485APOS 1 fp0033376_485apos.htm

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 24, 2018

File Nos. 333-183945 and 811-22747

 

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

 

Form N-1A

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

Post-Effective Amendment No. 66

and

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940

Amendment No. 68

 

 

 

ALPS SERIES TRUST

(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

1290 Broadway, Suite 1100

Denver, Colorado 80203

(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s Telephone Number: (303) 623-2577

 

Richard C. Noyes, Esq., Secretary

ALPS Series Trust

1290 Broadway, Suite 1100

Denver, Colorado 80203

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

With copies to:

Peter H. Schwartz, Esq.

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

1550 17th Street, Suite 500

Denver, CO 80202

 

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)

 

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

 

  [   ] on [   ] 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.

 

 

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

 

PROSPECTUS

  

[_______], 2018

 

SEVEN CANYONS STRATEGIC INCOME FUND

Investor Class [_______]

 

SEVEN CANYONS WORLD INNOVATORS FUND

 

Investor Class [_______]

Institutional Class [_______]

  

As with all mutual funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus.  Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  

FUND SUMMARY
Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund
Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
EACH FUND’S PRINCIPAL AND NON-PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT RELATED RISKS
DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS
MANAGEMENT
THE PORTFOLIO MANAGERS
ADMINISTRATOR, DISTRIBUTOR AND TRANSFER AGENT OF THE FUNDS
BUYING AND REDEEMING SHARES
SHARE TRANSACTIONS
DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS
TAXES
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS Back Cover
 
 

FUND SUMMARY 

 

Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund (the “Fund”)

 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund’s primary investment objective is to capture current income. A secondary objective is long-term growth of capital.

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund.

 

Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)
  Investor Class
Maximum sales charge (Load) imposed on purchases None
Redemption Fee (as a percentage of amount redeemed, if you sell or exchange your shares within 60 days of purchase) 2.00%
Exchange Fee None
Maximum Account Fee None

  

Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
  Investor Class
Management Fees 0.70%
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees None
Total Other Expenses (1) 0.61%
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses 0.48%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses 1.79%
Fee Waiver and Expense Reimbursement (2) (0.36)%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver/Expense Reimbursement 1.43%

 

 

(1)Other Expenses are estimated for the current fiscal year.

 

(2)Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC, the Fund’s investment adviser (the “Adviser”), has contractually agreed to limit the amount of the Fund’s total annual fund operating expenses, exclusive of interest, dividend expense on short sales/interest expense, taxes, brokerage commissions, other investment related costs, acquired fund fees and expenses, and extraordinary expenses such as litigation and other expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of business, to 0.95% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. This agreement is in effect through [ ____ ] 2020, may only be terminated before then by the Board of Trustees, and is reevaluated on an annual basis. With respect to the Fund, the Adviser shall be permitted to recover expenses it has borne subsequent to the effective date of the agreement described above (whether through reduction of its management fee or otherwise) only to the extent that such recoupment payments do not cause the Fund’s expenses in later periods to exceed the lesser of (1) the contractual expense limit in effect at the time the Adviser waives or limits the expenses or (2) the contractual expense limit in effect at the time the Adviser seeks to recover the expenses; provided, however, that the Fund will not be obligated to pay any such recoupments more than three years after the date on which the fee and expense was reduced.

 

 

 

Example

 

This example is intended to help you compare the costs of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds.  The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods.  The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same.  The example takes into consideration the agreement by the Adviser to waive fees and reimburse expenses for the contractual period only.

 

Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

  1 Year 3 Years
Investor Class $146 $491

 

Portfolio Turnover

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio).  A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs.  These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance.  A higher turnover rate may also result in additional income taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account.

 

Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund

 

Under normal market conditions, the Fund’s assets will be invested primarily in income-producing domestic and foreign securities, including equity securities (primarily common stocks) and fixed-income securities of companies of all market capitalizations. The Fund is not managed as a balanced portfolio. At times, one type of security may make up a substantial portion of the Fund, while other types may have minimal or no representation.

2 

 

The Fund may invest its assets in securities issued by foreign companies in developed countries without limit. To a lesser extent, the Fund may invest in foreign companies in emerging and frontier markets. Securities issued by companies incorporated outside the United States whose securities are principally traded in the United States are not defined as foreign companies.

 

The Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in a few sectors. The current list of recognized sectors includes consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, financials, health care, industrials, information technology, materials, real estate (which may include investments in real estate investment trusts, or REITs), telecommunication services, and utilities.

 

The Fund may invest in investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The Fund may make short sales of securities, and may also use derivatives such as put and call options and futures contracts for hedging and non-hedging purposes. The Fund may write put and call options subject to applicable law and SEC guidelines.

 

In the selection of equity securities, the Adviser uses a “bottom-up” fundamental analysis to identify individual companies with attractive, sustainable dividend yields or the potential for dividend growth. In certain situations, the Fund may acquire non-income producing securities if the Adviser believes the company has the potential to pay dividends in the future. The Adviser’s analysis may include studying a company’s financial statements, building proprietary financial models, visiting company facilities, and meeting with executive management, suppliers and customers.

 

Characteristics the Adviser considers when investing in a company’s equity securities generally include:

 

Attractive, sustainable dividend yields or the potential for dividend growth;

Experienced top management;

Sustainable competitive advantage;

Stable demand for products and services; and

Ability to capitalize on favorable long-term trends.

 

The Fund’s investments in fixed-income securities may include domestic and foreign corporate bonds with a variety of maturities (e.g., long-term, intermediate or short-term) and credit qualities (e.g., investment grade or non-investment grade). At certain times the Fund may emphasize one particular maturity or credit quality. The Fund may invest in non-investment grade securities without limitation. The Fund may also invest in U.S. Treasury securities and the debt obligations of foreign governments.

 

Characteristics the Adviser considers when investing in fixed-income securities generally include:

 

Rates of current income;

Credit quality of the issuer; and

Maturity, duration and other characteristics of the obligation.

3 

 

Principal Risks of the Fund

 

As with any mutual fund, there are risks to investing.  There is no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objective.  The following is a description of the principal risks of the Fund, which may adversely affect its net asset value and total return.  There are other circumstances (including additional risks that are not described herein) which could prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective.

 

Stock Market Risk. The Fund’s investments may decline in value due to movements in the overall stock market.

 

Stock Selection Risk. The Fund’s investments may decline in value even when the overall stock market is not in a general decline.

 

Equity Securities Risk. Equity securities represent ownership in a company. Stock markets are volatile. The price of equity securities will fluctuate and can decline and reduce the value of a portfolio investing in equity securities. The value of equity securities purchased by the Fund could decline if the financial condition of the companies the Fund invests in declines or if overall market and economic conditions deteriorate. The value of equity securities may also decline due to factors that affect a particular industry or industries, such as labor shortages or an increase in production costs and competitive conditions within an industry.

 

In addition, the value may decline due to general market conditions that are not specifically related to a company or industry, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or generally adverse investor sentiment.

 

Foreign Securities Risk. Foreign securities are generally more volatile and less liquid than U.S. securities. Further, foreign securities may be subject to additional risks not associated with investments in U.S. securities. Differences in the economic and political environment, the amount of available public information, the degree of market regulation, and financial reporting, accounting and auditing standards, and, in the case of foreign currency-denominated securities, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, can have a significant effect on the value of a foreign security. Additionally, certain countries may utilize formal or informal currency-exchange controls or “capital controls.” Capital controls may impose restrictions on the Fund’s ability to repatriate investments or income. Such capital controls can also have a significant effect on the value of the Fund’s holdings.

 

Emerging Markets Risk. In addition to the risks of investing in foreign securities in general, the risks of investing in the securities of companies domiciled in emerging market countries include increased political or social instability, economies based on only a few industries, unstable currencies, runaway inflation, highly volatile and less liquid securities markets, unpredictable shifts in policies relating to foreign investments, lack of protection for investors against parties that fail to complete transactions, and the potential for government seizure of assets or nationalization of companies.

 

Frontier Markets Risk. In addition to the risks of investing in foreign securities and emerging markets, frontier market securities involve unique risks, such as exposure to economies less diverse and mature than those of the U.S. or more established foreign markets. Economic or political instability may cause larger price changes in frontier market securities than in securities of issuers based in more developed foreign countries, including securities of issuers in larger emerging markets. Frontier markets generally receive less investor attention than developed markets or larger emerging markets. These risks can result in the potential for extreme price volatility and illiquidity.

4 

 

Smaller Company Stock Risk. Small- and mid-cap stocks may be very sensitive to changing economic conditions and market downturns. In particular, the issuers of small company stocks have more narrow markets for their products and services, fewer product lines, and more limited managerial and financial resources than larger issuers. The stocks of small companies may therefore be more volatile and the ability to sell these stocks at a desirable time or price may be more limited.

 

Sector and Industry Weightings Risk. To the extent the Fund emphasizes, from time to time, investments in a particular sector, the Fund will be subject to a greater degree to the risks particular to that sector. Market conditions, interest rates, and economic, regulatory, or financial developments could significantly affect all the securities in a single sector. If the Fund invests in a few sectors, it may have increased exposure to the price movements of securities in those sectors. The Fund may also from time to time make significant investments in an industry or industries within a particular sector. The industries that constitute a sector may all react in the same way to economic, political or regulatory events. Adverse conditions in such industry or industries could have a correspondingly adverse effect on the financial condition of issuers. These conditions may cause the value of the Fund’s shares to fluctuate more than the values of shares of funds that invest in a greater variety of investments.

 

Consumer Discretionary Sector Risk. The consumer discretionary sector includes companies in industries such as, consumer and household durables, hotels, restaurants, media, retailing, and automobiles. Companies in the consumer discretionary sector may be significantly impacted by the performance of the overall domestic and global economy and interest rates. The consumer discretionary sector relies heavily on disposable household income and spending. Companies in this sector may be subject to severe competition, which may have an adverse impact on their respective profitability. The retail industry can be significantly affected by changes in demographics and consumer tastes, which can also affect the demand for, and success of, consumer products and services in the marketplace. The automotive industry is highly cyclical and can be significantly affected by labor relations and fluctuating component prices. The media industry can be significantly affected by technological advances and government regulation.

 

Consumer Staples Sector Risk. The consumer staples sector includes companies in the food and staples retailing, food, beverage and tobacco, and household and personal products industry groups. Companies in the consumer staples sector may be affected by demographics and product trends, competitive pricing, food fads, marketing campaigns, environmental factors, changes in consumer demands, the performance of the overall domestic and global economy, interest rates, consumer confidence and spending, and changes in commodity prices. Consumer staples companies may be subject to government regulations that may affect the permissibility of using various food additives and production methods. Tobacco companies may be adversely affected by regulation, legislation and/or litigation.

 

Energy Sector Risk. The energy sector includes companies in energy equipment and services, and oil, gas and consumable fuels industry groups. The value of companies in these industry groups is particularly vulnerable to developments in the energy sector, fluctuations in the price and supply of energy fuels, energy conservation, the supply of, and demand for, specific energy-related products or services, and tax policy and other government regulation. Oil and gas companies develop and produce crude oil and natural gas and provide related resources such as production and distribution related services. Stock prices for oil and gas companies in particular are affected by supply and demand both for their specific product or service and for energy products in general. The price of oil and gas, exploration and production spending, government regulation, world events and economic conditions will likewise affect the performance of these companies. Correspondingly, companies in the energy sector are subject to swift price and supply fluctuations caused by events relating to international politics, energy conservation, the success of exploration projects, and tax and other governmental regulatory policies. Weak demand for energy companies' products or services or for energy products and services in general, as well as negative developments in these other areas, would adversely impact the energy stocks in which the Fund invests and the Fund’s performance. Oil and gas exploration and production companies can be significantly affected by natural disasters as well as changes in exchange rates, interest rates, government regulation, world events and economic conditions, and the companies may be at risk for environmental damage claims.

5 

 

Financials Sector Risk. The financials sector includes companies in the banks, capital markets, diversified financials, and insurance industry groups. Companies in the financials sector are subject to extensive government regulation, can be subject to relatively rapid change due to increasingly blurred distinctions between service segments, and can be significantly affected by the availability and cost of capital funds, changes in interest rates, the rate of corporate and consumer debt defaults, and price competition. Banking companies may be affected by extensive government regulation which may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments they can make, the interest rates and fees they can charge, and the amount of capital they must maintain. Profitability is largely dependent on the availability and cost of capital funds, and can fluctuate significantly when interest rates change. Credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of borrowers can negatively affect banking companies. Banks may also be subject to severe price competition. Competition is high among banking companies and failure to maintain or increase market share may result in lost market value. Capital markets may be affected by extensive governmental regulation, economic and other financial events that could cause fluctuations in the stock market, impacting the overall value of investments. The insurance industry may be affected by extensive government regulation and can be significantly affected by interest rates, general economic conditions, and price and marketing competition. Different segments of the insurance industry can be significantly affected by natural disasters, mortality and morbidity rates and environmental clean-up.

 

Health Care Sector Risk. The health care sector includes companies in the health care equipment and services, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology and life sciences industry groups. Health care companies are strongly affected by worldwide scientific or technological developments. Their products may rapidly become obsolete. Many health care companies are also subject to significant government regulation and may be affected by changes in government policies. Companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life sciences industry group in particular are heavily dependent on patent protection, and the expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of such companies. These companies are also subject to extensive litigation based on product liability and other similar claims. Many new products are subject to government approval and the process of obtaining government approval can be long and costly, and even approved products are susceptible to obsolescence. These companies are also subject to competitive forces that may make it difficult to increase prices, or that may lead to price reductions.

 

Industrials Sector Risk. The industrials sector includes companies in the commercial and professional services and transportation industry groups, including companies engaged in the business of human capital management, business research and consulting, air freight and logistics, airlines, maritime shipping and transportation, railroads and trucking, transportation infrastructure, and aerospace and defense. Companies in the industrials sector can be significantly affected by general economic trends, including such factors as employment and economic growth, interest rate changes, changes in consumer spending, legislative and government regulation and spending, import controls, commodity prices, and worldwide competition. Changes in the economy, fuel prices, labor agreements, and insurance costs may result in occasional sharp price movements in transportation securities. Aerospace and defense companies rely, to a significant extent, on government demand for their products and services. The financial condition of, and investor interest in, aerospace and defense companies are heavily influenced by governmental defense spending policies.

6 

 

Information Technology Sector Risk. The information technology sector includes companies in the software and services, technology hardware and equipment and semiconductors and semiconductor equipment industry groups. Companies in the information technology sector are subject to rapid obsolescence of existing technology, short product cycles, falling prices and profits, competition from new market entrants, and general economic conditions. Stocks of companies in the information technology sector, especially those of smaller, less-seasoned companies, tend to be more volatile than the overall market. Technological developments, fixed rate pricing, and the ability to retain skilled employees can significantly affect the software industry. Additionally, the success of companies in the software industry is subject to the continued demand for internet services.

 

Materials Sector Risk. The materials sector includes companies in the chemicals, construction materials, containers and packaging, paper products, and mining industry groups. Changes in world events, political, environmental and economic conditions, energy conservation, environmental policies, commodity price volatility, changes in currency exchange rates, imposition of import and export controls, increased competition, and labor relations may adversely affect companies engaged in the production and distribution of materials. Other risks may include liabilities for environmental damage, depletion of resources, and mandated expenditures for safety and pollution control. Companies in the chemicals industry may be subject to risks associated with the production, handling and disposal of hazardous components. Mining could be affected by supply and demand and operational costs.

 

Real Estate Sector Risk. The real estate sector includes companies involved in real estate management and development and issuers of real estate investment trusts (REITs). Securities of companies in the real estate sector may be adversely affected by, among other things, rental income fluctuation, depreciation, property tax value changes, differences in real estate market values, overbuilding and extended vacancies, increased competition, costs of materials, operating expenses or zoning laws, costs of environmental clean-up or damages from natural disasters, cash flow fluctuations, and defaults by borrowers and tenants.

 

Telecommunication Services Sector Risk. The telecommunications services sector includes diversified telecommunications services and wireless telecommunication services. The telecommunications services industry is subject to government regulation and can be significantly affected by intense competition and technology changes, which may make the products and services of certain companies obsolete. The wireless industry can be significantly affected by failure or delays in obtaining financing or regulatory approval, intense competition, product incompatibility, changing consumer preferences, rapid obsolescence, significant capital expenditures, and heavy debt burdens.

 

Utilities Sector Risk. The utilities sector includes electric utilities, gas utilities, water utilities, multi-utilities (electric, gas and water), and independent power and renewable electricity producers. Companies in the utilities sector are affected by supply and demand, consumer incentives, operating costs, government regulation, environmental factors, liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities, and rate caps or rate changes. The value of regulated utility company stocks may have an inverse relationship to the movement of interest rates. Also, certain utility companies have experienced full or partial deregulation in recent years, which may permit them to diversify outside of their original geographic regions and their traditional lines of business. Conversely, companies that remain heavily regulated may be at a competitive disadvantage, making them less profitable. In addition, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, government intervention or other factors may render a utility company’s equipment unusable and may have an adverse impact on profitability. Utility companies are subject to the high cost of borrowing to finance capital construction during inflationary periods, restrictions on operations and increased costs and delays associated with compliance with environmental and nuclear safety regulations, and the difficulties involved in obtaining natural gas for resale or fuel for generating electricity at reasonable prices. Other risks include those related to the construction and operation of nuclear power plants, the effects of energy conservation and the effects of regulatory changes.

7 

 

Derivatives Risk. The Fund may suffer a loss from its use of put and call options and futures contracts, which are forms of derivatives. Derivatives can amplify a gain or loss, potentially earning or losing substantially more money than the actual cost of the derivative instrument, with the potential for unlimited losses on certain instruments. Derivatives may be difficult to value, may become illiquid, and may affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders.

 

Short Sales Risk. The Fund can make short sales of securities, which means it may experience a loss if the market price of the security increases between the date of the short sale and the date the security is replaced. Short sales may reduce a fund’s returns or increase volatility. In addition, a lender may request, or market conditions may dictate, that securities sold short be returned to the lender on short notice, which may result in the Fund having to buy the securities sold short at an unfavorable price to close out a short position. If this occurs, any anticipated gain to the Fund may be reduced or eliminated or the short sale may result in a loss. In a rising stock market, the Fund’s short positions may significantly impact the Fund’s overall performance and cause the Fund to underperform traditional long-only equity funds or to sustain losses, particularly in a sharply rising market. The use of short sales may also cause the Fund to have higher expenses than other funds. Because losses on short sales arise from increases in the value of the security sold short, such losses are theoretically unlimited. By contrast, a loss on a long position arises from decreases in the value of the security and is limited by the fact that a security’s value cannot go below zero. The use of short sales in combination with long positions in seeking to improve Fund performance or reduce overall portfolio risk may not be successful and may result in greater losses or lower positive returns than if the Fund held only long positions. In addition, the Fund’s short selling strategies may limit its ability to fully benefit from increases in the equity markets. Short positions also typically involve increased liquidity risk and the risk that the third party to the short sale may fail to honor its contract terms. Furthermore, regulatory authorities in various countries, including the United States, have enacted temporary rules prohibiting the short-selling of certain stocks in response to market events. If regulatory authorities were to reinstitute such rules or otherwise restrict short selling, the Fund might not be able to fully implement its short-selling strategy.

 

Investment Companies Risk. The Fund may invest in the shares of other investment companies, including foreign and domestic registered and unregistered open-end funds, closed-end funds, unit investment trusts and exchange-traded funds. Investing in another investment company subjects the Fund to the same risks associated with investing in the securities held by the applicable investment company and the investment strategies employed by such funds (such as the use of leverage). In addition, the benefit of investing in another investment company is largely dependent on the skill of the investment advisor of the underlying company and whether the associated fees and costs involved with investing in such company are offset by the potential gains. As a shareholder in an investment company, the Fund will bear its ratable share of that investment company’s expenses including advisory and administrative fees. Fund shareholders would therefore be subject to duplicative expenses to the extent that the Fund invests in other investment companies.

8 

 

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) Risk. ETFs are investment companies that are bought and sold on a securities exchange. Shares of ETFs are redeemable only in larger aggregations of a specified number of shares and generally on an in-kind basis. When the Fund invests in an ETF, it will bear additional expenses based on its pro rata share of the ETF’s operating expenses. Because of the ETF expenses, it may be more costly to own the ETF than owning the underlying securities directly. In addition, the Fund will incur brokerage costs when purchasing and selling shares of ETFs. The risk of owning an ETF generally reflects the risks of the underlying securities held by the ETF and investment strategies employed by such ETF (such as the use of leverage). The market price of an ETF may also fluctuate due to the supply of, and demand for, the ETF’s shares on the exchange upon which its shares are traded and may trade at a premium or discount to its net asset value. As ETFs trade on an exchange, they are subject to the risks of any exchange-traded instrument, including: (i) an active market for its shares may not develop or be maintained, (ii) market makers or authorized participants may decide to reduce their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress, (iii) trading of its shares may be halted by the exchange, and (iv) its shares may be delisted from the exchange.

 

REIT Risk. Investments in real estate investment trusts (REITs) subject the Fund to risks associated with the direct ownership of real estate. The value of REIT securities can be affected by changes in real estate values and rental income, property taxes, interest rates, tax and regulatory requirements and the management skill and creditworthiness of the issuer. In addition, the value of a REIT can depend on the structure and cash flow generated by the REIT, and REITs may not have diversified holdings. Because REITs are pooled investment vehicles that have expenses of their own, the Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of those expenses.

 

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that the issuer of a debt security will fail to repay principal and interest on the security when due. Credit risk is affected by the issuer’s credit status and is generally higher for non-investment grade securities.

 

Interest Rate Risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that a debt security’s value will decline due to changes in market interest rates. Even though some interest-bearing securities offer a stable stream of income, their prices will still fluctuate with changes in interest rates. The Fund may be subject to greater risk of rising interest rates than would normally be the case due to the current period of historically low rates and the effect of potential government fiscal policy initiatives and resulting market reaction to those initiatives. When interest rates change, the values of longer duration debt securities usually change more than the values of shorter-duration debt securities.

 

Non-Investment Grade Securities Risk. Non-investment grade securities (also known as “high yield” or “junk bonds”) are those rated below investment grade by the primary rating agencies (e.g., below BB/Ba by S&P/Moody’s). Such securities tend to have more volatile prices and increased price sensitivity to changing interest rates and adverse economic and business developments than investment grade securities. In addition, compared to investments in investment grade securities, investments in non-investment grade securities are subject to greater risk of loss due to default by the issuer or decline in the issuer’s credit quality. There is a greater likelihood that adverse economic or company-specific events will make the issuer unable to make interest and/or principal payments, and the issuer may be more susceptible to negative market sentiment, leading to depressed prices and decreased liquidity for the non-investment grade securities.

9 

 

It is possible to lose money on an investment in the Fund.  Investments in the Fund are not deposits or obligations of any bank, are not endorsed or guaranteed by any bank and are not insured or guaranteed by the U.S. government, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board or any other government agency.

 

Performance Information

 

No performance information is presented for the Fund at this time, as the Fund has not yet commenced operations and does not have a full calendar year of performance. In the future, performance information will be presented in this section of the prospectus. This information will give some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by comparing the Fund’s investment returns with a broad measure of market performance. The Fund intends to compare its performance to the S&P Index (the “S&P 500”). The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index composed of 500 selected common stocks that represent approximately two-thirds of the total market value of all U.S. common stocks. You cannot invest directly in an index. Unlike mutual funds, the index does not incur expenses. If expenses were deducted, the actual returns of this index would be lower.

 

In addition, the Wasatch Strategic Income Fund, a series of Wasatch Funds Trust, an open-end management registered investment company (the “Predecessor Fund”), is proposed to be reorganized into the Fund, subject to approval by the shareholders of the Predecessor Fund, at a meeting scheduled to be held on or about [_____], 2018 (the “Reorganization”). If approved and if the Reorganization is consummated, the Fund intends to commence operations upon the closing of the Reorganization, and to assume the financial and performance history of the Predecessor Fund. Except for a fundamental policy to concentrate in the financial services sector (applicable to the Predecessor Fund but not to the Fund), the Predecessor Fund and the Fund have the same investment objectives, substantially similar principal investment strategies, and the same portfolio manager.

 

The Predecessor Fund’s past performance is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future either before or after taxes. Updated performance information will available at no cost by at [_____________] or by calling [____________].

 

[To be included by subsequent amendment]

 

Investment Adviser

 

Seven Canyons Global Asset Management, LLC is the investment adviser to the Fund.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

The Fund is managed by the following portfolio manager:

 

Portfolio Managers 

Period of Service with the Fund 

Primary Title 

Samuel S. Stewart, Jr., PhD, CFA Since Inception ([__], 2018) Lead Portfolio Manager

10 

 

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

 

The Fund offers one class of shares: Investor Class shares. You may purchase, exchange or redeem Fund shares on any business day on which the New York Stock Exchange is open by written request via mail Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund, c/o ALPS Fund Services, Inc., 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80203, by telephone at (303) 623-2577, or through a financial intermediary. Investors who wish to purchase, exchange or redeem Fund shares through a financial intermediary should contact the financial intermediary directly. They may charge you a transaction fee for this service.

 

The minimum initial and subsequent investment amounts are shown below. The Fund reserves the right to waive or change minimum and additional investment amounts. For a description of the Fund’s Investor Class shares, see “Buying and Redeeming Shares.”

 

Initial Investment Minimum

 

Type of Account 

 
New Account $2,000
New Accounts with Automatic Investment Plan $1,000
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) $2,000
Coverdell Education Savings Accounts $1,000

 

Subsequent Purchases Minimum

 

Type of Account 

Regular Accounts and IRAs $100
Automatic Investment Plan

$50 per month

and/or $100 per quarter

 

Tax Information

 

For U.S. federal income tax purposes, the Fund’s distributions are taxable and will be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains or qualified dividend income for individual and other noncorporate shareholders subject to tax at maximum federal rates applicable to long-term capital gains. If you invest through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan, an individual retirement account or 529 college savings plan, special rules will apply.

 

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

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

11 

 

FUND SUMMARY

 

Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund (the “Fund”)

 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund’s investment objective is long-term growth of capital.

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund.

 

Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)
  Investor Class Institutional Class
Maximum sales charge (Load) imposed on purchases None None
Redemption Fee (as a percentage of amount redeemed, if you sell or exchange your shares within 60 days of purchase) 2.00% 2.00%
Exchange Fee None None
Maximum Account Fee None None

  

Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
  Investor Class Institutional Class
Management Fees 1.50% 1.50%
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees None None
Total Other Expenses (1) 0.44% 0.44%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses 1.94% 1.94%
Fee Waiver and Expense Reimbursement (2) (0.19)% (0.39)%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver/Expense Reimbursement(2) 1.75% 1.55%

 

 

(1)Other Expenses are estimated for the current fiscal year.

 

(2)Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC, the Fund’s investment adviser (the “Adviser”), has contractually agreed to limit the amount of the Fund’s total annual fund operating expenses, exclusive of interest, dividend expense on short sales/interest expense, taxes, brokerage commissions, other investment related costs, acquired fund fees and expenses, and extraordinary expenses such as litigation and other expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of business, to 1.75% and 1.55% of the Fund’s average daily net assets for the Investor Class and the Institutional Class, respectively. This agreement is in effect through [ ____ ] 2020, may only be terminated before then by the Board of Trustees, and is reevaluated on an annual basis. With respect to the Fund, the Adviser shall be permitted to recover, on a class-by-class basis, expenses it has borne subsequent to the effective date of the agreement described above (whether through reduction of its management fee or otherwise) only to the extent that such recoupment payments do not cause the Fund’s expenses in later periods to exceed the lesser of (1) the contractual expense limit in effect at the time the Adviser waives or limits the expenses or (2) the contractual expense limit in effect at the time the Adviser seeks to recover the expenses; provided, however, that the Fund will not be obligated to pay any such recoupments more than three years after the date on which the fee and expense was reduced.

12 

 

Example

 

This example is intended to help you compare the costs of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds.  The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods.  The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same.  The example takes into consideration the agreement by the Adviser to waive fees and reimburse expenses for the contractual period only.

 

Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

  1 Year 3 Years
Investor Class $178 $571
Institutional Class $158 $531

 

Portfolio Turnover

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio).  A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs.  These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund’s performance.  A higher turnover rate may also result in additional income taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations, portfolio turnover rate is not available at this time.

 

Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund

 

The Fund invests primarily in domestic and foreign growth companies that the Adviser believes are innovators in their respective sectors or industries.

 

Modern innovative companies have global business models that are less dependent upon their place of domicile, the location of their headquarters, or the exchange on which their stocks are listed. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will typically be invested in at least three developed countries, including the U.S. The Fund may invest in securities issued by companies domiciled in emerging and frontier markets without limitation.

13 

 

Under normal market conditions, the Adviser expects that a significant portion of the Fund’s assets will be invested in equity securities (primarily common stocks) of companies that have significant non-U.S. economic risk exposure. The Adviser will consider a company to have significant non-U.S. economic risk exposure if, at the time of purchase, it has at least 50% of its assets outside the U.S., or if at least 50% of its revenues or profits are from goods produced or sold, investments made, or services performed outside the U.S. The Fund may invest a significant portion of its total assets in companies domiciled in foreign countries (under normal market conditions, at least 40% of its assets outside the United States, or if conditions are not favorable, 30% of its assets outside the United States).

 

The Adviser will use a process of “bottom-up” fundamental analysis to invest in companies of any size. However, because innovative companies are rapidly evolving, the Adviser expects to invest a significant portion of the Fund’s assets in early stage companies and small- to mid-size companies with market capitalizations of less than US$5 billion at the time of purchase.

 

The Adviser has defined two broad categories that it believes are critical to identifying companies with outstanding investment potential. The first is companies that possess valuable intellectual property. The second is companies that are innovators in their respective sectors or industries.

 

The Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in a few sectors. The current list of recognized sectors includes consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, financials, health care, industrials, information technology, materials, real estate, telecommunication services, and utilities.

 

Principal Risks of the Fund

 

As with any mutual fund, there are risks to investing.  There is no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objective.  The following is a description of the principal risks of the Fund, which may adversely affect its net asset value and total return.  There are other circumstances (including additional risks that are not described herein) which could prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective.

 

Stock Market Risk. The Fund’s investments may decline in value due to movements in the overall stock market.

 

Stock Selection Risk. The Fund’s investments may decline in value even when the overall stock market is not in a general decline.

 

Equity Securities Risk. Equity securities represent ownership in a company. Stock markets are volatile. The price of equity securities will fluctuate and can decline and reduce the value of a portfolio investing in equity securities. The value of equity securities purchased by the Fund could decline if the financial condition of the companies the Fund invests in declines or if overall market and economic conditions deteriorate. The value of equity securities may also decline due to factors that affect a particular industry or industries, such as labor shortages or an increase in production costs and competitive conditions within an industry.

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In addition, the value may decline due to general market conditions that are not specifically related to a company or industry, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or generally adverse investor sentiment.

 

Foreign Securities Risk. Foreign securities are generally more volatile and less liquid than U.S. securities. Further, foreign securities may be subject to additional risks not associated with investments in U.S. securities. Differences in the economic and political environment, the amount of available public information, the degree of market regulation, and financial reporting, accounting and auditing standards, and, in the case of foreign currency-denominated securities, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, can have a significant effect on the value of a foreign security. Additionally, certain countries may utilize formal or informal currency-exchange controls or “capital controls.” Capital controls may impose restrictions on the Fund’s ability to repatriate investments or income. Such capital controls can also have a significant effect on the value of the Fund’s holdings.

 

Emerging Markets Risk. In addition to the risks of investing in foreign securities in general, the risks of investing in the securities of companies domiciled in emerging market countries include increased political or social instability, economies based on only a few industries, unstable currencies, runaway inflation, highly volatile and less liquid securities markets, unpredictable shifts in policies relating to foreign investments, lack of protection for investors against parties that fail to complete transactions, and the potential for government seizure of assets or nationalization of companies.

 

Frontier Markets Risk. In addition to the risks of investing in foreign securities and emerging markets, frontier market securities involve unique risks, such as exposure to economies less diverse and mature than those of the U.S. or more established foreign markets. Economic or political instability may cause larger price changes in frontier market securities than in securities of issuers based in more developed foreign countries, including securities of issuers in larger emerging markets. Frontier markets generally receive less investor attention than developed markets or larger emerging markets. These risks can result in the potential for extreme price volatility and illiquidity.

 

Early Stage Companies Risk. Early stage companies may never obtain necessary financing, may rely on untested business plans, may not be successful in developing markets for their products or services, and may remain an insignificant part of their industry, and as such may never be profitable. Stocks of early stage companies may be illiquid, privately traded, and more volatile and speculative than the securities of larger companies.

 

Smaller Company Stock Risk. Small- and mid-cap stocks may be very sensitive to changing economic conditions and market downturns. In particular, the issuers of small company stocks have more narrow markets for their products and services, fewer product lines, and more limited managerial and financial resources than larger issuers. The stocks of small companies may therefore be more volatile and the ability to sell these stocks at a desirable time or price may be more limited.

 

Sector and Industry Weightings Risk. To the extent the Fund emphasizes, from time to time, investments in a particular sector, the Fund will be subject to a greater degree to the risks particular to that sector, including the sectors described below. Market conditions, interest rates, and economic, regulatory, or financial developments could significantly affect all the securities in a single sector. If the Fund invests in a few sectors, it may have increased exposure to the price movements of securities in those sectors. The Fund may also from time to time make significant investments in an industry or industries within a particular sector. The industries that constitute a sector may all react in the same way to economic, political or regulatory events. Adverse conditions in such industry or industries could have a correspondingly adverse effect on the financial condition of issuers. These conditions may cause the value of the Fund’s shares to fluctuate more than the values of shares of funds that invest in a greater variety of investments.

15 

 

Consumer Discretionary Sector Risk. The consumer discretionary sector includes companies in industries such as, consumer and household durables, hotels, restaurants, media, retailing, and automobiles. Companies in the consumer discretionary sector may be significantly impacted by the performance of the overall domestic and global economy and interest rates. The consumer discretionary sector relies heavily on disposable household income and spending. Companies in this sector may be subject to severe competition, which may have an adverse impact on their respective profitability. The retail industry can be significantly affected by changes in demographics and consumer tastes, which can also affect the demand for, and success of, consumer products and services in the marketplace. The automotive industry is highly cyclical and can be significantly affected by labor relations and fluctuating component prices. The media industry can be significantly affected by technological advances and government regulation.

 

Consumer Staples Sector Risk. The consumer staples sector includes companies in the food and staples retailing, food, beverage and tobacco, and household and personal products industry groups. Companies in the consumer staples sector may be affected by demographics and product trends, competitive pricing, food fads, marketing campaigns, environmental factors, changes in consumer demands, the performance of the overall domestic and global economy, interest rates, consumer confidence and spending, and changes in commodity prices. Consumer staples companies may be subject to government regulations that may affect the permissibility of using various food additives and production methods. Tobacco companies may be adversely affected by regulation, legislation and/or litigation.

 

Energy Sector Risk. The energy sector includes companies in energy equipment and services, and oil, gas and consumable fuels industry groups. The value of companies in these industry groups is particularly vulnerable to developments in the energy sector, fluctuations in the price and supply of energy fuels, energy conservation, the supply of, and demand for, specific energy-related products or services, and tax policy and other government regulation. Oil and gas companies develop and produce crude oil and natural gas and provide related resources such as production and distribution related services. Stock prices for oil and gas companies in particular are affected by supply and demand both for their specific product or service and for energy products in general. The price of oil and gas, exploration and production spending, government regulation, world events and economic conditions will likewise affect the performance of these companies. Correspondingly, companies in the energy sector are subject to swift price and supply fluctuations caused by events relating to international politics, energy conservation, the success of exploration projects, and tax and other governmental regulatory policies. Weak demand for energy companies' products or services or for energy products and services in general, as well as negative developments in these other areas, would adversely impact the energy stocks in which the Fund invests and the Fund’s performance. Oil and gas exploration and production companies can be significantly affected by natural disasters as well as changes in exchange rates, interest rates, government regulation, world events and economic conditions, and the companies may be at risk for environmental damage claims.

