485APOS 1 d755444d485apos.htm GOLDMAN SACHS ETF TRUST Goldman Sachs ETF Trust

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 16, 2019

1933 Act Registration No. 333-200933

1940 Act Registration No. 811-23013

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM N-1A

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

   THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933  
   Pre-Effective Amendment No.  
   Post-Effective Amendment No. 210  

and/or

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

   THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940  
   Amendment No. 213  

(Check appropriate box or boxes)

 

 

GOLDMAN SACHS ETF TRUST

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

200 West Street

New York, New York 10282

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (212) 902-1000

CAROLINE L. KRAUS, ESQ.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

200 West Street

New York, New York 10282

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

 

Copies to:

STEPHEN H. BIER, ESQ.

ALLISON M. FUMAI, ESQ.

Dechert LLP

1095 Avenue of the Americas

New York, New York 10036

 

 

Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering: As soon as practicable after the effective date of the Registration Statement

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

 

immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

 

on (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

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

Title of Securities Being Registered:

Shares of the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF and Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF

 

 

 


The information in this Prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Prospectus is not an offer to sell securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

Preliminary Prospectus dated August 16, 2019

Subject to Completion

 

Prospectus

 

GOLDMAN SACHS ETF TRUST

 

 

             [    ], 2019

 

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

 

   

Exchange: [     ]

 

Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF

 

   

Exchange: [     ]

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

 

   

Exchange: [     ]

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

 

   

Exchange: [     ]

 

Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF

 

   

Exchange: [     ]

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF

 

   

Exchange: [     ]

 

It is our intention that beginning on January 1, 2021, paper copies of the Funds’ annual and semi-annual shareholder reports will not be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from your financial intermediary. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.

If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action. At any time, you may elect to receive reports and certain communications from the Funds electronically by contacting your financial intermediary.

You may elect to receive all future shareholder reports in paper free of charge. You can inform your financial intermediary that you wish to receive paper copies of reports by contacting your financial intermediary. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all Goldman Sachs Funds held in your account.

THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION HAS NOT APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED THESE SECURITIES OR PASSED UPON THE ADEQUACY OF THIS PROSPECTUS. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

 

AN INVESTMENT IN A FUND IS NOT A BANK DEPOSIT AND IS NOT INSURED BY THE FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY. AN INVESTMENT IN A FUND INVOLVES INVESTMENT RISKS, AND YOU MAY LOSE MONEY IN THE FUND.

 

LOGO


Table of Contents

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF – Summary        1  
Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF – Summary        6  
Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF – Summary        12  
Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF – Summary        17  
Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF – Summary        22  
Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF – Summary        28  
Goldman Sachs Access Fixed Income ETFs – Additional Summary Information        32  
Investment Management Approach        33  
Risks of the Funds        42  
Tax Advantaged Product Structure        53  
Service Providers        54  
Distributions        58  
Shareholder Guide        59  

BUYING AND SELLING SHARES

     59    

PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

     59    

NET ASSET VALUE

     60    

BOOK ENTRY

     61    

CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS

     61    
Taxation        63  
Index Providers        66  
Other Information        68  
Appendix A
Additional Information on Portfolio Risks, Securities and Techniques
       69  
Appendix B
Financial Highlights
       87  
Goldman Sachs Access Fixed Income ETFs Prospectus     


LOGO

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF—Summary

Ticker: [    ]            Stock Exchange: [    ]

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs Broad Bond Market Index (the “Index”).

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Shares of the Fund. The table does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)  

Management Fee

    [     ]% 

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee

    0.00

Other Expenses1

    [     ]% 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    [     ]% 

 

1 

The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.

Expense Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning Shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

$[    ]   $[    ]

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (i.e., “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of the total investment grade bond market universe denominated in U.S. dollars (“USD”) that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. As of [    ], there were [    ] constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE”), a trading name of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group” or the “Index Provider”). The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade (USBIG®) Bond Index and the U.S. sleeve of the FTSE World Inflation-Linked Securities Index (each, a “Reference Index,” and collectively, the “Reference Indices”) using concepts developed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”).

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

 

1


 

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines a universe of potential index constituents (the “Universe”) by applying specified criteria to certain constituents of the Reference Indices as described below. The Reference Indices include, but are not limited to, investment grade corporate bonds, U.S. Treasury Securities (as defined below), bonds that are be linked to an inflation index, mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities and municipal bonds. All constituents of the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”) or Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”).

 

   

Investment Grade Corporate Bonds:

Only corporate bond constituents of the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index that have a minimum of $750 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $2 billion and remaining maturities greater than one year are included in the Universe.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities:

“U.S. Treasury Securities” refer to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury where the payment of principal and interest is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. U.S. Treasury Securities include U.S. Treasury notes, U.S. Treasury bills and U.S. Treasury floating rate bonds. U.S. Treasury Securities that are included in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account the Federal Reserve System Open Market Account (“SOMA”) holdings). Only U.S. Treasury Securities with remaining maturities greater than one year will be included in the Universe.

 

   

Mortgage-Back Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

Asset-backed securities that are included in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum issuer size of $250 million. Mortgage-backed securities that are include in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of $1 billion outstanding per origination year generic when the coupon has a minimum amount outstanding of $5 billion. All mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities that are included in this Reference Index are included in the Universe based on issuance weight.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities:

The U.S. sleeve of the FTSE World Inflation-Linked Securities Index includes fixed-rate, sovereign bonds denominated in USD that are linked to an inflation index. Only U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (“TIPS”) constituents of this Reference Index that have a minimum of 1 year to maturity and a minimum issue size of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account SOMA holdings) are included in the Universe.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies specified fundamental screens to each type of constituents in the Universe as described below.

 

   

Investment Grade Corporate Bonds:

Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials, industrials and utilities. Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage. The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two fundamental factors, equally weighted. The Index is constructed by including the highest ranking eligible securities in each industry group, screening out lowest ranking eligible securities.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities, Mortgage-Backed Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

The inclusion of U.S. Treasury Securities, mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities in the Index will be based on issuance weight.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities:

The Index Provider screens the Universe to exclude TIPS that are unseasoned. The Index excludes “on-the-run” bonds and recent “off-the-run” bonds, or the newest issues for each security term. The remaining TIPS are included in the Index, weighted to match the weighted average real yield duration of the TIPS portion of the Universe.

The Index is market capitalization-weighted based on the relative weights of its Reference Indices. The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

 

2


 

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which the Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of the Index. The securities selected for investment by the Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Index.

The Fund may concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index is concentrated. The degree to which components of the Index represent certain sectors or industries may change over time.

Principal Risks of the Fund

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing.

Calculation Methodology Risk.  The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index (or the Reference Index), including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that the Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

Credit/Default Risk.  An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. Additionally, the credit quality of securities may deteriorate rapidly, which may impair the Fund’s liquidity and cause significant deterioration in net asset value (“NAV”).

Financial Services Industry Group Risk.  An adverse development in the financial services industry group, including U.S. and foreign banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, finance companies (e.g., automobile finance) and related asset-backed securities, may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were not invested to such a degree in this industry group. Companies in the financial services industry group may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors such as interest rate changes, fiscal, regulatory and monetary policy and general economic cycles.

Index Risk.   The Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in the Index. In addition, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble, and the Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing the Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. The Index Provider makes no guarantee with respect to the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index, or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Industrials Industry Group Risk.  Industrial companies can be impacted by supply and demand for their specific product or service and for industrial company products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities may affect the performance of these companies.

Industry Concentration Risk.  In following its methodology, the Index from time to time may be concentrated to a significant degree in securities of issuers located in a single industry or group of industries. To the extent that the Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund also may concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or group of industries, the Fund may face more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or groups of industries. If the Index is not concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund will not concentrate in a particular industry or group of industries.

Interest Rate Risk.  When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.

Large Shareholder Risk.   Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such

 

3


investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume [ ] (the “Exchange”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

Market Risk.  The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets.

Market Trading Risk.  The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. In addition, because liquidity in certain underlying securities may fluctuate, Shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to NAV than shares of other kinds of ETFs. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities Risk.  Mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities are subject to certain additional risks, including “extension risk” (i.e., in periods of rising interest rates, issuers may pay principal later than expected) and “prepayment risk” (i.e., in periods of declining interest rates, issuers may pay principal more quickly than expected, causing the Fund to reinvest proceeds at lower prevailing interest rates). Mortgage-backed securities offered by non-governmental issuers are subject to other risks as well, including failures of private insurers to meet their obligations and unexpectedly high rates of default on the mortgages backing the securities. Other asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-backed securities, as well as risks associated with the nature and servicing of the assets backing the securities. Asset-backed securities may not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral comparable to that of mortgage assets, resulting in additional credit risk.

Sampling Risk.  The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Seed Investor Risk.  GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s Shares.

Tracking Error Risk.  Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Index. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of cash, changes to the Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike the Fund, the returns of the Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. The Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index to comply with the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), applicable to regulated investment companies, or as a result of market restrictions or other legal reasons, including regulatory limits or other restrictions on securities that may be purchased by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates.

U.S. Government Securities Risk.  The U.S. government may not provide financial support to U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if it is not obligated to do so by law. U.S. Government Securities issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) and the Federal Home Loan Banks are neither issued nor guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury and, therefore, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by the Fund may greatly exceed their current resources, including their legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that issuers of U.S. Government Securities will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future.

 

4


 

U.S. Treasury Securities Risk.  A security backed by the U.S. Treasury or the full faith and credit of the United States is guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity, but the market prices for such securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Because U.S. Treasury Securities trade actively outside the United States, their prices may rise and fall as changes in global economic conditions affect the demand for these securities. In addition, changes in the credit rating or financial condition of the U.S. government may cause the value of U.S. Treasury Securities to decline.

Utilities Industry Group Risk.  Securities in the utilities industry group can be very volatile and can be impacted significantly by supply and demand for services or fuel, government regulation, conservation programs, commodity price fluctuations and other factors. Government regulation of utility companies may limit those companies’ profits or the dividends they can pay to investors. In addition, utility companies may face regulatory restrictions with respect to expansion to new markets, limiting their growth potential. Technological developments may lead to increased competition, which could impact a company’s performance.

Valuation Risk.  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible at no cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.

Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.

Portfolio Managers: Jason Singer, Managing Director; and David Westbrook, Vice President, have managed the Fund since inception.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of [    ] Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on the Exchange, subject to notice of issuance, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

Tax Information

For important tax information, please see “Tax Information” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

For important information about financial intermediary compensation, please see “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

 

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LOGO

 

Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF—Summary

Ticker: [    ]            Stock Exchange: [    ]

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs Chinese Government Bond Index (the “Index”).

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Shares of the Fund. The table does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)  

Management Fee

    [     ]% 

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee

    0.00

Other Expenses1

    [     ]% 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    [     ]% 

 

1 

The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.

Expense Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning Shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

$[    ]   $[    ]

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (i.e., “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of the following Chinese yuan (“CNY”)-denominated fixed rate bonds: (1) government bonds issued by the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) and the People’s Bank of China (“Chinese Government Bonds”), (2) bonds issued by the three Chinese policy banks: the Agricultural Development Bank of China, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China; and (3) provincial bonds issued by regional Chinese governments and banks. As of [    ], there were [    ] constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE”), a trading name of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group” or the “Index Provider”). The Index is based on the FTSE Chinese (Onshore CNY) Broad Bond Index—Interbank (the “Reference Index”), which measures the performance of onshore CNY-denominated governments, agencies, and corporate debts issued in Mainland China, using concepts developed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”).

 

6


 

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that applies specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. Only constituents of the Reference Index that (i) have a minimum issue size of CNY 20 billion for Chinese Government Bonds, CNY 15 billion for bonds issued by the three Chinese policy banks, and CNY 10 billion for provincial bonds issued by regional Chinese governments and banks, as well as other government-sponsored bonds, (ii) have a minimum remaining maturity of one year, and (iii) are issued by issuers with at least two eligible issues outstanding, are included in the Index. The weights of Index constituents are fixed as follows: (i) 24.5% for Chinese Government Bonds and (ii) 24.5% for bonds issued by the Agricultural Development Bank of China and the China Development Bank. The rest of the Index is proportionally allocated among the other Index constituents, with a weight cap of 4.5% for each Index constituent.

The Index is rebalanced monthly on the last business day of each month to account for changes in the minimum issue size and remaining maturity.

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which the Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of the Index. The securities selected for investment by the Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Index.

The Fund may concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index is concentrated. The degree to which components of the Index represent certain sectors or industries may change over time.

THE FUND IS NON-DIVERSIFIED UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940, AS AMENDED (THE “INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT”), AND MAY INVEST A LARGER PERCENTAGE OF ITS ASSETS IN FEWER ISSUERS THAN DIVERSIFIED FUNDS.

Principal Risks of the Fund

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing.

Calculation Methodology Risk.  The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index (or the Reference Index), including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that the Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

Call/Prepayment Risk.  An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund earlier than expected. This may happen when there is a decline in interest rates, when credit spreads change, or when an issuer’s credit quality improves. Under these circumstances, the Fund may be unable to recoup all of its initial investment and will also suffer from having to reinvest in lower-yielding securities.

Cash Transactions Risk.  Unlike certain exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), the Fund expects to effect its creations and redemptions primarily for cash, rather than primarily for in-kind securities. As such, investments in Shares may be less tax-efficient than an investment in a conventional ETF, which generally are able to make in-kind redemptions and avoid realizing gains in connection with transactions designed to raise cash to meet redemption requests.

China Risk.  Investing in Mainland China involves a higher degree of risk and special considerations not typically associated with investing in other more established economies or securities markets. The Fund’s investment exposure to Mainland China may subject the Fund, to a greater extent than if investments were made in developed countries, to the risks of adverse securities markets, exchange rates and social, political, regulatory, economic or environmental events and natural disasters which may occur in the China region. The economy, industries, and securities and currency markets of Mainland China are particularly vulnerable to the region’s dependence on exports and international trade and increasing competition from Asia’s other low-cost emerging economies. The imposition of tariffs or other trade barriers by the U.S. or foreign governments on exports from Mainland China may also have an adverse impact on Chinese issuers. In addition, currency fluctuations, currency convertibility, interest rate fluctuations and higher rates of inflation as a result of internal social unrest or conflicts with other countries have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of Mainland China. The government of the PRC exercises significant control over the economy in Mainland China, and may at any time alter or discontinue economic reforms. Hong Kong does not exercise the same level of control over its

 

7


economy as does the PRC with respect to Mainland China, but changes to their political and economic relationships with the PRC could adversely impact the Fund’s investments.

Credit/Default Risk.  An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. Additionally, the credit quality of securities may deteriorate rapidly, which may impair the Fund’s liquidity and cause significant deterioration in net asset value (“NAV”). These risks are more pronounced in connection with the Fund’s investments in non-investment grade fixed income securities.

Currency Risk.  Indirect and direct exposure to foreign currencies subjects the Fund to the risk that those currencies will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar, which would cause a decline in the U.S. value of the holdings of the Fund. Currency rates in foreign countries may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time for a number of reasons, including changes in interest rates and the imposition of currency controls or other political, economic and tax developments in the U.S. or abroad. To the extent the Fund seeks exposure to foreign currencies through foreign currency contracts and related transactions, the Fund becomes particularly susceptible to foreign currency value fluctuations, which may be sudden and significant, and investment decisions tied to currency markets. In addition, these investments are subject to the risks associated with derivatives and hedging and the impact on the Fund of fluctuations in the value of currencies may be magnified.

Extension Risk.  An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund later than expected. This may happen when there is a rise in interest rates. Under these circumstances, the value of the obligation will decrease, and the Fund will also suffer from the inability to reinvest in higher yielding securities.

Foreign and Emerging Countries Risk.  Foreign securities may be subject to risk of loss because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political and social stability in the countries in which the Fund invests. The imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions), sanctions, confiscations, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the United States and other governments, or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, may also result in losses. Foreign risk also involves the risk of negative foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. In addition, the Fund’s debt investments, including the ability of the issuer to repay principal, may be negatively impacted by foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. These risks may be more pronounced in connection with the Fund’s investments in securities of issuers located in emerging countries. The securities markets of most emerging countries are less liquid, developed and efficient, are subject to greater price volatility, have smaller market capitalizations, have more or less government regulation and may not be subject to as extensive and frequent accounting, financial and other reporting requirements as the securities markets of more developed countries. Further, investment in securities of issuers located in certain emerging countries involves the risk of loss resulting from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, substantial economic, political and social disruptions and the imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions). These risks are not normally associated with investments in more developed countries.

Geographic Risk.  If the Fund focuses its investments in issuers located in a particular country or region, the Fund is subject to a greater extent than if investments were less focused, to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions and developments that may be particular to that country or region, such as: adverse securities markets; adverse exchange rates; adverse social, political, regulatory, economic, business, environmental or other developments; or natural disasters.

Index Risk.  The Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in the Index. In addition, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble, and the Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing the Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. The Index Provider makes no guarantee with respect to the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index, or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Industry Concentration Risk.  In following its methodology, the Index from time to time may be concentrated to a significant degree in securities of issuers located in a single industry or group of industries. To the extent that the Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund also may concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or group of industries, the Fund may face more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or groups of industries. If the Index is not concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund will not concentrate in a particular industry or group of industries.

Interest Rate Risk.  When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets

 

8


and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.

Investing Through Bond Connect Risk.  The Fund will invest directly in the domestic bond markets in Mainland China through the Mutual Bond Market Access between Mainland China and Hong Kong (“Bond Connect”). Investing through Bond Connect is subject to a number of distinct operational and regulatory risks in addition to risks typically associated with investments in emerging market countries, which may affect the Fund’s performance. Bond Connect’s order, clearance, and settlement procedures and systems are relatively untested and subject to change, which could pose risks to the Fund. Furthermore, the custody arrangements for investments made through Bond Connect may affect the Fund’s ability to enforce its rights as the beneficial owner of these investments.

The Fund’s investments through Bond Connect are also subject to regulatory risks relating to Mainland China’s securities laws and listing requirements, including the risk that Bond Connect may be discontinued or that certain securities may lose their eligibility to be traded through Bond Connect. Moreover, securities purchased through Bond Connect generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Bond Connect in accordance with applicable rules. Additionally, Bond Connect trades are settled in CNY, which may subject the Fund to foreign currency risks. In addition, there can be no guarantee that the Fund will have timely access to a reliable supply of CNY in Hong Kong.

Large Shareholder Risk.  Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume [ ] (the “Exchange”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

Liquidity Risk.  The Fund may invest in securities or instruments that trade in lower volumes and may make investments that are less liquid than other investments. Also, the Fund may make investments that may become less liquid in response to market developments or adverse investor perceptions. Investments that are illiquid or that trade in lower volumes may be more difficult to value. When there is no willing buyer and investments cannot be readily sold at the desired time or price, the Fund may have to accept a lower price or may not be able to sell the security or instrument at all. An inability to sell one or more portfolio positions can adversely affect the Fund’s value. Liquidity risk may be the result of, among other things, the reduced number and capacity of traditional market participants to make a market in fixed income securities or the lack of an active market. The potential for liquidity risk may be magnified by a rising interest rate environment or other circumstances where investor redemptions from fixed income funds may be higher than normal, potentially causing increased supply in the market due to selling activity. These risks may be more pronounced in connection with the Fund’s investments in securities of issuers located in emerging market countries. Redemptions by large shareholders (including seed investors) may have a negative impact on the Fund’s liquidity.

If the Fund is forced to sell securities at an unfavorable time and/or under unfavorable conditions, such sales may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV.

Market Risk.  The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets.

Market Trading Risk.  The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. In addition, because liquidity in certain underlying securities may fluctuate, Shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to NAV than shares of other kinds of ETFs. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

Non-Diversification Risk.  The Fund is” non-diversified,” meaning that it is permitted to invest a larger percentage of its assets in fewer issuers than “diversified” funds. Thus, the Fund may be more susceptible to adverse developments affecting any single issuer held in its portfolio, and may be more susceptible to greater losses because of these developments.

Non-Investment Grade Fixed Income Securities Risk.  Non-investment grade fixed income securities and unrated securities of comparable credit quality (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are considered speculative and are subject to the increased risk of an

 

9


issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payment obligations. These securities may be subject to greater price volatility due to such factors as specific issuer developments, interest rate sensitivity, negative perceptions of the junk bond markets generally and less liquidity.

Sampling Risk.  The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Seed Investor Risk.  GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s Shares.

Sovereign Default Risk.  The Fund invests in securities issued by or guaranteed by non-U.S. sovereign governments (known as sovereign debt securities). An issuer of sovereign debt held by the Fund, or the governmental authorities that control the repayment of the debt, may be unable or unwilling to repay the principal or interest when due. This may result from political or social factors, the general economic environment of a country or levels of foreign debt or foreign currency exchange rates.

Tracking Error Risk.  Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Index. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of cash, changes to the Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike the Fund, the returns of the Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. These risks may be greater given the Fund’s investment in non-investment grade securities with more volatility in price and liquidity. The Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index to comply with the Investment Company Act, to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Code applicable to regulated investment companies, or as a result of market restrictions or other legal reasons, including regulatory limits or other restrictions on securities that may be purchased by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates.

Valuation Risk.  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible at no cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.

Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.

Portfolio Managers:  Jason Singer, Managing Director; and David Westbrook, Vice President, have managed the Fund since inception.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of [ ] Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on the Exchange, subject to notice of issuance, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

 

10


 

Tax Information

For important tax information, please see “Tax Information” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

For important information about financial intermediary compensation, please see “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

 

11


LOGO

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF—Summary

Ticker: [     ]            Stock Exchange: [    ]

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond Index (the “Index”).

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Shares of the Fund. The table does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)  

Management Fee

    [     ]% 

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee

    0.00%  

Other Expenses1

    [     ]% 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    [     ]% 

 

1 

The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.

Expense Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning Shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

$[    ]   $[    ]

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (i.e., “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of investment grade, corporate bonds denominated in U.S. dollars (“USD”) with remaining maturities between one and five years that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. As of [    ], there were [    ] constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE”), a trading name of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group” or the “Index Provider”). The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade (USBIG®) Corporate Index (the “Reference Index”) using concepts developed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”).

 

12


 

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines a universe of potential Index constituents (the “Universe”) by applying specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. The Reference Index includes investment grade corporate bonds that have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”) or Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”). Only corporate bond constituents of the Reference Index that have a minimum of $750 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $500 million, remaining maturities between one and five years, and from issuers with at least two eligible bonds outstanding are included in the Universe. A maturity bucketing process is used to approximate the average effective duration of the Reference Index.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies a fundamental screen to the Universe. Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials, industrials and utilities. Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage. The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two fundamental factors, equally weighted. The Index is constructed by including the highest ranking eligible securities in each industry group, screening out lowest ranking eligible securities.

The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which the Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of the Index. The securities selected for investment by the Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Index.

The Fund may concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index is concentrated. The degree to which components of the Index represent certain sectors or industries may change over time.

Principal Risks of the Fund

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing.

Calculation Methodology Risk.  The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index (or the Reference Index), including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that the Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

Call/Prepayment Risk.  An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund earlier than expected. This may happen when there is a decline in interest rates, when credit spreads change, or when an issuer’s credit quality improves. Under these circumstances, the Fund may be unable to recoup all of its initial investment and will also suffer from having to reinvest in lower-yielding securities.

Credit/Default Risk.  An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. Additionally, the credit quality of securities may deteriorate rapidly, which may impair the Fund’s liquidity and cause significant deterioration in net asset value (“NAV”).

Extension Risk.  An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund later than expected. This may happen when there is a rise in interest rates. Under these circumstances, the value of the obligation will decrease, and the Fund will also suffer from the inability to reinvest in higher yielding securities.

Financial Services Industry Group Risk.  An adverse development in the financial services industry group, including U.S. and foreign banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, finance companies (e.g., automobile finance) and related asset-backed securities,

 

13


may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were not invested to such a degree in this industry group. Companies in the financial services industry group may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors such as interest rate changes, fiscal, regulatory and monetary policy and general economic cycles.

Foreign Risk.  Foreign securities may be subject to risk of loss because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political and social stability in the countries in which the Fund invests. The imposition of exchange controls, sanctions, confiscations, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the United States or other governments, or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, may also result in losses. Foreign risk also involves the risk of negative foreign currency rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time.

Index Risk.  The Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in the Index. In addition, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble, and the Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing the Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. The Index Provider makes no guarantee with respect to the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index, or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Industrials Industry Group Risk.  Industrial companies can be impacted by supply and demand for their specific product or service and for industrial company products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities may affect the performance of these companies.

Industry Concentration Risk.  In following its methodology, the Index from time to time may be concentrated to a significant degree in securities of issuers located in a single industry or group of industries. To the extent that the Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund also may concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or group of industries, the Fund may face more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or groups of industries. If the Index is not concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund will not concentrate in a particular industry or group of industries.

Interest Rate Risk.  When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.

Large Shareholder Risk.  Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume [    ] (the “Exchange”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

Liquidity Risk.  The Fund may invest in securities or instruments that trade in lower volumes and may make investments that are less liquid than other investments. Also, the Fund may make investments that may become less liquid in response to market developments or adverse investor perceptions. Investments that are illiquid or that trade in lower volumes may be more difficult to value. When there is no willing buyer and investments cannot be readily sold at the desired time or price, the Fund may have to accept a lower price or may not be able to sell the security or instrument at all. An inability to sell one or more portfolio positions can adversely affect the Fund’s value. Liquidity risk may be the result of, among other things, the reduced number and capacity of traditional market participants to make a market in fixed income securities or the lack of an active market. The potential for liquidity risk may be magnified by a rising interest rate environment or other circumstances where investor redemptions from fixed income funds may be higher than normal, potentially causing increased supply in the market due to selling activity. Redemptions by large shareholders (including seed investors) may have a negative impact on the Fund’s liquidity.

If the Fund is forced to sell securities at an unfavorable time and/or under unfavorable conditions, such sales may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV.

 

14


 

Market Risk.  The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets.

Market Trading Risk.  The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. In addition, because liquidity in certain underlying securities may fluctuate, Shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to NAV than shares of other kinds of ETFs. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

Sampling Risk.  The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Seed Investor Risk. GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s Shares.

Tracking Error Risk.  Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Index. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of cash, changes to the Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike the Fund, the returns of the Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. The Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index to comply with the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), applicable to regulated investment companies, or as a result of market restrictions or other legal reasons, including regulatory limits or other restrictions on securities that may be purchased by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates.

Utilities Industry Group Risk.  Securities in the utilities industry group can be very volatile and can be impacted significantly by supply and demand for services or fuel, government regulation, conservation programs, commodity price fluctuations and other factors. Government regulation of utility companies may limit those companies’ profits or the dividends they can pay to investors. In addition, utility companies may face regulatory restrictions with respect to expansion to new markets, limiting their growth potential. Technological developments may lead to increased competition, which could impact a company’s performance.

Valuation Risk.  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible at no cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.

 

15


 

Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.

Portfolio Managers:  Jason Singer, Managing Director; and David Westbrook, Vice President, have managed the Fund since inception.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of [    ] Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on the Exchange, subject to notice of issuance, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

Tax Information

For important tax information, please see “Tax Information” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

For important information about financial intermediary compensation, please see “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

 

16


LOGO

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year ETF—Summary

Ticker: [    ]            Stock Exchange: [    ]

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond Index (the “Index”).

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Shares of the Fund. The table does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)  

Management Fee

    [     ]% 

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee

    0.00

Other Expenses1

    [     ]% 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    [     ]% 

 

1 

The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.

Expense Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning Shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

$[    ]   $[    ]

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (i.e., “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of investment grade, corporate bonds denominated in U.S. dollars (“USD”) with remaining maturities greater than ten years that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. As of [    ], there were [    ] constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE”), a trading name of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group” or the “Index Provider”). The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade (USBIG®) Corporate Index (the “Reference Index”) using concepts developed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”).

 

17


 

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines a universe of potential Index constituents (the “Universe”) by applying specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. The Reference Index includes investment grade corporate bonds that have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”) or Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”). Only corporate bond constituents of the Reference Index that have a minimum of $750 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $500 million, remaining maturities greater than ten years, and from issuers with at least two eligible bonds outstanding are included in the Universe. A maturity bucketing process is used to approximate the average effective duration of the Reference Index.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies a fundamental screen to the Universe. Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials, industrials and utilities. Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage. The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two fundamental factors, equally weighted. The Index is constructed by including the highest ranking eligible securities in each industry group, screening out lowest ranking eligible securities.

The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which the Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of the Index. The securities selected for investment by the Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Index.

The Fund may concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index is concentrated. The degree to which components of the Index represent certain sectors or industries may change over time.

Principal Risks of the Fund

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing.

Calculation Methodology Risk.  The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index (or the Reference Index), including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that the Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

Call/Prepayment Risk.  An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund earlier than expected. This may happen when there is a decline in interest rates, when credit spreads change, or when an issuer’s credit quality improves. Under these circumstances, the Fund may be unable to recoup all of its initial investment and will also suffer from having to reinvest in lower-yielding securities.

Credit/Default Risk.  An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. Additionally, the credit quality of securities may deteriorate rapidly, which may impair the Fund’s liquidity and cause significant deterioration in net asset value (“NAV”).

Extension Risk.  An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by the Fund later than expected. This may happen when there is a rise in interest rates. Under these circumstances, the value of the obligation will decrease, and the Fund will also suffer from the inability to reinvest in higher yielding securities.

Financial Services Industry Group Risk.  An adverse development in the financial services industry group, including U.S. and foreign banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, finance companies (e.g., automobile finance) and related asset-backed securities,

 

18


may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were not invested to such a degree in this industry group. Companies in the financial services industry group may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors such as interest rate changes, fiscal, regulatory and monetary policy and general economic cycles.

Foreign Risk.  Foreign securities may be subject to risk of loss because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political and social stability in the countries in which the Fund invests. The imposition of exchange controls, sanctions, confiscations, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the United States or other governments, or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, may also result in losses. Foreign risk also involves the risk of negative foreign currency rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time.

Index Risk.  The Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in the Index. In addition, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble, and the Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing the Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. The Index Provider makes no guarantee with respect to the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index, or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Industrials Industry Group Risk.  Industrial companies can be impacted by supply and demand for their specific product or service and for industrial company products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities may affect the performance of these companies.

Industry Concentration Risk.  In following its methodology, the Index from time to time may be concentrated to a significant degree in securities of issuers located in a single industry or group of industries. To the extent that the Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund also may concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or group of industries, the Fund may face more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or groups of industries. If the Index is not concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund will not concentrate in a particular industry or group of industries.

Interest Rate Risk.  When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.

Large Shareholder Risk.  Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume [ ] (the “Exchange”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

Liquidity Risk.  The Fund may invest in securities or instruments that trade in lower volumes and may make investments that are less liquid than other investments. Also, the Fund may make investments that may become less liquid in response to market developments or adverse investor perceptions. Investments that are illiquid or that trade in lower volumes may be more difficult to value. When there is no willing buyer and investments cannot be readily sold at the desired time or price, the Fund may have to accept a lower price or may not be able to sell the security or instrument at all. An inability to sell one or more portfolio positions can adversely affect the Fund’s value. Liquidity risk may be the result of, among other things, the reduced number and capacity of traditional market participants to make a market in fixed income securities or the lack of an active market. The potential for liquidity risk may be magnified by a rising interest rate environment or other circumstances where investor redemptions from fixed income funds may be higher than normal, potentially causing increased supply in the market due to selling activity. Redemptions by large shareholders (including seed investors) may have a negative impact on the Fund’s liquidity.

If the Fund is forced to sell securities at an unfavorable time and/or under unfavorable conditions, such sales may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV.

 

19


 

Market Risk.  The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets.

Market Trading Risk.  The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. In addition, because liquidity in certain underlying securities may fluctuate, Shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to NAV than shares of other kinds of ETFs. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

Sampling Risk.  The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Seed Investor Risk.  GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s Shares.

Tracking Error Risk.  Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Index. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of cash, changes to the Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike the Fund, the returns of the Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. The Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index to comply with the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), applicable to regulated investment companies, or as a result of market restrictions or other legal reasons, including regulatory limits or other restrictions on securities that may be purchased by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates.

Utilities Industry Group Risk.  Securities in the utilities industry group can be very volatile and can be impacted significantly by supply and demand for services or fuel, government regulation, conservation programs, commodity price fluctuations and other factors. Government regulation of utility companies may limit those companies’ profits or the dividends they can pay to investors. In addition, utility companies may face regulatory restrictions with respect to expansion to new markets, limiting their growth potential. Technological developments may lead to increased competition, which could impact a company’s performance.

Valuation Risk.  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible at no cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.

 

20


 

Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.

Portfolio Managers:  Jason Singer, Managing Director; and David Westbrook, Vice President, have managed the Fund since inception.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of [ ] Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on the Exchange, subject to notice of issuance, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

Tax Information

For important tax information, please see “Tax Information” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

For important information about financial intermediary compensation, please see “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

 

21


LOGO

 

Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF—Summary

Ticker: [    ]            Stock Exchange: [    ]

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs Total Bond Market Index (the “Index”).

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Shares of the Fund. The table does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)  

Management Fee

    [     ]% 

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee

    0.00

Other Expenses1

    [     ]% 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    [     ]% 

 

1 

The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.

Expense Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning Shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

$[    ]   $[    ]

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (i.e., “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

The Index is a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of the universe of bonds denominated in U.S. dollars (“USD”) that meets certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. As of [    ], there were [    ] constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE”), a trading name of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group” or the “Index Provider”). The Index is based on the FTSE US Broad Investment-Grade (USBIG®) Index, the FTSE US High-Yield Market Index, the FTSE Emerging Markets US Dollar Government Bond Index, the FTSE Emerging Markets Corporate Capped Extended Broad Bond Index and the U.S. sleeve of the FTSE World Inflation-Linked Securities Index (each, a “Reference Index,” and collectively, the “Reference Indices”) using concepts developed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”).

 

22


 

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines a universe of potential Index constituents (the “Universe”) by applying specified criteria to constituents of the applicable Reference Index as described below. The Reference Indices include, but are not limited to, investment grade and high yield corporate bonds, U.S. Treasury Securities (as defined below), sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds issued and denominated in USD, bonds that are be linked to an inflation index, mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities and municipal bonds. All constituents of the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”) or Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”).

 

   

Investment Grade Corporate Bonds:

Only corporate bond constituents of the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index that have a minimum of $750 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $2 billion and remaining maturities greater than one year are included in the Universe.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities:

“U.S. Treasury Securities” refer to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury where the payment of principal and interest is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. U.S. Treasury Securities include U.S. Treasury notes, U.S. Treasury bills and U.S. Treasury floating rate bonds. U.S. Treasury Securities that are included in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account the Federal Reserve System Open Market Account (“SOMA”) holdings). Only U.S. Treasury Securities with remaining maturities greater than one year will be included in the Universe.

 

   

Mortgage-Back Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

Asset-backed securities that are included in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum issuer size of $250 million. Mortgage-backed securities that are include in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of $1 billion outstanding per origination year generic when the coupon has a minimum amount outstanding of $5 billion. All mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities that are included in this Reference Index are included in the Universe based on issuance weight.

 

   

High Yield Corporate Bonds:

High yield corporate bonds that are included in the FTSE US High-Yield Market Index are issued by companies domiciled in the United States or Canada that have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated a maximum of BB+ by S&P or Ba1 by Moody’s and a minimum of C by S&P and Ca by Moody’s. Only corporate bond constituents of this Reference Index that (i) have a minimum of $400 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $1 billion and a maximum final maturity of 15 years and (ii) if neither fundamental factor described below is available, are rated at least CCC+ by S&P or Caa1 by Moody’s, are included in the Universe. The constituents are then divided into two maturity buckets: 1-5 years and 5+ years. The Index Provider adjusts the weights of the maturity buckets to match the weighted average effective duration of this Reference Index. Within each maturity bucket, issuers are assigned weights in proportion to their market capitalization.

 

   

Emerging Markets Sovereign and Quasi-Sovereign Bonds:

The FTSE Emerging Markets US Dollar Government Bond Index includes sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds denominated in USD from issuers located in emerging markets countries. Only constituents of this Reference Index that have a minimum issue equivalent of $500 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $1 billion, and are rated at least B- by S&P or B3 by Moody’s are included in the Universe. The weight of each country within the Universe is capped at 5%.

