Fund will not be able to obtain a replacement transaction or that the terms of the replacement will not be as favorable as on the expiring transaction.

The Fund will usually enter into swaps or caps on a net basis; that is, the two payment streams will be netted out in a cash settlement on the payment date or dates specified in the instrument, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. The Fund intends to segregate or earmark cash or liquid assets having a value at least equal to the value of the Fund’s net payment obligations under any swap transaction, marked to market daily. The Fund will monitor any such swap with a view to ensuring that the Fund remains in compliance with all applicable regulatory investment policy and tax requirements.

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

General

The Fund’s Board (who, with its officers, are described in the SAI) has overall responsibility for the management of the Fund. The Board decides upon matters of general policy and reviews the actions of the Investment Adviser, Gabelli Funds, LLC, One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422, and the Sub-Administrator (as defined below). Pursuant to an investment advisory agreement between the Fund and the Investment Adviser (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”), the Investment Adviser, under the supervision of the Board, provides a continuous investment program for the Fund’s portfolio; provides investment research and makes and executes recommendations for the purchase and sale of securities; and provides all facilities and personnel, including officers required for its administrative management, and pays the compensation of Trustees of the Fund who are officers or employees of the Investment Adviser or its affiliates. As compensation for its services rendered and the related expenses borne by the Investment Adviser, the Fund pays the Investment Adviser a fee at an annual rate of 1.00% of the Fund’s average weekly net assets. The value of the Fund’s average weekly net assets shall be deemed to be the average weekly value of the Fund’s total assets minus the sum of the Fund’s liabilities (such liabilities do not include the aggregate liquidation preference of any outstanding preferred shares and accumulated dividends, if any, on those shares and the outstanding principal amount of any debt securities the proceeds of which were used for investment purposes, plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon). Therefore, the Fund will pay an advisory fee on any assets attributable to leverage it uses. Consequently, if the Fund has preferred shares outstanding, the investment management fees and other expenses as a percentage of net assets attributable to common shares may be higher than if the Fund does not utilize a leveraged capital structure.

Because the investment advisory fees are based on a percentage of managed assets, which includes assets attributable to the Fund’s use of leverage, the Investment Adviser may have a conflict of interest in the input it provides to the Board regarding whether to use or increase the Fund’s use of leverage. The Board bases its

 



 

75


Table of Contents

decision, with input from the Investment Adviser, regarding whether and how much leverage to use for the Fund on its assessment of whether such use of leverage is in the best interests of the Fund, and the Board seeks to manage the Investment Adviser’s potential conflict of interest by retaining the final decision on these matters and by periodically reviewing the Fund’s performance and use of leverage.

The Investment Adviser

The Investment Adviser is a New York limited liability company and registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, serves as an investment adviser to registered investment companies with combined aggregate net assets approximating $23.2 billion as of June 30, 2017. The Investment Adviser is a wholly owned subsidiary of GAMCO Investors, Inc. (“GBL”), a New York corporation, whose Class A Common Stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol, “GBL.” Mr. Mario J. Gabelli may be deemed a “controlling person” of the Investment Adviser on the basis of his controlling interest in GBL. Mr. Gabelli owns a majority of the stock of GGCP, Inc. (“GGCP”), which holds a majority of the capital stock and voting power of GBL. The Investment Adviser has several affiliates that provide investment advisory services: GAMCO Asset Management, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of GBL, acts as investment adviser for individuals, pension trusts, profit sharing trusts, endowments, and The GAMCO Mathers Fund, and as a sub-adviser to certain third party investment funds, which include registered investment companies, having assets under management of approximately of $18.5 billion as of June 30, 2017; Teton Advisors, Inc. and its wholly owned investment adviser, Keeley Teton Advisers, LLC, with assets under management of approximately $3.7 billion as of June 30, 2017, act as investment advisers to The TETON Westwood Funds, the KEELEY Funds, and separately managed accounts; Gabelli & Company Investment Advisers, Inc. (formerly, Gabelli Securities, Inc.), a majority-owned subsidiary of Associated Capital Group, Inc. (“Associated Capital”), acts as investment adviser for certain alternative investment products, consisting primarily of risk arbitrage and merchant banking limited partnerships and offshore companies, with assets under management of approximately $1.4 billion as of June 30, 2017; and Gabelli Fixed Income, LLC, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of GBL, acts as investment adviser for separate accounts having assets under management of approximately $29 million as of June 30, 2017. Teton Advisors, Inc. was spun off by GBL in March 2009 and is an affiliate of GBL by virtue of Mr. Gabelli’s ownership of GGCP the principal shareholder of Teton Advisors, Inc., as of June 30, 2017. Associated Capital was spun off from GBL on November 30, 2015, and is an affiliate of GBL by virtue of Mr. Gabelli’s ownership of GGCP, the principal shareholder of Associated Capital.

Payment of Expenses

The Investment Adviser is obligated to pay expenses associated with providing the services contemplated by the Investment Advisory Agreement including compensation of and office space for its officers and employees connected with investment and economic research, trading and investment management and administration of the Fund (but excluding costs associated with the calculation of the net asset value and allocated costs of the chief compliance officer function and officers of the Fund who are employed by the Fund and are not employed by the Investment Adviser although such officers may receive incentive based variable compensation from affiliates of the Investment Adviser), as well as the fees of all Trustees of the Fund who are officers or employees of the Investment Adviser or its affiliates.

In addition to the fees of the Investment Adviser, the Fund, and indirectly the holders of its common shares, is responsible for the payment of all its other expenses incurred in the operation of the Fund, which include, among other things, underwriting compensation and reimbursements in connection with sales of the Fund’s securities, expenses for legal and the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm’s services, stock exchange listing fees and expenses, costs of printing proxies, share certificates and shareholder reports, charges of the Fund’s Custodian, any sub-custodian and any transfer agent and distribution disbursing agent, expenses in connection with the Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan and the Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan, SEC fees

 



 

76


Table of Contents

and preparation of filings with the SEC, fees and expenses of Trustees who are not officers or employees of the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, accounting and printing costs, the Fund’s pro rata portion of membership fees in trade organizations, compensation and other expenses of officers and employees of the Fund (including, but not limited to, the Chief Compliance Officer, Vice President and Ombudsman) as approved by the Fund’s Trustees, fidelity bond coverage for the Fund’s officers and employees, Trustees’ and officers’ errors and omissions insurance coverage, interest, brokerage costs, taxes, expenses of qualifying the Fund’s shares for sale in various states, expenses of personnel performing shareholder servicing functions, rating agency fees, organizational expenses, litigation and other extraordinary or non-recurring expenses and other expenses properly payable by the Fund.

Selection of Securities Brokers

The Investment Advisory Agreement contains provisions relating to the selection of securities brokers to effect the portfolio transactions of the Fund. Under those provisions, the Investment Adviser may (i) direct Fund portfolio brokerage to G.research, LLC (“G.research”), an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, or to other broker-dealer affiliates of the Investment Adviser and (ii) pay commissions to brokers other than G.research that are higher than might be charged by another qualified broker to obtain brokerage and/or research services considered by the Investment Adviser to be useful or desirable for its investment management of the Fund and/or its other investment advisory accounts or those of any investment adviser affiliated with it. The SAI contains further information about the Investment Advisory Agreement, including a more complete description of the investment advisory and expense arrangements, exculpatory and brokerage provisions, as well as information on the brokerage practices of the Fund.

Portfolio Managers

Caesar M. P. Bryan joined GAMCO Asset Management in 1994. He is a member of the global investment team of Gabelli Funds, LLC and portfolio manager of several funds within the “Gabelli/GAMCO/Teton Fund Complex” (or alternatively, “Fund Complex”) defined herein as including all of the U.S. registered investment companies that are considered part of the same fund complex as the Fund because they have common or affiliated investment advisers. Prior to joining Gabelli, Mr. Bryan was a portfolio manager at Lexington Management. He began his investment career at Samuel Montagu Company, the London based merchant bank. Mr. Bryan graduated from the University of Southampton in England with a Bachelor of Law and is a member of the English Bar.

Vincent Hugonnard-Roche joined GAMCO Investors, Inc. in 2000. He is the sole option strategist on the Fund’s portfolio management team. He is Director of Quantitative Strategies, head of the Gabelli Risk Management Group, serves as a portfolio manager of Gabelli Funds, LLC, and manages several funds within the Gabelli/GAMCO/Teton Fund Complex. He received a Master’s degree in Mathematics of Decision Making from EISITI, France and an MS in Finance from ESSEC, France.

Caesar M. P. Bryan and Vincent Hugonnard-Roche function as a team and are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund.

The SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers and the Portfolio Managers’ ownership of securities in the Fund.

Non-Resident Trustees

Anthonie C. van Ekris is not a U.S. resident and substantially all of his assets may be located outside of the United States. Mr. van Ekris does not have an agent for service of process in the United States. As a result, it may

 



 

77


Table of Contents

be difficult for U.S. investors to effect service of process upon Mr. van Ekris within the United States or to realize judgments of courts of the United States predicated upon civil liabilities under the federal securities laws of the United States. In addition, it is not certain that civil liabilities predicated upon the federal securities laws on which a valid judgment of a court in the United States is obtained would be enforceable in the courts of the jurisdictions in which Mr. van Ekris resides. Further, it is not certain that such courts would enforce, in an original action, liabilities against Mr. van Ekris predicated solely on U.S. federal securities laws.

Sub-Administrator

The Investment Adviser has entered into a sub-administration agreement with BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. (the “Sub-Administrator”) pursuant to which the Sub-Administrator provides certain administrative services necessary for the Fund’s operations which do not include the investment and portfolio management services provided by the Investment Adviser. For these services and the related expenses borne by the Sub-Administrator, the Investment Adviser pays an annual fee based on the value of the aggregate average daily net assets of all funds under its administration managed by the Investment Adviser, GAMCO and Teton Advisors, Inc. as follows: 0.0275%—first $10 billion, 0.0125%—exceeding $10 billion but less than $15 billion, 0.01%—over $15 billion but less than $20 billion and 0.008%—over $20 billion. The Sub-Administrator has its principal office at 760 Moore Road, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406.

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS

Principal transactions are not entered into with affiliates of the Fund. However, G.research, LLC, an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, may execute portfolio transactions on stock exchanges and in the OTC markets on an agency basis and may be paid commissions. For a more detailed discussion of the Fund’s brokerage allocation practices, see “Portfolio Transactions” in the SAI.

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

The Fund makes regular monthly cash distributions of all or a portion of its investment company taxable income (which includes ordinary income and short-term capital gains) to its common shareholders. The Fund’s distribution policy may be modified from time to time by the Board as it deems appropriate, including in light of market and economic conditions and the Fund’s current, expected and historical earnings and investment performance. Common shareholders are expected to be notified of any such modifications by press release or in the Fund’s periodic shareholder reports. Because the Fund’s income will fluctuate and the Fund’s distribution policy may be changed by the Board at any time, there can be no assurance that the Fund will pay distributions at a particular rate. As a RIC under the Code, the Fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on any taxable income that it distributes to shareholders, provided that at least 90% of its investment company taxable income for that taxable year is distributed to its shareholders.

The Fund’s annualized distributions have historically included a return of capital. Shareholders who receive the payment of a distribution consisting of a return of capital may be under the impression that they are receiving net profits when they are not. Shareholders should not assume that the source of a distribution from the Fund is net profit. In addition, the amount treated as a tax-free return of capital will reduce a shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in its shares, thereby increasing the shareholder’s potential taxable gain or reducing the potential taxable loss on the sale of the shares. To minimize the U.S. federal income tax that the Fund must pay at the corporate level, the Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its investment company taxable income and previously undistributed cumulative net capital gain.

 



 

78


Table of Contents

The Fund may retain for reinvestment, and pay the resulting U.S. federal income taxes on its net capital gain, if any, although, as previously mentioned, the Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its previously undistributed cumulative net capital gain each year. In the event that the Fund’s investment company taxable income and net capital gain exceeds the total of the Fund’s annual distributions on any shares issued by the Fund, the Fund intends to pay such excess once a year. If, for any calendar year, the total annual distributions on any shares issued by the Fund exceed investment company taxable income and cumulative net capital gain, the excess will generally be treated as a tax-free return of capital up to the amount of a shareholder’s tax basis in his or her shares. Any distributions to the holders of shares which constitute tax-free return of capital will reduce a shareholder’s tax basis in such shares, thereby increasing such shareholder’s potential gain or reducing his or her potential loss on the sale of the shares. Any amounts distributed to a shareholder in excess of the basis in the shares will generally be taxable to the shareholder as capital gain. See “Taxation.”

A portion of the Fund’s common share distributions for each fiscal year since its inception have included a return of capital, and most of the Fund’s common share distributions for each of the fiscal years ended December 31, 2013 through 2016 have consisted of return of capital. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, the Fund made distributions of $0.84 per common share, approximately $0.82 of which constituted a return of capital. When the Fund makes distributions consisting of returns of capital, such distributions may further decrease the Fund’s total assets and, therefore have the likely effect of increasing the Fund’s expense ratio as the Fund’s fixed expenses will become a larger percentage of the Fund’s average net assets. In addition, in order to make such distributions, a Fund may have to sell a portion of its investment portfolio at a time when independent investment judgment may not dictate such action.These effects could have a negative impact on the prices investors receive when they sell shares of the Fund.

AUTOMATIC DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT AND VOLUNTARY CASH PURCHASE PLANS

Enrollment in the Plan

It is the policy of the Fund to automatically reinvest dividends payable to common shareholders. As a “registered” shareholder you automatically become a participant in the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the “Plan”). The Plan authorizes the Fund to credit common shares to participants upon an income dividend or a capital gains distribution regardless of whether the shares are trading at a discount or a premium to net asset value. All distributions to shareholders whose shares are registered in their own names will be automatically reinvested pursuant to the Plan in additional shares of the Fund. Plan participants may send their share certificates to American Stock Transfer (“AST”) to be held in their dividend reinvestment account. Registered shareholders wishing to receive their distributions in cash must submit this request in writing to:

GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust

c/o American Stock Transfer

6201 15th Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11219

Shareholders requesting this cash election must include the shareholder’s name and address as they appear on the share certificate. Shareholders with additional questions regarding the Plan or requesting a copy of the terms of the Plan, may contact AST at (888) 422-3262.

If your shares are held in the name of a broker, bank, or nominee, you should contact such institution. If such institution is not participating in the Plan, your account will be credited with a cash dividend. In order to participate in the Plan through such institution, it may be necessary for you to have your shares taken out of “street name” and re-registered in your own name. Once registered in your own name your distributions will be

 



 

79


Table of Contents

automatically reinvested. Certain brokers participate in the Plan. Shareholders holding shares in “street name” at participating institutions will have dividends automatically reinvested. Shareholders wishing a cash dividend at such institution must contact their broker to make this change.

