485APOS 1 wrappagepea27.htm FTETF 485(A) PEA #27 wrappagepea27.htm - Generated by SEC Publisher for SEC Filing  

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 9, 2018.

 

 

 

File Nos. 333-208873 and 811-23124

 

 

 

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

 

FORM N-1A

 

 

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

[X]

 

 

 

Pre-Effective Amendment No.

 

[ ]

 

 

 

 

 

Post-Effective Amendment No.

27

[X]

 

 

 

and/or

 

 

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940

[X]

 

 

 

Amendment No.

31

[X]

 

 

 

Franklin Templeton ETF Trust

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

 

One Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

 

 

 

Registrant's Telephone Number, Including Area Code (954) 527-7500

 

 

 

CRAIG S. TYLE, ONE FRANKLIN PARKWAY, SAN MATEO, CA 94403-1906

 

(Name and Address of Agent for Service of Process)

 

 

 

Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering:

 

 

 

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) of Rule 485

[X]

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

[ ]

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

 

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

[ ]

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

 

 

 

 

 

This Post-Effective Amendment to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-1A relates only to the prospectus and statement of additional information (“SAI”) of Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF, Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF and Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF, each a series of the Registrant and does not otherwise delete, amend, or supersede any information relating to any other series of the Registrant.

 

         

 


 
 

 

Prospectus

 

 

Franklin Templeton ETF Trust

[     ], 2018

 

 

 

 

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS

 

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 SEC 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.

 

 

Ticker:

Exchange:

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF

FLHY

Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF

FLIA

Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.

Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF 

FLBL

Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. 

 

 

 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[ETF2 P __/18]


 

Contents

 

 

 

Fund Summaries
Information about the Fund you should know before investing

 

 

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF
Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF
Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF

 

Fund Details
More information on investment policies, practices and risks

 

 

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF
Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond  ETF
Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF
More Information on Investment Policies, Practices and Risks
Management
Distributions and Taxes
Financial Highlights

 

Shareholder Information
Information about Fund transactions

 

 

Buying and Selling Shares
Book Entry
Share Prices
Calculating NAV
Creations and Redemptions
Premium/Discount Information
Distribution

 

For More Information
Where to learn more about the Fund

 

 

Back Cover

 


 

- 2 -

 


 

Fund Summaries

 

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF

Investment Goal

To earn a high level of current income. Its secondary goal is to seek capital appreciation to the extent it is possible and consistent with the Fund’s principal goal.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you own shares of the Fund. You may also incur usual and customary brokerage commissions when buying or selling shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the Example that follows.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

   

 

Management fees 

[     ]% 

Distribution and service (12b-1) fees 

None 

Other expenses1 

[     ]% 

Total annual Fund operating expenses

[     ]% 

Fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement2 

-[     ]% 

Total annual Fund operating expenses after fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement2 

[     ]% 

1. “Other expenses” are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.

2. The investment manager has contractually agreed to waive or assume certain expenses so that total annual Fund operating expenses (including acquired fund fees and expenses, but excluding certain non-routine expenses) for the Fund do not exceed [     ]% until [July 31], 2019. Contractual fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement agreements may not be changed or terminated during the time periods set forth above.

Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of the period. 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 reflects adjustments made to the Fund’s operating expenses due to the fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements by management as described above for the 1 Year numbers only. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

- 3 -

 


 

   

1 Year 

3 Years 

   

$ [     ] 

$ [     ] 

Portfolio Turnover

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

Principal Investment Strategies

Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in high yield corporate debt securities and investments that provide exposure to high yield corporate debt securities. High yield debt securities are those that are rated below investment grade, also known as “junk bonds.” High yield debt securities are rated at the time of purchase below the top four ratings categories by at least one independent rating agency such as Standard & Poor’s (S&P®) (rated BB+ and lower) and Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) (rated Ba1 and lower) or, if unrated, are determined to be of comparable quality by the Fund’s investment manager. Corporate issuers may include corporate or other business entities in which a sovereign or governmental agency or entity may have, indirectly or directly, an interest, including a majority or greater ownership interest. 

Lower-rated securities generally pay higher yields than more highly rated securities to compensate investors for the higher risk. These securities include bonds; notes; debentures; convertible securities; bank loans and corporate loans; and senior and subordinated debt securities.

The Fund may invest up to 100% of its total assets in high yield debt securities. The Fund may buy both rated and unrated debt securities, including securities rated below B by Moody’s or S&P® (or deemed comparable by the Fund’s investment manager). The Fund may also invest in defaulted debt securities.  The Fund may invest in debt securities of any maturity or duration.

The Fund may invest in debt securities of U.S. and foreign issuers, including those in developing markets.  These securities may be U.S. dollar or non-U.S. dollar denominated.

The Fund may enter into certain derivative transactions, principally currency and cross currency forwards; currency and interest rate futures contracts; and swap agreements, including interest rate, fixed income total return, currency and credit default swaps (including credit default index swaps).  The use of these derivative transactions may allow the Fund to obtain net long or short exposures to select currencies, interest rates, countries, durations or credit risks. These derivatives may be used to enhance Fund returns, increase liquidity, gain exposure to certain instruments or markets in a more efficient or less expensive way and/or hedge risks associated with its other portfolio investments.  When used for hedging purposes, a forward contract or currency future could be used to protect against possible decline in a currency’s value when a security held or to be purchased by the Fund is denominated in that currency.  Derivatives that provide exposure to high yield corporate debt securities may be used to satisfy the Fund’s 80% policy.

The Fund’s investment manager is a research driven, fundamental investor that relies on a team of analysts to provide in-depth industry expertise and uses both qualitative and quantitative analysis to evaluate issuers. As a “bottom-up” investor, the investment manager focuses primarily on individual securities. The investment manager also considers sectors when choosing investments and, from time to time, may have significant investments in certain sectors.

In selecting securities for the Fund’s investment portfolio, the investment manager does not rely principally on the ratings assigned by rating agencies, but performs its own independent investment analysis to evaluate the creditworthiness of the issuer. The investment manager considers a variety of factors, including the issuer’s experience and managerial strength, its sensitivity to economic conditions, and its current and prospective financial condition.

- 4 -

 


 

The investment manager may seek to sell a security if: (i) the security has moved beyond the investment manager’s fair value target and there has been no meaningful positive change in the company’s fundamental outlook; (ii) there has been a negative fundamental change in the issuer’s credit outlook that changes the investment manager’s view of the appropriate valuation; or (iii) the investment manager’s views on macroeconomic or sector trends or valuations have changed, making that particular issuer (or that issuer’s industry) less attractive for the Fund’s portfolio. In addition, the investment manager may sell a security that still meets the investment manager’s buy criteria if another security becomes available in the new issue or secondary market that the investment manager believes has better return potential or improves the Fund’s risk profile.

The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (ETF) that does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index.

Principal Risks

You could lose money by investing in the Fund. ETF shares are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank, and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, or any other agency of the U.S. government. The Fund is subject to the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value (NAV), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment goals. Unlike many ETFs, the Fund is not an index-based ETF.

Credit   An issuer of debt securities may fail to make interest payments or repay principal when due, in whole or in part. Changes in an issuer’s financial strength or in a security’s credit rating may affect a security’s value.

High-Yield Debt Securities   Issuers of lower-rated or “high-yield” debt securities (also known as “junk bonds”) are not as strong financially as those issuing higher credit quality debt securities. High-yield debt securities are generally considered predominantly speculative by the applicable rating agencies as their issuers are more likely to encounter financial difficulties and are more vulnerable to changes in the relevant economy, such as a recession or a sustained period of rising interest rates, that could affect their ability to make interest and principal payments when due. The prices of high-yield debt securities generally fluctuate more than those of higher credit quality. High-yield debt securities are generally more illiquid (harder to sell) and harder to value.

Income   Because the Fund can only distribute what it earns, the Fund’s distributions to shareholders may decline when prevailing interest rates fall or when the Fund experiences defaults on debt securities it holds.

Liquidity   From time to time, the trading market for a particular security or type of security or other investments in which the Fund invests may become less liquid or even illiquid. Reduced liquidity will have an adverse impact on the Fund’s ability to sell such securities or other investments when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event and will also generally lower the value of a security or other investments. Market prices for such securities or other investments may be volatile.

Interest Rate   When interest rates rise, debt security prices generally fall. The opposite is also generally true: debt security prices rise when interest rates fall. Interest rate changes are influenced by a number of factors, including government policy, monetary policy, inflation expectations, perceptions of risk, and supply and demand of bonds. In general, securities with longer maturities or durations are more sensitive to these interest rate changes.

Foreign Securities   Investing in foreign securities typically involves more risks than investing in U.S. securities, and includes risks associated with: (i) internal and external political and economic developments – e.g., the political, economic and social policies and structures of some foreign countries may be less stable and more volatile than those in the U.S. or some foreign countries may be subject to trading restrictions or economic sanctions; (ii) trading practices – e.g., government supervision and regulation of foreign securities and currency markets, trading systems and brokers may be less than in the U.S.; (iii) availability of information – e.g., foreign issuers may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. issuers; (iv) limited markets – e.g., the securities of certain foreign issuers may be less liquid (harder to sell) and more volatile; and (v) currency exchange rate fluctuations and policies  (e.g., fluctuations may negatively affect investments denominated in foreign currencies and any income received or expenses paid by the Fund in that foreign currency). The risks of foreign investments may be greater in developing or emerging market countries. To the extent that the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a specific geographic region, the Fund will generally have more exposure to the economic risks affecting that specific geographic region.

- 5 -

 


 

Currency Management Strategies   Currency management strategies may substantially change the Fund’s exposure to currency exchange rates and could result in losses to the Fund if currencies do not perform as the investment manager expects. In addition, currency management strategies, to the extent that they reduce the Fund’s exposure to currency risks, may also reduce the Fund’s ability to benefit from favorable changes in currency exchange rates. Using currency management strategies for purposes other than hedging further increases the Fund’s exposure to foreign investment losses. Currency markets generally are not as regulated as securities markets. In addition, currency rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time, and can reduce returns.

Focus   To the extent that the Fund focuses on particular countries, regions, industries, sectors or types of investment from time to time, the Fund may be subject to greater risks of adverse developments in such areas of focus than a fund that invests in a wider variety of countries, regions, industries, sectors or investments.

Prepayment   Prepayment risk occurs when a debt security can be repaid in whole or in part prior to the security’s maturity and the Fund must reinvest the proceeds it receives, during periods of declining interest rates, in securities that pay a lower rate of interest. Also, if a security has been purchased at a premium, the value of the premium would be lost in the event of prepayment. Prepayments generally increase when interest rates fall.

Derivative Instruments   The performance of derivative instruments depends largely on the performance of an underlying currency, security, interest rate or index, and such derivatives often have risks similar to the underlying instrument, in addition to other risks. Derivatives involve costs and can create economic leverage in the Fund’s portfolio which may result in significant volatility and cause the Fund to participate in losses (as well as gains) in an amount that significantly exceeds the Fund’s initial investment. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. Other risks include illiquidity, mispricing or improper valuation of the derivative, and imperfect correlation between the value of the derivative and the underlying instrument so that the Fund may not realize the intended benefits. Their successful use will usually depend on the investment manager’s ability to accurately forecast movements in the market relating to the underlying instrument. Should a market or markets, or prices of particular classes of investments move in an unexpected manner, especially in unusual or extreme market conditions, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, and it may realize losses, which could be significant. If the investment manager is not successful in using such derivative instruments, the Fund’s performance may be worse than if the investment manager did not use such derivatives at all. When a derivative is used for hedging, the change in value of the derivative may also not correlate specifically with the currency, security, interest rate, index or other risk being hedged. Derivatives also may present the risk that the other party to the transaction will fail to perform. There is also the risk, especially under extreme market conditions, that a derivative, which usually would operate as a hedge, provides no hedging benefits at all.

Convertible Securities   Convertible securities are subject to the risks of stocks when the underlying stock price is high relative to the conversion price (because more of the security’s value resides in the conversion feature) and debt securities when the underlying stock price is low relative to the conversion price (because the conversion feature is less valuable). A convertible security is not as sensitive to interest rate changes as a similar non-convertible debt security, and generally has less potential for gain or loss than the underlying stock.

Floating Rate Corporate Investments   Floating rate corporate loans and corporate debt securities generally have credit ratings below investment grade and may be subject to resale restrictions. They are often issued in connection with highly leveraged transactions, and may be subject to greater credit risks than other investments including the possibility of default or bankruptcy. In addition, a secondary market in corporate loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods, which may impair the ability to accurately value existing and prospective investments and to realize in a timely fashion the full value on sale of a corporate loan. A significant portion of floating rate investments may be “covenant lite”; loans that may contain fewer or less restrictive constraints on the borrower or other borrower-friendly characteristics.

Market   The market values of securities or other investments owned by the Fund will go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. The market value of a security or other investment may be reduced by market activity or other results of supply and demand unrelated to the issuer. This is a basic risk associated with all investments. When there are more sellers than buyers, prices tend to fall. Likewise, when there are more buyers than sellers, prices tend to rise.

- 6 -

 


 

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

Market Trading   The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. Any of these factors, among others, may lead to the Fund’s shares trading at a premium or discount to NAV. Thus, you may pay more (or less) than NAV when you buy shares of the Fund in the secondary market, and you may receive less (or more) than NAV when you sell those shares in the secondary market. The investment manager cannot predict whether shares will trade above (premium), below (discount) or at NAV.

Authorized Participant Concentration   Only an authorized participant (Authorized Participant) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that act as Authorized Participants. To the extent that these institutions exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other Authorized Participant is able to step forward to create or redeem Creation Units (as defined below), Fund shares may trade at a discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting. This risk may be more pronounced in volatile markets, potentially where there are significant redemptions in ETFs generally.

Cash Transactions  Unlike certain ETFs, the Fund expects to generally effect its creations and redemptions entirely for cash, rather than for in-kind securities. Therefore, it may be required to sell portfolio securities and subsequently recognize gains on such sales that the Fund might not have recognized if it were to distribute portfolio securities in-kind. As such, investments in Fund shares may be less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that distributes portfolio securities entirely in-kind.

Performance

Because the Fund is new, it has no performance history. Once the Fund has commenced operations, you can obtain updated performance information at libertyshares.com or by calling (800) DIAL BEN/342-5236. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.

Investment Manager

Franklin Advisers, Inc. (Advisers)

Portfolio Managers

Glenn I. Voyles, CFA   Senior Vice President of Advisers and portfolio manager of the Fund since inception (2018).

Patricia O’Connor, CFA   Vice President of Advisers and portfolio manager of the Fund since inception (2018).

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund is an ETF. Fund shares may only be purchased and sold on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer. The price of Fund shares is based on market price, and because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The Fund issues or redeems shares that have been aggregated into blocks of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof (Creation Units) to Authorized Participants who have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor, Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. The Fund will generally issue or redeem Creation Units in return for a basket of cash and/or securities that the Fund specifies each day.

- 7 -

 


 

Taxes

The Fund’s distributions are generally taxable to you as ordinary income, capital gains, or some combination of both, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account, in which case your distributions would generally be taxed when withdrawn from the tax-deferred account.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and
Other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), Advisers or other related companies 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.

- 8 -

 


 

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF

Investment Goal

Total investment return, consistent with prudent investing, consisting of a combination of interest income and capital appreciation.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you own shares of the Fund. You may also incur usual and customary brokerage commissions when buying or selling shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the Example that follows.

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

   

 

Management fees 

[     ]% 

Distribution and service (12b-1) fees 

None 

Other expenses1 

[     ]% 

Total annual Fund operating expenses

[     ]% 

Fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement2 

-[     ]% 

Total annual Fund operating expenses after fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement2 

[     ]% 

1. “Other expenses” are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.

2. The investment manager has contractually agreed to waive or assume certain expenses so that total annual Fund operating expenses (including acquired fund fees and expenses, but excluding certain non-routine expenses) for the Fund do not exceed [     ]% until [July 31], 2019. Contractual fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement agreements may not be changed or terminated during the time periods set forth above.

Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of the period. 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 reflects adjustments made to the Fund’s operating expenses due to the fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements by management as described above for the 1 Year numbers only. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

   

1 Year 

3 Years 

   

$ [     ] 

$ [     ] 

Portfolio Turnover

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


 

Principal Investment Strategies

Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in “bonds” and investments that provide exposure to bonds.  Bonds include debt obligations of any maturity, such as bonds, notes, bills and debentures.

The Fund invests predominantly in fixed and floating-rate bonds issued by governments, government agencies and governmental-related or corporate issuers located outside the U.S.  Bonds may be denominated and issued in the local currency or in another currency. The Fund may also invest in securities or structured products that are linked to or derive their value from another security, asset or currency of any nation. In addition, the Fund’s assets are invested in issuers located in at least three countries (excluding the U.S.). The Fund may invest without limit in developing markets.

The Fund may invest in debt securities of any maturity, and the average maturity of debt securities in the Fund’s portfolio will fluctuate depending on the investment manager’s outlook on changing market, economic, and political conditions.

The Fund is a “non-diversified” fund, which means it generally invests a greater portion of its assets in the securities of one or more issuers and invests overall in a smaller number of issuers than a diversified fund.

Although the Fund may buy bonds rated in any category, including securities in default, it focuses on “investment grade” bonds. These are issues rated in the top four rating categories by at least one independent rating agency, such as Standard & Poor’s (S&P®) or Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) or, if unrated, determined by the Fund’s investment manager to be of comparable quality. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in bonds that are rated below investment grade or, if unrated, determined by the investment manager to be of comparable quality. Generally, lower rated securities pay higher yields than more highly rated securities to compensate investors for the higher risk.

For purposes of pursuing its investment goal, the Fund regularly enters into various currency related transactions involving derivative instruments, principally currency and cross currency forwards, but it may also use currency and currency index futures contracts. The Fund maintains extensive positions in currency related derivative instruments as a hedging technique or to implement a currency investment strategy, which could expose a large amount of the Fund’s assets to obligations under these instruments. The results of such transactions may represent, from time to time, a large component of the Fund’s investment returns. The use of these derivative transactions may allow the fund to obtain net long or net negative (short) exposure to selected currencies. The Fund may also enter into various other transactions involving derivatives, including interest rate/bond futures contracts, options on interest rate futures contracts, swap agreements (which may include interest rate, fixed income total return and credit defaults swaps) and options on interest rate, fixed income total return and credit defaults swaps. These derivative instruments may be used for hedging purposes, to enhance returns, or to obtain net long or net negative (short) exposure to selected, interest rates, countries, durations or credit risks.  Derivatives that provide exposure to bonds may be used to satisfy the Fund’s 80% policy.

When choosing investments for the Fund, the investment manager allocates the Fund’s assets based upon its assessment of changing market, political and economic conditions. It considers various factors, including evaluation of interest rates, currency exchange rate changes and credit risks. The investment manager may consider selling a security when it believes the security has become fully valued due to either its price appreciation or changes in the issuer’s fundamentals, or when the investment manager believes another security is a more attractive investment opportunity.

The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (ETF) that does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index.

Principal Risks

You could lose money by investing in the Fund. ETF shares are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank, and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, or any other agency of the U.S. government. The Fund is subject to the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value (NAV), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment goal. Unlike many ETFs, the Fund is not an index-based ETF.

- 10 -

 


 

Foreign Securities   Investing in foreign securities typically involves more risks than investing in U.S. securities, and includes risks associated with: (i) internal and external political and economic developments – e.g., the political, economic and social policies and structures of some foreign countries may be less stable and more volatile than those in the U.S. or some foreign countries may be subject to trading restrictions or economic sanctions; (ii) trading practices – e.g., government supervision and regulation of foreign securities and currency markets, trading systems and brokers may be less than in the U.S.; (iii) availability of information – e.g., foreign issuers may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. issuers; (iv) limited markets – e.g., the securities of certain foreign issuers may be less liquid (harder to sell) and more volatile; and (v) currency exchange rate fluctuations and policies (e.g., fluctuations may negatively affect investments denominated in foreign currencies and any income received or expenses paid by the Fund in that foreign currency). The risks of foreign investments may be greater in developing or emerging market countries.

Currency Management Strategies   Currency management strategies may substantially change the Fund’s exposure to currency exchange rates and could result in losses to the Fund if currencies do not perform as the investment manager expects. In addition, currency management strategies, to the extent that they reduce the Fund’s exposure to currency risks, may also reduce the Fund’s ability to benefit from favorable changes in currency exchange rates. Using currency management strategies for purposes other than hedging further increases the Fund’s exposure to foreign investment losses. Currency markets generally are not as regulated as securities markets. In addition, currency rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time, and can reduce returns.