 

   

Emerging Markets Corporate Bonds:

The FTSE Emerging Markets Corporate Capped Extended Broad Bond Index includes corporate bonds denominated in USD from issuers located in emerging markets countries. The constituents of this Reference Index have a minimum issue equivalent of $250 million outstanding, a maximum issuer size of $10 billion, a minimum maturity of at least one year and are rated at least C by S&P and Ca by Moody’s. All corporate bonds that are included in this Reference Index are included in the Universe based on issuance weight.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities:

The U.S. sleeve of the FTSE World Inflation-Linked Securities Index includes fixed-rate, sovereign bonds denominated in USD that are linked to an inflation index. Only U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (“TIPS”) constituents of this

 

23


Reference Index that have a minimum of 1 year to maturity and a minimum issue size of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account SOMA holdings) are included in the Universe.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies specified fundamental screens to each type of constituents in the Universe as described below.

 

   

Investment Grade and High Yield Corporate Bonds:

Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials, industrials and utilities. Investment grade corporate bond issuers within each industry group are ranked by the Index Provider by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage, equally weighted. High yield corporate bond issuers within each industry group are ranked by the Index Provider by two fundamental factors, debt service and leverage, equally weighted. Only the highest ranking eligible securities in each industry group are included in the Index, screening out lowest ranking eligible securities.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities, Emerging Markets Corporate Bonds, Mortgage-Backed Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

The inclusion of U.S. Treasury Securities, emerging markets corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities in the Index will be based on issuance weight.

 

   

Emerging Markets Sovereign and Quasi-Sovereign Bonds:

The Index Provider applies both governance and fundamental screens to the emerging market debt constituents within the Universe. First, issuers are ranked by improvement or deterioration in governance based on the Worldwide Governance Indicators. Based on this ranking, the bottom 10% of issuing countries are excluded from the Index. Second, issuers are ranked by improvement or deterioration in two fundamental factors, import coverage and inflation. Based on this second ranking, the bottom 5% of issuing countries are excluded from the Index. Inclusion or exclusion of quasi-government bonds is based on the country of domicile. The weight of each remaining bond included in the Index is capped at 5%.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities:

The Index Provider screens the Universe to exclude TIPS that are unseasoned. The Index excludes “on-the-run” bonds and recent “off-the-run” bonds, or the newest issues for each security term. The remaining TIPS are included in the Index, weighted to match the weighted average real yield duration of the TIPS portion of the Universe.

The Index is market capitalization-weighted based on the relative weights of its Reference Indices. The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which the Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of the Index. The securities selected for investment by the Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Index.

The Fund may concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index is concentrated. The degree to which components of the Index represent certain sectors or industries may change over time.

Principal Risks of the Fund

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing.

Calculation Methodology Risk.  The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index (or the Reference Indices), including fundamental and governance information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that the Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

Credit/Default Risk.  An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. Additionally, the credit quality of securities may deteriorate

 

24


rapidly, which may impair the Fund’s liquidity and cause significant deterioration in net asset value (“NAV”). These risks are more pronounced in connection with the Fund’s investments in non-investment grade fixed income securities.

[CPIU Measurement Risk.  The U.S. Treasury uses the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (“CPIU”) as the measurement of inflation. The CPIU is a measurement of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation and energy. There can be no assurance that the CPIU will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services, which may affect the valuation of the Fund.]

Financial Services Industry Group Risk.  An adverse development in the financial services industry group, including U.S. and foreign banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, finance companies (e.g., automobile finance) and related asset-backed securities, may affect the value of the Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were not invested to such a degree in this industry group. Companies in the financial services industry group may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors such as interest rate changes, fiscal, regulatory and monetary policy and general economic cycles.

Foreign and Emerging Countries Risk.  Foreign securities may be subject to risk of loss because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information and less economic, political and social stability in the countries in which the Fund invests. The imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions), sanctions, confiscations, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the United States and other governments, or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, may also result in losses. Foreign risk also involves the risk of negative foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. In addition, the Fund’s debt investments, including the ability of the issuer to repay principal, may be negatively impacted by foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. These risks may be more pronounced in connection with the Fund’s investments in securities of issuers located in emerging countries. The securities markets of most emerging countries are less liquid, developed and efficient, are subject to greater price volatility, have smaller market capitalizations, have more or less government regulation and may not be subject to as extensive and frequent accounting, financial and other reporting requirements as the securities markets of more developed countries. Further, investment in securities of issuers located in certain emerging countries involves the risk of loss resulting from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, substantial economic, political and social disruptions and the imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions). These risks are not normally associated with investments in more developed countries.

Index Risk.  The Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in the Index. In addition, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble, and the Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing the Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. The Index Provider makes no guarantee with respect to the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index, or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM. In addition, there is no guarantee that certain components of the construction methodology of the Index, such as the Worldwide Governance Indicators, will achieve the desired results.

Industrials Industry Group Risk.  Industrial companies can be impacted by supply and demand for their specific product or service and for industrial company products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities may affect the performance of these companies.

Industry Concentration Risk.  In following its methodology, the Index from time to time may be concentrated to a significant degree in securities of issuers located in a single industry or group of industries. To the extent that the Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund also may concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or group of industries, the Fund may face more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or groups of industries. If the Index is not concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund will not concentrate in a particular industry or group of industries.

Interest Rate Risk.  When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.

Large Shareholder Risk.  Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such

 

25


investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume [ ] (the “Exchange”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

Market Risk.  The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets.

Market Trading Risk.  The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. In addition, because liquidity in certain underlying securities may fluctuate, Shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to NAV than shares of other kinds of ETFs. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities Risk.  Mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities are subject to certain additional risks, including “extension risk” (i.e., in periods of rising interest rates, issuers may pay principal later than expected) and “prepayment risk” (i.e., in periods of declining interest rates, issuers may pay principal more quickly than expected, causing the Fund to reinvest proceeds at lower prevailing interest rates). Mortgage-backed securities offered by non-governmental issuers are subject to other risks as well, including failures of private insurers to meet their obligations and unexpectedly high rates of default on the mortgages backing the securities. Other asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-backed securities, as well as risks associated with the nature and servicing of the assets backing the securities. Asset-backed securities may not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral comparable to that of mortgage assets, resulting in additional credit risk.

Non-Investment Grade Fixed Income Securities Risk.  Non-investment grade fixed income securities and unrated securities of comparable credit quality (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are considered speculative and are subject to the increased risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payment obligations. These securities may be subject to greater price volatility due to such factors as specific issuer developments, interest rate sensitivity, negative perceptions of the junk bond markets generally and less liquidity.

Sampling Risk.  The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Seed Investor Risk.  GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s Shares.

Tracking Error Risk.  Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Index. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of cash, changes to the Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike the Fund, the returns of the Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. These risks may be greater given the Fund’s investment in non-investment grade securities with more volatility in price and liquidity. The Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index to comply with the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), applicable to regulated investment companies, or as a result of market restrictions or other legal reasons, including regulatory limits or other restrictions on securities that may be purchased by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates.

 

26


 

[Treasury Inflation Protected Securities Risk.  The value of TIPS generally fluctuates in response to inflationary concerns. As inflationary expectations increase, TIPS will become more attractive, because they protect future interest payments against inflation. Conversely, as inflationary concerns decrease, TIPS will become less attractive and less valuable.]

U.S. Government Securities Risk.  The U.S. government may not provide financial support to U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if it is not obligated to do so by law. U.S. Government Securities issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) and the Federal Home Loan Banks are neither issued nor guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury and, therefore, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by the Fund may greatly exceed their current resources, including their legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that issuers of U.S. Government Securities will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future.

U.S. Treasury Securities Risk.  A security backed by the U.S. Treasury or the full faith and credit of the United States is guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity, but the market prices for such securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Because U.S. Treasury Securities trade actively outside the United States, their prices may rise and fall as changes in global economic conditions affect the demand for these securities. In addition, changes in the credit rating or financial condition of the U.S. government may cause the value of U.S. Treasury Securities to decline.

Utilities Industry Group Risk.  Securities in the utilities industry group can be very volatile and can be impacted significantly by supply and demand for services or fuel, government regulation, conservation programs, commodity price fluctuations and other factors. Government regulation of utility companies may limit those companies’ profits or the dividends they can pay to investors. In addition, utility companies may face regulatory restrictions with respect to expansion to new markets, limiting their growth potential. Technological developments may lead to increased competition, which could impact a company’s performance.

Valuation Risk.  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible at no cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.

Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.

Portfolio Managers: Jason Singer, Managing Director; and David Westbrook, Vice President, have managed the Fund since inception.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of [    ] Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on the Exchange, subject to notice of issuance, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

Tax Information

For important tax information, please see “Tax Information” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

For important information about financial intermediary compensation, please see “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

 

27


LOGO

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF—Summary

Ticker: [    ]            Stock Exchange: [    ]

Investment Objective

The Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond Index (the “Index”).

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Shares of the Fund. The table does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

 
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)  

Management Fee

    [     ]% 

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fee

    0.00%  

Other Expenses1

    [     ]% 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

    [     ]% 

 

1 

The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.

Expense Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning Shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of Shares of the Fund. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

$[    ]   $[    ]

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (i.e., “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

The Index is a rules-based index designed to measure the performance of U.S. Treasury Securities (as defined below) that have a remaining maturity between one and thirty years. “U.S. Treasury Securities” refer to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury where the payment of principal and interest is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. U.S. Treasury Securities include U.S. Treasury notes, U.S. Treasury bills and U.S. Treasury floating rate bonds. The Fund expects to invest 100% of its assets in (i) U.S. Treasury Securities with a remaining maturity between one and thirty years and (ii) cash.

As of [    ], there were [    ] issues in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years. The Index includes publicly-issued U.S. Treasury Securities that have a minimum remaining maturity of one year and a maximum remaining maturity of 30 years at the time of rebalance and that have a minimum issue size of $5 billion. In addition, the securities in the Index must be non-convertible and denominated in U.S. dollars (“USD”). The Index excludes certain special issues, such as targeted investor notes, state and local government series bonds and coupon issues that have been stripped from bonds.

 

28


The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE”), a trading name of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group” or the “Index Provider”), using concepts developed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the “Investment Adviser” or “GSAM”). The Index is market capitalization-weighted and the securities in the Index are updated on the last business day of each month.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage the Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which the Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of the Index. The securities selected for investment by the Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of the Index. The Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the Index.

THE FUND IS NOT A MONEY MARKET FUND AND DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO MAINTAIN A STABLE NET ASSET VALUE.

Principal Risks of the Fund

Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing.

Calculation Methodology Risk.  The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index, including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that the Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

Credit/Default Risk.  An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. Additionally, the credit quality of securities may deteriorate rapidly, which may impair the Fund’s liquidity and cause significant deterioration in net asset value (“NAV”).

[CPIU Measurement Risk.  The U.S. Treasury uses the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (“CPIU”) as the measurement of inflation. The CPIU is a measurement of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation and energy. There can be no assurance that the CPIU will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services, which may affect the valuation of the Fund.]

Index Risk.  The Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in the Index. In addition, because the Fund is not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from the Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble, and the Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing the Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. The Index Provider makes no guarantee with respect to the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index, or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Interest Rate Risk.  When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.

Large Shareholder Risk.  Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume [ ] (the “Exchange”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

 

29


 

Market Risk.  The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets.

Market Trading Risk.  The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. In addition, because liquidity in certain underlying securities may fluctuate, Shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to NAV than shares of other kinds of ETFs. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

Sampling Risk.  The Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in the Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by the Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in the Index that is not held by the Fund could cause the Fund to underperform the Index. To the extent the assets in the Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

Seed Investor Risk.  GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s Shares.

Tracking Error Risk.  Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund’s performance from that of the Index. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of cash, changes to the Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike the Fund, the returns of the Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. The Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index to comply with the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), applicable to regulated investment companies.

[Treasury Inflation Protected Securities Risk.  The value of TIPS generally fluctuates in response to inflationary concerns. As inflationary expectations increase, TIPS will become more attractive, because they protect future interest payments against inflation. Conversely, as inflationary concerns decrease, TIPS will become less attractive and less valuable.]

U.S. Treasury Securities Risk.  A security backed by the U.S. Treasury or the full faith and credit of the United States is guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity, but the market prices for such securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Because U.S. Treasury Securities trade actively outside the United States, their prices may rise and fall as changes in global economic conditions affect the demand for these securities. In addition, changes in the credit rating or financial condition of the U.S. government may cause the value of U.S. Treasury Securities to decline.

Valuation Risk.  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

Performance

Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be accessible at no cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.

 

30


Portfolio Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.

Portfolio Managers:  Jason Singer, Managing Director; and David Westbrook, Vice President, have managed the Fund since inception.

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares each called a “Creation Unit,” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of [    ] Shares.

Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on the Exchange, subject to notice of issuance, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.

Tax Information

For important tax information, please see “Tax Information” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

For important information about financial intermediary compensation, please see “Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries” on page [    ] of the Prospectus.

 

31


 

Goldman Sachs Access Fixed Income ETFs – Additional Summary Information

 

Tax Information

The Funds’ distributions are taxable, and will be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account. Investments made through tax-deferred arrangements may become taxable upon withdrawal from such arrangements.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase Shares of a Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), GSAM or other related companies may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund Shares or related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend a Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

32


 

Investment Management Approach

 

  INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES     

Each Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of its Index. A Fund’s investment objective may be changed without shareholder approval.

 

  PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES     

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index. Shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in securities included in its underlying index.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs Broad Bond Market Index, a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of the total investment grade bond market universe denominated in USD that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. As of [    ], there were [    ] constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE, a trading name of the LSE Group. The Index is based on the Reference Indices using concepts developed with GSAM. As a user of the Index, GSAM may, from time to time, provide feedback or make suggestions that may result in changes to the Index. However, ultimate decision-making authority regarding index methodology changes will be retained by the Index Provider.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines the Universe by applying specified criteria to certain constituents of the Reference Indices as described below. The Reference Indices include, but are not limited to, investment grade corporate bonds, U.S. Treasury Securities, bonds that are be linked to an inflation index, mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities and municipal bonds. All constituents of the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by S&P or Baa3 by Moody’s.

 

   

Investment Grade Corporate Bonds:

Only corporate bond constituents of the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index that have a minimum of $750 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $2 billion and remaining maturities greater than one year are included in the Universe.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities:

U.S. Treasury Securities that are included in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account SOMA holdings). Only U.S. Treasury Securities with remaining maturities greater than one year will be included in the Universe.

 

   

Mortgage-Back Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

Asset-backed securities that are included in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum issuer size of $250 million. Mortgage-backed securities that are include in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of $1 billion outstanding per origination year generic when the coupon has a minimum amount outstanding of $5 billion. All mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities that are included in this Reference Index are included in the Universe based on issuance weight.

 

33


 

   

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities:

The U.S. sleeve of the FTSE World Inflation-Linked Securities Index includes fixed-rate, sovereign bonds denominated in USD that are linked to an inflation index. Only TIPS constituents of this Reference Index that have a minimum of 1 year to maturity and a minimum issue size of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account SOMA holdings) are included in the Universe.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies specified fundamental screens to each type of constituents in the Universe as described below.

 

   

Investment Grade Corporate Bonds:

Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials (e.g., banks and insurance), industrials (e.g., manufacturing, energy and services) and utilities (e.g., telecom and electricity). Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage. Operating margin is measured by earnings before interest and taxes margin (“EBIT Margin”), while leverage is measured by debt to enterprise value (“Debt to EV”). The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two equally weighted fundamental factors, positively by change in EBIT Margin and negatively by change in Debt to EV, accounting for market capitalization. The percentile rankings with respect to each fundamental factor are combined to calculate each issuer’s composite rank. The bottom 10% of the issuers from the composite rank within each industry group are excluded from the Index and the remaining issuers are included.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities, Mortgage-Backed Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

The inclusion of U.S. Treasury Securities, mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities in the Index will be based on issuance weight.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities:

The Index Provider screens the Universe to exclude TIPS that are unseasoned. The Index excludes “on-the-run” bonds and recent “off-the-run” bonds, or the newest issues for each security term. The remaining TIPS are included in the Index, weighted to match the weighted average real yield duration of the TIPS portion of the Universe.

The Index is market capitalization-weighted based on the relative weights of its Reference Indices. The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index. Shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the SEC before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in securities included in its underlying index.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs Chinese Government Bond Index, a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of the following CNY-denominated fixed rate bonds: (1) Chinese Government Bonds, (2) bonds issued by the three Chinese policy banks: the Agricultural Development Bank of China, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China; and (3) provincial bonds issued by regional Chinese governments and banks. As of [ ], there were [ ] constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [ ] years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE, a trading name of the LSE Group. The Index is based on the Reference Index, which measures the performance of onshore CNY-denominated governments, agencies, and corporate debts issued in Mainland China, using concepts developed with GSAM. As a user of the Index, GSAM may, from time to time, provide feedback or make suggestions that may result in changes to the Index. However, ultimate decision-making authority regarding index methodology changes will be retained by the Index Provider.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

 

34


INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT APPROACH

 

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that applies specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. Only constituents of the Reference Index that (i) have a minimum issue size of CNY 20 billion for Chinese Government Bonds, CNY 15 billion for bonds issued by the three Chinese policy banks, and CNY 10 billion for provincial bonds issued by regional Chinese governments and banks, as well as other government-sponsored bonds, (ii) have a minimum remaining maturity of one year, and (iii) are issued by issuers with at least two eligible issues outstanding, are included in the Index. The weights of Index constituents are fixed as follows: (i) 24.5% for Chinese Government Bonds and (ii) 24.5% for bonds issued by the Agricultural Development Bank of China and the China Development Bank. The rest of the Index is proportionally allocated among the other Index constituents, with a weight cap of 4.5% for each Index constituent.

The Index is rebalanced monthly on the last business day of each month to account for changes in the minimum issue size and remaining maturity.

THE FUND IS NON-DIVERSIFIED UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940, AS AMENDED (THE “INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT”), AND MAY INVEST A LARGER PERCENTAGE OF ITS ASSETS IN FEWER ISSUERS THAN DIVERSIFIED FUNDS.

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index. Shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the SEC before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in securities included in its underlying index.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond Index, a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of investment grade, corporate bonds denominated in USD with remaining maturities between one and five years that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. As of [    ], there were [    ] constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE, a trading name of the LSE Group. The Index is based on the Reference Index using concepts developed with GSAM. As a user of the Index, GSAM may, from time to time, provide feedback or make suggestions that may result in changes to the Index. However, ultimate decision-making authority regarding index methodology changes will be retained by the Index Provider.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines the Universe by applying specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. The Reference Index includes investment grade corporate bonds that have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by S&P or Baa3 by Moody’s. Only corporate bond constituents of the Reference Index that have a minimum of $750 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $500 million, remaining maturities between one and five years, and from issuers with at least two eligible bonds outstanding are included in the Universe. A maturity bucketing process is used to approximate the average effective duration of the Reference Index.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies a fundamental screen to the Universe. Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials (e.g., banks and insurance), industrials (e.g., manufacturing, energy and services) and utilities (e.g., telecom and electricity). Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage. Operating margin is measured by earnings before interest and taxes margin (“EBIT Margin”), while leverage is measured by debt to enterprise value (“Debt to EV”). The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two equally weighted fundamental factors, positively by change in EBIT Margin and negatively by change in Debt to EV, accounting for market capitalization. The percentile rankings with respect to each fundamental factor are combined to calculate each issuer’s composite rank. The bottom 10% of the issuers from the composite rank within each industry group are excluded from the Index and the remaining issuers are included.

 

35


 

The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index. Shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the SEC before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in securities included in its underlying index.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of FTSE Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond Index, a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of investment grade, corporate bonds denominated in USD with remaining maturities greater than ten years that meet certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. As of [    ], there were [    ] constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE, a trading name of the LSE Group. The Index is based on the Reference Index using concepts developed with GSAM. As a user of the Index, GSAM may, from time to time, provide feedback or make suggestions that may result in changes to the Index. However, ultimate decision-making authority regarding index methodology changes will be retained by the Index Provider.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines the Universe by applying specified criteria to the constituents of the Reference Index. The Reference Index includes investment grade corporate bonds that have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by S&P or Baa3 by Moody’s. Only corporate bond constituents of the Reference Index that have a minimum of $750 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $500 million, remaining maturities greater than ten years, and from issuers with at least two eligible bonds outstanding are included in the Universe. A maturity bucketing process is used to approximate the average effective duration of the Reference Index.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies a fundamental screen to the Universe. Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials (e.g., banks and insurance), industrials (e.g., manufacturing, energy and services) and utilities (e.g., telecom and electricity). Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage. Operating margin is measured by earnings before interest and taxes margin (“EBIT Margin”), while leverage is measured by debt to enterprise value (“Debt to EV”). The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two equally weighted fundamental factors, positively by change in EBIT Margin and negatively by change in Debt to EV, accounting for market capitalization. The percentile rankings with respect to each fundamental factor are combined to calculate each issuer’s composite rank. The bottom 10% of the issuers from the composite rank within each industry group are excluded from the Index and the remaining issuers are included.

The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index. Shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the SEC before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in securities included in its underlying index.

 

36


INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT APPROACH

 

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs Total Bond Market Index, a rules-based index that is designed to measure the performance of the universe of bonds denominated in USD that meets certain liquidity and fundamental screening criteria. As of [    ], there were [    ] constituents in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE, a trading name of the LSE Group. The Index is based on the Reference Indices using concepts developed with GSAM.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

The Index Provider constructs the Index in accordance with a rules-based methodology that involves two steps.

Step 1

In the first step, the Index Provider defines the Universe by applying specified criteria to constituents of the applicable Reference Index as described below. The Reference Indices include, but are not limited to, investment grade and high yield corporate bonds, U.S. Treasury Securities, sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds issued and denominated in USD, bonds that are be linked to an inflation index, mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities and municipal bonds. All constituents of the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated at least BBB- by S&P or Baa3 by Moody’s.

 

   

Investment Grade Corporate Bonds:

Only corporate bond constituents of the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index that have a minimum of $750 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $2 billion and remaining maturities greater than one year are included in the Universe. .

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities:

U.S. Treasury Securities that are included in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account SOMA holdings). Only U.S. Treasury Securities with remaining maturities greater than one year will be included in the Universe.

 

   

Mortgage-Back Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

Asset-backed securities that are included in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum issuer size of $250 million. Mortgage-backed securities that are include in the FTSE USBIG® Bond Index must have a minimum of $1 billion outstanding per origination year generic when the coupon has a minimum amount outstanding of $5 billion. All mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities that are included in this Reference Index are included in the Universe based on issuance weight.

 

   

High Yield Corporate Bonds:

High yield corporate bonds that are included in the FTSE US High-Yield Market Index are issued by companies domiciled in the United States or Canada that have a minimum of one year to maturity and are rated a maximum of BB+ by S&P or Ba1 by Moody’s and a minimum of C by S&P and Ca by Moody’s. Only corporate bond constituents of this Reference Index that (i) have a minimum of $400 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $1 billion and a maximum final maturity of 15 years and (ii) if neither fundamental factor described below is available, are rated at least CCC+ by S&P or Caa1 by Moody’s, are included in the Universe. The constituents are then divided into two maturity buckets: 1-5 years and 5+ years. The Index Provider adjusts the weights of the maturity buckets to match the weighted average effective duration of this Reference Index. Within each maturity bucket, issuers are assigned weights in proportion to their market capitalization.

 

   

Emerging Markets Sovereign and Quasi-Sovereign Bonds:

The FTSE Emerging Markets US Dollar Government Bond Index includes sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds denominated in USD from issuers located in emerging markets countries. Only constituents of this Reference Index that have a minimum issue equivalent of $500 million outstanding, a minimum issuer size of $1 billion, and are rated at least B- by S&P or B3 by Moody’s are included in the Universe. The weight of each country within the Universe is capped at 5%.

 

37


 

   

Emerging Markets Corporate Bonds:

The FTSE Emerging Markets Corporate Capped Extended Broad Bond Index includes corporate bonds denominated in USD from issuers located in emerging markets countries. The constituents of this Reference Index have a minimum issue equivalent of $250 million outstanding, a maximum issuer size of $10 billion, a minimum maturity of at least one year and are rated at least C by S&P and Ca by Moody’s. All corporate bonds that are included in this Reference Index are included in the Universe based on issuance weight.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities:

The U.S. sleeve of the FTSE World Inflation-Linked Securities Index includes fixed-rate, sovereign bonds denominated in USD that are linked to an inflation index. Only TIPS constituents of this Reference Index that have a minimum of 1 year to maturity and a minimum issue size of $5 billion outstanding (before taking into account SOMA holdings) are included in the Universe.

Step 2

In the second step, the Index Provider applies specified fundamental screens to each type of constituents in the Universe as described below.

 

   

Investment Grade Corporate Bonds:

Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials (e.g., banks and insurance), industrials (e.g., manufacturing, energy and services) and utilities (e.g., telecom and electricity). Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, operating margin and leverage. Operating margin is measured by earnings before interest and taxes margin (“EBIT Margin”), while leverage is measured by debt to enterprise value (“Debt to EV”). The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two equally weighted fundamental factors, positively by change in EBIT Margin and negatively by change in Debt to EV, accounting for market capitalization. The percentile rankings with respect to each fundamental factor are combined to calculate each issuer’s composite rank. The bottom 10% of the issuers from the composite rank within each industry group are excluded from the Index and the remaining issuers are included.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Securities, Emerging Markets Corporate Bonds, Mortgage-Backed Securities and Asset-Backed Securities:

The inclusion of U.S. Treasury Securities, emerging markets corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities in the Index will be based on issuance weight.

 

   

High Yield Corporate Bonds:

Issuers are first grouped into three broad industry groups: financials (e.g., banks and insurance), industrials (e.g., manufacturing, energy and services) and utilities (e.g., telecom and electricity). Within each industry group, issuers are measured by two fundamental factors, debt service and leverage. Debt service is measured by debt to earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation (“Debt to EBITDA”), while leverage is measured by debt to enterprise value (“Debt to EV”). The Index Provider ranks each issuer based on the two equally weighted fundamental factors, negatively by debt service and leverage, accounting for market capitalization. The percentile rankings with respect to each fundamental factor are combined to calculate each issuer’s composite rank. The bottom 15% of the issuers from the composite rank within each industry group are excluded from the Index and the remaining issuers are included.

 

   

Emerging Markets Sovereign and Quasi-Sovereign Bonds:

The Index Provider applies both governance and fundamental screens to the emerging market debt constituents within the Universe. First, issuers are ranked by improvement or deterioration in governance based on the Worldwide Governance Indicators. Based on this ranking, the bottom 10% of issuing countries are excluded from the Index. Second, issuers are ranked by improvement or deterioration in two fundamental factors, import coverage and inflation. Based on this second ranking, the bottom 5% of issuing countries are excluded from the Index. Inclusion or exclusion of quasi-government bonds is based on the country of domicile. The weight of each remaining bond included in the Index is capped at 5%.

 

   

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities:

The Index Provider screens the Universe to exclude TIPS that are unseasoned. The Index excludes “on-the-run” bonds and recent “off-the-run” bonds, or the newest issues for each security term. The remaining TIPS are included in the Index, weighted to match the weighted average real yield duration of the TIPS portion of the Universe.

 

38


INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT APPROACH

 

The Index is market capitalization-weighted based on the relative weights of its Reference Indices. The Index is rebalanced (i) monthly on the last business day of each month, to account for changes in maturities, duration, corporate actions or ratings migration, and (ii) quarterly, to account for updates to the constituents on the basis of the fundamental factors (as described above).

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the FTSE Goldman Sachs U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond Index, a rules-based index designed to measure the performance of U.S. Treasury Securities that have a remaining maturity between one and thirty years. The Fund expects to invest 100% of its assets in (i) U.S. Treasury Securities with a remaining maturity between one and thirty years and (ii) cash.

As of [    ], there were [    ] issues in the Index and the Index had a weighted average maturity of [    ] years. The Index includes publicly-issued U.S. Treasury Securities that have a minimum remaining maturity of one year and a maximum remaining maturity of 30 years at the time of rebalance and that have a minimum issue size of $5 billion. In addition, the securities in the Index must be non-convertible and denominated in USD. The Index excludes certain special issues, such as targeted investor notes, state and local government series bonds and coupon issues that have been stripped from bonds.

The Index is a custom index that is owned and calculated by FTSE, a trading name of the LSE Group, using concepts developed with GSAM. The Index is market capitalization-weighted and the securities in the Index are updated on the last business day of each month.

Given the Fund’s investment objective of attempting to track the Index, the Fund does not follow traditional methods of active investment management, which may involve buying and selling securities based upon analysis of economic and market factors.

THE FUND IS NOT A MONEY MARKET FUND AND DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO MAINTAIN A STABLE NET ASSET VALUE.

All Funds

Each Fund (except the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF) may also invest up to 20% of its assets in securities and other instruments not included in the Index but which the Investment Adviser believes are correlated to the Index, as well as in, among other instruments, futures (including index futures), swaps, other derivatives, investment companies (including ETFs), cash and cash equivalents and money market instruments, consistent with the Fund’s overall investment objective of seeking to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the Index.

The Investment Adviser uses a representative sampling strategy to manage each Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy in which a Fund invests in a representative sample of constituent securities that has a collective investment profile similar to that of its Index. The securities selected for investment by a Fund are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics, fundamental characteristics and liquidity measures similar to those of its Index. A Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in its Index.

Each Fund may concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index is concentrated. The degree to which components of the Index represent certain sectors or industries may change over time. The U.S. government, state and municipal governments and their agencies, authorities and instrumentalities are not deemed to be industries for this purpose.

 

  OTHER INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND SECURITIES     

Although each Fund’s principal investment strategy is described in the Fund’s Summary—Principal Investment Strategies section of the Prospectus, the following tables identify some of the investment techniques that may (but are not required to) be used by the Funds in seeking to achieve their investment objectives. The Funds may be subject to additional limitations on their investments not shown here. Numbers in these tables show allowable usage only; for actual usage, consult the Funds’ annual/semi-annual reports (when available). For more information about these and other investment practices and securities, see Appendix A. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Fund Shares on the Exchange, each Fund will disclose on its website (http://www.gsamfunds.com) the identities and quantities of the portfolio securities and other assets held by the Fund that will form the basis for the Fund’s calculation of NAV at the end of the business day. In addition, a description of the Funds’ policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Funds’ portfolio holdings is available in the Funds’ Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).

 

39


 

10   Percent of total assets (including securities lending collateral) (italic type)
10   Percent of net assets (excluding borrowings for investment purposes) (roman type)
 

No specific percentage limitation on usage; limited only by the objective and strategies of

the Fund. A Fund may only invest up to 20% of its assets in securities and other instruments

not included in its underlying index.

 

                                                                                                                                                                 
     Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Aggregate
Bond ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access China
Bonds ETF
 

Goldman Sachs
Access
Investment
Grade Corporate
1-5 Year

Bond ETF

 

Goldman Sachs
Access

Investment
Grade Corporate
10+ Year

Bond ETF

 

Goldman Sachs

Access

Total Bond
Market ETF

  Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Treasury Total
Market Bond
ETF
Investment Practices            

Borrowings

  331/3   331/3   331/3   331/3   331/3   331/3

Cross Hedging of Currencies

           

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates

           

Foreign Currency Transactions (including forward contracts)

           

Derivatives, including Futures, Options and Swaps

           

Illiquid Investments*

  15   15   15   15   15   15

Investment Company Securities (including ETFs)**

  10   10   10   10   10   10

Repurchase Agreements

           

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

           

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments

                   
           

 

*

Illiquid investments are any investments that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment.

**

This percentage limitation does not apply to a Fund’s investments in other investment companies where a higher percentage limitation is permitted under the terms of an SEC exemptive order or SEC exemptive rule.

 

40


 

  No specific percentage limitation on usage;
limited only by the objective and strategies of the Fund

 

                                                                                                                                                                 
    
Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Aggregate
Bond ETF
 
Goldman Sachs
Access China
Bonds ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access
Investment
Grade
Corporate 1-5
Year Bond ETF
 

Goldman Sachs
Access

Investment
Grade Corporate
10+ Year

Bond ETF

 


Goldman Sachs

Access

Total Bond
Market ETF

  Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Treasury Total
Market Bond
ETF
Investment Securities            

Asset-Backed Securities

           

Bank Obligations

           

Convertible Securities3

           

Corporate Debt Obligations and Trust Preferred Securities

           

Emerging Country Securities

           

Fixed Income Securities

           

Floating and Variable Rate Obligations

           

Foreign Securities

           

Foreign Government Securities

           

Inflation Protected Securities

           
Mortgage-Backed Securities            

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans

           

Collateralized Mortgage Obligations

           

Fixed Rate Mortgage Loans

           

Government Issued Mortgage Backed Securities

           

Multiple Class Mortgage-Backed Securities

           

Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities

           

Municipal Securities

           

Non-Investment Grade Fixed Income Securities

           

U.S. Government Securities

           

U.S. Treasury Securities

           

Zero Coupon, Deferred Interest, Pay-In-Kind and Capital Appreciation Bonds

               
   
           

 

3

Convertible securities purchased by the Fund use the same rating criteria for convertible and non-convertible debt securities.

 

41


 

Risks of the Funds

 

Loss of money is a risk of investing in each Fund. An investment in each Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other governmental agency. The principal risks of each Fund are discussed in the Summary section of the Prospectus. The following section provides additional information on the risks that apply to the Funds, which may result in a loss of your investment. None of the Funds should be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in a Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing.

 

  Principal Risk
  Additional Risk

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
    

Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Aggregate
Bond ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access China
Bonds ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access
Investment Grade
Corporate
1-5  Year
Bond ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access
Investment
Grade Corporate
10+ Year
Bond ETF
 

Goldman Sachs

Access

Total Bond
Market ETF

  Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Treasury Total
Market Bond
ETF

Absence of Active Market Risk

           

Authorized Participant Concentration Risk

           

Calculation Methodology Risk

           

Call/Prepayment Risk

           

Cash Transactions Risk

           

China Risk

           

Counterparty Risk

           

CPIU Measurement Risk

          []   []

Credit/Default Risk

           

Currency Risk

           

Derivatives Risk

           

Emerging Countries Risk

           

Extension Risk

           

Financial Services Industry Group Risk

           

Floating and Variable Rate Obligations Risk

           

Foreign Risk

           

Geographic Risk

           

Index Risk

           

Industrials Industry Group Risk

           

Industry Concentration Risk

           

Interest Rate Risk

           

Investing Through Bond Connect Risk

           

Large Shareholder Risk

           

Liquidity Risk

           

Loan-Related Investments Risk

           

Market Risk

           

Market Trading Risk

           

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities Risk

           

Municipal Securities Risk

           

Non-Diversification Risk

           

Non-Hedging Foreign Currency Trading Risk

           

Non-Investment Grade Fixed Income Securities Risk

           

Sampling Risk

           

 

42


RISKS OF THE FUNDS

 

  Principal Risk
  Additional Risk

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
    
Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Aggregate
Bond ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access China
Bonds ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access
Investment Grade
Corporate
1-5  Year
Bond ETF
  Goldman Sachs
Access
Investment
Grade Corporate
10+ Year
Bond ETF
 

Goldman Sachs

Access

Total Bond
Market ETF

  Goldman Sachs
Access U.S.
Treasury Total
Market Bond
ETF

Secondary Listing Risk

           

Sector Risk

           

Seed Investor Risk

           

Sovereign Default Risk

           

Economic Risk

           

Political Risk

           

Repayment Risk

           

Tracking Error Risk

           

Trading Issues Risk

           

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities Risk

          []   []

U.S. Government Securities Risk

           

U.S. Treasury Securities Risk

           

Utilities Industry Group Risk

           

Valuation Risk

           
           

 

 

Absence of Active Market Risk—The Funds are newly organized series of an investment company and thus have no operating history. While the Funds’ Shares are expected to be listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that active trading markets for the Shares will develop or be maintained by market makers or authorized participants, and there are no obligations of market makers to make a market in a Fund’s Shares or of authorized participants to submit purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units. ALPS Distributors, Inc., the distributor of the Shares (the “Distributor”), does not maintain a secondary market in the Shares.

Although market makers will generally take advantage of differences between the NAV and the trading price of Fund Shares through arbitrage opportunities, there is no guarantee that they will do so. Decisions by market makers or authorized participants to reduce their role or “step away” from market making or creation/redemption activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying value of a Fund’s portfolio securities and a Fund’s market price. This reduced effectiveness could result in Shares trading at a discount to NAV and also in greater than normal intraday bid/ask spreads for Shares.

 

Authorized Participant Concentration Risk—Only an authorized participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with a Fund, and a Fund may have a limited number of financial institutions that act as authorized participants. None of those authorized participants is obligated to engage in creation and/or redemption transactions. To the extent that those authorized participants exit the business or are unable to or choose not to process creation and/or redemption orders, and no other authorized participant is able to step forward to create and redeem Shares, there may be a significantly diminished trading market for Shares. As a result, Shares may trade at a discount (or premium) to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or de-listing.