The number of common shares distributed to participants in the Plan in lieu of cash dividends is determined in the following manner. Under the Plan, whenever the market price of the Fund’s common shares is equal to or exceeds net asset value at the time shares are valued for purposes of determining the number of shares equivalent to the cash dividends or capital gains distribution, participants are issued common shares valued at the greater of (i) the net asset value as most recently determined or (ii) 95% of the then current market price of the Fund’s common shares. The valuation date is the dividend or distribution payment date or, if that date is not a NYSE Amex trading day, the next trading day. If the net asset value of the common shares at the time of valuation exceeds the market price of the common shares, participants will receive common shares from the Fund valued at market price. If the Fund should declare a dividend or capital gains distribution payable only in cash, AST will buy common shares in the open market, or on the NYSE Amex, or elsewhere, for the participants’ accounts, except that AST will endeavor to terminate purchases in the open market and cause the Fund to issue shares at net asset value if, following the commencement of such purchases, the market value of the common shares exceeds the then current net asset value.

The automatic reinvestment of dividends and capital gains distributions will not relieve participants of any income tax which may be payable on such distributions. A participant in the Plan will be treated for federal income tax purposes as having received, on a dividend payment date, a dividend or distribution in an amount equal to the cash the participant could have received instead of shares, unless the Fund issues new shares trading at or above net asset value, in which case the participant will be treated as receiving a distribution in the amount of the fair market value of the distributed shares.

Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan

The Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan is yet another vehicle for our shareholders to increase their investment in the Fund. In order to participate in the Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan, shareholders must have their shares registered in their own name.

Participants in the Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan have the option of making additional cash payments to AST for investments in the Fund’s common shares at the then current market price. Shareholders may send an amount from $250 to $10,000. AST will use these funds to purchase shares in the open market on or about the 1st and 15th of each month. AST will charge each shareholder who participates a pro rata share of the brokerage commissions. Brokerage charges for such purchases are expected to be less than the usual brokerage charge for such transactions. It is suggested that any voluntary cash payments be sent to American Stock Transfer, 6201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219 such that AST receives such payments approximately 10 days before the investment date. Funds not received at least five days before the investment date shall be held for investment until the next purchase date. A payment may be withdrawn without charge if notice is received by AST at least 48 hours before such payment is to be invested.

Shareholders wishing to liquidate shares held at AST must do so in writing or by telephone. Please submit your request to the above mentioned address or telephone number. Include in your request your name, address, and account number. The cost to liquidate shares is $1.00 per transaction as well as the brokerage commission incurred. Brokerage charges are expected to be less than the usual brokerage charge for such transactions.

For more information regarding the Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan and Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan, brochures are available by calling (914) 921-5070 or by writing directly to the Fund.

 



 

80


Table of Contents

The Fund reserves the right to amend or terminate the Plan as applied to any voluntary cash payments made and any dividend or distribution paid subsequent to written notice of the change sent to the members of the Plan at least 90 days before the record date for such dividend or distribution. The Plan also may be amended or terminated by AST on at least 90 days written notice to participants in the Plan.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES

The following is a brief description of the terms of the common and preferred shares, notes, and subscription rights. This description does not purport to be complete and is qualified by reference to the Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust and its By-Laws. For complete terms of the common and preferred shares, please refer to the actual terms of such series, which are set forth in the Governing Documents. For complete terms of the notes, please refer to the actual terms of such notes, which will be set forth in an Indenture relating to such notes (the “Indenture”). For complete terms of the subscription rights, please refer to the actual terms of such subscription rights which will be set forth in the subscription rights agreement relating to such subscription rights (the “Subscription Rights Agreement”).

Common Shares

The Fund is an unincorporated statutory trust organized under the laws of Delaware pursuant to a Certificate of Trust dated as of June 26, 2008. The Fund is authorized to issue an unlimited number of common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.001 per share. Each common share has one vote and, when issued and paid for in accordance with the terms of the applicable offering, will be fully paid and non-assessable. Though the Fund expects to pay distributions monthly on its common shares, it is not obligated to do so. All common shares are equal as to distributions, assets and voting privileges and have no conversion, preemptive or other subscription rights. The Fund will send annual and semiannual reports, including financial statements, to all holders of its shares. In the event of liquidation, each of the Fund’s common shares is entitled to its proportion of the Fund’s assets after payment of debts and expenses and the amounts payable to holders of the Fund’s preferred shares ranking senior to the Fund’s common shares as described below.

Any additional offerings of shares will require approval by the Fund’s Board. Any additional offering of common shares will be subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act, which provides that common shares may not be issued at a price below the then current net asset value, exclusive of sales load, except in connection with an offering to existing holders of common shares or with the consent of a majority of the Fund’s common shareholders.

The Fund’s outstanding common shares have been listed and traded on the NYSE under the symbol “GNT” since January 27, 2011. The Fund’s common shares have historically traded at a discount to the Fund’s net asset value. Since the Fund commenced trading on the NYSE, the Fund’s common shares have traded at a premium to net asset value as high as 11.90% and discount as low as (18.29)%. The average weekly trading volume of the common shares on the NYSE during the period from January 27, 2011, when the Fund began investment operations, through June 30, 2017 was 110,418 shares.

Unlike open-end funds, closed-end funds like the Fund do not continuously offer shares and do not provide daily redemptions. Rather, if a shareholder determines to buy additional common shares or sell shares already held, the shareholder may do so by trading through a broker on the NYSE or otherwise.

Shares of closed-end investment companies often trade on an exchange at prices lower than net asset value. Because the market value of the common shares may be influenced by such factors as dividend and distribution levels (which are in turn affected by expenses), dividend and distribution stability, net asset value, market liquidity,

 



 

81


Table of Contents

relative demand for and supply of such shares in the market, unrealized gains, general market and economic conditions and other factors beyond the control of the Fund, the Fund cannot assure you that common shares will trade at a price equal to or higher than net asset value in the future. The common shares are designed primarily for long term investors and you should not purchase the common shares if you intend to sell them soon after purchase.

The Fund’s common shareholders vote as a single class to elect the Board and on additional matters with respect to which the 1940 Act, the Governing Documents or resolutions adopted by the Trustees provide for a vote of the Fund’s common shareholders. See “Anti-Takeover Provisions of the Fund’s Governing Documents.”

The Fund is a closed-end, non-diversified, management investment company and as such its shareholders do not, and will not, have the right to require the Fund to repurchase their shares. The Fund, however, may repurchase its common shares from time to time as and when it deems such a repurchase advisable, subject to maintaining required asset coverage for each series of outstanding preferred shares. The Board has authorized such repurchases to be made when the Fund’s common shares are trading at a discount from net asset value of 10% or more (or such other percentage as the Board of the Fund may determine from time to time). Pursuant to the 1940 Act, the Fund may repurchase its common shares on a securities exchange (provided that the Fund has informed its shareholders within the preceding six months of its intention to repurchase such shares) or pursuant to tenders and may also repurchase shares privately if the Fund meets certain conditions regarding, among other things, distribution of net income for the preceding fiscal year, status of the seller, price paid, brokerage commissions, prior notice to shareholders of an intention to purchase shares and purchasing in a manner and on a basis that does not discriminate unfairly against the other shareholders through their interest in the Fund.

When the Fund repurchases its common shares for a price below net asset value, the net asset value of the common shares that remain outstanding will be enhanced, but this does not necessarily mean that the market price of the outstanding common shares will be affected, either positively or negatively. The repurchase of common shares will reduce the total assets of the Fund available for investment and may increase the Fund’s expense ratio. In total through June 30, 2017, the Fund has repurchased and retired 250,613 common shares in the open market at an average price of $5.51 per share and at an average discount of approximately 14.25% from the Fund’s net asset value.

Book-Entry. The common shares will initially be held in the name of Cede & Co. as nominee for the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”). The Fund will treat Cede & Co. as the holder of record of the common shares for all purposes. In accordance with the procedures of DTC, however, purchasers of common shares will be deemed the beneficial owners of shares purchased for purposes of distributions, voting and liquidation rights.

Preferred Shares

The Agreement and Declaration of Trust provides that the Board may authorize and issue senior securities with rights as determined by the Board, by action of the Board without the approval of the holders of the common shares. Holders of common shares have no preemptive right to purchase any senior securities that might be issued.

Currently an unlimited number of the Fund’s shares have been classified by the Board as preferred shares, par value $0.001 per share. The terms of such preferred shares may be fixed by the Board and would materially limit and/or qualify the rights of holders of the Fund’s common shares.

If the Fund issues preferred shares, it will pay dividends to the holders of the preferred shares at a fixed rate, as described in a Prospectus Supplement accompanying each preferred share offering.

 



 

82


Table of Contents

Upon a liquidation, each holder of the preferred shares will be entitled to receive out of the assets of the Fund available for distribution to shareholders (after payment of claims of the Fund’s creditors but before any distributions with respect to the Fund’s common shares or any other shares of the Fund ranking junior to the preferred shares as to liquidation payments) an amount per share equal to such share’s liquidation preference plus any accumulated but unpaid distributions (whether or not earned or declared, excluding interest thereon) to the date of distribution, and such shareholders shall be entitled to no further participation in any distribution or payment in connection with such liquidation. Each series of the preferred shares will rank on a parity with any other series of preferred shares of the Fund as to the payment of distributions and the distribution of assets upon liquidation, and will be junior to the Fund’s obligations with respect to any outstanding senior securities representing debt. The preferred shares carry one vote per share on all matters on which such shares are entitled to vote. The preferred shares will, upon issuance, be fully paid and nonassessable and will have no preemptive, exchange or conversion rights. The Board may by resolution classify or reclassify any authorized but unissued capital shares of the Fund from time to time by setting or changing the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to distributions or terms or conditions of redemption. The Fund will not issue any class of shares senior to the preferred shares.

Redemption, Purchase and Sale of Preferred Shares By the Fund. The terms of any preferred shares are expected to provide that (i) they are redeemable by the Fund at any time (either after the date of initial issuance, or after some period of time following initial issuance) in whole or in part at the original purchase price per share plus accumulated dividends per share, (ii) the Fund may tender for or purchase preferred shares and (iii) the Fund may subsequently resell any shares so tendered for or purchased. Any redemption or purchase of preferred shares by the Fund will reduce the leverage applicable to the common shares, while any resale of preferred shares by the Fund will increase that leverage.

Rating Agency Guidelines. Upon issuance, it is expected that any new series of preferred shares will be rated by Moody’s or Fitch.

The Fund is, and expects that it will be, required under the applicable rating agency guidelines to maintain assets having in the aggregate a discounted value at least equal to a Basic Maintenance Amount (as defined in the applicable Statement of Preferences and summarized below), for its outstanding preferred shares. To the extent any particular portfolio holding does not satisfy the applicable rating agency’s guidelines, all or a portion of such holding’s value will not be included in the calculation of discounted value (as defined by such rating agency). The Moody’s and Fitch guidelines also impose certain diversification requirements and industry concentration limitations on the Fund’s overall portfolio, and apply specified discounts to securities held by the Fund (except certain money market securities).

The “Basic Maintenance Amount” is generally equal to (a) the sum of (i) the aggregate liquidation preference of any preferred shares then outstanding plus (to the extent not included in the liquidation preference of such preferred shares) an amount equal to the aggregate accumulated but unpaid distributions (whether or not earned or declared) in respect of such preferred shares, (ii) the Fund’s other liabilities (excluding dividends and other distributions payable on the Fund’s common shares) and (iii) any other current liabilities of the Fund (including amounts due and payable by the Fund pursuant to reverse repurchase agreements and payables for assets purchased) less (b) the value of the Fund’s assets if such assets are either cash or evidences of indebtedness which mature prior to or on the date of redemption or repurchase of preferred shares or payment of another liability and are either U.S. government securities or evidences of indebtedness rated at least “Aaa,” “P-1”, “VMIG-1” or “MIG-1” by Moody’s or “AAA”, “SP-1+” or “A-1+” by S&P and are held by the Fund for distributions, the redemption or repurchase of preferred shares or the Fund’s liabilities.

If the Fund does not cure in a timely manner a failure to maintain a discounted value of its portfolio equal to the Basic Maintenance Amount in accordance with the requirements of the applicable rating agency or agencies then rating the preferred shares at the request of the Fund, the Fund may, and in certain circumstances will be required to, mandatorily redeem preferred shares.

 



 

83


Table of Contents

The Fund may, but is not required to, adopt any modifications to the rating agency guidelines that may hereafter be established by Moody’s and Fitch (or such other rating agency then rating the preferred shares at the request of the Fund). Failure to adopt any such modifications, however, may result in a change in the relevant rating agency’s ratings or a withdrawal of such ratings altogether. In addition, any rating agency providing a rating for the preferred shares at the request of the Fund may, at any time, change or withdraw any such rating. The Board, without further action by shareholders, may amend, alter, add to or repeal any provision of the Statement of Preferences adopted pursuant to rating agency guidelines if the Board determines that such amendments or modifications are necessary to prevent a reduction in, or the withdrawal of, a rating of the preferred shares and are in the aggregate in the best interests of the holders of the preferred shares. Additionally, the Board, without further action by the shareholders, may amend, alter, add to or repeal any provision of the Statement of Preferences adopted pursuant to rating agency guidelines if the Board determines that such amendments or modifications will not in the aggregate adversely affect the rights and preferences of the holders of any series of the preferred shares, provided that the Fund has received advice from each applicable rating agency that such amendment or modification is not expected to adversely affect such rating agency’s then-current rating of such series of the Fund’s preferred shares.

As described by Moody’s and Fitch, the ratings assigned to the preferred shares are assessments of the capacity and willingness of the Fund to pay the obligations of each series of the preferred shares. The ratings on the preferred shares are not recommendations to purchase, hold or sell shares of any series, inasmuch as the ratings do not comment as to market price or suitability for a particular investor. The rating agency guidelines also do not address the likelihood that an owner of preferred shares will be able to sell such shares on an exchange, in an auction or otherwise. The ratings are based on current information furnished to Moody’s and Fitch by the Fund and the Investment Adviser and information obtained from other sources. The ratings may be changed, suspended or withdrawn as a result of changes in, or the unavailability of, such information.

The rating agency guidelines will apply to the preferred shares, as the case may be, only so long as such rating agency is rating such shares at the request of the Fund. The Fund would pay fees to Moody’s and Fitch for rating the preferred shares.

Asset Maintenance Requirements. In addition to the requirement summarized under, “— Rating Agency Guidelines” above, the Fund must satisfy asset maintenance requirements under the 1940 Act with respect to its preferred shares. Under the 1940 Act, debt or additional preferred shares may be issued only if immediately after such issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets (less ordinary course liabilities) is at least 300% of the amount of any debt outstanding and at least 200% of the amount of any preferred shares and debt outstanding.

The Fund will be required under the Statement of Preferences of each series of preferred shares to determine whether it has, as of the last business day of each March, June, September and December of each year, an “asset coverage” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of at least 200% (or such higher or lower percentage as may be required at the time under the 1940 Act) with respect to all outstanding senior securities of the Fund that are debt or stock, including any outstanding preferred shares. If the Fund fails to maintain the asset coverage required under the 1940 Act on such dates and such failure is not cured by a specific time (generally within 49 calendar days), the Fund may, and in certain circumstances will be required to, mandatorily redeem preferred shares sufficient to satisfy such asset coverage. See “Redemption Procedures” below.