Sovereign Debt Securities   Sovereign debt securities are subject to various risks in addition to those relating to debt securities and foreign securities generally, including, but not limited to, the risk that a governmental entity may be unwilling or unable to pay interest and repay principal on its sovereign debt, or otherwise meet its obligations when due because of cash flow problems, insufficient foreign reserves, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the government’s policy towards principal international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund, or the political considerations to which the government may be subject. If a sovereign debtor defaults (or threatens to default) on its sovereign debt obligations, the indebtedness may be restructured. Some sovereign debtors have in the past been able to restructure their debt payments without the approval of some or all debt holders or to declare moratoria on payments. In the event of a default on sovereign debt, the Fund may also have limited legal recourse against the defaulting government entity.

Regional.   Adverse conditions in a certain region or country can adversely affect securities of issuers in other countries whose economies appear to be unrelated. To the extent that the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a specific geographic region or a particular country, the Fund will generally have more exposure to the economic risks affecting that specific geographic region or country. In the event of economic or political turmoil or a deterioration of diplomatic relations in a region or country where a substantial portion of the Fund’s assets are invested, the Fund may experience substantial illiquidity or reduction in the value of the Fund’s investments.

Developing Market Countries   The Fund’s investments in securities of issuers in developing market countries are subject to all of the risks of foreign investing generally, and have additional heightened risks due to a lack of established legal, political, business and social frameworks to support securities markets, including: delays in settling portfolio securities transactions; currency and capital controls; greater sensitivity to interest rate changes; pervasiveness of corruption and crime; currency exchange rate volatility; and inflation, deflation or currency devaluation.

Market   The market values of securities or other investments owned by the Fund will go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. The market value of a security or other investment may be reduced by market activity or other results of supply and demand unrelated to the issuer. This is a basic risk associated with all investments. When there are more sellers than buyers, prices tend to fall. Likewise, when there are more buyers than sellers, prices tend to rise.

Liquidity   From time to time, the trading market for a particular security or type of security or other investments in which the Fund invests may become less liquid or even illiquid. Reduced liquidity will have an adverse impact on the Fund’s ability to sell such securities or other investments when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event and will also generally lower the value of a security or other investments. Market prices for such securities or other investments may be volatile.

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Interest Rate   When interest rates rise, debt security prices generally fall. The opposite is also generally true: debt security prices rise when interest rates fall. Interest rate changes are influenced by a number of factors, including government policy, monetary policy, inflation expectations, perceptions of risk, and supply and demand of bonds. In general, securities with longer maturities or durations are more sensitive to these interest rate changes.

Credit   An issuer of debt securities may fail to make interest payments or repay principal when due, in whole or in part. Changes in an issuer’s financial strength or in a security’s credit rating may affect a security’s value.

Derivative Instruments   The performance of derivative instruments depends largely on the performance of an underlying currency, security, interest rate or index, and such derivatives often have risks similar to the underlying instrument, in addition to other risks. Derivatives involve costs and can create economic leverage in the Fund’s portfolio which may result in significant volatility and cause the Fund to participate in losses (as well as gains) in an amount that significantly exceeds the Fund’s initial investment. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. Other risks include illiquidity, mispricing or improper valuation of the derivative, and imperfect correlation between the value of the derivative and the underlying instrument so that the Fund may not realize the intended benefits. Their successful use will usually depend on the investment manager’s ability to accurately forecast movements in the market relating to the underlying instrument. Should a market or markets, or prices of particular classes of investments move in an unexpected manner, especially in unusual or extreme market conditions, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, and it may realize losses, which could be significant. If the investment manager is not successful in using such derivative instruments, the Fund’s performance may be worse than if the investment manager did not use such derivatives at all. When a derivative is used for hedging, the change in value of the derivative may also not correlate specifically with the currency, security, interest rate, index or other risk being hedged. Derivatives also may present the risk that the other party to the transaction will fail to perform. There is also the risk, especially under extreme market conditions, that a derivative, which usually would operate as a hedge, provides no hedging benefits at all.

High-Yield Debt Securities   Issuers of lower-rated or “high-yield” debt securities (also known as “junk bonds”) are not as strong financially as those issuing higher credit quality debt securities. High-yield debt securities are generally considered predominantly speculative by the applicable rating agencies as their issuers are more likely to encounter financial difficulties and are more vulnerable to changes in the relevant economy, such as a recession or a sustained period of rising interest rates, that could affect their ability to make interest and principal payments when due. The prices of high-yield debt securities generally fluctuate more than those of higher credit quality. High-yield debt securities are generally more illiquid (harder to sell) and harder to value.

Income   Because the Fund can only distribute what it earns, the Fund’s distributions to shareholders may decline when prevailing interest rates fall or when the Fund experiences defaults on debt securities it holds.

Prepayment   Prepayment risk occurs when a debt security can be repaid in whole or in part prior to the security’s maturity and the Fund must reinvest the proceeds it receives, during periods of declining interest rates, in securities that pay a lower rate of interest. Also, if a security has been purchased at a premium, the value of the premium would be lost in the event of prepayment. Prepayments generally increase when interest rates fall.

Extension   Some debt securities are subject to the risk that the debt security’s effective maturity is extended because calls or prepayments are less or slower than anticipated, particularly when interest rates rise. The market value of such security may then decline and become more interest rate sensitive.

Focus   To the extent that the Fund focuses on particular countries, regions, industries, sectors or types of investment from time to time, the Fund may be subject to greater risks of adverse developments in such areas of focus than a fund that invests in a wider variety of countries, regions, industries, sectors or investments.

Non-Diversification   Because the Fund is non-diversified, it may be more sensitive to economic, business, political or other changes affecting individual issuers or investments than a diversified fund, which may result in greater fluctuation in the value of the Fund’s shares and greater risk of loss.

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

Market Trading   The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. Any of these factors, among others, may lead to the Fund’s shares trading at a premium or discount to NAV. Thus, you may pay more (or less) than NAV when you buy shares of the Fund in the secondary market, and you may receive less (or more) than NAV when you sell those shares in the secondary market. The investment manager cannot predict whether shares will trade above (premium), below (discount) or at NAV.

Authorized Participant Concentration   Only an authorized participant (Authorized Participant) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that act as Authorized Participants. To the extent that these institutions exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other Authorized Participant is able to step forward to create or redeem Creation Units (as defined below), Fund shares may trade at a discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting. This risk may be more pronounced in volatile markets, potentially where there are significant redemptions in ETFs generally.

Cash Transactions  Unlike certain ETFs, the Fund expects to generally effect its creations and redemptions entirely for cash, rather than for in-kind securities. Therefore, it may be required to sell portfolio securities and subsequently recognize gains on such sales that the Fund might not have recognized if it were to distribute portfolio securities in-kind. As such, investments in Fund shares may be less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that distributes portfolio securities entirely in-kind.

Performance

Because the Fund is new, it has no performance history. Once the Fund has commenced operations, you can obtain updated performance information at libertyshares.com or by calling (800) DIAL BEN/342-5236. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.

Investment Manager

Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited (FTIML)

Portfolio Manager

John Beck   Senior Vice President of FTIML and portfolio manager of the Fund since inception (2018).

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund is an ETF. Fund shares may only be purchased and sold on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer. The price of Fund shares is based on market price, and because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The Fund issues or redeems shares that have been aggregated into blocks of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof (Creation Units) to Authorized Participants who have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor, Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. The Fund will generally issue or redeem Creation Units in return for a basket of cash and/or securities that the Fund specifies each day.

Taxes

The Fund’s distributions are generally taxable to you as ordinary income, capital gains, or some combination of both, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account, in which case your distributions would generally be taxed when withdrawn from the tax-deferred account.

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Payments to Broker-Dealers and
Other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), Advisers or other related companies 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.

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Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF

Investment Goal

High level of current income. A secondary goal is preservation of capital.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you own shares of the Fund. You may also incur usual and customary brokerage commissions when buying or selling shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the Example that follows.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

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

   

 

Management fees 

[     ]% 

Distribution and service (12b-1) fees 

None 

Other expenses1 

[     ]% 

Total annual Fund operating expenses

[     ]% 

Fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement2 

-[     ]% 

Total annual Fund operating expenses after fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement2 

[     ]% 

1. “Other expenses” are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.

2. The investment manager has contractually agreed to waive or assume certain expenses so that total annual Fund operating expenses (including acquired fund fees and expenses, but excluding certain non-routine expenses) for the Fund do not exceed [     ]% until [July 31], 2019. Contractual fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement agreements may not be changed or terminated during the time periods set forth above.

Example

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of the period. 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 reflects adjustments made to the Fund’s operating expenses due to the fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements by management as described above for the 1 Year numbers only. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

   

1 Year 

3 Years 

   

$ [     ] 

$ [     ] 

Portfolio Turnover

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

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Principal Investment Strategies

Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in senior loans and investments that provide exposure to senior loans.  Senior loans include loans referred to as leveraged loans, bank loans and/or floating rate loans.  The Fund invests predominantly in income-producing senior floating interest rate corporate loans made to or issued by U.S. companies, non-U.S. entities and U.S. subsidiaries of non-U.S. entities. Floating interest rates vary with and are periodically adjusted to a generally recognized base interest rate such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) or the Prime Rate. The Fund may invest in companies whose financial condition is troubled or uncertain and that may be involved in bankruptcy proceedings, reorganizations or financial restructurings.

Senior loans generally have credit ratings below investment grade and may be subject to restrictions on resale. Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 75% of its net assets in senior loans that are rated B- or higher at the time of purchase by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO) or, if unrated, are determined to be of comparable quality by the Fund’s investment manager. Under normal market conditions, the Fund may invest up to 25% of its net assets in senior loans that are rated below B- by an NRSRO or, if unrated, are determined to be of comparable quality by the investment manager.

The Fund’s senior loans typically hold the most senior position in the capitalization structure of a company and are generally secured by specific collateral. Such senior position means that, in case the company becomes insolvent, the lenders or security holders in a senior position like the Fund’s position will typically be paid before other unsecured or subordinated creditors of the company from the assets of the company.

The Fund typically invests in a corporate loan if the investment manager judges that the borrower can meet the scheduled payments on the obligation. The investment manager performs its own independent credit analysis of each borrower/issuer and of the collateral structure securing the Fund’s investment. The investment manager also considers the nature of the industry in which the borrower operates, the nature of the borrower’s assets, and the general quality and creditworthiness of the borrower.

The Fund may invest in “covenant lite” loans. Certain financial institutions may define “covenant lite” loans differently. Covenant lite loans may have tranches that contain fewer or no restrictive covenants. The tranche of the covenant lite loan that has fewer restrictions typically does not include the legal clauses which allow an investor to proactively enforce financial tests or prevent or restrict undesired actions taken by the company or sponsor. The Fund may treat all of the tranches of a loan with a covenant lite tranche as covenant lite, regardless of what tranche the Fund owns. Covenant lite loans also generally give the borrower/issuer more flexibility if they have met certain loan terms and provide fewer investor protections if certain criteria are breached. The Fund may experience relatively greater realized or unrealized losses or delays in enforcing its rights on its holdings of certain covenant lite loans than its holdings of loans with the usual covenants.

The Fund currently limits its investments in debt obligations of non-U.S. entities to no more than 25% of its total assets. The Fund currently invests predominantly in debt obligations that are U.S. dollar-denominated or otherwise provide for payment in U.S. dollars.

The Fund currently does not intend to invest more than 25% of its net assets in the obligations of borrowers in any single industry, except that, under normal market conditions, the Fund invests more than 25% of its net assets in debt obligations of companies operating in the industry group consisting of financial institutions and their holding companies, including commercial banks, thrift institutions, insurance companies and finance companies. These firms, or “agent banks,” may serve as administrators of corporate loans issued by other companies. For purposes of this restriction, the Fund currently considers such companies to include the borrower, the agent bank and any intermediate participant. The Fund may invest up to 100% of its net assets in loans where firms in such industry group are borrowers, agent banks or intermediate participants.

The Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), principally collateralized loan obligations (CLOs).

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To pursue its investment goals, the Fund may enter into certain derivative transactions, principally high yield credit default index swaps. The Fund may use credit default index swaps to obtain net long or net short exposures to selected credit risks or durations, for the purposes of enhancing Fund returns, increasing liquidity and/or gaining exposure to particular instruments in more efficient or less expensive ways, and to hedge risks related to changes in credit risks and other market factors.  Derivatives that provide exposure to senior loans may be used to satisfy the Fund’s 80% policy.

In addition to the Fund’s main investments, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in certain other types of debt obligations or securities, including other secured, second lien, subordinated or unsecured corporate loans and corporate debt securities, and fixed rate obligations of U.S. companies, non-U.S. entities and U.S. subsidiaries of non-U.S. entities.

The investment manager may consider selling a security when it believes the security has become fully valued due to either its price appreciation or changes in the issuer’s fundamentals, or when the investment manager believes another security is a more attractive investment opportunity.

The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (ETF) that does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index.

Principal Risks

You could lose money by investing in the Fund. ETF shares are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank, and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, or any other agency of the U.S. government. The Fund is subject to the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value (NAV), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment goals. Unlike many ETFs, the Fund is not an index-based ETF.

Credit   An issuer of debt securities may fail to make interest payments or repay principal when due, in whole or in part. Changes in an issuer’s financial strength or in a security’s credit rating may affect a security’s value.

Floating Rate Corporate Investments   Floating rate corporate loans and corporate debt securities generally have credit ratings below investment grade and may be subject to resale restrictions. They are often issued in connection with highly leveraged transactions, and may be subject to greater credit risks than other investments including the possibility of default or bankruptcy. In addition, a secondary market in corporate loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods, which may impair the ability to accurately value existing and prospective investments and to realize in a timely fashion the full value on sale of a corporate loan. A significant portion of floating rate investments may be “covenant lite” loans that may contain fewer or less restrictive constraints on the borrower or other borrower-friendly characteristics.

Liquidity   From time to time, the trading market for a particular security or type of security or other investments in which the Fund invests may become less liquid or even illiquid. Reduced liquidity will have an adverse impact on the Fund’s ability to sell such securities or other investments when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event and will also generally lower the value of a security or other investments. Market prices for such securities or other investments may be volatile.

Impairment of Collateral   The value of collateral securing a loan or other corporate debt security may decline after the Fund invests and there is a risk that the value of the collateral may not be sufficient to cover the amount owed to the Fund, or the collateral securing a loan may be found invalid, may be used to pay other outstanding obligations of the borrower under applicable law or may be difficult to sell.

Market   The market values of securities or other investments owned by the Fund will go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. The market value of a security or other investment may be reduced by market activity or other results of supply and demand unrelated to the issuer. This is a basic risk associated with all investments. When there are more sellers than buyers, prices tend to fall. Likewise, when there are more buyers than sellers, prices tend to rise.

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High-Yield Debt Securities   Issuers of lower-rated or “high-yield” debt securities (also known as “junk bonds”) are not as strong financially as those issuing higher credit quality debt securities. High-yield debt securities are generally considered predominantly speculative by the applicable rating agencies as their issuers are more likely to encounter financial difficulties and are more vulnerable to changes in the relevant economy, such as a recession or a sustained period of rising interest rates, that could affect their ability to make interest and principal payments when due. The prices of high-yield debt securities generally fluctuate more than those of higher credit quality. High-yield debt securities are generally more illiquid (harder to sell) and harder to value.

Prepayment   Prepayment risk occurs when a debt security can be repaid in whole or in part prior to the security’s maturity and the Fund must reinvest the proceeds it receives, during periods of declining interest rates, in securities that pay a lower rate of interest. Also, if a security has been purchased at a premium, the value of the premium would be lost in the event of prepayment. Prepayments generally increase when interest rates fall.

Interest Rate   When interest rates rise, debt security prices generally fall. The opposite is also generally true: debt security prices rise when interest rates fall. Interest rate changes are influenced by a number of factors, including government policy, monetary policy, inflation expectations, perceptions of risk, and supply and demand of bonds. In general, securities with longer maturities or durations are more sensitive to these interest rate changes.

Variable Rate Securities   Because changes in interest rates on variable rate securities (including floating rate securities) may lag behind changes in market rates, the value of such securities may decline during periods of rising interest rates until their interest rates reset to market rates. During periods of declining interest rates, because the interest rates on variable rate securities generally reset downward, their market value is unlikely to rise to the same extent as the value of comparable fixed rate securities.

Derivative Instruments   The performance of derivative instruments depends largely on the performance of an underlying currency, security, interest rate or index, and such derivatives often have risks similar to the underlying instrument, in addition to other risks. Derivatives involve costs and can create economic leverage in the Fund’s portfolio which may result in significant volatility and cause the Fund to participate in losses (as well as gains) in an amount that significantly exceeds the Fund’s initial investment. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. Other risks include illiquidity, mispricing or improper valuation of the derivative, and imperfect correlation between the value of the derivative and the underlying instrument so that the Fund may not realize the intended benefits. Their successful use will usually depend on the investment manager’s ability to accurately forecast movements in the market relating to the underlying instrument. Should a market or markets, or prices of particular classes of investments move in an unexpected manner, especially in unusual or extreme market conditions, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, and it may realize losses, which could be significant. If the investment manager is not successful in using such derivative instruments, the Fund’s performance may be worse than if the investment manager did not use such derivatives at all. When a derivative is used for hedging, the change in value of the derivative may also not correlate specifically with the currency, security, interest rate, index or other risk being hedged. Derivatives also may present the risk that the other party to the transaction will fail to perform. There is also the risk, especially under extreme market conditions, that a derivative, which usually would operate as a hedge, provides no hedging benefits at all.

Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs)   The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of collateral held by the special purpose entity and the tranche of the CDO in which the Fund invests and may be affected by the performance of a CDO’s collateral manager. CDOs may be deemed to be illiquid securities and are subject to the risks of: less investor protection than registered securities; considerable price declines; the potential inadequacy of collateral securities; and subordination to other classes of the CDO.

Income   Because the Fund can only distribute what it earns, the Fund’s distributions to shareholders may decline when prevailing interest rates fall or when the Fund experiences defaults on debt securities it holds.

Concentration   Because of the Fund’s focus on a given industry or group of industries, the losses the Fund may experience are greater upon any single economic, business, political, regulatory, or other occurrence affecting such industry or group of industries. As a result, there may be more fluctuation in the price of the Fund’s shares.

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

Foreign Securities   Investing in foreign securities typically involves more risks than investing in U.S. securities, and includes risks associated with: (i) internal and external political and economic developments – e.g., the political, economic and social policies and structures of some foreign countries may be less stable and more volatile than those in the U.S. or some foreign countries may be subject to trading restrictions or economic sanctions; (ii) trading practices – e.g., government supervision and regulation of foreign securities and currency markets, trading systems and brokers may be less than in the U.S.; (iii) availability of information – e.g., foreign issuers may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. issuers; (iv) limited markets – e.g., the securities of certain foreign issuers may be less liquid (harder to sell) and more volatile; and (v) currency exchange rate fluctuations and policies (e.g., fluctuations may negatively affect investments denominated in foreign currencies and any income received or expenses paid by the Fund in that foreign currency).

Market Trading   The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for Fund shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruption in the creation/redemption process of the Fund. Any of these factors, among others, may lead to the Fund’s shares trading at a premium or discount to NAV. Thus, you may pay more (or less) than NAV when you buy shares of the Fund in the secondary market, and you may receive less (or more) than NAV when you sell those shares in the secondary market. The investment manager cannot predict whether shares will trade above (premium), below (discount) or at NAV.

Authorized Participant Concentration   Only an authorized participant (Authorized Participant) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that act as Authorized Participants. To the extent that these institutions exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other Authorized Participant is able to step forward to create or redeem Creation Units (as defined below), Fund shares may trade at a discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting. This risk may be more pronounced in volatile markets, potentially where there are significant redemptions in ETFs generally.

Cash Transactions  Unlike certain ETFs, the Fund expects to generally effect its creations and redemptions entirely for cash, rather than for in-kind securities. Therefore, it may be required to sell portfolio securities and subsequently recognize gains on such sales that the Fund might not have recognized if it were to distribute portfolio securities in-kind. As such, investments in Fund shares may be less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that distributes portfolio securities entirely in-kind.

Performance

Because the Fund is new, it has no performance history. Once the Fund has commenced operations, you can obtain updated performance information at libertyshares.com or by calling (800) DIAL BEN/342-5236. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.

Investment Manager

Franklin Advisers, Inc. (Advisers)

Portfolio Managers

Mark Boyadjian, CFA   Senior Vice President of Advisers and portfolio manager of the Fund since inception (2018).

Madeline Lam   Vice President of Advisers and portfolio manager of the Fund since inception (2018).

Justin Ma, CFA   Portfolio Manager of Advisers and portfolio manager of the Fund since inception (2018).