 

Calculation Methodology Risk—Each Index relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of issuers included in the Index (or the Reference Index), including fundamental and governance information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Funds, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can offer assurances that an Index’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide a correct valuation of securities, nor can they guarantee the availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

 

Call/Prepayment Risk—An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by a Fund earlier than expected. This may happen when there is a decline in interest rates, when credit spreads change, or when an issuer’s credit quality improves. Under these circumstances, a Fund may be unable to recoup all of its initial investment and will also suffer from having to reinvest in lower-yielding securities.

 

Cash Transactions Risk—Unlike certain ETFs, the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF effects its creations and redemptions primarily for cash, rather than primarily for in-kind securities. As a result, an investment in the Fund may be less tax-efficient than an investment in a more conventional ETF. Other ETFs generally are able to make in-kind redemptions and avoid realizing gains in connection with transactions designed to raise cash to meet redemption requests. Because the Fund currently intends to effect all

 

43


 

 

or a portion of redemptions, as applicable, for cash, rather than in-kind distributions, it may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds, which involves transaction costs. If the Fund recognizes gain on these sales, this generally will cause the Fund to recognize gain it might not otherwise have recognized if it were to distribute portfolio securities in-kind, or to recognize such gain sooner than would otherwise be required. The Fund generally intends to distribute these gains to shareholders to avoid being taxed on this gain at the Fund level and otherwise comply with the special tax rules that apply to it. This strategy may cause shareholders to be subject to tax on gains they would not otherwise be subject to, or at an earlier date than, if they had made an investment in a different ETF.

 

China Risk—Investing in Mainland China involves a higher degree of risk and special considerations not typically associated with investing in other more established economies or securities markets. The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF’s investment exposure to Mainland China may subject the Fund, to a greater extent than if investments were made in developed countries, to the risks of adverse securities markets, exchange rates and social, political, regulatory, economic or environmental events and natural disasters which may occur in the China region. The economy, industries, and securities and currency markets of Mainland China are particularly vulnerable to the region’s dependence on exports and international trade and increasing competition from Asia’s other low-cost emerging economies. The imposition of tariffs or other trade barriers by the U.S. or foreign governments on exports from Mainland China may also have an adverse impact on Chinese issuers. In addition, currency fluctuations, currency convertibility, interest rate fluctuations and higher rates of inflation as a result of internal social unrest or conflicts with other countries have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of Mainland China. The government of the PRC exercises significant control over the economy in Mainland China, and may at any time alter or discontinue economic reforms.

Investments in Mainland China are subject to the risk of confiscatory taxation, nationalization or expropriation of assets, potentially frequent changes in the law, and imperfect information because companies in the China region may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. companies. The willingness and ability of the Chinese government to support markets is uncertain. Hong Kong does not exercise the same level of control over its economy as does the PRC with respect to Mainland China, but changes to their political and economic relationships with the PRC could adversely impact the Fund’s investments.

 

Counterparty Risk—Many of the protections afforded to cleared transactions, such as the security afforded by transacting through a clearing house, might not be available in connection with certain OTC transactions. Therefore, in those instances in which the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF and Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF enters into certain OTC transactions, the Funds will be subject to the risk that its direct counterparty will not perform its obligations under the transactions and that the Fund will sustain losses. However, recent regulatory developments require margin on certain uncleared OTC transactions which may reduce, but not eliminate, this risk.

 

[CPIU Measurement Risk—The CPIU is a measurement of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation and energy. There can be no assurance that the CPIU will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services, which may affect the valuation of the Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF and Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF.]

 

Credit/Default Risk—An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by a Fund may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. The credit quality of a Fund’s portfolio securities or instruments may deteriorate after purchase, and such a deterioration can occur rapidly. In certain instances, the downgrading or default of a single holding or guarantor of a Fund’s holding may impair the Fund’s liquidity and have the potential to cause significant deterioration in NAV. These risks are more pronounced in connection with the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF’s and Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF’s investments in non-investment grade fixed income securities.

 

Currency Risk—The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF’s direct or indirect exposure to foreign currencies, including through ownership of securities of foreign issuers, subjects the Fund to the risk that those currencies will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar, which would cause a decline in the U.S. value of the holdings of the Fund. Currency rates in foreign countries may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time for a number of reasons, including changes in interest rates and the imposition of currency controls or other political, economic and tax developments in the U.S. or abroad. To the extent the Fund seeks exposure to foreign currencies through foreign currency contracts and related transactions, the Fund becomes particularly susceptible to foreign currency value fluctuations, which may be sudden and significant, and investment decisions tied to currency markets. In addition, these investments are subject to the risks associated with derivatives and hedging the impact on the Fund of fluctuations in the value of currencies may be magnified.

 

Derivatives Risk—A Fund’s use of derivative instruments may result in losses. These instruments, which may pose risks in addition to and greater than those associated with investing directly in securities, currencies or other instruments, may be illiquid or less

 

44


RISKS OF THE FUNDS

 

  liquid, volatile, difficult to price and leveraged so that small changes in the value of the underlying instruments may produce disproportionate losses to a Fund. Certain derivatives are also subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the other party in the transaction will not fulfill its contractual obligations, liquidity risk and risks arising from margin requirements, which include the risk that a Fund will be required to pay additional margin or set aside additional collateral to maintain open derivative positions.

The use of derivatives is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with investments in more traditional securities and instruments, and there is no guarantee that the use of derivatives will achieve their intended result. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of the timing or level of fluctuation in securities prices, interest rates, currency prices or other variables, the use of derivatives could result in losses, which in some cases may be significant. A lack of correlation between changes in the value of derivatives and the value of the portfolio assets (if any) being hedged could also result in losses. In addition, there is a risk that the performance of the derivatives or other instruments used by the Investment Adviser to replicate the performance of a particular asset class may not accurately track the performance of that asset class. In addition, a Fund’s use of derivatives may increase or accelerate the amount of taxes payable by shareholders.

Many of the protections afforded to cleared transactions, such as the security afforded by transacting through a clearing house, might not be available in connection with over-the-counter (“OTC”) transactions. Therefore, in those instances in which a Fund enters into OTC transactions, the Fund will be subject to the risk that its direct counterparty will not perform its obligations under the transactions and that the Fund will sustain losses.

As investment companies registered with the SEC, the Funds must identify on their books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other SEC- or SEC staff-approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. For more information about these practices, see Appendix A.

 

Emerging Countries Risk—The securities markets of most emerging countries are less liquid, are especially subject to greater price volatility, have smaller market capitalizations, have more or less government regulation and are not subject to as extensive and frequent accounting, financial and other reporting requirements as the securities markets of more developed countries. Further, investment in securities of issuers located in certain emerging countries involves risk of loss resulting from problems in registration, settlement or custody, substantial economic, political and social disruptions and the imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions). These risks are not normally associated with investments in more developed countries.

 

Extension Risk—An issuer could exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation held by a Fund later than expected. This may happen when there is a rise in interest rates. Under these circumstances, the value of the obligation will decrease, and such Fund will also suffer from the inability to reinvest in higher yielding securities.

 

Financial Services Industry Group Risk—An adverse development in the financial services industry group, including U.S. and foreign banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, finance companies (e.g., automobile finance) and related asset-backed securities, may affect the value of a Fund’s investments more than if the Fund were not invested to such a degree in this industry group. Companies in the financial services industry group may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors such as interest rate changes, fiscal, regulatory and monetary policy and general economic cycles. For example, deteriorating economic and business conditions can disproportionately impact companies in the financial services industry group due to increased defaults on payments by borrowers. Moreover, political and regulatory changes can affect the operations and financial results of companies in the financial services industry group, potentially imposing additional costs and expenses or restricting the types of business activities of these companies.

 

Floating and Variable Rate Obligations Risk—Floating rate and variable rate obligations are debt instruments issued by companies or other entities with interest rates that reset periodically (typically, daily, monthly; quarterly, or semi-annually) in response to changes in the market rate of interest on which the interest rate is based. For floating and variable rate obligations, there may be a lag between an actual change in the underlying interest rate benchmark and the reset time for an interest payment of such an obligation, which could harm or benefit a Fund, depending on the interest rate environment or other circumstances. In a rising interest rate environment, for example, a floating or variable rate obligation that does not reset immediately would prevent a Fund from taking full advantage of rising interest rates in a timely manner. However, in a declining interest rate environment, a Fund may benefit from a lag due to an obligation’s interest rate payment not being immediately impacted by a decline in interest rates.

Certain floating and variable rate obligations have an interest rate floor feature, which prevents the interest rate payable by the security from dropping below a specified level as compared to a reference interest rate (the “reference rate”), such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). Such a floor protects a Fund from losses resulting from a decrease in the reference rate below the specified level. However, if the reference rate is below the floor, there will be a lag between a rise in the reference rate and a rise in the interest rate payable by the obligation, and a Fund may not benefit from increasing interest rates for a significant amount of time.

 

45


 

In 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) warned that LIBOR may cease to be available or appropriate for use by 2021. The unavailability or replacement of LIBOR may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain Fund investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. Any pricing adjustments to a Fund’s investments resulting from a substitute reference rate may adversely affect the Fund’s performance and/or NAV.

 

Foreign Risk—When a Fund invests in foreign securities, it may be subject to risk of loss not typically associated with U.S. issuers. Loss may result because of more or less foreign government regulation, less public information, less liquid, developed or efficient trading markets, greater volatility and less economic, political and social stability in the countries in which a Fund invests. Loss may also result from, among other things, deteriorating economic and business conditions in other countries, including the United States, regional and global conflicts, the imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions), sanctions, foreign taxes, confiscation of assets and property, trade restrictions (including tariffs), expropriations and other government restrictions by the United States and other governments, higher transaction costs, difficulty enforcing contractual obligations or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody. A Fund or the Investment Adviser may determine not to invest in, or may limit its overall investment in, a particular issuer, country or geographic region due to, among other things, heightened risks regarding repatriation restrictions, confiscation of assets and property, expropriation or nationalization. Such actions may increase a Fund’s tracking error relative to its Index. A Fund will also be subject to the risk of negative foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Foreign risks will normally be greatest when a Fund invests in issuers located in emerging countries.

 

Geographic Risk—If the Funds focus their investments in securities of issuers located in a particular country or region, the Funds may be subjected, to a greater extent than if investments were less focused, to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions and developments that may be particular to that country or region, such as: adverse securities markets; adverse exchange rates; adverse social, political, regulatory, economic, business, environmental or other developments; or natural disasters.

 

Index Risk—A Fund will be negatively affected by general declines in the securities and asset classes represented in its Index. In addition, because the Funds are not “actively” managed, unless a specific security is removed from an Index, a Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on a Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. A Fund also does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets. Therefore, a Fund’s performance could be lower than funds that may actively shift their portfolio assets to take advantage of market opportunities or to lessen the impact of a market decline or a decline in the value of one or more issuers. When an Index is rebalanced and a Fund in turn rebalances its portfolio to attempt to increase the correlation between the Fund’s portfolio and its Index, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio rebalancing may be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. The Index Provider may utilize third party data in constructing each Index, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any such third party data. Errors in index data, index computation or the construction of an Index in accordance with its methodology may occur from time to time and may not be identified by the Index Provider for a period of time or at all, which may have an adverse impact on the applicable Fund and its shareholders. In addition, neither a Fund, the Investment Adviser nor the Index Provider can guarantee the accuracy, availability or timeliness of the production of the Index.

 

Industrials Industry Group Risk—Industrial companies can be impacted by supply and demand for their specific product or service and for industrial company products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities may affect the performance of these companies.

 

Industry Concentration Risk—In following its methodology, an Index from time to time may be concentrated to a significant degree in securities of issuers located in a single industry or group of industries. To the extent that its Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries, a Fund also may concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or group of industries, a Fund may face more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or groups of industries. If its Index is not concentrated in a particular industry or group of industries, a Fund will not concentrate in a particular industry or group of industries.

 

Inflation Protected Securities Risk—The value of IPS generally fluctuates in response to changes in real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. Therefore, if inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in the value of IPS. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increased at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in the value of IPS. Although the principal value of IPS declines in periods of deflation, holders at maturity receive no less than the par value of the bond. However, if a Fund purchases IPS in the secondary market whose principal values have been adjusted upward due to inflation since issuance, the Fund may experience a loss if there is a subsequent period of deflation. Although IPS with different

 

46


RISKS OF THE FUNDS

 

  maturities may be issued in the future, the U.S. Treasury currently issues TIPS in five-year, ten-year and twenty-year maturities, and CIPS are currently issued in five-year, seven-year and ten-year maturities.
 

Interest Rate Risk—When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by a Fund will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. A wide variety of market factors can cause interest rates to rise, including central bank monetary policy, rising inflation and changes in general economic conditions. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and a Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by a Fund.

 

Investing Through Bond Connect Risk—The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF will invest directly in the domestic bond markets in Mainland China through Bond Connect. Investing through Bond Connect is subject to a number of distinct operational and regulatory risks in addition to risks typically associated with investments in emerging market countries, which may affect the Fund’s performance. Bond Connect’s order, clearance, and settlement procedures and systems are relatively untested and subject to change. In the event of systems malfunctions or extreme market conditions, trading via Bond Connect could be disrupted. Securities purchased via Bond Connect will be held via a book entry omnibus account in the name of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Central Moneymarkets Unit (“CMU”) maintained with a Mainland China-based custodian. The Fund’s ownership interest in Bond Connect securities will not be reflected directly in book entry with the Mainland China-based custodian and will instead only be reflected on the books of its Hong Kong sub-custodian. Therefore, the ability of the Fund to enforce its rights as the beneficial owner of its investments will depend on the ability or willingness of CMU to enforce its rights as the record holder. Furthermore, the nature and methods of enforcement of the rights and interests of beneficial owners under the laws of Mainland China remain uncertain.

The Fund’s investments through Bond Connect are also subject to regulatory risks relating to Mainland China’s securities laws and listing requirements, including the risk that Bond Connect may be discontinued or that certain securities may lose their eligibility to be traded through Bond Connect. Under such circumstances, the Fund may not be able to acquire or dispose of its investments in a timely manner, which may affect the Fund’s performance. The legal systems of Mainland China and Hong Kong differ significantly and issues arising from such differences may affect the Fund’s investments. The Fund and its shareholders will also not have access to Hong Kong investor compensations funds set up to protect investors against defaults of trades. Moreover, securities purchased through Bond Connect generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Bond Connect in accordance with applicable rules. Additionally, Bond Connect trades are settled in CNY, which may subject the Fund to foreign currency risks. In addition, there can be no guarantee that the Fund will have timely access to a reliable supply of CNY in Hong Kong.

 

Large Shareholder Risk—Certain large shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of a Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (i.e., a seed investor) may invest in a Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment. Dispositions of a large number of Shares by these shareholders, which may occur rapidly or unexpectedly, may adversely affect a Fund’s liquidity and net assets to the extent such transactions are executed directly with the Fund in the form of redemptions through an authorized participant, rather than executed in the secondary market. To the extent effected in cash, these redemptions may also force a Fund to sell portfolio securities when it might not otherwise do so, which may negatively impact the Fund’s NAV and increase the Fund’s brokerage costs. Such cash redemptions may also accelerate the realization of taxable income to shareholders, which could make investments in Shares less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that is able to effect redemptions in-kind. Similarly, large Fund share purchases through an authorized participant may adversely affect the performance of a Fund to the extent that the Fund is delayed in investing new cash or otherwise maintains a larger cash position than it ordinarily would. To the extent these large shareholders transact in Shares on the secondary market, such transactions may account for a large percentage of the trading volume on the Exchange and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.

 

Liquidity Risk—A Fund may invest in securities or instruments that trade in lower volumes and may make investments that are less liquid than other investments. Also, a Fund may make investments that may become less liquid in response to market developments or adverse investor perceptions. Investments that are illiquid or that trade in lower volumes may be more difficult to value. When there is no willing buyer and investments cannot be readily sold at the desired time or price, a Fund may have to accept a lower price or may not be able to sell the security or instrument at all. An inability to sell one or more portfolio positions can adversely affect a Fund’s value.

 

47


 

To the extent that the traditional dealer counterparties that engage in fixed income trading do not maintain inventories of bonds (which provide an important indication of their ability to “make markets”) that keep pace with the growth of the bond markets over time, relatively low levels of dealer inventories could lead to decreased liquidity and increased volatility in the fixed income markets. Additionally, market participants other than a Fund may attempt to sell fixed income holdings at the same time as the Fund, which could cause downward pricing pressure and contribute to illiquidity.

Liquidity risk may also refer to the risk that a Fund will not be able to pay redemption proceeds within the allowable time period or without significant dilution to remaining investors’ interests because of unusual market conditions, an unusually high volume of redemption requests, a redemption request by a large shareholder (such as a seed investor) or other reasons. If a Fund is forced to sell securities at an unfavorable time and/or under unfavorable conditions, such sales may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV and diluting remaining investors’ interests.

 

Loan-Related Investments Risk—In addition to the risks generally associated with debt investments (e.g., interest rate risk and default risk), loan-related investments such as loan participations and assignments are subject to other risks. Although a loan obligation may be fully collateralized at the time of acquisition, the collateral may decline in value, be or become illiquid or less liquid, or lose all or substantially all of its value subsequent to investment. Many loan investments are subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale and certain loan investments may be or become illiquid or less liquid and more difficult to value, particularly in the event of a downgrade of the loan or the borrower. There is less readily available, reliable information about most loan investments than is the case for many other types of investments, and the Investment Adviser relies primarily on its own evaluation of a borrower’s credit quality rather than on any available independent sources. The ability of the Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF to realize full value in the event of the need to sell a loan investment may be impaired by the lack of an active trading market for certain loans or adverse market conditions limiting liquidity. Loan obligations are not traded on an exchange, and purchasers and sellers rely on certain market makers, such as the administrative agent for the particular loan obligation, to trade that loan obligation. The market for loan obligations may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods. Because transactions in many loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, the Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of a loan for a period after the sale. As a result, sale proceeds related to the sale of loans may not be available to make additional investments or to meet the Fund’s redemption obligations for a period after the sale of the loans, and, as a result, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, such as borrowing from a credit facility, if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations. During periods of heightened redemption activity or distressed market conditions, the Fund may seek to obtain expedited trade settlement, which will generally incur additional costs (although expedited trade settlement will not always be available). The Fund may also hold a larger position in cash and cash items to limit the impact of extended trade settlement periods, which may adversely impact the Fund’s performance. In addition, substantial increases in interest rates may cause an increase in loan obligation defaults.

Affiliates of the Investment Adviser may participate in the primary and secondary market for loans. Because of limitations imposed by applicable law, the presence of such affiliates in the loan markets may restrict the Fund’s ability to acquire certain loans, affect the timing of such acquisition, or affect the price at which the loan is acquired.

With respect to loan participations, the Fund may not always have direct recourse against a borrower if the borrower fails to pay scheduled principal and/or interest; may be subject to greater delays, expenses and risks than if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation of the borrower; and may be regarded as the creditor of the agent lender (rather than the borrower), subjecting the Fund to the creditworthiness of that lender as well and the ability of the lender to enforce appropriate credit remedies against the borrower. Investors in loans, such as the Fund, may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws, although they may be entitled to certain contractual remedies.

 

Market Risk—The value of the securities in which a Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods.

Global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, and conditions and events in one country, region or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market. In addition, governmental and quasi-governmental organizations have taken a number of unprecedented actions designed to support the markets. Such conditions, events and actions may result in greater market risk.

 

Market Trading Risk—The NAV of a Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to a Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of a Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. Each Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the

 

48


RISKS OF THE FUNDS

 

  shareholder may sustain losses. The Investment Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the securities of a Fund’s Index trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it more likely that a Fund’s Shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with the Fund’s NAV due to timing reasons, supply and demand imbalances, perception of unreliability of disclosed NAV, and other factors. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spread and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. During such periods, you may be unable to sell your Shares or may incur significant losses if you sell your Shares. There are various methods by which investors can purchase and sell Shares and various orders that may be placed. Investors should consult their financial intermediary before purchasing or selling Shares of a Fund. In addition, because liquidity in certain underlying securities may fluctuate, Shares may trade at a larger premium or discount to NAV than shares of other kinds of ETFs. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for a Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings.

An investor that buys or sells Shares through a broker will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charge imposed by the broker. In addition, the market price of Shares, like other exchange-traded securities, includes a “bid-ask spread” (the difference between the price at which investors are willing to buy Shares and the price at which investors are willing to sell Shares). The bid-ask spread will vary over time based on a Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity and may increase as a result of a decrease in a Fund’s trading volume, the spread of a Fund’s underlying securities, or market liquidity. The bid-ask spread may increase significantly in times of market disruption, meaning that Shares may trade at a discount to a Fund’s NAV and that discount is likely to be greatest during significant market volatility.

Shares of a Fund, like other publicly-traded securities, may be sold short. Shares are therefore subject to the risk of price decreases and increased volatility associated with being sold short.

 

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities Risk—Mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities are subject to certain additional risks. Generally, rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of fixed rate mortgage-backed securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, if the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF and Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF hold mortgage-backed securities, they may exhibit additional volatility. This is known as extension risk. In addition, adjustable and fixed rate mortgage-backed securities are subject to prepayment risk. When interest rates decline, borrowers may pay off their mortgages sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns of the Funds because the Funds may have to reinvest that money at the lower prevailing interest rates.

The Funds’ investments in other asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-backed securities, as well as additional risks associated with the nature of the assets and the servicing of those assets. Asset-backed securities may not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral comparable to that of mortgage assets, resulting in additional credit risk.

The Funds may invest in mortgage-backed securities issued by the U.S. Government. (See “U.S. Government Securities Risk”) To the extent that the Funds invest in mortgage-backed securities offered by non-governmental issuers, such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers, the Funds may be subject to additional risks. Timely payment of interest and principal of non-governmental issuers are supported by various forms of private insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance purchased by the issuer. There can be no assurance that the private insurers can meet their obligations under the policies. An unexpectedly high rate of defaults on the mortgages held by a mortgage pool may adversely affect the value of a mortgage-backed security and could result in losses to the Funds. The risk of such defaults is generally higher in the case of mortgage pools that include subprime mortgages. Subprime mortgages refer to loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their mortgages.

 

Municipal Securities Risk—Municipal securities are subject to call/prepayment risk, credit/default risk, extension risk, interest rate risk and certain additional risks. The Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF may be more sensitive to adverse economic, business or political developments if it invests a substantial portion of its assets in the debt securities of similar projects (such as those relating to education, health care, housing, transportation, and utilities), industrial development bonds, or in particular types of municipal securities (such as general obligation bonds, private activity bonds and moral obligation bonds). While interest earned on municipal securities is generally not subject to federal tax, any interest earned on taxable municipal securities is fully taxable at the federal level and may be subject to tax at the state level. Specific risks are associated with different types of

 

49


 

 

municipal securities. With respect to general obligation bonds, the full faith, credit and taxing power of the municipality that issues a general obligation bond secures payment of interest and repayment of principal. Certain of the municipalities in which the Fund invests may experience significant financial difficulties, which may lead to bankruptcy or default. Timely payments depend on the issuer’s credit quality, ability to raise tax revenues and ability to maintain an adequate tax base.

With respect to revenue bonds, payments of interest and principal are made only from the revenues generated by a particular facility, class of facilities or the proceeds of a special tax, or other revenue source, and depends on the money earned by that source. Private activity bonds are issued by municipalities and other public authorities to finance development of industrial facilities for use by a private enterprise. The private enterprise pays the principal and interest on the bond, and the issuer does not pledge its full faith, credit and taxing power for repayment. If the private enterprise defaults on its payments, the Fund may not receive any income or get its money back from the investment. Moral obligation bonds are generally issued by special purpose public authorities of a state or municipality. If the issuer is unable to meet its obligations, repayment of these bonds becomes a moral commitment, but not a legal obligation, of the state or municipality. Municipal notes are shorter term municipal debt obligations. They may provide interim financing in anticipation of, and are secured by, tax collection, bond sales or revenue receipts. If there is a shortfall in the anticipated proceeds, the notes may not be fully repaid and the Fund may lose money. In a municipal lease obligation, the issuer agrees to make payments when due on the lease obligation. The issuer will generally appropriate municipal funds for that purpose, but is not obligated to do so. Although the issuer does not pledge its unlimited taxing power for payment of the lease obligation, the lease obligation is secured by the leased property. However, if the issuer does not fulfill its payment obligation it may be difficult to sell the property and the proceeds of a sale may not cover the Fund’s loss.

 

Non-Diversification Risk—The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds Bond ETF is “non-diversified,” meaning that it is permitted to invest a larger percentage of its assets in fewer issuers than “diversified” funds. Thus, the Fund may be more susceptible to adverse developments affecting any single issuer held in its portfolio, and may be more susceptible to greater losses because of these developments.

 

Non-Hedging Foreign Currency Trading Risk—The Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF may engage in forward foreign currency transactions for investment purposes. The Investment Adviser may purchase or sell foreign currencies through the use of forward contracts based on the Investment Adviser’s judgment regarding the direction of the market for a particular foreign currency or currencies. In pursuing this strategy, the Investment Adviser seeks to profit from anticipated movements in currency rates by establishing “long” and/or “short” positions in forward contracts on various foreign currencies. Foreign exchange rates can be extremely volatile, and a variance in the degree of volatility of the market or in the direction of the market from the Investment Adviser’s expectations may produce significant losses to the Fund. Some of the transactions may also be subject to interest rate risk.

 

Non-Investment Grade Fixed Income Securities Risk—The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF and Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF will invest in non-investment grade fixed income securities and unrated securities of comparable credit quality (commonly known as “junk bonds”) that are considered speculative. Non-investment grade fixed income securities and unrated securities of comparable credit quality are subject to the increased risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payment obligations. These securities may be subject to greater price volatility due to such factors as specific issuer developments, interest rate sensitivity, negative perceptions of the junk bond markets generally and less liquidity.

 

Sampling Risk—A Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach will result in its holding a smaller number of securities than are in its Index. As a result, an adverse development respecting a security held by a Fund could result in a greater decline in NAV than would be the case if the Fund held all of the securities in the Index. Conversely, a positive development relating to a security in an Index that is not held by a Fund could cause the Fund to underperform its Index. To the extent the assets in a Fund are smaller, these risks will be greater.

 

Secondary Listing Risk—Each Fund’s Shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund’s primary listing is maintained. There can be no assurance that a Fund’s Shares will continue to trade on any such stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s Shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market. A Fund’s Shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than in others, and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund Shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient.

 

Sector Risk—To the extent a Fund focuses its investments in securities of issuers in one or more sectors (such as the financial services or telecommunications sectors), the Fund may be subjected, to a greater extent than if its investments were diversified across different sectors, to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions and developments that may be particular to that sector, such as: adverse economic, business, political, environmental or other developments.

 

50


RISKS OF THE FUNDS

 

 

Seed Investor Risk—GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to a Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not a Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in a Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem all or part of their investments in a Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. The timing of a redemption by a seed investor could benefit the seed investor. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on a Fund, including by reducing the Fund’s liquidity, causing the Fund to realize gains that will be distributed and taxable to remaining shareholders and increasing the Fund’s transaction costs. A large redemption may also have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of a Fund’s Shares.

 

Sovereign Default Risk—The issuer of the non-U.S. sovereign debt held by the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF and Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF or the governmental authorities that control the repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay the principal or interest when due. This may result from political or social factors, the general economic environment of a country or levels of foreign debt or foreign currency exchange rates.

   

Economic Risk—The risks associated with the general economic environment of a country. These can encompass, among other things, low quality and growth rate of GDP, high inflation or deflation, high government deficits as a percentage of GDP, weak financial sector, overvalued exchange rate, and high current account deficits as a percentage of GDP.

   

Political Risk—The risks associated with the general political and social environment of a country. These factors may include among other things government instability, poor socioeconomic conditions, corruption, lack of law and order, lack of democratic accountability, poor quality of the bureaucracy, internal and external conflict, and religious and ethnic tensions. High political risk can impede the economic welfare of a country.

   

Repayment Risk—A country may be unable to pay its external debt obligations in the immediate future. Repayment risk factors may include but are not limited to high foreign debt as a percentage of GDP, high foreign debt service as a percentage of exports, low foreign exchange reserves as a percentage of short- term debt or exports, and an unsustainable exchange rate structure.

 

Tracking Error Risk—Tracking error is the divergence of a Fund’s performance from that of its Index. The performance of a Fund may diverge from that of its Index for a number of reasons. Tracking error may occur because of transaction costs, a Fund’s holding of cash, changes to its Index or the need to meet new or existing regulatory requirements. Unlike a Fund, the returns of an Index are not reduced by investment and other operating expenses, including the trading costs associated with implementing changes to its portfolio of investments. The frequency at which its Index is rebalanced may result in higher trading costs for a Fund and, as a result, greater tracking error. Tracking error risk may be heightened during times of market volatility or other unusual market conditions. In addition, a Fund’s use of a representative sampling approach may cause the Fund’s returns to not be as well correlated with the return of its Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in its Index in the proportions in which they are represented in the Index. These risks may be greater given the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF’s and Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF’s investment in non-investment grade securities with more volatility in price and liquidity. To the extent that a Fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices and the value of its Index is based on securities’ closing prices (i.e., the value of the Index is not based on fair value prices), the Fund’s ability to track the Index may be adversely affected. A Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of its respective Index to comply with the Investment Company Act, to meet the issuer diversification requirements of the Code applicable to regulated investment companies, or as a result of market restrictions or other legal reasons. A Fund’s investments may also vary from the securities of its respective Index due to the Fund’s inability to invest in certain securities as a result of legal and compliance restrictions applicable to the Fund and/or the Investment Adviser and regulatory limits or other restrictions on securities that may be purchased by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates. For tax efficiency purposes, a Fund may sell certain securities to realize losses, which will result in a deviation from its Index.

 

Trading Issues Risk—Trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. If a trading halt occurs, a shareholder may be unable to purchase or sell Shares. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Funds will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

 

[Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities Risk—The value of TIPS generally fluctuates in response to inflationary concerns. As inflationary expectations increase, TIPS will become more attractive, because they protect future interest payments against inflation. Conversely, as inflationary concerns decrease, TIPS will become less attractive and less valuable. However, repayment of the face value upon maturity is guaranteed by the U.S. government, even during periods of deflation that cause the principal value of TIPS to decline. Nevertheless, if the Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF and Goldman Sachs Access U.S.

 

51


 

 

Treasury Total Market Bond ETF purchase TIPS in the secondary market, where principal values have been adjusted upward due to inflation since issuance, the Funds may experience a loss if there is a subsequent period of deflation. If inflation is lower than expected during the period the Funds hold a TIPS, the Funds may earn less on the security than on a conventional bond. Although TIPS with different maturities may be issued in the future, the U.S. Treasury currently issues TIPS in five-year, ten-year and twenty-year maturities.]

 

U.S. Government Securities Risk—The U.S. government may not provide financial support to U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if it is not obligated to do so bylaw. U.S. Government Securities (as defined below) issued by those agencies, instrumentalities, and sponsored enterprises, including those issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks, are neither issued nor guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury and, therefore, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.

The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by a Fund may greatly exceed their current resources, including any legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that issuers of U.S. Government Securities will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been operating under conservatorship, with the Federal Housing Finance Administration (“FHFA”) acting as their conservator, since September 2008. The entities are dependent upon the continued support of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and FHFA in order to continue their business operations. These factors, among others, could affect the future status and role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the value of their securities and the securities which they guarantee. Additionally, the U.S. government and its agencies and instrumentalities do not guarantee the market values of their securities, which may fluctuate. U.S. Government Securities include U.S. Treasury obligations and obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”).

 

U.S. Treasury Securities Risk—A security backed by the U.S. Treasury or the full faith and credit of the United States is guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity, but the market prices for such securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Because U.S. Treasury Securities trade actively outside the United States, their prices may rise and fall as changes in global economic conditions affect the demand for these securities. In addition, changes in the credit rating or financial condition of the U.S. government may cause the value of U.S. Treasury Securities to decline.

 

Utilities Industry Group Risk—Securities in the utilities industry group can be very volatile and can be impacted significantly by supply and demand for services or fuel, government regulation, conservation programs, commodity price fluctuations and other factors. Government regulation of utility companies may limit those companies’ profits or the dividends they can pay to investors. In addition, utility companies may face regulatory restrictions with respect to expansion to new markets, limiting their growth potential. Technological developments may lead to increased competition, which could impact a company’s performance.

 

Valuation Risk—The sale price a Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security and may differ from the value used by the Index, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days when a Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. Each Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.

More information about the Funds’ portfolio securities and investment techniques, and their associated risks, is provided in Appendix A. You should consider the investment risks discussed in this section and in Appendix A. Both are important to your investment choice.

 

52


 

Tax Advantaged Product Structure

 

Unlike many conventional mutual funds which are only bought and sold at closing NAVs, the Shares of each Fund, like shares of certain other ETFs, have been designed to be created and/or redeemed principally in-kind in Creation Units at each day’s market close. These in-kind arrangements are designed to mitigate adverse effects on a Fund’s portfolio that could arise from frequent cash purchase and/or redemption transactions that affect the NAV of the Fund. Moreover, in contrast to conventional mutual funds, where frequent redemptions can have an adverse tax impact on taxable shareholders because of the need to sell portfolio securities which, in turn, may generate taxable gain, the in-kind redemption mechanism of the Funds, to the extent used, generally is not expected to lead to a tax event for shareholders whose Shares are not being redeemed.

 

53


 

Service Providers

 

  INVESTMENT ADVISER     

 

Investment Adviser   Fund

Goldman Sachs Asset Management L.P.

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

200 West Street

 

Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF

New York, NY 10282

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

 

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

 

Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF

   

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF

 

GSAM has been registered as an investment adviser with the SEC since 1990 and is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“Goldman Sachs”). Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a publicly-held financial holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. As of [    ], GSAM, including its investment advisory affiliates, had assets under supervision of approximately $[    ].

The Investment Adviser is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Funds and places purchase and sale orders for the Funds’ portfolio transactions in U.S. and foreign markets. As permitted by applicable law, these orders may be directed to any executing brokers, dealers, futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) or other counterparties, including Goldman Sachs and its affiliates. While the Investment Adviser is ultimately responsible for the management of the Funds, it is able to draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates with respect to managing certain portfolio securities. In addition, the Investment Adviser has access to proprietary tools developed by Goldman Sachs (subject to legal, internal, regulatory and Chinese wall restrictions), and will apply quantitative and qualitative analysis in determining the appropriate allocations among categories of issuers and types of securities.

The Investment Adviser also performs the following additional services for the Funds, to the extent such services are not required to be performed by others pursuant to the fund administration and accounting agreement, the custodian agreement, the transfer agency agreement, distribution agreement or such other agreements with service providers to the Funds that the Board has approved:

   

Supervises non-advisory operations of the Funds, including oversight of vendors hired by the Funds, oversight of Fund liquidity and risk management, oversight of regulatory inquiries and requests with respect to the Funds made to the Investment Adviser, valuation and accounting oversight and oversight of ongoing compliance with federal and state securities laws, tax regulations, and other applicable law

   

Provides personnel to perform such executive, administrative and clerical services as are reasonably necessary to provide effective administration of the Funds

   

Arranges for: (a) the preparation of all required tax returns, (b) the preparation and submission of reports to existing shareholders, (c) the periodic updating of prospectuses and statements of additional information and (d) the preparation of reports to be filed with the SEC and other regulatory authorities

   

Maintains the records of each Fund

   

Provides office space and necessary office equipment and services for the Investment Adviser

   

Markets the Funds

An investment in a Fund may be negatively impacted because of the operational risks arising from factors such as processing errors and human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, failures in systems and technology, changes in personnel, and errors caused by third-party service providers or trading counterparties. The use of certain investment strategies that involve manual or additional processing, such as over-the-counter derivatives, increases these risks. Although the Funds attempt to minimize such failures through controls and oversight, it is not possible to identify all of the operational risks that may affect a Fund or to develop processes and controls that completely eliminate or mitigate the occurrence of such failures. A Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

GSAM may manage other funds, accounts, additional pooled vehicles and/or separate accounts that have similar investment strategies to those of the Funds. These funds, pooled vehicles or accounts may perform differently than a Fund despite their similar strategies. Because the pooled vehicles may not be registered under the Investment Company Act, they are subject to fewer

 

54


SERVICE PROVIDERS

 

regulatory restraints than the Funds (e.g., fewer trading constraints) and may employ strategies that are not subject to the same constraints as the Funds.