16 

 

Financials Sector Risk. The financials sector includes companies in the banks, capital markets, diversified financials, and insurance industry groups. Companies in the financials sector are subject to extensive government regulation, can be subject to relatively rapid change due to increasingly blurred distinctions between service segments, and can be significantly affected by the availability and cost of capital funds, changes in interest rates, the rate of corporate and consumer debt defaults, and price competition. Banking companies may be affected by extensive government regulation which may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments they can make, the interest rates and fees they can charge, and the amount of capital they must maintain. Profitability is largely dependent on the availability and cost of capital funds, and can fluctuate significantly when interest rates change. Credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of borrowers can negatively affect banking companies. Banks may also be subject to severe price competition. Competition is high among banking companies and failure to maintain or increase market share may result in lost market value. Capital markets may be affected by extensive governmental regulation, economic and other financial events that could cause fluctuations in the stock market, impacting the overall value of investments. The insurance industry may be affected by extensive government regulation and can be significantly affected by interest rates, general economic conditions, and price and marketing competition. Different segments of the insurance industry can be significantly affected by natural disasters, mortality and morbidity rates and environmental clean-up.

 

Health Care Sector Risk. The health care sector includes companies in the health care equipment and services, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology and life sciences industry groups. Health care companies are strongly affected by worldwide scientific or technological developments. Their products may rapidly become obsolete. Many health care companies are also subject to significant government regulation and may be affected by changes in government policies. Companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life sciences industry group in particular are heavily dependent on patent protection, and the expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of such companies. These companies are also subject to extensive litigation based on product liability and other similar claims. Many new products are subject to government approval and the process of obtaining government approval can be long and costly, and even approved products are susceptible to obsolescence. These companies are also subject to competitive forces that may make it difficult to increase prices, or that may lead to price reductions.

 

Industrials Sector Risk. The industrials sector includes companies in the commercial and professional services and transportation industry groups, including companies engaged in the business of human capital management, business research and consulting, air freight and logistics, airlines, maritime shipping and transportation, railroads and trucking, transportation infrastructure, and aerospace and defense. Companies in the industrials sector can be significantly affected by general economic trends, including such factors as employment and economic growth, interest rate changes, changes in consumer spending, legislative and government regulation and spending, import controls, commodity prices, and worldwide competition. Changes in the economy, fuel prices, labor agreements, and insurance costs may result in occasional sharp price movements in transportation securities. Aerospace and defense companies rely, to a significant extent, on government demand for their products and services. The financial condition of, and investor interest in, aerospace and defense companies are heavily influenced by governmental defense spending policies.

 

Information Technology Sector Risk. The information technology sector includes companies in the software and services, technology hardware and equipment and semiconductors and semiconductor equipment industry groups. Companies in the information technology sector are subject to rapid obsolescence of existing technology, short product cycles, falling prices and profits, competition from new market entrants, and general economic conditions. Stocks of companies in the information technology sector, especially those of smaller, less-seasoned companies, tend to be more volatile than the overall market. Technological developments, fixed rate pricing, and the ability to retain skilled employees can significantly affect the software industry. Additionally, the success of companies in the software industry is subject to the continued demand for internet services.

17 

 

Materials Sector Risk. The materials sector includes companies in the chemicals, construction materials, containers and packaging, paper products, and mining industry groups. Changes in world events, political, environmental and economic conditions, energy conservation, environmental policies, commodity price volatility, changes in currency exchange rates, imposition of import and export controls, increased competition, and labor relations may adversely affect companies engaged in the production and distribution of materials. Other risks may include liabilities for environmental damage, depletion of resources, and mandated expenditures for safety and pollution control. Companies in the chemicals industry may be subject to risks associated with the production, handling and disposal of hazardous components. Mining could be affected by supply and demand and operational costs.

 

Real Estate Sector Risk. The real estate sector includes companies involved in real estate management and development and issuers of real estate investment trusts (REITs). Securities of companies in the real estate sector may be adversely affected by, among other things, rental income fluctuation, depreciation, property tax value changes, differences in real estate market values, overbuilding and extended vacancies, increased competition, costs of materials, operating expenses or zoning laws, costs of environmental clean-up or damages from natural disasters, cash flow fluctuations, and defaults by borrowers and tenants.

 

Telecommunication Services Sector Risk. The telecommunications services sector includes diversified telecommunications services and wireless telecommunication services. The telecommunications services industry is subject to government regulation and can be significantly affected by intense competition and technology changes, which may make the products and services of certain companies obsolete. The wireless industry can be significantly affected by failure or delays in obtaining financing or regulatory approval, intense competition, product incompatibility, changing consumer preferences, rapid obsolescence, significant capital expenditures, and heavy debt burdens.

 

Utilities Sector Risk. The utilities sector includes electric utilities, gas utilities, water utilities, multi-utilities (electric, gas and water), and independent power and renewable electricity producers. Companies in the utilities sector are affected by supply and demand, consumer incentives, operating costs, government regulation, environmental factors, liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities, and rate caps or rate changes. The value of regulated utility company stocks may have an inverse relationship to the movement of interest rates. Also, certain utility companies have experienced full or partial deregulation in recent years, which may permit them to diversify outside of their original geographic regions and their traditional lines of business. Conversely, companies that remain heavily regulated may be at a competitive disadvantage, making them less profitable. In addition, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, government intervention or other factors may render a utility company’s equipment unusable and may have an adverse impact on profitability. Utility companies are subject to the high cost of borrowing to finance capital construction during inflationary periods, restrictions on operations and increased costs and delays associated with compliance with environmental and nuclear safety regulations, and the difficulties involved in obtaining natural gas for resale or fuel for generating electricity at reasonable prices. Other risks include those related to the construction and operation of nuclear power plants, the effects of energy conservation and the effects of regulatory changes.

18 

 

It is possible to lose money on an investment in the Fund.  Investments in the Fund are not deposits or obligations of any bank, are not endorsed or guaranteed by any bank and are not insured or guaranteed by the U.S. government, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board or any other government agency.

 

Performance Information

 

No performance information is presented for the Fund at this time, as the Fund has not yet commenced operations and does not have a full calendar year of performance. In the future, performance information will be presented in this section of the prospectus. This information will give some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by comparing the Fund’s investment returns with a broad measure of market performance. The Fund intends to compare its performance to the MSCI All Country World Index (the “MSCI ACWI”). The MSCI ACWI is a mid and large capitalization equity benchmark covering more than 2,400 companies in 23 developed and 24 emerging market countries. You cannot invest directly in an index. Unlike mutual funds, the index does not incur expenses. If expenses were deducted, the actual returns of this index would be lower.

 

In addition, the Wasatch World Innovators Fund, a series of Wasatch Funds Trust, an open-end management registered investment company (the “Predecessor Fund”), is proposed to be reorganized into the Fund, subject to approval by the shareholders of the Predecessor Fund, at a meeting scheduled to be held on or about [_____], 2018 (the “Reorganization”). If approved and if the Reorganization is consummated, the Fund intends to commence operations upon the closing of the Reorganization, and to assume the financial and performance history of the Predecessor Fund. The Predecessor Fund and the Fund have the same investment objectives, substantially similar principal investment strategies, and the same portfolio managers.

 

The Predecessor Fund’s past performance is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future either before or after taxes. Updated performance information will available at no cost by at [_____________] or by calling [____________].

 

[To be included by subsequent amendment]

 

Investment Adviser

 

Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC is the investment adviser to the Fund.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

The Fund is managed by the following portfolio managers:

 

Portfolio Managers 

Period of Service with the Fund 

Primary Title 

Josh Stewart Since Inception ([__], 2018) Lead Portfolio Manager
Samuel S. Stewart, Jr., PhD, CFA Since Inception ([__], 2018) Portfolio Manager

19 

 

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

 

The Fund offers two classes of shares: Investor Class shares and Institutional Class shares. You may purchase, exchange or redeem Fund shares on any business day on which the New York Stock Exchange is open by written request via mail Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund, c/o ALPS Fund Services, Inc., 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80203, by telephone at (303) 623-2577, or through a financial intermediary. Investors who wish to purchase, exchange or redeem Fund shares through a financial intermediary should contact the financial intermediary directly. They may charge you a transaction fee for this service.

 

The minimum initial and subsequent investment amounts are shown below. The Fund reserves the right to waive or change minimum and additional investment amounts. For a description of the Fund’s Institutional Class and Investor Class shares, see “Buying and Redeeming Shares.”

 

Initial Investment Minimum

 

Type of Account 

Investor Class 

Institutional Class 

New Account $2,000 $100,000
New Accounts with Automatic Investment Plan $1,000 N/A
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) $2,000 $100,000
Coverdell Education Savings Accounts $1,000 N/A

 

Subsequent Purchases Minimum

 

Type of Account  

Investor Class 

Institutional Class 

Regular Accounts and IRAs $100 $5,000
Automatic Investment Plan

$50 per month and/or $100 per quarter

N/A

 

Tax Information

 

For U.S. federal income tax purposes, the Fund’s distributions are taxable and will be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains or, in some cases qualified dividend income for individual and other noncorporate shareholders subject to tax at maximum federal rates applicable to long-term capital gains. If you invest through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan, an individual retirement account or 529 college savings plan, special rules will apply.

 

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

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

20 

 

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND
PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES 

 

This section describes the investment objectives and principal investment strategies of each of the Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund and the Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund (each, a “Fund,” and collectively, the “Funds”).  See “EACH FUND’S PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT RELATED RISKS” in this Prospectus for more information about the Funds’ investments and the risks of investing.

 

What is each Fund’s Investment Objective?

 

The Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund’s primary investment objective is to capture current income. A secondary objective is long-term growth of capital.

 

The Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund’s investment objective is long-term growth of capital.

 

While there is no assurance that the Funds will achieve their investment objectives, the Funds endeavor to do so by following the strategies and policies described in this Prospectus.

 

The Board of Trustees (the “Board”) may change a Fund’s name, investment objectives or principal investment strategies without a shareholder vote.  A Fund will notify you in writing at least sixty (60) days before making any such change.  If there is a material change to a Fund’s investment objectives or principal investment strategies, you should consider whether that Fund remains an appropriate investment for you.

 

Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund

 

Under normal market conditions, the Fund’s assets will be invested primarily in income-producing domestic and foreign securities, including equity securities (primarily common stocks) and fixed-income securities of companies of all market capitalizations. The Fund is not managed as a balanced portfolio. At times, one type of security may make up a substantial portion of the Fund, while other types may have minimal or no representation.

 

The Fund may invest its assets in securities issued by foreign companies in developed countries without limit. To a lesser extent, the Fund may invest in foreign companies in emerging and frontier markets. Securities issued by companies incorporated outside the United States whose securities are principally traded in the United States are not defined as foreign companies.

 

The Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in a few sectors. The current list of recognized sectors includes consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, financials, health care, industrials, information technology, materials, real estate (which may include investments in real estate investment trusts, or REITs), telecommunication services, and utilities.

 

The Fund may invest in investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The Fund may make short sales of securities, and may also use derivatives such as put and call options and futures contracts for hedging and non-hedging purposes. The Fund may write put and call options subject to applicable law and SEC guidelines.

21 

 

In the selection of equity securities, the Adviser uses a “bottom-up” fundamental analysis to identify individual companies with attractive, sustainable dividend yields or the potential for dividend growth. In certain situations, the Fund may acquire non-income producing securities if the Adviser believes the company has the potential to pay dividends in the future. The Adviser’s analysis may include studying a company’s financial statements, building proprietary financial models, visiting company facilities, and meeting with executive management, suppliers and customers.

 

Characteristics the Adviser considers when investing in a company’s equity securities generally include:

 

Attractive, sustainable dividend yields or the potential for dividend growth;

Experienced top management;

Sustainable competitive advantage;

Stable demand for products and services; and

Ability to capitalize on favorable long-term trends.

 

The Fund’s investments in fixed-income securities may include domestic and foreign corporate bonds with a variety of maturities (e.g., long-term, intermediate or short-term) and credit qualities (e.g., investment grade or non-investment grade). At certain times the Fund may emphasize one particular maturity or credit quality. The Fund may invest in non-investment grade securities without limitation. The Fund may also invest in U.S. Treasury securities and the debt obligations of foreign governments.

 

Characteristics the Adviser considers when investing in fixed-income securities generally include:

 

Rates of current income;

Credit quality of the issuer; and

Maturity, duration and other characteristics of the obligation.

 

Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund

 

The Fund invests primarily in domestic and foreign growth companies that the Adviser believes are innovators in their respective sectors or industries.

 

Modern innovative companies have global business models that are less dependent upon their place of domicile, the location of their headquarters, or the exchange on which their stocks are listed. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will typically be invested in at least three developed countries, including the U.S. The Fund may invest in securities issued by companies domiciled in emerging and frontier markets without limitation.

 

Under normal market conditions, the Adviser expects that a significant portion of the Fund’s assets will be invested in equity securities (primarily common stocks) of companies that have significant non-U.S. economic risk exposure. The Adviser will consider a company to have significant non-U.S. economic risk exposure if, at the time of purchase, it has at least 50% of its assets outside the U.S., or if at least 50% of its revenues or profits are from goods produced or sold, investments made, or services performed outside the U.S. The Fund may invest a significant portion of its total assets in companies domiciled in foreign countries (under normal market conditions, at least 40% of its assets outside the United States, or if conditions are not favorable, 30% of its assets outside the United States).

22 

 

The Adviser will use a process of “bottom-up” fundamental analysis to invest in companies of any size. However, because innovative companies are rapidly evolving, the Adviser expects to invest a significant portion of the Fund’s assets in early stage companies and small- to mid-size companies with market capitalizations of less than US$5 billion at the time of purchase.

 

The Adviser has defined two broad categories that it believes are critical to identifying companies with outstanding investment potential. The first is companies that possess valuable intellectual property. The second is companies that are innovators in their respective sectors or industries.

 

The Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in a few sectors. The current list of recognized sectors includes consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, financials, health care, industrials, information technology, materials, real estate, telecommunication services, and utilities.

 

Additional information About Each Fund’s Investment Processes

 

Securities for the Funds are recommended by an experienced in-house research team. Each Fund’s portfolio manager(s) seeks to ensure that investments are compatible with the Fund’s investment objective(s) and strategies. As part of its research process, the research team uses “bottom-up” fundamental analysis to identify companies that it believes have outstanding investment potential. The research process may include, among other things, prescreening potential investments using databases and industry contacts, analyzing companies’ annual reports and financial statements, making onsite visits, meeting with top management, evaluating the competitive environment, looking at distribution channels and identifying areas of potential growth.

 

Buying Securities

Decisions to buy securities are based on the best judgment of each Fund’s portfolio manager(s) in a continuing effort to enhance long-term performance. Below are factors that are considered by portfolio managers when purchasing securities for the Funds.

 

Growth Stocks. As the Adviser analyzes growing companies, the Adviser is most interested in finding:

 

Potential for significant and sustained revenue and earnings growth.

Experienced, proven management team.

High return on capital.

Sustainable competitive advantage.

Market leadership and/or growing market share.

Ability to capitalize on favorable long-term trends.

Strong financial health.

Reasonable use of debt.

23 

 

Attractive valuation.

 

Value Stocks. As the Adviser analyzes “value” companies, the Adviser is most interested in finding:

 

Catalysts for improved earnings growth.

New products or services that may increase revenue growth and market share.

Experienced top management with a substantial stake in the company’s future.

Introduction of valuable new products and services.

Low stock valuation as measured by a variety of ratios, including price-to-earnings, price-to-sales, price-to-book, price-to-cash flow and enterprise value-to-EBITDA.

Potential to generate improved financial performance.

 

Selling Securities

Decisions to sell securities are based on the best judgment of each Fund’s portfolio manager(s) in a continuing effort to enhance long-term performance. In general, the Adviser is likely to sell a security when:

 

The rationale the Adviser used to buy the security is no longer valid.

The security becomes overpriced.

The Adviser believes another security has better investment potential.

 

EACH FUND’S PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT RELATED RISKS 

 

Each Fund’s investment objective and principal investment strategies are described above under “INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES.”  This section provides additional information about the principal and non-principal risks that may affect each Fund’s portfolio.  Additional information about some of the Funds’ investments and portfolio management techniques and their associated risks is included in the Funds’ Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), which is available without charge upon request (see back cover).

 

What are the Principal Risks of Investing in the Funds?

 

There are inherent risks associated with each Fund’s principal investment strategies. The factors that are most likely to have a material effect on a Fund’s investment portfolio as a whole are called “principal risks.” The principal risks of each Fund are summarized in each Fund’s “Summary Section” above and further described below. The principal risk disclosure below is only applicable to a Fund if the table indicates that a particular risk factor is applicable to that Fund. The Funds may be subject to additional risks other than those described because, among other reasons, the types of investments made by the Funds may change over time. For additional information regarding risks of investing in the Funds, please see the Statement of Additional Information. It is important to read all the disclosure information provided and to understand that you may lose money by investing in the Funds.

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  Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund
Consumer Discretionary Sector Risk
Consumer Staples Sector Risk
Credit Risk  
Derivatives Risk  
Early Stage Companies Risk  
Emerging Markets Risk
Energy Sector Risk
Equity Securities Risk
Exchange Traded Funds Risk  
Financials Sector Risk
Foreign Securities Risk
Frontier Markets Risk
Health Care Sector Risk
Industrials Sector Risk
Information Technology Sector Risk
Interest Rate Risk  
Investment Companies Risk  
Materials Sector Risk
Non-Investment Grade Securities Risk  
Real Estate Sector Risk
REIT Risk  
Sector and Industry Weightings Risk
Short Sales Risk  
Smaller Company Stock Risk
Stock Market Risk
Stock Selection Risk
Telecommunication Services Sector Risk
Utilities Sector Risk

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Consumer Discretionary Sector Risk. The consumer discretionary sector includes companies in industries such as, consumer and household durables, hotels, restaurants, media, retailing, and automobiles. Companies in the consumer discretionary sector may be significantly impacted by the performance of the overall domestic and global economy and interest rates. The consumer discretionary sector relies heavily on disposable household income and spending. Companies in this sector may be subject to severe competition, which may have an adverse impact on their respective profitability. The retail industry can be significantly affected by changes in demographics and consumer tastes, which can also affect the demand for, and success of, consumer products and services in the marketplace. The automotive industry is highly cyclical and can be significantly affected by labor relations and fluctuating component prices. The media industry can be significantly affected by technological advances and government regulation.

 

Consumer Staples Sector Risk. The consumer staples sector includes companies in the food and staples retailing, food, beverage and tobacco, and household and personal products industry groups. Companies in the consumer staples sector may be affected by demographics and product trends, competitive pricing, food fads, marketing campaigns, environmental factors, changes in consumer demands, the performance of the overall domestic and global economy, interest rates, consumer confidence and spending, and changes in commodity prices. Consumer staples companies may be subject to government regulations that may affect the permissibility of using various food additives and production methods. Tobacco companies may be adversely affected by regulation, legislation and/or litigation.

 

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that the issuer of a debt security will fail to repay principal and interest on the security when due. Credit risk is affected by the issuer’s credit status and is generally higher for non-investment grade securities.

 

Derivatives Risk. The Fund may suffer a loss from its use of put and call options and futures contracts, which are forms of derivatives. Derivatives can amplify a gain or loss, potentially earning or losing substantially more money than the actual cost of the derivative instrument, with the potential for unlimited losses on certain instruments. Derivatives may be difficult to value, may become illiquid, and may affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders.

 

Early Stage Companies Risk. Early stage companies may never obtain necessary financing, may rely on untested business plans, may not be successful in developing markets for their products or services, and may remain an insignificant part of their industry, and as such may never be profitable. Stocks of early stage companies may be illiquid, privately traded, and more volatile and speculative than the securities of larger companies.

 

Emerging Markets Risk. In addition to the risks of investing in foreign securities in general, the risks of investing in the securities of companies domiciled in emerging market countries include increased political or social instability, economies based on only a few industries, unstable currencies, runaway inflation, highly volatile and less liquid securities markets, unpredictable shifts in policies relating to foreign investments, lack of protection for investors against parties that fail to complete transactions, and the potential for government seizure of assets or nationalization of companies.

 

Energy Sector Risk. The energy sector includes companies in energy equipment and services, and oil, gas and consumable fuels industry groups. The value of companies in these industry groups is particularly vulnerable to developments in the energy sector, fluctuations in the price and supply of energy fuels, energy conservation, the supply of, and demand for, specific energy-related products or services, and tax policy and other government regulation. Oil and gas companies develop and produce crude oil and natural gas and provide related resources such as production and distribution related services. Stock prices for oil and gas companies in particular are affected by supply and demand both for their specific product or service and for energy products in general. The price of oil and gas, exploration and production spending, government regulation, world events and economic conditions will likewise affect the performance of these companies. Correspondingly, companies in the energy sector are subject to swift price and supply fluctuations caused by events relating to international politics, energy conservation, the success of exploration projects, and tax and other governmental regulatory policies. Weak demand for energy companies' products or services or for energy products and services in general, as well as negative developments in these other areas, would adversely impact the energy stocks in which the Fund invests and the Fund’s performance. Oil and gas exploration and production companies can be significantly affected by natural disasters as well as changes in exchange rates, interest rates, government regulation, world events and economic conditions, and the companies may be at risk for environmental damage claims.

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Equity Securities Risk. Equity securities represent ownership in a company. Stock markets are volatile. The price of equity securities will fluctuate and can decline and reduce the value of a portfolio investing in equity securities. The value of equity securities purchased by the Fund could decline if the financial condition of the companies the Fund invests in declines or if overall market and economic conditions deteriorate. The value of equity securities may also decline due to factors that affect a particular industry or industries, such as labor shortages or an increase in production costs and competitive conditions within an industry.

 

In addition, the value may decline due to general market conditions that are not specifically related to a company or industry, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or generally adverse investor sentiment.

 

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) Risk. ETFs are investment companies that are bought and sold on a securities exchange. Shares of ETFs are redeemable only in larger aggregations of a specified number of shares and generally on an in-kind basis. When the Fund invests in an ETF, it will bear additional expenses based on its pro rata share of the ETF’s operating expenses. Because of the ETF expenses, it may be more costly to own the ETF than owning the underlying securities directly. In addition, the Fund will incur brokerage costs when purchasing and selling shares of ETFs. The risk of owning an ETF generally reflects the risks of the underlying securities held by the ETF and investment strategies employed by such ETF (such as the use of leverage). The market price of an ETF may also fluctuate due to the supply of, and demand for, the ETF’s shares on the exchange upon which its shares are traded and may trade at a premium or discount to its net asset value. As ETFs trade on an exchange, they are subject to the risks of any exchange-traded instrument, including: (i) an active market for its shares may not develop or be maintained, (ii) market makers or authorized participants may decide to reduce their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress, (iii) trading of its shares may be halted by the exchange, and (iv) its shares may be delisted from the exchange.

 

Financials Sector Risk. The financials sector includes companies in the banks, capital markets, diversified financials, and insurance industry groups. Companies in the financials sector are subject to extensive government regulation, can be subject to relatively rapid change due to increasingly blurred distinctions between service segments, and can be significantly affected by the availability and cost of capital funds, changes in interest rates, the rate of corporate and consumer debt defaults, and price competition. Banking companies may be affected by extensive government regulation which may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments they can make, the interest rates and fees they can charge, and the amount of capital they must maintain. Profitability is largely dependent on the availability and cost of capital funds, and can fluctuate significantly when interest rates change. Credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of borrowers can negatively affect banking companies. Banks may also be subject to severe price competition. Competition is high among banking companies and failure to maintain or increase market share may result in lost market value. Capital markets may be affected by extensive governmental regulation, economic and other financial events that could cause fluctuations in the stock market, impacting the overall value of investments. The insurance industry may be affected by extensive government regulation and can be significantly affected by interest rates, general economic conditions, and price and marketing competition. Different segments of the insurance industry can be significantly affected by natural disasters, mortality and morbidity rates and environmental clean-up.

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Foreign Securities Risk. Foreign securities are generally more volatile and less liquid than U.S. securities. Further, foreign securities may be subject to additional risks not associated with investments in U.S. securities. Differences in the economic and political environment, the amount of available public information, the degree of market regulation, and financial reporting, accounting and auditing standards, and, in the case of foreign currency-denominated securities, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, can have a significant effect on the value of a foreign security. Additionally, certain countries may utilize formal or informal currency-exchange controls or “capital controls.” Capital controls may impose restrictions on the Fund’s ability to repatriate investments or income. Such capital controls can also have a significant effect on the value of the Fund’s holdings. The following paragraphs highlight some of the related risks of investing in foreign securities.

 

Foreign Market Risk. Foreign securities markets may be less liquid and their prices may be more volatile than domestic markets. There also may be less government supervision and regulation of foreign stock exchanges, brokers, custodians and listed companies than in the U.S. Certain markets may require payment for securities before delivery and delays may be encountered in settling securities transactions. In some foreign markets, there may be no protection against failure by other parties to complete transactions and limited legal recourse against an issuer in the event of a default on a debt instrument.

 

Currency Risk. The U.S. dollar value of a Fund’s assets invested in foreign countries will be affected by foreign currency exchange rates and may be affected by exchange control regulations. A change in the value of any foreign currency will change the U.S. dollar value of a Fund’s assets that are denominated or traded in that country. In addition, a Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. While the Funds have the ability to hedge against fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, they have no present intention to do so. A risk of not hedging currencies is that if the U.S. dollar strengthens, returns from foreign markets will be less when converted into U.S. dollars. Additionally, certain countries may utilize formal or informal currency-exchange controls or “capital controls.” Capital controls may impose restrictions on a Fund’s ability to repatriate investments or income. Such capital controls can also have a significant effect on the value of a Fund’s holdings.

 

Political and Economic Risk. Foreign investments may be subject to heightened political and economic risks, particularly in countries with emerging economies and securities markets, which may have relatively unstable governments and economies based on only a few industries. In some countries, there is the risk that the government could seize or nationalize companies, impose additional withholding taxes on dividends or interest income payable on securities, impose exchange controls or adopt other restrictions that could affect a Fund’s investments.

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Regulatory Risk. Foreign companies not publicly traded in the U.S. are not subject to accounting and financial reporting standards and requirements comparable to those U.S. companies must meet. In addition, there may be less information publicly available about such companies.

 

Foreign Tax Risk. A Fund’s income from foreign issuers may be subject to non-U.S. withholding taxes. A Fund may also be subject to taxes on trading profits or on transfers of securities in some countries. To the extent foreign income taxes are paid by a Fund, shareholders may be entitled to a credit or deduction for U.S. tax purposes.

 

Transaction Costs. The costs of buying and selling foreign securities, including brokerage, tax and custody costs, are generally higher than those for domestic transactions.

 

Country/Region Risk. Social, political and economic conditions and changes in regulatory, tax, or economic policies in a country or region could significantly affect the markets in that country or region. In addition, global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, which increases the possibility that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact the issuers of securities in different countries or regions. From time to time, a small number of companies and industries may represent a large portion of the market in a particular country or region, and these companies and industries can be sensitive to adverse social, political, economic, or regulatory developments.

 

Frontier Markets Risk. In addition to the risks of investing in foreign securities and emerging markets, frontier market securities involve unique risks, such as exposure to economies less diverse and mature than those of the U.S. or more established foreign markets. Economic or political instability may cause larger price changes in frontier market securities than in securities of issuers based in more developed foreign countries, including securities of issuers in larger emerging markets. Frontier markets generally receive less investor attention than developed markets or larger emerging markets. These risks can result in the potential for extreme price volatility and illiquidity.

 

Health Care Sector Risk. The health care sector includes companies in the health care equipment and services, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology and life sciences industry groups. Health care companies are strongly affected by worldwide scientific or technological developments. Their products may rapidly become obsolete. Many health care companies are also subject to significant government regulation and may be affected by changes in government policies. Companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life sciences industry group in particular are heavily dependent on patent protection, and the expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of such companies. These companies are also subject to extensive litigation based on product liability and other similar claims. Many new products are subject to government approval and the process of obtaining government approval can be long and costly, and even approved products are susceptible to obsolescence. These companies are also subject to competitive forces that may make it difficult to increase prices, or that may lead to price reductions.

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Industrials Sector Risk. The industrials sector includes companies in the commercial and professional services and transportation industry groups, including companies engaged in the business of human capital management, business research and consulting, air freight and logistics, airlines, maritime shipping and transportation, railroads and trucking, transportation infrastructure, and aerospace and defense. Companies in the industrials sector can be significantly affected by general economic trends, including such factors as employment and economic growth, interest rate changes, changes in consumer spending, legislative and government regulation and spending, import controls, commodity prices, and worldwide competition. Changes in the economy, fuel prices, labor agreements, and insurance costs may result in occasional sharp price movements in transportation securities. Aerospace and defense companies rely, to a significant extent, on government demand for their products and services. The financial condition of, and investor interest in, aerospace and defense companies are heavily influenced by governmental defense spending policies.

 

Information Technology Sector Risk. The information technology sector includes companies in the software and services, technology hardware and equipment and semiconductors and semiconductor equipment industry groups. Companies in the information technology sector are subject to rapid obsolescence of existing technology, short product cycles, falling prices and profits, competition from new market entrants, and general economic conditions. Stocks of companies in the information technology sector, especially those of smaller, less-seasoned companies, tend to be more volatile than the overall market. Technological developments, fixed rate pricing, and the ability to retain skilled employees can significantly affect the software industry. Additionally, the success of companies in the software industry is subject to the continued demand for internet services.

 

Interest Rate Risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that a debt security’s value will decline due to changes in market interest rates. Even though some interest-bearing securities offer a stable stream of income, their prices will still fluctuate with changes in interest rates. The Fund may be subject to greater risk of rising interest rates than would normally be the case due to the current period of historically low rates and the effect of potential government fiscal policy initiatives and resulting market reaction to those initiatives. When interest rates change, the values of longer duration debt securities usually change more than the values of shorter-duration debt securities.

 

Investment Companies Risk. The Fund may invest in the shares of other investment companies, including foreign and domestic registered and unregistered open-end funds, closed-end funds, unit investment trusts and exchange-traded funds. Investing in another investment company subjects the Fund to the same risks associated with investing in the securities held by the applicable investment company and the investment strategies employed by such funds (such as the use of leverage). In addition, the benefit of investing in another investment company is largely dependent on the skill of the investment advisor of the underlying company and whether the associated fees and costs involved with investing in such company are offset by the potential gains. As a shareholder in an investment company, the Fund will bear its ratable share of that investment company’s expenses including advisory and administrative fees. Fund shareholders would therefore be subject to duplicative expenses to the extent that the Fund invests in other investment companies.

 

Materials Sector Risk. The materials sector includes companies in the chemicals, construction materials, containers and packaging, paper products, and mining industry groups. Changes in world events, political, environmental and economic conditions, energy conservation, environmental policies, commodity price volatility, changes in currency exchange rates, imposition of import and export controls, increased competition, and labor relations may adversely affect companies engaged in the production and distribution of materials. Other risks may include liabilities for environmental damage, depletion of resources, and mandated expenditures for safety and pollution control. Companies in the chemicals industry may be subject to risks associated with the production, handling and disposal of hazardous components. Mining could be affected by supply and demand and operational costs.

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Non-Investment Grade Securities Risk. Non-investment grade securities (also known as “high yield” or “junk bonds”) are those rated below investment grade by the primary rating agencies (e.g., below BB/Ba by S&P/Moody’s). Such securities tend to have more volatile prices and increased price sensitivity to changing interest rates and adverse economic and business developments than investment grade securities. In addition, compared to investments in investment grade securities, investments in non-investment grade securities are subject to greater risk of loss due to default by the issuer or decline in the issuer’s credit quality. There is a greater likelihood that adverse economic or company-specific events will make the issuer unable to make interest and/or principal payments, and the issuer may be more susceptible to negative market sentiment, leading to depressed prices and decreased liquidity for the non-investment grade securities.

 

Real Estate Sector Risk. The real estate sector includes companies involved in real estate management and development and issuers of real estate investment trusts (REITs). Securities of companies in the real estate sector may be adversely affected by, among other things, rental income fluctuation, depreciation, property tax value changes, differences in real estate market values, overbuilding and extended vacancies, increased competition, costs of materials, operating expenses or zoning laws, costs of environmental clean-up or damages from natural disasters, cash flow fluctuations, and defaults by borrowers and tenants.

 

REIT Risk. Investments in real estate investment trusts (REITs) subject the Fund to risks associated with the direct ownership of real estate. The value of REIT securities can be affected by changes in real estate values and rental income, property taxes, interest rates, tax and regulatory requirements and the management skill and creditworthiness of the issuer. In addition, the value of a REIT can depend on the structure and cash flow generated by the REIT, and REITs may not have diversified holdings. Because REITs are pooled investment vehicles that have expenses of their own, the Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of those expenses.

 

Sector and Industry Weightings Risk. To the extent the Fund emphasizes, from time to time, investments in a particular sector, the Fund will be subject to a greater degree to the risks particular to that sector, including the sectors described below. Market conditions, interest rates, and economic, regulatory, or financial developments could significantly affect all the securities in a single sector. If the Fund invests in a few sectors, it may have increased exposure to the price movements of securities in those sectors. The Fund may also from time to time make significant investments in an industry or industries within a particular sector. The industries that constitute a sector may all react in the same way to economic, political or regulatory events. Adverse conditions in such industry or industries could have a correspondingly adverse effect on the financial condition of issuers. These conditions may cause the value of the Fund’s shares to fluctuate more than the values of shares of funds that invest in a greater variety of investments.

 

Short Sales Risk. The Fund can make short sales of securities, which means it may experience a loss if the market price of the security increases between the date of the short sale and the date the security is replaced. Short sales may reduce a fund’s returns or increase volatility. In addition, a lender may request, or market conditions may dictate, that securities sold short be returned to the lender on short notice, which may result in the Fund having to buy the securities sold short at an unfavorable price to close out a short position. If this occurs, any anticipated gain to the Fund may be reduced or eliminated or the short sale may result in a loss. In a rising stock market, the Fund’s short positions may significantly impact the Fund’s overall performance and cause the Fund to underperform traditional long-only equity funds or to sustain losses, particularly in a sharply rising market. The use of short sales may also cause the Fund to have higher expenses than other funds. Because losses on short sales arise from increases in the value of the security sold short, such losses are theoretically unlimited. By contrast, a loss on a long position arises from decreases in the value of the security and is limited by the fact that a security’s value cannot go below zero. The use of short sales in combination with long positions in seeking to improve Fund performance or reduce overall portfolio risk may not be successful and may result in greater losses or lower positive returns than if the Fund held only long positions. In addition, the Fund’s short selling strategies may limit its ability to fully benefit from increases in the equity markets. Short positions also typically involve increased liquidity risk and the risk that the third party to the short sale may fail to honor its contract terms. Furthermore, regulatory authorities in various countries, including the United States, have enacted temporary rules prohibiting the short-selling of certain stocks in response to market events. If regulatory authorities were to reinstitute such rules or otherwise restrict short selling, the Fund might not be able to fully implement its short-selling strategy.

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Smaller Company Stock Risk. Small- and mid-cap stocks may be very sensitive to changing economic conditions and market downturns. In particular, the issuers of small company stocks have more narrow markets for their products and services, fewer product lines, and more limited managerial and financial resources than larger issuers. The stocks of small companies may therefore be more volatile and the ability to sell these stocks at a desirable time or price may be more limited.

 

Stock Market Risk. The Fund’s investments may decline in value due to movements in the overall stock market.

 

Stock Selection Risk. The Fund’s investments may decline in value even when the overall stock market is not in a general decline.

 

Telecommunication Services Sector Risk. The telecommunications services sector includes diversified telecommunications services and wireless telecommunication services. The telecommunications services industry is subject to government regulation and can be significantly affected by intense competition and technology changes, which may make the products and services of certain companies obsolete. The wireless industry can be significantly affected by failure or delays in obtaining financing or regulatory approval, intense competition, product incompatibility, changing consumer preferences, rapid obsolescence, significant capital expenditures, and heavy debt burdens.

 

Utilities Sector Risk. The utilities sector includes electric utilities, gas utilities, water utilities, multi-utilities (electric, gas and water), and independent power and renewable electricity producers. Companies in the utilities sector are affected by supply and demand, consumer incentives, operating costs, government regulation, environmental factors, liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities, and rate caps or rate changes. The value of regulated utility company stocks may have an inverse relationship to the movement of interest rates. Also, certain utility companies have experienced full or partial deregulation in recent years, which may permit them to diversify outside of their original geographic regions and their traditional lines of business. Conversely, companies that remain heavily regulated may be at a competitive disadvantage, making them less profitable. In addition, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, government intervention or other factors may render a utility company’s equipment unusable and may have an adverse impact on profitability. Utility companies are subject to the high cost of borrowing to finance capital construction during inflationary periods, restrictions on operations and increased costs and delays associated with compliance with environmental and nuclear safety regulations, and the difficulties involved in obtaining natural gas for resale or fuel for generating electricity at reasonable prices. Other risks include those related to the construction and operation of nuclear power plants, the effects of energy conservation and the effects of regulatory changes.