Distributions. Holders of any Fixed Rate Preferred Shares will be entitled to receive, out of funds legally available therefore, cumulative cash distributions, at an annual rate set forth in the applicable Statement of Preferences or Prospectus Supplement, payable with such frequency as set forth in the applicable Statement of Preferences or Prospectus Supplement. Such distributions will accumulate from the date on which such shares are issued.

 



 

84


Table of Contents

Restrictions on Dividends and Other Distributions for the Preferred Shares. So long as any preferred shares are outstanding, the Fund may not pay any dividend or distribution (other than a dividend or distribution paid in common shares or in options, warrants or rights to subscribe for or purchase common shares) in respect of the common shares or call for redemption, redeem, purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration any common shares (except by conversion into or exchange for shares of the Fund ranking junior to the preferred shares as to the payment of dividends or distributions and the distribution of assets upon liquidation), unless:

 

   

the Fund has declared and paid (or provided to the relevant dividend paying agent) all cumulative distributions on the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares due on or prior to the date of such common shares dividend or distribution;

 

   

the Fund has redeemed the full number of preferred shares to be redeemed pursuant to any mandatory redemption provision in the Fund’s Governing Documents; and

 

   

after making the distribution, the Fund meets applicable asset coverage requirements described under “Preferred Shares—Asset Maintenance Requirements.”

No complete distribution due for a particular dividend period will be declared or made on any series of preferred shares for any dividend period, or part thereof, unless full cumulative distributions due through the most recent dividend payment dates therefore for all outstanding series of preferred shares of the Fund ranking on a parity with such series as to distributions have been or contemporaneously are declared and made. If full cumulative distributions due have not been made on all outstanding preferred shares of the Fund ranking on a parity with such series of preferred shares as to the payment of distributions, any distributions being paid on the preferred shares will be paid as nearly pro rata as possible in proportion to the respective amounts of distributions accumulated but unmade on each such series of preferred shares on the relevant dividend payment date. The Fund’s obligation to make distributions on the preferred shares will be subordinate to its obligations to pay interest and principal, when due, on any senior securities representing debt.

Mandatory Redemption Relating to Asset Coverage Requirements. The Fund may, at its option, consistent with the Governing Documents and the 1940 Act, and in certain circumstances will be required to, mandatorily redeem preferred shares in the event that:

 

   

the Fund fails to maintain the asset coverage requirements specified under the 1940 Act on a quarterly valuation date (generally the last business day of March, June, September and December) and such failure is not cured on or before a specified period of time, following such failure (typically 49 calendar days); or

 

   

the Fund fails to maintain the asset coverage requirements as calculated in accordance with any applicable rating agency guidelines as of any monthly valuation date, and such failure is not cured on or before a specified period of time after such valuation date (typically 10 business days).

The redemption price for preferred shares subject to mandatory redemption will generally be the liquidation preference, as stated in the Statement of Preferences of each existing series of preferred shares or the Prospectus Supplement accompanying the issuance of any series of preferred shares, plus an amount equal to any accumulated but unpaid distributions (whether or not earned or declared) to the date fixed for redemption, plus any applicable redemption premium determined by the Board and included in the Statement of Preferences.

The number of preferred shares that will be redeemed in the case of a mandatory redemption will equal the minimum number of outstanding preferred shares, the redemption of which, if such redemption had occurred immediately prior to the opening of business on the applicable cure date, would have resulted in the relevant asset coverage requirement having been met or, if the required asset coverage cannot be so restored, all of the preferred shares. In the event that preferred shares are redeemed due to a failure to satisfy the 1940 Act asset

 



 

85


Table of Contents

coverage requirements, the Fund may, but is not required to, redeem a sufficient number of preferred shares so that the Fund’s assets exceed the asset coverage requirements under the 1940 Act after the redemption by 10% (that is, 220% asset coverage) or some other amount specified in the Statement of Preferences. In the event that preferred shares are redeemed due to a failure to satisfy applicable rating agency guidelines, the Fund may, but is not required to, redeem a sufficient number of preferred shares so that the Fund’s discounted portfolio value (as determined in accordance with the applicable rating agency guidelines) after redemption exceeds the asset coverage requirements of each applicable rating agency by up to 10% (that is, 110% rating agency asset coverage) or some other amount specified in the Statement of Preferences.

If the Fund does not have funds legally available for the redemption of, or is otherwise unable to redeem, all the preferred shares to be redeemed on any redemption date, the Fund will redeem on such redemption date that number of shares for which it has legally available funds, or is otherwise able to redeem, from the holders whose shares are to be redeemed ratably on the basis of the redemption price of such shares, and the remainder of those shares to be redeemed will be redeemed on the earliest practicable date on which the Fund will have funds legally available for the redemption of, or is otherwise able to redeem, such shares upon written notice of redemption.

If fewer than all of the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares are to be redeemed, the Fund, at its discretion and subject to the limitations of the Governing Documents, the 1940 Act, and applicable law, will select the one or more series of preferred from which shares will be redeemed and the amount of preferred to be redeemed from each such series. If fewer than all shares of a series of preferred are to be redeemed, such redemption will be made as among the holders of that series pro rata in accordance with the respective number of shares of such series held by each such holder on the record date for such redemption (or by such other equitable method as the Fund may determine). If fewer than all preferred shares held by any holder are to be redeemed, the notice of redemption mailed to such holder will specify the number of shares to be redeemed from such holder, which may be expressed as a percentage of shares held on the applicable record date.

Optional Redemption. Fixed Rate Preferred Shares are not subject to optional redemption by the Fund until the date, if any, specified in the applicable Prospectus or Prospectus Supplement, unless such redemption is necessary, in the judgment of the Fund, to maintain the Fund’s status as a RIC under the Code. Commencing on such date and thereafter, the Fund may at any time redeem such Fixed Rate Preferred Shares in whole or in part for cash at a redemption price per share equal to the liquidation preference per share plus accumulated and unpaid distributions (whether or not earned or declared) to the redemption date plus any premium specified in or pursuant to the Statement of Preferences. Such redemptions are subject to the notice requirements set forth under “Preferred Shares—Redemption Procedures” and the limitations of the Governing Documents, the 1940 Act and applicable law.

Redemption Procedures. If the Fund determines or is required to redeem preferred shares, it will mail a notice redemption to holders of the shares to be redeemed. Each notice of redemption will state (i) the redemption date, (ii) the number or percentage of preferred shares to be redeemed (which may be expressed as a percentage of such shares outstanding), (iii) the CUSIP number(s) of such shares, (iv) the redemption price (specifying the amount of accumulated distributions to be included therein), (v) the place or places where such shares are to be redeemed, (vi) that distributions on the shares to be redeemed will cease to accumulate on such redemption date, (vii) the provision of the Statement of Preferences under which the redemption is being made and (viii) in the case of an optional redemption, any conditions precedent to such redemption. No defect in the notice of redemption or in the mailing thereof will affect the validity of the redemption proceedings, except as required by applicable law.

The redemption date with respect to fixed rate preferred shares will not be fewer than 15 days nor more than 40 days (subject to NYSE requirements) after the date of the applicable notice of redemption. Preferred shareholders may receive shorter notice in the event of a mandatory redemption.

 



 

86


Table of Contents

The holders of preferred shares will not have the right to redeem any of their shares at their option except to the extent specified in the Statement of Preferences.

Liquidation Rights. In the event of any voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Fund, the holders of preferred shares then outstanding will be entitled to receive a preferential liquidating distribution, which is expected to equal the original purchase price per preferred share plus accumulated and unpaid dividends, whether or not declared, before any distribution of assets is made to holders of common shares. After payment of the full amount of the liquidating distribution to which they are entitled, the holders of preferred shares will not be entitled to any further participation in any distribution of assets by the Fund.

Voting Rights. Except as otherwise stated in this Prospectus, specified in the Governing Documents or resolved by the Board or as otherwise required by applicable law, holders of preferred shares shall be entitled to one vote per share held on each matter submitted to a vote of the shareholders of the Fund and will vote together with holders of common shares and of any other preferred shares then outstanding as a single class.

In connection with the election of the Fund’s Trustees, holders of the outstanding preferred shares, voting together as a single class, will be entitled at all times to elect two of the Fund’s Trustees, and the remaining Trustees will be elected by holders of common shares and holders of preferred shares, voting together as a single class. In addition, if (i) at any time dividends and distributions on outstanding preferred shares are unpaid in an amount equal to at least two full years’ dividends and distributions thereon and sufficient cash or specified securities have not been deposited with the applicable paying agent for the payment of such accumulated dividends and distributions or (ii) at any time holders of any other series of preferred shares are entitled to elect a majority of the Trustees of the Fund under the 1940 Act or the applicable Statement of Preferences creating such shares, then the number of Trustees constituting the Board automatically will be increased by the smallest number that, when added to the two Trustees elected exclusively by the holders of preferred shares as described above, would then constitute a simple majority of the Board as so increased by such smallest number. Such additional Trustees will be elected by the holders of the outstanding preferred shares, voting together as a single class, at a special meeting of shareholders which will be called as soon as practicable and will be held not less than ten nor more than twenty days after the mailing date of the meeting notice. If the Fund fails to send such meeting notice or to call such a special meeting, the meeting may be called by any preferred shareholder on like notice. The terms of office of the persons who are Trustees at the time of that election will continue. If the Fund thereafter pays, or declares and sets apart for payment in full, all dividends and distributions payable on all outstanding preferred shares for all past dividend periods or the holders of other series of preferred shares are no longer entitled to elect such additional Trustees, the additional voting rights of the holders of the preferred shares as described above will cease, and the terms of office of all of the additional Trustees elected by the holders of the preferred shares (but not of the Trustees with respect to whose election the holders of common shares were entitled to vote or the two Trustees the holders of preferred shares have the right to elect as a separate class in any event) will terminate automatically.

The 1940 Act requires that, in addition to any approval by shareholders that might otherwise be required, the approval of the holders of a majority of any outstanding preferred shares (as defined in the 1940 Act), voting separately as a class, would be required to (1) adopt any plan of reorganization that would adversely affect the preferred shares, and (2) take any action requiring a vote of security holders under Section 13(a) of the 1940 Act, including, among other things, changes in the Fund’s classification as a closed-end investment company or changes in its fundamental investment restrictions. As a result of these voting rights, the Fund’s ability to take any such actions may be impeded to the extent that there are any preferred shares outstanding. Additionally, the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding preferred shares (as defined in the 1940 Act), voting as a separate class, will be required to amend, alter or repeal any of the provisions of the Statement of Preferences so as to in the aggregate adversely affect the rights and preferences set forth in the Statement of Preferences. The class votes of holders of preferred shares described above will in each case be in addition to any other vote required to authorize the action in question.

 



 

87


Table of Contents

The foregoing voting provisions will not apply to any series of preferred shares if, at or prior to the time when the act with respect to which such vote otherwise would be required will be effected, such shares will have been redeemed or called for redemption and sufficient cash or cash equivalents provided to the applicable paying agent to effect such redemption. The holders of preferred shares will have no preemptive rights or rights to cumulative voting.

Limitation on Issuance of Preferred Shares. So long as the Fund has preferred shares outstanding, subject to receipt of approval from the rating agencies of each series of preferred shares outstanding, and subject to compliance with the Fund’s investment objectives, policies and restrictions, the Fund may issue and sell shares of one or more other series of additional preferred shares provided that the Fund will, immediately after giving effect to the issuance of such additional preferred shares and to its receipt and application of the proceeds thereof (including, without limitation, to the redemption of preferred shares to be redeemed out of such proceeds), have an “asset coverage” for all senior securities of the Fund which are stock, as defined in the 1940 Act, of at least 200% of the sum of the liquidation preference of the preferred shares of the Fund then outstanding and all indebtedness of the Fund constituting senior securities and no such additional preferred shares will have any preference or priority over any other preferred shares of the Fund upon the distribution of the assets of the Fund or in respect of the payment of dividends or distributions.

The Fund will consider from time to time whether to offer additional preferred shares or securities representing indebtedness and may issue such additional securities if the Board concludes that such an offering would be consistent with the Fund’s Governing Documents and applicable law, and in the best interest of existing common shareholders.

Book Entry. Preferred shares may be held in the name of Cede & Co. as nominee for DTC. The Fund will treat Cede & Co. as the holder of record of any preferred shares issued for all purposes in this circumstance. In accordance with the procedures of DTC, however, purchasers of preferred shares whose preferred shares are held in the name of Cede & Co. as nominee for the DTC will be deemed the beneficial owners of stock purchased for purposes of distributions, voting and liquidation rights.

Notes

General. Under applicable state law and our Agreement and Declaration of Trust, we may borrow money without prior approval of holders of common and preferred shares. We may issue debt securities, including notes, or other evidence of indebtedness and may secure any such notes or borrowings by mortgaging, pledging or otherwise subjecting as security our assets to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or rating agency guidelines. Any borrowings, including without limitation any notes, will rank senior to the preferred shares and the common shares.

Under the 1940 Act, we may only issue one class of senior securities representing indebtedness, which in the aggregate must have asset coverage immediately after the time of issuance of at least 300%. So long as notes are outstanding, additional debt securities must rank on a parity with notes with respect to the payment of interest and upon the distribution of our assets.

A Prospectus Supplement relating to any notes will include specific terms relating to the offering. The terms to be stated in a Prospectus Supplement will include the following:

 

   

the form and title of the security;

 

   

the aggregate principal amount of the securities;

 

   

the interest rate of the securities;

 



 

88


Table of Contents
   

whether the interest rate for the securities will be determined by auction or remarketing;

 

   

the maturity dates on which the principal of the securities will be payable;

 

   

the frequency with which auctions or remarketings, if any, will be held;

 

   

any changes to or additional events of default or covenants;

 

   

any minimum period prior to which the securities may not be called;

 

   

any optional or mandatory call or redemption provisions;

 

   

the credit rating of the notes;

 

   

if applicable, a discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the issuance of the notes; and

 

   

any other terms of the securities.

Interest. The Prospectus Supplement will describe the interest payment provisions relating to notes. Interest on notes will be payable when due as described in the related Prospectus Supplement. If we do not pay interest when due, it will trigger an event of default and we will be restricted from declaring dividends and making other distributions with respect to our common shares and preferred shares.

Limitations. Under the requirements of the 1940 Act, immediately after issuing any notes the value of our total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, must equal or exceed 300% of the amount of the notes outstanding. Other types of borrowings also may result in our being subject to similar covenants in credit agreements.

Additionally, the 1940 Act requires that we prohibit the declaration of any dividend or distribution (other than a dividend or distribution paid in Fund common or preferred shares or in options, warrants or rights to subscribe for or purchase Fund common or preferred shares) in respect of Fund common or preferred shares, or call for redemption, redeem, purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration any such fund common or preferred shares, unless the Fund’s notes have asset coverage of at least 300% (200% in the case of a dividend or distribution on preferred shares) after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution, or acquisition price, as the case may be. These 1940 Act requirements do not apply to any promissory note or other evidence of indebtedness issued in consideration of any loan, extension, or renewal thereof, made by a bank or other person and privately arranged, and not intended to be publicly distributed; however, any such borrowings may result in our being subject to similar covenants in credit agreements. Moreover, the Indenture related to the notes could contain provisions more restrictive than those required by the 1940 Act, and any such provisions would be described in the related Prospectus Supplement.