GSAM and/or its affiliates expect to make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to a Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Funds). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in a Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in a Fund. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Funds.

From time to time, Goldman Sachs or any of its affiliates may purchase and hold Shares of the Funds. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates reserve the right to redeem or sell at any time some or all of the Shares acquired for their own accounts.

 

  MANAGEMENT FEE AND OTHER EXPENSES     

Pursuant to a Fund’s Management Agreement, as compensation for its services to the Fund, the Investment Adviser is entitled to a management fee, computed daily and payable monthly, at an annual rate listed below (as a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets). Under the Management Agreement for each Fund, the Investment Adviser is responsible for substantially all the expenses of the Fund, excluding payments under the Fund’s 12b-1 plan (if any), interest expenses, taxes, acquired fund fees and expenses, brokerage fees, costs of holding shareholder meetings and litigation, indemnification and extraordinary expenses.

 

Fund    Fee as a Percentage of Average Daily Net Assets

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

   [     ]%

Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF

   [     ]%

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

   [     ]%

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

   [     ]%

Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF

   [     ]%

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF

   [     ]%

The Investment Adviser may waive a portion of its management fee, including fees earned as the Investment Adviser to any of the affiliated funds in which a Fund invests, from time to time, and may discontinue or modify any such waiver in the future, consistent with the terms of any fee waiver arrangements in place.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board of Trustees’ approval of the Management Agreement for each Fund will be available in the Fund’s first annual or semi-annual report following its launch.

FUND MANAGERS

The individuals jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Funds are listed below. The Funds’ portfolio managers’ individual responsibilities may differ and may include, among other things, oversight and maintenance of allocations to index securities, selecting the composition of creation and redemption baskets, general oversight of the implementation processes and management of each Fund’s portfolio.

 

Name and Title   Fund Responsibility   Years
Primarily
Responsible
Since
  Five Year Employment History

Jason Singer

Managing Director

 

Portfolio Manager—

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF

 

[     ]

[     ]
[     ]
[     ]
[     ]
[     ]

  Mr. Singer is a portfolio manager in the Global Fixed Income team. He is also responsible for global oversight of the Fixed Income ETF business. Mr. Singer joined GSAM in 1999.

David Westbrook

Vice President

 

Portfolio Manager—

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF

 

[    ]

[    ]
[    ]
[    ]
[    ]
[     ]

  Mr. Westbrook is a portfolio manager on the U.S. Fixed Income team within GSAM. He joined GSAM in 2012.
     

 

55


 

For information about portfolio manager compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and portfolio manager ownership of securities in the Funds, see the SAI.

 

  DISTRIBUTOR     

ALPS Distributors, Inc., 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80203, serves as the exclusive distributor of Creation Units of shares of the Funds pursuant to a “best efforts” arrangement as provided by a distribution agreement with the Trust on behalf of the Funds. Shares of the Funds are offered and sold on a continuous basis by the Distributor, acting as agent. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in the Funds’ Shares.

 

 

TRANSFER AGENT, CUSTODIAN AND PROVIDER OF

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

    

The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”), 225 Liberty Street, New York, New York 10286, serves as the Trust’s transfer and dividend disbursing agent. Under its transfer agency agreement with the Trust, BNYM has undertaken with the Trust to provide the following services with respect to each Fund: (i) perform and facilitate the performance of purchases and redemptions of Creation Units, (ii) prepare and transmit by means of Depository Trust Company’s (“DTC”) book-entry system payments for dividends and distributions on or with respect to the Shares declared by the Trust on behalf of the applicable Fund, (iii) prepare and deliver reports, information and documents as specified in the transfer agency agreement, (iv) perform the customary services of a transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent, and (v) render certain other miscellaneous services as specified in the transfer agency agreement or as otherwise agreed upon.

BNYM is the custodian of the Trust’s portfolio securities and cash. The custodian of the Trust may change from time to time. BNYM also maintains the Trust’s accounting records. BNYM may appoint domestic and foreign sub-custodians and use depositories from time to time to hold securities and other instruments purchased by the Trust in foreign countries and to hold cash and currencies for the Trust.

BNYM provides administrative services pursuant to a fund administration agreement with the Trust (the “Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement”) pursuant to which BNYM provides certain services, including, among others, (i) preparation of certain shareholder reports and communications; (ii) preparation of certain reports and filings with the SEC; (iii) certain NAV computation services; and (iv) such other services for the Trust as may be mutually agreed upon between the Trust and BNYM. For its services under the Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement, BNYM receives such fees based on a stated percentage of net assets as are agreed upon from time to time between the parties. In addition, BNYM is reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement. In addition, an affiliate of BNYM will also provide certain other services for the Trust, including, (i) providing foreign exchange transaction services and (ii) executing trades in connection with certain creation and redemption transactions effected partially in cash. For these services, the BNYM affiliate will receive compensation based on levels that are negotiated with the Trust and/or the Investment Adviser. BNYM also provides certain middle office services to GSAM pursuant to a service agreement.

 

 

ACTIVITIES OF GOLDMAN SACHS AND ITS AFFILIATES AND OTHER

ACCOUNTS MANAGED BY GOLDMAN SACHS

    

The involvement of the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and their affiliates in the management of, or their interest in, other accounts and other activities of Goldman Sachs may present conflicts of interest with respect to a Fund or limit a Fund’s investment activities. Goldman Sachs is a worldwide, full service investment banking, broker dealer, asset management and financial services organization and a major participant in global financial markets that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. As such, it acts as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, financier, adviser, market maker, trader, prime broker, lender, agent and principal. In those and other capacities, Goldman Sachs advises clients in all markets and transactions and purchases, sells, holds and recommends a broad array of investments, including securities, derivatives, loans, commodities, currencies, credit default swaps, indices, baskets and other financial instruments and products for its own account or for the accounts of its customers and has other direct and indirect interests in the global fixed income, currency, commodity, equities, bank loans and other markets in which the Funds directly and indirectly invest. Thus, it is likely that the Funds will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from entities for which Goldman Sachs performs or seeks to perform investment banking or other services. The

 

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SERVICE PROVIDERS

 

Investment Adviser and/or certain of its affiliates are the managers of the Goldman Sachs Funds. The Investment Adviser and its affiliates earn fees from this and other relationships with the Funds. Although these fees are generally based on asset levels, the fees are not directly contingent on Fund performance, and Goldman Sachs would still receive significant compensation from the Funds even if shareholders lose money. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds which have investment objectives similar to those of the Funds or which are based on the same, or substantially similar, strategies that are used in the operation of the Index and/or which engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and instruments as the Funds. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates will not have any obligation to make available any information regarding their proprietary activities or strategies, or the activities or strategies used for other accounts managed by them, for the benefit of the management of the Funds. The results of a Fund’s investment activities, therefore, may differ from those of Goldman Sachs, its affiliates, and other accounts managed by Goldman Sachs and it is possible that a Fund could sustain losses during periods in which Goldman Sachs and its affiliates and other accounts achieve significant profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. In addition, the Funds may enter into transactions in which Goldman Sachs or its other clients have an adverse interest. For example, a Fund may take a long position in a security at the same time that Goldman Sachs or other accounts managed by the Investment Adviser take a short position in the same security (or vice versa). These and other transactions undertaken by Goldman Sachs, its affiliates or Goldman Sachs advised clients may, individually or in the aggregate, adversely impact the Funds. In some cases, such adverse impacts may result from differences in the timing of transactions by Accounts relative to when the Funds execute transactions in the same securities. Transactions by one or more Goldman Sachs advised clients or the Investment Adviser may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Funds. A Fund’s activities may be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates, and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions. As a global financial services firm, Goldman Sachs also provides a wide range of investment banking and financial services to issuers of securities and investors in securities. Goldman Sachs, its affiliates and others associated with it may create markets or specialize in, have positions in and effect transactions in, securities of issuers held by the Funds, and may also perform or seek to perform investment banking and financial services for those issuers. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates may have business relationships with and purchase or distribute or sell services or products from or to, distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Funds or who engage in transactions with or for the Funds.

For more information about conflicts of interest, see the SAI.

The Funds may make brokerage and other payments to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates in connection with the Funds’ portfolio investment transactions in accordance with applicable law.

 

57


 

Distributions

 

Each Fund pays distributions from its investment income and from net realized capital gains.

Distributions from net investment income, if any, are normally declared and paid monthly for each Fund (or quarterly with respect to the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF), and distributions from net capital gains, if any, are normally declared and paid annually for each Fund. In addition, a Fund may occasionally make a distribution at a time when it is not normally made.

In addition to the net investment income dividends paid monthly or quarterly, a Fund may also earn additional net investment income throughout the year. Any additional net investment income will be distributed annually as a declared event and paid to shareholders of record for such events.

From time to time a portion of a Fund’s distributions may constitute a return of capital for tax purposes, and/or may include amounts in excess of the Fund’s net investment income for the period calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Dividends and other distributions on Shares of a Fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such Shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants (each as described in the Book Entry section below) to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from a Fund.

No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Funds. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry dividend reinvestment service for use by beneficial owners of the Funds for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole Shares of a Fund purchased in the secondary market.

 

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Shareholder Guide

 

  BUYING AND SELLING SHARES     

Shares of a Fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the Creations and Redemptions section of the Prospectus. Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section below) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with a Fund. Once created, Shares of the Funds generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.

Shares of the Funds are listed for trading on a national securities exchange during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like shares of other publicly traded companies. However, there can be no guarantee that an active trading market will develop or be maintained, or that the Fund Shares listing will continue or remain unchanged. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment for Shares of a Fund purchased on an exchange. Buying or selling a Fund’s Shares involves certain costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling Shares of a Fund through a financial intermediary, you may incur a brokerage commission or other charges determined by your financial intermediary. Due to these brokerage costs, if any, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment returns. In addition, you may also incur the cost of the spread (the difference between the bid price and the ask price). The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of Shares. The spread varies over time for Shares of a Fund based on its trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally less if the Fund has more trading volume and market liquidity and more if the Fund has less trading volume and market liquidity.

Each Fund’s primary listing exchange is the Exchange. The Exchange is each open for trading Monday through Friday and are closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

A “business day” with respect to the Funds is each day the New York Stock Exchange, the Exchange, and the Trust are open and includes any day that a Fund is required to be open under Section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act. Orders from Authorized Participants to create or redeem Creation Units will only be accepted on a business day. On days when the Exchange closes earlier than normal, the Funds may require orders to create or redeem Creation Units to be placed earlier in the day. See the SAI for more information.

The Trust’s Board of Trustees has not adopted a policy of monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund Shares (“frequent trading”) that appear to attempt to take advantage of potential arbitrage opportunities presented by a lag between a change in the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (“market timing”). The Trust believes this is appropriate because ETFs, such as the Funds, are intended to be attractive to arbitrageurs, as trading activity is critical to ensuring that the market price of Fund Shares remains at or close to NAV. Since the Funds issue and redeem Creation Units at NAV plus applicable transaction fees, and the Funds’ Shares may be purchased and sold on the Exchange at prevailing market prices, the risks of frequent trading are limited.

Section 12(d)(1) of the Investment Company Act restricts investments by registered investment companies and companies relying on Sections 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act in the securities of other investment companies. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Funds beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to GSAM and the Trust, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Trust.

The Funds and the Distributor will have the sole right to accept orders to purchase Shares and reserve the right to reject any purchase order in whole or in part.

 

  PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES     

GSAM and/or the Distributor (upon direction of a Fund) may make payments to broker-dealers or other financial intermediaries (each, a “Financial Intermediary”) related to activities that are designed to make registered representatives, other professionals and individual investors more knowledgeable about the Funds or for other activities, such as participation in marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, the support of technology platforms and/or reporting systems. GSAM and/or the Distributor (upon direction of a Fund) may also make payments to Financial Intermediaries for certain printing, publishing and mailing costs associated with the Funds or materials relating to exchange-traded funds in general and/or for the provision of

 

59


analytical or other data to GSAM or its affiliates relating to marketing of the Funds and/or sale of shares of the Funds and other Goldman Sachs Funds. In addition, GSAM and/or the Distributor may make payments to Financial Intermediaries that make Fund Shares available to their clients or for otherwise promoting the Funds, including through provision of consultative services to GSAM or its affiliates relating to marketing of the Funds and/or sale of Fund Shares. Such payments, which may be significant to the Financial Intermediary, are not made by a Fund. Rather, such payments are made by GSAM and/or the Distributor from their own resources, which may come directly or indirectly in part from management fees paid by the Funds. Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as marketing support or revenue-sharing payments. A Financial Intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it recommends or makes available, or the level of services provided, to its customers based on the marketing support payments it is eligible to receive. Therefore, such payments to a Financial Intermediary create conflicts of interest between the Financial Intermediary and its customers and may cause the Financial Intermediary to recommend a Fund over another investment. More information regarding these payments is contained in the SAI. A shareholder should contact his or her Financial Intermediary’s salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments the Financial Intermediary firm may receive from GSAM and/or the Distributor.

 

  NET ASSET VALUE     

Each Fund generally calculates its NAV as follows:

 

NAV =  

(Value of Assets of the Fund)

– (Liabilities of the Fund)

  Number of Outstanding Shares of the Fund

Each Fund’s NAV per share is generally calculated by the Funds’ provider of administrative services on each business day as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) or such other times as the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ market may officially close. A Fund’s investments for which market quotations are readily available are valued at market value on the basis of quotations provided by pricing services or securities dealers. If accurate quotations are not readily available, if the Funds’ provider of administrative services is unable for other reasons to facilitate pricing of individual securities or calculate the Funds’ NAV, or if the Investment Adviser believes that such quotations do not accurately reflect fair value, the fair value of the Funds’ investments may be determined in good faith under valuation procedures established by the Board of Trustees. Thus, such pricing may be based on subjective judgments and it is possible that the prices resulting from such valuation procedures may differ materially from the value realized on a sale. Cases where there is no clear indication of the value of a Fund’s investments include, among others, situations where a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source or a price is unavailable.

Fixed income securities are generally valued on the basis of prices (including evaluated prices) and quotations provided by pricing services or securities dealers. Pricing services may use matrix pricing or valuation models, which utilize certain inputs and assumptions, including, but not limited to, yield or price with respect to comparable fixed income securities, to determine current value. Pricing services generally value fixed income securities assuming orderly transactions of an institutional round lot size, but the Funds may hold or transact in such securities in smaller odd lot sizes. Odd lots may trade at lower prices than institutional round lots.

In addition, the Investment Adviser, consistent with its procedures and applicable regulatory guidance, may (but need not) determine to make an adjustment to the previous closing prices of either domestic (including U.S. Treasury Securities) or foreign securities in light of significant events, to reflect what it believes to be the fair value of the securities (including U.S. Treasury Securities) at the time of determining a Fund’s NAV. Significant events that could affect a large number of securities in a particular market may include, but are not limited to: situations relating to one or more single issuers in a market sector; significant fluctuations in U.S. or foreign markets; market dislocations; market disruptions or unscheduled market closings; equipment failures; natural or man-made disasters or acts of God; armed conflicts; governmental actions or other developments; as well as the same or similar events which may affect specific issuers or the securities markets even though not tied directly to the securities markets. Other significant events that could relate to a single issuer may include, but are not limited to: corporate actions such as reorganizations, mergers and buy-outs; corporate announcements, including those relating to earnings, products and regulatory news; significant litigation; ratings downgrades; bankruptcies; and trading limits or suspensions.

Fair valuation involves the risk that the values used by a Fund to price its investments may be different from those used by other investment companies and investors to price the same investments.

 

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SHAREHOLDER GUIDE

 

Foreign securities may trade in their local markets on days a Fund is closed. As a result, if the Fund holds foreign securities, its NAV may be impacted on days when investors may not purchase or sell Fund Shares on the secondary market or purchase or redeem Creation Units through the Fund.

Each Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The ability of the Funds’ provider of administrative services to calculate the NAV per share of each Fund is subject to operational risks associated with processing or human errors, systems or technology failures, cyber attacks and errors caused by third party service providers, data sources, or trading counterparties. Such failures may result in delays in the calculation of a Fund’s NAV and/or the inability to calculate NAV over extended time periods. The Funds may be unable to recover any losses associated with such failures. In addition, if the third party service providers and/or data sources upon which a Fund directly or indirectly relies to calculate its NAV or price individual securities are unavailable or otherwise unable to calculate the NAV correctly, it may be necessary for alternative procedures to be utilized to price the securities at the time of determining the Fund’s NAV.

 

  BOOK ENTRY     

DTC serves as securities depository for the Shares. (The Shares may be held only in book-entry form; stock certificates will not be issued.) DTC, or its nominee, is the record or registered owner of all outstanding Shares. Beneficial ownership of Shares will be shown on the records of DTC or its participants (described below). Beneficial owners of Shares are not entitled to have Shares registered in their names, will not receive or be entitled to receive physical delivery of certificates in definitive form and are not considered the registered holder thereof. Accordingly, to exercise any rights of a holder of Shares, each beneficial owner must rely on the procedures of: (i) DTC; (ii) “DTC Participants,” i.e., securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC; and (iii) “Indirect Participants,” i.e., brokers, dealers, banks and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly, through which such beneficial owner holds its interests. The Trust understands that under existing industry practice, in the event the Trust requests any action of holders of Shares, or a beneficial owner desires to take any action that DTC, as the record owner of all outstanding Shares, is entitled to take, DTC would authorize the DTC Participants to take such action and that the DTC Participants would authorize the Indirect Participants and beneficial owners acting through such DTC Participants to take such action and would otherwise act upon the instructions of beneficial owners owning through them. As described above, the Trust recognizes DTC or its nominee as the owner of all Shares for all purposes.

 

  CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS     

Prior to trading in the secondary market, Shares of the Funds are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in block-size Creation Units or multiples thereof. Each “creator” or “Authorized Participant” enters into an authorized participant agreement with the Funds’ Distributor. The following table sets forth the number of Shares of each Fund that constitute a Creation Unit for the Fund:

 

                                                                             
Fund   Creation Unit Size

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

  [     ]

Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF

  [     ]

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

  [     ]

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

  [     ]

Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF

  [     ]

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF

  [     ]

A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by BNYM, as the Trust’s transfer agent, generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits into a Fund cash in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. Additionally, when permitted or required by the Funds, the consideration may be a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) and a specified amount of cash approximating the holdings of the Funds in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. To the extent practicable, the composition of such portfolio generally corresponds pro rata to the positions of a Fund’s portfolio (including cash positions). However, creation and redemption baskets may differ under certain circumstances.

 

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Similarly, Shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) held by a Fund and a specified amount of cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable by the Funds.

The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the authorized participant agreement.

Please note the following with respect to the price at which transactions are processed:

   

NAV per Share is generally calculated by the Funds’ fund accounting agent on each business day as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) or such other times as the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ market may officially close. Fund Shares will generally not be priced on any day the New York Stock Exchange is closed.

   

The Trust reserves the right to reprocess purchase and redemption transactions that were processed at a NAV that is subsequently adjusted, and to recover amounts from (or distribute amounts to) shareholders accordingly based on the official closing NAV, as adjusted.

   

The Trust reserves the right to advance the time by which purchase and redemption orders must be received for same business day credit as otherwise permitted by the SEC.

   

Consistent with industry practice, investment transactions not settling on the same day are recorded and factored into a Fund’s NAV on the business day following trade date (T+1). The use of T+1 accounting generally does not, but may, result in a NAV that differs materially from the NAV that would result if all transactions were reflected on their trade dates.

Note: The time at which transactions and shares are priced and the time by which orders must be received may be changed in case of an emergency or if regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange is stopped at a time other than its regularly scheduled closing time. In the event the New York Stock Exchange does not open for business, the Trust may, but is not required to, open one or more Funds for creation and redemption transactions if the Federal Reserve wire payment system is open. To learn whether a Fund is open for business during this situation, please call the appropriate phone number located on the back cover of the Prospectus.

Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units directly with a Fund.

In the event of a system failure or other interruption, including disruptions at market makers or Authorized Participants, orders to purchase or redeem Creation Units either may not be executed according to a Fund’s instructions or may not be executed at all, or the Fund may not be able to place or change orders.

In connection with certain cash creations, the Investment Adviser may provide the creating Authorized Participants with information regarding securities that a Fund would be willing to purchase with the proceeds of the cash creation, which may not be the current holdings of the Fund. In certain cases, a Fund may purchase such securities from an Authorized Participant that has submitted a creation order. Regardless of whether a Fund purchases securities with the proceeds of a cash creation order from the creating Authorized Participant, the Authorized Participant may be assessed a variable charge to compensate the Fund for the costs associated with purchasing the applicable securities, as described in the SAI. For more information, see the SAI.

To the extent a Fund engages in in-kind transactions, the Fund intends to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposit and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities by, among other means, assuring that any securities accepted for deposit and any securities used to satisfy redemption requests will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the Securities Act, will not be able to receive restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.

Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a member of the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC Participant and has executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations. Information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) and the applicable transaction fees is included in the Funds’ SAI.

 

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Taxation

 

As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in the Funds will be taxed. The tax information below is provided as general information. More tax information is available in the SAI. You should consult your tax adviser about the federal, state, local or foreign tax consequences of your investment in the Funds. Except as otherwise noted, the tax information provided assumes that you are a U.S. citizen or resident.

Unless your investment is through an IRA or other tax-advantaged account, you should carefully consider the possible tax consequences of Fund distributions and the sale of your Fund Shares.

 

  DISTRIBUTIONS     

Each Fund contemplates declaring as dividends each year all or substantially all of its taxable income. Distributions you receive from the Funds are generally subject to federal income tax, and may also be subject to state or local taxes. This is true whether you reinvest your distributions in additional Fund Shares or receive them in cash. For federal tax purposes, the Funds’ distributions attributable to net investment income and short-term capital gains are taxable to you as ordinary income while distributions of long-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as long-term capital gains, no matter how long you have owned your Fund Shares.

Under current provisions of the Code, the maximum individual rate applicable to long-term capital gains is generally either 15% or 20%, depending on whether the individual’s income exceeds certain threshold amounts. The preferential rate described above also applies to certain qualifying dividend income, but Fund distributions will generally not qualify for that favorable treatment and also will generally not qualify for the corporate dividends received deduction because the Funds will be earning interest income rather than dividend income.

Distributions in excess of a Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits are treated as a tax-free return of your investment to the extent of your basis in the Shares, and generally as capital gain thereafter. A return of capital, which for tax purposes is treated as a return of your investment, reduces your basis in shares, thus reducing any loss or increasing any gain on a subsequent taxable disposition of shares. A distribution will reduce a Fund’s NAV per share and may be taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gain even though, from an economic standpoint, the distribution may constitute a return of capital.

An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from a Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund Shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds certain threshold amounts.

Investments in lower-rated securities may present special tax issues for the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF and Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF to the extent actual or anticipated defaults may be more likely with respect to those kinds of securities. Tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as when an investor in such securities may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount, or market discount; when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless securities; how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income; and whether exchanges of debt obligations in a workout context are taxable. These and other issues will generally need to be addressed by the Funds, in the event it invests in such securities, so as to seek to eliminate or to minimize any adverse tax consequences.

A Fund’s transactions in derivatives (such as futures contracts and swaps) will be subject to special tax rules, the effect of which may be to accelerate income to the Fund, defer losses to the Fund, cause adjustments in the holding periods of the Fund’s securities and convert short-term capital losses into long-term capital losses. These rules could therefore affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to you. A Fund’s use of derivatives may result in the Fund realizing more short-term capital gains and ordinary income subject to tax at ordinary income tax rates than it would if it did not use derivatives.

Although distributions are generally treated as taxable to you in the year they are paid, distributions declared in October, November or December but paid in January are taxable as if they were paid in December. A percentage of the Funds’ dividends paid to corporate shareholders may be eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction. This percentage may, however, be reduced as a result of a Fund’s securities lending activities or high portfolio turnover rate. Given the Funds’ investment strategies, it is not anticipated that a significant portion of the Funds’ dividends will be eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction. Character and tax status of all distributions will be available to shareholders after the close of each calendar year.

 

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A Fund may be subject to foreign withholding or other foreign taxes on income or gain from certain foreign securities. In general, a Fund may deduct these taxes in computing its taxable income. Rather than deducting these foreign taxes, the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF may make an election to treat a proportionate amount of those taxes as constituting a distribution to each shareholder, which would generally allow you either (i) to credit that proportionate amount of taxes against your U.S. federal income tax liability as a foreign tax credit or (ii) to take that amount as an itemized deduction.

If you buy Shares of a Fund before it makes a distribution, the distribution will be taxable to you even though it may actually be a return of a portion of your investment. This is known as “buying into a dividend.”

 

 

TAXES ON CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS OF

CREATION UNITS

    

A person who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of exchange and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the amount of any cash paid for such Creation Units. A person who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the sum of the aggregate market value of the securities received. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of primarily securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities for Creation Units or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax adviser with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible and the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction.

Under current U.S. federal income tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon a redemption (or creation) of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for one year or less.

 

  SALES OF FUND SHARES     

Your sale of Fund Shares is a taxable transaction for federal income tax purposes, and may also be subject to state and local taxes. When you sell your Shares, you will generally recognize a capital gain or loss in an amount equal to the difference between your adjusted tax basis in the Shares and the amount received. Generally, this capital gain or loss is long-term or short-term depending on whether your holding period exceeds one year, except that any loss realized on Shares held for six months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any capital gain dividends that were received on the Shares. Additionally, any loss realized on a sale or redemption of Shares of a Fund may be disallowed under “wash sale” rules to the extent the Shares disposed of are replaced with other Shares of that Fund within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the date of disposition, such as pursuant to a dividend reinvestment in Shares of that Fund. If disallowed, the loss will be reflected in an adjustment to the basis of the Shares acquired.

 

  OTHER INFORMATION     

You may be subject to backup withholding at a rate of 24% with respect to taxable distributions if you do not provide your correct taxpayer identification number, or certify that it is correct, or if you have been notified by the IRS that you are subject to backup withholding.

Non-U.S. investors are generally subject to U.S. withholding tax and may be subject to estate tax with respect to their Fund Shares. However, withholding is generally not required on properly designated distributions to non-U.S. investors of long-term capital gains. Non-U.S. investors generally are not subject to U.S. federal income tax withholding on certain distributions of interest income and/or short-term capital gains that are designated by a Fund. Although this designation will generally be made by the Funds for distributions of long-term and short-term capital gains, the Funds do not anticipate making any designations of interest income. Therefore, all distributions of interest income will generally be subject to withholding when paid to non-U.S. investors. More information about U.S. taxation and non-U.S. investors is included in the SAI.

Withholding of U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) is required with respect to payments of taxable dividends made to certain non-U.S. entities that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive new reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to enable the applicable withholding agent to determine whether withholding is required.

 

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TAXATION

 

Reporting to you and the IRS is required annually on Form 1099-B not only the gross proceeds of Fund Shares you sell or redeem but also their cost basis. Shareholders should contact their intermediaries with respect to reporting of cost basis and available elections with respect to their accounts. You should carefully review the cost basis information provided by the applicable intermediary and make any additional basis, holding period or other adjustments that are required when reporting these amounts on your federal income tax returns.

You should carefully review the cost basis information provided by the applicable intermediary and make any additional basis, holding period or other adjustments that are required when reporting these amounts on your federal income tax returns.

 

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Index Providers

 

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

The Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by GSAM. The Fund is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the FTSE Goldman Sachs Broad Bond Market Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF

The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by GSAM. The Fund is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the FTSE Goldman Sachs Chinese Government Bond Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF

The Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by GSAM. The Fund is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the FTSE Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF

The Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by GSAM. The Fund is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the FTSE Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in

 

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INDEX PROVIDERS

 

or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF

The Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by GSAM. The Fund is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the FTSE Goldman Sachs Total Bond Market Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF

The Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by GSAM. The Fund is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the FTSE Goldman Sachs U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by GSAM.

 

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Other Information

 

  PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION     

The Funds have not yet commenced operations and, therefore, do not have information regarding how often the Shares of the Funds traded on the Exchange at a price above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount) the NAV of the Fund to report.

 

  CONTINUOUS OFFERING     

The method by which Creation Units are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units are issued and sold by the Trust on an ongoing basis, a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur at any point. Broker dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act.

For example, a broker dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent Shares, and sells such Shares directly to customers, or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for Shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker dealer or its client in the particular case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a categorization as an underwriter.

Broker dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary trading transactions), and thus dealing with Shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the Securities Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the Securities Act. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the Investment Company Act. As a result, broker dealer firms should note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the Shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(3)(A) of the Securities Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to Shares are reminded that, under Rule 153 of the Securities Act, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on the Exchange is satisfied by the fact that the prospectus is available at the Exchange upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is only available with respect to transactions on an exchange.

In addition, certain affiliates of the Funds and the Investment Adviser may purchase and resell Fund Shares pursuant to the Prospectus.

 

  DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLAN     

The Board of Trustees of the Trust has adopted a distribution and service plan (“Plan”) pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act. Under the Plan, each Fund is authorized to pay distribution fees in connection with the sale and distribution of its Shares and pay service fees in connection with the provision of ongoing services to shareholders of the Fund and the maintenance of shareholder accounts in an amount up to [ ]% of its average daily net assets each year.

No Rule 12b-1 fees are currently paid by the Funds, and there are no current plans to impose these fees. However, in the event Rule 12b-1 fees are charged in the future, because these fees are paid out of each Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, these fees will increase the cost of your investment in the Funds. By purchasing Shares subject to distribution fees and service fees, you may pay more over time than you would by purchasing Shares with other types of sales charge arrangements. Long-term shareholders may pay more than the economic equivalent of the maximum front-end sales charge permitted by the rules of FINRA. The net income attributable to Shares will be reduced by the amount of distribution fees and service fees and other expenses of the Funds.

 

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Appendix A

Additional Information on Portfolio Risks, Securities and Techniques

 

  A.    General Portfolio Risks     

The Funds will be subject to the risks associated with fixed income securities. These risks include, among others, interest rate risk and credit/default risk. In general, interest rate risk involves the risk that when interest rates decline, the market value of fixed income securities tends to increase. Conversely, when interest rates increase, the market value of fixed income securities tends to decline. Credit/default risk involves the risk that an issuer or guarantor could default on its obligations, and a Fund will not recover its investment. Call risk and extension risk are normally present in adjustable rate mortgage loans (“ARMs”), mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities. For example, homeowners have the option to prepay their mortgages. Therefore, the duration of a security backed by home mortgages can either shorten (call risk) or lengthen (extension risk). In general, if interest rates on new mortgage loans fall sufficiently below the interest rates on existing outstanding mortgage loans, the rate of prepayment would be expected to increase. Conversely, if mortgage loan interest rates rise above the interest rates on existing outstanding mortgage loans, the rate of prepayment would be expected to decrease. In either case, a change in the prepayment rate can result in losses to investors. The same would be true of asset-backed securities, such as securities backed by car loans.

A rising interest rate environment could cause the value of a Fund’s fixed income securities to decrease, and fixed income markets to experience increased volatility in addition to heightened levels of liquidity risk. Additionally, decreases in the value of fixed income securities could lead to increased redemptions, which could impair a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and a Fund’s investments.

To the extent a Fund invests in pooled investment vehicles (including investment companies and ETFs) and partnerships, the Fund will be affected by the investment policies, practices and performances of such entities in direct proportion to the amount of assets the Fund invests therein.

To the extent a Fund’s net assets decrease or increase in the future due to price volatility or share redemption or purchase activity, the Fund’s expense ratio may correspondingly increase or decrease from the expense ratio disclosed in the Prospectus.

A Fund’s investments in derivative instruments, including financial futures contracts, options and swaps, can be significant. These transactions can result in sizeable realized and unrealized capital gains and losses relative to the gains and losses from the Funds’ investments in bonds and other securities. Short-term and long-term realized capital gains distributions paid by the Funds are taxable to their shareholders.

Interest rates, fixed income securities prices, the prices of futures and other derivatives, and currency exchange rates can be volatile, and a variance in the degree of volatility or in the direction of the market from the Investment Adviser’s expectations may produce significant losses in a Fund’s investments in derivatives. In addition, a perfect correlation between a derivatives position and a fixed income security position is generally impossible to achieve. As a result, the Investment Adviser’s use of derivatives may not be effective in fulfilling the Investment Adviser’s investment strategies and may contribute to losses that would not have been incurred otherwise.

Financial futures contracts used by a Fund include interest rate futures contracts including, among others, Eurodollar futures contracts. Eurodollar futures contracts are U.S. dollar-denominated futures contracts that are based on the implied forward LIBOR of a three-month deposit. Further information is included in the Prospectus regarding futures contracts, swaps and other derivative instruments used by a Fund, including information on the risks presented by these instruments and other purposes for which they may be used by the Fund.

The following sections provide further information on certain types of securities and investment techniques that may be used by the Funds, including their associated risks. Additional information is provided in the SAI, which is available upon request. Among other things, the SAI describes certain fundamental investment restrictions that cannot be changed without shareholder approval. You should note, however, that all investment objectives, and all investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental are non-fundamental and may be changed without shareholder approval. If there is a change in a Fund’s investment objective, you should consider whether the Fund remains an appropriate investment in light of your then current financial position and needs.

 

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  B.    Other Portfolio Risks     

Risks of Foreign Investments.  Certain Funds may make foreign investments. Foreign investments involve special risks that are not typically associated with U.S. dollar denominated or quoted securities of U.S. issuers. Foreign investments may be affected by changes in currency rates, changes in foreign or U.S. laws or restrictions applicable to such investments and changes in exchange control regulations (e.g., currency blockage). A decline in the exchange rate of the currency (i.e., weakening of the currency against the U.S. dollar) in which a portfolio security is quoted or denominated relative to the U.S. dollar would reduce the value of the portfolio security. In addition, if the currency in which a Fund receives dividends, interest or other payments declines in value against the U.S. dollar before such income is distributed as dividends to shareholders or converted to U.S. dollars, the Fund may have to sell portfolio securities to obtain sufficient cash to pay such dividends.

Certain foreign markets may rely heavily on particular industries or foreign capital and are more vulnerable to diplomatic developments, the imposition of economic sanctions against a particular country or countries, organizations, entities and/or individuals, changes in international trading patterns, trade barriers, and other protectionist or retaliatory measures. International trade barriers or economic sanctions against foreign countries, organizations, entities and/or individuals may adversely affect a Fund’s foreign holdings or exposures.

Brokerage commissions, custodial services and other costs relating to investment in international securities markets generally are more expensive than in the United States. In addition, clearance and settlement procedures may be different in foreign countries and, in certain markets, such procedures have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, thus making it difficult to conduct such transactions.

Foreign issuers are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards comparable to those applicable to U.S. issuers. There may be less publicly available information about a foreign issuer than about a U.S. issuer. In addition, there is generally less government regulation of foreign markets, companies and securities dealers than in the United States, and the legal remedies for investors may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States. Foreign securities markets may have substantially less volume than U.S. securities markets and securities of many foreign issuers are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable domestic issuers. Furthermore, with respect to certain foreign countries, there is a possibility of nationalization, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, imposition of withholding or other taxes on dividend or interest payments (or, in some cases, capital gains distributions), limitations on the removal of funds or other assets from such countries, and risks of political or social instability or diplomatic developments which could adversely affect investments in those countries.

Certain foreign investments may become less liquid in response to social, political or market developments or adverse investor perceptions, or become illiquid after purchase by a Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Certain foreign investments may become illiquid when, for instance, there are few, if any, interested buyers and sellers or when dealers are unwilling to make a market for certain securities. When a Fund holds illiquid investments, its portfolio may be harder to value, especially in changing markets.

Concentration of a Fund’s assets in one or a few countries and currencies will subject the Fund to greater risks than if the Fund’s assets were not geographically concentrated.

Investments in foreign securities may take the form of sponsored and unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”), Global Depositary Notes (“GDNs”) or other similar instruments representing securities of foreign issuers. ADRs, GDRs and EDRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a bank or other depository. GDNs are issued by a bank or other depository and evidence ownership of a debt security denominated in local currency. ADRs and certain GDRs are traded in the United States. GDRs may be traded in either the United States or in foreign markets. EDRs are traded primarily outside the United States. Prices of ADRs and GDNs are quoted in U.S. dollars. EDRs and GDRs are not necessarily quoted in the same currency as the underlying security.

Risks of Sovereign Debt.  Investment in sovereign debt obligations by a Fund involves risks not present in debt obligations of corporate issuers. The issuer of the debt or the governmental authorities that control the repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt, and a Fund may have limited recourse to compel payment in the event of a default. Periods of economic uncertainty may result in the volatility of market prices of sovereign debt, and in turn a Fund’s NAV, to a greater extent than the volatility inherent in debt obligations of U.S. issuers.