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Additional Information about the Funds

 

Cash/Temporary Defensive Positions

   

Each Fund may, from time to time, take temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with the Fund’s principal investment strategies in an attempt to respond to adverse market, economic, political, or other conditions.

 

For example, the Fund may temporarily increase its cash position or invest a larger portion of its assets in money market instruments or repurchase agreements. The Fund reserves the right to invest all of its assets in temporary defensive positions.

 

When a Fund takes temporary defensive positions, it may not participate in stock market advances or declines to the same extent that it would if the Fund remained more fully invested in stocks. In addition, the Fund may not achieve its investment objective(s).

 

Portfolio Turnover

 

Each Fund generally intends to purchase securities for long-term investment rather than short-term gains. However, short-term transactions may result from liquidity needs, securities having reached a price or yield objective, or by reason of economic or other developments not foreseen at the time of the initial investment decision. Changes are made in a Fund’s portfolio whenever the Fund’s portfolio manager(s) believe such changes are desirable. Portfolio turnover rates are generally not a factor in making decisions to buy or sell securities.

 

To a lesser extent, a Fund may purchase securities in anticipation of relatively short-term price gains. Increased portfolio turnover may result in higher costs for brokerage commissions, dealer mark-ups and other transaction costs and may also result in taxable capital gains.

 

Cybersecurity Risk  

 

Cybersecurity risk is a non-principal risk with respect to each Fund. In connection with the increased use of technologies such as the Internet and the dependence on computer systems to perform necessary business functions, the Funds may be susceptible to operational, information security and related risks due to the possibility of cyber-attacks or other incidents. Cyber incidents may result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber-attacks include, but are not limited to, infection by computer viruses or other malicious software code, gaining unauthorized access to systems, networks or devices that are used to service the Funds’ operations through hacking or other means for the purpose of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data or causing operational disruption. Cyber-attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks (which can make a website unavailable) on the Funds’ website. In addition, authorized persons could inadvertently or intentionally release confidential or proprietary information stored on the Funds’ systems.

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Other Investment Strategies

 

Each Fund may use other investment strategies in addition to its principal strategies. For information about the more significant of these strategies and their risks, see “Investment Strategies and Their Risks” in the Statement of Additional Information (SAI).

 

DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

 

The Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of each Fund’s portfolio securities are described in the Funds’ SAI.

 

MANAGEMENT 

 

Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC (the “Adviser”), subject to the authority of the Board of Trustees, furnishes continuing investment supervision to the Funds and is responsible for the management of each Fund’s portfolio.

 

The Adviser’s principal address is 1537 Chandler Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84013.    

 

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”) with the Adviser, each Fund pays the Adviser an annual management fee for each Fund based on the Fund’s average daily net assets.  The following table reflects each Fund’s contractual investment advisory fee rate (expressed as an annual rate).

 

Fund

Contractual Advisory

Fee (%)(annual rate)

Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund 0.70%
Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund 1.50%

 

The management fee is paid on a monthly basis.  The initial term of the Advisory Agreement is two years.  The Board may extend the Advisory Agreement for additional one-year terms.  The Board and shareholders of the Funds may terminate the Advisory Agreement upon thirty (30) days’ notice. The Adviser may terminate the Advisory Agreement upon sixty (60) days’ notice. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Funds’ Advisory Agreements will be provided in the Funds’ annual report to shareholders for the period ended [September 30, 2018].

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The Adviser has contractually agreed to limit the amount of each Fund’s Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses, exclusive of interest, dividend expense on short sales/interest expense, taxes, brokerage commissions, other investment related costs, acquired fund fees and expenses, and extraordinary expenses such as litigation and other expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of business, to an annual rate, as set out below, of such Fund’s average daily net assets.

 

Fund Contractual Fee Waiver
Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund 0.95%
Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund – Investor Class 1.75%
Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund – Institutional Class 1.55%

 

This agreement is in effect through [____], 2020 may only be terminated before then by the Board of Trustees, and is reevaluated on an annual basis. With respect to each Fund, the Adviser shall be permitted to recover, on a class-by-class basis, expenses it has borne subsequent to the effective date of the agreement described above (whether through reduction of its management fee or otherwise) only to the extent that such recoupment payments do not cause a Fund’s expenses in later periods to exceed the lesser of (1) the contractual expense limit in effect at the time the Adviser waives or limits the expenses or (2) the contractual expense limit in effect at the time the Adviser seeks to recover the expenses; provided, however, that the Funds will not be obligated to pay any such recoupments more than three years after the date on which the fee and expense was reduced. 

 

THE PORTFOLIO MANAGERS 

 

The portfolio managers are primarily responsible (and with respect to the Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund, jointly responsible) for the day-to-day investment and reinvestment of the Funds’ assets.  The portfolio managers as listed in the table below have served as the respective Fund’s portfolio managers since such Fund’s inception.

 

Information about the portfolio managers, including information about the portfolio managers’ business experience, appears below.  More information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers, and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities in the Funds is included in the SAI.

 

Fund Portfolio Manager(s)
Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund Samuel S. Stewart
Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund

Samuel S. Stewart

Josh Stewart

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PORTFOLIO MANAGER PAST 5 YEARS’ BUSINESS EXPERIENCE
Josh Stewart Josh Stewart was the lead portfolio manager for the Wasatch World Innovators Fund since January 31, 2016 and a portfolio manager for the Wasatch World Innovators Fund since 2012. He joined the Wasatch Advisors, Inc., in 2006 as an equities analyst covering international health care and technology companies. He was a senior analyst on the Wasatch World Innovators Fund from 2010 through January 2012. Mr. Stewart graduated from the University of Utah earning a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature with a minor in Mathematics. Prior to joining Wasatch Advisors, Inc., Mr. Stewart was a health care services analyst at Sidoti & Company, LLC in New York City.
Samuel S. Stewart, Jr., PhD, CFA Samuel Stewart served as President of Wasatch Funds since 1986, was Chairman of the Board of the Wasatch Funds from 1986 through 2004 and served as Chairman of the Board of the Wasatch Advisors Inc., since 1975. He was the lead portfolio manager for the Wasatch Funds Strategic Income Fund since 2006 and a portfolio manager for the Wasatch World Innovators Fund since January 2016, and was the lead portfolio manager for the Wasatch World Innovators Fund from 2008 to January 31, 2016. Dr. Stewart earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Northwestern University. He went on to earn a Master of Business Administration and a Doctorate in Finance from Stanford University. From 1975 through 2000, Dr. Stewart served as a professor of Finance at the University of Utah.

 

ADMINISTRATOR, DISTRIBUTOR AND
TRANSFER AGENT OF THE FUND

 

ALPS Fund Services, Inc. (the “Administrator” or the “Transfer Agent”) serves as the Funds’ administrator, fund accountant and transfer agent.  ALPS Distributors, Inc. (“ADI” or the “Distributor”) serves as the Funds’ distributor.

 

BUYING, EXCHANGING, AND REDEEMING SHARES

 

The Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund offers Investor Class shares. The Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund currently offers Investor Class shares and Institutional Class shares. Each share class of a Fund represents an investment in the same portfolio of securities of such Fund, but each share class has its own expense structure, allowing you to choose the class that best meets your situation. When you purchase shares of the Funds, you must choose a share class.

 

Factors you should consider in choosing a class of shares include:

 

  how long you expect to own the shares;

  how much you intend to invest; and

  total expenses associated with owning shares of each class.

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Investment Minimums

 

Investor Class

 

The minimum initial investment for Investor Class shares is $2,000 for each account (including for opening IRA accounts), or $1,000 to open a Coverdell Education Savings Account or if an Automatic Investment Program is established.

  

Other than the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains, the minimum for subsequent purchases in regular and IRA accounts is $100. The minimum for subsequent purchases via the automatic investment plan is $50 monthly and/or $100 quarterly.

 

Institutional Class

 

Institutional Class shares are offered to all types of investors, provided that the investor meets the minimum investment threshold for Institutional Class shares. The minimum initial investment for Institutional Class shares, including IRAs, is $100,000. Other than the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains, there is a $5,000 minimum for subsequent purchases. These minimums may be waived for accounts held in qualified retirement or profit sharing plans opened through a third-party service provider or record keeper and/or omnibus accounts established by financial intermediaries. Investors and/or Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and Broker-Dealers may generally meet the minimum investment amount by aggregating multiple accounts with common ownership or discretionary control within a Fund. 

 

Each Fund reserves the right to waive or lower investment minimums for any reason.

 

Types of Account Ownership

 

Individual or Joint Ownership

Individual accounts are owned by one person. Joint accounts have two or more owners.

 

Trust

An established trust can open an account. The names of each trustee, the name of the trust and the date of the trust agreement must be included on the application.

 

Business Accounts

Corporations and partnerships may also open an account. The application must be signed by an authorized officer of the corporation or a general partner of the partnership.

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Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) – Investor Class Only

A Coverdell ESA is an account created as an incentive to help parents and students save for education expenses.

 

Tax-Deferred Accounts

Please refer to the account application for specific requirements to open and maintain an account. Certain tax-deferred accounts can only be opened and maintained via written request. Please contact a shareholder services representative for more information.

 

Traditional and Roth IRAs

Both traditional and Roth IRAs allow most individuals with earned income to contribute up to the lesser of $5,500 or 100% of compensation.

 

Simple IRA

A SIMPLE IRA allows employees and employers to contribute to traditional IRAs set up for employees.

 

Simplified Employee Pension (“SEP”) IRA

A SEP IRA allows small business owners (including sole proprietors) to make tax deductible contributions for themselves and any eligible employee(s). A SEP requires an IRA to be set up for each SEP participant.

 

There is an annual pass through IRA maintenance fee of $10.00 that is charged by the IRA custodian on a per-account basis. The fee is capped at $25.00 per social security number, per account type. This fee may be paid by the Adviser.

 

Please call a shareholder services representative for more complete information regarding the different types of IRAs available. 

 

Payments to Financial Intermediaries and Other Arrangements

 

The Adviser and/or its affiliates may enter into arrangements to make payments for additional activities to select financial intermediaries intended to result in the sale of Fund shares and/or other shareholder servicing activities out of the Adviser’s own resources (which may include profits from providing advisory services to each Fund). These payments are often referred to as “revenue sharing payments” and the revenue sharing payment amount generally vary by financial intermediary. The aggregate amount of the revenue sharing payments is determined by the Adviser and may be substantial. Revenue sharing payments create no additional cost to each Fund or its applicable shareholders.

 

Revenue sharing payments may create an incentive for a financial intermediary or its employees or associated persons to recommend or sell shares of a Fund to you, rather than shares of another mutual fund. Please contact your financial intermediary’s investment professional for details about revenue sharing payments it may be receiving.

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Networking, Sub-Accounting and Administrative Fees

 

Select financial intermediaries may enter into arrangements with each Fund, or its designees, to perform certain networking, recordkeeping, sub-accounting and/or administrative services for shareholders of each Fund. These activities are routinely processed through the National Securities Clearing Corporation’s Fund/SERV and Trust Networking systems or similar systems. In consideration for providing these services in an automated environment, such financial intermediaries may receive compensation from each Fund.

 

Buying Shares

 

In order to buy, exchange, or redeem shares at that day’s net asset value, you must place your order with a Fund or its agent before the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) closes (normally, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time). If the NYSE closes early, you must place your order prior to the actual closing time. Orders received by financial intermediaries prior to the close of trading on the NYSE will be confirmed at the offering price computed as of the close of the trading on the NYSE. It is the responsibility of the financial intermediary to ensure that all orders are transmitted in a timely manner to the Fund. Otherwise, you will receive the next business day’s net asset value.

 

Investors may purchase, exchange or redeem shares of the Funds directly or through retirement plans, broker-dealers, bank trust departments, financial advisors or other financial intermediaries. Shares made available through full service broker-dealers may be available through wrap accounts under which such broker-dealers impose additional fees for services connected to the wrap account. Contact your financial intermediary or refer to your plan documents for instructions on how to purchase or redeem shares.

 

Investors may be charged a fee if they effect transactions through a broker or agent. The Funds have authorized one or more brokers to receive on its behalf purchase and redemption orders. Such brokers are authorized to designate other intermediaries to receive purchase and redemption orders on a Fund’s behalf. A Fund will be deemed to have received a purchase or redemption order when an authorized broker or, if applicable, a broker’s authorized designee, receives the order. Customer orders will be priced at a Fund’s NAV next computed after they are received by an authorized broker or the broker’s authorized designee.

 

There is an annual pass through IRA and Coverdell Education Savings Account maintenance fee of $10.00 that is charged by the IRA custodian on a per-account basis. This fee may be paid by the Adviser at the Adviser’s discretion.

 

With certain limited exceptions, the Funds are available only to U.S. citizens or residents.

 

The Funds will generally accept purchases only in U.S. dollars drawn from U.S. financial institutions. Cashier’s checks, third party checks, money orders, credit card convenience checks, cash or equivalents or payments in foreign currencies are not acceptable forms of payment. You may also contact the Funds to request a purchase of Fund shares using securities you own. The Funds reserve the right to refuse or accept such requests in whole or in part.

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The Funds do not consider the U.S. Postal Service or other independent delivery services to be their agent. Therefore, deposit in the mail or with such services, or receipt at a Fund’s post office box, of purchase orders or redemption requests does not constitute receipt by the Fund.

 

Redeeming Shares

 

Redemptions, like purchases, may generally be effected only through retirement plans, broker-dealers, financial intermediaries and directly through the Funds. Please contact the Fund, your financial intermediary or refer to the appropriate plan documents for details. Your financial intermediary may charge a processing or service fee in connection with the redemption of shares.

 

Each Fund has the right to suspend or postpone redemptions of shares for any period: (i) during which the NYSE is closed, other than customary weekend and holiday closings; (ii) during which trading on the NYSE is restricted; or (iii) during which (as determined by the SEC by rule or regulation) an emergency exists as a result of which disposal or valuation of portfolio securities is not reasonably practicable, or as otherwise permitted by the SEC.

 

By Systematic Redemption

 

This program allows you to sell shares worth a specific dollar amount from your Fund account on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The minimum systematic redemption is $50. Although there is no charge to shareholders for using this systematic withdrawal plan, your Fund account balance must be at least $10,000 at the time you begin participation in the plan. If no date is specified on your request, systematic redemptions will be made on or about the 15th of each month. If the day falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the distribution will be made on the next business day. You may terminate the systematic withdrawal plan at any time without charge or penalty. If the balance in the Fund account you are selling from falls to zero, your systematic withdrawal plan will be discontinued. If your balance is below the systematic withdrawal amount, the entire balance will be distributed and the plan will be discontinued. A Fund may terminate or modify the plan after 60 days’ written notice to shareholders.

 

Redemption Payments

 

In all cases, your redemption price is the net asset value per share next determined after your request is received in good order. “Good order” means that your redemption request includes: (i) the Funds’ name and account number; (ii) the amount of the transaction in dollars or shares; (iii) signatures of you and any other person listed on the account, exactly as the shares are registered; (iv) any certificates you are holding for the account; and (v) any supporting legal documentation that may be required.

 

Redemption proceeds typically will be sent within one to two business days but may take up to seven days. However, if you recently purchased your shares by check, your redemption proceeds will not be sent to you until your original check clears, which may take up to 10 days. The Funds typically pay redemptions from cash, cash equivalents, proceeds from the sale of Fund shares, from the sale of portfolio securities, and/or the use of a line of credit. These redemption payment methods are expected to be used in regular and stressed market conditions.

 

Your redemption proceeds can be sent by check to your address of record or by wire transfer to a bank account designated on your application. Your bank may charge you a fee for wire transfers. Any request that your redemption proceeds be sent to a destination other than your bank account or address of record must be in writing and must include a Medallion signature guarantee. Please call 1-[_______] for information on obtaining a Medallion signature guarantee.

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The Funds are not responsible for losses or fees resulting from posting delays or non-receipt of redemption payments when shareholder payment instructions are followed.

 

Redemptions In-Kind

 

Each Fund reserves the right to make a payment in securities rather than cash. If a Fund deems it advisable for the benefit of all shareholders that a redemption payment wholly or partly in-kind would be in the best interests of a Fund’s remaining shareholders, the Funds may pay redemption proceeds to you in whole or in part with securities held by the Fund. If a Fund decides to redeem in-kind, the redeeming shareholder will generally receive pro-rata slices of the Fund’s portfolio. These pro-rata slices would have similar characteristics to the Funds and will consist of long and short options securities, as well as any other pro-rata share of the securities held in the Funds. A redemption in-kind could occur under extraordinary circumstances, such as a very large redemption that could affect a Fund’s operations (for example, more than 1% of a Fund’s net assets). However, a Fund is required to redeem shares solely for cash up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of the net asset value of a Fund during any 90-calendar day period for any one shareholder. Should redemptions by any shareholder exceed such limitation, the Funds will have the option of redeeming the excess in cash or in-kind. Securities used to redeem Fund shares will be valued as described in “How Fund Shares are Priced” below. A shareholder may pay brokerage charges on the sale of any securities received as a result of a redemption in-kind. Redemptions in-kind taxed to a redeeming shareholder for federal income tax purposes in the same manner as cash redemptions.

 

Small Account Balances/Mandatory Redemptions

 

The Funds have a $1,000 account minimum, except Coverdell accounts which have a $100 minimum. The Funds may require mandatory redemption of shares in accounts that fall below the minimum requirement. The Funds may also adopt other policies from time to time requiring mandatory redemption of shares in certain circumstances, such as to comply with new regulatory requirements.

 

Medallion Signature Guarantees

 

Each Fund requires a Medallion signature guarantee on any written redemption over $50,000 (but may require additional documentation or a Medallion signature guarantee on any redemption request to help protect against fraud) or for certain types of transfer requests or account registration changes. A Medallion signature guarantee may be obtained from a domestic bank or trust company, broker, dealer, clearing agency, savings association or other financial institution that is participating in a medallion program recognized by the Securities Transfer Association. The three “recognized” medallion programs are Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program (STAMP), Stock Exchanges Medallion Program (SEMP) and NYSE, Inc. Medallion Signature Program (NYSE MSP). Please call 1-[_______] for information on obtaining a Medallion signature guarantee.

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Redemption Fees

 

If you sell your shares after holding them 60 days or less, a 2% short-term redemption fee may be deducted from the redemption amount. For this purpose, shares held longest will be treated as being redeemed first and shares held shortest as being redeemed last. The fees are paid to the Funds and are designed to help offset the brokerage commissions, market impact and other costs associated with short-term shareholder trading.

 

The short-term redemption fee does not apply to: (i) redemptions of shares acquired by reinvesting dividends and distributions; (ii) rollovers, transfers and changes of account registration within a Fund as long as the money never leaves the Fund; and (iii) redemptions in-kind.

  

In addition:

 

The redemption fee does not apply to shares redeemed through a systematic withdrawal plan.
The redemption fee does not apply to shares redeemed from shareholder accounts liquidated for failure to meet the minimum investment requirement.
The redemption fee does not apply to shares redeemed from a shareholder account for which the identity of the shareholder, for purposes of complying with anti-money laundering laws, could not be determined within a reasonable time after the account was opened.
The redemption fee does not apply in the event of any involuntary redemption and/or exchange transactions, including, for example, those required by law or regulation, a regulatory agency, a court order, or as a result of the liquidation of a Fund by its Board of Trustees.
The redemption fee does not apply to shares redeemed through an automatic, non-discretionary rebalancing or asset allocation program.
The redemption fee does not apply to shares redeemed due to a disability as defined by the IRS requirements.
The redemption fee does not apply to shares redeemed due to death for shares transferred from a decedent’s account to a beneficiary’s account.
The redemption fee does not apply in the event of a back-office correction made to an account to provide the shareholder with the intended transaction.
The redemption fee does not apply in the event of the following transactions: a distribution from a defined contribution terminated employee account, a plan distribution of non-vested participant balance in a defined contribution account, a distribution from a defined contribution plan to provide a participant with a loan against the account, or an amount contributed to a defined contribution plan exceeding the maximum annual contribution limit.
The redemption fee does not apply to shares gifted from one shareholder account to another shareholder account, assuming the age of the gifted shares is greater than 60 days.
The redemption fee may be waived for certain wrap accounts and for certain omnibus accounts held by financial intermediaries whose systems are unable to assess the redemption fee and certain employer-sponsored retirement accounts (including certain 401(k) and other types of defined contribution or employee benefit plans).
Certain other transactions as deemed appropriate by the Adviser and the Fund.

 

The redemption fee assessed by certain financial intermediaries that have omnibus accounts in the Fund, including employer-sponsored retirement accounts, may be calculated using methodologies that differ from those utilized by Funds’ transfer agent. Such differences are typically attributable to system design differences and are unrelated to the investment in the Fund. These system differences are not intended or expected to facilitate market timing or frequent trading

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The Funds reserve the right to modify or eliminate the short-term redemption fee or waivers at any time. Investment advisers or their affiliates may pay short-term redemption fees on behalf of investors in managed accounts. Unitized group accounts consisting of qualified plan assets may be treated as a single account for redemption fee purposes.

 

Exchanging Shares

If you have held your shares in a Fund for at least seven days, you may exchange those shares for shares (of a corresponding share class) of any of the following Funds (each, a “Seven Canyons Fund”) if such Fund is available for sale in your state and meets the investment criteria of the investor:

 

Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund

 

Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund

 

Any new account established through an exchange will be subject to all minimum requirements applicable to the shares acquired. The exchange privilege may only be exercised in those states where the class of shares being acquired legally may be sold. If you are an existing shareholder of any Seven Canyons Fund, you may exchange into a new account copying your existing account registration and options. Exchanges between accounts will be accepted only if registrations are identical. For a Fund or Funds with multiple classes, you may also transfer between classes of a Fund if you meet the minimum investment requirements for the class into which you would like to transfer.

 

By Telephone

For an existing account, you may exchange shares in your account in amounts up to $50,000 by contacting your Fund directly by telephone at 833-7-CANYON (833-722-6966).

 

By Broker/Intermediary

Exchanges, like purchases and redemptions, may also be effected through retirement plans, broker-dealers and financial intermediaries. Please contact your financial intermediary or refer to the appropriate plan documents for details. Your financial intermediary may charge a processing or service fee in connection with the exchange of shares.

 

Additional Information About Exchanges

An exchange represents the sale of shares from one Fund and the purchase of shares of the other Fund. This may produce a taxable gain or loss in your non-tax-deferred account. If you exchange shares within 60 calendar days from their date of purchase, you may be subject to the redemption fee as described in this Prospectus in “Redemption Fees” above. Transfers between classes of a single Fund are generally not considered a taxable transaction.

 

The exchange privilege may be modified or terminated upon sixty (60) days’ written notice to shareholders. Although initially there will be no limit on the number of times you may exercise the exchange privilege, each Fund reserves the right to impose such a limitation. Call or write the Funds for further details.

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SHARE TRANSACTIONS

  

Share Certificates

 

The Funds do not issue share certificates.

 

Frequent Purchases and Sales of Fund Shares

 

The Funds do not permit market timing or other abusive trading practices.  Each Fund reserves the right, but does not have the obligation, to reject any purchase transaction at any time.  In addition, each Fund reserves the right to suspend its offering of shares or to impose restrictions on purchases at any time that are more restrictive than those that are otherwise stated in this Prospectus with respect to disruptive, excessive or short-term trading.

 

Excessive short-term trading or other abusive trading practices may disrupt portfolio management strategies, increase brokerage and administrative costs and hurt Fund performance.  The Board has adopted policies and procedures with respect to frequent purchases and redemptions and to seek to prevent market timing.  To minimize harm to the Funds and their shareholders, each Fund reserves the right to reject, in its sole discretion, any purchase order from any investor it believes has a history of abusive trading or whose trading, in its judgment, has been or may be disruptive to the Fund.  Such disruption may include trading that may interfere with the efficient management of the Fund, may materially increase a Fund’s transaction costs, administrative costs or taxes, or may otherwise be detrimental to the interests of a Fund and its shareholders.  Each Fund may also refuse purchase transactions from Fund intermediaries it believes may be facilitating or have facilitated abusive trading practices.  In making this judgment, a Fund may consider trading done in multiple accounts under common ownership or control.

 

On a periodic basis, each Fund or its agents may review transaction history reports to identify redemptions that are within a specific time period from a previous purchase in the same account(s) in the Fund, or in multiple accounts that are known to be under common control.  Redemptions meeting the criteria will be investigated for possible inappropriate trading.

 

Certain accounts, in particular omnibus accounts, include multiple investors and such accounts typically provide the Funds with a net purchase or redemption request on any given day.  In these cases, purchases and redemptions of Fund shares are netted against one another and the identity of individual purchasers and redeemers whose orders are aggregated may not be known by the Fund.  Therefore, it becomes more difficult for a Fund to identify market timing or other abusive trading activities in these accounts, and the Funds may be unable to eliminate abusive traders in these accounts from the Fund.  Further, identification of abusive traders may also be limited by operational systems and technical limitations.  To the extent abusive or disruptive trading is identified, each Fund will encourage omnibus account intermediaries to address such trading activity in a manner consistent with how the Funds would address such activity directly, if it were able to do so.

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Due to the complexity and subjectivity involved in identifying market timing and other abusive trading practices, there can be no assurance that the Funds’ efforts will identify all market timing or abusive trading activities.  Therefore, investors should not assume that the Funds will be able to detect or prevent all practices that may disadvantage the Funds.

 

Verification of Shareholder Transaction Statements

 

You must contact the Funds in writing regarding any errors or discrepancies within 60 days after the date of the statement confirming a transaction. A Fund may deny your ability to refute a transaction if it does not hear from you within 60 days after the confirmation statement date.

 

Non-receipt of Purchase Wire/Insufficient Funds Policy

 

The Funds reserve the right to cancel a purchase if the check or electronic funds transfer does not clear your bank, or if a wire is not received by settlement date. A Fund may charge a fee for insufficient funds and you may be responsible for any fees imposed by your bank and any losses that the Funds may incur as a result of the canceled purchase.

 

How Fund Shares are Priced

 

The Board of Trustees has approved procedures to be used to value the Funds’ securities for the purposes of determining the Funds’ net asset value.  The valuation of the securities of each Fund is determined in good faith by or under the direction of the Board.  The Board has delegated certain valuation functions for the Funds to the Administrator.

 

Each Fund generally values its securities based on market prices determined at the close of regular trading on the NYSE (normally, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) on each business day (Monday through Friday).  The Funds will not value their securities on any day that the NYSE is closed, including the following observed 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.  Each Fund’s currency valuations, if any, are done as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE (normally, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time).  For equity securities that are traded on an exchange, the market price is usually the closing sale or official closing price on that exchange.  In the case of securities not traded on an exchange, or if such closing prices are not otherwise available, the market price is typically determined by independent third-party pricing vendors approved by the Board using a variety of pricing techniques and methodologies.  The market price for debt obligations is generally the price supplied by an independent third-party pricing service approved by the Board, which may use a matrix, formula or other objective method that takes into consideration market indices, yield curves and other specific adjustments.  Short-term debt obligations that will mature in 60 days or less are valued at amortized cost, unless it is determined that using this method would not reflect an investment’s fair value.  If vendors are unable to supply a price, or if the price supplied is deemed to be unreliable, the market price may be determined using quotations received from one or more brokers-dealers that make a market in the security.

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When such prices or quotations are not available, or when the Adviser believes that they are unreliable, securities may be priced using fair value procedures approved by the Board. The Funds may determine the fair value of investments based on information provided by pricing services and other third-party vendors, which may recommend fair value prices or adjustments with reference to other securities, indices or assets.  In considering whether fair value pricing is required and in determining fair values, a Fund may, among other things, consider significant events (which may be considered to include changes in the value of U.S. securities or securities indices) that occur after the close of the relevant market and before a Fund values its securities.

 

Valuing securities at fair value involves greater reliance on judgment than valuation of securities based on readily available market quotations.  A fund that uses fair value to price securities may value those securities higher or lower than another fund using market quotations or its own fair value methodologies to price the same securities.  There can be no assurance that a Fund could obtain the fair value assigned to a security if it were to sell the security at approximately the time at which a Fund determines its net asset value.

 

Customer Identification Program

 

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires each Fund or its agents to obtain certain personal information from you (or persons acting on your behalf) in order to verify your (or such person’s) identity when you open an account, including name, address, date of birth and other information (which may include certain documents) that will allow the Transfer Agent to verify your identity. If you are opening an account in the name of a legal entity (e.g., a partnership, business trust, limited liability company, corporation, etc.), you may be required to supply the identification information of the beneficial owner(s) or controlling person(s) of the legal entity prior to the opening of your account. If this information is not provided, the Transfer Agent may not be able to open your account.  If the Transfer Agent is unable to verify your identity (or that of another person authorized to act on your behalf) shortly after your account is opened, or believes it has identified potential criminal activity, the Funds, the Distributor and the Transfer Agent each reserve the right to reject further purchase orders from you or to take such other action as they deem reasonable or required by law, including closing your account and redeeming your shares at their net asset value at the time of redemption.

 

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS 

 

Income Dividends. Income dividends are derived from net investment income (i.e., interest and other income, less any related expenses) each Fund earns from its portfolio securities and other investments.

 

It is intended that substantially all of the Strategic Income Fund’s net investment income (income less expenses) will be distributed quarterly as dividends to shareholders. For the World Innovators Fund, it is intended that substantially all of such Fund’s net investment income (income less expenses), if any, will be distributed at least annually as dividends to shareholders.

 

Capital Gain Distributions. Capital gain distributions are derived from gains realized when a Fund sells a portfolio security. Long-term capital gains are derived from gains realized when a Fund sells a portfolio security it has owned for more than one year, and short-term capital gains are derived from gains realized when a portfolio security was owned for one year or less. The Funds intend to net realized capital gains to shareholders annually.

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Reinvested in Shares or Paid in Cash. Dividends and distributions are reinvested in additional Fund shares unless you instruct the Transfer Agent to have your dividends and/or distributions paid by check and mailed to the address of record or transferred through an Automated Clearing House to the bank of your choice. You can change your choice at any time to be effective as of the next dividend or distribution, except that any change given to the Transfer Agent less than five days before the payment date will not be effective until the next dividend or distribution is made. Distribution checks will only be issued for payments greater than $25.00. Distributions will automatically be reinvested in shares of the fund(s) generating the distribution if under $25.00. Un-cashed distribution checks will be canceled and proceeds reinvested at the then current net asset value, for any shareholder who chooses to receive distributions in cash, if distribution checks: (1) are returned and marked as “undeliverable” or (2) remain un-cashed for six months after the date of issuance. If distribution checks are canceled and reinvested, your account election may also be changed so that all future distributions are reinvested rather than paid in cash. Interest will not accrue on uncashed distribution checks.

 

TAXES

 

The following information is a general summary of U.S. federal income tax consequences of investments in the Funds for U.S. persons only, which include (i) U.S. citizens or residents, (ii) corporations organized in the United States or under the law of the United States or any state, (iii) an estate whose income is subject to U.S. federal income taxation of its source; or (iv) a trust, if a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over its administration and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all of its substantial decisions, or certain electing trusts that were in existence on August 20, 1996, and were treated as domestic trusts on August 19, 1996.  Shareholders that are partnerships or nonresident aliens, foreign trusts or estates, or foreign corporations may be subject to different U.S. federal income tax treatment.  If an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes is a beneficial owner of Fund shares, the tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. You should rely on your own tax adviser for advice about the particular federal, state and local tax consequences regarding your investment in the Funds.

 

This discussion is based on the assumption that the Funds will qualify under Subchapter M of the Code as regulated investment companies and will satisfy certain distribution requirements so that they are not subject to U.S. income tax in general. There can be no guarantee that these assumptions will be correct.

 

The Funds expect to distribute substantially all of their ordinary income and net capital gain (in excess of any capital loss carryovers) to its shareholders every year.  In turn, shareholders will be taxed on distributions they receive, unless the shares are held by certain types of tax-exempt organizations or through tax-advantaged accounts (such as 401(k) plan accounts or individual retirement accounts), in which event special rules will apply.

 

A shareholder subject to U.S. federal income tax will be subject to tax on Fund income dividends and capital gain distributions whether they are paid in cash or reinvested in additional Fund shares.

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Income Dividends and Capital Gains.

 

Distributions properly reported as net capital gain of a Fund will be taxable to Fund shareholders as long-term capital gain, regardless of how long shares of a Fund are held. 

 

Other than distributions of net long-term capital gain, Fund distributions will generally be taxable as ordinary income or, if properly designated by a Fund, as “qualified dividend income” taxable to individual and other noncorporate shareholders at the same maximum tax rate applicable to net long-term capital gains, provided that the shareholder receiving the dividend satisfies certain holding period requirements for his or her Fund shares.  The amount of distributions from a Fund that will be eligible for the “qualified dividend income” lower maximum rate, however, cannot exceed the amount of dividends received by a Fund that are qualified dividends (i.e., dividends from U.S. corporations or certain qualifying foreign corporations).  Thus, to the extent that dividends from a Fund are attributable to other sources, such as taxable interest, fees from securities lending transactions, certain distributions from real estate investment trusts, Code section 988 transactions or are short-term capital gains, such dividends will not be eligible for the lower rate.  However, if at least 95% of the Funds’ “gross income” is from qualified dividends, then 100% of its distributions will be eligible for the lower rate.  For these purposes, a Fund’s gross income does not include gain from the disposition of stock or securities except to the extent that the net short-term capital gain from such dispositions exceeds the net long-term capital loss from such dispositions.  Fund distributions are taxable regardless of whether they are paid in cash or reinvested in additional shares.

 

A Fund’s investments in options and other derivatives (such as futures contracts and swaps) may change the amount, timing and character of distributions to shareholders. Such investments will be subject to special tax rules, which may accelerate taxable income to the Fund, shorten the holding period of the Fund’s securities, convert short-term capital losses into long-term capital losses, or convert long-term capital gains into short-term capital gains taxable resulting in distributions taxable as ordinary income to shareholders.

 

Shareholders of a Fund will recognize taxable gain or loss on a sale, exchange or redemption of shares of the applicable Fund, including an exchange of shares for shares of another Fund, based on the difference between the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the shares disposed of and the amount received for them.  Generally, this gain or loss will be long-term if the shareholder’s holding period for the shares disposed of exceeds 12 months, 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.  Any loss realized on a disposition of shares of a Fund may be disallowed under “wash sale” rules to the extent that the shares disposed of are replaced with other substantially identical shares of the same Fund within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before the shares are disposed of, such as pursuant to a dividend reinvestment in shares of a Fund.  If disallowed, the loss will be reflected in an adjustment to the basis of the shares acquired.

 

Fund distributions of earnings and gains are taxable to a shareholder even if they are paid from income or gains earned by a Fund prior to the shareholder’s investment and thus were included in the price paid for the shares.  Thus, a shareholder who purchases shares on or just before the record date of a Fund distribution will pay full price for the shares and may receive a portion of his or her investment back as a taxable distribution. While in effect a return of capital to the shareholder, the distribution is still taxable even though the shareholder did not participate in these gains.  An investor can avoid this by investing soon after a Fund has made a distribution.

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Any distributions on, sales, exchanges or redemptions of, shares held in an IRA (or other tax-qualified plan) are generally not currently taxable.

 

Fund dividends paid to corporate shareholders that are attributable to qualifying dividends received from U.S. domestic corporations may be eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction, subject to certain holding period requirements and debt financing limitations.

 

The Funds (or their administrative agent) must report to the IRS and furnish to Fund shareholders the cost basis information for Fund shares purchased on or after January 1, 2012, and sold on or after such date.  In addition to the requirement to report the gross proceeds from the sale of Fund shares, the Funds will also be required to report the cost basis information for such shares and indicate whether such shares had a short-term or long-term holding period.  These requirements do not apply to investments through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement plan.  If a shareholder does not make an election among the available IRS-accepted cost basis methods, the Funds will use a default cost basis method for the shareholder.  The cost basis method elected or applied may not be changed after the settlement date of a sale of Fund shares.  Fund shareholders should consult with their tax advisers concerning the most desirable IRS-accepted cost basis method for their tax situation and to obtain more information about how cost basis reporting applies to them.

 

A Medicare surtax of 3.8% will be imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Funds 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 a threshold amount.  Any liability for this additional tax will be reported on, and paid with, the shareholder’s federal income tax return.

 

A shareholder of a Fund may be subject to backup withholding on any distributions of income, capital gains, or proceeds from the sale or exchange of Fund shares if the shareholder (i) has provided either an incorrect tax identification number or no such number, (ii) is subject by the IRS to backup withholding for failure to properly report payments of interest or dividends, (iii) has failed to certify that the shareholder is not subject to backup withholding, or (iv) has not certified that the shareholder is a U.S. person.  The backup withholding rate is currently 24% for tax years after 2017 and before 2026.