Events of Default and Acceleration of Maturity of Notes. Unless stated otherwise in the related Prospectus Supplement, any one of the following events will constitute an “event of default” for that series under the Indenture relating to the notes:

 

   

default in the payment of any interest upon a series of notes when it becomes due and payable and the continuance of such default for 30 days;

 

   

default in the payment of the principal of, or premium on, a series of notes at its stated maturity;

 

   

default in the performance, or breach, of any covenant or warranty of ours in the Indenture, and continuance of such default or breach for a period of 90 days after written notice has been given to us by the trustee;

 



 

89


Table of Contents
   

certain voluntary or involuntary proceedings involving us and relating to bankruptcy, insolvency or other similar laws;

 

   

if, on the last business day of each of twenty-four consecutive calendar months, the notes have a 1940 Act asset coverage of less than 100%; or

 

   

any other “event of default” provided with respect to a series, including a default in the payment of any redemption price payable on the redemption date.

Upon the occurrence and continuance of an event of default, the holders of a majority in principal amount of a series of outstanding notes or the trustee will be able to declare the principal amount of that series of notes immediately due and payable upon written notice to us. A default that relates only to one series of notes does not affect any other series and the holders of such other series of notes will not be entitled to receive notice of such a default under the Indenture. Upon an event of default relating to bankruptcy, insolvency or other similar laws, acceleration of maturity will occur automatically with respect to all series. At any time after a declaration of acceleration with respect to a series of notes has been made, and before a judgment or decree for payment of the money due has been obtained, the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding notes of that series, by written notice to us and the trustee, may rescind and annul the declaration of acceleration and its consequences if all events of default with respect to that series of notes, other than the non-payment of the principal of that series of notes which has become due solely by such declaration of acceleration, have been cured or waived and other conditions have been met.

Liquidation Rights. In the event of (a) any insolvency or bankruptcy case or proceeding, or any receivership, liquidation, reorganization or other similar case or proceeding in connection therewith, relative to us or to our creditors, as such, or to our assets, or (b) any liquidation, dissolution or other winding up of us, whether voluntary or involuntary and whether or not involving insolvency or bankruptcy, or (c) any assignment for the benefit of creditors or any other marshalling of assets and liabilities of ours, then (after any payments with respect to any secured creditor of ours outstanding at such time) and in any such event the holders of notes shall be entitled to receive payment in full of all amounts due or to become due on or in respect of all notes (including any interest accruing thereon after the commencement of any such case or proceeding), or provision shall be made for such payment in cash or cash equivalents or otherwise in a manner satisfactory to the holders of the notes, before the holders of any of our common or preferred shares are entitled to receive any payment on account of any redemption proceeds, liquidation preference or dividends from such shares. The holders of notes shall be entitled to receive, for application to the payment thereof, any payment or distribution of any kind or character, whether in cash, property or securities, including any such payment or distribution which may be payable or deliverable by reason of the payment of any other indebtedness of ours being subordinated to the payment of the notes, which may be payable or deliverable in respect of the notes in any such case, proceeding, dissolution, liquidation or other winding up event.

Unsecured creditors of ours may include, without limitation, service providers including the Investment Adviser, the Custodian, administrator, auction agent, broker-dealers and the trustee, pursuant to the terms of various contracts with us. Secured creditors of ours may include without limitation parties entering into any interest rate swap, floor or cap transactions, or other similar transactions with us that create liens, pledges, charges, security interests, security agreements or other encumbrances on our assets.

A consolidation, reorganization or merger of us with or into any other company, or a sale, lease or exchange of all or substantially all of our assets in consideration for the issuance of equity securities of another company shall not be deemed to be a liquidation, dissolution or winding up of us.

Voting Rights. The notes have no voting rights, except as mentioned below and to the extent required by law or as otherwise provided in the Indenture relating to the acceleration of maturity upon the occurrence and

 



 

90


Table of Contents

continuance of an event of default. In connection with the notes or certain other borrowings (if any), the 1940 Act does in certain circumstances grant to the note holders or lenders certain voting rights. The 1940 Act requires that provision is made either (i) that, if on the last business day of each of twelve consecutive calendar months such notes shall have an asset coverage of less than 100%, the holders of such notes voting as a class shall be entitled to elect at least a majority of the members of the Fund’s Trustees, such voting right to continue until such notes shall have an asset coverage of 110% or more on the last business day of each of three consecutive calendar months, or (ii) that, if on the last business day of each of twenty-four consecutive calendar months such notes shall have an asset coverage of less than 100%, an event of default shall be deemed to have occurred. It is expected that, unless otherwise stated in the related Prospectus Supplement, provision will be made that, if on the last business day of each of twenty-four consecutive calendar months such notes shall have an asset coverage of less than 100%, an event of default shall be deemed to have occurred. These 1940 Act requirements do not apply to any promissory note or other evidence of indebtedness issued in consideration of any loan, extension, or renewal thereof, made by a bank or other person and privately arranged, and not intended to be publicly distributed; however, any such borrowings may result in our being subject to similar covenants in credit agreements. As reflected above, the Indenture relating to the notes may also grant to the note holders voting rights relating to the acceleration of maturity upon the occurrence and continuance of an event of default, and any such rights would be described in the related Prospectus Supplement.

Market. Our notes are not likely to be listed on an exchange or automated quotation system. The details on how to buy and sell such notes, along with the other terms of the notes, will be described in a Prospectus Supplement. We cannot assure you that any market will exist for our notes or if a market does exist, whether it will provide holders with liquidity.

Book-Entry, Delivery and Form. Unless otherwise stated in the related Prospectus Supplement, the notes will be issued in book-entry form and will be represented by one or more notes in registered global form. The global notes will be deposited with the trustee as custodian for DTC and registered in the name of Cede & Co., as nominee of DTC. DTC will maintain the notes in designated denominations through its book-entry facilities.

Under the terms of the Indenture, we and the trustee may treat the persons in whose names any notes, including the global notes, are registered as the owners thereof for the purpose of receiving payments and for any and all other purposes whatsoever. Therefore, so long as DTC or its nominee is the registered owner of the global notes, DTC or such nominee will be considered the sole holder of outstanding notes under the Indenture. We or the trustee may give effect to any written certification, proxy or other authorization furnished by DTC or its nominee.

A global note may not be transferred except as a whole by DTC, its successors or their respective nominees. Interests of beneficial owners in the global note may be transferred or exchanged for definitive securities in accordance with the rules and procedures of DTC. In addition, a global note may be exchangeable for notes in definitive form if:

 

   

DTC notifies us that it is unwilling or unable to continue as a depository and we do not appoint a successor within 60 days;

 

   

we, at our option, notify the trustee in writing that we elect to cause the issuance of notes in definitive form under the Indenture; or

 

   

an event of default has occurred and is continuing.

In each instance, upon surrender by DTC or its nominee of the global note, notes in definitive form will be issued to each person that DTC or its nominee identifies as being the beneficial owner of the related notes.

Under the Indenture, the holder of any global note may grant proxies and otherwise authorize any person, including its participants and persons who may hold interests through DTC participants, to take any action which a holder is entitled to take under the Indenture.

 



 

91


Table of Contents

Trustee, Transfer Agent, Registrar, Paying Agent and Redemption Agent. Information regarding the trustee under the Indenture, which may also act as transfer agent, registrar, paying agent and redemption agent with respect to our notes, will be set forth in the Prospectus Supplement.

Subscription Rights

General. We may issue subscription rights to holders of our (i) common shares to purchase common and/or preferred shares or (ii) preferred shares to purchase preferred shares (subject to applicable law). Subscription rights may be issued independently or together with any other offered security and may or may not be transferable by the person purchasing or receiving the subscription rights. In connection with a subscription rights offering to holders of our common and/or preferred shares, we would distribute certificates evidencing the subscription rights and a Prospectus Supplement to our common or preferred shareholders, as applicable, as of the record date that we set for determining the shareholders eligible to receive subscription rights in such subscription rights offering.

The applicable Prospectus Supplement would describe the following terms of subscription rights in respect of which this Prospectus is being delivered:

 

   

the period of time the offering would remain open (which will be open a minimum number of days such that all record holders would be eligible to participate in the offering and will not be open longer than 120 days);

 

   

the title of such subscription rights;

 

   

the exercise price for such subscription rights (or method of calculation thereof);

 

   

the number of such subscription rights issued in respect of each common share;

 

   

the number of rights required to purchase a single preferred share;

 

   

the extent to which such subscription rights are transferable and the market on which they may be traded if they are transferable;

 

   

if applicable, a discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the issuance or exercise of such subscription rights;

 

   

the date on which the right to exercise such subscription rights will commence, and the date on which such right will expire (subject to any extension);

 

   

the extent to which such subscription rights include an over-subscription privilege with respect to unsubscribed securities and the terms of such over-subscription privilege;

 

   

any termination right we may have in connection with such subscription rights offering; and

 

   

any other terms of such subscription rights, including exercise, settlement and other procedures and limitations relating to the transfer and exercise of such subscription rights.

Exercise of Subscription Rights. Each subscription right would entitle the holder of the subscription right to purchase for cash such number of shares at such exercise price as in each case is set forth in, or be determinable as set forth in the Prospectus Supplement relating to the subscription rights offered thereby. Subscription rights would be exercisable at any time up to the close of business on the expiration date for such subscription rights set forth in the Prospectus Supplement. After the close of business on the expiration date, all unexercised subscription rights would become void.

Upon expiration of the rights offering and the receipt of payment and the subscription rights certificate properly completed and duly executed at the corporate trust office of the subscription rights agent or any other office indicated in the Prospectus Supplement we would issue, as soon as practicable, the shares purchased as a result of such exercise. To the extent permissible under applicable law, we may determine to offer any

 



 

92


Table of Contents

unsubscribed offered securities directly to persons other than shareholders, to or through agents, underwriters or dealers or through a combination of such methods, as set forth in the applicable Prospectus Supplement.

Subscription Rights to Purchase Common and Preferred Shares. The Fund may issue subscription rights which would entitle holders to purchase both common and preferred shares in a ratio to be set forth in the applicable Prospectus Supplement. In accordance with the 1940 Act, at least three rights would be required to subscribe for one common share. It is expected that rights to purchase both common and preferred shares would require holders to purchase an equal number of common and preferred shares, and would not permit holders to purchase an unequal number of common or preferred shares, or purchase only common shares or only preferred shares. For example, such an offering might be structured such that three rights would entitle an investor to purchase one common share and one preferred share, and such investor would not be able to choose to purchase only a common share or only a preferred share upon the exercise of his, her or its rights.

The common shares and preferred shares issued pursuant to the exercise of any such rights, however, would at all times be separately tradeable securities. Such common and preferred shares would not be issued as a “unit” or “combination” and would not be listed or traded as a “unit” or “combination” on a securities exchange, such as the NYSE, at any time. The applicable Prospectus Supplement will set forth additional details regarding an offering of subscription rights to purchase common and preferred shares.

Outstanding Securities

The following information regarding the Fund’s authorized shares is as of September 29, 2017:

 

Title of Class

   Amount
Authorized
   Amount Held
by Fund or
for its Account
   Amount
Outstanding
Exclusive of
Amount Held
by Fund

Common Shares

   Unlimited       20,897,510

Preferred Shares

   Unlimited       0

ANTI-TAKEOVER PROVISIONS OF THE FUND’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS

The Fund presently has provisions in its Governing Documents which could have the effect of limiting, in each case, (i) the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund, (ii) the Fund’s freedom to engage in certain transactions or (iii) the ability of the Fund’s Trustees or shareholders to amend the Governing Documents or effectuate changes in the Fund’s management. These provisions of the Governing Documents of the Fund may be regarded as “anti-takeover” provisions. The Board of the Fund is divided into three classes, each having a term of no more than three years. Each year the term of one class of Trustees will expire. Accordingly, only those Trustees in one class may be changed in any one year, and it would require a minimum of two years to change a majority of the Board. Such system of electing Trustees may have the effect of maintaining the continuity of management and, thus, make it more difficult for the shareholders of the Fund to change the majority of Trustees. See “Management of the Fund—Trustees and Officers” in the SAI. A Trustee of a Fund may be removed with cause by a majority of the remaining Trustees and, without cause, by two-thirds of the remaining Trustees or by two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast for the election of such Trustee. Under the Fund’s By-Laws, advance notice to the Fund of any shareholder proposal is required, potential nominees to the Board must satisfy a series of requirements relating to, among other things, potential conflicts of interest or relationships and fitness to be a Trustee of a closed-end fund in order to be nominated or elected as a Trustee and any shareholder proposing the nomination or election of a person as a Trustee must supply significant amounts of information designed to enable verification of whether such person satisfies such qualifications. Additionally, the

 



 

93


Table of Contents

Agreement and Declaration of Trust requires any shareholder action by written consent to be unanimous. Special voting requirements of 75% of the outstanding voting shares (in addition to any required class votes) apply to mergers into or a sale of all or substantially all of the Fund’s assets, liquidation, conversion of the Fund into an open-end fund or interval fund and amendments to several provisions of the Declaration of Trust, including the foregoing provisions. In addition, 80% of the holders of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund voting as a class is generally required in order to authorize any of the following transactions:

 

   

merger or consolidation of the Fund with or into any other entity;

 

   

issuance of any securities of the Fund to any person or entity for cash, other than pursuant to the Dividend and Reinvestment Plan or any offering if such person or entity acquires no greater percentage of the securities offered than the percentage beneficially owned by such person or entity immediately prior to such offering or, in the case of a class or series not then beneficially owned by such person or entity, the percentage of common shares beneficially owned by such person or entity immediately prior to such offering;

 

   

sale, lease or exchange of all or any substantial part of the assets of the Fund to any entity or person (except assets having an aggregate fair market value of less than $5,000,000);

 

   

sale, lease or exchange to the Fund, in exchange for securities of the Fund, of any assets of any entity or person (except assets having an aggregate fair market value of less than $5,000,000); or

 

   

the purchase of the Fund’s common shares by the Fund from any person or entity other than pursuant to a tender offer equally available to other shareholders in which such person or entity tenders no greater percentage of common shares than are tendered by all other shareholders; if such person or entity is directly, or indirectly through affiliates, the beneficial owner of more than 5% of the outstanding shares of the Fund.

However, such vote would not be required when, under certain conditions, the Board approves the transaction. In addition, shareholders have no authority to adopt, amend or repeal By-Laws. The Trustees have authority to adopt, amend and repeal By-Laws consistent with the Declaration of Trust (including to require approval by the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares for the election of Trustees). Reference is made to the Governing Documents of the Fund, on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, for the full text of these provisions.