A sovereign debtor’s willingness or ability to repay principal and pay interest in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign currency reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date

 

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APPENDIX A

 

a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy towards international lenders, and the political constraints to which a sovereign debtor may be subject.

Risks of Emerging Countries.  Certain Funds may invest in securities of issuers located in emerging countries. The risks of foreign investment are heightened when the issuer is located in an emerging country. Emerging countries are generally located in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe, and Central and South America. A Fund’s purchase and sale of portfolio securities in certain emerging countries may be constrained by limitations relating to daily changes in the prices of listed securities, periodic trading or settlement volume and/or limitations on aggregate holdings of foreign investors. Such limitations may be computed based on the aggregate trading volume by or holdings of a Fund, the Investment Adviser, its affiliates and their respective clients and other service providers. A Fund may not be able to sell securities in circumstances where price, trading or settlement volume limitations have been reached.

Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain emerging countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees which may limit investment in such countries or increase the administrative costs of such investments. For example, certain Asian countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investment by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. In addition, certain countries may restrict or prohibit investment opportunities in issuers or industries deemed important to national interests. Such restrictions may affect the market price, liquidity and rights of securities that may be purchased by a Fund. The repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales from certain emerging countries is subject to restrictions such as the need for governmental consents, which may make it difficult for a Fund to invest in such emerging countries. A Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for such repatriation. In situations where a country restricts direct investment in securities (which may occur in certain Asian and other countries), a Fund may invest in such countries through other investment funds in such countries.

Many emerging countries have experienced currency devaluations and substantial (and, in some cases, extremely high) rates of inflation. Other emerging countries have experienced economic recessions. These circumstances have had a negative effect on the economies and securities markets of such emerging countries. Economies in emerging countries generally are dependent heavily upon commodity prices and international trade and, accordingly, have been and may continue to be affected adversely by the economies of their trading partners, trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which they trade.

Many emerging countries are subject to a substantial degree of economic, political and social instability. Governments of some emerging countries are authoritarian in nature or have been installed or removed as a result of military coups, while governments in other emerging countries have periodically used force to suppress civil dissent. Disparities of wealth, the pace and success of democratization, and ethnic, religious and racial disaffection, among other factors, have also led to social unrest, violence and/or labor unrest in some emerging countries. Unanticipated political or social developments may result in sudden and significant investment losses. Investing in emerging countries involves greater risk of loss due to expropriation, nationalization, confiscation of assets and property or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investments and on repatriation of capital invested. As an example, in the past, some Eastern European governments have expropriated substantial amounts of private property, and many claims of the property owners have never been fully settled. There is no assurance that similar expropriations will not occur in other countries.

A Fund’s investment in emerging countries may also be subject to withholding or other taxes, which may be significant and may reduce the return to the Fund from an investment in issuers in such countries.

Settlement procedures in emerging countries are frequently less developed and reliable than those in the United States and may involve a Fund’s delivery of securities before receipt of payment for its sale. In addition, significant delays may occur in certain markets in registering the transfer of securities. Settlement or registration problems may make it more difficult for a Fund to value its portfolio securities and could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities, to have a portion of its assets uninvested or to incur losses due to the failure of a counterparty to pay for securities the Fund has delivered or the Fund’s inability to complete its contractual obligations because of theft or other reasons.

The creditworthiness of the local securities firms used by a Fund in emerging countries may not be as sound as the creditworthiness of firms used in more developed countries. As a result, a Fund may be subject to a greater risk of loss if a securities firm defaults in the performance of its responsibilities.

 

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The small size and inexperience of the securities markets in certain emerging countries and the limited volume of trading in securities in those countries may make a Fund’s investments in such countries less liquid and more volatile than investments in countries with more developed securities markets (such as the United States, Japan and most Western European countries). A Fund’s investments in emerging countries are subject to the risk that the liquidity of a particular investment, or investments generally, in such countries will shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic, market or political conditions or adverse investor perceptions, whether or not accurate. Because of the lack of sufficient market liquidity, a Fund may incur losses because it will be required to effect sales at a disadvantageous time and only then at a substantial drop in price. Investments in emerging countries may be more difficult to value precisely because of the characteristics discussed above and lower trading volumes.

A Fund’s use of foreign currency management techniques in emerging countries may be limited. Due to the limited market for these instruments in emerging countries, all or a significant portion of a Fund’s currency exposure in emerging countries may not be covered by those techniques. The Investment Adviser anticipates that a significant portion of a Fund’s currency exposure in emerging countries may not be covered by those techniques.

Foreign Custody Risk.  Certain Funds that invest in foreign securities may hold such securities and cash with foreign banks, agents, and securities depositories appointed by a Fund’s custodian (each a “Foreign Custodian”). Some Foreign Custodians may be recently organized or new to the foreign custody business. In some countries, Foreign Custodians may be subject to little or no regulatory oversight over or independent evaluation of their operations. Further, the laws of certain countries may place limitations on a Fund’s ability to recover its assets if a Foreign Custodian enters bankruptcy. Investments in emerging markets may be subject to even greater custody risks than investments in more developed markets. Custody services in emerging market countries are very often undeveloped and may be considerably less well regulated than in more developed countries, and thus may not afford the same level of investor protection as would apply in developed countries.

Geographic Risk.  If a Fund focuses its investments in securities of issuers located in a particular country or region, the Fund may be subjected to a greater extent than if investments were less focused, to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions and developments that may be particular to that country or region, such as: adverse securities markets; adverse exchange rates; adverse social, political, regulatory, economic, business, environmental or other developments; or natural disasters.

Risks Specific to China.  Investments in the PRC are generally subject to a higher degree of risk than investments in the U.S. and other developed countries. The economies of the PRC—which includes Mainland China and Hong Kong —differ from the U.S. economy in terms of legal and regulatory controls, the rate of growth of gross domestic product, the rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position, among other factors. The PRC is also subject to heightened risk of adverse environmental events and natural disasters, including earthquakes, droughts, and floods, and may demonstrate economic sensitivity to such events.

As a result of investing in the PRC, the Fund may be subject to withholding and various other taxes imposed by the PRC. The tax law and regulations of the PRC are constantly changing, and they may be changed with retrospective effect to the advantage or disadvantage of shareholders. The interpretation and applicability of the tax law and regulations by tax authorities may not be as consistent and transparent as those of more developed nations, and may vary from region to region. It should also be noted that any provision for taxation made by the Investment Adviser may be excessive or inadequate to meet final tax liabilities. Consequently, shareholders may be advantaged or disadvantaged depending upon the final tax liabilities, the level of provision and when they subscribed and/or redeemed their shares of the Fund.

Mainland China.  Investments in Mainland China are subject to the risks associated with greater governmental control over the economy, political and legal uncertainties and currency fluctuations or blockage. In particular, the Chinese Communist Party exercises significant control over economic growth in Mainland China through the allocation of resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.

Because the local legal system is still developing, it may be more difficult to obtain or enforce judgments with respect to investments in Mainland China. Chinese companies may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. companies. Thus, there may be less information publicly available about Chinese companies than about most U.S. companies. Government supervision and regulation of Chinese stock exchanges, currency markets, trading systems and brokers may be more or less rigorous than that present in the U.S. The procedures and rules governing transactions and custody in Mainland China also may involve delays in payment, delivery or recovery of money or

 

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APPENDIX A

 

investments. The imposition of tariffs or other trade barriers by the U.S. or other foreign governments on exports from Mainland China may also have an adverse impact on Chinese issuers and the PRC’s economy as a whole.

Hong Kong.  Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the PRC. Since Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, it has been governed by the Basic Law, a “quasi-constitution.” The Basic Law guarantees a high degree of autonomy in certain matters, including economic matters, until 2047. Attempts by the government of the PRC to exert greater control over Hong Kong’s economic, political or legal structures or its existing social policy, could negatively affect investor confidence in Hong Kong, which in turn could negatively affect markets and business performance.

In addition, the Hong Kong dollar trades within a fixed trading band rate to (or is “pegged” to) the U.S. dollar. This fixed exchange rate has contributed to the growth and stability of the economy, but could be discontinued. It is uncertain what affect any discontinuance of the currency peg and the establishment of an alternative exchange rate system would have on the Hong Kong economy.

Investing Through Bond Connect. The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF invests in bonds traded in the China Interbank Bond Market (“CIBM”) through the Bond Connect program (“Bond Connect Securities”). Bond Connect is an arrangement between Hong Kong and Mainland China that enables Hong Kong and overseas investors to trade various types of fixed income instruments in the CIBM through a connection between the relevant respective financial infrastructure institutions. Eligible foreign investors may submit trade requests for bonds circulated in the CIBM market through offshore electronic bond trading platforms (such as Tradeweb), which will in turn transmit the requests for quotation to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System & National Interbank Funding Centre (“CFETS”). CFETS will send the requests for quotation to a number of approved onshore dealers (including market makers and others engaged in the market making business) in Mainland China. The approved onshore dealers will respond to the requests for quotation via CFETS and CFETS will send their responses to those eligible foreign investors through the same offshore electronic bond trading platforms. Once the eligible foreign investor accepts the quotation, the trade is concluded on CFETS. Under the settlement link between CMU, as an offshore custody agent, and the China Central Depository & Clearing Co. (“CCDC”) or the Shanghai Clearing House (“SCH”), as onshore custodians and clearing institutions in Mainland China, CCDC or SCH will effect gross settlement of confirmed trades onshore and CMU will process bond settlement instructions from CMU members on behalf of eligible foreign investors in accordance with its relevant rules. Since the introduction of delivery versus payment (DVP) settlement, the movement of cash and securities is carried out simultaneously on a real-time basis. However, it should be noted that there is no assurance that settlement risks can be eliminated and DVP settlement practices in the Mainland China may differ from practices in developed markets. In particular, such settlement may not be instantaneous and be subject to a delay of a period of hours. Where the counterparty does not perform its obligations under a transaction or there is otherwise a failure due to CCDC or SCH (as applicable), the Fund may sustain losses.

A failure or delay by CMU, CCDC or SCH in the performance of their respective obligations may result in a failure of settlement, or the loss, of Bond Connect Securities and/or monies in connection with them and the Fund may suffer losses as a result. In the event that the nominee holder (i.e., CMU) becomes insolvent, such Bond Connect Securities may form part of the pool of assets of the nominee holder available for distribution to its creditors and the Fund, as a beneficial owner, may have no rights whatsoever in respect thereof.

Trading through Bond Connect is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect the Fund’s investments and returns. Investments made through Bond Connect are subject to order, clearance and settlement procedures that are relatively untested, which could pose risks to the Fund. Furthermore, the Fund’s investments through Bond Connect will be held on behalf of the Fund via a book entry omnibus account in the name of the CMU maintained with a Mainland China-based custodian (either CCDC or SCH). The Fund’s ownership interest in investments through Bond Connect will not be reflected directly in book entry with CCDC or SCH and will instead only be reflected on the books of its Hong Kong sub-custodian. This custody arrangement subjects the Fund to various risks, including the risk that the Fund may have a limited ability to enforce rights as a beneficial owner as well as the risks of settlement delays and counterparty default or error of the Hong Kong sub-custodian. While the ultimate investors hold a beneficial interest in their investments through Bond Connect, the mechanisms that beneficial owners may use to enforce their rights are relatively new and courts in Mainland China have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership. As such, the Fund may not be able to participate in corporate actions affecting its rights as a bondholder, such as timely payment of distributions, due to time constraints or for other operational reasons. Bond Connect trades are settled in CNY and investors must have timely access to a reliable supply of CNY in Hong Kong, which may incur conversion costs and cannot be guaranteed. Moreover, Bond Connect Securities generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Bond Connect in accordance with applicable rules.

 

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Investing through Bond Connect will subject the Fund to Chinese laws and rules applicable to investors in Chinese fixed income instruments. Therefore, the Fund’s investments through Bond Connect are generally subject to Mainland China’s securities laws and listing requirements, among other restrictions. Such securities may lose their eligibility at any time, in which case they could be sold but could no longer be purchased through Bond Connect. The Fund will not benefit from access to Hong Kong investor compensation funds, which are set up to protect against defaults of trades, when investing through Bond Connect. Bond Connect is only available on days when markets in both Mainland China and Hong Kong are open. As a result, prices of Bond Connect Securities may fluctuate at times when the Fund is unable to add to or exit its position and, therefore, may limit the Fund’s ability to trade when it would otherwise do so. Finally, uncertainties in Mainland China’s tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments via Bond Connect could result in unexpected tax liabilities for the Fund. The withholding tax treatment of interests and capital gains payable to overseas investors currently is unsettled.

Bond Connect is a relatively new program and may be subject to further interpretation, guidance or modifications. Laws, rules, regulations, policies, notices, circulars or guidelines relating to the Bond Connect as published or applied by any of the authorities are untested and are subject to change from time to time. There can be no assurance that Bond Connect will not be restricted, suspended, discontinued or abolished in the future. In addition, the trading, settlement and information technology systems required for overseas investors to trade through Bond Connect are relatively new and continuing to evolve. In the event that the relevant systems do not function properly, trading through Bond Connect could be disrupted. In addition, the application and interpretation of the laws and regulations of Hong Kong and Mainland China, and the rules, policies or guidelines published or applied by relevant regulators and exchanges in respect of Bond Connect are uncertain and may affect the Fund’s investments.

Bond Connect is only available on days when markets in both Mainland China and Hong Kong are open. As a result, prices of Bond Connect Securities may fluctuate at times when the Fund is unable to add to or exit its position and, therefore, may limit the Fund’s ability to trade when it would otherwise do so.

Potential lack of liquidity due to low trading volume of certain Bond Connect Securities may result in prices of certain fixed income securities traded on such market fluctuating significantly, which may expose a Fund to liquidity risks. The bid and offer spreads of the prices of Bond Connect Securities may be large, and the Fund may therefore incur significant trading and realization costs and may even suffer losses when disposing of such investments.

Hedging activities under Bond Connect are subject to Bond Connect regulations and any prevailing market practice. There is no guarantee that the Fund will be able to carry out hedging transactions at terms which are satisfactory and to the best interest of the Fund. The Fund may also be required to unwind its hedge in unfavorable market conditions.

The People’s Bank of China will exercise on-going supervision of the Fund as a participant in the CIBM and may take relevant administrative actions such as suspension of trading and mandatory exit against the Fund and/or the Investment Adviser in the event of non-compliance with the local market rules as well as Bond Connect regulations.

Risks of Derivative Investments.  The Funds may invest in derivative instruments, including without limitation, options, futures, options on futures, forwards, participation notes, swaps, options on swaps, forward contracts, structured securities and other derivatives relating to foreign currency transactions. Losses from derivative instruments can result from a lack of correlation between changes in the value of derivative instruments and the portfolio assets (if any) being hedged, the potential illiquidity of the markets for derivative instruments, the failure of the counterparty to perform its contractual obligations, or the risks related to leverage factors associated with such transactions. Derivatives are also subject to risks arising from margin requirements, which include the risk that a Fund will be required to pay additional margin or set aside additional collateral to maintain open derivative positions and the risk of loss by a Fund of margin deposits in the event of the bankruptcy or other similar insolvency with respect to a broker or counterparty with whom a Fund has an open derivative position. Losses may also arise if the Funds receive cash collateral under the transactions and some or all of that collateral is invested in the market. To the extent that cash collateral is so invested, such collateral will be subject to market depreciation or appreciation, and a Fund may be responsible for any loss that might result from its investment of the counterparty’s cash collateral. If cash collateral is not invested, a Fund may be exposed to additional risk of loss in the event of the insolvency of its custodian holding such collateral. The use of these management techniques also involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of the timing or level of fluctuations in securities prices, interest rates, currency prices or other variables. Derivative instruments may be harder to value, subject to greater volatility and more likely subject to changes in tax treatment than other investments.

Risks of Illiquid Investments.  Each Fund may not acquire any “illiquid investment” if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets. An “illiquid investment” is any invest-

 

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ment that a Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment.

Investments purchased by a Fund, particularly debt securities and over-the-counter traded instruments, that are liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid due to events relating to the issuer of the securities, market events, economic conditions or investor perceptions. Domestic and foreign markets are becoming more and more complex and interrelated, so that events in one sector of the market or the economy, or in one geographical region, can reverberate and have negative consequences for other market, economic or regional sectors in a manner that may not be reasonably foreseen. With respect to over-the-counter traded securities, the continued viability of any over-the-counter secondary market depends on the continued willingness of dealers and other participants to purchase the instruments.

If one or more investments in a Fund’s portfolio become illiquid, the Fund may exceed the 15 percent limitation in illiquid investments. In the event that changes in the portfolio or other external events cause the Fund to exceed this limit, the Fund must take steps to bring its illiquid investments that are assets to or below 15% of its net assets within a reasonable period of time. This requirement would not force a Fund to liquidate any portfolio instrument where the Fund would suffer a loss on the sale of that instrument.

In cases where no clear indication of the value of a Fund’s portfolio instruments is available, the portfolio instruments will be valued at their fair value according to the valuation procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. These cases include, among others, situations where a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source, or the secondary markets on which an investment has previously been traded are no longer viable, due to its lack of liquidity. For more information on fair valuation, please see “Shareholder Guide—Net Asset Value.”

 

  C.    Portfolio Securities and Techniques     

This section provides further information on certain types of securities and investment techniques that may be used by the Funds, including their associated risks.

The Funds may purchase other types of securities or instruments similar to those described in this section if otherwise consistent with the Funds’ investment objectives and policies. Further information is provided in the SAI, which is available upon request.

Foreign Currency Transactions.  Certain Funds may, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, purchase or sell foreign currencies on a cash basis. A Fund may engage in foreign currency transactions for hedging purposes and to seek to protect against anticipated changes in future foreign currency exchange rates. In addition, a Fund may enter into foreign currency transactions to seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of the Fund’s performance benchmark. A Fund may also enter into such transactions to seek to increase total return, which is considered a speculative practice.

A Fund may hold foreign currency received in connection with investments in foreign securities when, in the judgment of the Investment Adviser, it would be beneficial to convert such currency into U.S. dollars at a later date (e.g. the Investment Adviser may anticipate the foreign currency to appreciate against the U.S. dollar).

Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time, causing, along with other factors, a Fund’s NAV to fluctuate (when the Fund’s NAV fluctuates, the value of your shares may go up or down). Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by the intervention of U.S. or foreign governments or central banks, or the failure to intervene, or by currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad.

The market in currency swaps and other privately negotiated currency instruments offers less protection against defaults by the other party to such instruments than is available for currency instruments traded on an exchange. Such contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the contract will default on its obligations. Because these contracts are not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on a contract would deprive a Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or could force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price.

A Fund is not required to post cash collateral with its counterparties in certain foreign currency transactions. Accordingly, a Fund may remain more fully invested (and more of the Fund’s assets may be subject to investment and market risk) than if it were required to post collateral with its counterparties (which is the case with certain transactions). Where a Fund’s counterparties are not required to post cash collateral with the Fund, the Fund will be subject to additional counterparty risk.

 

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Bank Obligations.  Certain Funds may invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. or foreign banks. Bank obligations, including without limitation, time deposits, bankers’ acceptances and certificates of deposit, may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be limited to the issuing branch by the terms of the specific obligations or by government regulations. Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions. General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operation of this industry.

Zero Coupon, Deferred Interest, Pay-In-Kind and Capital Appreciation Bonds.  A Fund may invest in zero coupon bonds, deferred interest, pay-in-kind and capital appreciation bonds. These bonds are issued at a discount from their face value because interest payments are typically postponed until maturity. Pay-in-kind securities are securities that have interest payable by the delivery of additional securities. The market prices of these securities generally are more volatile than the market prices of interest-bearing securities and are likely to respond to a greater degree to changes in interest rates than interest-bearing securities having similar maturities and credit quality.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls.  A Fund may enter into mortgage dollar rolls. A mortgage dollar roll involves the sale by a Fund of securities for delivery in the current month. A Fund simultaneously contracts with the same counterparty to repurchase substantially similar (same type, coupon and maturity) but not identical securities on a specified future date. During the roll period, a Fund loses the right to receive principal and interest paid on the securities sold. However, a Fund benefits to the extent of any difference between (a) the price received for the securities sold and (b) the lower forward price for the future purchase and/or fee income plus the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the securities sold. Unless the benefits of a mortgage dollar roll exceed the income, capital appreciation and gain or loss due to mortgage prepayments that would have been realized on the securities sold as part of the roll, the use of this technique will diminish a Fund’s performance.

Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls depends upon the Investment Adviser’s ability to predict correctly interest rates and mortgage prepayments. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its prediction, a Fund may experience a loss. The Funds do not currently intend to enter into mortgage dollar rolls for financing and do not treat them as borrowings.

Options on Securities, Securities Indices and Foreign Currencies.  A put option gives the purchaser of the option the right to sell, and the writer (seller) of the option the obligation to buy, the underlying instrument during the option period. A call option gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy, and the writer (seller) of the option the obligation to sell, the underlying instrument during the option period. A Fund may write (sell) call and put options and purchase put and call options on any securities and other instruments in which the Fund may invest or any index consisting of securities or other instruments in which it may invest. A Fund may also, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, purchase and sell (write) put and call options on foreign currencies.

The writing and purchase of options is a highly specialized activity which involves special investment risks. Options may be used for either hedging or cross-hedging purposes, or to seek to increase total return (which presents additional risk). The successful use of options depends in part on the ability of the Investment Adviser to anticipate future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities (or currency) markets. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of changes in market prices or determination of the correlation between the instruments or indices on which options are written and purchased and the instruments in a Fund’s investment portfolio, the Fund may incur losses that it would not otherwise incur. The use of options can also increase a Fund’s transaction costs. Options written or purchased by the Funds may be traded on either U.S. or foreign exchanges or over-the-counter. Foreign and over-the-counter options will present greater possibility of loss because of their greater illiquidity and credit risks.

Non-Investment Grade Fixed Income Securities.  The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF and Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF may invest in non-investment grade fixed income securities. Non-investment grade fixed income securities and unrated securities of comparable credit quality (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are considered speculative. In some cases, these obligations may be highly speculative and have poor prospects for reaching investment grade standing. Non-investment grade fixed income securities are subject to the increased risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest obligations. These securities, also referred to as high yield securities, may be subject to greater price volatility due to such factors as specific issuer developments, interest rate sensitivity, negative perceptions of the junk bond markets generally and less liquidity.

Non-investment grade fixed income securities are often issued in connection with a corporate reorganization or restructuring or as part of a merger, acquisition, takeover or similar event. They are also issued by less established companies seeking to expand. Such issuers are often highly leveraged and generally less able than more established or less leveraged entities to make scheduled

 

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payments of principal and interest in the event of adverse developments or business conditions. Non-investment grade securities are also issued by governmental bodies that may have difficulty in making all scheduled interest and principal payments.

The market value of non-investment grade fixed income securities tends to reflect individual corporate or municipal developments to a greater extent than that of higher rated securities which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. Issuers of non-investment grade fixed income securities may not be able to make use of more traditional methods of financing and their ability to service debt obligations may be affected more adversely than issuers of higher-rated securities by economic downturns, specific corporate or financial developments or the issuer’s inability to meet specific projected business forecasts. Negative publicity about the junk bond market and investor perceptions regarding lower rated securities, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may depress the prices for such securities.

A holder’s risk of loss from default is significantly greater for non-investment grade fixed income securities than is the case for holders of other debt securities because such non-investment grade securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to the rights of other creditors of the issuers of such securities. Investment by a Fund in defaulted securities poses additional risk of loss should nonpayment of principal and interest continue in respect of such securities. Even if such securities are held to maturity, recovery by a Fund of its initial investment and any anticipated income or appreciation is uncertain.

The secondary market for non-investment grade fixed income securities is concentrated in relatively few market makers and is dominated by institutional investors, including mutual funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Accordingly, the secondary market for such securities is not as liquid as, and is more volatile than, the secondary market for higher-rated securities. In addition, market trading volume for high yield fixed income securities is generally lower and the secondary market for such securities could shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse market or economic conditions, independent of any specific adverse changes in the condition of a particular issuer. The lack of sufficient market liquidity may cause a Fund to incur losses because it will be required to effect sales at a disadvantageous time and then only at a substantial drop in price. These factors may have an adverse effect on the market price and a Fund’s ability to dispose of particular portfolio investments. A less liquid secondary market also may make it more difficult for a Fund to obtain precise valuations of the high yield securities in its portfolio.

Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies are designed to evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market value risk of non-investment grade securities and, therefore, may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the conditions of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings may not accurately reflect investment quality.

Floating and Variable Rate Obligations.  A Fund may purchase floating and variable rate obligations. The value of these obligations is generally more stable than that of a fixed rate obligation in response to changes in interest rate levels. The issuers or financial intermediaries providing demand features may support their ability to purchase the obligations by obtaining credit with liquidity supports. These may include lines of credit, which are conditional commitments to lend, and letters of credit, which will ordinarily be irrevocable both of which may be issued by domestic banks or foreign banks. A Fund may purchase variable or floating rate obligations from the issuers or may purchase certificates of participation, a type of floating or variable rate obligation, which are interests in a pool of debt obligations held by a bank or other financial institutions.

Floating and variable rate obligations may be transferable among financial institutions, but may not have the liquidity of conventional debt securities and are often subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale. Floating and variable rate obligations are not currently listed on any securities exchange or automatic quotation system. As a result, no active market may exist for some floating and variable rate obligations. To the extent a secondary market exists for other floating and variable rate obligations, such market may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads, and extended trade settlement periods. The lack of a highly liquid secondary market for floating and variable rate obligations may have an adverse effect on the value of such obligations and may make it more difficult to value the obligations for purposes of calculating their respective net asset value.

For floating and variable rate obligations, there may be a lag between an actual change in the underlying interest rate benchmark and the reset time for an interest payment of such an obligation, which could harm or benefit a Fund, depending on the interest rate environment or other circumstances. In a rising interest rate environment, for example, a floating or variable rate obligation that does not reset immediately would prevent a Fund from taking full advantage of rising interest rates in a timely manner. However, in a declining interest rate environment, a Fund may benefit from a lag due to an obligation’s interest rate payment not being immediately impacted by a decline in interest rates.

 

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Certain floating and variable rate obligations have an interest rate floor feature, which prevents the interest rate payable by the security from dropping below a specified level as compared to a reference interest rate (the “reference rate”), such as LIBOR. Such a floor protects a Fund from losses resulting from a decrease in the reference rate below the specified level. However, if the reference rate is below the floor, there will be a lag between a rise in the reference rate and a rise in the interest rate payable by the obligation, and a Fund may not benefit from increasing interest rates for a significant amount of time.

U.S. Treasury Securities and U.S. Government Securities.  A Fund may invest in U.S. Treasury Securities, which include, among other things, the separately traded principal and interest components of securities guaranteed or issued by the U.S. Treasury if such components are traded independently under the Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities program. U.S. Treasury Securities also include Treasury inflation-protected securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation.

A Fund may also invest in other U.S. Government Securities. Unlike U.S. Treasury Securities, U.S. Government Securities can be supported by either (i) the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury (such as the Government National Mortgage Association); (ii) the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; (iii) the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the issuer; or (iv) only the credit of the issuer.

U.S. Government Securities are deemed to include (i) securities for which the payment of principal and interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit issued by the U.S. Government, its agencies, authorities or instrumentalities; and (ii) participations in loans made to foreign governments or their agencies that are so guaranteed. Certain of these participations may be regarded as illiquid. U.S. Government Securities also include zero coupon bonds.

A Fund may also invest in U.S. Treasury Securities and certain U.S. Government Securities, the interest from which is generally exempt from state income taxation. Securities generally eligible for this exemption include those issued by the U.S. Treasury and certain agencies, authorities or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government, including the Federal Home Loan Banks, Federal Farm Credit Banks and Tennessee Valley Authority.

U.S. Treasury Securities have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will be able or willing to repay the principal or interest when due or provide financial support to U.S. Government agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises that issue U.S. Government Securities if it is not obligated to do so by law.

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates.  A Fund may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates representing interests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include U.S. Government Securities or other types of securities in which a Fund may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For certain securities laws purposes, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. government or other issuer of the securities held by the custodian or trustee. If for tax purposes a Fund is not considered to be the owner of the underlying securities held in the custodial or trust account, the Fund may suffer adverse tax consequences. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, a Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. A Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.

Mortgage-Backed Securities.  A Fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage-backed securities represent direct or indirect participations in, or are collateralized by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property. Mortgage-backed securities can be backed by either fixed rate mortgage loans or adjustable rate mortgage loans, and may be issued by either a governmental or non-governmental entity. The value of some mortgage-backed securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates. The value of these securities may also fluctuate in response to the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuers. Early repayment of principal on mortgage- or asset-backed securities may expose a Fund to the risk of earning a lower rate of return upon reinvestment of principal.

A Fund may invest in privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities that represent interests in pools of mortgage loans that are issued by trusts formed by originators of and institutional investors in mortgage loans (or represent interests in custodial arrangements administered by such institutions). These originators and institutions include commercial banks, savings and loans associations, credit unions, savings banks, mortgage bankers, insurance companies, investment banks or special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. The pools underlying privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities consist of mortgage loans secured by mortgages or deeds of trust creating a first lien on commercial, residential, residential multi-family and mixed residential/

 

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commercial properties. These mortgage-backed securities typically do not have the same credit standing as U.S. government guaranteed mortgage-backed securities.

Privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities generally offer a higher yield than similar securities issued by a government entity because of the absence of any direct or indirect government or agency payment guarantees. However, timely payment of interest and principal on mortgage loans in these pools may be supported by various other forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, pool and hazard insurance, subordination and letters of credit. Such insurance and guarantees may be issued by private insurers, banks and mortgage poolers. There is no assurance that private guarantors or insurers, if any, will meet their obligations. Mortgage-backed securities without insurance or guarantees may also be purchased by a Fund if they have the required rating from an NRSRO. Some mortgage-backed securities issued by private organizations may not be readily marketable, may be more difficult to value accurately and may be more volatile than similar securities issued by a government entity.

Mortgage-backed securities may include multiple class securities, including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (“REMIC”) pass-through or participation certificates. A REMIC is a CMO that qualifies for special tax treatment under the Code and invests in certain mortgages principally secured by interests in real property and other permitted investments. CMOs provide an investor with a specified interest in the cash flow from a pool of underlying mortgages or of other mortgage-backed securities. CMOs are issued in multiple classes each with a specified fixed or floating interest rate and a final scheduled distribution date. In many cases, payments of principal are applied to the CMO classes in the order of their respective stated maturities, so that no principal payments will be made on a CMO class until all other classes having an earlier stated maturity date are paid in full.

Sometimes, however, CMO classes are “parallel pay,” i.e., payments of principal are made to two or more classes concurrently. In some cases, CMOs may have the characteristics of a stripped mortgage-backed security whose price can be highly volatile. CMOs may exhibit more or less price volatility and interest rate risk than other types of mortgage-backed securities, and under certain interest rate and payment scenarios, the Fund may fail to recoup fully its investment in certain of these securities regardless of their credit quality.

To the extent a Fund concentrates its investments in pools of mortgage-backed securities sponsored by the same sponsor or serviced by the same servicer, it may be subject to additional risks. Servicers of mortgage-related pools collect payments on the underlying mortgage assets for pass-through to the pool on a periodic basis. Upon insolvency of the servicer, the pool may be at risk with respect to collections received by the servicer but not yet delivered to the pool.

Mortgaged-backed securities also include stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”), which are derivative multiple class mortgage-backed securities. SMBS are usually structured with two different classes: one that receives substantially all of the interest payments and the other that receives substantially all of the principal payments from a pool of mortgage loans. The market value of SMBS consisting entirely of principal payments generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The yields on SMBS that receive all or most of the interest from mortgage loans are generally higher than prevailing market yields on other mortgage-backed securities because their cash flow patterns are more volatile and there is a greater risk that the initial investment will not be fully recouped. Throughout 2008, the market for mortgage-backed securities began experiencing substantially, often dramatically, lower valuations and greatly reduced liquidity. Markets for other asset-backed securities have also been affected. These instruments are increasingly subject to liquidity constraints, price volatility, credit downgrades and unexpected increases in default rates and, therefore, may be more difficult to value and more difficult to dispose of than previously. These events may have an adverse effect on the Funds to the extent they invest in mortgage-backed or other fixed income securities or instruments affected by the volatility in the fixed income markets.

Asset-Backed Securities.  A Fund may invest in asset-backed securities. Asset-backed securities are securities whose principal and interest payments are collateralized by pools of assets such as auto loans, credit card receivables, leases, installment contracts and personal property. Asset-backed securities may also include home equity line of credit loans and other second-lien mortgages. Asset-backed securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate as a result of the pass-through of prepayments of principal on the underlying loans. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayment of loans underlying asset-backed securities can be expected to accelerate. Accordingly, a Fund’s ability to maintain positions in such securities will be affected by reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments, and its ability to reinvest the returns of principal at comparable yields is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. Asset-backed securities present credit risks that are not presented by mortgage-backed securities. This is because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral that is comparable to mortgage assets. Some asset-backed securities have only a subordinated claim or security interest in collateral. If the issuer of an asset-backed security defaults on its payment obligations,

 

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there is the possibility that, in some cases, a Fund will be unable to possess and sell the underlying collateral and that a Fund’s recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on the securities. In the event of a default, a Fund may suffer a loss if it cannot sell collateral quickly and receive the amount it is owed. The value of some asset-backed securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in the prevailing interest rates. There is no guarantee that private guarantors, or insurers of an asset-backed security, if any, will meet their obligations. Asset-backed securities may also be subject to increased volatility and may become illiquid and more difficult to value even when there is no default or threat of default due to the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuers and market conditions impacting asset-backed securities more generally.

Municipal Securities.  Certain Funds may invest in securities and instruments issued by state and local government issuers. Municipal Securities in which a Fund may invest consist of bonds, notes, commercial paper and other instruments (including participation interests in such securities) issued by or on behalf of the states, territories and possessions of the United States (including the District of Columbia) and their political subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities.

Municipal Securities include both “general” obligation and “revenue” bonds and may be issued to obtain funds for various purposes. General obligations are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its full faith, credit and taxing power. Revenue obligations are payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities.

Municipal Securities are often issued to obtain funds for various public purposes, including the construction of a wide range of public facilities such as bridges, highways, housing, hospitals, mass transportation, schools, streets and water and sewer works. Other purposes for which Municipal Securities may be issued include refunding outstanding obligations, obtaining funds for general operating expenses, and obtaining funds to lend to other public institutions and facilities. Municipal Securities in which the Funds may invest include private activity bonds, pre-refunded municipal securities and auction rate securities. Dividends paid by the Funds based on investments in Municipal Securities will be taxable.

The obligations of the issuer to pay the principal of and interest on a Municipal Security are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors, such as the Federal Bankruptcy Act, and laws, if any, that may be enacted by Congress or state legislatures extending the time for payment of principal or interest or imposing other constraints upon the enforcement of such obligations. There is also the possibility that, as a result of litigation or other conditions, the power or ability of the issuer to pay when due the principal of or interest on a Municipal Security may be materially affected.

In addition, Municipal Securities include municipal leases, certificates of participation and “moral obligation” bonds. A municipal lease is an obligation issued by a state or local government to acquire equipment or facilities. Certificates of participation represent interests in municipal leases or other instruments, such as installment purchase agreements. Moral obligation bonds are supported by a moral commitment but not a legal obligation of a state or local government. Municipal leases, certificates of participation and moral obligation bonds frequently involve special risks not normally associated with general obligation or revenue bonds. In particular, these instruments permit governmental issuers to acquire property and equipment without meeting constitutional and statutory requirements for the issuance of debt. If, however, the governmental issuer does not periodically appropriate money to enable it to meet its payment obligations under these instruments, it cannot be legally compelled to do so. If a default occurs, it is likely that a Fund would be unable to obtain another acceptable source of payment. Some municipal leases, certificates of participation and moral obligation bonds may be illiquid.

Municipal Securities may also be in the form of a tender option bond, which is a Municipal Security (generally held pursuant to a custodial arrangement) having a relatively long maturity and bearing interest at a fixed rate substantially higher than prevailing short-term, tax-exempt rates. The bond is typically issued with the agreement of a third party, such as a bank, broker-dealer or other financial institution, which grants the security holders the option, at periodic intervals, to tender their securities to the institution. After payment of a fee to the financial institution that provides this option, the security holder effectively holds a demand obligation that bears interest at the prevailing short-term, tax-exempt rate. An institution may not be obligated to accept tendered bonds in the event of certain defaults or a significant downgrading in the credit rating assigned to the issuer of the bond. The tender option will be taken into account in determining the maturity of the tender option bonds and a Fund’s duration. Certain tender option bonds may be illiquid.