 

The Funds may be subject to foreign taxes or foreign tax withholding on dividends, interest and certain capital gains earned from their foreign security investments.  A shareholder may be ineligible for any offsetting tax credit or tax deduction under U.S. tax laws for the shareholder’s portion of a Fund’s foreign tax obligations. See the statement of additional information for further information.

 

Annual Notifications.  Each year, the Funds will notify shareholders of the tax status of dividends and distributions. 

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State and Local Income Taxes.  Shareholders may also be subject to state and local income taxes on distributions and redemptions.  Shareholders should consult their tax advisers regarding the tax status of distributions in their state and locality.

 

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Congress has enacted far-reaching changes to the U.S. income tax laws. These changes may directly or indirectly affect investments in the Funds. See the SAI under “TAXES-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

 

For more information, see the SAI under “TAXES.”

 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

As of the date of this Prospectus, neither Fund has commenced operations. Therefore, no financial highlights are shown for either Fund.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS

 

Shareholder Reports

 

Annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders provide additional information about the Funds’ investments. These reports, when available, will discuss the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Funds’ performance during its last fiscal year.

 

Statement of Additional Information

 

The Statement of Additional Information provides more detailed information about the Fund. It is incorporated by reference into (is legally a part of) this Prospectus.

 

Householding Relationships

 

The Funds send only one report to a household if more than one account has the same address. Contact the Transfer Agent if you do not want this policy to apply to you.

 

How to Obtain Additional Information

 

You can obtain shareholder reports or the statement of additional information (without charge), make inquiries or request other information about the Funds by contacting the Transfer Agent at 1-[________], by writing the Funds at Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund or Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund, P.O. Box 1920, Denver, CO 80201, or by calling your financial consultant. This information is also available free of charge on the Funds’ website at [_________].

 

You can also review the Funds’ shareholder reports, prospectus and statement of additional information at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. You can get copies of these materials after paying a fee by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing to the Public Reference Section of the Commission, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520. Information about the public reference room may be obtained by calling 202.551.8090. You can get the same reports and information free from the EDGAR Database on the Commission’s Internet web site at http://www.sec.gov.

 

If someone makes a statement about the Funds that is not in this Prospectus, you should not rely upon that information. Neither the Funds nor the Distributor is offering to sell shares of the Funds to any person to whom the Funds may not lawfully sell its shares.

 

(Investment Company Act file no. 811-22747)

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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.

 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

[_________], 2018

 

SEVEN CANYONS STRATEGIC INCOME FUND 

Investor Class [_______]
 

SEVEN CANYONS WORLD INNOVATORS FUND 

Investor Class [_______]
Institutional Class [______]

 

ALPS Series Trust

Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund and Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund (the “Funds”)

1290 Broadway, Suite 1100

Denver, CO  80202

 

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) expands upon and supplements the information contained in the current Prospectus for the Funds listed above, each of which is a separate series of ALPS Series Trust, a Delaware statutory trust (the “Trust”).  Each series of the Trust represents shares of beneficial interest in a separate portfolio of securities and other assets with its own objective and policies.  Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC (the “Adviser”) is the investment adviser of the Funds.

 

This SAI is not a prospectus and is only authorized for distribution when preceded or accompanied by the Funds’ current prospectus dated [___________], 2018, as supplemented from time to time (collectively, the “Prospectus”).  This SAI supplements and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus, a copy of which may be obtained without charge by writing the Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund or Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund at the address listed above, or by calling the Funds’ transfer agent at 1[_________].  The Funds’ most recent Annual Report, if any, is incorporated by reference into this SAI and can be obtained free of charge, by calling the toll-free number printed above.

 
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Page

 

ORGANIZATION AND CLASSIFICATION 1
INVESTMENT LIMITATIONS 23
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER 25
DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS 25
PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE 28
PURCHASE, EXCHANGE AND REDEMPTION OF SHARES 29
TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS 32
Independent Trustees 38
Aggregate Compensation From the Trust 38
Pension Or Retirement Benefits Accrued As Part of Fund Expenses 38
Estimated Annual Benefits Upon Retirement 38
Aggregate Compensation From The Trust And Fund Complex Paid To Trustees* 38
INVESTMENT MANAGER 38
DISTRIBUTOR 39
CODE OF ETHICS 39
ADMINISTRATOR 39
PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES 39
PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS 39
EXPENSES 40
PORTFOLIO MANAGER 40
NET ASSET VALUE 42
TAXES 43
DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUST 52
OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS 53
PERFORMANCE INFORMATION 54
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS 54
Appendix A – Description of Securities Ratings A-1
Appendix B – Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures B-1
 
 

ORGANIZATION AND CLASSIFICATION

 

ALPS Series Trust

 

This SAI includes information about the Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund and Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund (each individually a “Fund” and collectively, the “Funds”).  The Funds are series of the ALPS Series Trust (the “Trust”), an open-end, management investment company organized as a Delaware statutory trust on January 12, 2012.

 

Classification

 

The Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), classifies mutual funds as either diversified or non-diversified.  The following table shows each Fund’s classification:

 

Fund Classification
Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund Diversified
Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund Diversified

 

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS

 

Each of the Funds’ principal investment strategies and the risks associated with those strategies are described in the Prospectus. The following section describes in greater detail than the Prospectus, the Funds’ investment strategies and the associated risks. Unless noted otherwise, the investment strategies and risks described in this section are non-principal.

 

Borrowing to Purchase Securities (Leveraging). The Funds may use leverage, that is, borrow money to purchase securities. Leverage increases both investment opportunity and investment risk. If the investment gains on securities purchased with borrowed money exceed the borrowing costs (including interest), the net asset value (“NAV”) of a Fund will rise. On the other hand, if the investment gains fail to cover the borrowing costs or if there are losses, the NAV of a Fund will decrease.

 

The 1940 Act requires borrowings to have 300% net asset coverage, which means, in effect, that each Fund would be permitted to borrow up to an amount equal to one-third of the value of its total assets. If a Fund fails to meet this asset coverage test for any reason including adverse market conditions, it will be required to reduce borrowings within three business days to the extent necessary to meet the test. This requirement may make it necessary to sell a portion of a Fund’s securities at a time when it is disadvantageous to do so. The amount a Fund can borrow may also be limited by applicable margin limitations of the Federal Reserve Board. Briefly, these provide that banks subject to the Federal Reserve Act may not make loans for the purpose of buying or carrying margin stocks if the loan is secured directly or indirectly by a margin stock, to the extent that the loan is greater than the maximum loan value of the collateral securing the loan.

 

Despite the potential risks of leveraging, the Adviser believes there may be times when it may be advantageous to the Funds to borrow to make investments. For example, when a portfolio manager perceives unusual opportunities in the market or in a particular sector, the portfolio manager may want to be more than 100% invested. Borrowing may also be considered when stock prices and trading volume are not favorable for securities a portfolio manager wants to sell, but stock prices and trading volume are favorable for securities the portfolio manager wants to buy. In these situations, which arise infrequently, borrowing may allow a portfolio manager to take advantage of favorable opportunities to purchase desired securities without having to sell securities at unfavorable prices.

 

Convertible Securities. The Strategic Income Fund and the World Innovators Fund may invest in convertible securities, but it is a non-principal strategy of each of those these Funds and not considered a principal risk. These are generally bonds or preferred stocks that are convertible into a corporation’s common stock. Convertible securities entitle the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt or the dividend paid on preferred stock until the convertible securities mature or are redeemed, converted or exchanged. Prior to conversion, convertible securities have characteristics similar to ordinary debt securities or preferred stocks in that they normally provide a stable stream of income with generally higher yields than those of common stock of the same or similar issuers. Convertible securities rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure and therefore generally entail less risk of loss of principal than the corporation’s common stock.

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In selecting convertible securities for the Funds, the Adviser will consider, among other factors, its evaluation of the creditworthiness of the issuers of the securities; the interest or dividend income generated by the securities; the potential for capital appreciation of the securities and the underlying common stocks; the prices of the securities relative to other comparable securities and to the underlying common stocks; whether the securities are entitled to the benefits of sinking funds or other protective conditions; diversification of a Fund’s portfolio as to issuers; and whether the securities are rated by a rating agency and, if so, the ratings assigned.

 

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

 

Capital appreciation for a Fund may result from an improvement in the credit standing of an issuer whose securities are held in the Fund or from a general lowering of interest rates, or a combination of both. Conversely, a reduction in the credit standing of an issuer whose securities are held by a Fund or a general increase in interest rates may be expected to result in capital depreciation to the Fund. Convertible securities may have mandatory sinking fund provisions prior to maturity, a negative feature when interest rates decline.

 

Refer to Appendix A for a description of preferred stock and long- and short-term debt ratings.

 

Corporate Bonds. The Funds may invest in corporate bonds. Note that investing in corporate bonds is a principal strategy of the Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund. The Funds may invest in corporate bonds that are rated, at the time of purchase, in the four highest categories by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), S&P Global Ratings, a division of McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“S&P”), or other nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSRO”) or unrated securities deemed by the Adviser to be of comparable quality. These high rated bonds are also known as “investment grade debt securities.” The Funds may also invest in corporate bonds that are lower rated (Moody’s Ba or lower or S&P BB or lower). Investments in corporate bonds are subject to, among other things, interest rate risk and credit risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that a debt security’s value will decline due to changes in market interest rates. When interest rates change, the values of longer-duration debt securities usually change more than the values of shorter-duration debt securities. Credit risk is the risk that the issuer of a debt security will fail to repay principal and interest on the security when due. Credit risk is affected by the issuer’s credit status and is generally higher for non-investment grade securities. See “Non-Investment Grade Securities” below for additional information regarding these securities and their risks. See also Appendix A for a description of ratings on investment grade and non-investment grade debt securities.

 

Derivatives. The Funds may use derivatives, such as futures, options, options on futures, and forward foreign currency exchange contracts. Note that the use of derivatives (such as put and call options and futures contracts) for hedging and non-hedging purposes is a principal strategy of the Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund. A derivative is a financial contract whose value is based on (or “derived from”) a traditional security (such as a stock or bond), an asset (such as a commodity like gold), or a market index (such as the S&P 500). A derivative contract will obligate or entitle a Fund to deliver or receive an asset or cash payment based on the change in one or more securities, currencies, indices or other assets. The Funds may use derivatives for hedging purposes, including to attempt to protect against possible changes in the market value of securities held or to be purchased for a Fund’s portfolio resulting from securities markets, currency exchange rate or interest rate fluctuations (i.e., to hedge); protect the Fund’s unrealized gains reflected in the value of its portfolio securities; facilitate the sale of such securities for investment purposes; and as a substitute for buying or selling securities, securities indices or currencies. The Funds may also use derivatives for non-hedging (speculative) purposes including to enhance a Fund’s returns. A Fund may use any or all of these investment techniques and different types of derivative securities may be purchased at any time and in any combination. There is no particular strategy that dictates the use of one technique rather than another, as use of derivatives is a function of numerous variables, including market conditions.

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The use of derivatives presents risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in traditional securities. Among the risks presented are market risk, credit risk, management risk and liquidity risk. The primary risk with many derivatives is that they can amplify a gain or loss, potentially earning or losing substantially more money than the actual cost of the derivative instrument. These risks are heightened when the management team uses derivatives to enhance the Fund’s return or as a substitute for a position or security, rather than solely to hedge (or offset) the risk of a position or security held by the Fund. In addition, certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited losses regardless of the size of the initial investment. Derivatives also involve the risk of mispricing or improper valuations (particularly, for non-standardized contracts) and the risk that changes in the value of the derivative may not correlate perfectly with the relevant assets, rates and indices. Derivatives may also be less liquid and may be difficult or impossible to sell or terminate at a desirable time or price. Derivatives may also involve credit risk which is the risk that a loss may be sustained as a result of the failure of a counterparty to comply with the terms of a derivative instrument. The counterparty risk for exchange-traded derivatives is generally less than for privately-negotiated or over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives, since generally a clearing agency, which is the issuer or counterparty to each exchange-traded instrument, provides a guarantee of performance. For privately-negotiated instruments, there is no similar clearing agency guarantee. Use of derivatives may also increase the amount and affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders. The Fund may lose money on derivatives or may not fully benefit from the use of derivatives if changes in their value do not correspond accurately to changes in the value of the Fund’s holdings. A Fund’s ability to benefit from derivatives is largely dependent on the Adviser’s ability to use such strategies successfully. For more information about the various types of derivatives, see the sections in this SAI discussing such securities including Futures Contracts; Put and Call Options and Options and Futures Relating to Foreign Currencies.

 

Futures Contracts. The Funds may enter into futures contracts. Futures contracts are standardized, exchange-traded contracts that require delivery of the underlying financial instrument (such as a bond, currency or stock index) at a specified price, on a specified future date. The buyer of the futures contract agrees to buy the underlying financial instruments from the seller at a fixed purchase price upon the expiration of the contract. The seller of the futures contract agrees to sell the underlying financial instrument to the buyer at expiration at the fixed sales price. In most cases, delivery never takes place. Instead, both the buyer and the seller, acting independently of each other, usually liquidate their positions before the contract expires; the buyer sells futures and the seller buys futures.

 

The value of a futures contract tends to increase and decrease in tandem with the value of its underlying instrument. Therefore, purchasing futures contracts will tend to increase a Fund’s exposure to positive and negative price fluctuations in the underlying instrument, much as if it had purchased the underlying instrument directly. When a Fund sells a futures contract, by contrast, the value of its futures position will tend to move in a direction contrary to the market. Selling futures contracts, therefore, will tend to offset both positive and negative market price changes, much as if the underlying instrument had been sold.

 

Futures may be used for hedging (i.e., to protect against adverse future price movements in a Fund’s portfolio securities, or in securities a Fund intends to purchase). For example, if the portfolio manager thinks that the stock market might decline, the portfolio manager could sell stock index futures to safeguard a Fund’s portfolio. If the market declines as anticipated, the value of stocks in a Fund’s portfolio would decrease, but the value of a Fund’s futures contracts would increase. The Funds may also use futures contracts to speculate on the market. For example, the portfolio manager might buy stock index futures on the expectation that the value of a particular index will rise, even though the stocks comprising the index are unrelated to stocks held or intended to be purchased by a Fund. Using futures for speculation, however, involves significant risk since futures contracts are highly leveraged instruments. When a portfolio manager enters into a futures contract, the manager needs to put up only a small fraction of the value of the underlying contract as collateral, yet gains or losses will be based on the full value of the contract.

3

 

 

The use of futures contracts would expose the Funds to additional investment risks and transaction costs. Risks include: the risk that securities prices will not move in the direction that the Adviser anticipates; an imperfect correlation between the price of the futures contract and movements in the prices of any securities being hedged; the possible absence of a liquid secondary market for any particular futures contract and possible exchange-imposed price fluctuation limits; and leverage risk, which is the risk that adverse price movements in a futures contract can result in a loss substantially greater than a Fund’s initial investment in that contract. A relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in an immediate and substantial loss (or gain) to the Fund.

 

Futures Margin Payments. The purchaser or seller of a futures contract is not required to deliver or pay for the underlying instrument unless the contract is held until the delivery date. However, both the purchaser and seller are required to deposit “initial margin” with a futures broker, known as a futures commission merchant (FCM), when the contract (or written options thereon) is entered into. Initial margin deposits are typically equal to a percentage of the contract’s value. If the value of either party’s position declines, that party will be required to make additional “variation margin” payments to settle the change in value on a daily basis. The party that has a gain may be entitled to receive all or a portion of this amount. Initial and variation margin payments do not constitute purchasing securities on margin for purposes of the investment limitations of the Funds. In the event of the bankruptcy of an FCM that holds margin on behalf of a Fund, the Fund may be entitled to a return of the margin owed only in proportion to the amount received by the FCM’s other customers, potentially resulting in losses to the respective Fund. Because of the low margin deposits required, futures trading involves an extremely high degree of leverage. As a result, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in a substantial loss (or gain), to an investor.

 

Options and Futures Relating to Foreign Currencies. The Funds may engage in options and futures transactions related to foreign currencies. Currency futures contracts are similar to forward currency exchange contracts, except that they are traded on exchanges (and have margin requirements) and are standardized as to contract size and delivery date. Most currency futures contracts call for payment or delivery in U.S. dollars. The underlying instrument of a currency option may be a foreign currency, which generally is purchased or delivered in exchange for U.S. dollars, or may be a futures contract. The purchaser of a currency call obtains the right to purchase the underlying currency. The purchaser of a currency put obtains the right to sell the underlying currency.

 

The uses and risks of currency options and futures are similar to options and futures relating to securities or indices, as discussed above. The Funds may purchase and sell currency futures and may purchase and write currency options to increase or decrease exposure to different foreign currencies. The Funds may also purchase and write currency options in conjunction with each other or with currency futures or forward contracts. Currency futures and options values can be expected to correlate with exchange rates, but may not reflect other factors that affect the value of the Funds’ investments. A currency hedge, for example, should protect a yen-denominated security from a decline in the yen, but will not protect the Funds against a price decline resulting from deterioration in the issuer’s creditworthiness. Because the value of the Funds’ foreign-denominated investments changes in response to many factors other than exchange rates, it may not be possible to match the amount of currency options and futures to the value of the Funds’ investments exactly over time.

 

Asset Coverage for Futures and Options Positions. The Funds will comply with guidelines established by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) with respect to coverage of options and futures strategies by mutual funds, and, if the guidelines so require, will set aside appropriate liquid assets in a segregated custodial account in the amount prescribed. Securities held in a segregated account cannot be sold while the futures or options strategy is outstanding, unless they are replaced with other suitable assets. As a result, there is a possibility that segregation of a large percentage of the Funds’ assets could impede portfolio management or the Funds’ ability to meet redemption requests or other current obligations.

 

Limitations on Futures and Commodity Options Transactions. The Funds have each filed a notice of eligibility for exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” with the National Futures Association and are therefore not subject to registration or regulation as a pool operator under the Commodity Exchange Act. The Funds intend to comply with Section 4.5 of the regulations under the Commodity Exchange Act.

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The Funds’ investments in futures contracts, commodity options and swaps, and the Funds’ policies regarding futures contracts, options and swaps discussed elsewhere in this SAI may be changed as regulatory agencies permit. With respect to positions in commodity futures, commodity options contracts or swaps which do not come within the meaning and intent of bona fide hedging in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) rules, the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish such positions will not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the qualifying entity’s portfolio, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such contracts it has entered into; and, provided further, that in the case of an option that is in-the-money at the time of purchase, the in-the-money amount as defined by CFTC Rule 190.01(x) may be excluded in computing such 5%.

 

The aggregate net notional value of commodity futures, commodity options contracts or swap positions not used solely for bona fide hedging within the meaning of the applicable CFTC Rules and determined at the time the most recent position was established, does not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the pool’s portfolio, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions the Funds have entered into.

 

On February 8, 2012, the CFTC adopted certain regulatory changes that will subject a mutual fund to regulation by the CFTC if the fund invests more than a prescribed level of its liquidation value in futures and certain other instruments, or if the fund markets itself as providing investment exposure to such instruments. As a result, the Funds may be subject to CFTC registration requirements, and a Fund’s disclosure and operations would need to comply with all applicable regulations governing commodity pools. The Funds’ Adviser may also be subject to 8 CFTC regulation if a Fund is deemed to be a commodity pool. If the CFTC or other regulatory authorities adopt different (including less stringent) or additional restrictions in the future that are applicable to the Funds, the Funds would seek to comply with such new restrictions.

 

Put and Call Options. The Funds may purchase and write put and call options. Such options may relate to particular securities, indices or futures contracts, may or may not be listed on a domestic or non-U.S. securities exchange and may or may not be issued by the Options Clearing Corporation. A put option gives the purchaser the right to sell a security or other instrument to the writer of the option at a stated price during the term of the option. A call option gives the purchaser the right to purchase a security or other instrument from the writer of the option at a stated price during the term of the option. The Funds may use put and call options for a variety of purposes. For example, if the portfolio manager wishes to hedge a security owned by a Fund against a decline in price, the portfolio manager may purchase a put option on the underlying security; i.e., purchase the right to sell the security to a third party at a stated price. If the underlying security then declines in price, the portfolio manager can exercise the put option, thus limiting the amount of loss resulting from the decline in price. Similarly, if the portfolio manager intends to purchase a security at some date in the future, the portfolio manager may purchase a call option on the security today in order to hedge against an increase in its price before the intended purchase date. Put and call options also can be used for speculative purposes for the Funds. For example, if a portfolio manager believes that the price of stocks generally is going to rise, the manager may purchase a call option on a stock index, the components of which are unrelated to the stocks held or intended to be purchased.

 

Purchasing Put and Call Options. The Funds may purchase put and call options. By purchasing a put option, a Fund obtains the right (but not the obligation) to sell the option’s underlying instrument at a fixed strike price. In return for this right, the Fund pays the current market price for the option (known as the option premium). Options have various types of underlying instruments, including specific securities, indexes of securities prices and futures contracts. A Fund may terminate its position in a put option it has purchased by allowing it to expire, by exercising the option or if able, by selling the option. If the option is allowed to expire, the Fund will lose the entire premium it paid. If the Fund exercises the option, it completes the sale of the underlying instrument at the strike price. A Fund may also terminate a put option position by closing it out in the secondary market at its current price, if a liquid secondary market exists.

 

The buyer of a typical put option can expect to realize a gain if a security’s price falls substantially. However, if the underlying instrument’s price does not fall enough to offset the cost of purchasing the option, a put buyer can expect to suffer a loss (limited to the amount of the premium paid, plus related transaction costs).

 

The features of call options are essentially the same as those of put options, except that the purchaser of a call option obtains the right to purchase, rather than sell, the underlying instrument at the option’s strike price. A call buyer typically attempts to participate in potential price increases of the underlying instrument with risk limited to the cost of the option if the security’s price falls. At the same time, the buyer can expect to suffer a loss if the security’s price does not rise sufficiently to offset the cost of the option.

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Each Fund will not invest more than 10% of the value of its net assets in purchased options.

 

Writing Put and Call Options. The Funds may write (i.e., sell) put and call options. When a Fund writes a put option, it takes the opposite side of the transaction from the option’s purchaser. In return for receipt of the premium, the Fund assumes the obligation to pay the strike price for the option’s underlying instrument if the other party to the option chooses to exercise it. When writing an option on a futures contract the Fund would be required to make margin payments to an FCM as described above for futures contracts. The Fund may seek to terminate its position in put options it writes before exercise by closing out the option in the secondary market at its current price. If the secondary market is not liquid for put options the Fund has written, however, the Fund must continue to be prepared to pay the strike price while the option is outstanding, regardless of price changes, and must continue to set aside assets to cover its position. If the underlying security’s price rises, however, a put writer would generally expect to profit, although its gain would be limited to the amount of the premium it received.

 

If the security’s price remains the same over time, it is likely that the put writer will also profit, because it should be able to close out the option at a lower price. If the security’s price falls, the put writer would expect to suffer a loss. This loss should be less than the loss from purchasing the underlying instrument directly, however, because the premium received for writing the option should mitigate the effects of the decline.

 

Writing a call option obligates a Fund to sell or deliver the option’s underlying instrument, in return for the strike price, upon exercise of the option. The characteristics of writing call options are similar to those of writing put options, except that writing calls generally is a profitable strategy if prices remain the same or fall. Through receipt of the option premium, a call writer mitigates the effects of a price decline. At the same time, because a call writer must be prepared to deliver the underlying instrument in return for the strike price, even if its current value is greater, a call writer gives up some ability to participate in the security’s price increase.

 

The Funds will write only “covered” put and call options.

 

A call option written by a Fund is “covered” if the Fund: (a) owns the underlying security covered by the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that security without additional cash consideration upon conversion or exchange of other securities held in its portfolio; or (b) meets the asset coverage requirements described under “Asset Coverage for Futures and Options Positions” above.

 

A put option written by a Fund is “covered” if the Fund: (a) holds a put on the same security having the same principal amount as the put option it has written and the exercise price of the put held is equal to or greater than the exercise price of the put written; or (b) meets the asset coverage requirements described under “Asset Coverage for Futures and Options Positions” above.

 

If options are “covered” by the Fund meeting the asset coverage requirements, the Fund’s economic exposure is not limited as it would be if the options are “covered” as described in paragraphs (a) above.

 

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

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Additional Risks of Options and Futures Contracts.

 

Market Risk. Market risk is the risk that the value of the underlying assets may go up or down. Adverse movements in the value of an underlying asset can expose the Fund to losses. Market risk is the primary risk associated with derivative transactions, such as futures and options. Derivative instruments may include elements of leverage and, accordingly, fluctuations in the value of the derivative instrument in relation to the underlying asset may be magnified. The successful use of futures and options depends upon a variety of factors, particularly the portfolio manager’s ability to predict movements of the securities, currencies and commodities markets, which may require different skills than predicting changes in the prices of individual securities. There can be no assurance that any particular strategy adopted will succeed.

 

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that a loss may be sustained as a result of the failure of a counterparty to comply with the terms of a derivative instrument. The counterparty risk for exchange-traded derivatives is generally less than for privately-negotiated or OTC derivatives, since generally a clearing agency, which is the issuer or counterparty to each exchange-traded instrument, provides a guarantee of performance. For privately-negotiated instruments, there is no similar clearing agency guarantee. In all transactions, the Fund will bear the risk that the counterparty will default, and this could result in a loss of the expected benefit of the derivative transactions and possibly other losses to the Fund.

 

Lack of Correlation of Price Changes. Because there are a limited number of types of exchange-traded options and futures contracts, it is likely that the standardized contracts available will not match a Fund’s current or anticipated investments exactly. The Funds may invest in options and futures contracts based on securities with different issuers, maturities, or other characteristics from the securities in which they typically invest, which involve a risk that the respective Fund’s options or futures positions will not track the performance of the Fund’s other investments.

 

Options and futures prices can also diverge from the prices of their underlying instruments, even if the underlying instruments match the Fund’s investments well. Options and futures prices are affected by such factors as current and anticipated short-term interest rates, changes in volatility of the underlying instrument, and the time remaining until expiration of the contract, which may not affect a security’s price the same way. Imperfect correlation may also result from differing levels of demand in the options and futures markets and the securities markets, from structural differences in how options, futures and securities are traded, or from imposition of daily price fluctuation limits or trading halts. The Funds may purchase or sell options and futures contracts with a greater or lesser value than the securities they wish to hedge or intend to purchase in order to attempt to compensate for differences in volatility between the contract and the securities, although this may not be successful in all cases. If price changes in a Fund’s options or futures positions are poorly correlated with other investments, the positions may fail to produce anticipated gains or result in losses that are not offset by gains in other investments.

 

Liquidity of Options and Futures Contracts. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular option or futures contract at any particular time. Options may have relatively low trading volume and liquidity if their strike prices are not close to the underlying instrument’s current price. In addition, exchanges may establish daily price fluctuation limits for options and futures contracts, and may halt trading if a contract’s price moves upward or downward more than the limit in a given day. On volatile trading days when the price fluctuation limit is reached or a trading halt is imposed, it may be impossible for the respective Fund to enter into new positions or close out existing positions. In addition, if unable to close a future position, in the event of adverse price movements, a Fund would be required to make daily cash payments in order to maintain its required margin. In such situation, if a Fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell other portfolio securities at an inopportune time to meet daily margin requirements. If the secondary market for a contract is not liquid because of price fluctuation limits or otherwise, it could prevent prompt liquidation of unfavorable positions, and potentially could require the applicable Fund to continue to hold a position until delivery or expiration regardless of changes in its value. As a result, the Fund’s access to other assets held to cover options or futures positions could also be impaired.

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Early Stage Companies. The Funds may invest in early stage companies. Note that investing in early stage companies is a principal strategy of the World Innovators Fund. Early stage companies may never obtain necessary financing, may rely on untested business plans, may not be successful in developing markets for their products or services, and may remain an insignificant part of their industry, and as such may never be profitable. Stocks of early stage companies may be illiquid, privately traded, and more volatile and speculative than the securities of larger companies.

 

Exchange-Traded Funds (“ETFs”). The Funds may also invest in ETFs. Note that investing in ETFs is a principal strategy of the Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund. ETFs are investment companies, the shares of which are bought and sold on a securities exchange. The securities of an ETF are redeemable only in larger aggregation of a specified number of shares and generally on an in-kind basis. Generally, certain ETFs may represent a portfolio of securities designed to track the composition and/or performance of specific indexes or portfolio of specific indexes, while other ETFs may be actively managed that do not track an index (generally referred to as actively-managed ETFs). The market prices of ETF investments will fluctuate in accordance with both changes in the underlying portfolio securities of the investment company and also due to supply and demand of the investment company’s shares on the exchange upon which its shares are traded. The market price of an ETF may trade at a premium or discount to its net asset value. Index-based investments may not replicate or otherwise match the composition or performance of their specified index due to transaction costs, among other things. Examples of ETFs include: SPDRs®, Select Sector SPDRs®, DIAMONDSSM, NASDAQ 100 Shares and iShares.

 

There are many reasons why a Fund would purchase an ETF. For example, a Fund could purchase an ETF to temporarily gain exposure to a portion of the U.S. market or a foreign market while awaiting an opportunity to purchase securities directly. The risks of owning an ETF generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities in which the ETF invests and the investment strategies of the ETF. However, lack of liquidity in an ETF could result in it being more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities. In addition, ETFs have operating expenses, including management fees that increase their costs versus the costs of owning the underlying securities directly. As the shares of the ETFs trade on an exchange, they are subject to the risks of any exchange-listed security, including: (i) an active market for its shares may not develop or be maintained, (ii) market makers or authorized participants may decide to reduce their role or step away from these activities in times of stress, (iii) trading of its shares may be halted by the exchange, and (iv) its shares may be delisted from the exchange. The Funds may purchase ETFs to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, rules thereunder or as described below, to the extent permitted by exemptive orders granted to the various ETFs by the SEC. (See also the description of “Securities of Other Investment Companies”).

 

Foreign Currency Transactions. The Funds may hold foreign currency deposits from time to time and may convert dollars and foreign currencies in the foreign exchange markets primarily for the purpose of effecting foreign securities transactions. Because each foreign security transaction involves a foreign currency transaction, if investments in foreign securities are a principal investment strategy of a Fund, then foreign currency transactions will likewise be a principal strategy of the Fund. Currency conversion may involve dealer spreads and other costs, although commissions usually are not charged. Additionally, certain countries may utilize formal or informal currency-exchange controls or “capital controls.” Capital controls may impose restrictions on a Fund’s ability to repatriate investments or income. Such capital controls can also have a significant effect on the value of a Fund’s holdings. Currencies may be exchanged on a spot (i.e., cash) basis, or by entering into forward contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies at a future date and price. Forward contracts generally are traded on an interbank market conducted directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. The parties to a forward contract may agree to offset or terminate the contract before its maturity, or may hold the contract to maturity and complete the contemplated currency exchange.

 

The Funds may use currency forward contracts to manage currency risks and to facilitate transactions in foreign securities. The following discussion summarizes the principal currency management strategies involving forward contracts that could be used by the Funds.

 

In connection with purchases and sales of securities denominated in foreign currencies, the Funds may enter into currency forward contracts to fix a definite price for the purchase or sale in advance of the trade’s settlement date. This technique is sometimes referred to as a “settlement hedge” or “transaction hedge.” The Adviser with respect to the Funds expect to enter into settlement hedges in the normal course of managing the respective Fund’s foreign investments. The Funds could also enter into forward contracts to purchase or sell a foreign currency in anticipation of future purchases or sales of securities denominated in foreign currency, even if the specific investments have not yet been selected by the Adviser.

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The Funds may also use forward contracts to hedge against a decline in the value of existing investments denominated in a foreign currency. For example, if the Funds owned securities denominated in pounds sterling, they could enter into a forward contract to sell pounds sterling in return for U.S. dollars to hedge against possible declines in the pound’s value. Such a hedge, sometimes referred to as a “position hedge,” would tend to offset both positive and negative currency fluctuations but would not offset changes in security values caused by other factors. The Funds could also hedge the position by selling another currency expected to perform similarly to the pound sterling—for example, by entering into a forward contract to sell European Currency Units in return for U.S. dollars. This type of hedge, sometimes referred to as a “proxy hedge,” could offer advantages in terms of cost, yield, or efficiency, but generally would not hedge currency exposure as effectively as a simple hedge into U.S. dollars. Proxy hedges may result in losses if the currency used to hedge does not perform similarly to the currency in which the hedged securities are denominated.

 

SEC guidelines require mutual funds to set aside appropriate liquid assets in a segregated custodial account to cover forward currency contracts.

 

Successful use of forward currency contracts will depend on the Adviser’s skill in analyzing and predicting currency values. Forward contracts may substantially change the respective Fund’s investment exposure to changes in currency exchange rates, and could result in losses to the Fund if currencies do not perform as the Adviser anticipates. For example, if a currency’s value rose at a time when the Adviser had hedged the Funds by selling that currency in exchange for U.S. dollars, the Funds would be unable to participate in the currency’s appreciation. If the Adviser hedges currency exposure through proxy hedges, the Funds could realize currency losses from the hedge and the security position at the same time if the two currencies do not move in tandem. Similarly, if the Adviser increases the applicable Fund’s exposure to a foreign currency, and that currency’s value declines, the Funds will realize a loss. There is no assurance that the Adviser’s use of forward currency contracts will be advantageous to the Funds or that it will hedge at an appropriate time. The policies related to foreign currency transactions described in this section are non-fundamental policies of the Funds.

 

Foreign Securities. Investing in foreign securities (whether issued by foreign companies directly or through sponsored or un-sponsored American Depositary Receipts or Global Depositary Receipts) is a principal strategy of the Strategic Income Fund and the World Innovators Fund, and investing in foreign securities may therefore be considered a principal risk of these Funds. Under normal market conditions, the World Innovators Fund’s assets (at least 40% or if the market conditions are not favorable, 30%) are expected to be invested outside of the United States. Under normal market conditions, the Adviser expects a significant portion of the World Innovators Fund’s assets will be invested in securities of companies that have significant non-U.S. economic risk exposure. The Adviser will consider a company to have significant non-U.S. economic risk exposure if, at the time of purchase, it has at least 50% of its assets outside the U.S., or if at least 50% of its revenues or profits are from goods produced or sold, investments made, or services performed outside the U.S. The Strategic Income Fund may invest in securities issued by foreign companies without limitation. Securities issued by foreign companies incorporated outside of the United States, but whose securities are publicly traded in the United States, directly or through sponsored and unsponsored American Depositary Receipts or Global Depositary Receipts are not defined as “Foreign Companies” and are not, therefore, subject to limitations on investments in foreign securities, if applicable. Investments in foreign countries involve certain risks which are not typically associated with U.S. investments.

 

Additional Risks of Foreign Securities.

 

Foreign Securities Markets. Trading volume on foreign country and, in particular, emerging and frontier market stock exchanges is substantially less than that on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”). Further, securities of some foreign and, in particular, emerging and frontier market companies are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. companies. Fixed commissions on foreign exchanges are generally higher than negotiated commissions on U.S. exchanges. The Funds endeavor to achieve the most favorable net results on their portfolio transactions and may be able to purchase securities on other stock exchanges where commissions are negotiable. Foreign stock exchanges, brokers, custodians and listed companies may be subject to less government supervision and regulation than in the United States. The customary settlement time for foreign securities may be longer than the customary three day settlement time for U.S. securities.

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Companies in foreign countries are not generally subject to the same accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and disclosure requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. Consequently, there may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than about a U.S. company. Certain markets may require payment for securities before delivery and delays may be encountered in settling securities transactions. In some foreign markets, there may not be protection against failure by other parties to complete transactions. There may be limited legal recourse against an issuer in the event of a default on a debt instrument.

 

Currency Risk. The value of the assets of a Fund, as measured in U.S. dollars may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in foreign currency exchange rates and exchange control regulations. A change in the value of any foreign currency relative to the U.S. dollar may cause a corresponding change in the dollar value of a Fund’s assets that are denominated or traded in that country. In addition, a Fund may incur costs in connection with conversion between various currencies. Additionally, certain countries may utilize formal or informal currency-exchange controls or “capital controls.” Capital controls may impose restrictions on a Fund’s ability to repatriate investments or income. Such capital controls can also have a significant effect on the value of a Fund’s holdings.

 

Political and Economic Risk. Foreign investments may be subject to heightened political and economic risks, particularly in underdeveloped or developing countries which may have relatively unstable governments and economies based on only a few industries. In some countries, there is the risk that the government could seize or nationalize companies, could impose additional withholding taxes on dividends or interest income payable on securities, could impose exchange controls or adopt other restrictions that could affect a Fund’s investments.