The provisions of the Governing Documents described above could have the effect of depriving the owners of shares in the Fund of opportunities to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices, by discouraging a third party from seeking to obtain control of the Fund in a tender offer or similar transaction. The overall effect of the provisions is to render more difficult the accomplishment of a merger or the assumption of control by a principal shareholder. For the full text of these provisions see “Additional Information.”

The foregoing 75% and 80% voting requirements, which have been considered and determined to be in the best interests of shareholders by the Trustees, are greater than the voting requirements imposed by the 1940 Act and applicable Delaware law.

The Governing Documents are on file with the SEC. For access to the full text of these provisions, see “Additional Information.”

CLOSED-END FUND STRUCTURE

The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company (commonly referred to as a closed-end fund). Closed-end funds differ from open-end funds (which are generally referred to as mutual funds) in that closed-end funds generally list their common shares for trading on a stock exchange and do not redeem their common shares at the request of the shareholder. This means that if you wish to sell your common shares of

 



 

94


Table of Contents

a closed-end fund you must trade them on the market like any other stock at the prevailing market price at that time. In an open-end fund, if the shareholder wishes to sell shares of the fund, the open-end fund will redeem or buy back the shares at net asset value. Also, open-end funds generally offer new shares on a continuous basis to new investors, and closed-end funds generally do not. The continuous inflows and outflows of assets in an open-end fund can make it difficult to manage the fund’s investments. By comparison, closed-end funds are generally able to stay more fully invested in securities that are consistent with their investment objectives, to have greater flexibility to make certain types of investments and to use certain investment strategies such as financial leverage and investments in illiquid securities.

Common shares of closed-end funds often trade at a discount to their net asset value. Because of this possibility and the recognition that any such discount may not be in the interest of shareholders, the Board might consider from time to time engaging in open-market repurchases, tender offers for shares or other programs intended to reduce a discount. We cannot guarantee or assure, however, that the Board will decide to engage in any of these actions. Nor is there any guarantee or assurance that such actions, if undertaken, would result in the common shares trading at a price equal or close to net asset value per share. We cannot assure you that the Fund’s common shares will not trade at a discount.

REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES

The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company and as such its shareholders do not, and will not, have the right to require the Fund to repurchase their shares. The Fund, however, may repurchase its common shares from time to time as and when it deems such a repurchase advisable. The Board has authorized, but does not require, such repurchases to be made when the Fund’s common shares are trading at a discount from net asset value of 10% or more (or such other percentage as the Board of the Fund may determine from time to time). This authorization is a standing authorization that may be executed in the discretion of the Fund’s officers. The Fund’s officers are authorized to use the Fund’s general corporate funds to repurchase common shares. While the Fund may incur debt to finance common share repurchases, such debt financing would require further approval of the Board, and the Fund does not currently intend to incur debt to finance common share repurchases. The Fund has repurchased its common shares under this authorization. See “Description of the Securities—Common Shares.” Although the Board has authorized such repurchases, the Fund is not required to repurchase its common shares. The Board has not established a limit on the number of shares that could be purchased during such period. Pursuant to the 1940 Act, the Fund may repurchase its common shares on a securities exchange (provided that the Fund has informed its shareholders within the preceding six months of its intention to repurchase such shares) or pursuant to tenders and may also repurchase shares privately if the Fund meets certain conditions regarding, among other things, distribution of net income for the preceding fiscal year, status of the seller, price paid, brokerage commissions, prior notice to shareholders of an intention to purchase shares and purchasing in a manner and on a basis that does not discriminate unfairly against the other shareholders through their interest in the Fund. The Fund has not and will not, unless otherwise set forth in a Prospectus Supplement and accomplished in accordance with applicable law and positions of the SEC’s staff, repurchase common shares (i) immediately after the completion of an offering of common shares (i.e., within sixty days of an overallotment option period) or (ii) at a price that is tied to the initial offering price. See “Plan of Distribution.” When the Fund repurchases its common shares for a price below net asset value, the net asset value of the common shares that remain outstanding will be enhanced, but this does not necessarily mean that the market price of the outstanding common shares will be affected, either positively or negatively. The repurchase of common shares will reduce the total assets of the Fund available for investment and may increase the Fund’s expense ratio.

 



 

95


Table of Contents

RIGHTS OFFERINGS

The Fund may in the future, and at its discretion, choose to make offerings of subscription rights to holders of our (i) common shares to purchase common and/or preferred shares and/or (ii) preferred shares to purchase preferred shares (subject to applicable law). A future rights offering may be transferable or non-transferable. Any such future rights offering will be made in accordance with the 1940 Act. Under the laws of Delaware, the Board is authorized to approve rights offerings without obtaining shareholder approval. The staff of the SEC has interpreted the 1940 Act as not requiring shareholder approval of a transferable rights offering to purchase common stock at a price below the then current net asset value so long as certain conditions are met, including: (i) a good faith determination by a fund’s Board that such offering would result in a net benefit to existing shareholders; (ii) the offering fully protects shareholders’ preemptive rights and does not discriminate among shareholders (except for the possible effect of not offering fractional rights); (iii) management uses its best efforts to ensure an adequate trading market in the rights for use by shareholders who do not exercise such rights; and (iv) the ratio of a transferable rights offering does not exceed one new share for each three rights held.

TAXATION

The following discussion is a brief summary of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations affecting the Fund and its common and preferred shareholders. A more complete discussion of the tax rules applicable to the Fund and its shareholders can be found in the SAI that is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. This summary does not discuss the consequences of an investment in the Fund’s notes or subscription rights to acquire shares of the Fund’s stock. The tax consequences of such an investment will be discussed in a relevant prospectus supplement.

This discussion assumes you are a taxable U.S. person (as defined for U.S. federal income tax purposes) and that you hold your shares as capital assets (generally, for investment). The discussion is based upon current provisions of the Code, Treasury regulations, judicial authorities, published positions of the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and other applicable authorities, all of which are subject to change or differing interpretations, possibly with retroactive effect. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a position contrary to those set forth below. No attempt is made to present a detailed explanation of all U.S. federal income tax concerns affecting the Fund and its shareholders (including shareholders subject to special tax rules and shareholders owning large positions in the Fund), nor does this discussion address any state, local or foreign tax concerns.

The discussion set forth herein does not constitute tax advice. Investors are urged to consult their own tax advisers to determine the tax consequences to them of investing in the Fund.

Taxation of the Fund

The Fund has elected to be treated and has qualified as, and intends to continue to qualify annually as, a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. Accordingly, the Fund must, among other things,

(i) derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from (a) dividends, interest (including tax-exempt interest), payments with respect to certain securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including but not limited to gain from options, futures and forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies and (b) net income derived from interests in certain publicly traded partnerships that are treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes and that derive less than 90% of their gross income from the items described in (a) above (each a “Qualified Publicly Traded Partnership”); and

 



 

96


Table of Contents

(ii) diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of each taxable year (a) at least 50% of the market value of the Fund’s total assets is represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, the securities of other RICs and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect of any one issuer, to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer and (b) not more than 25% of the value of the Fund’s total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities and the securities of other RICs) of (I) any one issuer, (II) any two or more issuers that the Fund controls and that are determined to be engaged in the same business or similar or related trades or businesses or (III) any one or more Qualified Publicly Traded Partnerships.

As a RIC, the Fund generally is not subject to U.S. federal income tax on income and gains that it distributes each taxable year to shareholders, provided that it distributes at least 90% of the sum of the Fund’s (i) investment company taxable income (which includes, among other items, dividends, interest, the excess of any net short term capital gain over net long term capital loss, and other taxable income other than any net capital gain, which is the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss, reduced by deductible expenses) determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and (ii) net tax-exempt interest income (the excess of its gross tax-exempt interest income over certain disallowed deductions), if any. The Fund intends to distribute at least annually substantially all of such income. The Fund will be subject to income tax at regular corporate rates on any investment company taxable income and net capital gain that it does not distribute to its shareholders.

The Fund may either distribute or retain for reinvestment all or part of its net capital gain (which consists of the excess of its net long term capital gain over its net short term capital loss). If any such gain is retained, the Fund will be subject to a corporate income tax on such retained amount. In that event, the Fund may report the retained amount as undistributed capital gain in a notice to its shareholders, each of whom, if subject to U.S. federal income tax on long term capital gains, (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes as long term capital gain its share of such undistributed amounts, (ii) will be entitled to credit its proportionate share of the tax paid by the Fund against its U.S. federal income tax liability and to claim refunds to the extent that the credit exceeds such liability and (iii) will increase its basis in its shares by the amount of undistributed capital gains included in the shareholder’s income less the tax deemed paid by the shareholder under clause (ii).

Amounts not distributed on a timely basis in accordance with a calendar year distribution requirement are subject to a nondeductible 4% federal excise tax at the Fund level. To avoid the tax, the Fund must distribute during each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of (i) 98% of its ordinary income (not taking into account any capital gains or losses) for the calendar year, and (ii) 98.2% of its capital gains in excess of its capital losses (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for a one-year period generally ending on October 31 of the calendar year (unless an election is made to use the Fund’s fiscal year). In addition, the minimum amounts that must be distributed in any year to avoid the federal excise tax will be increased or decreased to reflect any under-distribution or over-distribution, as the case may be, from previous years. For purposes of the excise tax, the Fund will be deemed to have distributed any income on which it paid U.S. federal income tax. Although the Fund intends to distribute any income and capital gains in the manner necessary to minimize imposition of the 4% federal excise tax, there can be no assurance that sufficient amounts of the Fund’s ordinary income and capital gains will be distributed to avoid entirely the imposition of the tax. In that event, the Fund will be liable for the tax only on the amount by which it does not meet the foregoing distribution requirement.

Certain of the Fund’s investment practices are subject to special and complex U.S. federal income tax provisions that may, among other things, (i) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions, (ii) convert lower taxed long term capital gains or qualified dividend income into higher taxed short term capital gains or ordinary income, (iii) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss (the deductibility of which is more limited), (iv) cause the Fund to recognize income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash, (v) adversely affect the time as to when a purchase or sale of stock or securities is deemed to

 



 

97


Table of Contents

occur, (vi) adversely alter the characterization of certain complex financial transactions and (vii) produce income that will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described above. These U.S. federal income tax provisions could therefore affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to shareholders.

If for any taxable year the Fund were to fail to qualify as a RIC, all of its taxable income (including its net capital gain) would be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders.

Taxation of Shareholders

The Fund expects to take the position that under present law any preferred shares that it issues will constitute equity rather than debt of the Fund for U.S. federal income tax purposes. It is possible, however, that the IRS could take a contrary position asserting, for example, that such preferred shares constitute debt of the Fund. The Fund believes this position, if asserted, would be unlikely to prevail. If that position were upheld, distributions on the Fund’s preferred shares would be considered interest, taxable as ordinary income regardless of the taxable income of the Fund. The following discussion assumes that any preferred shares issued by the Fund will be treated as equity.

Distributions paid to you by the Fund from its investment company taxable income (together referred to hereinafter as “ordinary income dividends”) are generally taxable to you as ordinary income to the extent of the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits. Provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met, such distributions (if properly reported by the Fund) may qualify (i) for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders to the extent that the Fund’s income consists of dividend income from U.S. corporations, and (ii) in the case of individual shareholders, as qualified dividend income eligible to be taxed at long term capital gains rates to the extent that the Fund receives qualified dividend income. Qualified dividend income is, in general, dividend income from taxable domestic corporations and certain qualified foreign corporations. There can be no assurance as to what portion of the Fund’s distributions will be eligible for the dividends received deduction or for the reduced rates applicable to qualified dividend income.

Distributions made to you from net capital gain (“capital gain dividends”), including capital gain dividends credited to you but retained by the Fund, are taxable to you as long term capital gains if they have been properly reported by the Fund, regardless of the length of time you have owned your Fund shares. Long term capital gain of individuals is generally subject to reduced U.S. federal income tax rates.

Distributions in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits will be treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of your adjusted tax basis of your shares and thereafter will be treated as capital gains. The amount of any Fund distribution that is treated as a tax-free return of capital will reduce your adjusted tax basis in your shares, thereby increasing your potential gain or reducing your potential loss on any subsequent sale or other disposition of your shares. In determining the extent to which a distribution will be treated as being made from the Fund’s earnings and profits, earnings and profits will be allocated on a pro rata basis first to distributions with respect to the Fund’s preferred shares, and then to the Fund’s common shares.

The IRS currently requires a RIC that has two or more classes of shares outstanding to designate to each such class proportionate amounts of each type of its income (e.g., ordinary income, capital gain dividends, qualified dividend income) for each tax year based upon the percentage of total dividends distributed to each class for such year.

Generally, after the close of the calendar year, the Fund will provide you with a written notice reporting the amount of any qualified dividend income or capital gain dividends and other distributions.

 



 

98


Table of Contents

Except in the case of a redemption or repurchase (the consequences of which are described in the SAI under “Taxation — Taxation of Shareholders”), the sale or other disposition of shares of the Fund will generally result in capital gain or loss to you, and will be long term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year at the time of sale. Any loss upon the sale or exchange of Fund shares held for six months or less will be treated as long term capital loss to the extent of any capital gain dividends received (including amounts credited as undistributed capital gain dividends) by you with respect to such Fund shares. A loss realized on a sale or exchange of shares of the Fund will be disallowed if other substantially identical shares are acquired (whether through the automatic reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the date of the sale or exchange of the shares. In such case, the basis of the shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.

Dividends and other taxable distributions are taxable to you even if they are reinvested in additional shares of the Fund. Dividends and other distributions paid by the Fund are generally treated as received by a shareholder at the time the dividend or distribution is made. If, however, the Fund pays you a dividend in January that was declared in the previous October, November or December to shareholders of record on a specified date in one of such months, then such dividend or distribution will be treated for tax purposes as being paid by the Fund and received by you on December 31 of the year in which the dividend or distribution was declared.

The Fund is required in certain circumstances to withhold, for U.S. backup withholding tax purposes, a portion of the taxable dividends or distributions and certain other payments paid to non-corporate holders of the Fund’s shares who do not furnish the Fund (or its agent) with their correct taxpayer identification number (in the case of individuals, generally, their social security number) and certain certifications, or who are otherwise subject to backup withholding. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld from payments made to you may be refunded or credited against your U.S. federal income tax liability, if any, provided that the required information is furnished to the IRS.

Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisers regarding specific questions as to U.S. federal, foreign, state, local income or other taxes.

CUSTODIAN, TRANSFER AGENT AND DIVIDEND DISBURSING AGENT

The Bank of New York Mellon, located at 135 Santilli Highway, Everett, Massachusetts 02149, serves as the custodian of the Fund’s assets pursuant to a custody agreement. Under the custody agreement, the Custodian holds the Fund’s assets in compliance with the 1940 Act. For its services, the Custodian will receive a monthly fee paid by the Fund based upon, among other things, the average value of the total assets of the Fund, plus certain charges for securities transactions and out of pocket expenses.

American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, located at 6201 15th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11219, serves as the Fund’s dividend disbursing agent, as agent under the Fund’s Plan and as transfer agent and registrar for the common shares of the Fund.