Municipal Securities may be backed by letters of credit or other forms of credit enhancement issued by domestic or foreign banks or by other financial institutions. The deterioration of the credit quality of these banks and financial institutions could, therefore, cause a loss to a Fund that invests in such Municipal Securities. Letters of credit and other obligations of foreign banks and financial institutions may involve risks in addition to those of domestic obligations because of less publicly available financial and other information, less securities regulation, potential imposition of foreign withholding and other taxes, war, expropriation or other

 

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adverse governmental actions. Foreign banks and their foreign branches are not regulated by U.S. banking authorities, and are generally not bound by the accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards applicable to U.S. banks.

The Funds may invest in Municipal Securities issued by municipalities, including U.S. territories, commonwealths and possessions that may be, or may become, subject to significant financial difficulties. Factors contributing to such difficulties may include: lower property tax collections as a result of lower home values, lower sales tax revenue as a result of reduced consumer spending, lower income tax revenue as a result of higher unemployment rates, and budgetary constraints of local, state and federal governments upon which issuers of municipal securities may be relying for funding. Such securities may be considered below investment grade or may be subject to future credit downgrades due to concerns over potential default, insolvency or bankruptcy on the part of their issuers or any credit support provider. During the recent economic downturn, several municipalities have, in fact, filed for bankruptcy protection or have indicated that they may seek bankruptcy protection in the future. A credit downgrade or other adverse news about an issuer or any credit support provider could impact the market value and liquidity of the securities and consequently could negatively affect the performance of a Fund that holds such securities.

Corporate Debt Obligations, Trust Preferred Securities and Convertible Securities.  Certain Funds may invest in corporate debt obligations, trust preferred securities and convertible securities. Corporate debt obligations include bonds, notes, debentures, commercial paper and other obligations of corporations to pay interest and repay principal. A trust preferred security is a long dated bond (for example, 30 years) with preferred features. The preferred features are that payment of interest can be deferred for a specified period without initiating a default event. The securities are generally senior in claim to standard preferred stock but junior to other bondholders. Certain Funds may also invest in other short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. corporations, non-U.S. corporations or other entities.

Convertible securities are preferred stock or debt obligations that are convertible into common stock. Convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible securities of similar quality. Convertible securities have both equity and fixed income risk characteristics. Like all fixed income securities, the value of convertible securities is susceptible to the risk of market losses attributable to changes in interest rates. Generally, the market value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates increase and, conversely, to increase as interest rates decline. However, when the market price of the common stock underlying a convertible security exceeds the conversion price of the convertible security, the convertible security tends to reflect the market price of the underlying common stock. As the market price of the underlying common stock declines, the convertible security, like a fixed income security, tends to trade increasingly on a yield basis, and thus may not decline in price to the same extent as the underlying common stock.

Other Investment Companies.  Each Fund may invest in securities of other investment companies, including ETFs, subject to statutory limitations prescribed by the Investment Company Act, or exemptive relief thereunder. These statutory limitations include in certain circumstances a prohibition on any Fund acquiring more than 3% of the voting Shares of any other investment company, and a prohibition on investing more than 5% of a Fund’s total assets in securities of any one investment company or more than 10% of its total assets in securities of all investment companies.

Subject to applicable law and/or pursuant to an exemptive order obtained from the SEC or under an exemptive rule adopted by the SEC, a Fund may invest in certain other investment companies, including ETFs and money market funds, beyond the statutory limits described above or otherwise. Some of those investment companies may be funds for which the Investment Adviser or any of their affiliates serves as investment adviser, administrator or distributor.

A Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management fees and other expenses paid by such other investment companies, in addition to the fees and expenses regularly borne by the Fund. Although the Funds do not expect to do so in the foreseeable future, each Fund is authorized to invest substantially all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof that has substantially the same investment objective, policies and fundamental restrictions as the Fund.

Repurchase Agreements.  Repurchase agreements involve the purchase of securities subject to the seller’s agreement to repurchase them at a mutually agreed upon date and price. Each Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with counterparties that furnish collateral at least equal in value or market price to the amount of their repurchase obligations. The collateral may consist of any type of security in which a Fund is eligible to invest directly. Repurchase agreements involving obligations other than U.S. government securities may be subject to additional risks.

If the other party or “seller” defaults, a Fund might suffer a loss to the extent that the proceeds from the sale of the underlying securities and other collateral held by the Fund are less than the repurchase price and the Fund’s costs associated with delay and enforcement of the repurchase agreement. In addition, in the event of bankruptcy of the seller, a Fund could suffer additional losses if a court determines that the Fund’s interest in the collateral is not enforceable.

 

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Each Fund, together with other registered investment companies having advisory agreements with the Investment Adviser or any of its affiliates, may transfer uninvested cash balances into a single joint account, the daily aggregate balance of which will be invested in one or more repurchase agreements.

Borrowings and Reverse Repurchase Agreements.  Each Fund can borrow money from banks and other financial institutions and may enter into reverse repurchase agreements in amounts not exceeding one-third of the Fund’s total assets (including the amount borrowed or received).

Reverse repurchase agreements involve the sale of securities held by a Fund subject to the Fund’s agreement to repurchase them at a mutually agreed upon date and price (including interest). These transactions may be entered into as a temporary measure for emergency purposes or to meet redemption requests. Reverse repurchase agreements may also be entered into when the Investment Adviser expects that the interest income to be earned from the investment of the transaction proceeds will be greater than the related interest expense.

Borrowings and reverse repurchase agreements involve leveraging. If the securities held by a Fund decline in value while these transactions are outstanding, the NAV of the Fund’s outstanding Shares will decline in value by proportionately more than the decline in value of the securities. In addition, reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the investment return earned by a Fund (from the investment of the proceeds) will be less than the interest expense of the transaction, that the market value of the securities sold by the Fund will decline below the price the Fund is obligated to pay to repurchase the securities, and that the securities may not be returned to the Fund. The Fund must identify on its books liquid assets, or engage in other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to its transactions in reverse repurchase agreements.

Futures Contracts and Options and Swaps on Futures Contracts.  Futures contracts are standardized, exchange-traded contracts that provide for the sale or purchase of a specified financial instrument or currency at a future time at a specified price. An option on a futures contract gives the purchaser the right (and the writer of the option the obligation) to assume a position in a futures contract at a specified exercise price within a specified period of time. A swap on a futures contract provides an investor with the ability to gain economic exposure to a particular futures market. A futures contract may be based on particular securities, foreign currencies, securities indices and other financial instruments and indices. The Funds may engage in futures transactions on U.S. and foreign exchanges.

Each Fund may, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, purchase and sell futures contracts, purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts, and enter into swaps on futures contracts, in order to seek to increase total return or to hedge against changes in interest rates, securities prices, or currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selection and duration in accordance with its investment objective and policies. Each Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts and options.

Futures contracts and related options and swaps present the following risks:

   

While a Fund may benefit from the use of futures and options and swaps on futures, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in poorer overall performance than if the Fund had not entered into any futures contracts, options transactions or swaps.

   

Because perfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position that is intended to be protected is impossible to achieve, the desired protection may not be obtained and a Fund may be exposed to additional risk of loss.

   

The loss incurred by a Fund in entering into futures contracts and in writing call options and entering into swaps on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received.

   

Futures markets are highly volatile and the use of futures may increase the volatility of a Fund’s NAV.

   

As a result of the low margin deposits normally required in futures trading, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in substantial losses to a Fund.

   

Futures contracts and options and swaps on futures may be illiquid, and exchanges may limit fluctuations in futures contract prices during a single day.

   

Foreign exchanges may not provide the same protection as U.S. exchanges.

Inflation Protected Securities.  A Fund may invest in IPS of varying maturities issued by the U.S. Treasury and other U.S. and non-U.S. Government agencies and corporations. IPS are fixed income securities whose interest and principal payments are adjusted according to the rate of inflation. The interest rate on IPS is fixed at issuance, but over the life of the bond this interest may be paid on an increasing or decreasing principal value that has been adjusted for inflation. Although repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity is guaranteed, the market value of IPS is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate. Any increase or decrease in the principal amount of IPS will result in an adjustment of interest income which is distributed to shareholders periodically.

 

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APPENDIX A

 

The values of IPS generally fluctuate in response to changes in real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in the value of IPS. In contrast, if nominal interest rates were to increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in the value of IPS. If inflation is lower than expected during the period a Fund holds IPS, the Fund may earn less on the IPS than on a conventional bond. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in the currency exchange rates), investors in IPS may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bonds’ inflation measure. There can be no assurance that the inflation index for IPS will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services.

The U.S. Treasury utilizes the CPIU as the measurement of inflation, while other issuers of IPS may use different indices as the measure of inflation. Any increase in principal value of IPS caused by an increase in the CPIU is taxable in the year the increase occurs, even though a Fund holding IPS will not receive cash representing the increase at that time. As a result, a Fund could be required at times to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to satisfy its distribution requirements as a regulated investment company.

A Fund will be required to treat as original issue discount any increase in the principal amount of the securities that occurs during the course of its taxable year. If a Fund purchases such inflation protected securities that are issued in stripped form either as stripped bonds or coupons, it will be treated as if it had purchased a newly issued debt instrument having original issue discount.

Because a Fund is required to distribute substantially all of its net investment income (including accrued original issue discount), a Fund’s investment in either zero coupon bonds or IPS may require a Fund to distribute to shareholders an amount greater than the total cash income it actually receives. Accordingly, in order to make the required distributions, a Fund may be required to borrow or liquidate securities.

Interest Rate Swaps, Mortgage Swaps, Credit Swaps, Currency Swaps, Total Return Swaps, Options on Swaps and Interest Rate Caps, Floors and Collars.  A Fund may enter into some or all of the following swap transactions and option agreements, including interest rate swaps, mortgage swaps, credit swaps, currency swaps, total return swaps, options on swaps and interest rate caps, floors and collars. Interest rate swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive interest, such as an exchange of fixed-rate payments for floating rate payments. Mortgage swaps are similar to interest rate swaps in that they represent commitments to pay and receive interest. The notional principal amount, however, is tied to a reference pool or pools of mortgages. Credit swaps (also referred to as credit default swaps) involve the receipt of floating or fixed rate payments in exchange for assuming potential credit losses on an underlying security or pool of securities. Credit swaps give one party to a transaction (the buyer of the credit swap) the right to dispose of or acquire an asset (or group of assets or exposure to the performance of an index), or the right to receive a payment from the other party, upon the occurrence of specified credit events. Currency swaps involve the exchange of the parties’ respective rights to make or receive payments in specified currencies. Total return swaps give a party the right to receive the appreciation in the value of a specified security, index or other instrument in return for a fee paid to the counterparty, which will typically be based on an agreed upon interest rate. If the underlying asset in a total return swap declines in value over the term of the swap, the party may also be required to pay the dollar value of that decline to the counterparty.

A Fund may also purchase and write (sell) options contracts on swaps, commonly referred to as swaptions. A swaption is an option to enter into a swap agreement. Like other types of options, the buyer of a swaption pays a non-refundable premium for the option and obtains the right, but not the obligation, to enter into an underlying swap or to modify the terms of an existing swap on agreed-upon terms. The seller of a swaption, in exchange for the premium, becomes obligated (if the option is exercised) to enter into or modify an underlying swap on agreed-upon terms, which generally entails a greater risk of loss than the Fund incurs in buying a swaption. The purchase of an interest rate cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined interest rate, to receive payment of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling such interest rate cap. The purchase of an interest rate floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate floor. An interest rate collar is the combination of a cap and a floor that preserves a certain return within a predetermined range of interest rates.

A Fund may enter into the transactions described above for hedging purposes or to seek to increase total return. As an example, when a Fund is the buyer of a credit default swap (commonly known as buying protection), it may make periodic payments to the seller of the credit default swap to obtain protection against a credit default on a specified underlying asset (or group of assets). If a default occurs, the seller of a credit default swap may be required to pay the Fund the notional amount of the credit default swap on a specified security (or group of securities). On the other hand, when a Fund is a seller of a credit default swap (commonly known

 

83


as selling protection), in addition to the credit exposure the Fund has on the other assets held in its portfolio, the Fund is also subject to the credit exposure on the notional amount of the swap since, in the event of a credit default, the Fund may be required to pay the notional amount of the credit default swap on a specified security (or group of securities) to the buyer of the credit default swap. A Fund will be the seller of a credit default swap only when the credit of the underlying asset is deemed by the Investment Adviser to meet the Fund’s minimum credit criteria at the time the swap is first entered into.

When a Fund writes (sells) credit swaps on individual securities or instruments, the Fund must identify on its books liquid assets equal to the full notional amount of the swaps while the positions are open.

The use of interest rate, mortgage, credit, currency and total return swaps, options on swaps, and interest rate caps, floors and collars, is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates and currency exchange rates, or in its evaluation of the creditworthiness of swap counterparties and the issuers of the underlying assets, the investment performance of a Fund would be less favorable than it would have been if these investment techniques were not used.

Currently, certain standardized swap transactions are subject to mandatory central clearing and exchange trading. Although central clearing and exchange trading is expected to decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilaterally negotiated swaps, central clearing and exchange trading does not eliminate counterparty risk or illiquidity risk entirely. Depending on the size of a Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral, uncleared swap. However, certain applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in the Fund and its counterparties posting higher amounts for uncleared swaps.

Collateralized Loan Obligations.  A Fund may invest in collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”). A CLO is a trust typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. CLOs may charge management and other administrative fees. The cash flows from the trust are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche which bears the bulk of defaults from the bonds or loans in the trust and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances. Because it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CLO trust typically has higher ratings and lower yields than its underlying securities, and can be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as aversion to CLO securities as a class.

The risks of an investment in a CLO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CLO in which a Fund invests. Normally, CLOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CLOs may be characterized by a Fund as illiquid securities. However, an active dealer market may exist for CLOs that qualify under the Rule 144A “safe harbor” from the registration requirements of the Securities Act for resales of certain securities to qualified institutional buyers, and such CLOs may be characterized by a Fund as liquid securities.

Loan-Related Investments.  A Fund may invest in loan-related investments such as loan participations and assignments. A loan participation is an interest in a loan to a U.S. or foreign company or other borrower (the “borrower”) which is administered and sold by a financial intermediary. A Fund may only invest in loans to issuers in whose obligations it may otherwise invest. Loan interests may take the form of a direct or co-lending relationship with the borrower, an assignment of an interest in the loan by a co-lender or another participant, or a participation in the seller’s share of the loan. When a Fund acts as co-lender in connection with a loan interest or when it acquires certain interests, the Fund will have direct recourse against the borrower if the borrower fails to pay scheduled principal and interest. In cases where a Fund lacks direct recourse, it will look to an agent for the lenders (the “agent lender”) to enforce appropriate credit remedies against the borrower. In these cases, a Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation (such as commercial paper) of such borrower.

An assignment typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations of the assigning institution and becomes a lender under the credit agreement with respect to the debt obligation; however, the purchaser’s rights can be more restricted than those of the assigning institution, and, in any event, a Fund may not be able to unilaterally enforce all rights and remedies under the loan and with regard to any associated collateral. A participation typically results in a contractual relationship only with the institution participating out the interest, not with the borrower. In purchasing participations, a Fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the

 

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APPENDIX A

 

borrower with the terms of the loan agreement against the borrower, and the Fund may not directly benefit from the collateral supporting the debt obligation in which it has purchased the participation. As a result, a Fund will be exposed to the credit risk of both the borrower and the institution selling the participation. Investors in loans, such as a Fund, may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, although they may be entitled to certain contractual remedies.

The market for loan obligations may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods. Because transactions in many loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, a Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of a loan for a period after the sale. As a result, sale proceeds related to the sale of loans may not be available to make additional investments or to meet a Fund’s redemption obligations for a period after the sale of the loans, and, as a result, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, such as borrowing from its credit facility, if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations. During periods of heightened redemption activity or distressed market conditions, a Fund may seek to obtain expedited trade settlement, which will generally incur additional costs (although expedited trade settlement will not always be available).

Senior loans hold the most senior position in the capital structure of a borrower, are typically secured with specific collateral and have a claim on the assets and/or stock of the borrower that is senior to that held by subordinated debt holders and stockholders of the borrower. The proceeds of senior loans primarily are used to finance leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers, acquisitions, stock repurchases, refinancings and to finance internal growth and for other corporate purposes. Senior loans typically have a stated term of between five and nine years, and have rates of interest which typically are redetermined daily, monthly, quarterly or semi-annually by reference to a base lending rate, plus a premium or credit spread. Longer interest rate reset periods generally increase fluctuations in a Fund’s net asset value as a result of changes in market interest rates. As a result, as short-term interest rates increase, interest payable to the Fund from its investments in senior loans should increase, and as short-term interest rates decrease, interest payable to the Fund from its investments in senior loans should decrease. Second lien loans have the same characteristics as senior loans except that such loans are subordinated or unsecured and thus lower in priority of payment to senior loans. Accordingly, the risks associated with second lien loans are higher than the risk of loans with first priority over the collateral. In the event of default on a second lien loan, the first priority lien holder has first claim to the underlying collateral of the loan. It is possible that no collateral value would remain for the second priority lien holder and therefore result in a loss of investment to a Fund. Second lien loans typically have adjustable floating rate interest payments. Generally, loans have the benefit of restrictive covenants that limit the ability of the borrower to further encumber its assets or impose other obligations. To the extent a loan does not have certain covenants (or has less restrictive covenants), an investment in the loan will be particularly sensitive to the risks associated with loan investments.

Asset Segregation.  As an investment company registered with the SEC, the Funds must identify on their books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other SEC- or SEC staff-approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. In the case of swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that do not cash settle, for example, the Funds must identify on their books liquid assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument while the positions are open, to the extent there is not a permissible offsetting position or a contractual “netting” agreement with respect to swaps (other than credit default swaps where a Fund is the protection seller). However, with respect to certain swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that are required to cash settle, a Fund may identify liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s daily marked-to-market net obligations (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability) under the instrument, if any, rather than its full notional amount. Forwards and futures contracts that do not cash settle may be treated as cash settled for asset segregation purposes when a Fund has entered into a contractual arrangement with a third party FCM or other counterparty to off-set the Fund’s exposure under the contract and, failing that, to assign its delivery obligation under the contract to the counterparty. The Funds reserve the right to modify their asset segregation policies in the future in their discretion, consistent with the Investment Company Act and SEC or SEC staff guidance. By identifying assets equal to only its net obligations under certain instruments, the Funds will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Funds were required to identify assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument.

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments.  A Fund may purchase when-issued securities and make contracts to purchase or sell securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond customary settlement time. When-issued securities are securities that have been authorized, but not yet issued. When-issued securities are purchased in order to secure what is considered to be an advantageous price or yield to a Fund at the time of entering into the transaction. A forward commitment involves entering into a contract to purchase or sell securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond the customary settlement period.

The purchase of securities on a when-issued or forward commitment basis involves a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines before the settlement date. Conversely, the sale of securities on a forward commitment basis involves the risk

 

85


that the value of the securities sold may increase before the settlement date. Although a Fund will generally purchase securities on a when-issued or forward commitment basis with the intention of acquiring the securities for its portfolio, the Fund may dispose of when-issued securities or forward commitments prior to settlement if the Investment Adviser deems it appropriate. When purchasing a security on a when-issued basis or entering into a forward commitment, a Fund must identify on its books liquid assets, or engage in other appropriate measures, to “cover” its obligations.

 

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Appendix B

Financial Highlights

 

Because the Funds had not commenced investment operations as of the end of the Funds’ fiscal year, financial highlights are not available.

 

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Goldman Sachs Access Fixed Income ETFs Prospectus

 

  FOR MORE INFORMATION     

Annual/Semi-Annual Report

Additional information about the Funds’ investments will be available in the Funds’ annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the Funds’ annual report (when available), you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Funds’ performance during the last fiscal year.

Statement of Additional Information

Additional information about the Funds and their policies is also available in the Funds’ SAI. The SAI is incorporated by reference into the Prospectus (i.e., is legally considered part of the Prospectus).

The Funds’ annual and semi-annual reports (when available) and the SAI are available free upon request by calling Goldman Sachs Funds at 1-800-621-2550. You can also access and download the annual and semi-annual reports (when available) and the SAI at the Funds’ website: http://www.gsamfunds.com/ETFfunds.

From time to time, certain announcements and other information regarding the Funds may be found at http://www.gsamfunds.com/announcements-ind for individual investors or http://www.gsamfunds.com/announcements for advisers.

To obtain other information and for shareholder inquiries:

 

   Shareholders/Authorized Participants    Financial Advisors

  By telephone:

   1-800-621-2550    1-800-292-4726

  By mail:

  

Goldman Sachs Funds

P.O. Box 06050

Chicago, IL 60606-6306

  

  On the Internet:

   SEC EDGAR database – http://www.sec.gov

Other information about the Funds is available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s internet site at http://www.sec.gov. You may obtain copies of this information, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov.

 

[CODE]   

The Trust’s investment company registration number is 811-23013

GSAM® is a registered service mark of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

  LOGO


The information in this Statement of Additional Information is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Statement of Additional Information is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

DATED AUGUST 16, 2019

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

DATED [    ], 2019

 

FUND

   PRINCIPAL U.S.
LISTING
EXCHANGE
   TICKER
SYMBOL

GOLDMAN SACHS ACCESS U.S. AGGREGATE BOND ETF

   [    ]    [    ]

GOLDMAN SACHS ACCESS CHINA BONDS ETF

   [    ]    [    ]

GOLDMAN SACHS ACCESS INVESTMENT GRADE CORPORATE 1-5 YEAR BOND ETF

   [    ]    [    ]

GOLDMAN SACHS ACCESS INVESTMENT GRADE CORPORATE 10+ YEAR BOND ETF

   [    ]    [    ]

GOLDMAN SACHS ACCESS TOTAL BOND MARKET ETF

   [    ]    [    ]

GOLDMAN SACHS ACCESS U.S. TREASURY TOTAL MARKET BOND ETF

   [    ]    [    ]

(Portfolios of Goldman Sachs ETF Trust)

Goldman Sachs ETF Trust

200 West Street

New York, New York 10282

This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) is not a Prospectus. This SAI should be read in conjunction with the prospectus for the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF and Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF (each, a “Fund,” and together, the “Funds”), dated [    ], 2019, as it may be further amended and/or supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectus”). The Prospectus may be obtained without charge from Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC by calling 1-800-621-2550 or writing to Goldman Sachs Funds, P.O. Box 06050, Chicago, Illinois 60606.

The Funds’ Annual Report (when available) may be obtained upon request and without charge by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC toll free at 1-800-621-2550.

GSAM® is a registered service mark of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC.

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     PAGE  

INTRODUCTION

     B-1  

EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

     B-2  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

     B-3  

DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

     B-4  

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     B-49  

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

     B-51  

MANAGEMENT SERVICES

     B-61  

POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

     B-66  

CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS

     B-80  

BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM

     B-95  

DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLAN

     B-96  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     B-97  

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

     B-99  

SHARES OF THE TRUST

     B-101  

TAXATION

     B-103  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     B-110  

PROXY VOTING

     B-111  

PAYMENTS TO INTERMEDIARIES

     B-113  

OTHER INFORMATION

     B-115  

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

     B-116  

APPENDIX A DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

     1-A  

APPENDIX B GSAM PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES SUMMARY

     1-B  

 

i


GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT, L.P.    ALPS DISTRIBUTORS, INC.
Investment Adviser    Distributor
200 West Street    1290 Broadway, Suite 1100
New York, New York 10282    Denver, Colorado 80203

THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON

Transfer Agent

225 Liberty Street

New York, New York 10286

Toll-free (in U.S.) 1-800-621-2550 (for Shareholders/Authorized Participants) or 1-800-292-4726 (for Financial Advisors).

 

ii


INTRODUCTION

Goldman Sachs ETF Trust (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company. The Trust is organized as a Delaware statutory trust and was established by an Agreement and Declaration of Trust dated December 16, 2009. The following series of the Trust are described in this SAI: the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF and Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF. Each Fund is passively-managed and seeks to track a specified index: FTSE Goldman Sachs Broad Bond Market Index, FTSE Goldman Sachs Chinese Government Bond Index, FTSE Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond Index, FTSE Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond Index, FTSE Goldman Sachs Total Bond Market Index and FTSE Goldman Sachs U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond Index, respectively (each, an “Index” and collectively, the “Indexes”).

The Trustees of the Trust have authority under the Declaration of Trust to create and classify Shares of the Trust into separate series. Pursuant thereto, the Trustees have created the Funds and other series. Additional series may be added in the future from time to time. See “SHARES OF THE TRUST.”

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (“GSAM” or the “Investment Adviser”), an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“Goldman Sachs”), serves as the Investment Adviser to the Funds. In addition, ALPS Distributors, Inc. (“ALPS” or the “Distributor”) serves as the Funds’ distributor, and The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM” or the “Transfer Agent”) serves as the Funds’ transfer agent. The Funds’ custodian is BNYM, which also provides administrative services to the Funds.

The Funds have been developed solely by GSAM. The Funds are not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies.

All rights in the Indexes vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Indexes. FTSE® is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Indexes are calculated by or on behalf of FTSE Fixed Income, LLC or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Indexes or (b) investment in or operation of the Funds. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Funds or the suitability of the Indexes for the purpose to which they are being put by GSAM.

The following information relates to and supplements the description of each Fund’s investment policies contained in the Prospectus. See the Prospectus for a more complete description of the Funds’ investment objectives and policies. Investing in a Fund entails certain risks, and there is no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective. Capitalized terms used but not defined herein have the same meaning as in the Prospectus.

 

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EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

A discussion of exchange listing and trading matters associated with an investment in the Funds is contained in the “Shareholder Guide” section of the Prospectus. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, such section of the Prospectus.

Shares of the Funds are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on [ ] (the “Exchange”), subject to notice of issuance. Shares trade on the Exchange at prices that may differ from their net asset value (“NAV”). There can be no assurance that a Fund will continue to meet the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares.

The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the Shares of a Fund from listing if: (1) following the initial twelve-month period beginning upon the commencement of trading of a Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial holders of the Shares for 30 or more consecutive trading days; (2) the value of its underlying index or portfolio of securities on which a Fund is based is no longer calculated or available; (3) the “intra-day indicative value” (“IIV”) of a Fund is no longer calculated or available; (4) certain continued listing standards relating to index composition set forth in the Exchange rules are not continuously maintained; or (5) such other event shall occur or condition exists that, in the opinion of such Exchange, makes further dealings on such Exchange inadvisable. In addition, the Exchange will remove the Shares of a Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Trust or the Fund.

As in the case of other publicly-traded securities, when you buy or sell shares through a broker, you will incur a brokerage commission determined by that broker.

In order to provide additional information regarding the indicative value of Shares of each Fund, the Exchange or a market data vendor disseminates every 15 seconds through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association, or through other widely disseminated means, an IIV for each Fund as calculated by an information provider or market data vendor. The Trust, GSAM, and their affiliates, are not responsible for any aspect of the calculation or dissemination of the IIVs and make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IIVs.

Each Fund’s IIV is based on a securities component and a cash component which comprises that day’s Fund Deposit (as defined below), as disseminated prior to that Business Day’s (as defined below) commencement of trading. The IIV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by a Fund at a particular point in time or the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IIV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of a Fund’s NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IIV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the portfolio securities held by a Fund. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States.

The cash component included in an IIV consists of estimated accrued interest, dividends and other income, less expenses. If applicable, each IIV also reflects changes in currency exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the applicable currency.

The Trust reserves the right to adjust the Share prices of a Fund in the future to maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of a Fund or an investor’s equity interest in a Fund.

The base and trading currencies of the Funds are the U.S. dollar. The base currency is the currency in which a Fund’s NAV per Share is calculated and the trading currency is the currency in which Shares of a Fund are listed and traded on the Exchange.

 

B-2


INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

Each Fund has a distinct investment objective and policies. The investment objective of each Fund is to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of its respective Index. The Funds generally issue shares for cash and redeem shares in exchange for in-kind securities or instruments (except for the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF, which redeems Shares principally in cash). There can be no assurance that a Fund’s investment objective will be achieved. Each Fund except the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF is a diversified series of an open-end management company as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act” or the “Act”). The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF is a non-diversified series of an open-end management company as defined in the Act. The investment objective and policies of each Fund, and the associated risks of each Fund, are discussed in the Prospectus, which should be read carefully before an investment is made. All investment objectives and investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental may be changed without shareholder approval. However, shareholders will be provided with sixty (60) days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) before any change in a Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index.

Each Fund offers and issues Shares at its NAV per Share only in aggregations of a specified number of shares (“Creation Units”), generally in exchange for cash. When permitted or required by each Fund, the consideration for a Creation Unit may consist of a basket of securities and/or instruments (the “Deposit Securities”) together with a deposit of a specified cash payment (the “Cash Component”), if any. Shares are redeemable by the applicable Fund only in Creation Units and, generally, in exchange for securities and instruments (except for the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF, which redeems Shares principally in cash). Shares trade in the secondary market and elsewhere at market prices that may be at, above or below NAV. Creation Units typically are a specified number of Shares.

A Fund may charge creation/redemption transaction fees for each creation and redemption. In all cases, transaction fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. See the “CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS” section below.

To the extent a Fund invests in commodity interests, it intends to do in reliance on an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and therefore would not be subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA.

 

B-3


DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

Asset Segregation

As investment companies registered with the SEC, the Funds must identify on their books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other SEC- or SEC staff-approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. In the case of swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that do not cash settle, for example, a Fund must identify on its books liquid assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument while the positions are open, to the extent there is not a permissible offsetting position or a contractual “netting” agreement with respect to swaps (other than credit default swaps where the Fund is the protection seller). However, with respect to certain swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that are required to cash settle, a Fund may identify liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s daily marked-to-market net obligations (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability) under the instrument, if any, rather than its full notional amount. Forwards and futures contracts that do not cash settle may be treated as cash settled for asset segregation purposes when the Funds have entered into contractual arrangements with a third party futures commission merchant or other counterparty to off-set the Funds’ exposure under the contract, and, failing that, to assign their delivery obligations under the contract to the counterparty. The Funds reserve the right to modify their asset segregation policies in the future in their discretion, consistent with the Investment Company Act and SEC or SEC staff guidance. By identifying assets equal to only its net obligations under certain instruments, a Fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Fund were required to identify assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument.

Asset-Backed Securities

Asset-backed securities represent participations in, or are secured by and payable from, assets such as motor vehicle installment sales, installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, receivables from revolving credit (credit card) agreements and other categories of receivables. Such assets are securitized through the use of trusts and special purpose corporations. Payments or distributions of principal and interest may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for a certain time period by a letter of credit or a pool insurance policy issued by a financial institution unaffiliated with the trust or corporation, or other credit enhancements may be present.

A Fund may invest in asset-backed securities. Such securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate as a result of the pass-through of prepayments of principal on the underlying loans. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayment of loans underlying asset-backed securities can be expected to accelerate. Accordingly, a Fund’s ability to maintain positions in such securities will be affected by reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments, and its ability to reinvest the returns of principal at comparable yields is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. To the extent that a Fund invests in asset-backed securities, the values of the Fund’s portfolio securities will vary with changes in market interest rates generally and the differentials in yields among various kinds of asset-backed securities.

Asset-backed securities present certain additional risks because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral that is comparable to mortgage assets. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors on such receivables are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set-off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. Automobile receivables generally are secured, but by automobiles rather than residential real property. Most issuers of automobile receivables permit the loan servicers to retain possession of the underlying obligations. If the servicer were to sell these obligations to another party, there is a risk that the purchaser would acquire an interest superior to that of the holders of the asset-backed securities. In addition, because of the large number of vehicles involved in a typical issuance and technical requirements under state laws, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in the underlying automobiles. Therefore, if the issuer of an asset-backed security defaults on its payment obligations, there is the possibility that, in some cases, a Fund will be unable to possess and sell the underlying collateral and that the Fund’s recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on these securities.

Bank Obligations

Certain Funds may invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. or foreign banks. Bank obligations, including without limitation time deposits, bankers’ acceptances and certificates of deposit, may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be obligations only of the issuing branch pursuant to the terms of the specific obligations or government regulation. Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. Foreign banks are subject to different regulations and are generally permitted to engage in a wider variety of activities than U.S. banks. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions. General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operations of this industry.

 

B-4


Certificates of deposit are certificates evidencing the obligation of a bank to repay funds deposited with it for a specified period of time at a specified rate. Certificates of deposit are negotiable instruments and are similar to saving deposits but have a definite maturity and are evidenced by a certificate instead of a passbook entry. Banks are required to keep reserves against all certificates of deposit. Fixed time deposits are bank obligations payable at a stated maturity date and bearing interest at a fixed rate. Fixed time deposits may be withdrawn on the demand by the investor, but may be subject to early withdrawal penalties which vary depending upon market conditions and the remaining maturity of the obligation. The Fund may invest in deposits in U.S. and European banks.

Commercial Paper and Other Short-Term Corporate Obligations

The Funds may invest in commercial paper and other short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. corporations, non-U.S. corporations or other entities. Commercial paper represents short-term unsecured promissory notes issued in bearer form by banks or bank holding companies, corporations and finance companies.

Convertible Securities

The Funds may invest in convertible securities. Convertible securities are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities that may be converted into or exchanged for a specified amount of common stock (or other securities) of the same or different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security entitles the holder to receive interest that is generally paid or accrued on debt or a dividend that is paid or accrued on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Convertible securities have unique investment characteristics, in that they generally (i) have higher yields than common stocks, but lower yields than comparable non-convertible securities, (ii) are less subject to fluctuation in value than the underlying common stock due to their fixed-income characteristics and (iii) provide the potential for capital appreciation if the market price of the underlying common stock increases.

The value of a convertible security is a function of its “investment value” (determined by its yield in comparison with the yields of other securities of comparable maturity and quality that do not have a conversion privilege) and its “conversion value” (the security’s worth, at market value, if converted into the underlying common stock). The investment value of a convertible security is influenced by changes in interest rates, with investment value normally declining as interest rates increase and increasing as interest rates decline. The credit standing of the issuer and other factors may also have an effect on the convertible security’s investment value. The conversion value of a convertible security is determined by the market price of the underlying common stock. If the conversion value is low relative to the investment value, the price of the convertible security is governed principally by its investment value. To the extent the market price of the underlying common stock approaches or exceeds the conversion price, the price of the convertible security will be increasingly influenced by its conversion value. A convertible security generally will sell at a premium over its conversion value by the extent to which investors place value on the right to acquire the underlying common stock while holding a fixed income security.

A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument. If a convertible security held by a Fund is called for redemption, the Fund will be required to permit the issuer to redeem the security, convert it into the underlying common stock or sell it to a third party or permit the issuer to redeem the security. Any of these actions could have an adverse effect on a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, which, in turn, could result in losses to the Fund. To the extent that a Fund holds a convertible security, or a security that is otherwise converted or exchanged for common stock (e.g., as a result of a restructuring), the Fund may, consistent with its investment objective, hold such common stock in its portfolio.

Corporate Debt Obligations

The Funds may invest in corporate debt obligations, including obligations of industrial, utility and financial issuers. Corporate debt obligations include bonds, notes, debentures and other obligations of corporations to pay interest and repay principal. Corporate debt obligations are subject to the risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payments on the obligations and may also be subject to price volatility due to such factors as market interest rates, market perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity.

Corporate debt obligations rated BBB or Baa are considered medium grade obligations with speculative characteristics, and adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances may weaken their issuers’ capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Medium to lower rated and comparable non-rated securities tend to offer higher yields than higher rated securities with the same maturities because the historical financial condition of the issuers of such securities may not have been as strong as that of other issuers. The price of

 

B-5


corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to fluctuations in supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the price of corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to interest rate levels. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in a Fund’s NAV. Because medium to lower rated securities generally involve greater risks of loss of income and principal than higher rated securities, investors should consider carefully the relative risks associated with investment in securities which carry medium to lower ratings and in comparable unrated securities. In addition to the risk of default, there are the related costs of recovery on defaulted issues.

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates

The Funds may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates, which may be underwritten by securities dealers or banks, representing interests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include U.S. Government Securities (as defined below), municipal securities or other types of securities in which a Fund may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates are underwritten by securities dealers or banks and may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For purposes of certain securities laws, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. Government or other issuer of the securities held by the custodian or trustee. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, a Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. Each Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.