 

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Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund is an ETF. Fund shares may only be purchased and sold on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer. The price of Fund shares is based on market price, and because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The Fund issues or redeems shares that have been aggregated into blocks of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof (Creation Units) to Authorized Participants who have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor, Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. The Fund will generally issue or redeem Creation Units in return for a basket of cash and/or securities that the Fund specifies each day.

Taxes

The Fund’s distributions are generally taxable to you as ordinary income, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account, in which case your distributions would generally be taxed when withdrawn from the tax-deferred account.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and
Other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), Advisers or other related companies 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.

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Fund Details

 

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF

 

Investment Goals

The Fund’s principal investment goal is to earn a high level of current income. Its secondary goal is to seek capital appreciation to the extent it is possible and consistent with the Fund’s principal goal. The Fund’s investment goals are non-fundamental, which means they may be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval. Shareholders will be given at least 60 days’ advance notice of any change to the Fund’s investment goals.

Principal Investment Policies and Practices

Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in high yield corporate debt securities and investments that provide exposure to high yield corporate debt securities. High yield debt securities are those that are rated below investment grade, also known as “junk bonds.” High yield debt securities are rated at the time of purchase below the top four ratings categories by at least one independent rating agency such as Standard & Poor’s (S&P®) (rated BB+ and lower) and Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) (rated Ba1 and lower) or, if unrated, are determined to be of comparable quality by the Fund’s investment manager. Corporate issuers may include corporate or other business entities in which a sovereign or governmental agency or entity may have, indirectly or directly, an interest, including a majority or greater ownership interest.  Shareholders will be given at least 60 days’ advance notice of any change to the Fund’s 80% policy.

Lower-rated securities generally pay higher yields than more highly rated securities to compensate investors for the higher risk. These securities include bonds; notes; debentures; convertible securities; bank loans and corporate loans; and senior and subordinated debt securities.

The Fund may invest up to 100% of its total assets in high yield debt securities. The Fund may buy both rated and unrated debt securities, including securities rated below B by Moody’s or S&P® (or deemed comparable by the Fund’s investment manager). If subsequent to its purchase, a security is downgraded in rating or goes into default, the Fund will consider such events in its evaluation of the overall investment merits of that security but will not necessarily dispose of the security immediately. The Fund may also invest in defaulted debt securities.  The Fund may invest in debt securities of any maturity or duration.

The Fund may invest in debt securities of U.S. and foreign issuers, including those in developing markets.  These securities may be U.S. dollar or non-U.S. dollar denominated.

A debt security represents an obligation of an issuer to repay a loan of money to it and generally provides for the payment of interest. Convertible securities generally are debt securities or preferred stock that may be converted into common stock after certain time periods or under certain circumstances. The Fund may invest in convertible securities without regard to the ratings assigned by the rating agencies. Loan participations represent fractional interests in a company’s indebtedness and are generally made available by banks or other institutional investors. Subordinated debt is more risky than senior debt because its holder will be paid only after the holders of senior debt securities are paid. The Fund may invest in zero coupon and pay-in-kind bonds. Zero coupon bonds typically pay interest only at maturity rather than periodically during the life of the security and are issued at a significant discount from their principal amount, and pay-in-kind bonds provide for interest payments to be made in a form other than cash.

 

 

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The Fund may enter into certain derivative transactions, principally currency and cross currency forwards; currency and interest rate futures contracts; and swap agreements, including interest rate, fixed income total return, currency and credit default swaps (including credit default index swaps).  The use of these derivative transactions may allow the Fund to obtain net long or short exposures to select currencies, interest rates, countries, durations or credit risks. These derivatives may be used to enhance Fund returns, increase liquidity, gain exposure to certain instruments or markets in a more efficient or less expensive way and/or hedge risks associated with its other portfolio investments.  When used for hedging purposes, a forward contract or currency future could be used to protect against possible decline in a currency’s value when a security held or to be purchased by the Fund is denominated in that currency.  Derivatives that provide exposure to high yield corporate debt securities may be used to satisfy the Fund’s 80% policy.

A currency forward contract is an obligation to purchase or sell a specific foreign currency in exchange for another currency, which may be U.S. dollars, at an agreed exchange rate (price) at a future date. Currency forwards are typically individually negotiated and privately traded by currency traders and their customers in the interbank market. A cross currency forward is a forward contract to sell a specific foreign currency in exchange for another foreign currency and may be used when the Fund believes that the price of one of those foreign currencies will experience a substantial movement against the other foreign currency. A cross currency forward will tend to reduce or eliminate exposure to the currency that is sold, and increase exposure to the currency that is purchased, similar to when the Fund sells a security denominated in one currency and purchases a security denominated in another currency. When used for hedging purposes, a cross currency forward should help to protect the Fund against losses resulting from a decline in the hedged currency, but will cause the Fund to assume the risk of fluctuations in the value of the currency it purchases.

A futures contract is a standard binding agreement that trades on an exchange to buy or sell a specified quantity of an underlying instrument or asset at a specified price at a specified later date. A “sale” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to deliver the underlying instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. A “purchase” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to acquire a specified quantity of the underlying instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. The purchase or sale of a futures contract will allow the Fund to increase or decrease its exposure to the underlying instrument or asset. Although most futures contracts used by the Fund allow for a cash payment of the net gain or loss on the contract at maturity in lieu of delivery of the underlying instruments, some require the actual delivery or acquisition of the underlying instrument or asset. The Fund may buy and sell futures contracts that trade on U.S. and foreign exchanges.

Swap agreements, such as interest rate, fixed income total return, currency and credit default swaps, are contracts between the Fund and another party (the swap counterparty) involving the exchange of payments on specified terms over periods ranging from a few days to multiple years. A swap agreement may be negotiated bilaterally and traded over-the-counter (OTC) between the two parties (for an uncleared swap) or, in some instances, must be transacted through a futures commission merchant (FCM) and cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty (for a cleared swap). In a basic swap transaction, the Fund agrees with the swap counterparty to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) and/or cash flows earned or realized on a particular “notional amount” of underlying instruments. The notional amount is the set amount selected by the parties as the basis on which to calculate the obligations that they have agreed to exchange. The parties typically do not actually exchange the notional amount. Instead, they agree to exchange the returns that would be earned or realized if the notional amount were invested in given instruments or at given interest rates.

An interest rate swap is an agreement between two parties to exchange interest rate payment obligations. Typically, one rate is based on an interest rate fixed to maturity while the other is based on an interest rate that changes in accordance with changes in a designated benchmark (for example, LIBOR, prime, commercial paper, or other benchmarks).

A total return swap is an agreement between two parties, pursuant to which one pays (and the other receives) an amount equal to the total return (including, typically, income and capital gains distributions, principal prepayment or credit losses) of an underlying reference asset (e.g., a note, bond or securities index) in exchange for a regular payment, at a floating rate based on LIBOR, or alternatively at a fixed rate or the total rate of return on another financial instrument. The Fund may take either position in a total return swap (i.e., the Fund may receive or pay the total return on the underlying reference asset).

A currency swap is generally a contract between two parties to exchange one currency for another currency at the start of the contract and then exchange periodic floating or fixed rates during the term of the contract based upon the relative value differential between the two currencies. Unlike other types of swaps, currency swaps typically involve the delivery of the entire principal (notional) amounts of the two currencies at the time the swap is entered into. At the end of the swap contract, the parties receive back the principal amounts of the two currencies.

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For credit default swaps, the “buyer” of the credit default swap agreement is obligated to pay the “seller” a periodic stream of payments over the term of the agreement in return for a payment by the seller that is contingent upon the occurrence of a credit event with respect to an underlying reference debt obligation (whether as a single debt instrument or as part of an index of debt instruments). The buyer of the credit default swap is purchasing the obligation of its counterparty to offset losses the buyer could experience if there was such a credit event. Generally, a credit event means bankruptcy, failure to timely pay interest or principal, obligation acceleration or default, or repudiation or restructuring of the reference debt obligation. The contingent payment by the seller generally is either the face amount of the reference debt obligation in exchange for the physical delivery of the reference debt obligation or a cash payment equal to the decrease in market value of the reference debt obligation following the occurrence of the credit event.

The investment manager considers various factors, such as availability and cost, in deciding whether to use a particular derivative instrument or strategy. Moreover, investors should bear in mind that the Fund is not obligated to actively engage in any derivative transactions.

The Fund’s investment manager is a research driven, fundamental investor that relies on a team of analysts to provide in-depth industry expertise and uses both qualitative and quantitative analysis to evaluate issuers. As a “bottom-up” investor, the investment manager focuses primarily on individual securities. The investment manager also considers sectors when choosing investments and, from time to time, may have significant investments in certain sectors.

In selecting securities for the Fund’s investment portfolio, the investment manager does not rely principally on the ratings assigned by rating agencies, but performs its own independent investment analysis to evaluate the creditworthiness of the issuer. The investment manager considers a variety of factors, including the issuer’s experience and managerial strength, its sensitivity to economic conditions, and its current and prospective financial condition.

The investment manager may seek to sell a security if: (i) the security has moved beyond the investment manager’s fair value target and there has been no meaningful positive change in the company’s fundamental outlook; (ii) there has been a negative fundamental change in the issuer’s credit outlook that changes the investment manager’s view of the appropriate valuation; or (iii) the investment manager’s views on macroeconomic or sector trends or valuations have changed, making that particular issuer (or that issuer’s industry) less attractive for the Fund’s portfolio. In addition, the investment manager may sell a security that still meets the investment manager’s buy criteria if another security becomes available in the new issue or secondary market that the investment manager believes has better return potential or improves the Fund’s risk profile.

The Fund is an actively managed ETF and, thus, does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index. Accordingly, the investment manager has discretion on a daily basis to manage the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment goals.

Principal Risks

Credit

The Fund could lose money on a debt security if the issuer or borrower is unable or fails to meet its obligations, including failing to make interest payments and/or to repay principal when due. Changes in an issuer’s financial strength, the market’s perception of the issuer’s financial strength or a security’s credit rating, which reflects a third party’s assessment of the credit risk presented by a particular issuer, may affect debt securities’ values. The Fund may incur substantial losses on debt securities that are inaccurately perceived to present a different amount of credit risk by the market, the investment manager or the rating agencies than such securities actually do.

High-Yield Debt Securities

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High-yield debt securities (including loans) and unrated securities of similar credit quality (high-yield debt instruments or junk bonds) involve greater risk of a complete loss of the Fund’s investment, or delays of interest and principal payments, than higher-quality debt securities or loans. Issuers of high-yield debt instruments are not as strong financially as those issuing securities of higher credit quality. High-yield debt instruments are generally considered predominantly speculative by the applicable rating agencies as these issuers are more likely to encounter financial difficulties and are more vulnerable to changes in the relevant economy, such as a recession or a sustained period of rising interest rates, that could affect their ability to make interest and principal payments when due. If an issuer stops making interest and/or principal payments, payments on the securities may never resume. These instruments may be worthless and the Fund could lose its entire investment.

The prices of high-yield debt instruments generally fluctuate more than higher-quality securities. Prices are especially sensitive to developments affecting the issuer’s business or operations and to changes in the ratings assigned by rating agencies. In addition, the entire high-yield debt market can experience sudden and sharp price swings due to changes in economic conditions, stock market activity, large sustained sales by major investors, a high-profile default, or other factors. Prices of corporate high-yield debt instruments often are closely linked with the company’s stock prices and typically rise and fall in response to factors that affect stock prices.

High-yield debt instruments are generally less liquid than higher-quality securities. Many of these securities are not registered for sale under the federal securities laws and/or do not trade frequently. When they do trade, their prices may be significantly higher or lower than expected. At times, it may be difficult to sell these securities promptly at an acceptable price, which may limit the Fund’s ability to sell securities in response to specific economic events or to meet redemption requests. As a result, certain high-yield debt instruments may pose greater illiquidity and valuation risks.

Substantial declines in the prices of high-yield debt instruments can dramatically increase the yield of such bonds or loans. The decline in market prices generally reflects an expectation that the issuer(s) may be at greater risk of defaulting on the obligation to pay interest and principal when due. Therefore, substantial increases in yield may reflect a greater risk by the Fund of losing some or part of its investment rather than reflecting any increase in income from the higher yield that the debt security or loan may pay to the Fund on its investment.

Income

Because the Fund can only distribute what it earns, the Fund’s distributions to shareholders may decline when prevailing interest rates fall or when the Fund experiences defaults on debt securities it holds. The Fund’s income generally declines during periods of falling interest rates because the Fund must reinvest the proceeds it receives from existing investments (upon their maturity, prepayment, amortization, call, or buy-back) at a lower rate of interest or return.

Liquidity

Liquidity risk exists when the markets for particular securities or types of securities or other investments are or become relatively illiquid so that the Fund is unable, or it becomes more difficult for the Fund, to sell the security or other investment at the price at which the Fund has valued the security. Illiquidity may result from political, economic or issuer specific events; supply/demand imbalances; changes in a specific market’s size or structure, including the number of participants; or overall market disruptions. Securities or other investments with reduced liquidity or that become illiquid may involve greater risk than securities with more liquid markets. Market prices or quotations for illiquid securities may be volatile, and there may be large spreads between bid and ask prices. Reduced liquidity may have an adverse impact on market price and the Fund’s ability to sell particular securities when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event. To the extent that the Fund and its affiliates hold a significant portion of an issuer’s outstanding securities, the Fund may be subject to greater liquidity risk than if the issuer’s securities were more widely held.

Interest Rate

Interest rate changes can be sudden and unpredictable, and are influenced by a number of factors, including government policy, monetary policy, inflation expectations, perceptions of risk, and supply and demand of bonds. Changes in government monetary policy, including changes in tax policy or changes in a central bank’s implementation of specific policy goals, may have a substantial impact on interest rates. There can be no guarantee that any particular government or central bank policy will be continued, discontinued or changed, nor that any such policy will have the desired effect on interest rates. Debt securities generally tend to lose market value when interest rates rise and increase in value when interest rates fall. A rise in interest rates also has the potential to cause investors to rapidly move out of fixed income securities. A substantial increase in interest rates may also have an adverse impact on the liquidity of a security, especially those with longer maturities or durations. Securities with longer maturities or durations or lower coupons or that make little (or no) interest payments before maturity tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes.

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Foreign Securities

Investing in foreign securities typically involves more risks than investing in U.S. securities. Certain of these risks also may apply to securities of U.S. companies with significant foreign operations.

Currency exchange rates.   Foreign securities may be issued and traded in foreign currencies. As a result, their market values in U.S. dollars may be affected by changes in exchange rates between such foreign currencies and the U.S. dollar, as well as between currencies of countries other than the U.S. For example, if the value of the U.S. dollar goes up compared to a foreign currency, an investment traded in that foreign currency will go down in value because it will be worth fewer U.S. dollars. The Fund accrues additional expenses when engaging in currency exchange transactions, and valuation of the Fund’s foreign securities may be subject to greater risk because both the currency (relative to the U.S. dollar) and the security must be considered.

Currency management strategies.   Currency management strategies may substantially change the Fund’s exposure to currency exchange rates and could result in losses to the Fund if currencies do not perform as the investment manager expects. In addition, currency management strategies, to the extent that they reduce the Fund’s exposure to currency risks, may also reduce the Fund’s ability to benefit from favorable changes in currency exchange rates. There is no assurance that the investment manager’s use of currency management strategies will benefit the Fund or that they will be, or can be, used at appropriate times. Furthermore, there may not be perfect correlation between the amount of exposure to a particular currency and the amount of securities in the Fund’s portfolio denominated in that currency. Investing in foreign currencies for purposes of gaining from projected changes in exchange rates, as opposed to hedging currency risks applicable to the Fund’s holdings, further increases the Fund’s exposure to foreign investment losses.

Political and economic developments.   The political, economic and social policies or structures of some foreign countries may be less stable and more volatile than those in the United States. Investments in these countries may be subject to greater risks of internal and external conflicts, expropriation, nationalization of assets, foreign exchange controls (such as suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a given country), restrictions on removal of assets, political or social instability, military action or unrest, diplomatic developments, currency devaluations, foreign ownership limitations, and punitive or confiscatory tax increases. It is possible that a government may take over the assets or operations of a company or impose restrictions on the exchange or export of currency or other assets. Some countries also may have different legal systems that may make it difficult or expensive for the Fund to vote proxies, exercise shareholder rights, and pursue legal remedies with respect to its foreign investments. Diplomatic and political developments could affect the economies, industries, and securities and currency markets of the countries in which the Fund is invested. These developments include rapid and adverse political changes; social instability; regional conflicts; sanctions imposed by the United States, other nations or other governmental entities, including supranational entities; terrorism; and war. In addition, such developments could contribute to the devaluation of a country’s currency, a downgrade in the credit ratings of issuers in such country, or a decline in the value and liquidity of securities of issuers in that country. An imposition of sanctions upon certain issuers in a country could result in an immediate freeze of that issuer’s securities, impairing the ability of the Fund to buy, sell, receive or deliver those securities. These factors would affect the value of the Fund’s investments and are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to predict and take into account with respect to the Fund’s investments.

Trading practices.   Brokerage commissions, withholding taxes, custodial fees, and other fees generally are higher in foreign markets. The policies and procedures followed by foreign stock exchanges, currency markets, trading systems and brokers may differ from those applicable in the United States, with possibly negative consequences to the Fund. The procedures and rules governing foreign trading, settlement and custody (holding of the Fund’s assets) also may result in losses or delays in payment, delivery or recovery of money or other property. Foreign government supervision and regulation of foreign securities markets and trading systems may be less than or different from government supervision in the United States, and may increase the Fund’s regulatory and compliance burden and/or decrease the Fund’s investor rights and protections.

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Availability of information.   Foreign issuers may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. issuers. Thus, there may be less information publicly available about foreign issuers than about most U.S. issuers. In addition, information provided by foreign issuers may be less timely or less reliable than information provided by U.S. issuers.

Limited markets.   Certain foreign securities may be less liquid (harder to sell) and their prices may be more volatile than many U.S. securities. Illiquidity tends to be greater, and valuation of the Fund’s foreign securities may be more difficult, due to the infrequent trading and/or delayed reporting of quotes and sales.  If the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings are illiquid, the Fund’s shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the market for the underlying portfolio holdings, and the Fund’s market price could deviate from the Fund’s NAV.

Regional.   Adverse conditions in a certain region or country can adversely affect securities of issuers in other countries whose economies appear to be unrelated. To the extent that the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a specific geographic region or a particular country, the Fund will generally have more exposure to the economic risks affecting that specific geographic region or country. In the event of economic or political turmoil or a deterioration of diplomatic relations in a region or country where a substantial portion of the Fund’s assets are invested, the Fund may experience substantial illiquidity or reduction in the value of the Fund’s investments.

The risk of investments in Europe may be heightened due to the 2016 referendum in which the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union (EU). Political, economic and legal uncertainty may cause increased market volatility. In addition, if one or more countries were to exit the EU or abandon the use of the Euro as a currency, the value of investments associated with those countries or the Euro could decline significantly and unpredictably and it would likely cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties.

Developing market countries.   The Fund’s investments in securities of issuers in developing market countries are subject to all of the risks of foreign investing generally, and have additional heightened risks due to a lack of established legal, political, business and social frameworks to support securities markets. Some of the additional significant risks include:

  • less social, political and economic stability;
  • a higher possibility of the devaluation of a country’s currency, a downgrade in the credit ratings of issuers in such country, or a decline in the value and liquidity of securities of issuers in that country if the United States, other nations or other governmental entities (including supranational entities) impose sanctions on issuers that limit or restrict foreign investment, the movement of assets or other economic activity in the country due to political, military or regional conflicts or due to terrorism or war;
  • smaller securities markets with low or non-existent trading volume and greater illiquidity and price volatility;
  • more restrictive national policies on foreign investment, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests;
  • less transparent and established taxation policies;
  • less developed regulatory or legal structures governing private and foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for injury to private property, such as bankruptcy;
  • less familiarity with a capital market structure or market-oriented economy and more widespread corruption and fraud;
  • less financial sophistication, creditworthiness and/or resources possessed by, and less government regulation of, the financial institutions and issuers with which the Fund transacts;
  • less government supervision and regulation of business and industry practices, stock exchanges, brokers and listed companies than in the U.S.;
  • greater concentration in a few industries resulting in greater vulnerability to regional and global trade conditions;
  • higher rates of inflation and more rapid and extreme fluctuations in inflation rates;
  • greater sensitivity to interest rate changes;
  • greater sensitivity to interest rate changes (for example, a higher interest rate environment can make it more difficult for emerging market governments to service their existing debt);
  • increased volatility in currency exchange rates and potential for currency devaluations and/or currency controls;
  • greater debt burdens relative to the size of the economy;
  • more delays in settling portfolio transactions and heightened risk of loss from share registration and custody practices; and
  • less assurance that when favorable economic developments occur, they will not be slowed or reversed by unanticipated economic, political or social events in such countries.