American Stock Transfer & Trust Company also would be expected to serve as the Fund’s transfer agent, registrar, dividend disbursing agent and redemption agent with respect to any preferred shares issued.

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We may sell securities through underwriters or dealers, directly to one or more purchasers, through agents, to or through underwriters or dealers, or through a combination of any such methods of sale. The applicable

 



 

99


Table of Contents

Prospectus Supplement will identify any underwriter or agent involved in the offer and sale of our securities, any sales loads, discounts, commissions, fees or other compensation paid to any underwriter, dealer or agent, the offering price, net proceeds and use of proceeds and the terms of any sale. a

The distribution of our securities may be effected from time to time in one or more transactions at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed, at prevailing market prices at the time of sale, at prices related to such prevailing market prices, or at negotiated prices, provided, however, that the offering price per share in the case of common shares, must equal or exceed the net asset value per share, exclusive of any underwriting commissions or discounts, of our common shares.

We may sell our securities directly to, and solicit offers from, institutional investors or others who may be deemed to be underwriters as defined in the Securities Act for any resales of the securities. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved. We may use electronic media, including the Internet, to sell offered securities directly.

In connection with the sale of our securities, underwriters or agents may receive compensation from us in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions. Underwriters may sell our securities to or through dealers, and such dealers may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the underwriters and/or commissions from the purchasers for whom they may act as agents. Underwriters, dealers and agents that participate in the distribution of our securities may be deemed to be underwriters under the Securities Act, and any discounts and commissions they receive from us and any profit realized by them on the resale of our securities may be deemed to be underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act. Any such underwriter or agent will be identified and any such compensation received from us will be described in the applicable Prospectus Supplement. The maximum commission or discount to be received by any FINRA member or independent broker-dealer will not exceed eight percent. We will not pay any compensation to any underwriter or agent in the form of warrants, options, consulting or structuring fees or similar arrangements.

If a Prospectus Supplement so indicates, we may grant the underwriters an option to purchase additional shares at the public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions, within 45 days from the date of the Prospectus Supplement, to cover any overallotments.

To facilitate an offering of securities in an underwritten transaction and in accordance with industry practice, the underwriters may engage in transactions that stabilize, maintain, or otherwise affect the market price of the securities. Those transactions may include overallotment, entering stabilizing bids, effecting syndicate covering transactions, and reclaiming selling concessions allowed to an underwriter or a dealer.

 

   

An overallotment in connection with an offering creates a short position in the securities for the underwriter’s own account.

 

   

An underwriter may place a stabilizing bid to purchase the shares for the purpose of pegging, fixing, or maintaining the price of the securities.

 

   

Underwriters may engage in syndicate covering transactions to cover overallotments or to stabilize the price of the securities subject to the offering by bidding for, and purchasing, the securities or any other securities in the open market in order to reduce a short position created in connection with the offering.

 

   

The managing underwriter may impose a penalty bid on a syndicate member to reclaim a selling concession in connection with an offering when the securities originally sold by the syndicate member are purchased in syndicate covering transactions or otherwise.

Any of these activities may stabilize or maintain the market price of the securities above independent market levels. The underwriters are not required to engage in these activities, and may end any of these activities at any time.

 



 

100


Table of Contents

Any underwriters to whom the offered securities are sold for offering and sale may make a market in the offered securities, but the underwriters will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market-making at any time without notice. The offered securities may or may not be listed on a securities exchange. We cannot assure you that there will be a liquid trading market for the offered securities.

Any fixed rate preferred shares sold pursuant to a Prospectus Supplement will likely be listed on the NYSE.

Under agreements into which we may enter, underwriters, dealers and agents who participate in the distribution of our securities may be entitled to indemnification by us against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. Underwriters, dealers and agents may engage in transactions with us, or perform services for us, in the ordinary course of business.

If so indicated in the applicable Prospectus Supplement, we will ourselves, or will authorize underwriters or other persons acting as our agents to solicit offers by certain institutions to purchase our securities from us pursuant to contracts providing for payment and delivery on a future date. Institutions with which such contacts may be made include commercial and savings banks, insurance companies, pension funds, investment companies, educational and charitable institutions and others, but in all cases such institutions must be approved by us. The obligation of any purchaser under any such contract will be subject to the condition that the purchase of the securities shall not at the time of delivery be prohibited under the laws of the jurisdiction to which such purchaser is subject. The underwriters and such other agents will not have any responsibility in respect of the validity or performance of such contracts. Such contracts will be subject only to those conditions set forth in the Prospectus Supplement, and the Prospectus Supplement will set forth the commission payable for solicitation of such contracts.

To the extent permitted under the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, the underwriters may from time to time act as brokers or dealers and receive fees in connection with the execution of our portfolio transactions after the underwriters have ceased to be underwriters and, subject to certain restrictions, each may act as a broker while it is an underwriter.

A Prospectus and accompanying Prospectus Supplement in electronic form may be made available on the websites maintained by underwriters. The underwriters may agree to allocate a number of securities for sale to their online brokerage account holders. Such allocations of securities for Internet distributions will be made on the same basis as other allocations. In addition, securities may be sold by the underwriters to securities dealers who resell securities to online brokerage account holders.

In order to comply with the securities laws of certain states, if applicable, our securities offered hereby will be sold in such jurisdictions only through registered or licensed brokers or dealers.

LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters will be passed on by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, 4 Times Square, New York, New York 10036 in connection with the offering of the Fund’s securities.

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP serves as the independent registered public accounting firm of the Fund and audits the financial statements of the Fund. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is located at 300 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10017.

 



 

101


Table of Contents

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Fund is subject to the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and the 1940 Act and in accordance therewith files, or will file, reports and other information with the SEC. Reports, proxy statements and other information filed by the Fund with the SEC pursuant to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act and the 1940 Act can be inspected and copied at the public reference facilities maintained by the SEC, 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. The SEC maintains a web site at http://www.sec.gov containing reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding registrants, including the Fund, that file electronically with the SEC.

The Fund’s common shares are listed on the NYSE under the symbol “GNT.” Reports, proxy statements and other information concerning the Fund and filed with the SEC by the Fund will be available for inspection at the NYSE, 11 Wall St., New York, New York 10005.

This Prospectus constitutes part of a Registration Statement filed by the Fund with the SEC under the Securities Act and the 1940 Act. This Prospectus omits certain of the information contained in the Registration Statement, and reference is hereby made to the Registration Statement and related exhibits for further information with respect to the Fund and the shares offered hereby. Any statements contained herein concerning the provisions of any document are not necessarily complete, and, in each instance, reference is made to the copy of such document filed as an exhibit to the Registration Statement or otherwise filed with the SEC. Each such statement is qualified in its entirety by such reference. The complete Registration Statement may be obtained from the SEC upon payment of the fee prescribed by its rules and regulations or free of charge through the SEC’s web site (http://www.sec.gov).

PRIVACY PRINCIPLES OF THE FUND

The Fund is committed to maintaining the privacy of its shareholders and to safeguarding their non-public personal information. The following information is provided to help you understand what personal information the Fund collects, how the Fund protects that information and why, in certain cases, the Fund may share information with select other parties.

Generally, the Fund does not receive any non-public personal information relating to its shareholders, although certain non-public personal information of its shareholders may become available to the Fund. The Fund does not disclose any non-public personal information about its shareholders or former shareholders to anyone, except as permitted by law or as is necessary in order to service shareholder accounts (for example, to a transfer agent or third party administrator).

The Fund restricts access to non-public personal information about its shareholders to employees of the Fund, the Investment Adviser, and its affiliates with a legitimate business need for the information. The Fund maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards designed to protect the non-public personal information of its shareholders.

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements in this Prospectus constitute forward-looking statements, which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements of the Fund to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, those listed under “Risk Factors and Special Considerations” and elsewhere in this Prospectus. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, no assurance can be given as to the future results, levels of activity or achievements, and neither the Fund nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of such statements.

 



 

102


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS OF STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

An SAI dated as of October 17, 2017, has been filed with the SEC and is incorporated by reference in this Prospectus. An SAI may be obtained without charge by writing to the Fund at its address at One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422 or by calling the Fund toll-free at (800) GABELLI (422-3554). The Table of Contents of the SAI is as follows:

 

     Page  

THE FUND

     1  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

     1  

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     14  

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

     15  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS

     29  

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

     30  

TAXATION

     30  

NET ASSET VALUE

     36  

BENEFICIAL OWNERS

     37  

GENERAL INFORMATION

     37  

 



 

103


Table of Contents

Appendix A

CORPORATE BOND RATINGS

MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC.

 

Aaa

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

Aa

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

A

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

Baa

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

Ba

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

B

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

Caa

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

Ca

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

C

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

STANDARD & POOR’S RATINGS SERVICES

 

AAA

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

AA

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

A

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

BBB

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

BB; B; CCC; CC; and C

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

BB

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

B

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

 

A-1


Table of Contents

CCC

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

CC

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

C

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

D

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

NR

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

 

A-2


Table of Contents

 

 

GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust

Common Shares

Preferred Shares

Notes

Subscription Rights to Purchase Common Shares

Subscription Rights to Purchase Preferred Shares

Subscription Rights to Purchase Common and Preferred Shares

 

 

PROSPECTUS

 

 

October 17, 2017

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

1,200,000 Shares

GAMCO NATURAL RESOURCES, GOLD &

INCOME TRUST

5.20% Series A Cumulative Preferred Shares

(Liquidation Preference $25.00 per share)

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

Wells Fargo Securities

G.research, LLC

October 23, 2017

 

 

 


Table of Contents

GAMCO NATURAL RESOURCES, GOLD & INCOME TRUST

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust (the “Fund”) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Fund commenced investment operations on January 27, 2011. Gabelli Funds, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as investment adviser to the Fund.

This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) does not constitute a prospectus, but should be read in conjunction with the Fund’s prospectus relating thereto dated October 17, 2017, and as it may be supplemented (the “Prospectus”). This SAI does not include all information that a prospective investor should consider before investing in the Fund’s securities, and investors should obtain and read the Prospectus prior to purchasing such securities. This SAI incorporates by reference the entire Prospectus. You may request a free copy of the Prospectus by calling (800) GABELLI (422-3554) or by writing to the Fund. A copy of the Fund’s Registration Statement, including the Prospectus and any supplement, may be obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) upon payment of the fee prescribed, or inspected at the SEC’s office or via its website (www.sec.gov) at no charge. Capitalized terms used but not defined in this SAI have the meanings ascribed to them in the Prospectus.

This Statement of Additional Information is dated October 17, 2017.


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Page

 

THE FUND

     1  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

     1  

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     14  

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

     15  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS

     29  

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

     30  

TAXATION

     30  

NET ASSET VALUE

     36  

BENEFICIAL OWNERS

     37  

GENERAL INFORMATION

     37  

 


Table of Contents

THE FUND

The Fund was organized as a statutory trust in Delaware on June 26, 2008 and is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The common shares of the Fund are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “GNT.”

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

Additional Investment Policies

Convertible Securities. A convertible security is a bond, debenture, note, stock or other similar security that may be converted into or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common stock or other equity security of the same or a different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. Before conversion, convertible securities have characteristics similar to non-convertible debt securities in that they ordinarily provide a stream of income with generally higher yields than those of common stock of the same or similar issuers. Convertible securities are senior in rank to common stock in an issuer’s capital structure and, therefore, 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 Fund believes that the characteristics of convertible securities make them appropriate investments for an investment company seeking a high level of total return on its assets. These characteristics include the potential for capital appreciation if the value of the underlying common stock increases, the relatively high yield received from dividend or interest payments as compared to common stock dividends and decreased risks of decline in value, relative to the underlying common stock due to their fixed income nature. As a result of the conversion feature, however, the interest rate or dividend preference on a convertible security is generally less than would be the case if the securities were not convertible. During periods of rising interest rates, it is possible that the potential for capital gain on a convertible security may be less than that of a common stock equivalent if the yield on the convertible security is at a level that causes it to sell at a discount.

Every convertible security may be valued, on a theoretical basis, as if it did not have a conversion privilege. This theoretical value is determined by the yield it provides in comparison with the yields of other securities of comparable character and quality that do not have a conversion privilege. This theoretical value, which may change with prevailing interest rates, the credit rating of the issuer and other pertinent factors, often referred to as the “investment value,” represents the security’s theoretical price support level.

“Conversion value” is the amount a convertible security would be worth in market value if it were to be exchanged for the underlying equity security pursuant to its conversion privilege. Conversion value fluctuates directly with the price of the underlying equity security, usually common stock. If, because of low prices for the common stock, the conversion value is substantially below the investment value, the price of the convertible security is governed principally by the factors described in the preceding paragraph. If the conversion value rises near or above its investment value, the price of the convertible security generally will rise above its investment value and, in addition, will sell at some premium over its conversion value. This premium represents the price investors are willing to pay for the privilege of purchasing a fixed-income security with a possibility of capital appreciation due to the conversion privilege. Accordingly, the conversion value of a convertible security is subject to equity risk, that is, the risk that the price of an equity security will fall due to general market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industry in which the issuer participates or the issuing company’s particular circumstances. If the appreciation potential of a convertible security is not realized, its conversion value premium may not be recovered.

In its selection of convertible securities for the Fund, the Investment Adviser will not emphasize either investment value or conversion value, but will consider both in light of the Fund’s overall investment objectives.

 

1


Table of Contents

The Fund may convert a convertible security that it holds:

 

    when necessary to permit orderly disposition of the investment when a convertible security approaches maturity or has been called for redemption;

 

    to facilitate a sale of the position;

 

    if the dividend rate on the underlying common stock increases above the yield on the convertible security; or

 

    whenever the Investment Adviser believes it is otherwise in the best interests of the Fund.

Convertible securities are generally not investment grade, that is, not rated within the four highest categories by S&P and Moody’s. To the extent that such convertible securities and other nonconvertible debt securities, which are acquired by the Fund consistent with the factors considered by the Investment Adviser as described in this Prospectus, are rated lower than investment grade or are not rated, there would be a greater risk as to the timely repayment of the principal of, and timely payment of interest or dividends on, those securities. It is expected that not more than 25% of the Fund’s portfolio will consist of securities rated CCC or lower by S&P or Caa or lower by Moody’s or, if unrated, would be of comparable quality as determined by the Investment Adviser. Those securities and securities rated BB or lower by S&P or Ba or lower by Moody’s are often referred to in the financial press as “junk bonds” and may include securities of issuers in default. “Junk bonds” are considered by the rating agencies to be predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal, and may involve major risk exposure to adverse conditions. Securities rated BBB by S&P or Baa by Moody’s, in the opinion of the rating agencies, also have speculative characteristics. Securities need not meet a minimum rating standard in order to be acceptable for investment by the Fund.

The Fund’s investments in securities of issuers in default at the time of investment will be limited to not more than 5% of the total assets of the Fund. Further, the Fund will invest in securities of issuers in default only when the Investment Adviser believes that such issuers will emerge from bankruptcy (if applicable) and the value of such securities will appreciate. By investing in securities of issuers in default the Fund bears the risk that such issuers will not emerge from bankruptcy (if applicable), that the value of such securities will not appreciate and that such issuers may not be able to satisfy their obligations in the future.