 

Regulatory Risk. Foreign companies not publicly traded in the U.S. are not subject to the regulatory requirements of U.S. companies. There may be less publicly available information about such companies. Foreign companies are not subject to accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies.

 

Foreign Tax Risk. The Funds’ income from foreign issuers may be subject to non-U.S. withholding taxes. The Funds may also be subject to taxes on trading profits or on transfers of securities in some countries. To the extent foreign income taxes are paid by the Funds, shareholders may be entitled to a credit or deduction for U.S. tax purposes.

 

Transaction Costs. Transaction costs of buying and selling foreign securities, including brokerage, tax and custody charges, are generally higher than those of domestic transactions.

 

Emerging and Frontier Markets. The Funds may invest in securities issued by companies domiciled or economically tied to countries with emerging and frontier markets. Investing in securities of issuers domiciled in emerging or frontier markets entail greater risks than investing in securities of issuers domiciled in countries with more mature securities markets. These risks may include (i) less social, political and economic stability; (ii) small current size of markets for such securities and low or nonexistent trading volume, which result in lack of liquidity and greater price volatility; (iii) certain national policies which may restrict the Funds’ investment opportunities, including restrictions on investments in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (iv) foreign taxation; (v) inaccurate, incomplete or misleading financial information of companies in which the Funds invest; and (vi) the absence of developed structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for injury to private property.

 

Many emerging and frontier market countries suffer from uncertainty and corruption in their legal frameworks. Legislation may be difficult to interpret and laws may be too new to provide any precedential value. Laws regarding foreign investment and private property may be weak or non-existent. Sudden changes in governments may result in policies which are less favorable to investors, such as policies designed to expropriate or nationalize “sovereign” assets. Certain emerging and frontier market countries in the past have expropriated large amounts of private property, in many cases with little or no compensation, and there can be no assurance that such expropriation will not occur in the future.

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Many developing countries in which the Funds may invest lack the social, political and economic stability characteristics of the U.S. Political instability in these developing countries can be common and may be caused by an uneven distribution of wealth, social unrest, labor strikes, civil wars and religious oppression. Economic instability in market countries may take the form of (i) high interest rates; (ii) high levels of inflation, including hyperinflation; (iii) high levels of unemployment or underemployment; (iv) changes in government economic and tax policies, including confiscatory taxation; and (v) imposition of trade barriers.

 

Currencies of emerging and frontier market countries are subject to significantly greater risks than currencies of developed countries. Many of these developing countries have experienced steady declines or even sudden devaluations of their currencies relative to the U.S. dollar. Some emerging and frontier market currencies may not be internationally traded or may be subject to strict controls by local governments, resulting in undervalued or overvalued currencies. Some emerging market countries have experienced balance of payment deficits and shortages in foreign exchange reserves. Governments have responded by restricting currency conversions. Future restrictive exchange controls could prevent or restrict a company’s ability to make dividend or interest payments in the original currency of the obligation (usually U.S. dollars). In addition, even though the currencies of some of these developing countries may be convertible into U.S. dollars, the conversion rates may be artificial to their actual market values. Additionally, certain countries may utilize formal or informal currency-exchange controls or “capital controls.” Capital controls may impose restrictions on a Fund’s ability to repatriate investments or income. Such capital controls can also have a significant effect on the value of a Fund’s holdings.

 

In the past, governments within developing countries have become overly reliant on the international capital markets and other forms of foreign credit to finance large public spending programs which cause huge budget deficits. Often, interest payments have become too overwhelming for the governments to meet, representing a large percentage of total gross domestic product. These foreign obligations have become the subject of political debate and served as fuel for political parties of the opposition, which pressure the government not to make payments to foreign creditors, but instead to use these funds for social programs. Either due to an inability to pay or submission to political pressure, foreign governments have been forced to seek a restructuring of their loan and/or bond obligations, have declared a temporary suspension of interest payments or have defaulted. These events have adversely affected the values of securities issued by foreign governments and corporations domiciled in emerging market countries and have negatively affected not only their cost of borrowing, but their ability to borrow in the future.

 

Stock exchanges in developing markets have in the past experienced substantial fluctuations in the prices of their listed securities. They have also experienced problems such as temporary exchange closures, broker defaults, settlement delays and broker strikes that, if they occur again, could affect the market price and liquidity of the securities in which certain Funds invest. In addition, the governing bodies of certain stock exchanges have from time to time imposed restrictions on trading in certain securities, limitations on price movements and margin requirements. Disputes have also occurred from time to time among listed companies, the stock exchanges and other regulatory bodies, and in some cases those disputes have had a negative effect on overall market sentiment. There have been delays and errors in share allotments relating to initial public offerings, which in turn affect overall market sentiment and lead to fluctuations in the market prices of the securities of those companies and others in which certain Funds may invest.

 

Small emerging and frontier countries generally have smaller economies or less developed capital markets than traditional emerging market countries, and as a result, the risks of investing in emerging markets described above are magnified for small emerging market and frontier countries.

 

Share Blocking. In addition, investing in emerging and frontier markets includes the risk of share blocking. Share blocking refers to a practice, in certain foreign markets, where voting rights related to an issuer’s securities are predicated on these securities being blocked from trading at the custodian or sub-custodian level, for a period of time around a shareholder meeting. These restrictions have the effect of prohibiting securities to potentially be voted (or having been voted), from trading within a specified number of days before, and in certain instances, after the shareholder meeting.

 

Share blocking may prevent the Funds from buying or selling securities for a period of time. During the time that shares are blocked, trades in such securities will not settle. The specific practices may vary by market and the blocking period can last from a day to several weeks, typically terminating on a date established at the discretion of the issuer. Once blocked, the only manner in which to remove the block would be to withdraw a previously cast vote, or to abstain from voting altogether. The process for having a blocking restriction lifted can be very difficult, with the particular requirements varying widely by country. In certain countries, the block cannot be removed at all.

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Share blocking may present operational challenges for the Funds, including the effect that an imposed block would have on pending trades. Pending trades may be caused to fail and could potentially remain unsettled for an extended period of time. Fails may also expose the transfer agent and the Fund to “buy in” situations, where, if unable to deliver shares after a certain period of time, a counterparty has the right to go to market, purchase a security at the current market price and have any additional expense borne by the Fund or the transfer agent.

 

Illiquid Securities. Under SEC rules, an investment in a security is generally deemed to be “illiquid” if it cannot be disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the amount at which such security is valued by the Funds.

 

The Board has authorized the Adviser to make liquidity determinations with respect to certain securities, including securities issued in reliance upon Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”) (“Rule 144A Securities”). A foreign security that may be freely traded on or through the facilities of an offshore exchange or other established offshore securities market is not deemed to be an illiquid security.

 

Each Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities including “restricted” securities and private placements for which there is no public market value.

 

Securities in which a Fund may invest include securities issued by corporations without registration under the 1933 Act, such as securities issued in reliance on the so-called “private placement” exemption from registration which is afforded by Section 4(2) of the 1933 Act (“Section 4(2) securities”). Section 4(2) securities are restricted as to disposition under the Federal securities laws, and generally are sold to institutional investors such as the Funds who agree that they are purchasing the securities for investment and not with a view to public distribution. Any resale must also generally be made in an exempt transaction. Section 4(2) securities are normally resold to other institutional investors through or with the assistance of the issuer or investment dealers who make a market in such Section 4(2) securities, thus providing liquidity. Any such restricted securities will be considered to be illiquid for purposes of the Fund’s limitations on investments in illiquid securities unless, pursuant to procedures adopted by the Board, the Adviser has determined such securities to be liquid because such securities are eligible for resale under Rule 144A under the 1933 Act and are readily saleable.

 

The fair value of these securities will be determined by the Pricing Committee of the Adviser with oversight by the Board of Trustees in accordance with Board-approved Pricing Policies and Procedures. Given the inherent uncertainties of estimating fair market value, there can be no assurance that the value placed on a security will be appropriate in terms of how the security may be ultimately valued on the public market. These securities may never be publicly traded and the Funds may not be able to easily liquidate positions in these securities.

 

If illiquid securities exceed 15% of a Fund’s net assets after the time of purchase, the Fund will take steps to reduce, in an orderly fashion, its holdings of illiquid securities. Because illiquid securities may not be readily marketable, the Adviser may not be able to dispose of them in a timely manner. As a result, the Fund may be forced to hold illiquid securities while their prices depreciate. Depreciation in the prices of illiquid securities may cause the net asset value of a Fund to decline.

 

Lending of Portfolio Securities. Consistent with applicable regulatory requirements, the Funds may lend their portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and financial institutions, provided that outstanding loans do not exceed in the aggregate 33 1/3% of the value of a Fund’s total assets and provided that such loans are callable at any time by a Fund and are at all times secured by cash or equivalent collateral that is at least equal to the market value, determined daily, of the loaned securities. The advantage of such loans is that a Fund continues to receive interest and dividends from the loaned securities, while at the same time earning interest either directly from the borrower or on the collateral which will be invested in short-term obligations. It is not a principal strategy of any Fund to lend its portfolio securities.

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A loan may be terminated by the borrower on one business day’s notice or by a Fund at any time. If the borrower fails to maintain the requisite amount of collateral, the loan automatically terminates, and the Fund could use the collateral to replace the securities while holding the borrower liable for any excess of replacement cost over collateral. As with any extensions of credit, there are risks of delay in recovery and in some cases loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially. However, these loans of portfolio securities will only be made to firms determined to be creditworthy pursuant to procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. On termination of the loan, the borrower is required to return the securities to the Fund and any gain or loss in the market price during the loan would be borne by the Fund.

 

Since voting or consent rights which accompany loaned securities pass to the borrower, the Funds will follow the policy of calling the loan, in whole or in part as may be appropriate, to permit the exercise of such rights if the matters involved would have a material effect on a Fund’s investment in the securities which are the subject of the loan. The Funds will pay reasonable finders, administrative and custodial fees in connection with loans of securities or may share the interest earned on collateral with the borrower.

 

The primary risk in securities lending is default by the borrower as the value of the borrowed security rises, resulting in a deficiency in the collateral posted by the borrower. The Funds seek to minimize this risk by computing the value of the security loaned on a daily basis and requiring additional collateral if necessary.

 

Money Market Instruments. Each Fund may invest in a variety of money market instruments for pending investments, to meet anticipated redemption requests and/or to retain the flexibility to respond promptly to changes in market, economic or political conditions, when the Adviser takes temporary defensive positions, including when the Adviser is unable to locate attractive investment opportunities, or when the Adviser considers market, economic or political conditions to be unfavorable for profitable investing. Money market instruments include, but are not limited to, the following instruments. Commercial paper represents short-term unsecured promissory notes issued in bearer form by banks or bank holding companies, corporations and finance companies. Issues of commercial paper normally have maturities of less than nine months and fixed rates of return. A Fund may purchase commercial paper consisting of issues rated at the time of purchase by one or more appropriate NRSRO (e.g., S&P’s and Moody’s) in one of the two highest rating categories for short-term debt obligations. The Funds may also invest in commercial paper that is not rated but that is determined by the Adviser to be of comparable quality to instruments that are so rated by an NRSRO that is neither controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the issuer of, or any issuer, guarantor, or provider of credit support for, the instruments. Certificates of deposit are generally negotiable certificates issued against funds deposited in a commercial bank or a savings and loan association for a definite period of time and earning a specified return. Bankers’ acceptances are negotiable drafts or bills of exchange, normally drawn by an importer or exporter to pay for specific merchandise, which are “accepted” by a bank, meaning, in effect, that the bank unconditionally agrees to pay the face value of the instrument on maturity. Bankers’ acceptances invested in by a Fund will be those guaranteed by domestic and foreign banks having, at the time of investment, capital, surplus, and undivided profits in excess of $100,000,000 (as of the date of their most recently published financial statements). 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 demand by the investor, but may be subject to early withdrawal penalties that vary depending upon market conditions and the remaining maturity of the obligation. There are no contractual restrictions on the right to transfer a beneficial interest in a fixed time deposit to a third party, although there is no market for such deposits. Bank notes and bankers’ acceptances rank junior to deposit liabilities of the bank and pari passu with other senior, unsecured obligations of the bank. Bank notes are classified as “other borrowings” on a bank’s balance sheet, while deposit notes and certificates of deposit are classified as deposits. Bank notes are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any other insurer. Deposit notes are insured by the FDIC only to the extent of $250,000 per depositor per bank. Certificates of deposit and demand and time deposits will be those of domestic banks and savings and loan associations, if (a) at the time of investment the depository institution has capital, surplus, and undivided profits in excess of $100,000,000 (as of the date of its most recently published financial statements), or (b) the principal amount of the instrument is insured in full by the FDIC.

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Mortgage-Related Securities. The Funds may, consistent with their investment objectives and policies, invest in mortgage-related securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities or issued by nongovernmental entities.

 

Mortgage-related securities, for purposes of the Prospectus and this SAI, represent pools of mortgage loans assembled for sale to investors by various governmental agencies such as the Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”) and government-related organizations such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”), as well as by nongovernmental issuers such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, mortgage bankers and private mortgage insurance companies. Although certain mortgage-related securities are guaranteed by a third party or otherwise similarly secured, the market value of the security, which may fluctuate, is not so secured. If a Fund purchases a mortgage-related security at a premium, that portion may be lost if there is a decline in the market value of the security whether resulting from changes in interest rates or prepayments in the underlying mortgage collateral. As with other interest-bearing securities, the prices of such securities are inversely affected by changes in interest rates. However, though the value of a mortgage-related security may decline when interest rates rise, the converse is not necessarily true, since in periods of declining interest rates the mortgages underlying the securities are prone to prepayment, thereby shortening the average life of the security and shortening the period of time over which income at the higher rate is received. Conversely, when interest rates are rising, the rate of prepayment tends to decrease, thereby lengthening the average life of the security and lengthening the period of time over which income at the lower rate is received. For these and other reasons, a mortgage-related security’s average maturity may be shortened or lengthened as a result of interest rate fluctuations and, therefore, it is not possible to predict accurately the security’s return to a Fund. In addition, regular payments received in respect of mortgage-related securities include both interest and principal. No assurance can be given as to the return a Fund will receive when these amounts are reinvested.

 

The Funds may also invest in mortgage-related securities which are collateralized mortgage obligations structured on pools of mortgage pass-through certificates or mortgage loans. Mortgage-related securities will be purchased only if rated in the three highest bond rating categories assigned by one or more appropriate NRSROs, or, if unrated, which the Adviser deems to be of comparable quality.

 

There are a number of important differences among the agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. Government that issue mortgage-related securities and among the securities that they issue. Mortgage-related securities issued by the GNMA include GNMA Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates (also known as “Ginnie Maes”) which are guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by GNMA and such guarantee is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. GNMA is a wholly-owned U.S. Government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. GNMA certificates also are supported by the authority of GNMA to borrow funds from the U.S. Treasury to make payments under its guarantee. Mortgage-related securities issued by the FNMA include FNMA Guaranteed Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates (also known as “Fannie Maes”) which are solely the obligations of the FNMA and are not backed by or entitled to the full faith and credit of the United States. FNMA is a government-sponsored organization owned entirely by private stockholders. Fannie Maes are guaranteed as to timely payment of the principal and interest by FNMA. Mortgage-related securities issued by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”) include FHLMC Mortgage Participation Certificates (also known as “Freddie Macs” or “PCs”). FHLMC is a corporate instrumentality of the United States, created pursuant to an Act of Congress, which is owned entirely by Federal Home Loan Banks. Freddie Macs are not guaranteed by the United States or by any Federal Home Loan Banks and do not constitute a debt or obligation of the United States or of any Federal Home Loan Bank. Freddie Macs entitle the holder to timely payment of interest, which is guaranteed by FHLMC. FHLMC guarantees either ultimate collection or timely payment of all principal payments on the underlying mortgage loans. When FHLMC does not guarantee timely payment of principal, FHLMC may remit the amount due on account of its guarantee of ultimate payment of principal at any time after default on an underlying mortgage, but in no event later than one year after it becomes payable. In September 2008, FNMA and FHLMC were placed into conservatorship overseen by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”). As conservator, FHFA will succeed to the rights, titles, powers and privileges of the company and any stockholder, officer or director of such company with respect to the company and its assets and title to all books, records and assets of the company held by any other custodian or third party. The conservator is then charged with operating the company.

 

Municipal Obligations. All Funds may invest in taxable municipal securities or in municipal securities whose interest, in the opinion of the securities' counsel, is exempt from federal income tax and/or from the federal alternative minimum tax. The Adviser or a Fund does not guarantee that this opinion is correct, and there is no assurance that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) will agree with such counsel's opinion. If certain types of investments a Fund buys as tax-exempt are later ruled to be taxable, a portion of the Fund's income could be taxable. To the extent that a Fund invests in municipal securities from a given state or geographic region, its share price and performance could be affected by local, state and regional factors, including erosion of the tax base and changes in the economic climate. National governmental actions, such as the elimination of tax-exempt status, also could affect performance. A Fund may be more sensitive to adverse economic, business or political developments if it invests a substantial portion of its assets in municipal securities financing similar projects. A change that affects one project, such as proposed legislation on the financing of the project, a shortage of the materials needed for the project, or a declining need for the project, may affect similar projects and the overall municipal securities market.

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Non-Investment Grade Securities. Investing in non-investment grade securities is a principal strategy for the Strategic Income Fund. The World Innovators Funds may invest up to 10% of its total assets in non-investment grade securities. The Strategic Income Fund may invest without limitation in non-investment grade securities. Such securities include high yield (junk) bonds, convertible bonds, preferred stocks and convertible preferred stocks.

 

Non-investment grade bonds are debt securities rated Ba or lower by Moody’s or BB or lower by S&P. They generally offer greater returns in the form of higher average yields than investment grade debt securities (rated Baa or higher by Moody’s or BBB or higher by S&P). Non-investment grade debt securities involve greater risks than investment grade debt securities including greater sensitivity to changes in interest rates, the economy, the issuer’s solvency and liquidity in the secondary trading market. See Appendix A for a description of corporate bond ratings.

 

Yields on non-investment grade debt securities will fluctuate over time. The prices of non-investment grade debt securities have been found to be less sensitive to interest rate changes than investment grade debt securities, but more sensitive to adverse economic changes or individual issuer developments. During an economic downturn or a sustained period of rising interest rates, highly leveraged issuers may experience financial stress which would adversely affect their ability to pay principal and interest obligations, meet projected business goals and to obtain additional financing. If the issuer of a debt security held by a Fund defaulted, the Fund might incur additional expenses seeking to recover the issuer’s defaulted obligation. In addition, periods of economic uncertainty and changes can be expected to result in increased volatility of market prices of non-investment grade debt securities and a Fund’s NAV. Furthermore, the market prices of non-investment grade debt securities structured as zero coupon or payment-in-kind securities are affected to a greater extent by interest rate changes and tend to be more volatile than securities that pay interest periodically and in cash.

 

Non-investment grade debt securities present risks based on payment expectations. For example, they may contain redemption or call provisions. If an issuer exercises these provisions in a declining interest rate market, a Fund would have to replace the security with a lower-yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. A high-yielding security’s value will decrease in a rising interest rate market and will result in a corresponding decrease in the value of a Fund’s assets. Unexpected net redemptions may force a Fund to sell securities including, but not limited to, non-investment grade debt securities, without regard to their investment merits, thereby decreasing the asset base upon which a Fund’s expenses can be spread and possibly reducing the rate of return.

 

To the extent that there is no established secondary market, there may be thin trading of non-investment grade securities, including high yield bonds, convertible bonds, preferred stocks and convertible preferred stocks held by a Fund. This may adversely affect the ability of the Pricing Committee of the Adviser or the Funds’ Board of Trustees to accurately value a Fund’s non-investment grade securities and a Fund’s assets and may also adversely affect a Fund’s ability to dispose of the securities. In the absence of an established secondary market, valuing securities becomes more difficult and judgment plays a greater role in valuation because there is less reliable, objective data available. Adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the value and liquidity of non-investment grade securities, especially in a thinly traded market. Illiquid or restricted non-investment grade securities purchased by a Fund may involve special registration responsibilities, liabilities and costs, and liquidity and valuation difficulties.

 

Certain risks are associated with applying ratings as a method for evaluating non-investment grade securities. For example, credit ratings for bonds evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments, not the market value risk of such securities. Credit rating agencies may fail to timely change credit ratings to reflect subsequent events. The Adviser continuously monitors the issuers of non-investment grade debt securities held by a Fund to determine if the issuers will have sufficient cash flow and profits to meet required principal and interest payments and to assure the securities’ liquidity. A Fund may be more dependent upon the Adviser’s own analysis of non-investment grade securities than is the case for investment grade securities. Also, a Fund may retain a portfolio security whose rating has been changed if the security otherwise meets a Fund’s investment criteria.

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Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that the issuer of a debt security will fail to make payments on the security when due. Securities rated non-investment grade are particularly subject to credit risk. These securities are predominantly speculative and are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” To the extent a Fund purchases or holds convertible or other non-investment grade securities, a Fund may be exposed to greater risk that the issuer will not repay principal, or pay interest or dividends on such securities in a timely manner.

 

Ratings published by rating agencies seek to measure credit risk (Rating agencies’ descriptions of non-investment grade securities are contained in Appendix A of this SAI). The lower a bond issue is rated by an agency, the more credit risk it is considered to represent. Lower-rated bonds generally pay higher yields to compensate investors for the greater risk.

 

Interest Rate Risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a fixed-rate debt security will decline due to changes in market interest rates. Even though some interest-bearing securities are investments which offer a stable stream of income at relatively high current yield, the prices of such securities are affected by changes in interest rates and are therefore subject to market price fluctuations. The value of fixed income securities varies inversely with changes in market interest rates. When interest rates rise, the value of a Fund’s fixed income securities, and therefore its net asset value per share, generally will decline. In general, the value of fixed-rate debt securities with longer maturities is more sensitive to changes in market interest rates than the value of such securities with shorter maturities. Thus, if a Fund is invested in fixed income securities with longer weighted average maturities, the net asset value of a Fund should be expected to have greater volatility in periods of changing market interest rates.

 

Participatory Notes. The Funds may invest in “Participatory Notes,” which are contracts or similar instruments evidencing the indirect ownership of an underlying basket of securities held by banks or other parties, and are used by investors to obtain exposure to an equity investment, including common stocks and warrants, in a local market where direct ownership is not permitted. It is not a principal strategy of any Fund to invest in participatory notes. In countries where direct ownership by a foreign investor is not allowed by local law (e.g., Saudi Arabia), an investor may gain exposure to the market through Participatory Notes, which derives their value from a basket of underlying equity securities. Such instruments are intended to reflect the performance of the underlying equity securities on a one-to-one basis so that investors will not normally gain more in absolute terms than they would have had the invested in the underlying securities directly, and will not normally lose more than they would have lost had they invested in the underlying securities directly.

 

In addition to otherwise providing access to otherwise closed markets, Participatory Notes can also act as a less expensive alternative to direct investment in markets where foreign ownership is permitted by reducing registration and transaction costs. It should not be assumed that Participatory Notes will lessen the liquidity risks of a Fund.

 

Participatory Notes are generally structured and sold by a local branch of a bank or broker-dealer that is permitted to purchase equity securities in the local market. Pursuant to the terms of the instrument created, the Fund may tender the instrument for cash payment in an amount that reflects the current market value of the underlying investments, less program expenses, such as trading costs, taxes and duties. The instruments represent unsecured, unsubordinated contractual rights of the issuer. They do not typically confer any right, title or interest in respect to the underlying equity securities or provide rights against the issuer of the underlying securities.

 

The purchase of Participatory Notes involves risks that are in addition to the risks normally associated with a direct investment in the underlying securities. The Fund is subject to the risk that the issuer of the instrument (i.e., the issuing bank or broker-dealer) is unable or refuses to perform under the terms of the instrument, also known as counter-party risk. While the holder of such instrument is entitled to receive from the issuer any dividends or other distributions paid on the underlying securities, the holder is not entitled to the same rights as an owner of the underlying securities, such as voting rights. Participatory Notes are also not traded on exchanges, are privately issued, and may be illiquid. There can be no assurance that the trading price or value of the instrument will equal the value of the underlying value of the equity securities to which they are linked.

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Preferred Stock. The Funds may invest in preferred stock. Preferred stock, unlike common stock, may offer a stated dividend rate payable from the issuer’s earnings. Preferred stock dividends may be cumulative, non-cumulative, participating or auction rate. If interest rates rise, the fixed dividend on preferred stocks may be less attractive, causing the price of preferred stocks to decline. Preferred stock may have mandatory sinking fund provisions, as well as call/redemption provisions prior to maturity, a negative feature when interest rates decline. For a description of preferred stock ratings, see Appendix A.

 

Real Estate Securities. The Funds may invest in REITs. Note that investing in real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) is a principal investment strategy of the Strategic Income Fund. REITs pool investors’ funds for investment primarily in income producing real estate or real estate loans or interests. A REIT is not taxed on income distributed to shareholders if it complies with several requirements relating to its organization, ownership, assets, and income and a requirement that it distribute to its shareholders at least 95% of its taxable income (other than net capital gains) for each taxable year. While there are many types of REITs, all REITs can generally be classified as Equity REITs, Mortgage REITs and Hybrid REITs. Equity REITs, which invest the majority of their assets directly in real property, derive their income primarily from rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs, which invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages, derive their income primarily from interest payments. Hybrid REITs combine the characteristics of both Equity REITs and Mortgage REITs. The Funds will not invest in real estate directly, but only in securities issued by real estate companies. The risks of investing in REITs include declines in the value of real estate, risks related to general and local economic conditions, dependency on management skill, heavy cash flow dependency, possible lack of availability of mortgage funds, overbuilding, extended vacancies of properties, increased competition, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in zoning laws, losses due to costs resulting from the clean-up of environmental problems, liability to third parties for damages resulting from environmental problems, casualty or condemnation losses, limitations on rents, changes in neighborhood values, the appeal of properties to tenants and changes in interest rates.

 

In addition to these risks, Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the trusts, while Mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. Further, REITs are dependent upon management skills and generally may not be diversified. REITs are also subject to heavy cash flow dependency, defaults by borrowers and self-liquidation. In addition, REITs could possibly fail to qualify for the beneficial tax treatment available to REITs under the Code, or to maintain their exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act. The above factors may also adversely affect a borrower’s or a lessee’s ability to meet its obligations to the REIT. In the event of a default by a borrower or lessee, the REIT may experience delays in enforcing its rights as a mortgagee or lessor and may incur substantial costs associated with protecting investments.

 

Repurchase Agreements. All Funds may agree to purchase securities from financial institutions (including clearing firms registered with the SEC that provide comparison, netting and settlement services to their members with respect to repurchase agreement transactions), and the corporate parents or affiliates of such financial institutions or clearing firms, subject to the seller’s agreement to repurchase them at a mutually agreed upon date and price (“repurchase agreements”). Although the underlying securities’ collateral related to a repurchase agreement may bear maturities exceeding one year, the term and settlement for the repurchase agreement security will never be more than one year and normally will be within a shorter period of time (often one business day). Underlying securities’ collateral related to repurchase agreements is held either by the Funds’ custodian or sub-custodian (if any). The seller, under a repurchase agreement, will be required to maintain the value of the securities subject to the agreement in an amount exceeding the repurchase price (including accrued interest). Repurchase agreements may be considered loans to the seller, collateralized by the underlying securities. The risk to a Fund includes the ability of the seller to pay the agreed upon sum on the repurchase date; in the event of default, the repurchase agreement provides that a Fund is entitled to sell the underlying securities’ collateral. If the value of the collateral declines after the agreement is entered into, however, and if the seller defaults under a repurchase agreement when the value of the underlying collateral is less than the repurchase price, a Fund could incur a loss of both principal and interest. The Funds’ custodian monitors the value of the collateral at the time the action is entered into and at all times during the term of the repurchase agreement. This is done in an effort to determine whether the value of the collateral always equals or exceeds the agreed upon repurchase price to be paid to the Fund. If the seller were to be subject to a federal bankruptcy proceeding, the ability of a Fund to liquidate the collateral could be delayed or impaired because of certain provisions of the bankruptcy laws.

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In addition, the Funds may invest in repurchase agreements for pending investments, to meet anticipated redemption requests, to retain the flexibility to respond promptly to changes in market, economic or political conditions, and/or when the Adviser takes temporary defensive positions, and/or when the Adviser is unable to locate attractive investment opportunities or when the Adviser considers market, economic or political conditions to be unfavorable for profitable investing.

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements. The Funds may borrow funds by entering into reverse repurchase agreements in accordance with that Fund’s investment restrictions. Pursuant to such agreements, each Fund would sell portfolio securities to financial institutions such as banks and broker-dealers, and agree to repurchase the securities at a mutually agreed-upon date and price. A Fund intends to enter into reverse repurchase agreements only to avoid otherwise selling securities during unfavorable market conditions to meet redemptions. At the time a Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it will place in a segregated custodial account assets such as U.S. Government securities or other liquid securities consistent with the Fund’s investment restrictions having a value equal to the repurchase price (including accrued interest), and will subsequently continually monitor the account to ensure that such equivalent value is maintained at all times. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the market value of the securities sold by a Fund may decline below the price at which a Fund is obligated to repurchase the securities. Reverse repurchase agreements are considered to be borrowings by a Fund under the 1940 Act.

 

Securities of Other Investment Companies. Investing in securities of other investment companies is a principal strategy of the Strategic Income Fund. All Funds may purchase the securities of other investment companies, including foreign and domestic registered and unregistered open-end funds, closed-end funds, unit investment trusts and ETFs if the purchase is in compliance with the 1940 Act, rules thereunder or any exemptive relief in which a Fund may rely. As a shareholder of another investment company, a Fund would bear its pro rata portion of the other investment company’s expenses, including advisory fees. These expenses would be in addition to the expenses the Fund bears directly in connection with its own operations. If a Fund invests in securities of other investment companies, the return on any such investment will be reduced by the operating expenses, including investment advisory and administrative fees, of such investment companies. (Such Fund indirectly absorbs its pro rata share of the other investment companies’ expenses.) However, the Adviser believes that at times the return and liquidity features of these securities may be more beneficial than other types of securities.

 

Except as described in the following paragraph, the Funds currently intend to limit investments in securities issued by other investment companies so that, as determined immediately after a purchase of such securities is made: (i) not more than 5% of the value of a Fund’s total assets will be invested in the securities of any one investment company; (ii) not more than 10% of the value of its total assets will be invested in the aggregate in securities of investment companies as a group; and (iii) not more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of any one investment company will be owned by a Fund. These limitations do not apply to investments in investment companies through a master-feeder type arrangement. In addition, to the extent allowed by law or regulation, a Fund may invest its assets in securities of investment companies that are money market funds, including those advised by the Adviser or otherwise affiliated with the Adviser, in excess of the limits discussed above.

 

With respect to a Fund’s investments in ETFs, pursuant to certain specific exemptive orders issued by the SEC to several ETFs, and procedures approved by the Board, a Fund may invest in certain ETFs in excess of the limits described above, provided that the Fund has described ETF investments in its Prospectus and otherwise complies with the conditions of the applicable SEC exemptive orders, each as may be amended, and any other applicable investment limitations.

 

Short Sales. The Funds may make short sales of securities. Note that short sales of securities are a principal investment strategy for the Strategic Income Fund. Short sales are transactions in which a Fund sells a security it does not own in anticipation of a decline in the market value of that security. A Fund must borrow the security to deliver to the buyer upon the short sale. A Fund is then obligated to replace the borrowed security by purchasing it at a later date. A short sale provides a possible hedge against the market risk of the value of other investments and protects a Fund in a declining market.

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Short sales are subject to the risk that a Fund will incur a loss if the price of a security sold short increases between the date of the short sale and the date the Fund closes the short sale. Any gain on a short sale will be decreased, and the amount of any loss increased, by the amount of the premium, dividends, interest or expenses the Fund may be required to pay in connection with a short sale. An increase in the value of a security sold short by a Fund over the price at which it was sold short will result in a loss to the Fund, and there can be no assurance that the Fund will be able to close out the position at any particular time or at an acceptable price. Except in the case of short sales “against the box,” a Fund’s market risk is unlimited in that the potential for increase in the market price of the security sold short is unlimited. Short sales “against the box” mean that the Fund owns securities identical to those sold short.

 

When a short position is closed out, it may result in a short-term capital gain or loss for federal income tax purposes. In a generally rising market, if a Fund maintains short positions in securities rising with the market, the net asset value of the Fund would increase to a lesser extent than if it had not engaged in short sales.

 

The Adviser may consider short selling when the Adviser finds companies it believes are intrinsically overvalued. Short selling may also be considered in arbitrage and hedge situations, and short selling might also be used under certain circumstances to defer taxes.

 

The Funds will not engage in short sales of securities when these transactions would cause the market value of all of its securities sold short to exceed 15% of its net assets subject to the following. The value of the securities of any one issuer that may be shorted by a Fund is limited to the lesser of 5% of the value of the Fund’s net assets or 5% of the securities of any class of the issuer. All short sales must be fully collateralized. The Funds maintain the collateral in a segregated account with their custodian. The collateral consists of cash, U.S. Government securities or any other liquid securities equal to the market value of the securities at the time of the short sale. The Funds will thereafter maintain, on a daily basis, the collateral to ensure that it is equal to the current market value of the securities sold short. Short sales against the box are not subject to the 15% limitation. A capital gain or loss is recognized immediately upon the sale of a short against the box. A Fund may only engage in short sale transactions in securities listed on one or more U.S. or foreign securities exchanges or on EASDAQ or Nasdaq.

 

Stripped Obligations. The Funds may purchase Treasury receipts and other “stripped” securities that evidence ownership in either the future interest payments or the future principal payments on U.S. Government obligations. These participations, which may be issued by the U.S. Government (or a U.S. Government agency or instrumentality) or by private issuers such as banks and other institutions, are issued at a discount from their “face value,” and may include stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”). Stripped securities, particularly SMBS, may exhibit greater price volatility than ordinary debt securities because of the manner in which their principal and interest are returned to investors.

 

SMBS are usually structured with two or more classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions from a pool of mortgage-backed obligations. A common type of SMBS will have one class receiving all of the interest, while the other class receives all of the principal. However, in some cases, one class will receive some of the interest and most of the principal while the other class will receive most of the interest and the remainder of the principal. If the underlying obligations experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal a Fund may fail to fully recoup its initial investment. The market value of the class consisting entirely of principal payments can be extremely volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The yields on a class of SMBS that receives all or most of the interest are generally higher than prevailing market yields on other mortgage-backed obligations because their cash flow patterns are also volatile and there is a greater risk that the initial investment will not be fully recouped.

 

SMBS issued by the U.S. Government (or a U.S. Government agency or instrumentality) may be considered liquid under guidelines established by the Board of Trustees if they can be disposed of promptly in the ordinary course of business at a value reasonably close to that used in the calculation of a Fund’s per share net asset value.

 

The Treasury Department has facilitated transfers of ownership of zero coupon securities by accounting separately for the beneficial ownership of particular interest coupon and principal payments on Treasury securities through the Federal Reserve book-entry record-keeping system. A Fund may purchase securities registered in the STRIPS program. Under the STRIPS program, a Fund will be able to have beneficial ownership of zero coupon securities recorded directly in the book-entry record-keeping system in lieu of having to hold certificates or other evidences of ownership of the underlying U.S. Treasury securities.

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In addition, the Funds may acquire U.S. Government obligations and their unmatured interest coupons that have been separated (“stripped”) by their holder, typically a custodian bank or investment brokerage firm. Having separated the interest coupons from the underlying principal of the U.S. Government obligations, the holder will resell the stripped securities in custodial receipt programs with a number of different names, including “Treasury Income Growth Receipts” (“TIGRs”) and “Certificate of Accrual on Treasury Securities” (“CATS”). The stripped coupons are sold separately from the underlying principal, which is usually sold at a deep discount because the buyer receives only the right to receive a future fixed payment on the security and does not receive any rights to periodic interest (cash) payments. The underlying U.S. Treasury bonds and notes themselves are held in book-entry form at the Federal Reserve Bank or, in the case of bearer securities (i.e., unregistered securities which are ostensibly owned by the bearer or holder), in trust on behalf of the owners. Counsel to the underwriters of these certificates or other evidences of ownership of U.S. Treasury securities have stated that, in their opinion, purchasers of the stripped securities most likely will be deemed the beneficial holders of the underlying U.S. Government obligations for Federal tax purposes. The Adviser is unaware of any binding legislative, judicial or administrative authority on this issue.