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Because of the above factors, the Fund’s investments in developing market countries may be subject to greater price volatility and illiquidity than investments in developed markets.

Focus

The greater the Fund’s exposure to any single type of investment – including investment in a given industry, sector, region, country, issuer, or type of security – the greater the losses the Fund may experience upon any single economic, business, political, regulatory, or other occurrence. As a result, there may be more fluctuation in the price of the Fund’s shares.

Prepayment

Debt securities are subject to prepayment risk when the issuer can “call” the security, or repay principal, in whole or in part, prior to the security’s maturity. When the Fund reinvests the prepayments of principal it receives, it may receive a rate of interest that is lower than the rate on the existing security, potentially lowering the Fund’s income, yield and its distributions to shareholders. Securities subject to partial or complete prepayment(s) may offer less potential for gains during a declining interest rate environment and have greater price volatility. Prepayment risk is greater in periods of falling interest rates for fixed-rate assets, and for floating or variable rate securities, rising interest rates generally increase the risk of refinancings or prepayments.

Derivative Instruments

The performance of derivative instruments (including currency derivatives) depends largely on the performance of an underlying currency, security, interest rate or index, and such derivatives often have risks similar to the underlying instrument, in addition to other risks. Derivatives involve costs and can create economic leverage in the Fund’s portfolio which may result in significant volatility and cause the Fund to participate in losses (as well as gains) in an amount that significantly exceeds the Fund’s initial investment. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. Other risks include illiquidity, mispricing or improper valuation of the derivative, and imperfect correlation between the value of the derivative and the underlying instrument so that the Fund may not realize the intended benefits. Their successful use will usually depend on the investment manager’s ability to accurately forecast movements in the market relating to the underlying instrument. Should a market or markets, or prices of particular classes of investments move in an unexpected manner, especially in unusual or extreme market conditions, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, and it may realize losses, which could be significant. If the investment manager is not successful in using such derivative instruments, the Fund’s performance may be worse than if the investment manager did not use such derivatives at all. When a derivative is used for hedging, the change in value of the derivative may also not correlate specifically with the currency, security, interest rate, index or other risk being hedged. Derivatives also may present the risk that the other party to the transaction will fail to perform. There is also the risk, especially under extreme market conditions, that a derivative, which usually would operate as a hedge, provides no hedging benefits at all.

Use of derivatives could also result in a loss if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised, including because of such counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. This risk is heightened with respect to over-the-counter (OTC) instruments, such as certain swap agreements and currency forwards, and may be greater during volatile market conditions. Other risks include the inability to close out a position because the trading market becomes illiquid (particularly in the OTC markets) or the availability of counterparties becomes limited for a period of time. In addition, the presence of speculators in a particular market could lead to price distortions. To the extent that the Fund is unable to close out a position because of market illiquidity, the Fund may not be able to prevent further losses of value in its derivatives holdings and the Fund’s liquidity may be impaired to the extent that it has a substantial portion of its otherwise liquid assets marked as segregated to cover its obligations under such derivative instruments. Some derivatives can be particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates or other market prices. Investors should bear in mind that, while the Fund intends to use derivative strategies on a regular basis, it is not obligated to actively engage in these transactions, generally or in any particular kind of derivative, if the investment manager elects not to do so due to availability, cost or other factors.

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Many swaps currently are, and others eventually are expected to be, required to be cleared through a central counterparty. Central clearing is designed to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity compared to OTC swaps, but it does not eliminate those risks completely. With cleared swaps, there is also a risk of loss by the Fund of its initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position in a swap contract. With cleared swaps, the Fund may not be able to obtain as favorable terms as it would be able to negotiate for a bilateral, uncleared swap. In addition, an FCM may unilaterally amend the terms of its agreement with the Fund, which may include the imposition of position limits or additional margin requirements with respect to the Fund’s investment in certain types of swaps. The regulation of cleared and uncleared swaps, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In addition, the SEC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency. It is not possible to predict fully the effects of current or future regulation.

The use of derivative strategies may also have a tax impact on the Fund. The timing and character of income, gains or losses from these strategies could impair the ability of the investment manager to use derivatives when it wishes to do so.

Convertible Securities

A convertible security is generally a debt obligation, preferred stock or other security that pays interest or dividends and may be converted by the holder within a specified period of time into common stock. The value of convertible securities may rise and fall with the market value of the underlying stock or, like a debt security, vary with changes in interest rates and the credit quality of the issuer. A convertible security tends to perform more like a stock when the underlying stock price is high relative to the conversion price (because more of the security’s value resides in the option to convert) and more like a debt security when the underlying stock price is low relative to the conversion price (because the option to convert is less valuable). Because its value can be influenced by many different factors, a convertible security is not as sensitive to interest rate changes as a similar non-convertible debt security, and generally has less potential for gain or loss than the underlying stock.

Floating Rate Corporate Investments

Certain corporate loans may not be considered “securities,” and investors, such as the Fund, therefore may not be entitled to rely on the antifraud protections of the federal securities laws.

The senior secured corporate loans and corporate debt securities in which the Fund invests are often issued in connection with highly leveraged transactions. Such transactions include leveraged buyout loans, leveraged recapitalization loans, and other types of acquisition financing. Loan investments issued in such transactions are subject to greater credit risks than other investments including a greater possibility that the borrower may default or enter bankruptcy. Such floating rate securities may be rated below investment grade (i.e., also known as “junk bonds”). Although loan investments are generally subject to certain restrictive covenants in favor of the investors, many of these loans may from time to time be reissued or offered as “covenant lite” loans, which may entail potentially increased risk, because they may have fewer or no financial maintenance covenants or restrictions that would normally allow for early intervention and proactive mitigation of credit risk.

In the event of a breach of a covenant in non-covenant lite loans or debt securities, lenders may have the ability to intervene and either prevent or restrict actions that may potentially compromise the company’s ability to pay or lenders may be in a position to obtain concessions from the borrowers in exchange for a waiver or amendment of the specific covenant(s). In contrast, covenant lite loans do not always or necessarily offer the same ability to intervene or obtain additional concessions from borrowers. This risk is offset to varying degrees by the fact that the same financial and performance information may be available with or without covenants to lenders and the public alike and can be used to detect such early warning signs as deterioration of a borrower’s financial condition or results. With such information, the portfolio managers are normally able to take appropriate actions without the help of covenants in the loans or debt securities. Covenant lite corporate loans and debt securities, however, may foster a capital structure designed to avoid defaults by giving borrowers or issuers increased financial flexibility when they need it the most.

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Market

The market values of securities or other investments owned by the Fund will go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. Securities or other investments may decline in value due to factors affecting individual issuers, markets generally or sectors within the markets. The value of a security or other investment may go up or down due to general market conditions which are not specifically related to a particular issuer, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in interest rates or exchange rates, or adverse investor sentiment generally. The value may also go up or down due to factors that affect an individual issuer or a particular sector. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may decline in value. When markets perform well, there can be no assurance that securities or other investments held by the Fund will participate in or otherwise benefit from the advance.

Unrated Debt Securities

Unrated debt securities determined by the investment manager to be of comparable quality to rated securities which the Fund may purchase may pay a higher interest rate than such rated debt securities and be subject to a greater risk of illiquidity or price changes. Less public information is typically available about unrated securities or issuers.

Management

The Fund is an actively managed ETF and could experience losses if the investment manager’s judgment about markets, interest rates or the attractiveness, relative values, liquidity, or potential appreciation of particular investments made for the Fund’s portfolio prove to be incorrect. There can be no guarantee that these techniques or the investment manager’s investment decisions will produce the desired results. Additionally, legislative, regulatory, or tax developments may affect the investment techniques available to the investment manager in connection with managing the Fund and may also adversely affect the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment goals.

 

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Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF

 

Investment Goal

The Fund’s investment goal is total investment return, consistent with prudent investing, consisting of a combination of interest income and capital appreciation. The Fund’s investment goal is non-fundamental, which means it may be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval. Shareholders will be given at least 60 days’ advance notice of any change to the Fund’s investment goal.

Principal Investment Policies and Practices

Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in “bonds” and investments that provide exposure to bonds.  Bonds include debt obligations of any maturity, such as bonds, notes, bills and debentures. Shareholders will be given at least 60 days’ advance notice of any change to the Fund’s 80% policy.

The Fund invests predominantly in fixed and floating-rate bonds issued by governments, government agencies and governmental-related or corporate issuers located outside the U.S.  Bonds may be denominated and issued in the local currency or in another currency. The Fund may also invest in securities or structured products that are linked to or derive their value from another security, asset or currency of any nation. In addition, the Fund’s assets are invested in issuers located in at least three countries (excluding the U.S.). The Fund may invest without limit in developing markets.

The Fund may invest in debt securities of any maturity. The average maturity or duration of debt securities in the Fund’s portfolio will fluctuate depending on the investment manager’s outlook on changing market, economic, and political conditions.

The Fund is a “non-diversified” fund, which means it generally invests a greater portion of its assets in the securities of one or more issuers and invests overall in a smaller number of issuers than a diversified fund.

Bonds represent an obligation of the issuer to repay a loan of money to it, and generally provide for the payment of interest. Although the Fund may buy bonds rated in any category, including securities in default, it focuses on “investment grade” bonds. These are issues rated in the top four rating categories by at least one independent rating agency, such as Standard & Poor’s (S&P®) or Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) or, if unrated, determined by the Fund’s investment manager to be of comparable quality. However, ratings by the independent rating agencies are relative and subjective, are not absolute standards of quality, and do not evaluate the market risk of securities. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in bonds that are rated below investment grade or, if unrated, determined by the investment manager to be of comparable quality. Generally, lower rated securities pay higher yields than more highly rated securities to compensate investors for the greater risk of default or of price fluctuations due to changes in the issuer’s creditworthiness.

Such lower rated but higher yielding securities are sometimes referred to as “junk bonds.” If, subsequent to its purchase a security is downgraded in rating or goes into default, the Fund will consider such events in its evaluation of the overall investment merits of that security but will not necessarily dispose of the security immediately. Many debt securities of non-U.S. issuers, and especially developing market issuers, are rated below investment grade or are unrated so that their selection depends on the investment manager’s internal analysis.

The Fund may invest in asset-backed securities, mortgage-backed securities and mortgage dollar rolls. An asset-backed security is a security backed by loans, leases, and other receivables. A mortgage-backed security is an interest in a pool of mortgage loans made by and packaged or “pooled” together by banks, mortgage lenders, various governmental agencies and other financial institutions for sale to investors to finance purchases of homes, commercial buildings and other real estate.  In a mortgage dollar roll, the Fund sells mortgage-backed securities for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts to repurchase substantially similar (same type, coupon, and maturity) securities on a specified future date. During the period between the sale and repurchase, the Fund forgoes principal and interest paid on the mortgage-backed securities. The Fund earns money on a mortgage dollar roll from any difference between the sale price and the future purchase price, as well as the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale.

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The Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), which are generally types of asset-backed securities. Collateralized bond obligations (CBOs) and collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) are generally considered two types of CDOs. CBOs represent interests in a special purpose, bankruptcy-remote vehicle, typically a trust, collateralized by a pool of fixed income securities, some of which may be below investment grade, including commercial mortgage-backed securities, residential mortgage-backed securities, corporate bonds and emerging market debt securities. CLOs are similar to CBOs except that the underlying pool for a CLO is generally comprised of corporate and/or sovereign loans, which may include, among others, senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans made to domestic and foreign borrowers, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. For the broader category of CDOs, the pool of debt instruments held by a trust may include debt instruments of any type, including mortgage-backed or other asset-backed securities issued in securitization transactions. In all types of CDOs, the interests in the trust are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk, maturity, payment priority and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche, which is the first loss position to observe defaults from the collateral in the trust. Because they are partially protected from defaults, senior tranches of a CDO trust typically have higher ratings and lower yields than the underlying collateral securities held by the trust and can be rated investment grade. The Fund may invest in any tranche of a CDO excluding the “equity” tranche.

The Fund may also invest in credit-linked securities.  Credit-linked securities, which may be considered to be a type of structured investment, are debt securities that represent an interest in a pool of, or are otherwise collateralized by, one or more corporate debt obligations or credit default swaps on corporate debt or bank loan obligations.

For purposes of pursuing its investment goal, the Fund regularly enters into currency-related transactions involving derivative instruments, principally currency and cross currency forwards, but it may also use currency and currency index futures contracts. The Fund maintains extensive positions in currency related derivative instruments as a hedging technique or to implement a currency investment strategy, which could expose a large amount of the Fund’s assets to obligations under these instruments. The use of these derivative transactions may allow the Fund to obtain net long or net negative (short) exposure to selected currencies. The results of such transactions may also represent, from time to time, a significant component of the Fund’s investment returns. The Fund may also enter into various other transactions involving derivatives, including financial futures contracts (such as interest rate or bond futures); options on interest rate futures contracts; swap agreements (which may include interest rate, fixed income total return and credit default swaps); and options on interest rate, fixed income total return and credit defaults swaps. The use of these derivative transactions may allow the Fund to obtain net long or net negative (short) exposures to selected interest rates, countries, durations or credit risks.

The Fund may use any of the above currency techniques or other derivative transactions for the purposes of enhancing Fund returns, increasing liquidity, gaining exposure to particular instruments in more efficient or less expensive ways and/or hedging risks relating to changes in currency exchange rates, interest rates and other market factors. By way of example, when the investment manager believes that the value of a particular foreign currency is expected to increase compared to the U.S. dollar, the Fund could enter into a forward contract to purchase that foreign currency at a future date. If at such future date the value of the foreign currency exceeds the then current amount of U.S. dollars to be paid by the Fund under the contract, the Fund will recognize a gain. Conversely, if the value of the foreign currency is less than the current amount of the U.S. dollars to be paid by the Fund under the contract the Fund will recognize a loss. When used for hedging purposes, a forward contract or other derivative instrument could be used to protect against possible declines in a currency’s value where a security held or to be purchased by the Fund is denominated in that currency, or it may be used to hedge the Fund’s position by entering into a transaction on another currency expected to perform similarly to the currency of the security held or to be purchased (a “proxy hedge”).  Derivatives that provide exposure to bonds may be used to satisfy the Fund’s 80% policy.

A currency forward contract is an obligation to purchase or sell a specific foreign currency in exchange for another currency, which may be U.S. dollars, at an agreed exchange rate (price) at a future date. Currency forwards are typically individually negotiated and privately traded by currency traders and their customers in the interbank market. A cross currency forward is a forward contract to sell a specific foreign currency in exchange for another foreign currency and may be used when the Fund believes that the price of one of those foreign currencies will experience a substantial movement against the other foreign currency. A cross currency forward will tend to reduce or eliminate exposure to the currency that is sold, and increase exposure to the currency that is purchased, similar to when the Fund sells a security denominated in one currency and purchases a security denominated in another currency. When used for hedging purposes, a cross currency forward should help to protect the Fund against losses resulting from a decline in the hedged currency, but will cause the Fund to assume the risk of fluctuations in the value of the currency it purchases.

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A futures contract is a standard binding agreement that trades on an exchange to buy or sell a specified quantity of an underlying instrument or asset at a specified price at a specified later date. A “sale” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to deliver the underlying instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. A “purchase” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to acquire a specified quantity of the underlying instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. The purchase or sale of a futures contract will allow the Fund to increase or decrease its exposure to the underlying instrument or asset. Although most futures contracts used by the Fund allow for a cash payment of the net gain or loss on the contract at maturity in lieu of delivery of the underlying instruments, some require the actual delivery or acquisition of the underlying instrument or asset. The Fund may buy and sell futures contracts that trade on U.S. and foreign exchanges.

Swap agreements, such as interest rate, fixed income total return and credit default swaps, are contracts between the Fund and another party (the swap counterparty) involving the exchange of payments on specified terms over periods ranging from a few days to multiple years. A swap agreement may be negotiated bilaterally and traded over-the-counter (OTC) between the two parties (for an uncleared swap) or, in some instances, must be transacted through a futures commission merchant (FCM) and cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty (for a cleared swap). In a basic swap transaction, the Fund agrees with the swap counterparty to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) and/or cash flows earned or realized on a particular “notional amount” of underlying instruments. The notional amount is the set amount selected by the parties as the basis on which to calculate the obligations that they have agreed to exchange. The parties typically do not actually exchange the notional amount. Instead, they agree to exchange the returns that would be earned or realized if the notional amount were invested in given instruments or at given interest rates.

An interest rate swap is an agreement between two parties to exchange interest rate payment obligations. Typically, one rate is based on an interest rate fixed to maturity while the other is based on an interest rate that changes in accordance with changes in a designated benchmark (for example, LIBOR, prime, commercial paper, or other benchmarks).

A total return swap is an agreement between two parties, pursuant to which one pays (and the other receives) an amount equal to the total return (including, typically, income and capital gains distributions, principal prepayment or credit losses) of an underlying reference asset (e.g., a note, bond or securities index) in exchange for a regular payment, at a floating rate based on LIBOR, or alternatively at a fixed rate or the total rate of return on another financial instrument. The Fund may take either position in a total return swap (i.e., the Fund may receive or pay the total return on the underlying reference asset).

For credit default swaps, the “buyer” of the credit default swap agreement is obligated to pay the “seller” a periodic stream of payments over the term of the agreement in return for a payment by the seller that is contingent upon the occurrence of a credit event with respect to an underlying reference debt obligation (whether as a single debt instrument or as part of an index of debt instruments). The buyer of the credit default swap is purchasing the obligation of its counterparty to offset losses the buyer could experience if there was such a credit event. Generally, a credit event means bankruptcy, failure to timely pay interest or principal, obligation acceleration or default, or repudiation or restructuring of the reference debt obligation. The contingent payment by the seller generally is either the face amount of the reference debt obligation in exchange for the physical delivery of the reference debt obligation or a cash payment equal to the decrease in market value of the reference debt obligation following the occurrence of the credit event.

The investment manager considers various factors, such as availability and cost, in deciding whether to use a particular derivative instrument or strategy. Moreover, investors should bear in mind that the Fund is not obligated to actively engage in any derivative transactions.

The Fund also may invest in corporate loans made to, or issued by, borrowers that are U.S. companies, foreign borrowers and U.S. subsidiaries of foreign borrowers which typically have floating interest rates. Floating interest rates vary with and are periodically adjusted to a generally recognized base interest rate such as LIBOR or the Prime Rate.

The investment manager allocates the Fund’s assets based upon its assessment of changing market, political and economic conditions. It considers various factors, including evaluation of interest rates, currency exchange rate changes and credit risks. The investment manager may consider selling a security when it believes the security has become fully valued due to either its price appreciation or changes in the issuer’s fundamentals, or when the investment manager believes another security is a more attractive investment opportunity.

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The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (ETF) that does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index. Accordingly, the investment manager has discretion on a daily basis to manage the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment goal.

Principal Risks

Foreign Securities

Investing in foreign securities typically involves more risks than investing in U.S. securities. Certain of these risks also may apply to securities of U.S. companies with significant foreign operations.

Currency exchange rates.   Foreign securities may be issued and traded in foreign currencies. As a result, their market values in U.S. dollars may be affected by changes in exchange rates between such foreign currencies and the U.S. dollar, as well as between currencies of countries other than the U.S. For example, if the value of the U.S. dollar goes up compared to a foreign currency, an investment traded in that foreign currency will go down in value because it will be worth fewer U.S. dollars. The Fund accrues additional expenses when engaging in currency exchange transactions, and valuation of the Fund’s foreign securities may be subject to greater risk because both the currency (relative to the U.S. dollar) and the security must be considered.

Currency management strategies.   Currency management strategies may substantially change the Fund’s exposure to currency exchange rates and could result in losses to the Fund if currencies do not perform as the investment manager expects. In addition, currency management strategies, to the extent that they reduce the Fund’s exposure to currency risks, may also reduce the Fund’s ability to benefit from favorable changes in currency exchange rates. There is no assurance that the investment manager’s use of currency management strategies will benefit the Fund or that they will be, or can be, used at appropriate times. Furthermore, there may not be perfect correlation between the amount of exposure to a particular currency and the amount of securities in the Fund’s portfolio denominated in that currency. Investing in foreign currencies for purposes of gaining from projected changes in exchange rates, as opposed to hedging currency risks applicable to the Fund’s holdings, further increases the Fund’s exposure to foreign investment losses.