The Fund has no independent limit on the amount of its net assets it may invest in unregistered and otherwise illiquid securities and other investments. The current intention of the Investment Adviser is not to invest in excess of 15% of the Fund’s net assets in illiquid convertible securities or income securities. Shareholders will be notified if the Investment Adviser changes its intention. Investments in unregistered or otherwise illiquid securities entail certain risks related to the fact that they cannot be sold publicly in the United States without registration under the Securities Act.

Convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible securities of similar quality. The market values of convertible securities tend to decline as interest rates increase and, conversely, to increase as interest rates decline. In the absence of adequate anti-dilution provisions in a convertible security, dilution in the value of the Fund’s holding may occur in the event the underlying stock is subdivided, additional equity securities are issued for below market value, a stock dividend is declared or the issuer enters into another type of corporate transaction that has a similar effect.

The value of a convertible security is influenced by the value of the underlying equity security. Convertible debt securities and preferred stocks may depreciate in value if the market value of the underlying equity security declines or if rates of interest increase. In addition, although debt securities are liabilities of a corporation which the corporation is generally obligated to repay at a specified time, debt securities, particularly convertible debt securities, are often subordinated to the claims of some or all of the other creditors of the corporation.

Mandatory conversion securities (securities that automatically convert into equity securities at a future date) may limit the potential for capital appreciation and, in some instances, are subject to complete loss of invested capital. Other innovative convertibles include “equity-linked” securities, which are securities or derivatives that may have fixed, variable, or no interest payments prior to maturity, may convert (at the option of the holder or on a mandatory basis) into cash or a combination of cash and equity securities, and may be structured to limit the potential for capital appreciation.

 

2


Table of Contents

Equity-linked securities may be illiquid and difficult to value and may be subject to greater credit risk than that of other convertibles. Moreover, mandatory conversion securities and equity-linked securities have increased the sensitivity of the convertible securities market to the volatility of the equity markets and to the special risks of those innovations, which may include risks different from, and possibly greater than, those associated with traditional convertible securities.

Preferred stocks are equity securities in the sense that they do not represent a liability of the corporation. In the event of liquidation of the corporation, and after its creditors have been paid or provided for, holders of preferred stock are generally entitled to a preference as to the assets of the corporation before any distribution may be made to the holders of common stock. Debt securities normally do not have voting rights. Preferred stocks may have no voting rights or may have voting rights only under certain circumstances.

 

    Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer will fail to pay interest or dividends and principal in a timely manner. Companies that issue convertible securities may be small to medium-size, and they often have low credit ratings. In addition, the credit rating of a company’s convertible securities is generally lower than that of its conventional debt securities. Convertible securities are normally considered “junior” securities—that is, the company usually must pay interest on its conventional debt before it can make payments on its convertible securities. Credit risk could be high for the Fund, because it could invest in securities with low credit quality.

 

    Interest Rate Risk for Convertible Securities. Market interest rates are currently significantly below historical average rates, which may increase the risk that these rates will rise in the future. Convertible securities are particularly sensitive to interest rate changes when their predetermined conversion price is much higher than the issuing company’s common stock.

 

    Dilution Risk for Convertible Securities. In the absence of adequate anti-dilution provisions in a convertible security, dilution in the value of the Fund’s holding may occur in the event the underlying stock is subdivided, additional equity securities are issued for below market value, a stock dividend is declared, or the issuer enters into another type of corporate transaction that has a similar effect.

Synthetic Convertible Securities. The Fund may also invest in “synthetic” convertible securities, which, for purposes of its investment policies, the Fund considers to be convertible securities. A “synthetic” convertible security may be created by the Fund or by a third party by combining separate securities that possess the two principal characteristics of a traditional convertible security: an income producing component and a convertible component. Synthetic convertible securities differ from convertible securities whose conversion privilege may be evidenced by warrants attached to the security or acquired as part of a unit with the security. The income-producing component is achieved by investing in non-convertible, income-producing securities such as bonds, preferred stocks and money market instruments. The convertible component is achieved by investing in securities or instruments such as warrants or options to buy common stock at a certain exercise price, or options on a stock index. Unlike a traditional convertible security, which is a single security having a single market value, a synthetic convertible comprises two or more separate securities, each with its own market value. Because the “market value” of a synthetic convertible security is the sum of the values of its income-producing component and its convertible component, the value of a synthetic convertible security may respond differently to market fluctuations than a traditional convertible security. The Fund also may purchase synthetic convertible securities created by other parties, including convertible structured notes. Convertible structured notes are income-producing debentures linked to equity. Convertible structured notes have the attributes of a convertible security; however, the issuer of the convertible note (typically an investment bank), rather than the issuer of the underlying common stock into which the note is convertible, assumes credit risk associated with the underlying investment and the Fund in turn assumes credit risk associated with the issuer of the convertible note.

The value of a synthetic convertible instrument may respond differently to market fluctuations than a convertible security because a synthetic convertible instrument is composed of two or more separate instruments, each with its own market value. In addition, if the value of the underlying common stock or the level of the index involved in the convertible component falls below the exercise price of the warrant or option, the warrant or option may lose all value. Synthetic convertible instruments created by other parties have the same attributes of a convertible security; however, the issuer of the synthetic convertible instrument assumes the credit risk associated with the investment, rather than the issuer of the underlying equity security into which the instrument is convertible. The Fund remains subject to the credit risk associated with the counterparty creating the synthetic convertible instrument.

Dilution Risk for Convertible Securities. In the absence of adequate anti-dilution provisions in a convertible security, dilution in the value of the Fund’s holding may occur in the event the underlying stock is subdivided, additional equity securities are issued for below market value, a stock dividend is declared, or the issuer enters into another type of corporate transaction that has a similar effect.

 

3


Table of Contents

Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts. Subject to guidelines of the Board, the Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts to protect the value of its portfolio against uncertainty in the level of future currency exchange rates between a particular foreign currency and the U.S. dollar or between foreign currencies in which its securities are or may be denominated. The Fund may enter into such contracts on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the rate then prevailing in the currency exchange market or on a forward basis, by entering into a forward contract to purchase or sell currency. A forward contract on foreign currency is an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days agreed upon by the parties from the date of the contract at a price set on the date of the contract. Forward currency contracts (i) are traded in a market conducted directly between currency traders (typically, commercial banks or other financial institutions) and their customers, (ii) generally have no deposit requirements and (iii) are typically consummated without payment of any commissions. The Fund, however, may enter into forward currency contracts requiring deposits or involving the payment of commissions. To assure that its forward currency contracts are not used to achieve investment leverage, the Fund will segregate liquid assets consisting of cash, U.S. government securities or other liquid securities with its Custodian, or a designated sub-custodian, in an amount at all times equal to or exceeding its commitment with respect to the contracts.

The dealings of the Fund in forward foreign currency exchange are limited to hedging involving either specific transactions or portfolio positions. Transaction hedging is the purchase or sale of one forward foreign currency for another currency with respect to specific receivables or payables of the Fund accruing in connection with the purchase and sale of its portfolio securities or its payment of distributions and dividends. Position hedging is the purchase or sale of one forward foreign currency for another currency with respect to portfolio security positions denominated or quoted in the foreign currency to offset the effect of an anticipated substantial appreciation or depreciation, respectively, in the value of the currency relative to the U.S. dollar. In this situation, the Fund also may, for example, enter into a forward contract to sell or purchase a different foreign currency for a fixed U.S. dollar amount where it is believed that the U.S. dollar value of the currency to be sold or bought pursuant to the forward contract will fall or rise, as the case may be, whenever there is a decline or increase, respectively, in the U.S. dollar value of the currency in which its portfolio securities are denominated (this practice being referred to as a “cross-hedge”).

In hedging a specific transaction, the Fund may enter into a forward contract with respect to either the currency in which the transaction is denominated or another currency deemed appropriate by the Investment Adviser. The amount the Fund may invest in forward currency contracts is limited to the amount of its aggregate investments in foreign currencies.

The use of forward currency contracts may involve certain risks, including the failure of the counterparty to perform its obligations under the contract, and such use may not serve as a complete hedge because of an imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the contracts and the prices of the currencies hedged or used for cover. The Fund will only enter into forward currency contracts with parties that the Investment Adviser believes to be creditworthy institutions.

Under current interpretations of the SEC and its staff under the 1940 Act, the Fund must segregate with its custodian liquid assets, or engage in other SEC or staff approved measures, to “cover” open positions in certain types of derivative instruments. The purpose of these requirements is to prevent the Fund from incurring excessive leverage through such instruments. In the case of futures and forward contracts, for example, that are not required as a result of one or more contractual arrangements to settle for cash only in an amount equal to the change in value of the contract over its term but rather may settle through physical delivery or in the notional amount, the Fund must segregate liquid assets equal to such contract’s full notional value while it has an open long position, or is equal to the market value of the contract in the case of an open short position. With respect to contracts that the Fund is contractually obligated to settle for cash in an amount equal to the change in value of the contract, the Fund needs to segregate liquid assets only in an amount equal to the Fund’s unpaid mark to market obligation rather than the entire notional amount. This is because the Fund’s maximum potential obligation at that point in time is its net unpaid mark to market obligation rather than the full notional amount.

Master Limited Partnerships. The Fund may invest in master limited partnerships (“MLPs”), which are limited partnerships or limited liability companies taxable as partnerships. MLPs may derive income and gains from the exploration, development, mining or production, processing, refining, transportation (including pipelines transporting gas, oil, or products thereof), or the marketing of any mineral or natural resources. MLPs generally have two classes of owners, the general partner and limited partners. When investing in an MLP, the Fund intends to purchase publicly traded common units issued to limited partners of the MLP. The general partner is typically owned by a major energy company, an investment fund, the direct management of the MLP or is an entity owned by one or more of such parties. The general partner may be structured as a private or publicly traded corporation or other entity. The general partner typically controls the operations and management of the MLP through an up to 2% equity interest in the MLP plus, in many cases, ownership of common units and subordinated units. Limited partners own the remainder of the partnership, through ownership of common units, and have a limited role in the partnership’s operations and management.

 

4


Table of Contents

Options on Foreign Currencies. Instead of purchasing or selling currency futures (as described below), the Fund may attempt to accomplish similar objectives by purchasing put or call options on currencies or by writing put options or call options on currencies either on exchanges or in OTC markets. A put option gives the Fund the right to sell a currency at the exercise price until the option expires. A call option gives the Fund the right to purchase a currency at the exercise price until the option expires. Both types of options serve to insure against adverse currency price movements in the underlying portfolio assets designated in a given currency. The Fund’s use of options on currencies will be subject to the same limitations as its use of options on securities described above. Currency options may be subject to position limits which may limit the ability of the Fund to fully hedge its positions by purchasing the options.

As in the case of interest rate futures contracts and options thereon, described below, the Fund may hedge against the risk of a decrease or increase in the U.S. dollar value of a foreign currency denominated debt security which the Fund owns or intends to acquire by purchasing or selling options contracts, futures contracts or options thereon with respect to a foreign currency other than the foreign currency in which such debt security is denominated, where the values of such different currencies (vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar) historically have a high degree of positive correlation.

Interest Rate Futures Contracts and Options Thereon. The Fund may purchase or sell interest rate futures contracts to take advantage of or to protect the Fund against fluctuations in interest rates affecting the value of debt securities which the Fund holds or intends to acquire. For example, if interest rates are expected to increase, the Fund might sell futures contracts on debt securities, the values of which historically have a high degree of positive correlation to the values of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Such a sale would have an effect similar to selling an equivalent value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. If interest rates increase, the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities will decline, but the value of the futures contracts to the Fund will increase at approximately an equivalent rate thereby keeping the net asset value of the Fund from declining as much as it otherwise would have. The Fund could accomplish similar results by selling debt securities with longer maturities and investing in debt securities with shorter maturities when interest rates are expected to increase. However, since the futures market may be more liquid than the cash market, the use of futures contracts as a risk management technique allows the Fund to maintain a defensive position without having to sell its portfolio securities.

Similarly, the Fund may purchase interest rate futures contracts when it is expected that interest rates may decline. The purchase of futures contracts for this purpose constitutes a hedge against increases in the price of debt securities (caused by declining interest rates) which the Fund intends to acquire. Since fluctuations in the value of appropriately selected futures contracts should approximate that of the debt securities that will be purchased, the Fund can take advantage of the anticipated rise in the cost of the debt securities without actually buying them. Subsequently, the Fund can make its intended purchase of the debt securities in the cash market and liquidate its futures position.

The purchase of a call option on a futures contract is similar in some respects to the purchase of a call option on an individual security. Depending on the pricing of the option compared to either the price of the futures contract upon which it is based or the price of the underlying debt securities, it may or may not be less risky than ownership of the futures contract or underlying debt securities. As with the purchase of futures contracts, when the Fund is not fully invested it may purchase a call option on a futures contract to hedge against a market advance due to declining interest rates.

The purchase of a put option on a futures contract is similar to the purchase of protective put options on portfolio securities. The Fund will purchase a put option on a futures contract to hedge the Fund’s portfolio against the risk of rising interest rates and consequent reduction in the value of portfolio securities.

The writing of a call option on a futures contract constitutes a partial hedge against declining prices of the securities which are deliverable upon exercise of the futures contract. If the futures price at expiration of the option is below the exercise price, the Fund will retain the full amount of the option premium which provides a partial hedge against any decline that may have occurred in the Fund’s portfolio holdings. The writing of a put option on a futures contract constitutes a partial hedge against increasing prices of the securities that are deliverable upon exercise of the futures contract. If the futures price at expiration of the option is higher than the exercise price, the Fund will retain the full amount of the option premium, which provides a partial hedge against any increase in the price of debt securities that the Fund intends to purchase. If a put or call option the Fund has written is exercised, the Fund will incur a loss which will be reduced by the amount of the premium it received. Depending on the degree of correlation between changes in the value of its portfolio securities and changes in the value of its futures positions, the Fund’s losses from options on futures it has written may to some extent be reduced or increased by changes in the value of its portfolio securities.

 

5


Table of Contents

Currency Futures and Options Thereon. Generally, foreign currency futures contracts and options thereon are similar to the interest rate futures contracts and options thereon discussed previously. By entering into currency futures and options thereon, the Fund will seek to establish the rate at which it will be entitled to exchange U.S. dollars for another currency at a future time. By selling currency futures, the Fund will seek to establish the number of dollars it will receive at delivery for a certain amount of a foreign currency. In this way, whenever the Fund anticipates a decline in the value of a foreign currency against the U.S. dollar, the Fund can attempt to “lock in” the U.S. dollar value of some or all of the securities held in its portfolio that are denominated in that currency. By purchasing currency futures, the Fund can establish the number of dollars it will be required to pay for a specified amount of a foreign currency in a future month. Thus, if the Fund intends to buy securities in the future and expects the U.S. dollar to decline against the relevant foreign currency during the period before the purchase is effected, the Fund can attempt to “lock in” the price in U.S. dollars of the securities it intends to acquire.