 

Swap Agreements. The Funds may enter into credit default swaps, interest rate swaps and currency swaps. In a typical interest rate swap, one party agrees to make regular payments equal to a floating interest rate multiplied by a “notional principal amount,” in return for payments equal to fixed rate multiplied by the same amount, for a specified period of time. If a swap agreement provides for payments in different currencies, the parties might agree to exchange the notional principal amount as well. The credit default swap allows a Fund to manage credit risk through buying and selling credit protection on specific names or a basket of names. A “buyer” of credit protection agrees to pay a counterparty to assume the credit risk of an issuer upon the occurrence of certain events. The “seller” of credit protection receives a premium and agrees to assume the credit risk of an issuer upon the occurrence of certain events. A Fund will segregate the notional principal amount to cover the exposure created by the swap.

 

Swap agreements will tend to shift a Fund’s investment exposure from one type of investment to another. Depending on how they are used, swap agreements may increase or decrease the overall volatility of a Fund’s investments and its share price and yield. A Fund may enter into swaps with members of the Federal Reserve System, members of the New York Stock Exchange or other entities determined by the Adviser to be creditworthy.

 

United States Government Securities. To the extent consistent with their investment objectives, the Funds may invest in a variety of U.S. Treasury obligations consisting of bills, notes and bonds, which principally differ only in their interest rates, maturities and time of issuance. The Funds may also invest in other securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities. Obligations of certain agencies and instrumentalities, such as GNMA, are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury; others, such as those of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the Treasury; others, such as those of FNMA, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase the agency’s obligations; still others, such as those of the Student Loan Marketing Association (“SLMA”), are supported only by the credit of the instrumentalities. Obligations of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (also known as the World Bank) are supported by subscribed, but unpaid, commitments of its member countries. There is no assurance that these commitments will be undertaken or complied with in the future.

 

In addition, in September 2008 FNMA and FHLMC were placed into conservatorship overseen by the FHFA. As conservator, FHFA will succeed to the rights, titles, powers and privileges of each company and any stockholder, officer or director of such company with respect to the company and its assets and title to all books, records and assets of the company held by any other custodian or third party. The conservator is then charged with operating the company.

 

Securities guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities are deemed to include: (a) securities for which the payment of principal and interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit issued by the U.S. Government or an agency or instrumentality thereof; and (b) participations in loans made to foreign governments or their agencies that are so guaranteed. The secondary market for certain of these participations is limited. Such participations will therefore be regarded as illiquid. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to its agencies or instrumentalities if it is not obligated to do so by law.

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U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS). The Funds may also invest in TIPS. Inflation-protected securities are a type of marketable book-entry security issued by the United States Department of Treasury (“Treasury”) with a nominal return linked to the inflation rate in prices. The index used to measure inflation is the non-seasonally adjusted U.S. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (“CPI-U”).

 

The value of the principal is adjusted for inflation, and every six months the security pays interest, which is an amount equal to a fixed percentage of the inflation-adjusted value of the principal. The final payment of principal of the security will not be less than the original par amount of the security at issuance.

 

The principal of the inflation-protected security is indexed to the non-seasonally adjusted CPI-U. To calculate the inflation-adjusted principal value for a particular valuation date, the value of the principal at issuance is multiplied by the index ratio applicable to that valuation date. The index ratio for any date is the ratio of the reference Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) applicable to such date to the reference CPI applicable to the original issue date. Semi-annual coupon interest is determined by multiplying the inflation-adjusted principal amount by one-half of the stated rate of interest on each interest payment date.

 

Inflation-adjusted principal or the original par amount, whichever is larger, is paid on the maturity date as specified in the applicable offering announcement. If at maturity the inflation-adjusted principal is less than the original principal value of the security, an additional amount is paid at maturity so that the additional amount plus the inflation-adjusted principal equals the original principal amount. Some inflation-protected securities may be stripped into principal and interest components. In the case of a stripped security, the holder of the stripped principal component receives this additional amount. The final interest payment, however, is based on the final inflation-adjusted principal value, not the original par amount.

 

The reference CPI for the first day of any calendar month is the CPI-U for the third preceding calendar month. (For example, the reference CPI for December 1 is the CPI-U reported for September of the same year, which is released in October.) The reference CPI for any other day of the month is calculated by a linear interpolation between the reference CPI applicable to the first day of the month and the reference CPI applicable to the first day of the following month.

 

Any revisions the Bureau of Labor Statistics (or successor agency) makes to any CPI-U number that has been previously released will not be used in calculations of the value of outstanding inflation-protected securities. In the case that the CPI-U for a particular month is not reported by the last day of the following month, the Treasury will announce an index number based on the last year-over-year CPI-U inflation rate available. Any calculations of the Treasury’s payment obligations on the inflation-protected security that need that month’s CPI-U number will be based on the index number that the Treasury has announced. If the CPI-U is rebased to a different year, the Treasury will continue to use the CPI-U series based on the base reference period in effect when the security was first issued as long as that series continues to be published. If the CPI-U is discontinued during the period the inflation-protected security is outstanding, the Treasury will, in consultation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (or successor agency), determine an appropriate substitute index and methodology for linking the discontinued series with the new price index series. Determinations of the Secretary of the Treasury in this regard are final.

 

Inflation-protected securities are held and transferred in either of two book-entry systems: the commercial book-entry system (“TRADES”) and TREASURY DIRECT. The securities are maintained and transferred at their original par amount, i.e., not their inflation-adjusted value. The Federal Reserve program was established by the Treasury Department and is known as “STRIPS” or “Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities.” STRIPS components are maintained and transferred in TRADES at their value based on their original par amount of the fully constituted security.

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Variable Amount Master Demand Notes. The Funds may invest in variable amount master demand notes. Variable amount master demand notes are unsecured demand notes that permit the indebtedness thereunder to vary and provide for periodic adjustments in the interest rate according to the terms of the instrument. Because master demand notes are direct lending arrangements between a Fund and the issuer, they are not normally traded. Although there is no secondary market in the notes, a Fund may demand payment of principal and accrued interest at any time within 30 days. While such notes are not typically rated by credit rating agencies, issuers of variable amount master demand notes (which are normally manufacturing, retail, financial and other business concerns), must satisfy, for purchase by a Fund, the same criteria for commercial paper for a Fund. The Adviser will consider the earning power, cash flow, and other liquidity ratios of the issuers of such notes and will continuously monitor their financial status and ability to meet payment on demand. In determining weighted average portfolio maturity, a variable amount master demand note will be deemed to have a maturity equal to the longer of the period of time remaining until the next interest rate adjustment or the period of time remaining until the principal amount can be recovered from the issuer through demand.

 

Variable and Floating Rate Securities. The Funds may acquire variable and floating rate securities, subject to each Fund’s investment objectives, policies and restrictions. A variable rate security is one with terms providing for the adjustment of its interest rate on set dates and which, upon such adjustment, can reasonably be expected to have a market value that approximates its par value. A floating rate security is one with terms providing for the adjustment of its interest rate whenever a specified interest rate changes and which, at any time, can reasonably be expected to have a market value that approximates its par value. Such securities are frequently not rated by credit rating agencies; however, unrated variable and floating rate securities purchased by a Fund will be determined by the Adviser, to be of comparable quality at the time of purchase to rated instruments eligible for purchase under a Fund’s investment policies. In making such determinations, the Adviser will consider the earning power, cash flow and other liquidity ratios of the issuers of such notes (such issuers include financial, merchandising, bank holding and other companies) and will continuously monitor their financial condition. Although there may be no active secondary market with respect to a particular variable or floating rate security purchased by a Fund, the Fund may resell the security at any time to a third party. The absence of an active secondary market, however, could make it difficult for a Fund to dispose of a variable or floating rate security in the event the issuer of the security defaulted on its payment obligations and a Fund could, as a result or for other reasons, suffer a loss to the extent of the default. To the extent that there exists no readily available market for such security and a Fund is not entitled to receive the principal amount of a note within seven days, such a security will be treated as illiquid for purposes of calculating such Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities, as set forth in a Fund’s investment restrictions. Variable or floating rate securities may be secured by bank letters of credit.

 

Warrants. The Funds may invest in warrants to participate in an anticipated increase in the market value of the security. It is not a principal strategy of any Fund to invest in warrants. A warrant entitles the holder to buy a security at a set price during a set period of time. If such market value increases, the warrant may be exercised and sold at a gain. A loss will be incurred if the market value decreases or if the term of the warrant expires before it is exercised. Warrants convey no rights to dividends or voting.

 

When-Issued Securities. The Funds may purchase securities on a “when-issued” basis (i.e., for delivery beyond the normal settlement date at a stated price and yield). When a Fund agrees to purchase securities on a “when-issued” basis, a Fund’s custodian will set aside cash or liquid portfolio securities equal to the amount of the commitment in a separate account. Normally, a Fund’s custodian will set aside portfolio securities to satisfy the purchase commitment, and in such a case, a Fund may be required subsequently to place additional assets in the separate account in order to assure that the value of the account remains equal to the amount of a Fund’s commitment. It may be expected that a Fund’s net assets will fluctuate to a greater degree when it sets aside portfolio securities to cover such purchase commitments than when it sets aside cash. In addition, because a Fund will set aside cash or liquid portfolio securities to satisfy its purchase commitments in the manner described above, such Fund’s liquidity and the ability of the Adviser to manage it might be affected in the event its commitments to purchase “when-issued” securities ever exceeded 25% of the value of its total assets. Under normal market conditions, however, a Fund’s commitment to purchase “when-issued” or “delayed-delivery” securities will not exceed 25% of the value of its total assets.

 

When a Fund engages in “when-issued” transactions, it relies on the seller to consummate the trade. Failure of the seller to do so may result in a Fund’s incurring a loss or missing the opportunity to obtain a price considered to be advantageous. A Fund will engage in “when-issued” delivery transactions only for the purpose of acquiring portfolio securities consistent with such Fund’s investment objectives and policies and not for investment leverage.

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Calculation of Portfolio Turnover Rate. The portfolio turnover rate for each Fund is calculated by dividing the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio investments for the reporting period by the monthly average value of the portfolio investments owned during the reporting period. The calculation excludes all securities, including options, with maturities or expiration dates at the time of acquisition of one year or less. Portfolio turnover may vary greatly from year to year as well as within a particular year, and may be affected by cash requirements for redemption of shares. The Funds are not restricted by policy with regard to portfolio turnover and will make changes in investment portfolios from time to time as business and economic conditions as well as market prices may dictate.

 

INVESTMENT LIMITATIONS

 

Fundamental and Non-Fundamental Investment Restrictions

 

Fundamental Investment Restrictions

 

The following is a description of fundamental policies of each Fund that may not be changed without the vote of a majority of a Fund’s outstanding voting securities.  Under the 1940 Act, the vote of a majority of the outstanding securities of a company means the vote, at the annual or a special meeting of the security holders of such company duly called: (A) of 67 per centum or more of the voting securities present at such meeting, if the holders of more than 50 per centum of the outstanding voting securities of such company are present or represented by proxy; or (B) of more than 50 per centum of the outstanding voting securities of such company, whichever is less.  The other restrictions set forth below, as well as each Fund’s investment objective and each of the other investment restrictions set forth in the Prospectus or this SAI and not designated as fundamental, are not fundamental policies and may be changed by the Board of Trustees. 

 

Each Fund may not:

 

1.Purchase or sell real estate, provided that the Funds may invest in securities secured by real estate or interests therein or issued by companies which invest in real estate or interests therein.

 

2.Purchase or sell physical commodities (including, by way of example and not by way of limitation, grains, oilseeds, livestock, meat, food, fiber, metals, petroleum, petroleum-based products or natural gas) or futures or options contracts with respect to physical commodities. This restriction shall not restrict the Funds from purchasing or selling any financial contracts or instruments which may be deemed commodities (including, by way of example and not by way of limitation, options, futures, and options on futures with respect, in each case, to interest rates, currencies, stock indexes, bond indexes or interest rate indexes) or any security which is collateralized or otherwise backed by physical commodities.

 

3.Make loans to other persons, except that each Fund may lend portfolio securities representing up to one-third of the value of its total assets; provided, however, that each Fund may purchase and hold debt instruments and enter into repurchase agreements in accordance with their investment objectives and policies.

 

4.Underwrite securities of other issuers except insofar as the Funds may be deemed an underwriter under the Securities Act of 1933 in selling portfolio securities.

 

5.Invest more than 25% of total assets (taken at market value at the time of each investment) in the securities of issuers in any particular industry.

 

6.Borrow money, except as permitted under the 1940 Act as interpreted or modified from time to time by any regulatory authority having jurisdiction.

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7.Issue senior securities, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, as interpreted or modified from time to time by any regulatory authority having jurisdiction.

 

If any percentage restriction or requirement described above is satisfied at the time of investment, a later increase or decrease in such percentage resulting from a change in asset value will not constitute a violation of such restriction or requirement, except that any borrowing by a Fund that exceeds the investment restriction stated above must be reduced to meet such limitations within the period required by the 1940 Act (currently three days, excluding Sundays and holidays). However, should a change in net asset value or other external events cause a Fund’s investments in illiquid securities, repurchase agreements with maturities in excess of seven days and other instruments in such Fund which are not readily marketable to exceed the limit set forth in such Fund’s Prospectus or herein for its investment in illiquid securities, the Fund will act to cause the aggregate amount of such securities to come within such limit as soon as reasonably practicable.

 

Any investment restriction or limitation, fundamental or otherwise, appearing in the Prospectus or SAI, which involves a maximum percentage of securities or assets shall not be considered to be violated unless an excess over the percentage occurs immediately after an acquisition of securities or utilization of assets, and such excess results therefrom.

 

For the purposes of restriction (5) above, each Fund may use certain classification titles, standards and systems from time to time, as it determines to be in the best interests of shareholders.  The use of any particular classification system is not a fundamental policy.

 

Restrictions (6) and (7) above shall be interpreted based upon no-action letters and other pronouncements of the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  Under current pronouncements, certain Fund positions may be excluded from the definition of “senior security” so long as each Fund maintains adequate cover, segregation of assets or otherwise. 

 

Non-Fundamental Investment Restrictions

 

The following is a description of the non-fundamental policies of each Fund that may be changed without the vote of a majority of a Fund’s outstanding voting securities. 

 

Each Fund may not:

 

1.Make investments for the purpose of exercising control or management.

 

2.Invest in other investment companies except to the extent permitted by 1940 Act, rules and regulations thereunder, and any exemptive relief granted by the SEC pursuant to which the Fund can rely.

 

3.Invest more than 15% of its net assets in all forms of illiquid investments, as determined pursuant to applicable SEC rules and interpretations.

 

4.Purchase or sell interests in oil, gas or other mineral exploration or development programs, although it may invest in the securities of issuers which invest in or sponsor such programs.

 

5.Invest more than 10% of its total assets (taken at market value at the time of each investment) in Special Situations, i.e., companies in the process of reorganization or buy-out).

 

6.Engage in short sales of securities when these transactions would cause the market value of all of a Fund’s securities sold short to exceed 15% of its net assets. Short sales against the box are not subject to this limitation.

 

7.Purchase securities on margin, except that the Fund may obtain such short-term credit as may be necessary for the clearance of transactions.

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For purposes of restriction (3), the staff of the SEC is presently of the view that repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven days are subject to this restriction.  Until that position is revised, modified or rescinded, each Fund will conduct its operations in a manner consistent with this view.  This limitation on investment in illiquid securities does not apply to certain restricted securities, including securities pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and certain commercial paper that the Adviser has determined to be liquid under procedures approved by the Board of Trustees.

 

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

 

Purchases and sales of portfolio securities may be made as considered advisable by the Adviser in the best interests of the shareholders.  Each Fund’s portfolio turnover rate may vary from year to year, as well as within a year.  Each Fund’s distributions of any net short-term capital gains realized from portfolio transactions are taxable to shareholders as ordinary income.  In addition, higher portfolio turnover rates can result in corresponding increases in portfolio transaction costs for the Fund.  See “PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE” in this SAI.

 

For reporting purposes, each Fund’s portfolio turnover rate is calculated by dividing the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the fiscal year by the monthly average of the value of the portfolio securities owned by a Fund during the fiscal year.  In determining such portfolio turnover, all securities whose maturities at the time of acquisition were one year or less are excluded.  A 100% portfolio turnover rate would occur, for example, if all of the securities in a Fund’s investment portfolio (other than short-term money market securities) were replaced once during the fiscal year.  Portfolio turnover will not be a limiting factor should the Adviser deem it advisable to purchase or sell securities.

 

DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

 

This Policy sets forth the conditions under which Portfolio Holdings (defined below) data for the Trust on behalf of a Fund may be disclosed to Third Parties (defined below) (which may include the public) and Service Providers (defined below).  No data about a Fund’s portfolio holdings may be disclosed except in accordance with this Policy.

 

Portfolio Holdings data includes, but is not limited to, the following information about a Fund:  (i) specific securities held; (ii) industry sector breakdowns as a percentage of portfolio net assets; (iii) asset composition (e.g., equities versus bonds); (iv) U.S. versus foreign holdings percentage breakdowns and regional breakdowns (e.g., Asia, North America); and (v) top 10 portfolio holdings in order of position size, including percentage of portfolio.

 

“Third Parties” or a “Third Party” means a person other than a Service Provider, an employee of a Service Provider, a Trustee of the Board of Trustees of the Trust, or an officer of the Trust.

 

“Service Providers” or a “Service Provider” includes, but is not limited to, the investment adviser, administrator, custodian, transfer agent, fund accountant, principal underwriter, software or technology service providers, pricing and proxy voting service providers, research and trading service providers, auditors, accountants, and legal counsel, or any other entity that has a need to know such information in order to fulfill their contractual obligations to provide services to the Fund.

 

Policy Overview

 

The Board has adopted, on behalf of each Fund, policies and procedures relating to disclosure of the Portfolio Holdings.  These policies and procedures are designed to protect the confidentiality of the Portfolio Holdings’ information and to prevent the selective disclosure of such information.  These policies and procedures may be modified at any time with the approval of the Board.

 

In order to protect each Fund from any trading practices or other use by a Third Party that could harm a Fund, Portfolio Holdings’ and other Fund-specific information must not be selectively released or disclosed except under the circumstances described below.

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The Board of Trustees will periodically review the list of entities that have received Portfolio Holdings data prior to public dissemination, to ensure that the disclosure of the information was in the best interest of shareholders, identify any potential for conflicts of interest and evaluate the effectiveness of its current portfolio holding policy.

 

The identity of such entities is provided below:

 

Name of Recipient 

Frequency of

Holdings
Disclosure

Information

Lag

Date of

Information

Date
Provided

to Recipients

Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC

(Adviser)

Daily None Daily Daily

ALPS Fund Services, Inc.

(Administrator)

Daily None Daily Daily

MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

(Custodian)

Daily None Daily Daily

[_____________]

(Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm)

As needed None As needed As needed

Thompson Hine LLP

(Independent Trustee Counsel)

As needed None As needed As needed

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

(Trust Counsel)

As needed None As needed As needed
Interactive Brokers Inc. Daily None Daily Daily
Factset Daily None Daily Daily
Electra Daily None Daily Daily
Advent Software, Inc. Daily None Daily Daily
Vision Computer Solutions As needed None As needed As needed
Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. As needed None As needed As needed

 

Only officers of the Trust and their authorized agents, including, but not limited to, the Chief Compliance Officer of the investment adviser, may approve the disclosure of a Fund’s Portfolio Holdings.  Except as set forth under “Policy Exceptions” below, exceptions to this Policy may only be made if an officer of the Trust and its authorized agents, including, but not limited to, the Chief Compliance Officer of the investment adviser, determines that the disclosure is being made for a legitimate business purpose and such disclosures must be documented and reported to the Board on a quarterly basis.  In all cases, Third Parties and Service Providers are required to execute a non-disclosure agreement requiring the recipient to keep confidential any Portfolio Holdings data received and not to trade on the Confidential Portfolio Information (defined below) received.  Neither the Trust nor its Service Providers (nor any persons affiliated with either) can receive any compensation or other consideration in connection with the sharing of the Fund’s Portfolio Holdings.

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Disclosure of the Portfolio Holdings’ information that is not publicly available (“Confidential Portfolio Information”) may be made to Service Providers.  In addition, to the extent permitted under applicable law, the investment adviser may distribute (or authorize the custodian or principal underwriter to distribute) Confidential Portfolio Information to a Fund’s relevant Service Providers and to facilitate the review of a Fund by certain mutual fund analysts and ratings agencies (such as Morningstar and Lipper Analytical Services) (“Rating Agencies”); provided that such disclosure is limited to the information that the investment adviser believes is reasonably necessary in connection with the services to be provided.  As noted above, except to the extent permitted under this Policy, Confidential Portfolio Information may not be disseminated for compensation or other consideration.

 

Before any disclosure of Confidential Portfolio Information to Service Providers or Rating Agencies is permitted, a Fund’s investment adviser’s Chief Compliance Officer (or persons designated by the investment adviser’s Chief Compliance Officer) must determine in writing that, under the circumstances, the disclosure is being made for a legitimate business purpose.  Furthermore, the recipient of Confidential Portfolio Information by a Service Provider or Rating Agency must be subject to a written confidentiality agreement that prohibits any trading upon the Confidential Portfolio Information or the recipient must be subject to professional or ethical obligations not to disclose or otherwise improperly use the information, such as would apply to independent registered public accounting firms or legal counsel.

 

Each Fund’s investment adviser shall have primary responsibility for ensuring that the Portfolio Holdings’ information is disclosed only in accordance with this Policy.  As part of this responsibility, each Fund’s investment adviser will maintain such internal policies and procedures as it believes are reasonably necessary for preventing the unauthorized disclosure of Confidential Portfolio Information.

 

Full Portfolio Holdings

 

The disclosure policy currently authorizes the quarterly dissemination of full portfolio holdings of a Fund with a fifteen (15) calendar day lag.  Except as set forth in this Policy, the full holdings of a Fund will also be disclosed on a quarterly basis on forms required to be filed with the SEC as follows: (i) Portfolio Holdings as of the end of each fiscal year will be filed as part of the annual report filed on Form N-CSR; (ii) Portfolio Holdings as of the end of the first and third fiscal quarters will be filed in Form N-Q; and (iii) Portfolio Holdings as of the end of the second fiscal quarter will be filed as part of the semi-annual report filed on Form N-CSR.  The Trust’s Form N-CSRs and Form N-Qs are available free of charge on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Portfolio holdings information may be separately provided to any person, including rating and ranking organizations such as Morningstar and Lipper, at the same time that it is filed with the SEC.

 

Partial Portfolio Holdings

 

Except as set forth in this Policy, partial Portfolio Holdings information will only be provided to Third Parties for the most recent month-end period and only after a fifteen (15) calendar day delay from the end of the month being provided.  These holdings may include any combination of the Portfolio Holdings information, except for full Portfolio Holdings.

 

Policy Exceptions

 

The following disclosures of Portfolio Holdings are not prohibited by this Policy:

 

Disclosures that are required by law;

Disclosures necessary for Service Providers to perform services to the Funds, provided that they are made pursuant to a written agreement between the Service Provider and the receiving party that restricts the third party’s use of the information;

Disclosure necessary for Rating Agencies to assess applicable fund ratings;

Disclosures necessary to broker-dealers or banks as a part of the normal buying, selling, shorting or other transactions in portfolio securities;

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Disclosures to the applicable Fund’s or Service Providers’ regulatory authorities, accountants or counsel; and

Disclosures to the adviser of a Fund of compiled data concerning accounts managed by the adviser.

 

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

 

Investment Decisions and Portfolio Transactions

 

Investment decisions for each Fund are made with a view to achieving its investment objectives. Investment decisions are the product of many factors in addition to basic suitability for the particular client involved (including each Fund).  Some securities considered for investment by a Fund may also be appropriate for other clients served by the Adviser.  Thus, a particular security may be bought or sold for certain clients even though it could have been bought or sold for other clients at the same time. 

 

When the Adviser determines that the purchase or sale of a particular security is appropriate for more than one client account, the Adviser may, but is not obligated to, aggregate client orders into one order (“Block Orders”) for execution purposes. Block trading can avoid the adverse effect on a security’s price when simultaneous separate and competing orders are placed. When aggregating orders and subsequently allocating Block Orders (purchases and sales) to individual client accounts, it is the Adviser’s policy to treat all clients fairly and to achieve an equitable distribution of aggregated orders.

 

When a Block Order is filled in its entirety, each participating account will receive the average share price for the order on the same business day and transaction costs shall be shared pro rata based on each client’s participation in the Block Order. If the total amount of securities bought or sold is less than the amount requested in the Block Order, the portion that is executed will be allocated pro rata between all accounts participating in the Block Order at the average price obtained, and transaction costs will be shared pro rata based on each client’s allocation in the initial block. Participating accounts that had an order for a de minimis number of shares may be allocated their full order before the remaining shares are allocated. Such allocations will be made pro rata to all participating accounts which had an order for a de minimis number of shares based on each client’s participation in the order unless the cost of such allocation is deemed excessive. In situations for which pro-rata allocations would result in excessive trading costs, the allocation will be based on simple random selection.

 

If the Adviser receives an order for a security at the same time as there exists an open order with a broker, the additional order may be added to the existing open order. However, any partial fills of the existing open order that occurred prior to the time of the placement of the second order with the same broker shall be allocated solely to the clients participating in the existing open order, and the unfilled portion of the existing open order will be added into the subsequent order.

 

Some types of purchase or sale transactions cannot be included in Block Orders. Such trades often must be executed on an individual basis rather than aggregated with other trades. In such cases, clients may not receive as favorable executions as they might otherwise receive from Block Orders. Likewise, a particular security may be bought for one or more clients when one or more clients are selling the security.  In some instances, one client may sell a particular security to another client.  There may be circumstances when purchases or sales of portfolio securities for one or more clients will have an adverse effect on other clients, including a Fund.

 

Brokerage and Research Services

 

The Adviser places orders for the purchase and sale of portfolio securities for each Fund through several brokers or dealers.  The Adviser’s general policy is to use its best efforts to seek to obtain best execution for all client portfolio transactions, taking into account a variety of factors such as: (i) the security price; (ii) the commission rate; (iii) the size and difficulty of the order and timing of the transaction; (iv) the broker-dealer’s execution capability, which includes the broker-dealer’s relative ability to execute an order at the best available price, as well as the speed, quality, overall cost and certainty of execution; (v) the broker-dealer’s responsiveness and financial responsibility, which includes the broker-dealer’s creditworthiness and other factors that may impact the Adviser’s confidence in the broker-dealer’s stability; (vi) any conflicts of interest associated with using a broker-dealer; (vii) confidentiality provided by the broker-dealer; (viii) other factors, such as, the broker-dealer’s integrity and quality of communication, the adequacy of information provided by the broker-dealer, the ability of the broker-dealer to provide ad hoc information or services, and the ability of the broker-dealer to handle client directed brokerage arrangements; and (ix) research capabilities of the broker-dealer. It is not the Adviser’s policy to seek the lowest available commission rate where it believes that a broker or dealer charging a higher commission rate would offer greater reliability or provide better price or execution. The Adviser cannot assure that best execution will be achieved for each Fund transaction. The Adviser maintains a list of approved broker-dealers it will use to place Fund and other client trades for execution. The Adviser will periodically reevaluate these broker-dealers to confirm that they meet the Adviser’s criteria and standards, including that they provide trade execution services that the Adviser views as satisfactory. Upon reevaluation, the Adviser may add or remove broker-dealers to or from the list of approved broker-dealers. Although each Fund may use a broker-dealer that sells Fund shares to effect transactions for a Fund’s portfolios, a Fund will not consider the sale of Fund shares as a factor when selecting broker-dealers to execute those transactions.

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Subject to the Adviser’s policy of seeking best execution for transactions, and subject to the criteria of Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”), the Adviser may place trades with a broker-dealer that provides brokerage and research services.  The Adviser may have an incentive to select or recommend a broker based on its interest in receiving research or other products or services, rather than its interest in receiving the most favorable execution for a Fund.  However, in selecting a broker for research, the Adviser makes a good faith determination that the amount of commission charged is reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and/or research received.  The determination may be viewed in terms of a particular transaction or the Adviser’s overall responsibilities with respect to the accounts over which it exercises investment discretion.  Research and brokerage services provided by broker-dealers chosen by the Adviser to place a Fund’s portfolio transactions may be useful to the Adviser in providing services to the Adviser’s other clients, although not all of these services may be necessarily useful and of value to the Adviser in managing the Funds.  Conversely, brokerage and research products and services provided to the Adviser by broker-dealers in connection with trades executed on behalf of other clients of the Adviser may be useful to the Adviser in managing the Funds, although not all of these brokerage and research products and services may be necessarily useful and of value to the Adviser in managing such other clients.  Subject to Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act, the Adviser may pay a broker additional commission in recognition of the value of the brokerage and/or research services provided by that broker.  When the Adviser uses Fund brokerage commissions to obtain research or other products or services, the Adviser receives a benefit because it does not have to produce or pay for the research, products or services.  The advisory fees paid by a Fund are not reduced because the Adviser receives such services even though the receipt of such services relieves the Adviser from expenses it might otherwise bear.

 

The Adviser may place orders for the purchase and sale of exchange-listed portfolio securities with a broker-dealer that is an affiliate of the Adviser where, in the judgment of the Adviser, such firm will be able to obtain a price and execution at least as favorable as other qualified broker-dealers.  Pursuant to rules of the SEC, a broker-dealer that is an affiliate of the Adviser may receive and retain compensation for effecting portfolio transactions for a Fund on a securities exchange if the commissions paid to such an affiliated broker-dealer by a Fund on exchange transactions do not exceed “usual and customary brokerage commissions.”  The rules define “usual and customary” commissions to include amounts which are “reasonable and fair compared to the commission, fee or other remuneration received or to be received by other brokers in connection with comparable transactions involving similar securities being purchased or sold on a securities exchange during a comparable period of time.”  As required by applicable SEC rules, the Board has adopted procedures which are reasonably designed to provide that any commissions, fees or other remuneration paid to an affiliated broker are consistent with the foregoing standards. As of the date hereof, the Adviser does not have any affiliated broker-dealer.

 

PURCHASE, EXCHANGE AND REDEMPTION OF SHARES

 

ALPS Fund Services, Inc. (the “Transfer Agent”) will maintain an account for each shareholder upon which the registration and transfer of shares are recorded, and any transfers shall be reflected by bookkeeping entry, without physical delivery.  Confirmations of each purchase or redemption are sent to each shareholder.  Quarterly statements of account are sent which include shares purchased as a result of a reinvestment of Fund distributions.  The Transfer Agent will require that a shareholder provide requests in writing, accompanied by a valid signature guarantee form, when changing certain information in an account (i.e., wiring instructions, telephone privileges, etc.).

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Share Classes

 

The Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund has one share class, the Investor Class shares. Shares of the Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund are currently divided into two share classes:  Investor Class and Institutional Class shares.

 

The assets received by each class of a Fund for the issue or sale of its shares and all income, earnings, profits, losses and proceeds therefrom, subject only to the rights of creditors, are allocated to, and constitute the underlying assets of, that class of the Fund.  The underlying assets of each class of a Fund are segregated and are charged with the expenses with respect to that class of the Fund along with a share of the general expenses of the Fund and the Trust.  Any general expenses of a Fund that are not readily identifiable as belonging to a particular class of the Fund are allocated by or under the direction of the Board of Trustees in such manner as they determine to be fair and reasonable.

 

Purchase of Shares

 

No sales charges will be applied to your share purchases.

 

The minimum investments in each Fund are set forth in the Prospectus.

 

Subsequent investments may be made at any time by mailing a check to the Transfer Agent, along with a detachable stub from the Statement of Account (or a letter providing the account number).  Shareholders should be sure to write the Fund’s account number on the check.  Purchases of Fund shares (initial or subsequent) may not be made by third-party check.

 

Shares of a Fund may be purchased on any business day on which the New York Stock Exchange is open at the net asset value per share next determined after receipt of a purchase order.  Share certificates will not be issued.  Share purchase orders are effective on the date the Fund receives a completed Account Application Form (and other required documents) and federal funds become available.

 

Initial and subsequent investments may also be made by electronic funds transfer or wire transfer.  Shareholders should note that their bank may charge a fee in connection with transferring money by bank wire.

 

For a share purchase order for a Fund to become effective on a particular business day, prior to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time):  (i) in the case of a wire transfer payment, a purchaser must call 1[_______] to inform the Transfer Agent of an incoming wire transfer; or (ii) in the case of payment by check or money order, a complete share purchase order must be actually received by the Transfer Agent, and, in either case, federal funds must be received by the Transfer Agent, on behalf of the Fund.  If federal funds are received by the Transfer Agent that same day, the order will be effective on that day.  If a Fund receives notification of a wire transfer or a complete share purchase order after 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time), or if federal funds are not received by the Transfer Agent, such purchase order shall be executed as of the date that federal funds are actually received.

 

The price of each Fund’s shares and the valuation of Fund assets are discussed below in “NET ASSET VALUE.”

 

Redemption of Shares

 

If the Board of Trustees determines that it is in the best interests of the remaining shareholders of a Fund, the Fund may pay the redemption price in whole, or in part, by a distribution in kind from the Fund, in lieu of cash, taking such securities at their value employed for determining such redemption price, and selecting the securities in such manner as such Board may deem fair and equitable.  A shareholder who receives a distribution in kind may incur a brokerage commission upon a later disposition of such securities and may receive less than the redemption value of such securities or property upon sale, particularly where such securities are sold prior to maturity.  However, each Fund is required to redeem shares solely for cash up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of the NAV of the Fund during any 90-day period for any one shareholder.  Should redemptions by any shareholder exceed such limitation, the Fund will have the option of redeeming the excess in cash or in-kind.  Redemption in kind is not as liquid as a cash redemption.

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Under the 1940 Act, each Fund may suspend the right of redemption or postpone the date of payment upon redemption for any period:  (i) during which the NYSE is closed, other than customary weekend and holiday closings; (ii) during which trading on the NYSE is restricted; or (iii) during which (as determined by the SEC by rule or regulation) an emergency exists as a result of which disposal or valuation of portfolio securities is not reasonably practicable, or for such other periods as the SEC may permit.  Each Fund may also suspend or postpone the recordation of the transfer of its shares upon the occurrence of any of the foregoing conditions.

 

Redemption Procedures.  A Fund will redeem all full and fractional shares of the Fund upon request on any business day at the applicable net asset value determined after the receipt of proper redemption instructions, less any applicable redemption fees.  Shareholders liquidating their holdings will receive upon redemption all dividends reinvested through the date of redemption.  If notice of redemption is received on any business day, the redemption will be effective on the date of receipt.  Payment will ordinarily be made by wire on the next business day, but, in any case, within no more than seven business days from the date of receipt.  If the notice is received on a day that is not a business day or after the close of regularly scheduled trading on the NYSE, the redemption notice will be deemed received as of the next business day.  The value of shares at the time of redemption may be more or less than the shareholder’s cost.

 

Redemption Fees.  If you sell or exchange your shares of the Funds after holding them 60 calendar days or less, a 2.00% redemption fee may be deducted from the redemption amount, subject to certain exceptions listed in the Prospectus. For this purpose, shares held longest will be treated as being redeemed first and shares held shortest as being redeemed last.

 

Redemption requests for shares recently purchased by check will be accepted only after a Fund has confirmed receipt of payment for the shares, which may take up to 10 days.

 

Note:  Each Fund has the right to suspend or postpone redemptions of shares for any period (i) during which the NYSE or exchange is closed, other than customary weekend and holiday closings; (ii) during which trading on the NYSE or exchange is restricted; or (iii) during which (as determined by the SEC or other regulatory authority by rule or regulation) an emergency exists as a result of which disposal or valuation of portfolio securities is not reasonably practicable, or as otherwise permitted by the SEC or other regulatory authority.

 

Exchanging Shares

 

If you have held your shares in a Fund for at least seven days, you may exchange those shares for shares (of a corresponding share class) of any of the following Funds (each, a “Seven Canyons Fund”) if such Fund is available for sale in your state and meets the investment criteria of the investor:

 

Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund

Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund

 

Any new account established through an exchange will be subject to all minimum requirements applicable to the shares acquired. The exchange privilege may only be exercised in those states where the class of shares being acquired legally may be sold. If you are an existing shareholder of any Seven Canyons Fund, you may exchange into a new account copying your existing account registration and options. Exchanges between accounts will be accepted only if registrations are identical. For a Fund or Funds with multiple classes, you may also transfer between classes of a Fund if you meet the minimum investment requirements for the class into which you would like to transfer.

 

Additional Information About Exchanges

 

An exchange represents the sale of shares from one Fund and the purchase of shares of the other Fund. This may produce a taxable gain or loss in your non-tax-deferred account. If you exchange shares within 60 calendar days from their date of purchase, you may be subject to the redemption fee as described in this Prospectus in “Redemption Fees” above. Transfers between classes of a single Fund are generally not considered a taxable transaction.