Political and economic developments.   The political, economic and social policies or structures of some foreign countries may be less stable and more volatile than those in the United States. Investments in these countries may be subject to greater risks of internal and external conflicts, expropriation, nationalization of assets, foreign exchange controls (such as suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a given country), restrictions on removal of assets, political or social instability, military action or unrest, diplomatic developments, currency devaluations, foreign ownership limitations, and punitive or confiscatory tax increases. It is possible that a government may take over the assets or operations of a company or impose restrictions on the exchange or export of currency or other assets. Some countries also may have different legal systems that may make it difficult or expensive for the Fund to vote proxies, exercise shareholder rights, and pursue legal remedies with respect to its foreign investments. Diplomatic and political developments could affect the economies, industries, and securities and currency markets of the countries in which the Fund is invested. These developments include rapid and adverse political changes; social instability; regional conflicts; sanctions imposed by the United States, other nations or other governmental entities, including supranational entities; terrorism; and war. In addition, such developments could contribute to the devaluation of a country’s currency, a downgrade in the credit ratings of issuers in such country, or a decline in the value and liquidity of securities of issuers in that country. An imposition of sanctions upon certain issuers in a country could result in an immediate freeze of that issuer’s securities, impairing the ability of the Fund to buy, sell, receive or deliver those securities. These factors would affect the value of the Fund’s investments and are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to predict and take into account with respect to the Fund’s investments.

Sovereign debt securities.   Sovereign debt securities are subject to various risks in addition to those relating to debt securities and foreign securities generally, including, but not limited to, the risk that a governmental entity may be unwilling or unable to pay interest and repay principal on its sovereign debt, or otherwise meet its obligations when due because of cash flow problems, insufficient foreign reserves, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the government’s policy towards principal international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund, or the political considerations to which the government may be subject. Sovereign debtors also may be dependent on expected disbursements from other foreign governments or multinational agencies and the country’s access to, or balance of, trade. If a sovereign debtor defaults (or threatens to default) on its sovereign debt obligations, the indebtedness may be restructured. Restructuring may include obtaining additional credit to finance outstanding obligations, reduction and rescheduling of payments of interest and principal, or negotiation of new or amended credit and security agreements. Unlike most corporate debt restructurings, the fees and expenses of financial and legal advisers to the creditors in connection with a restructuring may be borne by the holders of the sovereign debt securities instead of the sovereign entity itself. Some sovereign debtors have in the past been able to restructure their debt payments without the approval of some or all debt holders or to declare moratoria on payments, and similar occurrences may happen in the future.

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In the event of a default on sovereign debt, the Fund may have limited legal recourse against the defaulting government entity. As a sovereign entity, the issuing government may be immune from lawsuits in the event of its failure or refusal to pay the obligations when due, and any rights the Fund may have may be restricted pursuant to the terms of applicable treaties with such sovereign entity. If a sovereign entity defaults, it may request additional time in which to pay or for further loans. There may be no legal process for collecting principal or interest payments on sovereign debt that a government does not pay or such legal process may be relatively more expensive, nor are there bankruptcy proceedings by which the Fund may collect in whole or in part on debt issued by a sovereign entity. In certain cases, remedies must be pursued in the courts located in the country of the defaulting sovereign entity itself, which may further limit the Fund’s ability to obtain recourse.

Trading practices.   Brokerage commissions, withholding taxes, custodial fees, and other fees generally are higher in foreign markets. The policies and procedures followed by foreign stock exchanges, currency markets, trading systems and brokers may differ from those applicable in the United States, with possibly negative consequences to the Fund. The procedures and rules governing foreign trading, settlement and custody (holding of the Fund’s assets) also may result in losses or delays in payment, delivery or recovery of money or other property. Foreign government supervision and regulation of foreign securities markets and trading systems may be less than or different from government supervision in the United States, and may increase the Fund’s regulatory and compliance burden and/or decrease the Fund’s investor rights and protections.

Availability of information.   Foreign issuers may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. issuers. Thus, there may be less information publicly available about foreign issuers than about most U.S. issuers. In addition, information provided by foreign issuers may be less timely or less reliable than information provided by U.S. issuers.

Limited markets.   Certain foreign securities may be less liquid (harder to sell) and their prices may be more volatile than many U.S. securities. Illiquidity tends to be greater, and valuation of the Fund’s foreign securities may be more difficult, due to the infrequent trading and/or delayed reporting of quotes and sales.  If the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings are illiquid, the Fund’s shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the market for the underlying portfolio holdings, and the Fund’s market price could deviate from the Fund’s NAV.

Regional.   Adverse conditions in a certain region or country can adversely affect securities of issuers in other countries whose economies appear to be unrelated. To the extent that the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a specific geographic region or a particular country, the Fund will generally have more exposure to the economic risks affecting that specific geographic region or country. In the event of economic or political turmoil or a deterioration of diplomatic relations in a region or country where a substantial portion of the Fund’s assets are invested, the Fund may experience substantial illiquidity or reduction in the value of the Fund’s investments.

The risk of investments in Europe may be heightened due to the 2016 referendum in which the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union (EU). Political, economic and legal uncertainty may cause increased market volatility. In addition, if one or more countries were to exit the EU or abandon the use of the Euro as a currency, the value of investments associated with those countries or the Euro could decline significantly and unpredictably and it would likely cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties.

Developing market countries.   The Fund’s investments in securities of issuers in developing market countries are subject to all of the risks of foreign investing generally, and have additional heightened risks due to a lack of established legal, political, business and social frameworks to support securities markets. Some of the additional significant risks include:

  • less social, political and economic stability;
  • a higher possibility of the devaluation of a country’s currency, a downgrade in the credit ratings of issuers in such country, or a decline in the value and liquidity of securities of issuers in that country if the United States, other nations or other governmental entities (including supranational entities) impose sanctions on issuers that limit or restrict foreign investment, the movement of assets or other economic activity in the country due to political, military or regional conflicts or due to terrorism or war;
  • smaller securities markets with low or non-existent trading volume and greater illiquidity and price volatility;
  • more restrictive national policies on foreign investment, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests;
  • less transparent and established taxation policies;
  • less developed regulatory or legal structures governing private and foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for injury to private property, such as bankruptcy;
  • less familiarity with a capital market structure or market-oriented economy and more widespread corruption and fraud;
  • less financial sophistication, creditworthiness and/or resources possessed by, and less government regulation of, the financial institutions and issuers with which the Fund transacts;
  • less government supervision and regulation of business and industry practices, stock exchanges, brokers and listed companies than in the U.S.;
  • greater concentration in a few industries resulting in greater vulnerability to regional and global trade conditions;
  • higher rates of inflation and more rapid and extreme fluctuations in inflation rates;
  • greater sensitivity to interest rate changes;
  • greater sensitivity to interest rate changes (for example, a higher interest rate environment can make it more difficult for emerging market governments to service their existing debt);
  • increased volatility in currency exchange rates and potential for currency devaluations and/or currency controls;
  • greater debt burdens relative to the size of the economy;
  • more delays in settling portfolio transactions and heightened risk of loss from share registration and custody practices; and
  • less assurance that when favorable economic developments occur, they will not be slowed or reversed by unanticipated economic, political or social events in such countries.

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Because of the above factors, the Fund’s investments in developing market countries may be subject to greater price volatility and illiquidity than investments in developed markets.

Market

The market values of securities or other investments owned by the Fund will go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. Securities or other investments may decline in value due to factors affecting individual issuers, markets generally or sectors within the markets. The value of a security or other investment may go up or down due to general market conditions which are not specifically related to a particular issuer, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in interest rates or exchange rates, or adverse investor sentiment generally. The value may also go up or down due to factors that affect an individual issuer or a particular sector. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may decline in value. When markets perform well, there can be no assurance that securities or other investments held by the Fund will participate in or otherwise benefit from the advance.

Liquidity

Liquidity risk exists when the markets for particular securities or types of securities or other investments are or become relatively illiquid so that the Fund is unable, or it becomes more difficult for the Fund, to sell the security or other investment at the price at which the Fund has valued the security. Illiquidity may result from political, economic or issuer specific events; supply/demand imbalances; changes in a specific market’s size or structure, including the number of participants; or overall market disruptions. Securities or other investments with reduced liquidity or that become illiquid may involve greater risk than securities with more liquid markets. Market prices or quotations for illiquid securities may be volatile, and there may be large spreads between bid and ask prices. Reduced liquidity may have an adverse impact on market price and the Fund’s ability to sell particular securities when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event. To the extent that the Fund and its affiliates hold a significant portion of an issuer’s outstanding securities, the Fund may be subject to greater liquidity risk than if the issuer’s securities were more widely held.

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Interest Rate

Interest rate changes can be sudden and unpredictable, and are influenced by a number of factors, including government policy, monetary policy, inflation expectations, perceptions of risk, and supply and demand of bonds. Changes in government monetary policy, including changes in tax policy or changes in a central bank’s implementation of specific policy goals, may have a substantial impact on interest rates. There can be no guarantee that any particular government or central bank policy will be continued, discontinued or changed, nor that any such policy will have the desired effect on interest rates. Debt securities generally tend to lose market value when interest rates rise and increase in value when interest rates fall. A rise in interest rates also has the potential to cause investors to rapidly move out of fixed income securities. A substantial increase in interest rates may also have an adverse impact on the liquidity of a security, especially those with longer maturities or durations. Securities with longer maturities or durations or lower coupons or that make little (or no) interest payments before maturity tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes.

Credit

The Fund could lose money on a debt security if the issuer or borrower is unable or fails to meet its obligations, including failing to make interest payments and/or to repay principal when due. Changes in an issuer’s financial strength, the market’s perception of the issuer’s financial strength or a security’s credit rating, which reflects a third party’s assessment of the credit risk presented by a particular issuer, may affect debt securities’ values. The Fund may incur substantial losses on debt securities that are inaccurately perceived to present a different amount of credit risk by the market, the investment manager or the rating agencies than such securities actually do.

Derivative Instruments

The performance of derivative instruments (including currency derivatives) depends largely on the performance of an underlying currency, security, interest rate or index, and such derivatives often have risks similar to the underlying instrument, in addition to other risks. Derivatives involve costs and can create economic leverage in the Fund’s portfolio which may result in significant volatility and cause the Fund to participate in losses (as well as gains) in an amount that significantly exceeds the Fund’s initial investment. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. Other risks include illiquidity, mispricing or improper valuation of the derivative, and imperfect correlation between the value of the derivative and the underlying instrument so that the Fund may not realize the intended benefits. Their successful use will usually depend on the investment manager’s ability to accurately forecast movements in the market relating to the underlying instrument. Should a market or markets, or prices of particular classes of investments move in an unexpected manner, especially in unusual or extreme market conditions, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, and it may realize losses, which could be significant. If the investment manager is not successful in using such derivative instruments, the Fund’s performance may be worse than if the investment manager did not use such derivatives at all. When a derivative is used for hedging, the change in value of the derivative may also not correlate specifically with the currency, security, interest rate, index or other risk being hedged. Derivatives also may present the risk that the other party to the transaction will fail to perform. There is also the risk, especially under extreme market conditions, that a derivative, which usually would operate as a hedge, provides no hedging benefits at all.

Use of derivatives could also result in a loss if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised, including because of such counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. This risk is heightened with respect to over-the-counter (OTC) instruments, such as certain swap agreements and currency forwards, and may be greater during volatile market conditions. Other risks include the inability to close out a position because the trading market becomes illiquid (particularly in the OTC markets) or the availability of counterparties becomes limited for a period of time. In addition, the presence of speculators in a particular market could lead to price distortions. To the extent that the Fund is unable to close out a position because of market illiquidity, the Fund may not be able to prevent further losses of value in its derivatives holdings and the Fund’s liquidity may be impaired to the extent that it has a substantial portion of its otherwise liquid assets marked as segregated to cover its obligations under such derivative instruments. Some derivatives can be particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates or other market prices. Investors should bear in mind that, while the Fund intends to use derivative strategies on a regular basis, it is not obligated to actively engage in these transactions, generally or in any particular kind of derivative, if the investment manager elects not to do so due to availability, cost or other factors.

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Many swaps currently are, and others eventually are expected to be, required to be cleared through a central counterparty. Central clearing is designed to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity compared to OTC swaps, but it does not eliminate those risks completely. With cleared swaps, there is also a risk of loss by the Fund of its initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position in a swap contract. With cleared swaps, the Fund may not be able to obtain as favorable terms as it would be able to negotiate for a bilateral, uncleared swap. In addition, an FCM may unilaterally amend the terms of its agreement with the Fund, which may include the imposition of position limits or additional margin requirements with respect to the Fund’s investment in certain types of swaps. The regulation of cleared and uncleared swaps, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In addition, the SEC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency. It is not possible to predict fully the effects of current or future regulation.

The use of derivative strategies may also have a tax impact on the Fund. The timing and character of income, gains or losses from these strategies could impair the ability of the investment manager to use derivatives when it wishes to do so.

High-Yield Debt Securities

High-yield debt securities (including loans) and unrated securities of similar credit quality (high-yield debt instruments or junk bonds) involve greater risk of a complete loss of the Fund’s investment, or delays of interest and principal payments, than higher-quality debt securities or loans. Issuers of high-yield debt instruments are not as strong financially as those issuing securities of higher credit quality. High-yield debt instruments are generally considered predominantly speculative by the applicable rating agencies as these issuers are more likely to encounter financial difficulties and are more vulnerable to changes in the relevant economy, such as a recession or a sustained period of rising interest rates, that could affect their ability to make interest and principal payments when due. If an issuer stops making interest and/or principal payments, payments on the securities may never resume. These instruments may be worthless and the Fund could lose its entire investment.

The prices of high-yield debt instruments generally fluctuate more than higher-quality securities. Prices are especially sensitive to developments affecting the issuer’s business or operations and to changes in the ratings assigned by rating agencies. In addition, the entire high-yield debt market can experience sudden and sharp price swings due to changes in economic conditions, stock market activity, large sustained sales by major investors, a high-profile default, or other factors. Prices of corporate high-yield debt instruments often are closely linked with the company’s stock prices and typically rise and fall in response to factors that affect stock prices.

High-yield debt instruments are generally less liquid than higher-quality securities. Many of these securities are not registered for sale under the federal securities laws and/or do not trade frequently. When they do trade, their prices may be significantly higher or lower than expected. At times, it may be difficult to sell these securities promptly at an acceptable price, which may limit the Fund’s ability to sell securities in response to specific economic events or to meet redemption requests. As a result, certain high-yield debt instruments may pose greater illiquidity and valuation risks.

Substantial declines in the prices of high-yield debt instruments can dramatically increase the yield of such bonds or loans. The decline in market prices generally reflects an expectation that the issuer(s) may be at greater risk of defaulting on the obligation to pay interest and principal when due. Therefore, substantial increases in yield may reflect a greater risk by the Fund of losing some or part of its investment rather than reflecting any increase in income from the higher yield that the debt security or loan may pay to the Fund on its investment.

Mortgage Securities and Asset-Backed Securities

Mortgage securities differ from conventional debt securities because principal is paid back over the life of the security rather than at maturity. The Fund may receive unscheduled prepayments of principal due to voluntary prepayments, refinancing or foreclosure on the underlying mortgage loans. To the Fund this means a loss of anticipated interest, and a portion of its principal investment represented by any premium the Fund may have paid. Mortgage prepayments generally increase when interest rates fall. Because of prepayments, mortgage securities may be less effective than some other types of debt securities as a means of “locking in” long-term interest rates and may have less potential for capital appreciation during periods of falling interest rates. When the Fund reinvests the prepayments of principal it receives, it may receive a rate of interest that is lower than the rate on the existing security.

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Mortgage securities also are subject to extension risk. An unexpected rise in interest rates could reduce the rate of prepayments on mortgage securities and extend their life. This could cause the price of the mortgage securities and the Fund’s share price to fall and would make the mortgage securities more sensitive to interest rate changes.

Since September 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), an agency of the U.S. government, has acted as the conservator to operate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until they are stabilized. It is unclear how long the conservatorship will last or what effect this conservatorship will have on the securities issued or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for the long-term.

Issuers of asset-backed securities may have limited ability to enforce the security interest in the underlying assets, and credit enhancements provided to support the securities, if any, may be inadequate to protect investors in the event of default. Like mortgage securities, asset-backed securities are subject to prepayment and extension risks.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls

In a mortgage dollar roll, the Fund takes the risk that the market price of the mortgage-backed securities will drop below their future purchase price. The Fund also takes the risk that the mortgage-backed securities that it repurchases at a later date will have less favorable market characteristics than the securities originally sold (e.g., greater prepayment risk). When the Fund uses a mortgage dollar roll, it is also subject to the risk that the other party to the agreement will not be able to perform. Mortgage dollar rolls add leverage to the Fund’s portfolio and increase the Fund’s sensitivity to interest rate changes. In addition, investment in mortgage dollar rolls will increase the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate.

Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs)

The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of collateral held by the special purpose entity (SPE) and the tranche of the CDO in which the Fund invests. Investment risk may also be affected by the performance of a CDO’s collateral manager (the entity responsible for selecting and managing the pool of collateral securities held by the SPE trust), especially during a period of market volatility. CDOs may be deemed to be illiquid securities and subject to the Fund’s restrictions on investments in illiquid securities. The Fund’s investment in CDOs will not receive the same investor protection as an investment in registered securities.

In addition, prices of CDO tranches can decline considerably. In addition to the normal risks associated with debt securities and asset backed securities (e.g., interest rate risk, credit risk and default risk), CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or quality or go into default or be downgraded; (iii) the Fund may invest in tranches of a CDO that are subordinate to other classes; and (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer, difficulty in valuing the security or unexpected investment results.

Floating Rate Corporate Investments

Certain corporate loans may not be considered “securities,” and investors, such as the Fund, therefore may not be entitled to rely on the antifraud protections of the federal securities laws.

The senior secured corporate loans and corporate debt securities in which the Fund invests are often issued in connection with highly leveraged transactions. Such transactions include leveraged buyout loans, leveraged recapitalization loans, and other types of acquisition financing. Loan investments issued in such transactions are subject to greater credit risks than other investments including a greater possibility that the borrower may default or enter bankruptcy. Such floating rate securities may be rated below investment grade (i.e., also known as “junk bonds”). Although loan investments are generally subject to certain restrictive covenants in favor of the investors, many of these loans may from time to time be reissued or offered as “covenant lite” loans, which may entail potentially increased risk, because they may have fewer or no financial maintenance covenants or restrictions that would normally allow for early intervention and proactive mitigation of credit risk.

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In the event of a breach of a covenant in non-covenant lite loans or debt securities, lenders may have the ability to intervene and either prevent or restrict actions that may potentially compromise the company’s ability to pay or lenders may be in a position to obtain concessions from the borrowers in exchange for a waiver or amendment of the specific covenant(s). In contrast, covenant lite loans do not always or necessarily offer the same ability to intervene or obtain additional concessions from borrowers. This risk is offset to varying degrees by the fact that the same financial and performance information may be available with or without covenants to lenders and the public alike and can be used to detect such early warning signs as deterioration of a borrower’s financial condition or results. With such information, the portfolio managers are normally able to take appropriate actions without the help of covenants in the loans or debt securities. Covenant lite corporate loans and debt securities, however, may foster a capital structure designed to avoid defaults by giving borrowers or issuers increased financial flexibility when they need it the most.

Income

Because the Fund can only distribute what it earns, the Fund’s distributions to shareholders may decline when prevailing interest rates fall or when the Fund experiences defaults on debt securities it holds. The Fund’s income generally declines during periods of falling interest rates because the Fund must reinvest the proceeds it receives from existing investments (upon their maturity, prepayment, amortization, call, or buy-back) at a lower rate of interest or return.

Prepayment

Debt securities are subject to prepayment risk when the issuer can “call” the security, or repay principal, in whole or in part, prior to the security’s maturity. When the Fund reinvests the prepayments of principal it receives, it may receive a rate of interest that is lower than the rate on the existing security, potentially lowering the Fund’s income, yield and its distributions to shareholders. Securities subject to partial or complete prepayment(s) may offer less potential for gains during a declining interest rate environment and have greater price volatility. Prepayment risk is greater in periods of falling interest rates for fixed-rate assets, and for floating or variable rate securities, rising interest rates generally increase the risk of refinancings or prepayments.

Extension

The market value of some debt securities will be adversely affected when bond calls or prepayments on underlying assets are less or slower than anticipated, particularly when interest rates rise. When that occurs, the effective maturity date of the Fund’s investment may be extended, resulting in an increase in interest rate sensitivity to that of a longer-term instrument. Such extension may also effectively lock-in a below market interest rate and reduce the value of the debt security.

Non-Diversification

The Fund is a “non-diversified” fund. It generally invests a greater portion of its assets in the securities of one or more issuers and invests overall in a smaller number of issuers than a diversified fund. The Fund may be more sensitive to a single economic, business, political, regulatory or other occurrence than a more diversified fund might be, which may result in greater fluctuation in the value of the Fund’s shares and a greater risk of loss.