Although under the terms of a custodial receipt or trust certificate a Fund would typically be authorized to assert its rights directly against the issuer of the underlying obligation, the Fund could be required to assert through the custodian bank or trustee those rights as may exist against the underlying issuers. Thus, in the event an underlying issuer fails to pay principal and/or interest when due, a Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation of the issuer. In addition, in the event that the trust or custodial account in which the underlying securities have been deposited is determined to be an association taxable as a corporation, instead of a non-taxable entity, the yield on the underlying securities would be reduced in recognition of any taxes paid.

Certain custodial receipts and trust certificates may be synthetic or derivative instruments that have interest rates that reset inversely to changing short-term rates and/or have embedded interest rate floors and caps that require the issuer to pay an adjusted interest rate if market rates fall below or rise above a specified rate. Because some of these instruments represent relatively recent innovations, and the trading market for these instruments is less developed than the markets for traditional types of instruments, it is uncertain how these instruments will perform under different economic and interest-rate scenarios. Also, because these instruments may be leveraged, their market values may be more volatile than other types of fixed income instruments and may present greater potential for capital gain or loss. The possibility of default by an issuer or the issuer’s credit provider may be greater for these derivative instruments than for other types of instruments. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine the fair value of a derivative instrument because of a lack of reliable objective information and an established secondary market for some instruments may not exist. In many cases, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has not ruled on the tax treatment of the interest or payments received on the derivative instruments and, accordingly, purchases of such instruments are based on the opinion of counsel to the sponsors of the instruments.

Events Relating to the Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Markets and the Overall Economy

The unprecedented disruption in the residential mortgage-backed securities market (and in particular, the “subprime” residential mortgage market), the broader mortgage-backed securities market and the asset-backed securities market in 2008 and 2009 resulted in downward price pressures and increasing foreclosures and defaults in residential and commercial real estate. Concerns over inflation, energy costs, geopolitical issues, the availability and cost of credit, the mortgage market and a depressed real estate market contributed to increased volatility and diminished expectations for the economy and markets going forward, and contributed to dramatic declines in the housing market, with falling home prices and increasing foreclosures and unemployment, and significant asset write-downs by financial institutions. These conditions prompted a number of financial institutions to seek additional capital, to merge with other institutions and, in some cases, to fail or seek bankruptcy protection. Between 2008 and 2009, the market for Mortgage-Backed Securities (as well as other asset-backed securities) was particularly adversely impacted by, among other factors, the failure and subsequent sale of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. to J.P. Morgan Chase, the merger of Bank of America Corporation and Merrill Lynch & Co., the insolvency of Washington Mutual Inc., the failure and subsequent bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., the extension of approximately $152 billion in emergency credit by the U.S. Treasury to American International Group Inc., and, as described above, the conservatorship and the control by the U.S. Government of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) and the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”). The global markets also saw an increase in volatility due to uncertainty surrounding the level and sustainability of sovereign debt of certain countries that are part of the European Union (“EU”), including Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy, as well as the sustainability of the EU itself. Concerns over the level and sustainability of the sovereign debt of the United States have aggravated this volatility. No assurance can be made that this uncertainty will not lead to further disruption of the credit markets in the United States or around the globe. These events, coupled with the general global economic downturn, have resulted in a substantial level of uncertainty in the financial markets, particularly with respect to mortgage-related investments.

 

B-6


These events may lead to further declines in income from, or the value of, real estate, including the real estate which secures the Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be held by a Fund. Additionally, a lack of credit liquidity, adjustments of mortgages to higher rates and decreases in the value of real property have occurred and may reoccur, and potentially prevent borrowers from refinancing their mortgages, which may increase the likelihood of default on their mortgage loans. These economic conditions, coupled with high levels of real estate inventory and elevated incidence of underwater mortgages, may also adversely affect the amount of proceeds the holder of a mortgage loan or mortgage-backed securities (including the Mortgaged-Backed Securities in which certain Funds may invest) would realize in the event of a foreclosure or other exercise of remedies. Moreover, even if such Mortgage-Backed Securities are performing as anticipated, the value of such securities in the secondary market may nevertheless fall or continue to fall as a result of deterioration in general market conditions for such Mortgage-Backed Securities or other asset-backed or structured products. Trading activity associated with market indices may also drive spreads on those indices wider than spreads on Mortgage-Backed Securities, thereby resulting in a decrease in value of such Mortgage-Backed Securities, including the Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be owned by a Fund.

The U.S. Government, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the SEC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) and other governmental and regulatory bodies have taken or are considering taking actions to address the financial crisis. These actions include, but are not limited to, the enactment by the U.S. Congress of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd Frank Act”), which was signed into law on July 21, 2010 and imposes a new regulatory framework over the U.S. financial services industry and the consumer credit markets in general, and the promulgation of additional regulations in this area which could affect these securities. Given the broad scope, sweeping nature, and relatively recent enactment of some of these regulatory measures, the potential impact they could have on any of the asset-backed or Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be held by the Funds is unknown. There can be no assurance that these measures will not have an adverse effect on the value or marketability of any asset-backed or Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be held by the Funds. Furthermore, no assurance can be made that the U.S. Government or any U.S. regulatory body (or other authority or regulatory body) will not continue to take further legislative or regulatory action in response to the economic crisis or otherwise, and the effect of such actions, if taken, cannot be known.

Among its other provisions, the Dodd-Frank Act creates a liquidation framework under which the FDIC, may be appointed as receiver following a “systemic risk determination” by the Secretary of Treasury (in consultation with the President) for the resolution of certain nonbank financial companies and other entities, defined as “covered financial companies”, and commonly referred to as “systemically important entities”, in the event such a company is in default or in danger of default and the resolution of such a company under other applicable law would have serious adverse effects on financial stability in the United States, and also for the resolution of certain of their subsidiaries. No assurances can be given that this new liquidation framework would not apply to the originators of asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities, or their respective subsidiaries, including the issuers and depositors of such securities, although the expectation embedded in the Dodd-Frank Act is that the framework will be invoked only very rarely. Guidance from the FDIC indicates that such new framework will largely be exercised in a manner consistent with the existing bankruptcy laws, which is the insolvency regime that would otherwise apply to the sponsors, depositors and issuing entities with respect to asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities. The application of such liquidation framework to such entities could result in decreases or delays in amounts paid on, and hence the market value of, the Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that may be owned by a Fund.

Delinquencies, defaults and losses on residential mortgage loans may increase substantially over certain periods, which may affect the performance of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which certain Funds may invest. Mortgage loans backing non-agency Mortgage-Backed Securities are more sensitive to economic factors that could affect the ability of borrowers to pay their obligations under the mortgage loans backing these securities. In addition, housing prices and appraisal values in many states and localities over certain periods have declined or stopped appreciating. A continued decline or an extended flattening of those values may result in additional increases in delinquencies and losses on Mortgage-Backed Securities generally (including the Mortgaged-Backed Securities that the Funds may invest in as described above).

The foregoing adverse changes in market conditions and regulatory climate may reduce the cash flow which a Fund, to the extent it invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities or other asset-backed securities, receives from such securities and increase the incidence and severity of credit events and losses in respect of such securities. In addition, interest rate spreads for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities are subject to widening and increased volatility due to these adverse changes in market conditions. In the event that interest rate spreads for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities widen following the purchase of such assets by a Fund, the market value of such securities is likely to decline and, in the case of a substantial spread widening, could decline by a substantial amount. Furthermore, adverse changes in market conditions may result in reduced liquidity in the market for Mortgage-

 

B-7


Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities (including the Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities in which certain Funds may invest) and increased unwillingness by banks, financial institutions and investors to extend credit to servicers, originators and other participants in the market for Mortgage-Backed and other asset-backed securities. As a result, the liquidity and/or the market value of any Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that are owned by a Fund may experience further declines after they are purchased by a Fund.

Floating Rate Loans and Other Variable and Floating Rate Securities

The interest rates payable on certain securities in which the Funds may invest are not fixed and may fluctuate based upon changes in market rates. Variable and floating rate obligations are debt instruments issued by companies or other entities with interest rates that reset periodically (typically, daily, monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually) in response to changes in the market rate of interest on which the interest rate is based. Moreover, such obligations may fluctuate in value in response to interest rate changes if there is a delay between changes in market interest rates and the interest reset date for the obligation. The value of these obligations is generally more stable than that of a fixed rate obligation in response to changes in interest rate levels, but they may decline in value if their interest rates do not rise as much, or as quickly, as interest rates in general. Conversely, floating rate securities will not generally increase in value if interest rates decline.

Floating rate loans consist generally of obligations of companies or other entities (e.g., a U.S. or foreign bank, insurance company or finance company) (collectively, “borrowers”) incurred for a variety of purposes. Floating rate loans may be acquired by direct investment as a lender or as an assignment of the portion of a floating rate loan previously attributable to a different lender.

Floating rate loans may be obligations of borrowers who are highly leveraged. Floating rate loans may be structured to include both term loans, which are generally fully funded at the time of the making of the loan, and revolving credit facilities, which would require additional investments upon the borrower’s demand. A revolving credit facility may require a purchaser to increase its investment in a floating rate loan at a time when it would not otherwise have done so, even if the borrower’s condition makes it unlikely that the amount will ever be repaid.

A floating rate loan offered as part of the original lending syndicate typically is purchased at par value. As part of the original lending syndicate, a purchaser generally earns a yield equal to the stated interest rate. In addition, members of the original syndicate typically are paid a commitment fee. In secondary market trading, floating rate loans may be purchased or sold above, at, or below par, which can result in a yield that is below, equal to, or above the stated interest rate, respectively. At certain times when reduced opportunities exist for investing in new syndicated floating rate loans, floating rate loans may be available only through the secondary market. There can be no assurance that an adequate supply of floating rate loans will be available for purchase.

Historically, floating rate loans have not been registered with the SEC or any state securities commission or listed on any securities exchange. As a result, the amount of public information available about a specific floating rate loan historically has been less extensive than if the floating rate loan were registered or exchange-traded. As a result, no active market may exist for some floating rate loans.

Purchasers of floating rate loans and other forms of debt obligations depend primarily upon the creditworthiness of the borrower for payment of interest and repayment of principal. If scheduled interest or principal payments are not made, the value of the obligation may be adversely affected. Floating rate loans and other debt obligations that are fully secured provide more protections than unsecured obligations in the event of failure to make scheduled interest or principal payments. Indebtedness of borrowers whose creditworthiness is poor involves substantially greater risks and may be highly speculative. Borrowers that are in bankruptcy or restructuring may never pay off their indebtedness, or may pay only a small fraction of the amount owed. Some floating rate loans and other debt obligations are not rated by any nationally recognized statistical rating organization. In connection with the restructuring of a floating rate loan or other debt obligation outside of bankruptcy court in a negotiated work-out or in the context of bankruptcy proceedings, equity securities or junior debt obligations may be received in exchange for all or a portion of an interest in the obligation.

From time to time, Goldman Sachs and its affiliates may borrow money from various banks in connection with their business activities. These banks also may sell floating rate loans to the Funds or acquire floating rate loans from the Funds, or may be intermediate participants with respect to floating rate loans owned by the Funds. These banks also may act as agents for floating rate loans that the Funds own.

Agents. Floating rate loans typically are originated, negotiated, and structured by a bank, insurance company, finance company, or other financial institution (the “agent”) for a lending syndicate of financial institutions. The borrower and the lender or lending syndicate enter into a loan agreement. In addition, an institution (typically, but not always, the agent) holds any collateral on behalf of the lenders.

 

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In a typical floating rate loan, the agent administers the terms of the loan agreement and is responsible for the collection of principal and interest and fee payments from the borrower and the apportionment of these payments to all lenders that are parties to the loan agreement. Purchasers will rely on the agent to use appropriate creditor remedies against the borrower. Typically, under loan agreements, the agent is given broad discretion in monitoring the borrower’s performance and is obligated to use the same care it would use in the management of its own property. Upon an event of default, the agent typically will enforce the loan agreement after instruction from the lenders. The borrower compensates the agent for these services. This compensation may include special fees paid on structuring and funding the floating rate loan and other fees paid on a continuing basis. The typical practice of an agent or a lender in relying exclusively or primarily on reports from the borrower may involve a risk of fraud by the borrower.

If an agent becomes insolvent, or has a receiver, conservator, or similar official appointed for it by the appropriate bank or other regulatory authority, or becomes a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding, the agent’s appointment may be terminated, and a successor agent would be appointed. If an appropriate regulator or court determines that assets held by the agent for the benefit of the purchasers of floating rate loans are subject to the claims of the agent’s general or secured creditors, the purchasers might incur certain costs and delays in realizing payment on a floating rate loan or suffer a loss of principal and/or interest. Furthermore, in the event of the borrower’s bankruptcy or insolvency, the borrower’s obligation to repay a floating rate loan may be subject to certain defenses that the borrower can assert as a result of improper conduct by the agent.

Liquidity. Floating rate loans may be transferable among financial institutions, but may not have the liquidity of conventional debt securities and are often subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale. Floating rate loans are not currently listed on any securities exchange or automatic quotation system. As a result, no active market may exist for some floating rate loans. To the extent a secondary market exists for other floating rate loans, such market may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads, and extended trade settlement periods. The lack of a highly liquid secondary market for floating rate loans may have an adverse effect on the value of such loans and may make it more difficult to value the loans for purposes of calculating their respective NAV.

Extended Trade Settlement Periods. Because transactions in many floating rate loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, the Funds may not receive the proceeds from the sale of a loan for a period after the sale. As a result, sale proceeds related to the sale of floating rate loans may not be available to make additional investments or to meet the Funds’ redemption obligations for a period after the sale of the loans, and, as a result, the Funds may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, if necessary to raise cash to meet their obligations.

Collateral. Most floating rate loans are secured by specific collateral of the borrower and are senior to most other securities or obligations of the borrower. The collateral typically has a market value, at the time the floating rate loan is made, that equals or exceeds the principal amount of the floating rate loan. The value of the collateral may decline, be insufficient to meet the obligations of the borrower, or be difficult to liquidate. As a result, a floating rate loan may not be fully collateralized and can decline significantly in value.

Floating rate loan collateral may consist of various types of assets or interests, including working capital assets, such as accounts receivable or inventory; tangible or intangible assets; or assets or other types of guarantees of affiliates of the borrower.

Generally, floating rate loans are secured unless (i) the purchaser’s security interest in the collateral is invalidated for any reason by a court, or (ii) the collateral is fully released with the consent of the agent bank and lenders or under the terms of a loan agreement as the creditworthiness of the borrower improves. Collateral impairment is the risk that the value of the collateral for a floating rate loan will be insufficient in the event that a borrower defaults. Although the terms of a floating rate loan generally require that the collateral at issuance have a value at least equal to 100% of the amount of such floating rate loan, the value of the collateral may decline subsequent to the purchase of a floating rate loan. In most loan agreements there is no formal requirement to pledge additional collateral. There is no guarantee that the sale of collateral would allow a borrower to meet its obligations should the borrower be unable to repay principal or pay interest or that the collateral could be sold quickly or easily.

In addition, most borrowers pay their debts from the cash flow they generate. If the borrower’s cash flow is insufficient to pay its debts as they come due, the borrower may seek to restructure its debts rather than sell collateral.

Borrowers may try to restructure their debts by filing for protection under the federal bankruptcy laws or negotiating a work-out. If a borrower becomes involved in bankruptcy proceedings, access to the collateral may be limited by bankruptcy and other laws. In the event that a court decides that access to the collateral is limited or void, it is unlikely that purchasers could recover the full amount of the principal and interest due.

 

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There may be temporary periods when the principal asset held by a borrower is the stock of a related company, which may not legally be pledged to secure a floating rate loan. On occasions when such stock cannot be pledged, the floating rate loan will be temporarily unsecured until the stock can be pledged or is exchanged for, or replaced by, other assets.

Some floating rate loans are unsecured. The claims of holders under unsecured loans are subordinated to claims of creditors holding secured indebtedness and possibly also to claims of other creditors holding unsecured debt. Unsecured loans have a greater risk of default than secured loans, particularly during periods of deteriorating economic conditions. If the borrower defaults on an unsecured floating rate loan, there is no specific collateral on which the purchaser can foreclose.

Floating Interest Rates. The rate of interest payable on floating rate loans and other floating or variable rate obligations is the sum of a base lending rate plus a specified spread. Base lending rates are generally London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), the Prime Rate of a designated U.S. bank, the Federal Funds Rate, or another base lending rate used by commercial lenders. A borrower usually has the right to select the base lending rate and to change the base lending rate at specified intervals. The applicable spread may be fixed at time of issuance or may adjust upward or downward to reflect changes in credit quality of the borrower.

The interest rate on LIBOR-based floating rate loans/obligations is reset periodically at intervals ranging from 30 to 180 days, while the interest rate on Prime Rate- or Federal Funds Rate-based floating rate loans/obligations floats daily as those rates change. Investment in floating rate loans/obligations with longer interest rate reset periods can increase fluctuations in the floating rate loans’ values when interest rates change.

The yield on a floating rate loan/obligation will primarily depend on the terms of the underlying floating rate loan/obligation and the base lending rate chosen by the borrower. The relationship between LIBOR, the Prime Rate, and the Federal Funds Rate will vary as market conditions change.

Maturity. Floating rate loans typically will have a stated term of five to nine years. However, because floating rate loans are frequently prepaid, their average maturity is expected to be two to three years. The degree to which borrowers prepay floating rate loans, whether as a contractual requirement or at their election, may be affected by general business conditions, the borrower’s financial condition, and competitive conditions among lenders. Prepayments cannot be predicted with accuracy. Prepayments of principal to the purchaser of a floating rate loan may result in the principal’s being reinvested in floating rate loans with lower yields.

Supply of Floating Rate Loans. The legislation of state or federal regulators that regulate certain financial institutions may impose additional requirements or restrictions on the ability of such institutions to make loans, particularly with respect to highly leveraged transactions. The supply of floating rate loans may be limited from time to time due to a lack of sellers in the market for existing floating rate loans or the number of new floating rate loans currently being issued. As a result, the floating rate loans available for purchase may be lower quality or higher priced.

Restrictive Covenants. A borrower must comply with various restrictive covenants contained in the loan agreement. In addition to requiring the scheduled payment of interest and principal, these covenants may include restrictions on dividend payments and other distributions to stockholders, provisions requiring the borrower to maintain specific financial ratios, and limits on total debt. The loan agreement may also contain a covenant requiring the borrower to prepay the floating rate loan with any free cash flow. A breach of a covenant that is not waived by the agent (or by the lenders directly) is normally an event of default, which provides the agent or the lenders the right to call the outstanding floating rate loan.

Fees. Purchasers of floating rate loans may receive and/or pay certain fees. These fees are in addition to interest payments received and may include facility fees, commitment fees, commissions, and prepayment penalty fees. When a purchaser buys a floating rate loan, it may receive a facility fee; and when it sells a floating rate loan, it may pay a facility fee. A purchaser may receive a commitment fee based on the undrawn portion of the underlying line of credit portion of a floating rate loan or a prepayment penalty fee on the prepayment of a floating rate loan. A purchaser may also receive other fees, including covenant waiver fees and covenant modification fees.

Other Types of Floating Rate Debt Obligations. Floating rate debt obligations include other forms of indebtedness of borrowers such as notes and bonds, obligations with fixed rate interest payments in conjunction with a right to receive floating rate interest payments, and shares of other investment companies. These instruments are generally subject to the same risks as floating rate loans but are often more widely issued and traded.

 

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Foreign Investments

Each Fund except the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF may invest in securities of foreign issuers, including securities quoted or denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars. Investments in foreign securities may offer potential benefits not available from investments solely in U.S. dollar-denominated or quoted securities of domestic issuers. Such benefits may include the opportunity to invest in foreign issuers that appear, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, to offer the potential for better long term growth of capital and income than investments in U.S. securities, the opportunity to invest in foreign countries with economic policies or business cycles different from those of the United States and the opportunity to reduce fluctuations in portfolio value by taking advantage of foreign securities markets that do not necessarily move in a manner parallel to U.S. markets. Investing in the securities of foreign issuers also involves, however, certain special risks, including those discussed in the Funds’ Prospectus and those set forth below, which are not typically associated with investing in U.S. dollar-denominated securities or quoted securities of U.S. issuers. Many of these risks are more pronounced for investments in emerging economies.

With respect to investments in certain foreign countries, there exist certain economic, political and social risks, including the risk of adverse political developments, nationalization, military unrest, social instability, war and terrorism, confiscation without fair compensation, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, limitations on the movement of funds and other assets between different countries, or diplomatic developments, any of which could adversely affect a Fund’s investments in those countries. Governments in certain foreign countries continue to participate to a significant degree, through ownership interest or regulation, in their respective economies. Action by these governments could have a significant effect on market prices of securities and dividend payments.

As described more fully below, the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF and Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF may invest in countries with emerging economies or securities markets. Political and economic structures in many of such countries may be undergoing significant evolution and rapid development, and such countries may lack the social, political and economic stability characteristic of more developed countries. Certain of such countries have in the past failed to recognize private property rights and have at times nationalized or expropriated the assets of, or ignored internationally accepted standards of due process against, private companies. In addition, a country may take these and other retaliatory actions against a specific private company, including a Fund or the Investment Adviser. There may not be legal recourse against these actions, which could arise in connection with the commercial activities of Goldman Sachs or its affiliates or otherwise, and a Fund could be subject to substantial losses. In addition, a Fund or the Investment Adviser may determine not to invest in, or may limit its overall investment in, a particular issuer, country or geographic region due to, among other things, heightened risks regarding repatriation restrictions, confiscation of assets and property, expropriation or nationalization. See “Investing in Emerging Countries,” below.

Many countries throughout the world are dependent on a healthy U.S. economy and are adversely affected when the U.S. economy weakens or its markets decline. Additionally, many foreign country economies are heavily dependent on international trade and are adversely affected by protective trade barriers and economic conditions of their trading partners. Protectionist trade legislation enacted by those trading partners could have a significant adverse effect on the securities markets of those countries. Individual foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.

From time to time, certain of the companies in which a Fund may invest may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargos imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. A company may suffer damage to its reputation if it is identified as a company which operates in, or has dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. As an investor in such companies, a Fund will be indirectly subject to those risks. Iran is subject to several United Nations sanctions and is an embargoed country by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of Treasury (the “Treasury” or “U.S. Treasury”).

In addition, from time to time, certain of the companies in which a Fund may invest may engage in, or have dealings with countries or companies that engage in, activities that may not be considered socially and/or environmentally responsible. Such activities may relate to human rights issues (such as patterns of human rights abuses or violations, persecution or discrimination), impacts to local communities in which companies operate and environmental sustainability. For a description of the Investment Adviser’s approach to responsible and sustainable investing, please see GSAM’s Statement on Responsible and Sustainable Investing at https://www.gsam.com/content/dam/gsam/pdfs/common/en/public/miscellaneous/GSAM_statement_on_respon_sustainable_investing.pdf.

As a result, a company may suffer damage to its reputation if it is identified as a company which engages in, or has dealings with countries or companies that engage in, the above referenced activities. As an investor in such companies, a Fund would be indirectly subject to those risks.

 

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The Investment Adviser is committed to complying fully with sanctions in effect as of the date of this Statement of Additional Information and any other applicable sanctions that may be enacted in the future with respect to Sudan or any other country.

Investments in foreign securities often involve currencies of foreign countries. Accordingly, a Fund may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and in exchange control regulations and may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. A Fund may be subject to currency exposure independent of its securities positions. To the extent that a Fund is fully invested in foreign securities while also maintaining net currency positions, it may be exposed to greater combined risk.

Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. They generally are determined by the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets and the relative merits of investments in different countries, actual or anticipated changes in interest rates and other complex factors, as seen from an international perspective. Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks or by currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad. To the extent that a portion of a Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries. A Fund’s net currency positions may expose it to risks independent of its securities positions.

Because foreign issuers generally are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies, there may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than about a U.S. company. Volume and liquidity in most foreign securities markets are less than in the United States and securities of many foreign companies are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. companies. The securities of foreign issuers may be listed on foreign securities exchanges or traded in foreign over-the-counter markets. Fixed commissions on foreign securities exchanges are generally higher than negotiated commissions on U.S. exchanges, although a Fund endeavors to achieve the most favorable net results on its portfolio transactions. There is generally less government supervision and regulation of foreign securities exchanges, brokers, dealers and listed and unlisted companies than in the United States, and the legal remedies for investors may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States. For example, there may be no comparable provisions under certain foreign laws to insider trading and similar investor protections that apply with respect to securities transactions consummated in the United States. Mail service between the United States and foreign countries may be slower or less reliable than within the United States, thus increasing the risk of delayed settlement of portfolio transactions or loss of certificates for portfolio securities.

Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures, and in certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. Such delays in settlement could result in temporary periods when some of a Fund’s assets are uninvested and no return is earned on such assets. The inability of a Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities due to settlement problems could result either in losses to a Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio securities, or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the securities, in possible liability to the purchaser.

The Funds may invest in foreign securities which take the form of sponsored and unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”), Global Depositary Notes (“GDNs”) or other similar instruments representing securities of foreign issuers) (together, “Depositary Receipts”). ADRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or a correspondent bank. ADRs are traded on domestic exchanges or in the U.S. over-the-counter market and, generally, are in registered form. EDRs and GDRs are receipts evidencing an arrangement with a non-U.S. bank similar to that for ADRs and are designed for use in the non-U.S. securities markets. EDRs and GDRs are not necessarily quoted in the same currency as the underlying security. GDNs are issued by a bank or other depository and evidence ownership of a debt security denominated in local currency. GDNs generally mirror the terms (e.g., interest rate, maturity date, credit rating, etc.) of particular local currency-denominated bonds, though they are traded, settled and paid in U.S. dollars.

To the extent a Fund acquires Depositary Receipts through banks which do not have a contractual relationship with the foreign issuer of the security underlying the Depositary Receipts to issue and service such unsponsored Depositary Receipts, there is an increased possibility that the Fund will not become aware of and be able to respond to corporate actions such as stock splits or rights offerings involving the foreign issuer in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of information may result in inefficiencies in the valuation of such instruments. Investment in Depositary Receipts does not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers. The market value of Depositary Receipts is dependent upon the market value of the underlying securities and fluctuations in the relative value of the currencies in which the Depositary Receipts and the underlying securities are quoted. However, by investing in Depositary Receipts, such as ADRs, which are quoted in U.S. dollars, a Fund may avoid currency risks during the settlement period for purchases and sales.

 

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Foreign Government Obligations. Foreign government obligations include securities, instruments and obligations issued or guaranteed by a foreign government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. Investment in foreign government obligations can involve a high degree of risk. The governmental entity that controls the repayment of foreign government obligations may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt. A governmental entity’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the governmental entity’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund and the political constraints to which a governmental entity may be subject. Governmental entities may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest on their debt. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Consequently, governmental entities may default on their debt. Holders of foreign government obligations (including a Fund) may be requested to participate in the rescheduling of such debt and to extend further loans to governmental agencies.

Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts.

A Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes and to seek to protect against anticipated changes in future foreign currency exchange rates. A forward foreign currency exchange contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are traded in the interbank market between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. A forward contract generally has no deposit requirement, and no commissions are generally charged at any stage for trades.

At the maturity of a forward contract a Fund may either accept or make delivery of the currency specified in the contract or, at or prior to maturity, enter into a closing purchase transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing purchase transactions with respect to forward contracts are usually effected with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract.

A Fund may, from time to time, engage in non-deliverable forward transactions to manage currency risk or to gain exposure to a currency without purchasing securities denominated in that currency. A non-deliverable forward is a transaction that represents an agreement between a Fund and a counterparty (usually a commercial bank) to pay the other party the amount that it would have cost based on current market rates as of the termination date to buy or sell a specific (notional) amount of a particular currency at an agreed upon foreign exchange rate on an agreed upon future date. If the counterparty defaults, a Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreement related to the transaction, but the Fund may be delayed or prevented from obtaining payments owed to it pursuant to non-deliverable forward transactions. Such non-deliverable forward transactions will be settled in cash.

A Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts in several circumstances. First, when a Fund enters into a contract for the purchase or sale of a security denominated or quoted in a foreign currency, or when a Fund anticipates the receipt in a foreign currency of dividend or interest payments on such a security which it holds, the Fund may desire to “lock in” the U.S. dollar price of the security or the U.S. dollar equivalent of such dividend or interest payment, as the case may be. By entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, of the amount of foreign currency involved in the underlying transactions, a Fund will attempt to protect itself against an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the subject foreign currency during the period between the date on which the security is purchased or sold, or on which the dividend or interest payment is declared, and the date on which such payments are made or received.

Additionally, when a Fund’s investment adviser believes that the currency of a particular foreign country may suffer a substantial decline against the U.S. dollar, it may enter into a forward contract to sell, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, the amount of foreign currency approximating the value of some or all of the Fund’s portfolio securities quoted or denominated in such foreign currency. The precise matching of the forward contract amounts and the value of the securities involved will not generally be possible because the future value of such securities in foreign currencies will change as a consequence of market movements in the value of those securities between the date on which the contract is entered into and the date it matures. Using forward contracts to protect the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities against a decline in the value of a currency does not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities. It simply establishes a rate of exchange which a Fund can achieve at some future point in time. The precise projection of short-term currency market movements is not possible, and short-term hedging provides a means of fixing the U.S. dollar value of only a portion of a Fund’s foreign assets.

 

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A Fund may engage in cross-hedging by using forward contracts in one currency to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency if the Fund’s investment adviser determines that there is a pattern of correlation between the two currencies.

While a Fund may enter into forward contracts to reduce currency exchange rate risks, transactions in such contracts involve certain other risks. Thus, while a Fund may benefit from such transactions, unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in a poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not engaged in any such transactions. Moreover, there may be imperfect correlation between a Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities quoted or denominated in a particular currency and forward contracts entered into by such Fund. Such imperfect correlation may cause a Fund to sustain losses which will prevent the Fund from achieving a complete hedge or expose the Fund to risk of foreign exchange loss.

Certain forward foreign currency exchange contracts and other currency transactions are not exchange traded or cleared. Markets for trading such forward foreign currency contracts offer less protection against defaults than is available when trading in currency instruments on an exchange. Such forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the contract will default on its obligations. Because these contracts are not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on a contract would deprive a Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. In addition, the institutions that deal in forward currency contracts are not required to make markets in the currencies they trade and these markets can experience periods of illiquidity.

Forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to such contract will default on its obligations. Because a forward foreign currency exchange contract is not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on the contract would deprive a Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. A Fund will not enter into such transactions unless the credit quality of the unsecured senior debt or the claims-paying ability of the counterparty is considered to be investment grade by its investment adviser. To the extent that a substantial portion of a Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts

The Funds may purchase and sell futures contracts and may also purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts. Each Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts based on various securities, securities indices, foreign currencies and other financial instruments and indices. Financial futures contracts used by a Fund include interest rate futures contracts including, among others, Eurodollar futures contracts. Eurodollar futures contracts are U.S. dollar-denominated futures contracts that are based on the implied forward LIBOR of a three-month deposit. A Fund will engage in futures and related options transactions in order to seek to increase total return or to hedge against changes in interest rates, securities prices or, to the extent the Fund invests in foreign securities, currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selection and duration in accordance with its investment objective and policies. Each Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts and options.

Futures contracts utilized by funds have historically been traded on U.S. exchanges or boards of trade that are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) or with respect to certain funds on foreign exchanges. More recently, certain futures may also be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as derivatives transaction execution facilities, exempt boards of trade or electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by the CFTC. Also, certain single stock futures and narrow based security index futures may be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as contract markets, derivatives transaction execution facilities and electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by both the CFTC and the SEC or on foreign exchanges.

Neither the CFTC, National Futures Association (“NFA”), SEC nor any domestic exchange regulates activities of any foreign exchange or boards of trade, including the execution, delivery and clearing of transactions, or has the power to compel enforcement of the rules of a foreign exchange or board of trade or any applicable foreign law. This is true even if the exchange is formally linked to a domestic market so that a position taken on the market may be liquidated by a transaction on another market. Moreover, such laws or regulations will vary depending on the foreign country in which the foreign futures or foreign options transaction occurs. For these reasons, a Fund’s investments in foreign futures or foreign options transactions may not be provided the same protections in respect of transactions on United States exchanges. In particular, persons who trade foreign futures or foreign options contracts may not be afforded certain of the protective measures provided by the CEA, the CFTC’s regulations and the rules of the NFA and any domestic exchange, including the right to use reparations proceedings before the CFTC and arbitration proceedings provided by the NFA or any domestic futures exchange. Similarly, those persons may not have the protection of the United States securities laws.

 

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Futures Contracts. A futures contract may generally be described as an agreement between two parties to buy and sell particular financial instruments or currencies for an agreed price during a designated month (or to deliver the final cash settlement price, in the case of a contract relating to an index or otherwise not calling for physical delivery at the end of trading in the contract).

When interest rates are rising or securities prices are falling, a Fund can seek through the sale of futures contracts to offset a decline in the value of its current portfolio securities. When interest rates are falling or securities prices are rising, a Fund, through the purchase of futures contracts, can attempt to secure better rates or prices than might later be available in the market when it effects anticipated purchases. Similarly, each Fund can purchase and sell futures contracts on a specified currency in order to seek to increase total return or to protect against changes in currency exchange rates. For example, each Fund may seek to offset anticipated changes in the value of a currency in which its portfolio securities, or securities that it intends to purchase, are quoted or denominated by purchasing and selling futures contracts on such currencies. As another example, a Fund may enter into futures transactions to seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of the Fund’s performance benchmark.

Positions taken in the futures market are not normally held to maturity, but are instead liquidated through offsetting transactions which may result in a profit or a loss. While a Fund will usually liquidate futures contracts on securities or currency in this manner, the Fund may instead make or take delivery of the underlying securities or currency whenever it appears economically advantageous for the Fund to do so. A clearing corporation associated with the exchange on which futures on securities or currency are traded guarantees that, if still open, the sale or purchase will be performed on the settlement date.

Hedging Strategies Using Futures Contracts. Hedging, by use of futures contracts, seeks to establish with more certainty than would otherwise be possible the effective price, rate of return or currency exchange rate on portfolio securities or securities that a Fund owns or proposes to acquire. A Fund may, for example, take a “short” position in the futures market by selling futures contracts to seek to hedge against an anticipated rise in interest rates or a decline in market prices or foreign currency rates that would adversely affect the dollar value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Similarly, a Fund may sell futures contracts on a currency in which its portfolio securities are quoted or denominated, or sell futures contracts on one currency to seek to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency if there is an established historical pattern of correlation between the two currencies. If, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, there is a sufficient degree of correlation between price trends for a Fund’s portfolio securities and futures contracts based on other financial instruments, securities indices or other indices, the Fund may also enter into such futures contracts as part of a hedging strategy. Although under some circumstances prices of securities in a Fund’s portfolio may be more or less volatile than prices of such futures contracts, the Investment Adviser may attempt to estimate the extent of this volatility difference based on historical patterns and compensate for any such differential by having the Fund enter into a greater or lesser number of futures contracts or by attempting to achieve only a partial hedge against price changes affecting the Fund’s portfolio securities. When hedging of this character is successful, any depreciation in the value of portfolio securities will be substantially offset by appreciation in the value of the futures position. On the other hand, any unanticipated appreciation in the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities would be substantially offset by a decline in the value of the futures position.

On other occasions, a Fund may take a “long” position by purchasing such futures contracts. This may be done, for example, when a Fund anticipates the subsequent purchase of particular securities when it has the necessary cash, but expects the prices or currency exchange rates then available in the applicable market to be less favorable than prices or rates that are currently available.

Options on Futures Contracts. The acquisition of put and call options on futures contracts will give a Fund the right (but not the obligation), for a specified price, to sell or to purchase, respectively, the underlying futures contract at any time during the option period. As the purchaser of an option on a futures contract, a Fund obtains the benefit of the futures position if prices move in a favorable direction but limits its risk of loss in the event of an unfavorable price movement to the loss of the premium and transaction costs.

The writing of a call option on a futures contract generates a premium which may partially offset a decline in the value of a Fund’s assets. By writing a call option, a Fund becomes obligated, in exchange for the premium, to sell a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value higher than the exercise price. The writing of a put option on a futures contract generates a premium, which may partially offset an increase in the price of securities that a Fund intends to purchase. However, a Fund becomes obligated (upon the exercise of the option) to purchase a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value lower than the exercise price. Thus, the loss incurred by a Fund in writing options on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received. A Fund will incur transaction costs in connection with the writing of options on futures.