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The exchange privilege may be modified or terminated upon sixty (60) days’ written notice to shareholders. Although initially there will be no limit on the number of times you may exercise the exchange privilege, each Fund reserves the right to impose such a limitation. Call or write the Funds for further details.

 

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

 

The business and affairs of the Funds are managed under the direction of the Trust’s Board of Trustees.  The Board approves all significant agreements between/among the Funds and the persons or companies that furnish services to the Funds, including agreements with each Fund’s distributor, Adviser, administrator, custodian and transfer agent.  The day-to-day operations of the Funds are delegated to the Adviser and the Funds’ administrator.

 

The name, address, year of birth, and principal occupations for the past five years of the Trustees and officers of the Trust are listed below, along with the number of portfolios in the Fund Complex overseen by and the other directorships held by the Trustee.

 

Independent Trustees

 

Name, Birth Year & Address*

Position(s) Held with Fund

Term of Office and Length of Time Served**

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years***

Number of Funds in Fund Complex Overseen by Trustee ****

Other Directorships Held by Trustee During Past 5 Years***

Ward D. Armstrong,

Birth year:

1954

 

Trustee and Chairman Mr. Armstrong was appointed to the Board on May 27, 2016. Mr. Armstrong was appointed Chairman of the Board at the August 24, 2017 meeting of the Board of Trustees. Retired; Managing Partner, NorthRock Partners, LLC (October 2013 to July 2015); Managing Director, NorthRock Partners, a Private Wealth Advisory Practice of Ameriprise Financial (February 2010 to October 2013); Senior Vice President, Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (November 1984 to May 2007); President, American Express Asset Management (2002 to 2004); and Chairman, Ameriprise Trust Company (November 1996 to May 2007). 9 Mr. Armstrong is a Director of the Heartland Group, Inc. (5 funds).

J. Wayne Hutchens,

Birth year:

1944

 

Trustee Mr. Hutchens was elected to the Board on October 30, 2012. Mr. Hutchens is currently retired.  From April 2006 to December 2012, he served as President and CEO of the University of Colorado (CU) Foundation and from April 2009 to December 2012, he was Executive Director of the CU Real Estate Foundation.  Mr. Hutchens is also Trustee of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (2000 to present), Director of AMG National Trust Bank (June 2012 to present) and Trustee of Children’s Hospital Colorado (May 2012 to present).  Prior to these positions, Mr. Hutchens spent 29 years in the banking industry, retiring as Chairman of Chase Bank Colorado. 9 Mr. Hutchens is a Director of RiverNorth Opportunity Fund (2013 to present)

Patrick Seese,

Birth year:

1971

 

Trustee Mr. Seese was elected to the Board on October 30, 2012. Mr. Seese is an owner and a Managing Director of Integris Partners, a middle-market investment banking firm serving closely-held companies, financial sponsors and public companies (February 2008 to present).  Prior to this, Mr. Seese was a Managing Director of Headwaters MB, a middle-market investing banking firm (December 2003 to February 2008).  Prior to that, Mr. Seese worked in Credit Suisse First Boston’s Mergers and Acquisitions Group and served as Head of Corporation Development, Katy Industries, a publicly traded industrial and consumer products company and at Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he began his career in 1994. 9 Mr. Seese is a Director of The Mile High Five Foundation (2013 to present) and SJ Panthers Foundation (2016 to present)

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Interested Trustee

 

Name, Birth Year & Address*

Position(s) Held with Fund

Term of Office and Length of Time Served**

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years***

Number of Funds in Fund Complex Overseen by Trustee ****

Other Directorships Held by Trustee During Past 5 Years***

Jeremy O. May,

Birth year:

1970

 

Trustee and President Mr. May was elected Trustee and President on October 30, 2012. Mr. May was Chairman from October 30, 2012 to August 24, 2017. Mr. May joined ALPS in 1995 and is currently President and Director of ALPS Fund Services, Inc., ALPS Distributors, Inc., and ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc., Executive Vice President and Director of ALPS Holdings, Inc. and ALPS Advisors, Inc.  Because of his positions with these entities, Mr. May is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act. Mr. May is also on the Board of Directors of the University of Colorado Foundation and the AV Hunter Trust.

9

 

 

 

Mr. May is Trustee of the Reaves Utility Income Fund (1 fund) and Elevation ETF Trust (1 ETF).

 

 

 

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Officers

 

Name, Birth Year & Address* Position(s) Held with Fund Term of  Office and Length of Time Served**

 

 

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years***

Kimberly R. Storms,

Birth year: 1972  

Treasurer Ms. Storms was elected Treasurer of the Trust on October 30, 2012. Ms. Storms is Senior Vice President and Director of Fund Administration of ALPS.  Because of her position with ALPS, Ms. Storms is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act. Ms. Storms is also Treasurer of Financial Investors Trust, Liberty All-Star Equity Fund and Liberty All-Star Growth Fund, Inc. 

Richard C. Noyes,

Birth year: 1970 

Secretary Mr. Noyes was elected Secretary of the Trust on November 14, 2016. Mr. Noyes joined ALPS in 2015 and is Senior Vice President and Director of Legal Administration of ALPS.  Prior to joining ALPS, Mr. Noyes served as Assistant Vice President and Senior Counsel of Janus Capital Management LLC.  Mr. Noyes is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act.  Mr. Noyes is also Secretary of Westcore Trust.

Jennifer A. Craig,

Birth year: 1973  

Assistant Secretary Ms. Craig was elected Assistant Secretary of the Trust on May 27, 2016. Ms. Craig joined ALPS in 2007 and is currently Assistant Vice President and Paralegal Manager.  Prior to joining ALPS, Ms. Craig was Legal Manager at Janus Capital Management LLC and served as Assistant Secretary of Janus Investment Fund, Janus Adviser Series and Janus Aspen Series.  Because of her position with ALPS, Ms. Craig is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act. Ms. Craig is also Assistant Secretary of Clough Funds Trust, Clough Global Opportunities Fund, Clough Global Allocation Fund, Clough Global Equity Fund and Financial Investors Trust.

Alan Gattis,

Birth year: 1980

Assistant Treasurer Mr. Gattis was elected Assistant Treasurer of the Trust on August 9, 2016. Mr. Gattis joined ALPS in 2011 and is currently Vice President and Fund Controller of ALPS.  Prior to joining ALPS, Mr. Gattis was an Auditor at Spicer Jeffries LLP (2009 through 2011) and an Auditor at  PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (2004 - 2009).  Because of his position with ALPS, Mr. Gattis is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act.  Mr. Gattis is also Assistant Treasurer of Elevation ETF Trust and Financial Investors Trust.
Lucas D. Foss, Birth Year: 1977 Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) Mr. Foss was elected CCO of the Trust on January 22, 2018.

Mr. Foss joined ALPS in November 2017 as Vice President and Deputy Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to his current role, Mr. Foss served as the Director of Compliance at Transamerica Asset Management (July 2015-November 2017).  Deputy Chief Compliance Officer at ALPS (September 2012 – June 2015) Compliance Manager at ALPS (January 2010 - August 2012) and a Senior Compliance Analyst at ALPS (November 2006 – December 2009). Before joining ALPS, Mr. Foss held positions at Bisys Hedge Fund Services and Deutsche Asset Management. Because of his position with ALPS, Mr. Foss is deemed an affiliate of the Trust as defined under the 1940 Act. Mr. Foss is also CCO of Harvest Volatility Edge Trust and Goehring & Rozencwajg Investment Funds.

 

 

 

*All communications to Trustees and Officers may be directed to ALPS Series Trust c/o 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO  80203.

**This is the period for which the Trustee or Officer began serving the Trust. Each Trustee serves an indefinite term, until such Trustee’s successor is elected and appointed, or such Trustee resigns or is deceased. Officers are elected on an annual basis.

***Except as otherwise indicated, each individual has held the office shown or other offices in the same company for the last five years.
****The Fund Complex currently consists of [__] series of the Trust and any other investment companies for which Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC provides investment advisory services, currently none.

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Ward D. Armstrong

 

Mr. Armstrong has been an Independent Trustee of the Trust since May 27, 2016. He has been Director of the Heartland Group, Inc. since February 2008 and was Chairman of Ameriprise Trust Company from November 1996 to May 2007. Mr. Armstrong served as Managing Partner of NorthRock Partners, LLC from October 2013 to July 2015, Managing Director of Northrock Partners, a Private Wealth Advisory Practice of Ameriprise Financial from February 2010 to October 2013, Senior Vice President of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. from November 1984 to May 2007 and President of American Express Asset Management from 2002 to 2004. Mr. Armstrong received a B.S. in Business Administration (Finance Emphasis) from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. He was selected to serve as a Trustee of the Trust based on his business, financial services and investment management experience.

 

J. Wayne Hutchens

 

Mr. Hutchens has been an Independent Trustee of the Trust since October 30, 2012.  He has been a Director of the RiverNorth Opportunity Fund since 2013, Trustee of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science since 2000, and Director of AMG National Trust Bank and Trustee of Children’s Hospital Colorado since 2012. From 2006 to 2012, he served as President and CEO of the University of Colorado (CU) Foundation and from 2009 to 2012, he also served as Executive Director of the CU Real Estate Foundation.  Prior to these positions, Mr. Hutchens spent 29 years in the banking industry, retiring as Chairman of Chase Bank Colorado.  Mr. Hutchens is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s School of Business and has done graduate study at Syracuse University and the University of Colorado.  He was selected to serve as a Trustee of the Trust based on his business and financial services experience.

 

Patrick Seese

 

Mr. Seese has been an Independent Trustee of the Trust since October 30, 2012.  He has been a Director of The Mile High Five Foundation since 2013 and SJ Panthers Foundation since 2016. He has been an owner and a Managing Director of Integris Partners, a middle-market investment banking firm, since February 2008.  Prior to this, Mr. Seese was a Managing Director of Headwaters, MB, middle-market investing banking firm from 2003 to 2008. Prior to this, Mr. Seese was working in Credit Suisse First Boston’s Mergers and Acquisitions Group and served as Head of Corporate Development for Katy Industries, a publicly traded industrial and consumer products company and at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, where he began his career in 1994.  Mr. Seese is a graduate of the University of Colorado and earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  He is one of the founders of The Mile High Five Foundation (MH5), a charity dedicated to fund youth/health-related organizations.  Mr. Seese was selected to serve as a Trustee of the Trust based on his business, financial services and accounting experience.

 

Jeremy O. May

 

Mr. May has been an Interested Trustee of the Trust since October 30, 2012.  He has been a Trustee of the Reaves Utility Income Fund since 2009 and Elevation ETF Trust since 2015. Mr. May joined ALPS Fund Services, Inc. (“AFS”), the Funds’ administrator, in 1995 and is President and Director of AFS, ALPS Distributors, Inc., the Funds’ principal underwriter, ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc., Executive Vice President and Director of ALPS Holdings, Inc. and ALPS Advisors, Inc. .  Before joining ALPS, Mr. May was an auditor with Deloitte & Touche LLP.  Mr. May is also Vice Chairman on the Board of Directors of the University of Colorado (CU) Foundation and the Board of Directors of the AV Hunter Trust.  Mr. May has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado.  He was selected to serve as a Trustee of the Trust based on his business, financial services, accounting and investment management experience.

 

[None of the Independent Trustees owns securities in Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC], the Funds’ investment adviser, or ALPS Distributors, Inc., the Funds’ principal underwriter, nor do they own securities in any entity directly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with these entities.

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Leadership Structure and Oversight Responsibilities

 

Overall responsibility for oversight of the Funds rests with the Trustees.  The Trust has engaged the Adviser to manage the Funds on a day-to day basis.  The Board is responsible for overseeing the Adviser and other service providers in the operations of the Funds in accordance with the provisions of the 1940 Act, applicable provisions of state and other laws and the Trust’s Declaration of Trust.  The Board is currently composed of four members, three of whom are Independent Trustees.  The Board meets at regularly scheduled quarterly meetings each year.  In addition, the Board may hold special in-person or telephonic meetings or informal conference calls to discuss specific matters that may arise or require action between regular meetings.  As described below, the Board has established a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and an Audit Committee, and may establish ad hoc committees or working groups from time to time, to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities.  The Independent Trustees have also engaged independent legal counsel to assist them in performing their oversight responsibilities.

 

The Board has appointed Ward D. Armstrong, an Independent Trustee, to serve in the role of Chairman.  The Chairman’s role is to preside at all meetings of the Board and to act as a liaison with the Adviser, other service providers, counsel and other Trustees generally between meetings.  The Chairman may also perform such other functions as may be delegated by the Board from time to time. The Board reviews matters related to its leadership structure annually.  The Board has determined that the Board’s leadership structure is appropriate given the Trust’s characteristics and circumstances.  These include the Trust’s series of fund shares, each fund’s single portfolio of assets, each fund’s net assets and the services provided by the fund’s service providers.

 

Risk oversight forms part of the Board’s general oversight of the Funds and is addressed as part of various Board and Committee activities.  As part of its regular oversight of the Funds, the Board, directly or through a Committee, interacts with and reviews reports from, among others, Fund management, the Adviser, the Funds’ Chief Compliance Officer, the Funds’ legal counsel and the independent registered public accounting firm for the Funds regarding risks faced by the Funds.  The Board, with the assistance of Fund management and the Adviser, reviews investment policies and risks in connection with its review of the Funds’ performance.  The Board has appointed a Chief Compliance Officer to oversee the implementation and testing of the Funds’ compliance program and reports to the Board regarding compliance matters for the Funds and their principal service providers.  In addition, as part of the Board’s periodic review of the Funds’ advisory and other service provider agreements, the Board may consider risk management aspects of these service providers’ operations and the functions for which they are responsible.

 

Audit Committee.  The Board has an Audit Committee which considers such matters pertaining to the Trust’s books of account, financial records, internal accounting controls and changes in accounting principles or practices as the Trustees may from time to time determine.  The Audit Committee also considers the engagement and compensation of the independent registered public accounting firm (“Firm”) and ensures receipt from the Firm of a formal written statement delineating relationships between the Firm and the Trust, consistent with Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Rule 3526.  The Audit Committee also meets privately with the representatives of the Firm to review the scope and results of audits and other duties as set forth in the Audit Committee’s Charter.  The Audit Committee members, each of whom are Independent Trustees, are:  Ward D. Armstrong, J. Wayne Hutchens and Patrick Seese.  The Audit Committee met two times during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017.

 

Nominating and Corporate Governance CommitteeThe Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee meets periodically to advise and assist the Board in selecting nominees to serve as trustees of the Trust.  The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee believes the Board generally benefits from diversity of background, experience and views among its members and considers this a factor in evaluating the composition of the Board, but has not adopted any specific policy in this regard.  The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee also advises and assists the Board in establishing, implementing and executing policies, procedures and practices that assure orderly and effective governance of the Trust and effective and efficient management of all business and financial affairs of the Trust.  Members of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee are currently:  Ward D. Armstrong, J. Wayne Hutchens and Patrick Seese.  The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board met once during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017.

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Independent Trustee Retirement Policy

 

The Trustees do not serve a specified term of office. Each Trustee will hold office until the termination of the Trust or his or her earlier death, resignation, retirement, incapacity, or removal. Under the Funds’ Independent Trustee Retirement Policy (“Retirement Policy”), upon reaching the age of 75, an Independent Trustee is deemed to tender an offer of retirement, which retirement, if accepted, shall become effective upon the September 30th immediately following the tender of a retirement. The Board may decline the offer upon the vote of a majority of the continuing Trustees. If the Board declines an Independent Trustee’s offer, then the term of office of such Independent Trustee continues in accordance with the term under which such Independent Trustee was elected or appointed, provided that such Independent Trustee shall be deemed to tender anither offer of retirment upon each subsequent birthday. The Trustees review the Funds’ Retirement Policy from time to time and may make changes as deemed appropriate.

 

Shareholder Nominations.  The Board will consider shareholder nominees for Trustees.  All nominees must possess the appropriate characteristics, skills and experience for serving on the Board.  In particular, the Board and its Independent Trustees will consider each nominee’s integrity, educational and professional background, understanding of the Trust’s business on a technical level and commitment to devote the time and attention necessary to fulfill a Trustee’s duties.  All shareholders who wish to recommend nominees for consideration as Trustees shall submit the names and qualifications of the candidates to the Secretary of the Trust by writing to: ALPS Series Trust, c/o Secretary, 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado, 80203.

 

As of December 31, 2017, the dollar range of equity securities in the Funds beneficially owned by the Interested Trustee were as follows:

 

Interested Trustee Dollar Range of Equity Securities in the Fund Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity Securities in All Registered Investment Companies Overseen by Trustee in Family of Investment Companies
Jeremy O. May None None

 

As of December 31, 2017, the dollar range of equity securities in the Fund beneficially owned by Independent Trustees were as follows:

 

 

 

Independent Trustees

Dollar Range of Equity Securities in the Fund Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity Securities in All Registered Investment Companies Overseen by Trustee in Family of Investment Companies*
Ward Armstrong None None
J. Wayne Hutchens None $10,001-$50,000
Patrick Seese None None

 

*The Fund Complex currently consists of [__] series of the Trust and any other investment companies for which Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC provides investment advisory services, currently none.

 

Remuneration of Trustees.  Effective November 1, 2017, the Independent Trustees of the Trust will receive a quarterly retainer of $6,000, plus $4,000 for each regular Board or Committee meeting attended and $2,000 for each special telephonic or in-person Board or Committee meeting attended. Additionally, the Audit Committee Chair will receive a quarterly retainer of $1,250 and the Independent Chair will receive a quarterly retainer of $2,500. Previously, the Independent Trustees of the Trust received a quarterly retainer of $5,000 and there were no retainers for the Audit Committee Chair or the Independent Chair. The Independent Trustees are also reimbursed for all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses relating to attendance at meetings.  The Independent Trustees are also reimbursed for all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses relating to attendance at meetings.

 

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For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017, the Independent Trustees received the following compensation:

 

Independent Trustees Aggregate Compensation From the Trust Pension Or Retirement Benefits Accrued As Part of Fund Expenses Estimated Annual Benefits Upon Retirement Aggregate Compensation From The Trust And Fund Complex Paid To Trustees*
J. Wayne Hutchens $36,000 $0 $0 $36,000
Patrick Seese $36,000 $0 $0 $36,000
Ward D. Armstrong $36,000 $0 $0 $36,000

 

*The Fund Complex currently consists of [__] series of the Trust and any other investment companies for which Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC provides investment advisory services, currently none.

 

No officer, trustee or employee of the Adviser or any of its affiliates receives any compensation from the Funds for serving as an officer or trustee of the Funds.

 

INVESTMENT MANAGER

 

Seven Canyons Advisors, LLC (the “Adviser”), subject to the authority of the Board of Trustees, furnishes continuing investment supervision to the Funds and is responsible for the management of each Fund’s portfolio.

 

Founded in December 2017, the Adviser is an independent investment management firm. As of January 4, 2018 the Adviser had approximately $4 million in assets under management.

 

The Adviser’s principal address is 1537 Chandler Dr., Salt Lake City, Utah 84103.   

 

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”) with the Adviser, each Fund pays the Adviser an annual management fee as set out below based on each Fund’s average daily net assets. 

 

Fund Management Fee
Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund 0.70%
Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund (Investor Class) 1.50%

 

The management fee is paid on a monthly basis.  The initial term of the Advisory Agreement is two years.  The Board may extend the Advisory Agreement for additional one-year terms.  The Board and shareholders of the Funds may terminate the Advisory Agreement upon thirty (30) days’ written notice and the Adviser may terminate the Advisory Agreement upon sixty (60) days’ notice.

 

The Adviser has contractually agreed to limit the amount of each Fund’s Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses, exclusive of shareholder service fees, brokerage expenses, interest expenses, acquired fund fees and expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses, to an annual rate as set out below.

 

Fund Contractual Fee Waiver
Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund 0.95%
Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund (Investor Class) 1.75%
Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund (Institutional Class) 1.55%

 

This agreement is in effect through [______], 2020. The Adviser may not terminate this waiver without the approval by the Funds’ Board of Trustees. The Adviser will be permitted to recover, on a class-by-class basis, expenses it has borne subsequent to the effective date of the agreement described above (whether through reduction of its management fee or otherwise) only to the extent that a Fund’s expenses in later periods do not exceed the lesser of: (1) the contractual expense limit in effect at the time the Adviser waives or limits the expenses; or (2) the contractual expense limit in effect at the time the Adviser seeks to recover the expenses; provided, however, that the Funds will not be obligated to reimburse any such expenses borne by the Adviser more than three years after the date on which the fee or expense was waived or limited or assumed and paid by the Adviser, as calculated on a monthly basis. 

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DISTRIBUTOR

 

Shares of each Fund are offered on a continuous basis through ALPS Distributors, Inc. (an affiliate of ALPS Fund Services, Inc.) (the “Distributor”), located at 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80203, as distributor pursuant to a distribution agreement between the Distributor and the Trust on behalf of the Funds.  The Distributor is not obligated to sell any specific amount of Fund shares.

 

CODE OF ETHICS

 

The Trust, the Adviser and the Distributor each have adopted a code of ethics under Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act.  These codes of ethics permit the personnel of these entities to invest in securities, including securities that a Fund may purchase or hold.  The codes of ethics are on public file with, and are available from, the SEC.

 

ADMINISTRATOR

 

The Trust on behalf of the Funds currently employs ALPS Fund Services, Inc. (an affiliate of the Distributor) (“ALPS” or the “Administrator”), located at 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80203, under an administration agreement to provide certain administrative services to the Funds.

 

PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

Although individual Board members may not agree with particular policies or votes by the Adviser, the Board has approved delegating proxy voting discretion to the Adviser believing that the Adviser should be responsible for voting because it is a matter relating to the investment decision making process.

 

Attached as Appendix B is the Trust’s Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures and a summary of the Adviser’s proxy voting policies that the Adviser uses to determine how to vote proxies relating to portfolio securities, including the procedures that the Adviser uses when a vote presents a conflict between the interests of Fund shareholders, on the one hand, and those of the Adviser or any affiliated person of a Fund or the Adviser, on the other.  Appendix B provides a general indication as to how the Adviser will vote proxies relating to portfolio securities on each issue listed.  However, Appendix B does not address all potential voting issues or the intricacies that may surround individual proxy votes.  For that reason, there may be instances in which votes may vary from the Trust’s and the Adviser’s Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Adviser always endeavors to vote proxies relating to portfolio securities in accordance with the Funds’ investment objectives.  When applicable, information on how a Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent prior 12-month period ended June 30 will be available without charge, (i) upon request, by calling 1-[_______] and (ii) on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

 

PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS

 

To the best knowledge of the Trust, the names and addresses of the record and beneficial holders of 5% or more of the outstanding shares of each class of the Funds and the percentage of the outstanding shares held by such holders are set forth below. To the best knowledge of the Trust, entities shown as owning more than 25% of the outstanding Shares of a class of a Fund are not the beneficial owners of such Shares, unless otherwise indicated.

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A shareholder who owns beneficially 25% or more of the outstanding securities of a Fund is presumed to “control” that Fund as defined in the 1940 Act. Such control may affect the voting rights of other shareholders.

 

As of [________], 2018, the following shareholders owned 5% or more of the outstanding shares of a class of the Funds as listed below:

 

Fund Shareholder Name Address Percentage of Interest Type of Ownership
[______________] [______________] [______________] [__]% [______]

 

As of [______________], 2018, [none of the Trustees or Officers of the Trust owned any of the outstanding shares of the Funds].

 

EXPENSES

 

The Funds’ expenses include taxes, interest, fees and salaries of the Trust’s Trustees and officers who are not trustees, officers or employees of the Funds’ service contractors, SEC fees, state securities qualification fees, costs of preparing and printing prospectuses for regulatory purposes and for distribution to existing shareholders, advisory and administration fees, charges of the custodian and of the transfer and dividend disbursing agent, certain insurance premiums, outside auditing and legal expenses, costs of shareholder reports and shareholder meetings and any extraordinary expenses.  The Funds also pay for brokerage fees and commissions (if any) in connection with the purchase and sale of portfolio securities.

 

PORTFOLIO MANAGER

 

The following sections set forth certain additional information with respect to the portfolio manager for each Fund.  Unless noted otherwise, all information is provided as of March 5, 2018.

 

Other Accounts Managed by Portfolio Manager

 

The table below identifies as of March 5, 2018, the number of accounts (other than the Funds with respect to which information is provided) for which the Funds’ portfolio managers have day-to-day management responsibilities and the total assets in such accounts within each of the following categories: registered investment companies, other pooled investment vehicles, and other accounts.

 

 

Portfolio Manager Registered Investment
Companies
Other Pooled Investment
Vehicles
Other Accounts
Number Total Assets (in millions) Number Total Assets (in millions)* Number* Total Assets (in millions)*
Josh Stewart 0 $0 0 $0 0 $0
Samuel S. Stewart, Jr., PhD, CFA 0 $0 0 $0 0 $0

 

*If an account was managed by a team, the total number of accounts and assets have been allocated to each respective team member. Therefore, some accounts and assets have been counted more than once.

 

Portfolio Manager Compensation

 

The Adviser’s Compensation Committee and Executive Committee review and determine its portfolio managers’ compensation. The committees may use independent third-party investment industry compensation survey results in evaluating competitive market compensation for its investment professionals. The committees may also consult with professional industry recruiters. The elements of total compensation for the portfolio managers are base salary, a performance-based bonus and other benefits. Portfolio managers who are also members of the Adviser additionally receive quarterly dividends. The Adviser has balanced the components of pay to provide portfolio managers with an incentive to focus on both shorter and longer-term performance. By design, portfolio manager compensation levels fluctuate—both up and down —with the relative investment performance of the Funds they manage.

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Base Salary

Each portfolio manager is paid a fixed base salary depending upon their tenure.

 

Performance Bonus.

A large portion of a portfolio manager’s potential compensation is in the form of performance bonus. The performance bonus is based on pre-tax performance. At the end of each year, the Adviser will allocate a bonus pool that will loosely mirror firm profits. The bonus pool will reward portfolio managers, in part, for achieving top quartile performance relative to the performance of the applicable Fund’s peer group over both the short and long term.

 

Peer groups are utilized to evaluate performance. Portfolio managers and research analysts are not paid a “commission” for the solicitation or acquisition of new clients or the retention of existing clients. However, the amount of revenue generated by each product is overlaid on performance to determine the size of each portfolio manager’s bonus (e.g. if performance were equal, a portfolio manager on a higher revenue product would receive a larger bonus than one on a smaller revenue product).

 

Potential Conflicts of Interest with Other Accounts

 

Potential conflicts of interest may arise when a fund’s portfolio managers have day-to-day management responsibilities with respect to one or more other funds or other accounts, as is the case for the portfolio managers listed in the table above.

 

The Adviser and the Funds have adopted compliance policies and procedures that are designed to mitigate various conflicts of interest that may arise for the Adviser and the individuals that it employs.  For example, the Adviser’s Code of Ethics requires employees to place the Adviser’s clients’ interests ahead of the employee’s own interests.  The Adviser has also adopted trade allocation procedures that are designed to facilitate the allocation of investment opportunities among multiple client accounts.  There is no guarantee, however, that the policies and procedures adopted by the Adviser and the Funds will be able to detect and/or prevent every situation in which an actual or potential conflict may appear.  These potential conflicts include:

 

Allocation of Limited Time and Attention.  A portfolio manager who is responsible for managing multiple funds and/or accounts may devote unequal time and attention to the management of those funds and/or accounts.  As a result, the portfolio manager may not be able to formulate as complete a strategy or identify equally attractive investment opportunities for each of those accounts as might be the case if he were to devote substantially more attention to the management of a single fund.  The effects of this potential conflict may be more pronounced where funds and/or accounts overseen by a particular portfolio manager have different investment strategies.

 

Allocation of Limited Investment Opportunities.  If a portfolio manager identifies a limited investment opportunity that may be suitable for multiple funds and/or accounts, the opportunity may be allocated among these several funds or accounts, which may limit a fund’s ability to take full advantage of the investment opportunity.

 

Pursuit of Differing Strategies.  At times, a portfolio manager may determine that an investment opportunity may be appropriate for only some of the funds and/or accounts for which he exercises investment responsibility, or may decide that certain of the funds and/or accounts should take differing positions with respect to a particular security.  In these cases, the portfolio manager may place separate transactions for one or more funds or accounts which may affect the market price of the security or the execution of the transaction, or both, to the detriment or benefit of one or more other funds and/or accounts.

 

Selection of Brokers/Dealers.  Portfolio managers may be able to select or influence the selection of the brokers and dealers that are used to execute securities transactions for the funds and/or account that they supervise.  In addition to executing trades, some brokers and dealers provide portfolio managers with brokerage and research services (as those terms are defined in Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act), which may result in the payment of higher brokerage fees than might have otherwise been available.  These services may be more beneficial to certain funds or accounts than to others.  Although the payment of brokerage commissions is subject to the requirement that the portfolio manager determine in good faith that the commissions are reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and research services provided to the fund, a portfolio manager’s decision as to the selection of brokers and dealers could yield disproportionate costs and benefits among the funds and/or accounts that he manages.

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Variation in Compensation.  A conflict of interest may arise where the financial or other benefits available to the portfolio manager differ among the funds and/or accounts that he manages.  If the structure of the investment adviser’s management fee and/or the portfolio manager’s compensation differs among funds and/or accounts (such as where certain funds or accounts pay higher management fees or performance-based management fees), the portfolio manager might be motivated to help certain funds and/or accounts over others.  The portfolio manager might be motivated to favor funds and/or accounts in which he has an interest or in which the investment adviser and/or its affiliates have interests.  Similarly, the desire to maintain or raise assets under management or to enhance the portfolio manager’s performance record or to derive other rewards, financial or otherwise, could influence the portfolio manager to lend preferential treatment to those funds and/or accounts that could most significantly benefit the portfolio manager.

 

Related Business Opportunities.  The Adviser or its affiliates may provide more services (such as distribution or recordkeeping) for some types of funds or accounts than for others.  In such cases, a portfolio manager may benefit, either directly or indirectly, by devoting disproportionate attention to the management of funds and/or accounts that provide greater overall returns to the Adviser and its affiliates.

 

Ownership of Securities

 

The table below identifies ownership of Fund securities by each Portfolio Manager as of [___________], 2018.

 

Portfolio Manager Dollar Range of Ownership of Securities
  Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund
Josh Stewart $[___] - $[___] $[___] - $[___]
Samuel S. Stewart, Jr., PhD, CFA $[___] - $[___] $[___] - $[___]

 

NET ASSET VALUE

 

The following is a description of the procedures used by the Funds in valuing its assets.  For the purpose of pricing purchase and redemption orders, the net asset value per share of each Fund is determined once daily as of the close of regularly scheduled trading on the NYSE (normally, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time).  A Fund’s net asset value is calculated on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, i.e., Monday through Friday, except for New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, and the preceding Friday or subsequent Monday when one of those holidays falls on a Saturday or Sunday, respectively.

 

In calculating net asset value, portfolio securities listed or traded on national securities exchanges for which market quotations are available are valued at the official closing price.  If there is no official closing price, the securities are valued at the mean of the last bid and ask price.

 

Securities that are primarily traded on foreign exchanges generally are valued at the preceding closing values of such securities on their respective exchanges, except that when an occurrence subsequent to the time a value was so established is likely to have changed such value, then the fair value of those securities will be determined by consideration of other factors by or under the direction of the Trust’s Board or its delegates.  In valuing assets, prices denominated in foreign currencies are converted to U.S. dollar equivalents at the current exchange rate.  Securities may be valued by independent pricing services which use prices provided by market-makers or estimates of market values obtained from yield data relating to instruments or securities with similar characteristics.  In certain circumstances, bid and ask prices may be obtained from (i) a broker/dealer specified and deemed reliable by the Adviser, (ii) pink sheets, yellow sheets or the blue list, or (iii) a pricing agent that obtains quotations from broker/dealers or evaluates the value of the respective bid and ask prices.  All other securities and other assets of a Fund will be valued at fair value as determined in good faith pursuant to procedures adopted by the Board.

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TAXES

 

This section provides additional information concerning U.S. federal income taxes.  It is based on the Code, applicable Treasury Regulations, judicial authority and administrative rulings and practice, all as of the date of this SAI, and all of which are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect.  The following does not address any state, local or foreign or estate or gift tax matters.

 

A shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax consequences from acquiring, holding and disposing of shares in a Fund may vary depending upon his or her particular situation.  This discussion only applies to shareholders who are U.S. persons.  For purposes of this discussion, U.S. persons are: (i) U.S. citizens or residents, (ii) U.S. corporations (or entities treated as corporations for U.S. tax purposes), (iii) an estate whose income is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source, or (iv) a trust, if a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over its administration and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all of its substantial decisions, or certain electing trusts that were in existence on August 20, 1996, and were treated as domestic trusts on August 19, 1996.  This discussion does not address issues of significance to U.S. persons in special situations such as: (i) certain types of tax-exempt organizations, (ii) shareholders holding shares through tax-advantaged accounts (such as 401(k) plan accounts or individual retirement accounts), (iii) shareholders holding investments through foreign institutions (financial and non-financial), (iv) financial institutions, (v) broker-dealers, and traders in securities that elect to mark-to-market their securities holdings, (vi) entities not organized under the laws of the United States or a political subdivision thereof, (vii) shareholders holding shares as part of a hedge, straddle or conversion transaction, and (viii) shareholders who are subject to the U.S. federal alternative minimum tax.

 

If a partnership (including for this purpose any entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) is a beneficial owner of shares, the tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership.  Partners of partnerships that are considering the purchase of shares should consult their own tax advisers regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the purchase, ownership and disposition of shares.

 

The Funds have not requested and will not request an advance ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) as to the U.S. federal income tax matters described below.  The IRS could adopt positions contrary to those discussed below and such positions could be sustained.  In addition, the foregoing discussion only addresses some of the U.S. federal income tax considerations generally affecting investments in the Funds.  Prospective shareholders are urged to consult with their own tax advisers as to the particular U.S. federal tax consequences to them of an investment in a Fund, as well as the applicability and effect of any state, local or foreign laws, and the effect of possible changes in applicable tax laws.

 

General Policies

 

In general, it is the policy of the Seven Canyons World Innovators Fund to distribute annually to shareholders as “ordinary income dividends” substantially all of their investment company taxable income (which includes, among other items, dividends, interest and the excess of any net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses). The Seven Canyons Strategic Income Fund makes such net income distributions quarterly. It is the policy of both Funds to distribute annually the excess of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses, if any, after offsetting any capital loss carryovers, as “capital gains dividends.”

 

Ordinary income dividends and capital gain distributions are payable as of the close of the Exchange on the record date for each dividend or distribution.  Shareholders may elect to re-invest their ordinary income dividends or capital gain distributions, or both.  The election may be made at any time by submitting a written request directly to a Fund.  In order for a change to be in effect for any dividend or distribution, it must be received by the Fund on or before the record date for such dividend or distribution.

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Distributions and dividends are reinvested in additional Fund shares unless you instruct the Transfer Agent to have your distributions and/or dividends paid by check mailed to the address of record or transferred through an Automated Clearing House to the bank of your choice.  If you elect to receive your dividends in cash and the dividend checks sent to you are returned “undeliverable” to the Fund or remain uncashed for six months, your cash election will automatically be changed and your future dividends will be reinvested.  No interest will accrue on amounts represented by uncashed dividend or redemption checks. Distribution checks will only be issued for payments greater than $25.00. Distributions will automatically be reinvested in shares of the fund(s) generating the distribution if under $25.00. Un-cashed distribution checks will be canceled and proceeds reinvested at the then current net asset value, for any shareholder who chooses to receive distributions in cash, if distribution checks: (1) are returned and marked as “undeliverable” or (2) remain un-cashed for six months after the date of issuance. If distribution checks are canceled and reinvested, your account election may also be changed so that all future distributions are reinvested rather than paid in cash. Interest will not accrue on uncashed distribution checks

 

As required by federal law, detailed U.S. federal tax information will be furnished to each shareholder for each calendar year.