Debt Securities Ratings

The use of credit ratings in evaluating debt securities can involve certain risks, including the risk that the credit rating may not reflect the issuer’s current financial condition or events since the security was last rated by a rating agency. Credit ratings may be influenced by conflicts of interest or based on historical data that no longer apply or are accurate.

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Unrated Debt Securities

Unrated debt securities determined by the investment manager to be of comparable quality to rated securities which the Fund may purchase may pay a higher interest rate than such rated debt securities and be subject to a greater risk of illiquidity or price changes. Less public information is typically available about unrated securities or issuers.

Focus

The greater the Fund’s exposure to any single type of investment – including investment in a given industry, sector, region, country, issuer, or type of security – the greater the losses the Fund may experience upon any single economic, business, political, regulatory, or other occurrence. As a result, there may be more fluctuation in the price of the Fund’s shares.

Management

The Fund is an actively managed ETF and could experience losses if the investment manager’s judgment about markets, interest rates or the attractiveness, relative values, liquidity, or potential appreciation of particular investments made for the Fund’s portfolio prove to be incorrect. There can be no guarantee that these techniques or the investment manager’s investment decisions will produce the desired results. Additionally, legislative, regulatory, or tax developments may affect the investment techniques available to the investment manager in connection with managing the Fund and may also adversely affect the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment goal.

 

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Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF

 

Investment Goals

The Fund’s primary investment goal is to provide a high level of current income. A secondary goal is preservation of capital. The Fund’s investment goals are non-fundamental, which means they may be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval. Shareholders will be given at least 60 days’ advance notice of any change to the Fund’s investment goals.

Principal Investment Policies and Practices

Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in senior loans and investments that provide exposure to senior loans.  Senior loans include loans referred to as leveraged loans, bank loans and/or floating rate loans.  Shareholders will be given at least 60 days’ advance notice of any change to this 80% policy.

The Fund invests predominantly in income-producing senior floating interest rate corporate loans made to or issued by U.S. companies, non-U.S. entities and U.S. subsidiaries of non-U.S. entities. Floating interest rates vary with and are periodically adjusted to a generally recognized base interest rate such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) or the Prime Rate. The Fund may invest in companies whose financial condition is troubled or uncertain and that may be involved in bankruptcy proceedings, reorganizations or financial restructurings.

Senior loans generally have credit ratings below investment grade and may be subject to restrictions on resale. Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 75% of its net assets in senior loans that are rated B- or higher at the time of purchase by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO) or, if unrated, are determined to be of comparable quality by the Fund’s investment manager. Under normal market conditions, the Fund may invest up to 25% of its net assets in senior loans that are rated below B- by an NRSRO or, if unrated, are determined to be of comparable quality by the investment manager.

The Fund’s senior loans typically hold the most senior position in the capitalization structure of a company and are generally secured by specific collateral. Such senior position means that, in case the company becomes insolvent, the lenders or security holders in a senior position like the Fund’s position will typically be paid before other creditors of the company from the assets of the company. When a company pledges specific collateral, it has agreed to deliver, or has actually delivered, to the lenders or security holders assets it owns that legally become the property of the lenders or security holders in case the company defaults in paying interest or principal. Additionally, the obligations of the borrower or issuer are generally subject to certain restrictive covenants in favor of the lenders or security holders that invest in them.

 

The Fund currently limits its investments in debt obligations of non-U.S. entities to no more than 25% of its total assets. The Fund currently invests predominantly in debt obligations that are U.S. dollar-denominated or otherwise provide for payment in U.S. dollars.

 

The Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), principally collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). Generally CDOs are types of asset-backed securities. CLOs are generally considered to be one type of CDOs. CLOs represent interests in a special purpose, bankruptcy-remote vehicle, typically a trust, collateralized by a pool generally comprised of corporate and/or sovereign loans, which may include, among others, senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans made to domestic and foreign borrowers, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. In all types of CDOs, the interests in the trust are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk, maturity, payment priority and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche, which is the first loss position to observe defaults from the collateral in the trust. Because they are partially protected from defaults, senior tranches of a CDO trust typically have higher ratings and lower yields than the underlying collateral securities held by the trust and can be rated investment grade. The Fund may invest in any tranche of a CDO excluding the “equity” tranche.

 

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The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (ETF) that does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index. Accordingly, the investment manager has discretion on a daily basis to manage the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment goals.

 

Description of Senior Loans

 

The rate of interest payable on senior loans is generally established as the sum of a base lending rate plus a specified margin. The base lending rates generally are the LIBOR, the Prime Rate of a designated U.S. bank, the CD Rate, or another base lending rate used by lenders loaning money to companies, so-called commercial lenders. The interest rate on Prime Rate-based loans floats daily as the Prime Rate changes, while the interest rate on LIBOR-based and CD-based loans is reset periodically, typically at regular intervals ranging between 30 days to one year.

 

Certain of the Fund’s senior loans may permit the borrower to select an interest rate reset period of up to one year. A portion of the Fund’s investments may consist of loans with fixed rates for the term of the loan. Investments with longer interest rate reset periods or fixed interest rates may increase fluctuations in the Fund’s share price as a result of changes in interest rates.

 

Generally, corporate loans require that the borrower or issuer comply with various restrictive covenants that accompany the loan. A restrictive covenant is a promise by the borrower to take certain actions that protect, or not to take certain actions that may impair, the rights of lenders. These covenants, in addition to requiring the scheduled payment of interest and principal, may (1) restrict dividend payments and other distributions to shareholders, (2) require the borrower to prepay the corporate loan with any excess cash flow, (3) require the borrower to maintain specific financial ratios or relationships regarding, or limits on, total debt, or (4) limit the borrower’s ability to take on new acquisitions and investments. These restrictions tend to conserve collateral held by the borrower that supports the loan as described above.

 

The Fund may invest in “covenant lite” loans. Certain financial institutions may define “covenant lite” loans differently. Covenant lite loans may have tranches that contain fewer or no restrictive covenants. The tranche of the covenant lite loan that has fewer restrictions typically does not include the legal clauses which allow an investor to proactively enforce financial tests or prevent or restrict undesired actions taken by the company or sponsor. The Fund may treat all of the tranches of a loan with a covenant lite tranche as covenant lite, regardless of what tranche the Fund owns. Covenant lite loans also generally give the borrower/issuer more flexibility if they have met certain loan terms and provide fewer investor protections if certain criteria are breached. The Fund may experience relatively greater realized or unrealized losses or delays in enforcing its rights on its holdings of certain covenant lite loans than its holdings of loans with the usual covenants.

 

The senior loans in which the Fund invests may be issued in transactions involving refinancings, dividends or other recapitalizations, mergers and acquisitions, and other financings for general corporate purposes. The Fund’s investments also may include senior obligations of a borrower issued in connection with a restructuring pursuant to Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, provided that such senior obligations are determined by the Fund’s investment manager, based upon its credit analysis, to be a suitable investment by the Fund. In such highly leveraged transactions, the borrower assumes large amounts of debt in order to have the financial resources to attempt to achieve its business objectives. Such business objectives may include: management’s removal of a company from the public market (leveraged buyout); reorganizing the assets and liabilities of a company (leveraged recapitalization); or acquiring another company. Loans that are part of highly leveraged transactions may involve a greater risk of default by the borrower.

 

Maturities

 

The Fund has no restrictions on portfolio maturity. The Fund anticipates, however, that a majority of its investments will have stated maturities ranging from three to ten years. This means that the borrower is required to fully repay the obligation within that time period. The expected average life of most floating rate investments is less than their stated maturities because the borrowers may choose to pay off such obligations early, which is usually permitted. Prepayment is likely because such corporate obligations generally provide that the lenders will have priority in prepayment in case of sales of assets of the borrowers, or from excess cash flow. From time to time, a borrower may choose to refinance, which will result in prepayment as well. As a result, the Fund also anticipates that its investments will generally have an expected average life of five years or less.

 

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Other Investments

 

In addition to the Fund’s main investments, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in certain other types of debt obligations or securities, including other secured, second lien, subordinated or unsecured corporate loans and corporate debt securities, and fixed rate obligations of U.S. companies, non-U.S. entities and U.S. subsidiaries of non-U.S. entities.

To pursue its investment goals, the Fund may enter into certain derivative transactions, principally high yield credit default index swaps. The Fund may use credit default index swaps to obtain net long or net short exposures to selected credit risks or durations, for the purposes of enhancing Fund returns, increasing liquidity and/or gaining exposure to particular instruments in more efficient or less expensive ways, and to hedge risks related to changes in credit risks and other market factors.  Derivatives that provide exposure to senior loans may be used to satisfy the Fund’s 80% policy.

Swap agreements, such as credit default swaps, are contracts between the Fund and another party (the swap counterparty) involving the exchange of payments on specified terms over periods ranging from a few days to multiple years. A swap agreement may be negotiated bilaterally and traded over-the-counter (OTC) between two parties (for an uncleared swap) or, in some instances, must be transacted through a futures commission merchant (FCM) and cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty (for a cleared swap). In a basic swap transaction, the Fund agrees with the swap counterparty to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) and/or cash flows earned or realized on a particular “notional amount” of underlying instruments. The notional amount is the set amount selected by the parties as the basis on which to calculate the obligations that they have agreed to exchange. The parties typically do not actually exchange the notional amount. Instead, they agree to exchange the returns that would be earned or realized if the notional amount were invested in given instruments or at given interest rates.

 

For credit default swaps, the “buyer” of the credit default swap agreement is obligated to pay the “seller” a periodic stream of payments over the term of the agreement in return for a payment by the seller that is contingent upon the occurrence of a credit event with respect to an underlying reference debt obligation. The buyer of the credit default swap is purchasing the obligation of its counterparty to offset losses the buyer could experience if there was such a credit event. Generally, a credit event means bankruptcy, failure to timely pay interest or principal, obligation acceleration or default, or repudiation or restructuring of the reference debt obligation. The contingent payment by the seller generally is either the face amount of the reference debt obligation in exchange for the physical delivery of the reference debt obligation or a cash payment equal to the decrease in market value of the reference debt obligation following the occurrence of the credit event.

 

The investment manager considers various factors, such as availability and cost, in deciding whether to use a particular derivative instrument or strategy. Moreover, investors should bear in mind that the Fund is not obligated to actively engage in any derivative transactions.

 

Portfolio Selection

 

The Fund typically invests in a corporate loan if the investment manager judges that the borrower can meet the scheduled payments on the obligation. The investment manager performs its own independent credit analysis of each borrower/issuer, and of the collateral structure securing the Fund’s investment. The investment manager generally determines the value of the collateral backing the Fund’s investment by customary valuation techniques that it considers appropriate, including reference to financial statements, third party appraisal, or obtaining the market value of collateral (e.g., cash or securities), if it is readily ascertainable. The investment manager also considers the nature of the industry in which the borrower operates, the nature of the borrower’s assets, and the general quality and creditworthiness of the borrower and sponsor of the company. The investment manager evaluates the credit quality of the Fund’s investments on an ongoing basis. The value assigned to the collateral by the investment manager may be higher or lower than the value at which the borrower values the collateral on the borrower’s books. An agent bank (as described below in the section entitled “Industry Concentration”) may rely on third party appraisals as to the value of specific collateral, but may not obtain a third party appraisal in all cases.

 

The collateral may consist of various types of assets or interests. It may include working capital assets, such as accounts receivable or inventory. Inventory is the goods a company has in stock, including finished goods, goods in the process of being manufactured and the supplies used in the process of manufacturing. Accounts receivable are the monies due to a company for merchandise or securities that it has sold, or for the services it has provided. The collateral also may include tangible fixed assets, such as real property, buildings and equipment, or intangible assets, such as trademarks, copyrights and patent rights, or securities of subsidiaries or affiliates. Where the borrower is a privately held company, the company’s owners may provide additional security. They may do this by giving personal guarantees of performance or by agreeing to transfer other securities that they own to the lenders in the event that the obligations are not repaid. In addition, the Fund may invest in corporate loans that are fully collateralized by assets of such shareholders or owners, rather than by assets of the borrower.

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In addition, the investment manager considers other factors it believes are appropriate to the analysis of the borrower and the corporate loan. Such factors may include financial ratios of the borrower, such as the interest coverage ratio and leverage ratio. The investment manager also considers the nature of the industry in which the borrower is engaged, the nature of the borrower’s assets and the general quality of the borrower, including the quality of the management and other personnel. The investment manager considers developing political, diplomatic, legal, regulatory and operational impacts on the nature of the industry and economy in which the borrower is engaged. Particularly, with respect to foreign borrowers and U.S. subsidiaries of foreign borrowers, the investment manager considers the nature of the foreign countries, economies and markets in which the foreign borrower is located and operates. These factors are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to predict. Consequently, the investment manager may be unable to assess effectively any adverse impact on the creditworthiness of borrowers arising from such factors.

 

The investment manager may consider selling a security when it believes the security has become fully valued due to either its price appreciation or changes in the issuer’s fundamentals, or when the investment manager believes another security is a more attractive investment opportunity.

 

Industry Concentration

The Fund currently does not intend to invest more than 25% of its net assets in the obligations of borrowers in any single industry, except that, under normal market conditions, the Fund invests more than 25% of its net assets in debt obligations of companies operating in the industry group consisting of financial institutions and their holding companies, including commercial banks, thrift institutions, insurance companies and finance companies. These firms, or “agent banks,” may serve as administrators of corporate loans issued by other companies. For purposes of this restriction, the Fund currently considers such companies to include the borrower, the agent bank and any intermediate participant. The Fund may invest up to 100% of its net assets in loans where firms in such industry group are borrowers, agent banks or intermediate participants. As a result of this concentration of its investments in companies operating in such industry group, the Fund is subject to certain risks associated with such institutions, both individually and as a group.

Principal Risks

Credit

The Fund could lose money on a debt security if the issuer or borrower is unable or fails to meet its obligations, including failing to make interest payments and/or to repay principal when due. Changes in an issuer’s financial strength, the market’s perception of the issuer’s financial strength or a security’s credit rating, which reflects a third party’s assessment of the credit risk presented by a particular issuer, may affect debt securities’ values. The Fund may incur substantial losses on debt securities that are inaccurately perceived to present a different amount of credit risk by the market, the investment manager or the rating agencies than such securities actually do.

Floating Rate Corporate Investments

Certain corporate loans may not be considered “securities,” and investors, such as the Fund, therefore may not be entitled to rely on the antifraud protections of the federal securities laws.

The senior secured corporate loans and corporate debt securities in which the Fund invests are often issued in connection with highly leveraged transactions. Such transactions include leveraged buyout loans, leveraged recapitalization loans, and other types of acquisition financing. Loan investments issued in such transactions are subject to greater credit risks than other investments including a greater possibility that the borrower may default or enter bankruptcy. Such floating rate securities may be rated below investment grade (i.e., also known as “junk bonds”). Although loan investments are generally subject to certain restrictive covenants in favor of the investors, many of these loans may from time to time be reissued or offered as “covenant lite” loans, which may entail potentially increased risk, because they may have fewer or no financial maintenance covenants or restrictions that would normally allow for early intervention and proactive mitigation of credit risk.

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In the event of a breach of a covenant in non-covenant lite loans or debt securities, lenders may have the ability to intervene and either prevent or restrict actions that may potentially compromise the company’s ability to pay or lenders may be in a position to obtain concessions from the borrowers in exchange for a waiver or amendment of the specific covenant(s). In contrast, covenant lite loans do not always or necessarily offer the same ability to intervene or obtain additional concessions from borrowers. This risk is offset to varying degrees by the fact that the same financial and performance information may be available with or without covenants to lenders and the public alike and can be used to detect such early warning signs as deterioration of a borrower’s financial condition or results. With such information, the portfolio managers are normally able to take appropriate actions without the help of covenants in the loans or debt securities. Covenant lite corporate loans and debt securities, however, may foster a capital structure designed to avoid defaults by giving borrowers or issuers increased financial flexibility when they need it the most.

No active trading market may exist for some corporate loans and some corporate loans may be subject to restrictions on resale. A secondary market in corporate loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods, which may impair the ability to accurately value existing and prospective investments and to realize in a timely fashion the full value on sale of a corporate loan. In addition, the Fund may not be able to readily sell its corporate loans at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell such loans if they were more widely held and traded. As a result of such potential illiquidity, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations.

From time to time, the investment manager may elect to receive material nonpublic information (MNPI) about an individual loan that is not available to other lenders of such loan who may be unwilling to enter into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the borrower or company and restrict themselves from trading in the loan for a specified period of time. If the Fund elects to become restricted on any individual loan as a result of agreeing to receive MNPI about the loan and signing an NDA, the Fund might be unable to enter into a transaction in a security of that borrower, when it would otherwise be advantageous to do so.

Liquidity

Liquidity risk exists when the markets for particular securities or types of securities or other investments are or become relatively illiquid so that the Fund is unable, or it becomes more difficult for the Fund, to sell the security or other investment at the price at which the Fund has valued the security. Illiquidity may result from political, economic or issuer specific events; supply/demand imbalances; changes in a specific market’s size or structure, including the number of participants; or overall market disruptions. Securities or other investments with reduced liquidity or that become illiquid may involve greater risk than securities with more liquid markets. Market prices or quotations for illiquid securities may be volatile, and there may be large spreads between bid and ask prices. Reduced liquidity may have an adverse impact on market price and the Fund’s ability to sell particular securities when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event. To the extent that the Fund and its affiliates hold a significant portion of an issuer’s outstanding securities, the Fund may be subject to greater liquidity risk than if the issuer’s securities were more widely held.

Impairment of Collateral

The terms of the senior secured corporate loans and corporate debt securities in which the Fund typically invests require that collateral and/or cash flow generating capacity be maintained to support payment of the obligation. Generally, the collateral for a secured corporate loan or corporate debt security has a fair market value at least equal to 100% of the amount of such corporate loan or corporate debt security when initially syndicated. However, the value of the collateral and/or the cash flow generating capacity may decline after the Fund invests and there is a risk that the value of the collateral may not be sufficient to cover the amount owed to the Fund. In addition, collateral securing a loan may be found invalid, may be used to pay other outstanding obligations of the borrower under applicable law or more senior claims under applicable credit agreements, or may be difficult to sell.

In the event that a borrower defaults, the Fund’s access to the collateral may be limited by bankruptcy and other insolvency laws. There is also the risk that the collateral may be difficult to liquidate, or that a majority of the collateral may be illiquid. As a result, the Fund might not receive timely payments or may not ultimately receive payments to which it is entitled.

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Market

The market values of securities or other investments owned by the Fund will go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. Securities or other investments may decline in value due to factors affecting individual issuers, markets generally or sectors within the markets. The value of a security or other investment may go up or down due to general market conditions which are not specifically related to a particular issuer, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in interest rates or exchange rates, or adverse investor sentiment generally. The value may also go up or down due to factors that affect an individual issuer or a particular sector. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may decline in value. When markets perform well, there can be no assurance that securities or other investments held by the Fund will participate in or otherwise benefit from the advance.

High-Yield Debt Securities

High-yield debt securities (including loans) and unrated securities of similar credit quality (high-yield debt instruments or junk bonds) involve greater risk of a complete loss of the Fund’s investment, or delays of interest and principal payments, than higher-quality debt securities or loans. Issuers of high-yield debt instruments are not as strong financially as those issuing securities of higher credit quality. High-yield debt instruments are generally considered predominantly speculative by the applicable rating agencies as these issuers are more likely to encounter financial difficulties and are more vulnerable to changes in the relevant economy, such as a recession or a sustained period of rising interest rates, that could affect their ability to make interest and principal payments when due. If an issuer stops making interest and/or principal payments, payments on the securities may never resume. These instruments may be worthless and the Fund could lose its entire investment.

The prices of high-yield debt instruments generally fluctuate more than higher-quality securities. Prices are especially sensitive to developments affecting the issuer’s business or operations and to changes in the ratings assigned by rating agencies. In addition, the entire high-yield debt market can experience sudden and sharp price swings due to changes in economic conditions, stock market activity, large sustained sales by major investors, a high-profile default, or other factors. Prices of corporate high-yield debt instruments often are closely linked with the company’s stock prices and typically rise and fall in response to factors that affect stock prices.

High-yield debt instruments are generally less liquid than higher-quality securities. Many of these securities are not registered for sale under the federal securities laws and/or do not trade frequently. When they do trade, their prices may be significantly higher or lower than expected. At times, it may be difficult to sell these securities promptly at an acceptable price, which may limit the Fund’s ability to sell securities in response to specific economic events or to meet redemption requests. As a result, certain high-yield debt instruments may pose greater illiquidity and valuation risks.

Substantial declines in the prices of high-yield debt instruments can dramatically increase the yield of such bonds or loans. The decline in market prices generally reflects an expectation that the issuer(s) may be at greater risk of defaulting on the obligation to pay interest and principal when due. Therefore, substantial increases in yield may reflect a greater risk by the Fund of losing some or part of its investment rather than reflecting any increase in income from the higher yield that the debt security or loan may pay to the Fund on its investment.