The purchase of options on currency futures will allow the Fund, for the price of the premium and related transaction costs it must pay for the option, to decide whether or not to buy (in the case of a call option) or to sell (in the case of a put option) a futures contract at a specified price at any time during the period before the option expires. If the Investment Adviser, in purchasing an option, has been correct in its judgment concerning the direction in which the price of a foreign currency would move as against the U.S. dollar, the Fund may exercise the option and thereby take a futures position to hedge against the risk it had correctly anticipated or close out the option position at a gain that will offset, to some extent, currency exchange losses otherwise suffered by the Fund. If exchange rates move in a way the Fund did not anticipate, however, the Fund will have incurred the expense of the option without obtaining the expected benefit; any such movement in exchange rates may also thereby reduce rather than enhance the Fund’s profits on its underlying securities transactions.

Securities Index Futures Contracts and Options Thereon. Purchases or sales of securities index futures contracts are used for hedging purposes to attempt to protect the Fund’s current or intended investments from broad fluctuations in stock or bond prices. For example, the Fund may sell securities index futures contracts in anticipation of or during a market decline to attempt to offset the decrease in market value of the Fund’s securities portfolio that might otherwise result. If such decline occurs, the loss in value of portfolio securities may be offset, in whole or part, by gains on the futures position. When the Fund is not fully invested in the securities market and anticipates a significant market advance, it may purchase securities index futures contracts in order to gain rapid market exposure that may, in part or entirely, offset increases in the cost of securities that the Fund intends to purchase. As such purchases are made, the corresponding positions in securities index futures contracts will be closed out. The Fund may write put and call options on securities index futures contracts for hedging purposes.

Contingent Convertible Securities. One type of convertible security in which the Fund may invest is contingent convertible securities, sometimes referred to as “CoCos.” CoCos are a form of hybrid debt security issued by banking institutions that are intended to either automatically convert into equity or have their principal written down upon the occurrence of certain “trigger events,” which may include a decline in the issuer’s capital below a specified threshold level, increase in the issuer’s risk weighted assets, the share price of the issuer falling to a particular level for a certain period of time and certain regulatory events. CoCos’ unique equity conversion or principal write-down features are tailored to the issuing banking institution and its regulatory requirements.

CoCos are a newer form of instrument and the regulatory environment for these instruments continues to evolve. Because the market for such securities is evolving, it is uncertain how the larger market for CoCos would react to a trigger event, coupon cancellation, write-down of par value or coupon suspension (as described below) applicable to a single issuer. Following conversion of a CoCo, because the common stock of the issuer may not pay a dividend, investors in such securities could experience reduced yields or no yields at all.

 

6


Table of Contents

Loss Absorption Risk. CoCos have fully discretionary coupons. This means coupons can potentially be cancelled at the banking institution’s discretion or at the request of the relevant regulatory authority in order to help the bank absorb losses. The liquidation value of a CoCo may be adjusted downward to below the original par value or written off entirely under certain circumstances. The write-down of the security’s par value may occur automatically and would not entitle holders to institute bankruptcy proceedings against the issuer. In addition, an automatic write-down could result in a reduced income rate if the dividend or interest payment associated with the security is based on the security’s par value. Coupon payments may also be subject to approval by the issuer’s regulator and may be suspended in the event there are insufficient distributable reserves. Due to uncertainty surrounding coupon payments, CoCos may be volatile and their price may decline rapidly in the event that coupon payments are suspended.

Subordinated Instruments. CoCos will, in the majority of circumstances, be issued in the form of subordinated debt instruments in order to provide the appropriate regulatory capital treatment prior to a conversion. Accordingly, in the event of liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of an issuer prior to a conversion having occurred, the rights and claims of the holders of the CoCos, such as the Fund, against the issuer in respect of or arising under the terms of the CoCos shall generally rank junior to the claims of all holders of unsubordinated obligations of the issuer. In addition, if the CoCos are converted into the issuer’s underlying equity securities following a conversion event (i.e., a “trigger”), each holder will be subordinated due to their conversion from being the holder of a debt instrument to being the holder of an equity instrument. Such conversion may be automatic.

Unpredictable Market Value Fluctuate. The value of CoCos is unpredictable and will be influenced by many factors including, without limitation: (i) the creditworthiness of the issuer and/or fluctuations in such issuer’s applicable capital ratios; (ii) supply and demand for the CoCos; (iii) general market conditions and available liquidity; and (iv) economic, financial and political events that affect the issuer, its particular market or the financial markets in general.

Traditional Preferred Securities. Traditional preferred securities generally pay fixed or adjustable rate dividends to investors and generally have a “preference” over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of a company’s assets. This means that a company must pay dividends on preferred stock before paying any dividends on its common stock. In order to be payable, distributions on such preferred securities must be declared by the issuer’s board of directors. Income payments on typical preferred securities currently outstanding are cumulative, causing dividends and distributions to accumulate even if not declared by the board of directors or otherwise made payable. In such a case all accumulated dividends must be paid before any dividend on the common stock can be paid. However, some traditional preferred stocks are non-cumulative, in which case dividends do not accumulate and need not ever be paid. A portion of the portfolio may include investments in non-cumulative preferred securities, whereby the issuer does not have an obligation to make up any arrearages to its shareholders. Should an issuer of a non-cumulative preferred stock held by the Fund determine not to pay dividends on such stock, the amount of dividends the Fund pays may be adversely affected. There is no assurance that dividends or distributions on the preferred securities in which the Fund invests will be declared or otherwise made payable.

Preferred shareholders usually have no right to vote for corporate directors or on other matters. Shares of preferred stock have a liquidation value that generally equals the original purchase price at the date of issuance. The market value of preferred securities may be affected by favorable and unfavorable changes impacting companies in which the Fund invests and by actual and anticipated changes in tax laws, such as changes in corporate income tax rates or the “Dividends Received Deduction.” Because the claim on an issuer’s earnings represented by preferred securities may become onerous when interest rates fall below the rate payable on such securities, the issuer may redeem the securities. Thus, in declining interest rate environments in particular, the Fund’s holdings, if any, of higher rate-paying fixed rate preferred securities may be reduced and the Fund may be unable to acquire securities of comparable credit quality paying comparable rates with the redemption proceeds.

Trust Preferred Securities. The Fund may invest in trust preferred securities. Trust preferred securities are typically issued by corporations, generally in the form of interest bearing notes with preferred securities characteristics, or by an affiliated business trust of a corporation, generally in the form of beneficial interests in subordinated debentures or similarly structured securities. The trust preferred securities market consists of both fixed and adjustable coupon rate securities that are either perpetual in nature or have stated maturity dates.

 

7


Table of Contents

Trust preferred securities are typically junior and fully subordinated liabilities of an issuer and benefit from a guarantee that is junior and fully subordinated to the other liabilities of the guarantor. In addition, trust preferred securities typically permit an issuer to defer the payment of income for five years or more without triggering an event of default. Because of their subordinated position in the capital structure of an issuer, the ability to defer payments for extended periods of time without default consequences to the issuer, and certain other features (such as restrictions on common dividend payments by the issuer or ultimate guarantor when full cumulative payments on the trust preferred securities have not been made), these trust preferred securities are often treated as close substitutes for traditional preferred securities, both by issuers and investors. Trust preferred securities have many of the key characteristics of equity due to their subordinated position in an issuer’s capital structure and because their quality and value are heavily dependent on the profitability of the issuer rather than on any legal claims to specific assets or cash flows.

Trust preferred securities include but are not limited to trust originated preferred securities (“TOPRS®”); monthly income preferred securities (“MIPS®”); quarterly income bond securities (“QUIBS®” ); quarterly income debt securities (“QUIDS®”); quarterly income preferred securities (“QUIPSSM”); corporate trust securities (“CORTS®”); public income notes (“PINES®”); and other trust preferred securities.

Trust preferred securities are typically issued with a final maturity date, although some are perpetual in nature. In certain instances, a final maturity date may be extended and/or the final payment of principal may be deferred at the issuer’s option for a specified time without default. No redemption can typically take place unless all cumulative payment obligations have been met, although issuers may be able to engage in open-market repurchases without regard to whether all payments have been paid.

Many trust preferred securities are issued by trusts or other special purpose entities established by operating companies and are not a direct obligation of an operating company. At the time the trust or special purpose entity sells such preferred securities to investors, it purchases debt of the operating company (with terms comparable to those of the trust or special purpose entity securities), which enables the operating company to deduct for tax purposes the interest paid on the debt held by the trust or special purpose entity. The trust or special purpose entity is generally required to be treated as transparent for Federal income tax purposes such that the holders of the trust preferred securities are treated as owning beneficial interests in the underlying debt of the operating company. Accordingly, payments on the trust preferred securities are treated as interest rather than dividends for Federal income tax purposes. The trust or special purpose entity in turn would be a holder of the operating company’s debt and would have priority with respect to the operating company’s earnings and profits over the operating company’s common shareholders, but would typically be subordinated to other classes of the operating company’s debt. Typically a preferred share has a rating that is slightly below that of its corresponding operating company’s senior debt securities.

Small Capitalization Company Risk. The Fund may invest in the equity securities of small-cap and/or mid-cap companies.

Smaller companies offer investment opportunities and additional risks. They may not be well known to the investing public, may not be significantly owned by institutional investors and may not have steady earnings growth. These companies may have limited product lines and markets, as well as shorter operating histories, less experienced management or a limited management group on which they rely and more limited financial resources than larger companies. In addition, the securities of such companies may be more vulnerable to adverse general market or economic developments, more volatile in price, have wider spreads between their bid and ask prices and have significantly lower trading volumes than the securities of larger capitalization companies. As such, securities of these smaller companies may be less liquid than those of larger companies, and may experience greater price fluctuations than larger companies. In addition, small-cap or mid-cap company securities may not be widely followed by investors, which may result in reduced demand.

As a result, the purchase or sale of more than a limited number of shares of the securities of a smaller company may affect its market price. The Investment Adviser may need a considerable amount of time to purchase or sell its positions in these securities, particularly when other Investment Adviser-managed accounts or other investors are also seeking to purchase or sell them. Accordingly, the Investment Adviser’s investment focus on the securities of smaller companies generally leads it to have a long term investment outlook of at least two years for a portfolio security.

 

8


Table of Contents

The securities of smaller capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than larger capitalization securities or the market as a whole. In addition, smaller capitalization securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates, borrowing costs and earnings. Investing in smaller capitalization securities requires a longer-term view.

Warrants and Rights. The Fund may invest in warrants and rights (including those acquired in units or attached to other securities) which entitle the holder to buy equity securities at a specific price for or at the end of a specific period of time. The Fund will do so only if the underlying equity securities are deemed appropriate by the Investment Adviser for inclusion in the Fund’s portfolio.

Investing in rights and warrants can provide a greater potential for profit or loss than an equivalent investment in the underlying security, and thus can be a riskier investment. The value of a right or warrant may decline because of a decline in the value of the underlying security, the passage of time, changes in interest rates or in the dividend or other policies of the Fund whose equity underlies the warrant, a change in the perception as to the future price of the underlying security, or any combination thereof. Rights and warrants generally pay no dividends and confer no voting or other rights other than the right to purchase the underlying security.

Commodities-Linked Equity Derivative Instrument Risk. The Fund may invest in structured notes that are linked to one or more underlying commodities. Such structured notes provide exposure to the investment returns of physical commodities without actually investing directly in physical commodities. Such structured notes in which the Fund may invest are hybrid instruments that have substantial risks, including risk of loss of all or a significant portion of their principal value. Because the payments on these notes are linked to the price change of the underlying commodities, these investments are subject to market risks that relate to the movement of prices in the commodities markets. They may also be subject to additional special risks that do not affect traditional equity and debt securities that may be greater than or in addition to the risks of derivatives in general, including risk of loss of interest, risk of loss of principal, lack of liquidity and risk of greater volatility.

Fixed Income Securities Risks. Fixed income securities in which the Fund may invest are generally subject to the following risks:

 

    Interest Rate Risk. The market value of bonds and other fixed-income or dividend-paying securities changes in response to interest rate changes and other factors. Interest rate risk is the risk that prices of bonds and other income- or dividend-paying securities will increase as interest rates fall and decrease as interest rates rise.

The Fund may be subject to a greater risk of rising interest rates due to the current period of historically low interest rates. The Federal Reserve has recently raised the federal funds rate and may raise it further in the near future. This heightens interest rate risk. The magnitude of these fluctuations in the market price of bonds and other income- or dividend-paying securities is generally greater for those securities with longer maturities. Fluctuations in the market price of the Fund’s investments will not affect interest income derived from instruments already owned by the Fund, but will be reflected in the Fund’s net asset value. The Fund may lose money if short term or long term interest rates rise sharply in a manner not anticipated by Fund management. To the extent the Fund invests in debt securities that may be prepaid at the option of the obligor, the sensitivity of such securities to changes in interest rates may increase (to the detriment of the Fund) when interest rates rise. Moreover, because rates on certain floating rate debt securities typically reset only periodically, changes in prevailing interest rates (and particularly sudden and significant changes) can be expected to cause some fluctuations in the net asset value of the Fund to the extent that it invests in floating rate debt securities. These basic principles of bond prices also apply to U.S. government securities. A security backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government is guaranteed only as to its stated interest rate and face value at maturity, not its current market price. Just like other income- or dividend-paying securities, government-guaranteed securities will fluctuate in value when interest rates change.

The Fund’s use of leverage will tend to increase the Fund’s interest rate risk. The Fund may invest in variable and floating rate debt instruments, which generally are less sensitive to interest rate changes than longer duration fixed rate instruments, but may decline in value in response to rising interest rates if, for example, the rates at which they pay interest do not rise as much, or as quickly, as market interest rates in general. Conversely, variable and floating rate instruments generally will not increase in value if interest rates decline. The Fund also may invest in inverse floating rate debt securities, which may decrease in value if interest rates increase, and which also may exhibit greater price volatility than fixed rate debt obligations with similar credit quality. To the extent the Fund holds variable or floating rate instruments, a decrease (or, in the case of inverse floating rate securities, an increase) in market interest rates will adversely affect the income received from such securities, which may adversely affect the net asset value of the Fund’s common shares.

 

9


Table of Contents
    Issuer Risk. Issuer risk is the risk that the value of an income- or dividend-paying security may decline for a number of reasons which directly relate to the issuer, such as management performance, financial leverage, reduced demand for the issuer’s goods and services, historical and prospective earnings of the issuer and the value of the assets of the issuer.

 

    Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that one or more income- or dividend-paying securities in the Fund’s portfolio will decline in price or fail to pay interest/distributions or principal when due because the issuer of the security experiences a decline in its financial status. Credit risk is increased when a portfolio security is downgraded or the perceived creditworthiness of the issuer deteriorates. To the extent the Fund invests in below investment grade securities, it will be exposed to a greater amount of credit risk than a fund which only invests in investment grade securities. See “—Non-Inves