 

Taxation of the Funds

 

Each Fund intends to elect to be treated and qualify each year as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code.  Each Fund also intends to be treated as a separate entity for federal income tax purposes. Thus, the provisions of the Code applicable to regulated investment companies generally will apply separately to each Fund even though each Fund is a series of the Trust. Furthermore, each Fund will separately determine its income, gain, losses and expenses for federal income tax purposes. In order to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded regulated investment companies and their shareholders, each Fund must, among other things: (i) derive at least 90% of its gross income in each taxable year from dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans, gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including, but not limited to, gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies and net income derived from interests in “qualified publicly traded partnerships;” (ii) diversify its holdings so that at the end of each fiscal quarter, (a) at least 50% of the value of its total assets consists of cash and cash items (including receivables), U.S. government securities, securities of other regulated investment companies, and other securities limited generally, with respect to any one issuer, to no more than 5% of the value of a Fund’s total assets and 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of a Fund’s total assets is invested in (1) the securities (other than those of the U.S. government or other regulated investment companies) of any one issuer, (2) the securities (other than the securities of other regulated investment companies) of two or more issuers which a Fund controls and which are engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or (3) in the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships and (iii) distribute with respect to each taxable year an amount equal to or exceeding the sum of (a) 90% of its “investment company taxable income,” as that term is defined in the Code (which generally includes, among other things, dividends, taxable interest, and the excess of any net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses, as reduced by certain deductible expenses) without regard to the deduction for dividends paid, and (b) 90% of its tax-exempt interest income, net of expenses allocable thereto.  For purposes of meeting the diversification requirement described in (ii) above, in the case of each Fund’s investment in loan participations, the issuer may be the financial intermediary or the borrower. The requirements for qualification as a regulated investment company may significantly limit the extent to which each Fund may invest in some investments.

 

With respect to (i) above, the IRS may limit qualifying income from foreign currency gains to the amount of such currency gains that are directly related to a regulated investment company’s principal business of investing in stock or securities (or options and futures with respect thereto) pursuant to regulations that may be promulgated in the future.  For purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described in (i) above, income derived from a partnership will generally be treated as qualifying income only to the extent such income is attributable to items of income of the partnership which would be qualifying income if realized by the regulated investment company.  However, 100% of the net income derived from an interest in a qualified publicly traded partnership (defined as an entity taxed as a partnership (x) interests in which are traded on an established securities market or readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof and (y) that derives less than 90% of its income from the qualifying income described in (i) above) will be treated as qualifying income.  In addition, although in general the passive activity loss rules of the Code do not apply to regulated investment companies, such rules do apply to a regulated investment company with respect to items attributable to an interest in a qualified publicly traded partnership.  Finally, for purposes of (ii)(a) above, the term “outstanding voting securities of such issuer” will include the equity securities of a qualified publicly traded partnership.

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To the extent that it qualifies for treatment as a regulated investment company, a Fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on income distributed to its shareholders in a timely manner in the form of dividends (including capital gain dividends, defined below).  In certain situations, a Fund can cure failures to meet the income and diversification tests described above, including, in some cases, by paying the Fund-level tax and, in the case of diversification failures, disposing of certain assets.  If a Fund were to fail to qualify as a regulated investment company accorded special tax treatment in any taxable year – for example, because it was not sufficiently diversified under the applicable Code tests – the Fund would be subject to tax on its taxable income at corporate rates, and all distributions from earnings and profits, including any distributions of net tax-exempt income and net long-term capital gains, would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income.  To qualify again to be taxed as a regulated investment company that is accorded special treatment in a subsequent year, a Fund could be required to pay substantial taxes, penalties and interest and make substantial distributions.  In addition, if a Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company for a period greater than two taxable years, the Fund may be required to recognize and pay tax on any net built-in gain (the excess of aggregate gain, including items of income, over aggregate loss that would have been realized if the Fund had been liquidated) or, alternatively, to be subject to taxation on such built-in gain recognized for a period of five years, in order to qualify as a regulated investment company in a subsequent year.

 

As a regulated investment company, each Fund generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on its net capital gains (that is, any net long-term capital gains in excess of net short-term capital losses) properly reported by a Fund in a written statement to shareholders as capital gain dividends (“capital gain dividends”) and its investment company taxable income if any, that the Fund distributes to shareholders on a timely basis.  Each Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its investment company taxable income and net capital gains, after offsetting any capital loss carryforwards, in a taxable year. If a Fund does retain any investment company taxable income, it will be subject to tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained.  However, a Fund may elect to have certain dividends paid after the close of a tax year treated as having been paid during the tax year for purposes of the regulated investment company distribution requirements and for purposes of determining its taxable income (“spill-over dividends”).  Spill-over dividends are taxed to shareholders in the year in which they are received.

 

If a Fund retains any net capital gain, it will also be subject to tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained, but may designate the retained amount as undistributed capital gains in a notice to its shareholders who (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their shares of such undistributed amount, and (ii) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the tax paid by the Fund on such undistributed amount against their U.S. federal income tax liabilities, if any.  For U.S. federal income tax purposes, the tax basis of shares owned by a shareholder of a Fund will be increased by an amount equal to the difference between the amount of undistributed capital gains included in the shareholder’s income and the tax deemed paid by the shareholder under clause (ii) of the preceding sentence.

 

Generally, the excess (if any) of a Fund’s net short-term capital loss over the net long-term capital loss for a taxable year will carry over as a short-term capital loss arising on the first day of the next tax year.  In addition, the excess (if any) of a Fund’s net long-term capital loss over the net short-term capital gain for the year will carry over as a long-term capital loss arising on the first day of the next tax year. Unused capital losses realized by a Fund during taxable years beginning on or before December 22, 2010 may be carried forward for up to eight years following the year of the loss. All other capital losses may be carried forward indefinitely until they can be used to offset capital gains. If future capital gains are offset by carried-forward capital losses, such future capital gains are not subject to Fund-level federal income tax, regardless of whether they are distributed to shareholders. However, future capital gains offset by carried-forward capital losses are generally subject to taxation as ordinary dividends to shareholders if distributed. Accordingly, the Funds do not expect to distribute any capital gains offset by carried-forward capital losses. The Funds cannot carry back or carry forward any net operating losses. [As of the end of the most recent fiscal year, the Funds had no accumulated capital loss carryforwards.]

 

A regulated investment company may elect to treat any post-October capital loss (defined as the Fund’s net capital loss, net long-term capital loss, or net short-term capital loss, as applicable, in each case attributable to the portion of the taxable year after October 31) and late-year ordinary loss (generally, (i) net ordinary losses from the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of property, attributable to the portion of the taxable year after October 31, plus (ii) other net ordinary losses attributable to the portion of the taxable year after December 31) as if incurred in the succeeding taxable year.

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If a Fund fails to distribute in a calendar year at least an amount equal to the sum of 98% of its ordinary income for such year (taking into account certain deferrals and elections) and 98.2% of its net capital gain income for the one-year period ending on October 31 of such year, plus any retained amount for the prior year, the Fund will be subject to a non-deductible excise tax on the undistributed amounts.  For these purposes, ordinary gains and losses from the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of property that would be properly taken into account after October 31 are treated as arising on January 1 of the following calendar year.  For purposes of the excise tax, a Fund will be treated as having distributed any amount on which it has been subject to corporate income tax in the taxable year ending within the calendar year.  A dividend paid to shareholders in January of a year generally is deemed to have been paid on December 31 of the preceding year, if the dividend is declared and payable to the shareholders of record on a date in October, November or December of that preceding year.

 

Each Fund intends to make distributions sufficient to avoid imposition of the excise tax, although there can be no assurance that it will be able to do so. Moreover, each Fund reserves the right to pay an excise tax rather than make an additional distribution when circumstances warrant (for example, the amount of excise tax to be paid is deemed de minimis by a Fund).

 

Taxation of Fund Distributions

 

For U.S. federal income tax purposes, distributions of investment company taxable income are generally taxable as ordinary income to the extent of a Fund’s current or accumulated “earnings and profits.”  Taxes on distributions of capital gains are determined by how long a Fund owned the investments that generated them, rather than how long a shareholder has owned his or her shares.  Distributions of net capital gains from the sale of investments that a Fund owned for more than one year and that are properly designated by the Fund as capital gain dividends (i.e., “capital gain dividends”) will be taxable to Fund shareholders as long-term capital gains.  Generally, distributions of gains from the sale of investments that a Fund owned for one year or less will be taxable as ordinary income.  A Fund may designate certain dividends as derived from “qualified dividend income,” which, when received by an individual, will be taxed at a maximum federal income tax rate applicable to long-term capital gain (assuming certain holding period requirements are satisfied), which (for this purpose) is 20%.  Dividend income distributed to individual shareholders will qualify as “qualified dividend income” as that term is defined in section 1(h)(11)(B) of the Code to the extent such distributions are attributable to income from a Fund’s investments in common and preferred stock of U.S. companies and stock of certain qualified foreign corporations provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met by both the Fund and its shareholders.  If 95% or more of a Fund’s gross income (excluding net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss) constitutes qualified dividend income, all of its distributions (other than capital gain dividends) generally will be treated as qualified dividend income in the hands of individual shareholders, as long as they satisfy certain holding period requirements with respect to their Fund shares. If less than 95% of a Fund’s income is attributable to qualified dividend income, then only the portion of the Fund’s distributions that is attributable to qualified dividend income and designated as such in a timely manner will be so treated in the hands of individual shareholders. Portions of a Fund’s distributions may be derived from qualified dividend income.

 

Distributions of earnings and gains to shareholders even if they are paid from income or gains earned by a Fund before a shareholder invested in the Fund (and thus were included in the price the shareholder paid), and whether shareholders receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares (other than distributions, if any, reported by a Fund as “exempt-interest dividends,” a designation which the Fund generally does not expect to make).  Any gain resulting from the sale or exchange of Fund shares generally will be taxable as capital gains.  Distributions declared and payable by a Fund during October, November or December to shareholders of record on a date in any such month and paid by the Fund during the following January will be treated for U.S. federal tax purposes as paid by the Fund and received by shareholders on December 31st of the year in which declared rather than the calendar year in which they were received.

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An additional 3.8% Medicare tax will be 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 amounts. Holders of Fund shares should consult their tax advisers regarding the effect, if any, of this legislation on their ownership and disposition of Fund shares.

 

Dividends received by corporate shareholders that are reported by a Fund in a written statement furnished to shareholders may qualify for a 50% (or possibly 65% in certain cases) dividends received deduction with respect to qualifying dividends received by a Fund from domestic corporations and with respect to that portion (if any) of interest paid or accrued on certain high yield discount obligations owned by the Fund that is treated as dividends, so long as (in either case) certain holding period requirements are met.

 

If a Fund makes a distribution in excess of its current and accumulated “earnings and profits” in any taxable year, the excess distribution will be treated as a return of capital to the extent of a shareholder’s tax basis in his or her shares, and thereafter as capital gain.  A return of capital is not taxable, but it reduces a shareholder’s basis in his or her shares, thus reducing any loss or increasing any gain on a subsequent taxable disposition by the shareholder of such shares.

 

Sale or Redemption of Shares

 

The sale or redemption of Fund shares may give rise to a gain or loss.  In general, any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Fund shares will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year.  Otherwise, the gain or loss on the taxable disposition of Fund shares will be treated as short-term capital gain or loss.  However, any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term, rather than short-term, to the extent of any long-term capital gain distributions received (or deemed received) by the shareholder with respect to the shares.  All or a portion of any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Fund shares will be disallowed if other substantially identical shares of the same Fund or other substantially identical securities are purchased within 30 days before or after the disposition.  In such a case, the basis of the newly purchased shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.

 

Special Tax Considerations

 

The following discussion relates to the particular U.S. federal income tax consequences of the investment policies of the Funds.

 

Non-U.S. Taxes

 

Investments in non-U.S. securities may cause a Fund to be liable to non-U.S. governments for taxes relating primarily to investment income or capital gains on non-U.S. securities in the Fund’s portfolio.  If at the close of its taxable year more than 50% of the value of a Fund’s total assets consists of securities of foreign corporations (including foreign governments), the Fund may make an election under the Code that would allow Fund shareholders who are U.S. persons or U.S. corporations to claim a foreign tax credit or deduction (but not both) on their U.S. income tax return for their pro rata portion of qualified taxes paid by that Fund to non-U.S. countries in respect of non-U.S. securities held at least a minimum period as specified in the Code.  If a Fund were eligible for and were to make the election, the amount of each shareholder’s distribution reported on the information returns filed by the Fund with the IRS must be increased by the amount of the shareholder’s portion of the Fund’s foreign tax paid.  A shareholder’s ability to claim all or a part of a foreign tax credit or deduction in respect of non-U.S. taxes paid by a Fund would also be subject to certain holding period and other limitations imposed by the Code.

 

If a Fund were to qualify as a “qualified fund of funds,” the Fund could be entitled to elect to pass-through its foreign tax credits without regard to the above described 50% requirement. For this purpose, the term “qualified fund of funds” means a regulated investment company if (at the close of each quarter of the taxable year) at least 50% of the value of its total assets is represented by interests in other regulated investment companies.

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The Funds do not anticipate that they will be eligible for the elections discussed in this section.

 

Non-U.S. Currency Transactions

 

Transactions in non-U.S. currencies, non-U.S.-currency denominated debt obligations and certain non-U.S. currency options, future contracts, and forward contracts (and similar instruments) may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the non-U.S. currency concerned and may increase the amount and affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders.  Certain of a Fund’s transactions, if any, in foreign currencies and foreign currency denominated instruments are likely to result in a difference between the Fund’s book income and taxable income.  This difference may cause a portion of the Fund’s income distributions to constitute a return of capital or capital gain for tax purposes or require the Fund to make distributions exceeding book income to avoid excise tax liability and to qualify as a regulated investment company, which may have the effect of accelerating taxable distributions to shareholders of the Fund.

 

Passive Foreign Investment Companies

 

A Fund may invest in stocks of foreign companies that may be classified under the Code as passive foreign investment companies (“PFICs”). In general, a foreign company is classified as a PFIC if at least one-half of its assets constitute investment-type assets or 75% or more of its gross income is investment-type income. When investing in PFIC securities, a Fund intends to mark-to-market these securities under certain provisions of the Code and recognize any unrealized gains as ordinary income at the end of the Fund’s fiscal and excise tax years. Deductions for losses are allowable only to the extent of any current or previously recognized gains. These gains (reduced by allowable losses) are treated as ordinary income that a Fund is required to distribute, even though it has not sold or received dividends from these securities. In addition, if a Fund is unable to identify an investment as a PFIC and thus does not make a mark-to-market election, the Fund may be subject to U.S. federal income tax and interest on a portion of any “excess distribution” or gain from the disposition of such shares even if such income is distributed as a taxable dividend by the Fund to its shareholders.

 

Alternatively, the Fund may elect to treat the PFIC as a “qualified electing fund” (a “QEF election”), in which case the Fund would be required to include its share of the company’s income and net capital gains annually, regardless of whether it receives distributions from the PFIC.  As with the mark-to-market election, these amounts would be taken into account by the Fund for purposes of satisfying the distribution requirement and the excise tax distribution requirement.  Under proposed Treasury Regulations issued by the IRS, earnings included in income under a QEF election would not be qualifying income for a regulated investment company unless such earnings are distributed in the taxable year in which they are earned. In order to make a QEF election, the Fund would be required to obtain certain annual information from the PFICs in which it invests, which may be difficult or impossible to obtain.  Dividends paid by PFICs or by foreign corporations that were PFICs in the year preceding the payment of the dividend will not be eligible to be treated as qualified dividend income.

 

Options and Other Financial Products

 

A Fund’s investments in options, hedging transactions, forward contracts, swaps and certain other transactions will be subject to special tax rules (including mark-to-market, constructive sale, straddle, wash sale, short sale and other rules), the effect of which may be to accelerate income recognized by the Fund, defer the Fund’s losses, cause adjustments in the holding periods of the Fund’s securities, convert capital gain into ordinary income and convert short-term capital losses into long-term capital losses.  These rules could therefore affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to Fund shareholders. 

 

Certain positions undertaken by a Fund may constitute “straddles” for U.S. federal income tax purposes.  The straddle rules may affect the character of gains or losses realized by a Fund.  Losses realized by a Fund that are part of a straddle may be deferred beyond the point in time that they are realized.  The straddle rules, if applicable, could increase the amount of short-term capital gain realized by a Fund, which is taxed as ordinary income when distributed to shareholders.  Certain tax elections that a Fund may make with respect to straddles could affect the character and timing of recognition of gains and losses.

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A Fund may make short sales of securities. Short sales may increase the amount of short-term capital gains realized by the Fund, which is taxed as ordinary income to the shareholders when distributed. Short sales may also constitute part of “constructive sales,” which would result in taxable income before the short-sale positions are terminated.

 

Certain of a Fund’s hedging activities including its transactions in options and foreign currencies, are likely to result in a difference between the Fund’s book income and taxable income. This difference may cause a portion of the Fund’s income distributions to constitute a return of capital or capital gain for tax purposes or require the Fund to make distributions exceeding book income to avoid excise tax liability and to qualify as a regulated investment company, which may have the effect of accelerating taxable distributions to shareholders.

 

Rules governing the tax aspects of notional principal contracts in which a Fund may invest are not clear in various respects.  As a result, the IRS could challenge a Fund’s methods of accounting for U.S. federal income tax purposes for such contracts, and such a challenge could affect the status of a Fund as a regulated investment company.

 

When a Fund sells a put or call option, the premium received generally is not included in income at the time of receipt.  If the option expires, the premium is generally included in income of the Fund as short-term capital gain.  If the Fund enters into a closing transaction, the difference between the amount paid to close out its position and the premium received is generally short-term capital gain or loss.  If a call option written by a Fund is exercised, thereby requiring the Fund to sell the underlying security, the premium will increase the amount realized upon the sale of such security and any resulting gain or loss generally will be a capital gain or loss, and will be long-term or short-term depending upon the holding period of the security.  With respect to a put or call option that is purchased by a Fund, if the option is sold any resulting gain or loss generally will be a capital gain or loss, and will be long-term or short-term, depending upon the holding period of the option.  If the option expires, the resulting loss is a capital loss and is long-term or short-term, depending upon the holding period of the option.  If the option is exercised, the cost of the option, in the case of a call option, is added to the basis of the purchased security and in the case of a put option, reduces the amount realized on the underlying security in determining gain or loss.

 

Some of the Funds’ investments, such as certain option transactions, futures contract transactions, and forward foreign currency exchange contracts may be “section 1256 contracts.”  With certain exceptions, gains or losses attributable to section 1256 contracts generally are treated as sixty percent long-term capital gains or losses and forty percent short-term capital gains or losses (“60/40”).  Section 1256 contracts held by a Fund at the end of a taxable year (and, generally, for purposes of the excise tax, on October 31 of each year) are “marked-to market” with the result that unrealized gains or losses are treated as though they were realized and the resulting gain or loss is treated as 60/40 gain or loss.  Investors should consult their own tax advisers in this regard.

 

The application of certain requirements for qualification as a regulated investment company and the application of certain other federal income tax rules may be unclear in some respects in connection with investments in certain derivatives and other investments. As a result, a Fund may be required to limit the extent to which it invests in such investments and it is also possible that the IRS may not agree with the Fund’s treatment of such investments. In addition, the tax treatment of derivatives and certain other investments may be affected by future legislation, Treasury regulations and guidance issued by the IRS (which could apply retroactively) that could affect the timing, character and amount of a Fund’s income and gains and distributions to shareholders, affect whether the Fund has made sufficient distributions and otherwise satisfied the requirements to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid federal income and excise taxes or limit the extent to which the Fund may invest in certain derivatives and other investments in the future.

 

Securities Issued or Purchased at a Discount

 

A Fund’s investment in debt obligations issued at a discount and certain other obligations will (and investments in debt obligations purchased at a discount may) require that Fund to accrue and distribute income not yet received. In addition, payment-in-kind securities will give rise to income which is required to be distributed even though the Fund does not receive an interest payment in cash on the security during the year. In order to generate sufficient cash to make the requisite distributions, an affected Fund may be required to sell securities in its portfolio that it otherwise would have continued to hold. An affected Fund may realize gains or losses from such sales. In the event a Fund realizes net capital gains from such transactions, its shareholders may receive a larger capital gain distribution than they would in the absence of such transactions.

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Some debt obligations that are acquired by a Fund in the secondary market may be treated as having market discount. Generally, any gain recognized on the disposition of a debt security having market discount is treated as ordinary income to the extent the gain does not exceed the “accrued market discount” on such debt security. Market discount generally accrues in equal daily installments. A Fund may make certain elections applicable to debt obligations having market discount, which could affect the character and timing of recognition of income for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

High-Risk Securities

 

The Funds may invest in debt obligations that are in the lowest rating categories or are unrated. Investments in debt obligations that are at risk of or in default present special tax issues for the Funds. The application of the U.S. federal income tax rules with respect to these types of investments is complicated and will depend upon the application of the law to facts that may be unclear, which may result in uncertainty about the U.S. federal income tax treatment of these investments (e.g., such as when a Fund 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 and how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income). These and other related issues will be addressed by a Fund if it invests in such securities in order to seek to ensure that the Fund distributes sufficient income to avoid becoming subject to U.S. federal income or excise tax.

 

Backup Withholding

 

Each Fund generally is required to withhold and remit to the U.S. Treasury a percentage of the taxable distributions and redemption proceeds paid to any individual shareholder who fails to properly furnish a Fund with a correct taxpayer identification number (TIN), who has under-reported dividend or interest income, or who fails to certify to a Fund that he or she is not subject to such withholding.  The backup withholding tax rate is 24% for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026.

 

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules from a payment to a shareholder generally may be refunded or credited against the shareholder’s federal income tax liability, if any, provided that certain required information is timely furnished to the IRS. A shareholder who has not been notified by the IRS that the shareholder has failed to report interest or dividends may normally avoid backup withholding by furnishing a properly completed IRS Form W-9. If a shareholder fails to furnish a valid TIN upon request, the shareholder can be subject to IRS penalties.

 

Cost Basis Reporting

 

Legislation passed by Congress in 2008 requires a fund (or its administrative agent) to report to the IRS and furnish to fund shareholders the cost basis information for fund shares purchased on or after January 1, 2012, and redeemed, exchanged or otherwise sold on or after that date. In addition to the present law requirement to report the gross proceeds from the sale of Fund shares, each Fund will also be required to report the cost basis information for such shares and indicate whether these shares had a short-term or long-term holding period. In the absence of an election by a shareholder to elect from certain cost basis methods which have been accepted by the IRS, a Fund will use its default cost basis method. The cost basis method elected or applied may generally not be changed after the settlement date of a sale of Fund shares. Fund shareholders should consult with their tax advisers concerning the most desirable IRS-accepted cost basis method for their tax situation and to obtain more information about how the new cost basis reporting law applies to them. The current law requirement to report only the gross proceeds from the sale of Fund shares will continue to apply to all fund shares acquired through December 31, 2011, and which are sold on and after that date.

 

Investors should consult with their tax advisers regarding the U.S. federal, foreign, state and local tax consequences of an investment in a Fund.

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Reportable Transactions

 

If a shareholder recognizes a loss with respect to Fund shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder, or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder, in any single taxable year (or a greater amount over a combination of years), the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886.  Shareholders who own portfolio securities directly are in many cases excepted from this reporting requirement but, under current guidance, shareholders of regulated investment companies are not excepted.  A shareholder who fails to make the required disclosure to the IRS may be subject to substantial penalties.  The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether or not the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper.  Shareholders should consult with their tax advisers to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.

 

Foreign Accounts

 

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (or “FATCA”), foreign financial institutions as defined by FATCA (“FFIs”) or non-financial foreign entities as defined by FATCA (“NFFEs”) that are shareholders of a Fund may be subject to a 30% withholding tax on: (1) income dividends paid by the Fund, and (2) certain capital gain distributions and the proceeds of a sale of Fund shares paid after December 31, 2018.  The FATCA withholding tax generally may be avoided: (a) by an FFI, if it reports certain direct and indirect ownership of foreign financial accounts held by U.S. persons with the FFI, and (b) by an NFFE, if it: (i) certifies that is has no substantial U.S. persons as owners or (ii) if it does have such owners, reporting information relating to them to the withholding agent (which may be the Fund).  The U.S. Treasury has negotiated intergovernmental agreements (each, an “IGA”) with certain countries and is in various stages of negotiations with other foreign countries with respect to one or more alternative approaches to implement FATCA.  An entity in one of those countries may be required to comply with the terms of an IGA and applicable local law instead of U.S. Treasury regulations.

 

An FFI can avoid FATCA withholding by becoming a “participating FFI,” which requires the FFI to enter into a tax compliance agreement with the IRS under section 1471(b) of the Code under which it agrees to verify, report and disclose certain of its U.S. accountholders and provided that such entity meets certain other specified requirements.  The FFI will report to the IRS, or, depending on the FFI’s country of residence, to the government of that country (pursuant to the terms and conditions of an applicable IGA and applicable law), which will, in turn, report to the IRS.  An FFI that is resident in a country that has entered into an IGA with the U.S. to implement FATCA will be exempt from FATCA withholding provided that the FFI shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of such agreement.

 

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

 

Such foreign shareholders also may fall into certain exempt, excepted or deemed compliant categories as established by U.S. Treasury regulations, IGAs, and other guidance regarding FATCA.  An FFI or NFFE that invests in a Fund will need to provide the Fund with documentation properly certifying the entity’s status under FATCA in order to avoid FATCA withholding.  The requirements imposed by FATCA are different from, and in addition to, the U.S. certification rules to avoid backup withholding described above.

 

Other Tax Matters

 

Special tax rules apply to investments through defined contribution plans and other tax-qualified plans, as well as investments by other tax-exempt investors.  Shareholders should consult their tax adviser to determine the suitability of shares of a Fund as an investment through such plans or by other tax-exempt investors and the precise effect that investment in a Fund would have on their particular tax situation.

 

The foregoing discussion relates solely to U.S. federal income tax law.  Dividends and distributions also may be subject to state and local taxes.  Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisers regarding specific questions as to U.S. federal, state, local and, where applicable, foreign taxes.  Foreign investors should consult their tax advisers concerning the U.S. federal income tax consequences of ownership of shares of a Fund, including the certification and filing requirements imposed on foreign investors in order to qualify for exemption from the backup withholding tax rates (or a reduced rate of withholding provided by treaty and the potential applicability of the U.S. estate tax).

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The foregoing is a general and abbreviated summary of the applicable provisions of the Code and related regulations currently in effect.  For the complete provisions, reference should be made to the pertinent Code sections and regulations.  The Code and regulations are subject to change by legislative or administrative actions.

 

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted on December 22, 2017 (the “Act”) substantially alters the U.S. federal income tax rules. Although the Act does not specifically change the tax rules that apply to regulated investment companies such as the Funds, provisions of the Act may significantly affect investments in the Funds. Among many other tax changes introduced by the Act, the Act changes marginal income tax rates applicable to individuals and other taxpayers. The Act does not change the federal income tax rates that apply to long-term capital gains for individual and other noncorporate tax payers, but it does alter the income thresholds at which such tax rates become applicable. The Act also establishes a 20% deduction for qualified business income from certain pass-through business. This deduction will not be available for income from regulated investment companies, including the Funds.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUST

 

The Trust was organized as a Delaware business trust on January 12, 2012 and consists of multiple separate portfolios or series.  The Board may establish additional series in the future.  The capitalization of the Trust consists solely of an unlimited number of shares of beneficial interest with no par value.

 

The Trust is anticipated to consist of multiple separate portfolios or series.  When certain matters affect one fund but not another, the shareholders would vote as a fund regarding such matters.  Subject to the foregoing, on any matter submitted to a vote of shareholders, all shares then entitled to vote will be voted separately by the fund unless otherwise required by the 1940 Act, in which case all shares will be voted in the aggregate.  For example, a change in a fund’s fundamental investment policies would be voted upon only by shareholders of the fund.  Additionally, approvals of Investment Advisory Contracts are matters to be determined separately by the fund.

 

Approval by the shareholders of one fund is effective as to that fund whether or not sufficient votes are received from the shareholders of the other fund to approve the proposal as to that fund.  The term “majority,” when referring to approvals to be obtained from shareholders of a fund means the vote of the lesser of (i) 67% of the shares of the fund or class represented at a meeting if the holder of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the fund or class are present in person or by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the fund.  The term “majority,” when referring to the approvals to be obtained from shareholders of the Trust as a whole means the vote of the lesser of (i) 67% of the Trust’s shares represented at a meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the Trust’s outstanding shares are present in person or proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the Trust’s outstanding shares.  Shareholders are entitled to one vote for each full share held and fractional votes for fractional shares held, unless the Board determines in any particular case (which determination may be made without the vote or consent of shareholders) that each dollar of net asset value shall be entitled to one vote on any matter on which such shares are entitled to vote and each fractional dollar amount shall be entitled to a proportionate fractional vote.

 

The Trust is not required to hold regular annual meetings of a fund’s shareholders and does not intend to do so.  However, the Trust undertakes to hold a special meeting of its shareholders if the purpose of voting on the question of removal of a director or trustees is requested in writing by the holders of at least 10% of the Trust’s outstanding voting securities, and to assist in communicating with other shareholders as required by Section 16(c) of the 1940 Act.  The Declaration of Trust provides that the holders of not less than two-thirds of the outstanding shares of the Trust may remove a person serving as Trustee either by declaration in writing or at a meeting called for such purpose.

 

Each share of a Fund represents an equal proportional interest in the fund with each other share and is entitled to such dividends and distributions out of the income earned on the assets belonging to a Fund as are declared in the discretion of the Trustees.  In the event of the liquidation or dissolution of the Trust, shareholders of a Fund are entitled to receive the assets attributable to the Fund that are available for distribution, and a distribution of any general assets of the Trust not attributable to the Fund that are available for distribution in such manner and on such basis as the Trustees in their sole discretion may determine.

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Each class of shares has equal rights to voting, redemption, dividends and liquidation, except that each class bears different class expenses and each has exclusive voting rights with respect to matters that relate solely to that class or for which the interests of one class differ from the interests of another class. 

 

To the extent a Fund offers more than one class of shares, income, realized and unrealized capital gains and losses, and any expenses of a Fund (other than “Class Expenses” as defined below, shall be allocated to each class of the Fund, as applicable, after such net asset value is adjusted for the prior day’s capital share transactions. Expenses subject to this allocation include expenses incurred by the Trust that are not attributable to any particular Fund or to a particular class of shares of a Fund and expenses incurred by a Fund that are not attributable to any particular class of shares of a Fund (such as fees and expenses relating to the custody of the assets of a Fund and investment advisory fees and other expenses relating to the management of a Fund’s assets). Expenses that are attributable to a specific class of shares of a Fund (“Class Expenses”), shall be allocated to such class to the extent practicable. 

 

Shareholders are not entitled to any preemptive rights.  All shares, when issued, will be fully paid and non-assessable by the Trust.

 

Under Delaware law, shareholders could, under certain circumstances, be held personally liable for the obligations of a series of the Trust but only to the extent of the shareholder’s investment in such series.  However, the Declaration of Trust disclaims liability of the shareholders, Trustees or officers of the Trust for acts or obligations of the Trust, which are binding only on the assets and property of each series of the Trust and requires that notice of the disclaimer be given in each contract or obligations entered into or executed by the Trust or the Trustees.  The risk of a shareholder incurring financial loss on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances in which the Trust itself would be unable to meet its obligations and should be considered remote and is limited to the amount of the shareholder’s investment in the Fund.

 

OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS

 

Custodian.  MUFG Union Bank, N.A., located at 350 California Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco, California 94104, serves as the custodian for the Funds.  As such, the Custodian holds in safekeeping certificated securities and cash belonging to the Funds and, in such capacity, is the registered owner of securities in book-entry form belonging to the Funds.  Upon instruction, the Custodian receives and delivers cash and securities of the Funds in connection with Fund transactions and collects all dividends and other distributions made with respect to Fund portfolio securities.  The Custodian also maintains certain accounts and records of the Funds.  Sub-custodians provide custodial services for any foreign assets held outside of the United States.

 

Transfer Agent. ALPS, pursuant to a Transfer Agency and Service Agreement, serves as transfer agent for the Funds.  As Transfer Agent, ALPS has, among other things, agreed to (i) issue and redeem shares of the Funds; (ii) make dividend and other distributions to shareholders of the Funds; (iii) effect transfers of shares; (iv) mail communications to shareholders of the Funds, including account statements, confirmations, and dividend and distribution notices; (v) facilitate the electronic delivery of shareholder statements and reports and (vi) maintain shareholder accounts.  Under the Transfer Agency and Service Agreement, ALPS receives from the Trust on behalf of the Funds an annual minimum fee and a fee based upon the number of shareholder accounts and is also reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses.  As described above, ALPS is an affiliate of the Distributor.

 

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. [______] serves as the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm.  [______] provides audit services, tax return preparation and assistance.  [______] is located at [______].

 

Counsel.  Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP serves as counsel to the Trust and is located at 1550 17th Street, Suite 500, Denver, Colorado 80202. Thompson Hine LLP serves as counsel to the Independent Trustees and is located at 41 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

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PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

 

Yield and Total Return.  A Fund may from time to time include the yield and/or total return of its shares in advertisements or information in advertisements or information furnished to present or prospective shareholders.

 

A Fund’s yield will vary from time to time depending upon market conditions, the composition of its portfolios and operating expenses of the Trust allocated to the Fund.  These factors, possible differences in the methods used in calculating yield, and the tax exempt status of distributions, should be considered when comparing a Fund’s yield to yields published for other investment companies and other investment vehicles.  Yield should also be considered relative to changes in the value of a Fund’s shares and to the relative risks associated with the investment objectives and policies of a Fund.

 

At any time in the future, yields and total return may be higher or lower than past yields and there can be no assurance that any historical results will continue.

 

Investors in a Fund are specifically advised that share prices, expressed as the net asset value per share, will vary just as yield will vary.  An investor’s focus on the yield of a Fund to the exclusion of the consideration of the share price of the Fund may result in the investor’s misunderstanding the total return he or she may derive from the Fund.

 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

Because the Funds have not yet commenced operations as the date of this Statement of Additional Information, there are no financial highlights for the Funds.  When available, you can obtain additional copies of the Annual Report at no charge by writing or telephoning the Funds at the address or number on the front page of this Statement of Additional Information.

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APPENDIX A

 

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

 

A Fund may make use of average portfolio credit quality standards to assist institutional investors whose own investment guidelines limit their investments accordingly.  In determining a Fund’s overall dollar-weighted average quality, unrated securities are treated as if rated, based on the adviser’s view of their comparability to rated securities.  A Fund’s use of average quality criteria is intended to be a guide for those investors whose investment guidelines require that assets be invested according to comparable criteria.  Reference to an overall average quality rating for a Fund does not mean that all securities held by the Fund will be rated in that category or higher.  A Fund’s investments may range in quality from securities rated in the lowest category in which the Fund is permitted to invest to securities rated in the highest category (as rated by Moody’s, S&P or Fitch or, if unrated, determined by the adviser to be of comparable quality).  The percentage of a Fund’s assets invested in securities in a particular rating category will vary.  Following is a description of Moody’s, S&P’s and Fitch’s ratings applicable to fixed-income securities.

 

Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.

 

Corporate and Municipal Bond Ratings

 

Aaa:  Bonds which are rated Aaa are judged to be of the best quality.  They carry the smallest degree of investment risk and are generally referred to as “gilt edge.” Interest payments are protected by a large or by an exceptionally stable margin and principal is secure.  While the various protective elements are likely to change, such changes as can be visualized are most unlikely to impair the fundamentally strong position of such issues.

 

Aa:  Bonds which are rated Aa are judged to be of high quality by all standards.  Together with the Aaa group they comprise what are generally known as high-grade bonds.  They are rated lower than the best bonds because margins of protection may not be as large as in Aaa securities or fluctuation of protective elements may be of greater amplitude or there may be other elements present that make the long-term risks appear somewhat larger than with Aaa securities.

 

A:  Bonds which are rated A possess many favorable investment attributes and are to be considered as upper-medium-grade obligations.  Factors giving security to principal and interest are considered adequate, but elements may be present that suggest a susceptibility to impairment sometime in the future.

 

Baa:  Bonds which are rated Baa are considered as medium-grade obligations (i.e., they are neither highly protected nor poorly secured), interest payments and principal security appear adequate for the present but certain protective elements may be lacking or may be characteristically unreliable over any great length of time.  Such bonds lack outstanding investment characteristics and in fact have speculative characteristics as well.

 

 Ba:  Bonds which are rated Ba are judged to have speculative elements; their future cannot be considered as well-assured.  Often the protection of interest and principal payments may be very moderate and thereby not well safeguarded during both good and bad times over the future.  Uncertainty of position characterizes bonds in this class.

  

B:  Bonds which are rated B generally lack characteristics of a desirable investment.  Assurance of interest and principal payments or of maintenance of other terms of the contract over any long period of time may be small.

  

Caa:  Bonds which are rated Caa are of poor standing.  Such issues may be in default or there may be present elements of danger with respect to principal or interest.

  

Ca:  Bonds which are rated Ca represent obligations which are speculative in a high degree.  Such issues are often in default or have other m