Prepayment

Debt securities are subject to prepayment risk when the issuer can “call” the security, or repay principal, in whole or in part, prior to the security’s maturity. When the Fund reinvests the prepayments of principal it receives, it may receive a rate of interest that is lower than the rate on the existing security, potentially lowering the Fund’s income, yield and its distributions to shareholders. Securities subject to partial or complete prepayment(s) may offer less potential for gains during a declining interest rate environment and have greater price volatility. Prepayment risk is greater in periods of falling interest rates for fixed-rate assets, and for floating or variable rate securities, rising interest rates generally increase the risk of refinancings or prepayments.

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Interest Rate

Interest rate changes can be sudden and unpredictable, and are influenced by a number of factors, including government policy, monetary policy, inflation expectations, perceptions of risk, and supply and demand of bonds. Changes in government monetary policy, including changes in tax policy or changes in a central bank’s implementation of specific policy goals, may have a substantial impact on interest rates. There can be no guarantee that any particular government or central bank policy will be continued, discontinued or changed, nor that any such policy will have the desired effect on interest rates. Debt securities generally tend to lose market value when interest rates rise and increase in value when interest rates fall. A rise in interest rates also has the potential to cause investors to rapidly move out of fixed income securities. A substantial increase in interest rates may also have an adverse impact on the liquidity of a security, especially those with longer maturities or durations. Securities with longer maturities or durations or lower coupons or that make little (or no) interest payments before maturity tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes.

Variable Rate Securities

Variable rate securities (which include floating rate debt securities) generally are less price sensitive to interest rate changes than fixed rate debt securities. However, the market value of variable rate debt securities may decline or not appreciate as quickly as expected when prevailing interest rates rise if the interest rates of the variable rate securities do not rise as much, or as quickly, as interest rates in general. Conversely, variable rate securities will not generally increase in market value if interest rates decline. However, when interest rates fall, there may be a reduction in the payments of interest received by the Fund from its variable rate securities.

 

The degree of volatility in the market value of the variable rate securities held by the Fund will generally increase along with the length of time between adjustments, the degree of volatility in the applicable index, benchmark or base lending rate and whether the index, benchmark or base lending rate to which it resets or floats approximates short-term or other prevailing interest rates. It will also be a function of the maximum increase or decrease of the interest rate adjustment on any one adjustment date, in any one year, and over the life of the security. These maximum increases and decreases are typically referred to as “caps” and “floors,” respectively.

 

During periods when short-term interest rates move within the caps and floors of the security held by the Fund, the interest rate of such security will reset to prevailing rates within a short period. As a result, the fluctuation in market value of the variable rate security held by the Fund is generally expected to be limited.

 

In periods of substantial short-term volatility in interest rates, the market value of such debt securities may fluctuate more substantially if the caps and/or floors prevent the interest rates from adjusting to the full extent of the movements in the market rates during any one adjustment period or over the term of the security.

 

In the event of dramatic increases in interest rates, any lifetime caps on these securities may prevent the securities from adjusting to prevailing rates over the term of the security. In either the case of caps or floors, the market value of the securities may be reduced.

 

In the low interest rate environment for the years 2009 to the present, a substantial number of the Fund’s variable rate securities have benefited from a floor in the applicable interest rate so that the Fund is receiving no less than a LIBOR floor interest rate. The LIBOR floor is a minimum (fixed) LIBOR rate the Fund receives as part of the all-in interest rate (which consists of LIBOR plus spread). In the event that LIBOR begins to increase with the anticipation of higher short-term interest rates, the Fund will experience a period when its all-in interest rate will not “float” or adjust upward with rising short-term rates until the short-term interest rate reaches the floor rate. The inability of the loans’ interest rates to adjust upward may cause the loan prices to decline in the short-term until the then current LIBOR rises above this minimum floor rate.

 

The net asset value of the Fund may decline or not appreciate as expected during periods of rising interest rates until the interest rates on these securities reset to market rates.

 

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Derivative Instruments

The performance of derivative instruments depends largely on the performance of an underlying currency, security, interest rate or index, and such derivatives often have risks similar to the underlying instrument, in addition to other risks. Derivatives involve costs and can create economic leverage in the Fund’s portfolio which may result in significant volatility and cause the Fund to participate in losses (as well as gains) in an amount that significantly exceeds the Fund’s initial investment. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. Other risks include illiquidity, mispricing or improper valuation of the derivative, and imperfect correlation between the value of the derivative and the underlying instrument so that the Fund may not realize the intended benefits. Their successful use will usually depend on the investment manager’s ability to accurately forecast movements in the market relating to the underlying instrument. Should a market or markets, or prices of particular classes of investments move in an unexpected manner, especially in unusual or extreme market conditions, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, and it may realize losses, which could be significant. If the investment manager is not successful in using such derivative instruments, the Fund’s performance may be worse than if the investment manager did not use such derivatives at all. When a derivative is used for hedging, the change in value of the derivative may also not correlate specifically with the currency, security, interest rate, index or other risk being hedged. Derivatives also may present the risk that the other party to the transaction will fail to perform. There is also the risk, especially under extreme market conditions, that a derivative, which usually would operate as a hedge, provides no hedging benefits at all.

Use of derivatives could also result in a loss if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised, including because of such counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. This risk is heightened with respect to over-the-counter (OTC) instruments, such as certain swap agreements and currency forwards, and may be greater during volatile market conditions. Other risks include the inability to close out a position because the trading market becomes illiquid (particularly in the OTC markets) or the availability of counterparties becomes limited for a period of time. In addition, the presence of speculators in a particular market could lead to price distortions. To the extent that the Fund is unable to close out a position because of market illiquidity, the Fund may not be able to prevent further losses of value in its derivatives holdings and the Fund’s liquidity may be impaired to the extent that it has a substantial portion of its otherwise liquid assets marked as segregated to cover its obligations under such derivative instruments. Some derivatives can be particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates or other market prices. Investors should bear in mind that, while the Fund intends to use derivative strategies on a regular basis, it is not obligated to actively engage in these transactions, generally or in any particular kind of derivative, if the investment manager elects not to do so due to availability, cost or other factors.

Many swaps currently are, and others eventually are expected to be, required to be cleared through a central counterparty. Central clearing is designed to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity compared to OTC swaps, but it does not eliminate those risks completely. With cleared swaps, there is also a risk of loss by the Fund of its initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position in a swap contract. With cleared swaps, the Fund may not be able to obtain as favorable terms as it would be able to negotiate for a bilateral, uncleared swap. In addition, an FCM may unilaterally amend the terms of its agreement with the Fund, which may include the imposition of position limits or additional margin requirements with respect to the Fund’s investment in certain types of swaps. The regulation of cleared and uncleared swaps, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In addition, the SEC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency. It is not possible to predict fully the effects of current or future regulation.

The use of derivative strategies may also have a tax impact on the Fund. The timing and character of income, gains or losses from these strategies could impair the ability of the investment manager to use derivatives when it wishes to do so.

Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs)

The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of collateral held by the special purpose entity (SPE) and the tranche of the CDO in which the Fund invests. Investment risk may also be affected by the performance of a CDO’s collateral manager (the entity responsible for selecting and managing the pool of collateral securities held by the SPE trust), especially during a period of market volatility. CDOs may be deemed to be illiquid securities and subject to the Fund’s restrictions on investments in illiquid securities. The Fund’s investment in CDOs will not receive the same investor protection as an investment in registered securities.

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In addition, prices of CDO tranches can decline considerably. In addition to the normal risks associated with debt securities and asset backed securities (e.g., interest rate risk, credit risk and default risk), CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or quality or go into default or be downgraded; (iii) the Fund may invest in tranches of a CDO that are subordinate to other classes; and (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer, difficulty in valuing the security or unexpected investment results.

Income

Because the Fund can only distribute what it earns, the Fund’s distributions to shareholders may decline when prevailing interest rates fall or when the Fund experiences defaults on debt securities it holds. The Fund’s income generally declines during periods of falling interest rates because the Fund must reinvest the proceeds it receives from existing investments (upon their maturity, prepayment, amortization, call, or buy-back) at a lower rate of interest or return.

Concentration

By focusing on an industry or a group of industries, the Fund carries much greater risks of adverse developments and price movements in such industries than a fund that invests in a wider variety of industries. Because the Fund concentrates in a specific industry or group of industries, there is also the risk that the Fund will perform poorly during a slump in demand for securities of companies in such industries.

Unrated Debt Securities

Unrated debt securities determined by the investment manager to be of comparable quality to rated securities which the Fund may purchase may pay a higher interest rate than such rated debt securities and be subject to a greater risk of illiquidity or price changes. Less public information is typically available about unrated securities or issuers.

Management

The Fund is an actively managed ETF and could experience losses if the investment manager’s judgment about markets, interest rates or the attractiveness, relative values, liquidity, or potential appreciation of particular investments made for the Fund’s portfolio prove to be incorrect. There can be no guarantee that these techniques or the investment manager’s investment decisions will produce the desired results. Additionally, legislative, regulatory, or tax developments may affect the investment techniques available to the investment manager in connection with managing the Fund and may also adversely affect the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment goals.

Financial Services Companies

The Fund concentrates its investments in companies operating in the financial services industry, which means the Fund is less diversified than a fund investing in a broader range of securities. As a result, the Fund’s investments and performance are particularly sensitive to general market and economic conditions as well as other risks specific to the financial services industry. For example, increases in interest rates, price competition, and the rate of corporate and consumer debt defaults can have a negative effect on the profitability of financial services companies. In addition, the financial services industry, including banks, insurance companies and investment banking firms, have recently experienced significant losses in value and the possible recapitalization of such companies (excluding direct investments by the U.S. Government) may present greater risks of loss to shareholders and other security holders.

Financial services companies are subject to extensive government regulation, which tends to limit product lines and operations, as well as the amount and types of loans and other financial commitments a financial services company can make, and the interest rates and fees it can charge. These limitations can have a significant impact on the profitability of a financial services company.

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Insurance companies may be subject to heavy price competition, claims activity, marketing competition and general economic conditions. Certain lines of insurance can be significantly influenced by specific events. For example, property and casualty insurer profits may be affected by man-made and natural disasters (including weather catastrophes), as well as terrorism; and life and health insurer profits may be affected by mortality risks and morbidity rates and regulatory and operational changes affected by the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Individual insurance companies may be subject to material risks, such as inadequate reserve funds to pay claims and the inability to collect from reinsurance carriers.

The financial services industry continues to undergo change as existing distinctions between banking, insurance and brokerage businesses become blurred. In addition, the financial services industry continues to experience consolidations, development of new products and structures and changes to its regulatory framework. These changes are likely to have a significant impact on the financial services industry and the Fund, but it is not possible to predict whether the effect will be beneficial or adverse. That depends not only upon how these changes affect the industry, but also how the particular securities in the Fund’s portfolio are affected.

Foreign Securities

Investing in foreign securities typically involves more risks than investing in U.S. securities. Certain of these risks also may apply to securities of U.S. companies with significant foreign operations.

Currency exchange rates.   Foreign securities may be issued and traded in foreign currencies. As a result, their market values in U.S. dollars may be affected by changes in exchange rates between such foreign currencies and the U.S. dollar, as well as between currencies of countries other than the U.S. For example, if the value of the U.S. dollar goes up compared to a foreign currency, an investment traded in that foreign currency will go down in value because it will be worth fewer U.S. dollars. The Fund accrues additional expenses when engaging in currency exchange transactions, and valuation of the Fund’s foreign securities may be subject to greater risk because both the currency (relative to the U.S. dollar) and the security must be considered.

Political and economic developments.   The political, economic and social policies or structures of some foreign countries may be less stable and more volatile than those in the United States. Investments in these countries may be subject to greater risks of internal and external conflicts, expropriation, nationalization of assets, foreign exchange controls (such as suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a given country), restrictions on removal of assets, political or social instability, military action or unrest, diplomatic developments, currency devaluations, foreign ownership limitations, and punitive or confiscatory tax increases. It is possible that a government may take over the assets or operations of a company or impose restrictions on the exchange or export of currency or other assets. Some countries also may have different legal systems that may make it difficult or expensive for the Fund to vote proxies, exercise shareholder rights, and pursue legal remedies with respect to its foreign investments. Diplomatic and political developments could affect the economies, industries, and securities and currency markets of the countries in which the Fund is invested. These developments include rapid and adverse political changes; social instability; regional conflicts; sanctions imposed by the United States, other nations or other governmental entities, including supranational entities; terrorism; and war. In addition, such developments could contribute to the devaluation of a country’s currency, a downgrade in the credit ratings of issuers in such country, or a decline in the value and liquidity of securities of issuers in that country. An imposition of sanctions upon certain issuers in a country could result in an immediate freeze of that issuer’s securities, impairing the ability of the Fund to buy, sell, receive or deliver those securities. These factors would affect the value of the Fund’s investments and are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to predict and take into account with respect to the Fund’s investments.

Trading practices.   Brokerage commissions, withholding taxes, custodial fees, and other fees generally are higher in foreign markets. The policies and procedures followed by foreign stock exchanges, currency markets, trading systems and brokers may differ from those applicable in the United States, with possibly negative consequences to the Fund. The procedures and rules governing foreign trading, settlement and custody (holding of the Fund’s assets) also may result in losses or delays in payment, delivery or recovery of money or other property. Foreign government supervision and regulation of foreign securities markets and trading systems may be less than or different from government supervision in the United States, and may increase the Fund’s regulatory and compliance burden and/or decrease the Fund’s investor rights and protections.

Availability of information.   Foreign issuers may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. issuers. Thus, there may be less information publicly available about foreign issuers than about most U.S. issuers. In addition, information provided by foreign issuers may be less timely or less reliable than information provided by U.S. issuers.

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Limited markets.   Certain foreign securities may be less liquid (harder to sell) and their prices may be more volatile than many U.S. securities. Illiquidity tends to be greater, and valuation of the Fund’s foreign securities may be more difficult, due to the infrequent trading and/or delayed reporting of quotes and sales.  If the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings are illiquid, the Fund’s shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the market for the underlying portfolio holdings, and the Fund’s market price could deviate from the Fund’s NAV.

Regional.   Adverse conditions in a certain region or country can adversely affect securities of issuers in other countries whose economies appear to be unrelated. To the extent that the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a specific geographic region or a particular country, the Fund will generally have more exposure to the economic risks affecting that specific geographic region or country. In the event of economic or political turmoil or a deterioration of diplomatic relations in a region or country where a substantial portion of the Fund’s assets are invested, the Fund may experience substantial illiquidity or reduction in the value of the Fund’s investments.

 

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More Information on Investment Policies, Practices and Risks

The following information is provided with respect to each Fund (hereafter the “Fund”).

Market Trading

Absence of active market.   Although shares of the Fund are listed for trading on one or more stock exchanges, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained. There are no obligations of market makers to make a market in the Fund’s shares or of an Authorized Participant to submit purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units. Decisions by market makers or Authorized Participants to reduce their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying value of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. This reduced effectiveness could result in Fund shares trading at a premium or discount to its NAV and also greater than normal intraday bid/ask spreads.

Secondary listings.   The Fund’s shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund’s primary listing is maintained, and may otherwise be made available to non-U.S. investors through funds or structured investment vehicles similar to depositary receipts.

The Fund’s shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than in others, and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient.

Secondary market trading.   Shares of the Fund may trade in the secondary market at times when the Fund does not accept orders to purchase or redeem shares. At such times, shares may trade in the secondary market with more significant premiums or discounts than might be experienced at times when the Fund accepts purchase and redemption orders.

There can be no assurance that the Fund’s shares will continue to trade on a stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market, or that such requirements will remain unchanged. Secondary market trading in Fund shares may be halted by a stock exchange because of market conditions or other reasons. In addition, trading in Fund shares on a stock exchange or in any market may be subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules on the stock exchange or market.

During a “flash crash,” the market prices of the Fund’s shares may decline suddenly and significantly. Such a decline may not reflect the performance of the portfolio securities held by the Fund. Flash crashes may cause Authorized Participants and other market makers to limit or cease trading in the Fund’s shares for temporary or longer periods. Shareholders could suffer significant losses to the extent that they sell shares at these temporarily low market prices.

Shares of the Fund, similar to shares of other issuers listed on a stock exchange, may be sold short and are therefore subject to the risk of increased volatility associated with short selling.

Premium/Discount.   Shares of the Fund may trade at prices other than NAV. Shares of the Fund trade on stock exchanges at prices at, above or below their most recent NAV. The NAV of the Fund is calculated at the end of each business day and fluctuates with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings since the most recent calculation. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on market supply and demand rather than NAV. As a result, the trading prices of the Fund’s shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility.

Any of these factors, among others, may lead to the Fund’s shares trading at a premium or discount to NAV. Thus, you may pay more (or less) than NAV when you buy shares of the Fund in the secondary market, and you may receive less (or more) than NAV when you sell those shares in the secondary market. The investment manager cannot predict whether shares will trade above (premium), below (discount) or at NAV. However, because shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units at NAV, the investment manager believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of the Fund are not likely to be sustained over the long-term. While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it likely that the Fund’s shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with the Fund’s NAV due to timing reasons as well as market supply and demand factors. In addition, disruptions to creations and redemptions or extreme market volatility may result in trading prices for shares of the Fund that differ significantly from its NAV.

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Cost of buying or selling Fund shares.   Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread,” that is, the difference between what investors are willing to pay for Fund shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which they are willing to sell Fund shares (the “ask” price). Because of the costs inherent in buying or selling Fund shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment results and an investment in Fund shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.

Authorized Participant Concentration

Only an Authorized Participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that act as Authorized Participants. To the extent that these institutions exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other Authorized Participant is able to step forward to create or redeem Creation Units, Fund shares may trade at a discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting. This risk may be more pronounced in volatile markets, potentially where there are significant redemptions in ETFs generally.

Cash Transactions

ETFs generally are able to make in-kind redemptions and avoid being taxed on gain on the distributed portfolio securities at the Fund level. Because the Fund expects to generally effect redemptions entirely in cash, rather than in-kind, it may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. If the Fund recognizes gain on these sales, this generally will cause the Fund to recognize gain it might not otherwise have recognized, or to recognize such gain sooner than would otherwise be required if it were to distribute portfolio securities in-kind. The Fund generally intends to distribute these gains to shareholders to avoid being taxed on this gain at the Fund level and otherwise comply with the special tax rules that apply to it. This strategy may cause shareholders to be subject to tax on gains they would not otherwise be subject to, or at an earlier date than, if they had made an investment in a different ETF. Moreover, cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees and taxes. These brokerage fees and taxes, which will be higher than if the Fund sold and redeemed its shares principally in-kind, could be imposed on the Fund and thus decrease the Fund’s NAV to the extent they are not offset by the creation and redemption transaction fees paid by purchasers and redeemers of Creation Units.

Exclusion of Investment Manager from Commodity Pool Operator Definition

With respect to the Fund, the investment manager has claimed an exclusion from the definition of “commodity pool operator” (CPO) under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and the rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and, therefore, is not subject to CFTC registration or regulation as a CPO. In addition, with respect to the Fund, the investment manager is relying upon a related exclusion from the definition of “commodity trading advisor” (CTA) under the CEA and the rules of the CFTC.

The terms of the CPO exclusion require the Fund, among other things, to adhere to certain limits on its investments in commodity futures, commodity options and swaps, which in turn include non-deliverable currency forward contracts, as further described in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (SAI). Because the investment manager and the Fund intend to comply with the terms of the CPO exclusion, the Fund may, in the future, need to adjust its investment strategies, consistent with its investment goal(s), to limit its investments in these types of instruments. The Fund is not intended as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options, or swaps markets. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the investment manager’s reliance on these exclusions, or the Fund, its investment strategies or this prospectus.

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Temporary Investments

When the investment manager believes market or economic conditions are unfavorable for investors, the investment manager may invest up to 100% of the Fund’s assets in a temporary defensive manner by holding all or a substantial portion of its assets in cash, cash equivalents or other high quality short-term investments. Temporary defensive investments generally may include short-term U.S. government securities, high grade commercial paper, bank obligations, repurchase agreements, money market fund shares (including shares of an affiliated money market fund), and other money market instruments. The investment manager also may invest in these types of securities or hold cash while looking for suitable investment opportunities, to maintain liquidity or to segregate on the Fund’s books in connection with its derivative strategies. In these circumstances, the Fund may be unable to achieve its investment goal(s).

More detailed information about the Fund, its policies and risks can be found in the Fund’s SAI.

A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures regarding the release of portfolio holdings information is also available in the Fund’s SAI. Portfolio holdings information can be viewed online at libertyshares.com.