 

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The holder or writer of an option on a futures contract may terminate its position by selling or purchasing an offsetting option on the same financial instrument. There is no guarantee that such closing transactions can be effected. A Fund’s ability to establish and close out positions on such options will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid market.

Other Considerations. Each Fund will engage in transactions in futures contracts and related options transactions only to the extent such transactions are consistent with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), for maintaining its qualification as a regulated investment company for federal income tax purposes. Transactions in futures contracts and options on futures involve brokerage costs, require margin deposits and, in certain cases, require a Fund to identify on its books cash or liquid assets. A Fund may cover its transactions in futures contracts and related options by identifying on its books cash or liquid assets or by other means, in any manner permitted by applicable law. For more information about these practices, see “Description of Investment Securities and Practices – Asset Segregation.”

While transactions in futures contracts and options on futures may reduce certain risks, such transactions themselves entail certain other risks. Thus, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in a poorer overall performance for a Fund than if it had not entered into any futures contracts or options transactions. When futures contracts and options are used for hedging purposes, perfect correlation between a Fund’s futures positions and portfolio positions may be impossible to achieve, particularly where futures contracts based on individual equity or corporate fixed income securities are currently not available. In the event of imperfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position which is intended to be protected, the desired protection may not be obtained and a Fund may be exposed to risk of loss. In addition, it is not possible for a Fund to hedge fully or perfectly against currency fluctuations affecting the value of securities quoted or denominated in foreign currencies because the value of such securities is likely to fluctuate as a result of independent factors unrelated to currency fluctuations. The profitability of a Fund’s trading in futures depends upon the ability of the Investment Adviser to analyze correctly the futures markets.

High Yield Securities

The Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF and Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF may invest in bonds rated BB+ or below by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group (“Standard & Poor’s”) or Ba1 or below by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) (or comparable rated and unrated securities). These bonds are commonly referred to as “junk bonds” and are considered speculative. The ability of issuers of high yield securities to make principal and interest payments may be questionable because such issuers are often less creditworthy or are highly leveraged and generally less able than more established or less leveraged entities to make scheduled payments of principal and interest. High yield securities are also issued by governmental issuers that may have difficulty in making all scheduled interest and principal payments. In some cases, high yield securities may be highly speculative, have poor prospects for reaching investment grade standing and be in default. As a result, investment in such bonds will entail greater risks than those associated with investments in investment grade bonds (i.e., bonds rated AAA, AA, A or BBB by Standard & Poor’s or Aaa, Aa, A or Baa by Moody’s). Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of high yield securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher quality debt securities, and the ability of a Fund to achieve its investment objective may, to the extent of its investments in high yield securities, be more dependent upon such creditworthiness analysis than would be the case if a Fund were investing in higher quality securities. See Appendix A for a description of the corporate bond and preferred stock ratings by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch, Inc. and Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited.

The market values of high yield securities tend to reflect individual corporate or municipal developments to a greater extent than do those of higher rated securities, which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. Issuers of high yield securities that are highly leveraged may not be able to make use of more traditional methods of financing. Their ability to service debt obligations may be more adversely affected by economic downturns or their inability to meet specific projected business forecasts than would be the case for issuers of higher-rated securities. Negative publicity about the junk bond market and investor perceptions regarding lower-rated securities, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may depress the prices for such high yield securities. In the lower quality segments of the fixed income securities market, changes in perceptions of issuers’ creditworthiness tend to occur more frequently and in a more pronounced manner than do changes in higher quality segments of the fixed income securities market, resulting in greater yield and price volatility. Another factor which causes fluctuations in the prices of high yield securities is the supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the prices of investments fluctuate in response to the general level of interest rates. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in a Fund’s NAV.

 

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The risk of loss from default for the holders of high yield securities is significantly greater than is the case for holders of other debt securities because such high yield securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to the rights of other creditors of the issuers of such securities. Investment by a Fund in already defaulted securities poses an additional risk of loss should nonpayment of principal and interest continue in respect of such securities. Even if such securities are held to maturity, recovery by a Fund of its initial investment and any anticipated income or appreciation is uncertain. In addition, a Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent that it is required to seek recovery relating to the default in the payment of principal or interest on such securities or otherwise protect its interests. A Fund may be required to liquidate other portfolio securities to satisfy annual distribution obligations of the Fund in respect of accrued interest income on securities which are subsequently written off, even though the Fund has not received any cash payments of such interest.

The secondary market for high yield securities is concentrated in relatively few markets and is dominated by institutional investors, including mutual funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Accordingly, the secondary market for such securities may not be as liquid as and may be more volatile than the secondary market for higher-rated securities. In addition, the trading volume for high yield securities is generally lower than that of higher rated securities. The secondary market for high yield securities could contract under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the condition of a particular issuer. These factors may have an adverse effect on the ability of a Fund to dispose of particular portfolio investments when needed to meet its redemption requests or other liquidity needs. The Investment Adviser could find it difficult to sell these investments or may be able to sell the investments only at prices lower than if such investments were widely traded. Prices realized upon the sale of such lower rated or unrated securities, under these circumstances, may be less than the prices used in calculating the NAVs of a Fund. A less liquid secondary market also may make it more difficult for a Fund to obtain precise valuations of the high yield securities in its portfolio.

The adoption of new legislation could adversely affect the secondary market for high yield securities and the financial condition of issuers of these securities. The form of any future legislation, and the probability of such legislation being enacted, is uncertain.

Non-investment grade or high yield securities also present risks based on payment expectations. High yield securities frequently contain “call” or buy-back features which permit the issuer to call or repurchase the security from its holder. If an issuer exercises such a “call option” and redeems the security, a Fund may have to replace such security with a lower-yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. In addition, if a Fund experiences net redemptions of its shares and redeems shares in cash, it may be forced to sell its higher-rated securities, resulting in a decline in the overall credit quality of its portfolio and increasing its exposure to the risks of high yield securities.

Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies are designed to evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market value risk of high yield securities and, therefore, may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the conditions of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings may not accurately reflect credit quality.

An economic downturn could severely affect the ability of highly leveraged issuers of junk bond investments to service their debt obligations or to repay their obligations upon maturity. Factors having an adverse impact on the market value of junk bonds will have an adverse effect on a Fund’s NAV to the extent it invests in such investments. In addition, a Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek recovery upon a default in payment of principal or interest on its portfolio holdings.

Index Swaps, Interest Rate Swaps, Mortgage Swaps, Credit Swaps, Currency Swaps, Total Return Swaps, Options on Swaps and Interest Rate Swaps, Caps, Floors and Collars

The Funds may enter into interest rate, index, credit, total return, mortgage and currency swaps, as well as interest rate caps, floors and collars. The Funds may also purchase and write (sell) options contracts on swaps, commonly referred to as swaptions.

The Funds may enter into swap transactions for hedging purposes or to seek to increase total return. As examples, a Fund may enter into swap transactions for the purpose of attempting to obtain or preserve a particular return or spread at a lower cost than obtaining a return or spread through purchases and/or sales of instruments in other markets, to protect against currency fluctuations, as a duration management technique, to protect against any increase in the price of securities the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date, or to gain exposure to certain markets in an economical way.

 

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In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns, differentials in rates of return or some other amount earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments, which may be adjusted for an interest factor. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are generally 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 security, or in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors. Cleared swaps are transacted through future commission merchants (“FCMs”) that are members of central clearinghouses with the clearinghouse serving as a central counterparty similar to transactions in futures contracts. Each Fund posts initial and variation margin by making payments to their clearing member FCMs.

Index swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of payments based on a notional principal amount of a specified index or indices. Interest rate swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive payments for floating rate payments based on interest rates at specified intervals in the future. Two types of interest rate swaps include “fixed-for-floating rate swaps” and “basis swaps.” Fixed-for-floating rate swaps involve the exchange of payments based on a fixed interest rate for payments based on a floating interest rate index. By contrast, basis swaps involve the exchange of payments based on two different floating interest rate indices. Mortgage swaps are similar to interest rate swaps in that they represent commitments to pay and receive interest. The notional principal amount, however, is tied to a reference pool or pools of mortgages.

Credit default swaps involve the exchange of a floating or fixed rate payment in return for assuming potential credit losses of an underlying security or pool of securities. Loan credit default swaps are similar to credit default swaps on bonds, except that the underlying protection is sold on secured loans of a reference entity rather than a broader category of bonds or loans. Loan credit default swaps may be on single names or on baskets of loans, both tranched and untranched. Currency swaps involve the exchange of the parties’ respective rights to make or receive payments in specified currencies. Total return swaps are contracts that obligate a party to pay or receive interest in exchange for payment by the other party of the total return generated by a security, a basket of securities, an index, or an index component.

A swaption is an option to enter into a swap agreement. Like other types of options, the buyer of a swaption pays a non-refundable premium for the option and obtains the right, but not the obligation, to enter into or modify an underlying swap or to modify the terms of an existing swap on agreed-upon terms. The seller of a swaption, in exchange for the premium, becomes obligated (if the option is exercised) to enter into or modify an underlying swap on agreed-upon terms, which generally entails a greater risk of loss than incurred in buying a swaption. The purchase of an interest rate cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined interest rate, to receive payment of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling such interest rate cap. The purchase of an interest rate floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate floor. An interest rate collar is the combination of a cap and a floor that preserves a certain return within a predetermined range of interest rates.

A great deal of flexibility may be possible in the way swap transactions are structured. However, generally a Fund will enter into interest rate, total return, credit and mortgage swaps on a net basis, which means that the two payment streams are netted out, with a Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. Interest rate, total return, credit and mortgage swaps do not normally involve the delivery of securities, other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to interest rate, total return, credit and mortgage swaps is normally limited to the net amount of payments that a Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the other party to an interest rate, total return, credit or mortgage swap defaults, a Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any.

In contrast, currency swaps usually involve the delivery of a gross payment stream in one designated currency in exchange for a gross payment stream in another designated currency. Therefore, the entire payment stream under a currency swap is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations. A credit swap may have as reference obligations one or more securities that may, or may not, be currently held by a Fund. The protection “buyer” in a credit swap is generally obligated to pay the protection “seller” an upfront or a periodic stream of payments over the term of the swap provided that no credit event, such as a default, on a reference obligation has occurred. If a credit event occurs, the seller generally must pay the buyer the “par value” (full notional value) of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity described in the swap, or the seller may be required to deliver the related net cash amount, if the swap is cash settled. Each Fund may be either the protection buyer or seller in the transaction. If a Fund is a buyer and no credit event occurs, the Fund may recover nothing if the swap is held through its termination date. However, if a credit event occurs, the buyer generally may elect to receive the full notional value of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity whose value may have significantly

 

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decreased. As a seller, a Fund generally receives an upfront payment or a rate of income throughout the term of the swap provided that there is no credit event. As the seller, a Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total net assets, the Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap. If a credit event occurs, the value of any deliverable obligation received by a Fund as seller, coupled with the upfront or periodic payments previously received, may be less than the full notional value it pays to the buyer, resulting in a loss of value to the Fund.

As a result of recent regulatory developments, certain standardized swaps are currently subject to mandatory central clearing and some of these cleared swaps must be traded on an exchange or swap execution facility (“SEF”). A SEF is a trading platform in which multiple market participants can execute swap transactions by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants on the platform. Transactions executed on a SEF may increase market transparency and liquidity but may cause a Fund to incur increased expenses to execute swaps. Central clearing should decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilateral swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap. However, central clearing does not eliminate counterparty risk or illiquidity risk entirely. In addition, depending on the size of a Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by a Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral swap. However, the CFTC and other applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in a Fund and its counterparties posting higher margin amounts for uncleared swaps. Requiring margin on uncleared swaps may reduce, but not eliminate, counterparty credit risk.

To the extent that a Fund’s exposure in a transaction involving a swap, swaption or an interest rate floor, cap or collar is covered by identifying cash or liquid assets on a Fund’s books or is covered by other means in accordance with SEC- or SEC staff-approved guidance or other appropriate measures, the Fund and the Investment Adviser believe that the transactions do not constitute senior securities under the Act and, accordingly, will not treat them as being subject to the Fund’s borrowing restrictions. For more information about these practices, see “Description of Investment Securities and Practices – Asset Segregation.”

The use of swaps and swaptions, as well as interest rate caps, floors and collars, is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of a swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate, or index but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all possible market conditions.

In addition, these transactions can involve greater risks than if a Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly because, in addition to general market risks, swaps are subject to illiquidity risk, counterparty risk, credit risk and pricing risk. Regulators also may impose limits on an entity’s or group of entities’ positions in certain swaps. However, certain risks are reduced (but not eliminated) if a Fund invests in cleared swaps. Because bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts and because they may have terms of greater than seven days, swap transactions may be considered to be illiquid. Moreover, a Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap counterparty. Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively. Swaps and other derivatives may also be subject to pricing or “basis” risk, which exists when the price of a particular derivative diverges from the price of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions it may not be economically feasible to imitate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.

Certain rules also require centralized reporting of detailed information about many types of cleared and uncleared swaps. This information is available to regulators and, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data may result in greater market transparency, which may be beneficial to funds that use swaps to implement trading strategies. However, these rules place potential additional administrative obligations on these funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity may not function as expected.

The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments which are traded in the interbank market. The Investment Adviser, under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, is responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of a Fund’s transactions in swaps, swaptions, caps, floors and collars.

 

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Investing in Asia

Although many countries in Asia have experienced a relatively stable political environment over the last decade, there is no guarantee that such stability will be maintained in the future. As an emerging region, many factors may affect such stability on a country-by-country as well as on a regional basis – increasing gaps between the rich and poor, agrarian unrest and stability of existing coalitions in politically-fractionated countries – and may result in adverse consequences to a Fund. The political history of some Asian countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such developments, if they continue to occur, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and could result in significant disruption to securities markets.

The legal infrastructure in each of the countries in Asia is unique and often undeveloped. In most cases, securities laws are evolving and far from adequate for the protection of the public from serious fraud. Investment in Asian securities involves considerations and possible risks not typically involved with investment in other issuers, including changes in governmental administration or economic or monetary policy or changed circumstances in dealings between nations. The application of tax laws (e.g., the imposition of withholding taxes on dividend or interest payments) or confiscatory taxation may also affect investment in Asian securities. Higher expenses may result from investments in Asian securities than would from investments in other securities because of the costs that must be incurred in connection with conversions between various currencies and brokerage commissions that may be higher than more established markets. Asian securities markets also may be less liquid, more volatile and less subject to governmental supervision than elsewhere. Investments in countries in the region could be affected by other factors not present elsewhere, including lack of uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, inadequate settlement procedures and potential difficulties in enforcing contractual obligations.

Certain countries in Asia are especially prone to natural disasters, such as flooding, drought and earthquakes. Combined with the possibility of man-made disasters, the occurrence of such disasters may adversely affect companies in which a Fund is invested and, as a result, may result in adverse consequences to the Fund.

Many of the countries in Asia periodically have experienced significant inflation. Should the governments and central banks of the countries in Asia fail to control inflation, this may have an adverse effect on the performance of a Fund’s investments in Asian securities.

Several of the countries in Asia remain dependent on the U.S. economy as their largest export customer, and future barriers to entry into the U.S. market or other important markets could adversely affect a Fund’s performance. Intraregional trade is becoming an increasingly significant percentage of total trade for the countries in Asia. Consequently, the intertwined economies are becoming increasingly dependent on each other, and any barriers to entry to markets in Asia in the future may adversely affect a Fund’s performance.

Certain Asian countries may have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Asian countries also may restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for certain currencies, and it would, as a result, be difficult to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of a Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

Although a Fund will generally attempt to invest in those markets which provide the greatest freedom of movement of foreign capital, there is no assurance that this will be possible or that certain countries in Asia will not restrict the movement of foreign capital in the future. Changes in securities laws and foreign ownership laws may have an adverse effect on a Fund.

Investing in Brazil

In addition to the risks listed under “Foreign Investments” and “Investing in Emerging Countries” investing in Brazil presents additional risks.

Under current Brazilian law, a Fund may repatriate income received from dividends and interest earned on its investments in Brazilian securities. A Fund may also repatriate net realized capital gains from its investments in Brazilian securities. Additionally, whenever there occurs a serious imbalance in Brazil’s balance of payments or serious reasons to foresee the imminence of such an imbalance, under current Brazilian law the Monetary Council may, for a limited period, impose restrictions on foreign capital remittances abroad. Exchange control regulations may restrict repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales by foreign investors.

 

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Brazil suffers from chronic structural public sector deficits. In addition, disparities of wealth, the pace and success of democratization and capital market development, and ethnic and racial hostilities have led to social and labor unrest and violence in the past, and may do so again in the future.

Additionally, the Brazilian securities markets are smaller, less liquid and more volatile than domestic markets. The market for Brazilian securities is influenced by economic and market conditions of certain countries, especially emerging market countries in Central and South America. Brazil has historically experienced high rates of inflation and may continue to do so in the future. Appreciation of the Brazilian currency (the real) relative to the U.S. dollar may lead to a deterioration of Brazil’s current account and balance of payments as well as limit the growth of exports. Inflationary pressures may lead to further government intervention in the economy, including the introduction of government policies that may adversely affect the overall performance of the Brazilian economy, which in turn could adversely affect a Fund’s investments.

Investing in Central and South American Countries

A Fund may invest in issuers located in Central and South American countries. Securities markets in Central and South American countries may experience greater volatility than in other emerging countries. In addition, a number of Central and South American countries are among the largest emerging country debtors. There have been moratoria on, and reschedulings of, repayment with respect to these debts. Such events can restrict the flexibility of these debtor nations in the international markets and result in the imposition of onerous conditions on their economies.

Many of the currencies of Central and South American countries have experienced steady devaluation relative to the U.S. dollar, and major devaluations have historically occurred in certain countries. Any devaluations in the currencies in which a Fund’s portfolio securities are denominated may have a detrimental impact on the Fund. There is also a risk that certain Central and South American countries may restrict the free conversion of their currencies into other currencies. Some Central and South American countries may have managed currencies which are not free floating against the U.S. dollar. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency that, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Central and South American currencies may not be internationally traded and it would be difficult for a Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

The emergence of the Central and South American economies and securities markets will require continued economic and fiscal discipline that has been lacking at times in the past, as well as stable political and social conditions. Governments of many Central and South American countries have exercised and continue to exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. The political history of certain Central and South American countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres and political corruption. Such developments, if they were to recur, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization and removal of trade barriers.

International economic conditions, particularly those in the United States, as well as world prices for oil and other commodities may also influence the recovery of the Central and South American economies. Because commodities such as oil, gas, minerals and metals represent a significant percentage of the region’s exports, the economies of Central and South American countries are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. As a result, the economies in many of these countries can experience significant volatility.

Certain Central and South American countries have entered into regional trade agreements that would, among other things, reduce barriers among countries, increase competition among companies and reduce government subsidies in certain industries. No assurance can be given that these changes will result in the economic stability intended. There is a possibility that these trade arrangements will not be implemented, will be implemented but not completed or will be completed but then partially or completely unwound. It is also possible that a significant participant could choose to abandon a trade agreement, which could diminish its credibility and influence. Any of these occurrences could have adverse effects on the markets of both participating and non-participating countries, including share appreciation or depreciation of participant’s national currencies and a significant increase in exchange rate volatility, a resurgence in economic protectionism, an undermining of confidence in the Central and South American markets, an undermining of Central and South American economic stability, the collapse or slowdown of the drive toward Central and South American economic unity, and/or reversion of the attempts to lower government debt and inflation rates that were introduced in anticipation of such trade agreements. Such developments could have an adverse impact on a Fund’s investments in Central and South America generally or in specific countries participating in such trade agreements.

 

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Investing in Eastern Europe

A Fund may invest in issuers located in Eastern Europe. Most Eastern European countries had a centrally planned, socialist economy for a substantial period of time. The governments of many Eastern European countries have more recently been implementing reforms directed at political and economic liberalization, including efforts to decentralize the economic decision-making process and move towards a market economy. However, business entities in many Eastern European countries do not have an extended history of operating in a market-oriented economy, and the ultimate impact of Eastern European countries’ attempts to move toward more market-oriented economies is currently unclear. In addition, any change in the leadership or policies of Eastern European countries may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities.

Where a Fund invests in securities issued by companies incorporated in or whose principal operations are located in Eastern Europe, other risks may also be encountered. Legal, political, economic and fiscal uncertainties in Eastern European markets may affect the value of a Fund investment in such securities. The currencies in which these investments may be denominated may be unstable, may be subject to significant depreciation and may not be freely convertible. Existing laws and regulations may not be consistently applied. The markets of the countries of Eastern Europe are still in the early stages of their development, have less volume, are less highly regulated, are less liquid and experience greater volatility than more established markets. Settlement of transactions may be subject to delay and administrative uncertainties. Custodians are not able to offer the level of service and safekeeping, settlement and administration services that is customary in more developed markets, and there is a risk that a Fund will not be recognized as the owner of securities held on its behalf by a sub-custodian.

Investing in Emerging Countries

Emerging Markets Equity Securities. The securities markets of emerging countries are less liquid and subject to greater price volatility, and have a smaller market capitalization, than the U.S. securities markets. In certain countries, there may be fewer publicly traded securities and the market may be dominated by a few issuers or sectors. Issuers and securities markets in such countries are not subject to as extensive and frequent accounting, financial and other reporting requirements or as comprehensive government regulations as are issuers and securities markets in the U.S. In particular, the assets and profits appearing on the financial statements of emerging country issuers may not reflect their financial position or results of operations in the same manner as financial statements for U.S. issuers. Substantially less information may be publicly available about emerging country issuers than is available about issuers in the United States.

Emerging country securities markets are typically marked by a high concentration of market capitalization and trading volume in a small number of issuers representing a limited number of industries, as well as a high concentration of ownership of such securities by a limited number of investors. The markets for securities in certain emerging countries are in the earliest stages of their development. Even the markets for relatively widely traded securities in emerging countries may not be able to absorb, without price disruptions, a significant increase in trading volume or trades of a size customarily undertaken by institutional investors in the securities markets of developed countries. The limited size of many of these securities markets can cause prices to be erratic for reasons apart from factors that affect the soundness and competitiveness of the securities issuers. For example, prices may be unduly influenced by traders who control large positions in these markets. Additionally, market making and arbitrage activities are generally less extensive in such markets, which may contribute to increased volatility and reduced liquidity of such markets. The limited liquidity of emerging country securities may also affect a Fund’s ability to accurately value its portfolio securities or to acquire or dispose of securities at the price and time it wishes to do so or in order to meet redemption requests.

A Fund’s purchase and sale of portfolio securities in certain emerging countries may be constrained by limitations as to daily changes in the prices of listed securities, periodic trading or settlement volume and/or limitations on aggregate holdings of foreign investors. Such limitations may be computed based on the aggregate trading volume by or holdings of a Fund, the Investment Adviser, its affiliates and their respective clients and other service providers. A Fund may not be able to sell securities in circumstances where price, trading or settlement volume limitations have been reached.

Market Characteristics. Securities markets of emerging countries may also have less efficient clearance and settlement procedures than U.S. markets, making it difficult to conduct and complete transactions. Delays in the settlement could result in temporary periods when a portion of a Fund’s assets is uninvested and no return is earned thereon. Inability to make intended security purchases could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities could result either in losses to a Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio security or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the security, could result in possible liability of the Fund to the purchaser.

Transaction costs, including brokerage commissions and dealer mark-ups, in emerging countries may be higher than in the U.S. and other developed securities markets. As legal systems in emerging countries develop, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In circumstances where adequate laws exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law.

 

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Custodial and/or settlement systems in emerging markets countries may not be fully developed. To the extent a Fund invests in emerging markets, Fund assets that are traded in such markets and will have been entrusted to such sub-custodians in those markets may be exposed to risks for which the sub-custodian will have no liability.

With respect to investments in certain emerging countries, antiquated legal systems may have an adverse impact on a Fund. For example, while the potential liability of a shareholder of a U.S. corporation with respect to acts of the corporation is generally limited to the amount of the shareholder’s investment, the notion of limited liability is less clear in certain emerging market countries. Similarly, the rights of investors in emerging market companies may be more limited than those of investors of U.S. corporations.

Economic, Political and Social Factors. Emerging countries may be subject to a greater degree of economic, political and social instability than the United States, Japan and most Western European countries, and unanticipated political and social developments may affect the value of a Fund’s investments in emerging countries and the availability to the Fund of additional investments in such countries. Moreover, political and economic structures in many emerging countries may be undergoing significant evolution and rapid development. Instability may result from, among other things: (i) authoritarian governments or military involvement in political and economic decision-making, including changes or attempted changes in government through extra-constitutional means; (ii) popular unrest associated with demands for improved economic, political and social conditions; (iii) internal insurgencies; (iv) hostile relations with neighboring countries; (v) ethnic, religious and racial disaffection and conflict; and (vi) the absence of developed legal structures governing foreign private property. Many emerging countries have experienced in the past, and continue to experience, high rates of inflation. In certain countries, inflation has at times accelerated rapidly to hyperinflationary levels, creating a negative interest rate environment and sharply eroding the value of outstanding financial assets in those countries. The economies of many emerging countries are heavily dependent upon international trade and are accordingly affected by protective trade barriers and the economic conditions of their trading partners. In addition, the economies of some emerging countries may differ unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resources, self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.

A Fund may invest in issuers located in former “Eastern bloc” countries. Most of these countries had a centrally planned, socialist economy for a substantial period of time. The governments of many of these countries have more recently been implementing reforms directed at political and economic liberalization, including efforts to decentralize the economic decision-making process and move towards a market economy. However, business entities in many of these countries do not have an extended history of operating in a market-oriented economy, and the ultimate impact of these countries’ attempts to move toward more market-oriented economies is currently unclear. In addition, any change in the leadership or policies of these countries may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities.

Restrictions on Investment and Repatriation. Certain emerging countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investments by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. Repatriation of investment income and capital from certain emerging countries is subject to certain governmental consents. Even where there is no outright restriction on repatriation of capital, the mechanics of repatriation may affect the operation of a Fund.

Emerging Country Government Obligations. Emerging country governmental entities are among the largest debtors to commercial banks, foreign governments, international financial organizations and other financial institutions. Certain emerging country governmental entities have not been able to make payments of interest on or principal of debt obligations as those payments have come due. Obligations arising from past restructuring agreements may affect the economic performance and political and social stability of those entities.

The ability of emerging country governmental entities to make timely payments on their obligations is likely to be influenced strongly by the entity’s balance of payments, including export performance, and its access to international credits and investments. An emerging country whose exports are concentrated in a few commodities could be vulnerable to a decline in the international prices of one or more of those commodities. Increased protectionism on the part of an emerging country’s trading partners could also adversely affect the country’s exports and tarnish its trade account surplus, if any. To the extent that emerging countries receive payment for their exports in currencies other than dollars or non-emerging country currencies, the emerging country governmental entity’s ability to make debt payments denominated in dollars or non-emerging market currencies could be affected.

 

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To the extent that an emerging country cannot generate a trade surplus, it must depend on continuing loans from foreign governments, multilateral organizations or private commercial banks, aid payments from foreign governments and on inflows of foreign investment. The access of emerging countries to these forms of external funding may not be certain, and a withdrawal of external funding could adversely affect the capacity of emerging country governmental entities to make payments on their obligations. In addition, the cost of servicing emerging country debt obligations can be affected by a change in international interest rates because the majority of these obligations carry interest rates that are adjusted periodically based upon international rates.

Another factor bearing on the ability of emerging countries to repay debt obligations is the level of international reserves of a country. Fluctuations in the level of these reserves affect the amount of foreign exchange readily available for external debt payments and thus could have a bearing on the capacity of emerging countries to make payments on these debt obligations.

As a result of the foregoing or other factors, a governmental obligor, especially in an emerging country, may default on its obligations. If such an event occurs, a Fund may have limited legal recourse against the issuer and/or guarantor. Remedies must, in some cases, be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party itself, and the ability of the holder of foreign government obligations to obtain recourse may be subject to the political climate in the relevant country. In addition, no assurance can be given that the holders of commercial bank debt will not contest payments to the holders of other foreign government obligations in the event of default under the commercial bank loan agreements.

Investing in Europe

A Fund may operate in euros and/or may hold euros and/or euro-denominated bonds and other obligations. The euro requires participation of multiple sovereign states forming the Euro zone and is therefore sensitive to the credit, general economic and political position of each such state, including each state’s actual and intended ongoing engagement with and/or support for the other sovereign states then forming the EU, in particular those within the Euro zone. Changes in these factors might materially adversely impact the value of securities that a Fund has invested in.

European countries can be significantly affected by the tight fiscal and monetary controls that the European Economic and Monetary Union (“EMU”) imposes for membership. Europe’s economies are diverse, its governments are decentralized, and its cultures vary widely. Several EU countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal, have faced budget issues, some of which may have negative long-term effects for the economies of those countries and other EU countries. There is continued concern about national-level support for the euro and the accompanying coordination of fiscal and wage policy among EMU member countries. Member countries are required to maintain tight control over inflation, public debt, and budget deficit to qualify for membership in the EMU. These requirements can severely limit the ability of EMU member countries to implement monetary policy to address regional economic conditions.

In a June 2016 referendum, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. In March 2017, the United Kingdom formally notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU (commonly known as “Brexit”) by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which triggered a two-year period of negotiations on the terms of Brexit. Brexit has resulted in volatility in European and global markets and may also lead to weakening in political, regulatory, consumer, corporate and financial confidence in the markets of the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. The longer term economic, legal, political, regulatory and social framework to be put in place between the United Kingdom and the EU remains unclear and may lead to ongoing political, regulatory and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the United Kingdom and in wider European markets for some time. Additionally, the decision made in the British referendum may lead to a call for similar referenda in other European jurisdictions, which may cause increased economic volatility in European and global markets. The mid-to long-term uncertainty may have an adverse effect on the economy generally and on the value of a Fund’s investments. This may be due to, among other things: fluctuations in asset values and exchange rates; increased illiquidity of investments located, traded or listed within the United Kingdom, the EU or elsewhere; changes in the willingness or ability of counterparties to enter into transactions at the price and terms on which a Fund is prepared to transact; and/or changes in legal and regulatory regimes to which certain of the Fund’s assets are or become subject. Fluctuations in the value of the British Pound and/or the Euro, along with the potential downgrading of the United Kingdom’s sovereign credit rating, may also have an impact on the performance of a Fund’s assets or investments economically tied to the United Kingdom or Europe.

The effects of Brexit will depend, in part, on agreements the United Kingdom negotiates to retain access to EU markets either during a transitional period or more permanently including, but not limited to, current trade and finance agreements. Brexit could lead to legal and tax uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which EU laws to replace or replicate. The extent of the impact of the withdrawal negotiations in the United Kingdom and in global markets as well as any associated adverse consequences remain unclear, and the uncertainty may have a significant negative effect on the value of a Fund’s investments.

 

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The withdrawal agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU, endorsed by the European Council on November 25, 2018, sets out the basis on which the United Kingdom will withdraw from the EU and includes certain transitional provisions which have the effect of preserving the application of European Union law in the United Kingdom until December 2020 (or such other later date as may be agreed). The withdrawal agreement, and the associated transitional provisions, will only become effective once approved by the United Kingdom parliament which approval has not yet happened and may not happen, meaning that the United Kingdom may leave the EU without any transitional period (a so-called “hard Brexit”). On April 11, 2019, the United Kingdom came to an agreement with the EU to delay the deadline for withdrawal. Unless the United Kingdom parliament approves the withdrawal agreement by October 31, 2019, it is expected that there will be a hard Brexit on that date absent any further agreements to delay the withdrawal. Consequently, due to this political uncertainty, it is not possible to anticipate, in the absence of an intervening action, when the United Kingdom will leave the EU and whether such departure will benefit from the terms of the withdrawal agreement and the transitional provisions. In the event of a “hard Brexit,” the relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU would be based on the World Trade Organization rules. While it is not currently possible to determine the extent of the impact a hard Brexit may have on a Fund’s investments, certain measures are being proposed and/or will be introduced, at the EU level or at the member state level, which are designed to minimize disruption in the financial markets. Notwithstanding the foregoing the continued uncertainty could negatively impact a Fund’s investments.

Other economic challenges facing the region include high levels of public debt, significant rates of unemployment, aging populations, and heavy regulation in certain economic sectors. European policy makers have taken unprecedented steps to respond to the economic crisis and to boost growth in the region, which has increased the risk that regulatory uncertainty could negatively affect the value of a Fund’s investments.

As the EU continues to grow in size with the addition of new member countries, the candidate countries’ accessions may become more controversial to the existing EU members. Some member states may repudiate certain candidate countries joining the EU upon concerns about the possible economic, immigration and cultural implications. Also, Russia may be opposed to the expansion of the EU to members of the former Soviet bloc and may, at times, take actions that could negatively impact EU economic activity.

Investing in Greater China

Investing in Greater China, which includes Mainland China and Hong Kong (collectively, the “People’s Republic of China” or “PRC”), as well as Taiwan, involves a high degree of risk and special considerations not typically associated with investing in other more established economies or securities markets. Such risks may include: (a) greater social, economic and political uncertainty (including the risk of armed conflict); (b) the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets or confiscatory taxation; (c) dependency on exports and the corresponding importance of international trade; (d) the imposition of tariffs or other trade barriers by the U.S. or foreign governments on exports from Mainland China; (e) increasing competition from Asia’s other low-cost emerging economies; (f) greater price volatility and smaller market capitalization of securities markets; (g) decreased liquidity, particularly of certain share classes of Chinese securities; (h) currency exchange rate fluctuations (with respect to investments in Mainland China and Taiwan) and the lack of available currency hedging instruments; (i) higher rates of inflation; (j) controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital and on the Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF’s ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; (k) greater governmental involvement in and control over the economy; (l) uncertainty regarding the PRC’s commitment to economic reforms; (m) the fact that Chinese companies may be smaller, less seasoned and newly-organized companies; (n) the differences in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting standards which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; (o) the fact that statistical information regarding the economy of Greater China may be inaccurate or not comparable to statistical information regarding the U.S. or other economies; (p) less extensive, and still developing, legal systems and regulatory frameworks regarding the securities markets, business entities and commercial transactions; (q) the fact that the settlement period of securities transactions in foreign markets may be longer; (r) the fact that it may be more difficult, or impossible, to obtain and/or enforce a judgment than in other countries; and (s) the rapid and erratic nature of growth, particularly in the PRC, resulting in inefficiencies and dislocations.

As a result of investing in the PRC, the Fund may be subject to withholding and various other taxes imposed by the PRC. The tax law and regulations of the PRC are constantly changing, and they may be changed with retrospective effect to the advantage or disadvantage of shareholders. The interpretation and applicability of the tax law and regulations by tax authorities may not be as consistent and transparent as those of more developed nations, and may vary from region to region. It should also be noted that any provision for taxation made by the Investment Adviser may be excessive or inadequate to meet final tax liabilities. Consequently, shareholders may be advantaged or disadvantaged depending upon the final tax liabilities, the level of provision and when they subscribed and/or redeemed their shares of the Fund.

 

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Mainland China. Investments in Mainland China are subject to the risks associated with greater governmental control over the economy, political and legal uncertainties and currency fluctuations or blockage. In particular, the Chinese Communist Party exercises significant control over economic growth in Mainland China through the allocation of resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.

Because the local legal system is still developing, it may be more difficult to obtain or enforce judgments with respect to investments in Mainland China. Chinese companies may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. companies. Thus, there may be less information publicly available about Chinese companies than about most U.S. companies. Government supervision and regulation of Chinese stock exchanges, currency markets, trading systems and brokers may be more or less rigorous than that present in the U.S. The procedures and rules governing transactions and custody in Mainland China also may involve delays in payment, delivery or recovery of money or investments. The imposition of tariffs or other trade barriers by the U.S. or other foreign governments on exports from Mainland China may also have an adverse impact on Chinese issuers and the PRC’s economy as a whole.

Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the PRC. Since Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, it has been governed by the Basic Law, a “quasi-constitution.” The Basic Law guarantees a high degree of autonomy in certain matters, including economic matters, until 2047. Attempts by the government of the PRC to exert greater control over Hong Kong’s economic, political or legal structures or its existing social policy, could negatively affect investor confidence in Hong Kong, which in turn could negatively affect markets and business performance.

In addition, the Hong Kong dollar trades within a fixed trading band rate to (or is “pegged” to) the U.S. dollar. This fixed exchange rate has contributed to the growth and stability of the economy, but could be discontinued. It is uncertain what affect any discontinuance of the currency peg and the establishment of an alternative exchange rate system would have on the Hong Kong economy.