 

Management

Franklin Advisers, Inc. (Advisers), One Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, CA 94403-1906, is the investment manager of the Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF and Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF. Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited (FTIML), Cannon Place, 78 Cannon Street, London, EC4N 6HL, England, is the investment manager of the Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF. FTIML’s principal place of business is in Scotland. Together, Advisers, FTIML and their affiliates manage, as of November 30, 2017, over $753 billion in assets, and have been in the investment management business since 1947.

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF

The Fund is managed by a team of dedicated professionals. The portfolio managers of the team are as follows:

Glenn I. Voyles, CFA   Senior Vice President of Advisers

Mr. Voyles has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since inception. He joined Franklin Templeton Investments in 1993.

Patricia O’Connor, CFA   Vice President of Advisers

Ms. O’Connor has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since inception. She joined Franklin Templeton Investments in 1997.

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF

The Fund is managed by a dedicated professional. The portfolio manager of the Fund is as follows:

John W. Beck   Senior Vice President of FTIML

Mr. Beck has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since inception. He joined Franklin Templeton Investments in 1990.

Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF

The Fund is managed by a team of dedicated professionals. The portfolio managers of the team are as follows:

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Mark Boyadjian, CFA   Senior Vice President of Advisers

Mr. Boyadjian has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since inception. He joined Franklin Templeton Investments in 1998.

Madeline Lam   Vice President of Advisers

Ms. Lam has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since inception. She joined Franklin Templeton Investments in 1998.

Justin Ma, CFA   Portfolio Manager of Advisers

Mr. Ma has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since inception. He joined Franklin Templeton Investments in 2006.

The portfolio managers of the Fund are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio. They have equal authority over all aspects of the Fund’s investment portfolio, including, but not limited to, purchases and sales of individual securities, portfolio risk assessment, and the management of daily cash balances in accordance with anticipated investment management requirements. The degree to which each portfolio manager may perform these functions, and the nature of these functions, may change from time to time.

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about portfolio manager compensation, other accounts that they manage and their ownership of Fund shares.

The Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF and Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF pay Advisers a fee for managing the Fund’s assets. The Franklin Liberty International Aggregate ETF pays FTIML a fee for managing the Fund’s assets. The fee is equal to the following annual rate of the average daily net assets of the Fund:

 

 

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF 

[     ]% 

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate ETF 

[     ]% 

Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF 

[     ]% 

Advisers and FTIML have agreed to reduce their fees to reflect reduced services resulting from the Fund’s investment in a Franklin Templeton money fund. In addition, management has agreed to waive or limit its fees and to assume as its own certain expenses otherwise payable by the Fund so that expenses (including acquired fund fees and expenses, but excluding certain non-routine expenses or costs) do not exceed the following levels until [July 31], 2019:

 

 

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF 

[     ]% 

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate ETF 

[     ]% 

Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF 

[     ]% 

 

Non-routine expenses or costs include those relating to litigation, indemnification, reorganizations and liquidations.

 

 

A discussion regarding the basis for the board of trustees approving the investment management contract of the Fund will be available in the Fund’s initial annual or semi-annual report to shareholders.

 

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Manager of Managers Structure

The investment manager and the Trust have received an exemptive order from the SEC that allows the Fund to operate in a “manager of managers” structure whereby the investment manager can appoint and replace both wholly-owned and unaffiliated sub-advisors, and enter into, amend and terminate sub-advisory agreements with such sub-advisors, each subject to board approval but without obtaining prior shareholder approval (“Manager of Managers Structure”). The Fund will, however, inform shareholders of the hiring of any new sub-advisor within 90 days after the hiring. The SEC exemptive order provides the Fund with greater flexibility and efficiency by preventing the Fund from incurring the expense and delays associated with obtaining shareholder approval of such sub-advisory agreements.

The use of the Manager of Managers Structure with respect to the Fund is subject to certain conditions that are set forth in the SEC exemptive order. Under the Manager of Managers Structure, the investment manager has the ultimate responsibility, subject to oversight by the Fund’s board of trustees, to oversee sub-advisors and recommend their hiring, termination and replacement. The investment manager will also, subject to the review and approval of the Fund’s board of trustees: set the Fund’s overall investment strategy; evaluate, select and recommend sub-advisors to manage all or a portion of the Fund’s assets; and implement procedures reasonably designed to ensure that each sub-advisor complies with the Fund’s investment goal(s), policies and restrictions. Subject to review by the Fund’s board of trustees, the investment manager will allocate and, when appropriate, reallocate the Fund’s assets among sub-advisors and monitor and evaluate the sub-advisors’ performance.

Distributions and Taxes

The information is provided with respect to each Fund (hereafter “the Fund”).

Income and Capital Gain Distributions

Each Fund intends to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code. As a regulated investment company, the Fund generally pays no federal income tax on the income and gains it distributes to you. Each Fund intends to pay income dividends monthly from its net investment income.  Capital gains, if any, may be paid at least annually. The Fund may distribute income dividends and capital gains more frequently, if necessary, in order to reduce or eliminate federal excise or income taxes on the Fund. The amount of any distribution will vary, and there is no guarantee the Fund will pay either income dividends or capital gain distributions. Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole Fund shares only if the broker through whom you purchased the shares makes such option available.

Annual statements.   After the close of each calendar year, you will receive tax information from the broker with respect to the federal income tax treatment of the Fund’s distributions and any taxable sales of Fund shares occurring during the prior calendar year. You may receive revised tax information if the Fund must reclassify its distributions or the broker must adjust the cost basis of any covered shares sold after you receive your tax information. Distributions declared in December to shareholders of record in such month and paid in January are taxable as if they were paid in December. Additional tax information about the Fund’s distributions is available at libertyshares.com.

Avoid “buying a dividend.”   At the time you purchase your Fund shares, the price of the shares may reflect undistributed income, undistributed capital gains, or net unrealized appreciation in the value of the portfolio securities held by the Fund. For taxable investors, a subsequent distribution to you of such amounts, although constituting a return of your investment, would be taxable. Buying shares in the Fund just before it declares an income dividend or capital gain distribution is sometimes known as “buying a dividend.”

Tax Considerations

If you are a taxable investor, Fund distributions for Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF and Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF are generally taxable to you as ordinary income, capital gains or some combination of both.  Fund distributions for Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF are generally taxable to you as ordinary income. This is the case whether you reinvest your distributions in additional Fund shares or receive them in cash.

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Dividend income.   Income dividends are generally subject to tax at ordinary rates. Income dividends reported by the Fund as qualified dividend income may be subject to tax by individuals at reduced long-term capital gains tax rates provided certain holding period requirements are met. Because the Fund invests primarily in debt securities, it is expected that either none or only a small portion of the Fund’s income dividends may be qualified dividends. A return-of-capital distribution is generally not taxable but will reduce the cost basis of your shares, and will result in a higher capital gain or a lower capital loss when you later sell your shares.

Capital gains.   Fund distributions of short-term capital gains are also subject to tax at ordinary rates. Fund distributions of long-term capital gains are taxable at the reduced long-term capital gains rates no matter how long you have owned your Fund shares. For single individuals with taxable income not in excess of $38,600 in 2018 ($77,200 for married individuals filing jointly), the long-term capital gains tax rate is 0%. For single individuals and joint filers with taxable income in excess of these amounts but not more than $425,800 or $479,000, respectively, the long-term capital gains tax rate is 15%. The rate is 20% for single individuals with taxable income in excess of $425,800 and married individuals filing jointly with taxable income in excess of $479,000. An additional 3.8% Medicare tax may also be imposed as discussed below.

Sales of exchange-listed shares.   Currently, any capital gain or loss realized on the sale of Fund shares generally is treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year and as short-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for one year or less.

Cost basis reporting.   Contact the broker through whom you purchased your Fund shares to obtain information with respect to the available cost basis reporting methods and elections for your account.

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

Authorized Participants that create or redeem Creation Units will be sent a confirmation statement showing how many shares they purchased or sold and at what price.

Under current federal tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon a redemption of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for one year or less.

If the Fund redeems Creation Units in part or entirely in cash, it may recognize more capital gains than it will if it redeems Creation Units in-kind.

Medicare tax.   An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from the sales 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 Medicare tax is reported on, and paid with, your federal income tax return.

Backup withholding.   A shareholder may be subject to backup withholding on any distributions of income, capital gains, or proceeds from the sale of Fund shares if the shareholder has provided either an incorrect tax identification number or no number at all, is subject to backup withholding by the IRS for failure to properly report payments of interest or dividends, has failed to certify that the shareholder is not subject to backup withholding, or has not certified that the shareholder is a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien). The backup withholding rate is currently 24%. State backup withholding may also apply.

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State, local and foreign taxes.   Distributions of ordinary income and capital gains, and gains from the sale of your Fund shares, are generally subject to state and local taxes. If the Fund qualifies, it may elect to pass through to you as a foreign tax credit or deduction any foreign taxes that it pays on its investments.

Non-U.S. investors.   Non-U.S. investors may be subject to U.S. withholding tax at 30% or a lower treaty rate on Fund dividends of ordinary income. Non-U.S. investors may be subject to U.S. estate tax on the value of their shares. They are subject to special U.S. tax certification requirements to avoid backup withholding, claim any exemptions from withholding and claim any treaty benefits. Exemptions from U.S. withholding tax are generally provided for capital gains realized on the sale of Fund shares, capital gain dividends paid by the Fund from net long-term capital gains, short-term capital gain dividends paid by the Fund from net short-term capital gains and interest-related dividends paid by the Fund from its qualified net interest income from U.S. sources. However, notwithstanding such exemptions from U.S. withholding tax at source, any such dividends and distributions of income and capital gains will be subject to backup withholding at a rate of 24% if you fail to properly certify that you are not a U.S. person.

Other reporting and withholding requirements.   Payments to a shareholder that is either a foreign financial institution (FFI) or a non-financial foreign entity (NFFE) within the meaning of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) may be subject to a 30% withholding tax on: (a) income dividends, and (b) after December 31, 2018, certain capital gain distributions, return-of-capital distributions and the gross proceeds from the sale of Fund shares. FATCA withholding tax generally can be avoided by an FFI, subject to any applicable intergovernmental agreement or other exemption, if it enters into a valid agreement with the IRS to, among other requirements, report required information about certain direct and indirect ownership of foreign financial accounts held by U.S. persons with the FFI, and by an NFFE, if it certifies that it has no substantial U.S. persons as owners or if it does have such owners, reports information relating to them to the withholding agent, which will, in turn, report that information to the IRS. In order to comply with these requirements, information about a shareholder in the Fund may be disclosed to the IRS, non-U.S. taxing authorities or other parties as necessary to comply with FATCA. Withholding also may be required if a foreign entity that is a shareholder of a Fund fails to provide the appropriate certifications or other documentation concerning its status under FATCA.

Other tax information.   This discussion of “Distributions and Taxes” is for general information only and is not tax advice. You should consult your own tax advisor regarding your particular circumstances, and about any federal, state, local and foreign tax consequences before making an investment in the Fund. Additional information about the tax consequences of investing in the Fund may be found in the SAI.

 

Financial Highlights

There is no financial information for the Funds because they are new funds.

 

Shareholder Information

Buying and Selling Shares

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

Shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange for trading during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like shares of other publicly traded companies. The Franklin Templeton ETF Trust (Trust) does not impose any minimum investment for shares of the Fund purchased on an exchange. Shares of the Fund trade under the following symbol: 

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Fund   

Symbol

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF 

FLHY

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF 

FLIA

Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF 

FLBL

Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that may apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges determined by your broker. The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of shares. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread,” that is, any difference between the bid price and the ask price. The spread varies over time for shares of the Fund based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund has a lot of trading volume and market liquidity, and higher if the Fund has little trading volume and market liquidity.

The Board of Trustees has not adopted a policy of monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares (frequent trading) that appear to attempt to take advantage of a potential arbitrage opportunity presented by a lag between a change in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (market timing), because the Fund generally sells and redeems its shares directly through transactions that are in-kind and/or for cash, subject to the conditions described below under Creations and Redemptions. The Board of Trustees has not adopted a policy of monitoring for frequent trading activity because shares of the Fund are listed for trading on a national securities exchange.

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

Section 12(d)(1) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (1940 Act) restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in SEC rules or in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust. In order for a registered investment company to invest in shares of the Fund beyond the limitations of Section 12(d)(1) pursuant to the exemptive relief obtained by the Trust, the registered investment company must enter into an agreement with the Trust.

 

Book Entry

Shares of the Fund are held in book-entry form, which means that no share certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (DTC) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares for all purposes.

Investors owning shares of the Fund are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for shares of the Fund. DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.

 

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Share Prices

The trading prices of the Fund’s shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and are affected by market forces such as supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors. Information regarding the intraday value of shares of the Fund, also known as the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (IOPV), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day by the national securities exchange on which the Fund’s shares are listed or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash contained in the portfolio at the beginning of the trading day. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the best possible valuation of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund, and may not be calculated in the same manner as the NAV. Therefore, the IOPV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the Fund’s NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IOPV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the portfolio securities held by the Fund. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy.

 

Calculating NAV

The NAV of the Fund is determined by deducting the Fund’s liabilities from the total assets of the portfolio. The NAV per share is determined by dividing the total NAV of the Fund by the number of shares outstanding.

The Fund calculates the NAV per share each business day as of 1 p.m. Pacific time which normally coincides with the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The Fund does not calculate the NAV on days the NYSE is closed for trading, which include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. If the NYSE has a scheduled early close or unscheduled early close, the Fund’s share price would still be determined as of 1 p.m. Pacific time/4 p.m. Eastern time. The Fund’s NAV per share is readily available online at libertyshares.com.

When determining its NAV, the Fund values cash and receivables at their realizable amounts, and records interest as accrued and dividends on the ex-dividend date. The Fund generally uses two independent pricing services to assist in determining a current market value for each security. If market quotations are readily available for portfolio securities listed on a securities exchange, the Fund values those securities at the last quoted sale price or the official closing price of the day, respectively, or, if there is no reported sale, within the range of the most recent quoted bid and ask prices. The Fund values over-the-counter portfolio securities within the range of the most recent bid and ask prices. If portfolio securities trade both in the over-the-counter market and on a stock exchange, the Fund values them according to the broadest and most representative market.

Generally, trading in corporate bonds, U.S. government securities and money market instruments is substantially completed each day at various times before 1 p.m. Pacific time. The value of these securities used in computing the NAV is determined as of such times. Occasionally, events affecting the values of these securities may occur between the times at which they are determined and 1 p.m. Pacific time that will not be reflected in the computation of the NAV. The Fund relies on third-party pricing vendors to provide evaluated prices that reflect current fair market value as of 1 p.m. Pacific time.

Fair Valuation – Individual Securities

The Fund has procedures, approved by the Board of Trustees, to determine the fair value of individual securities and other assets for which market prices are not readily available (such as certain restricted or unlisted securities and private placements) or which may not be reliably priced (such as in the case of trade suspensions or halts, price movement limits set by certain foreign markets, and thinly traded or illiquid securities). Some methods for valuing these securities may include: fundamental analysis (earnings multiple, etc.), matrix pricing, discounts from market prices of similar securities, or discounts applied due to the nature and duration of restrictions on the disposition of the securities. The Board of Trustees oversees the application of fair value pricing procedures.

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The application of fair value pricing procedures represents a good faith determination based upon specifically applied procedures. There can be no assurance that the Fund could obtain the fair value assigned to a security if it were able to sell the security at approximately the time at which the Fund determines its NAV per share.

Security Valuation - Pass-Through Securities, CMO, ABS, MBS

Mortgage pass-through securities (such as Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), other mortgage-backed securities (MBS), collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) and asset-backed securities (ABS) generally trade in the over-the-counter market rather than on a securities exchange. The Fund may value these portfolio securities by utilizing quotations from bond dealers, information with respect to bond and note transactions and may rely on independent pricing services. The Fund’s pricing services use valuation models or matrix pricing to determine current value. In general, they use information with respect to comparable bond and note transactions, quotations from bond dealers or by reference to other securities that are considered comparable in such characteristics as rating, interest rate, maturity date, option adjusted spread models, prepayment projections, interest rate spreads and yield curves. Matrix pricing is considered a form of fair value pricing.

Security Valuation – Corporate Debt Securities

Corporate debt securities generally trade in the over-the-counter market rather than on a securities exchange. The Fund may value these portfolio securities by utilizing quotations from bond dealers, information with respect to bond and note transactions and may rely on independent pricing services to assist in determining a current market value for each security. The Fund’s pricing services may utilize independent quotations from bond dealers and bond market activity to determine current value.

Security Valuation - Senior Secured Corporate Loans

Senior secured corporate loans with floating or variable interest rates generally trade in the over-the-counter market rather than on a securities exchange. The Fund may value these portfolio securities by utilizing quotations from loan dealers and other financial institutions, information with respect to bond and note transactions and may rely on independent pricing services to assist in determining a current market value for each security. These pricing services use independent market quotations from loan dealers or financial institutions and may incorporate valuation methodologies that incorporate multiple bond characteristics. These characteristics may include dealer quotes, issuer type, coupon, maturity, weighted average maturity, interest rate spreads and yield curves, cash flow and credit risk/quality analysis.

Security Valuation - Options

The Fund values traded call options at their market price as determined above. The current market value of any option the Fund holds is its last sale price on the relevant exchange before the Fund values its assets. If there are no sales that day or if the last sale price is outside the bid and ask prices, the Fund values options within the range of the current closing bid and ask prices if the Fund believes the valuation fairly reflects the contract’s market value.

Security Valuation – Foreign Securities – Computation of U.S. Equivalent Value

The Fund generally determines the value of a foreign security as of the close of trading on the foreign stock exchange on which the security is primarily traded, or as of 1 p.m. Pacific time, if earlier. The value of a foreign security held by the Fund is converted into its U.S. dollar equivalent at the foreign exchange rate in effect at 1 p.m. Pacific time on the day that the value of the foreign security is determined. If no sale is reported at the time of the conversion, the foreign security will be valued within the range of the most recent quoted bid and ask prices. Occasionally events (such as repatriation limits or restrictions) may impact the availability or reliability of foreign exchange rates used to convert the U.S. dollar equivalent value. If such an event occurs, the foreign exchange rate will be valued at fair value using procedures established and approved by the Board of Trustees.

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Security Valuation – Foreign Securities – Potential Impact of Time Zones and Market Holidays

Trading in securities on foreign securities stock exchanges and over-the-counter markets, such as those in Europe and Asia, may be completed well before 1 p.m. Pacific time. Occasionally, events occur between the time at which trading in a foreign security is completed and 1 p.m. Pacific time that might call into question the availability (including the reliability) of the value of a foreign portfolio security held by the Fund. In accordance with procedures established and approved by the Fund’s Board of Trustees, the investment manager monitors for significant events following the close of trading in foreign stock markets.

In the event the investment manager identifies a significant event, the investment manager will measure price movements using a series of country specific market proxies (such as baskets of American Depositary Receipts, futures contracts and ETFs) against established trigger thresholds for each specific market proxy to assist in determining if the significant event calls into question the availability (including the reliability) of the values of foreign securities between the times at which they are determined on their primary trading market and 1 p.m. Pacific time. If such trigger thresholds are exceeded, the foreign securities may be valued using fair value procedures established and approved by the Board of Trustees. In certain circumstances these procedures include the use of independent pricing services. The intended effect of applying fair value pricing is to compute an NAV that accurately reflects the value of the Fund’s portfolio at the time that the NAV is calculated.

In addition, trading in foreign portfolio securities generally, or in securities markets in a particular country or countries, may not take place on every NYSE business day. Furthermore, trading takes place in various foreign markets on days that are not business days for the NYSE, and on which the Fund’s NAV is not calculated (in which case, the NAV of the Fund’s shares may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell Fund shares). Thus, the calculation of the Fund’s NAV does not take place contemporaneously with the determination of the prices of many of the foreign portfolio securities used in the calculation. If significant events affecting the last determined values of these foreign securities occur (determined through the monitoring process described above), the securities may be valued at fair value determined in good faith in accordance with the Fund’s fair value procedures established and approved by the Board of Trustees.

 

Creations and Redemptions

Prior to trading in the secondary market, shares of the Fund are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in block-size Creation Units of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof. All orders to purchase Creation Units must be placed by or through an “Authorized Participant” that has entered into an authorized participant agreement (AP Agreement) with Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. (Distributors), an affiliate of Advisers. Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units directly with the Fund.

A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by Distributors or its agents, generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits into the Fund a designated portfolio of securities and/or cash (which may include cash in lieu of certain securities) in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. With respect to the Fund, these deposits are generally in cash.

Similarly, shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a designated portfolio of securities and/or cash (which may include cash in lieu of certain securities). With respect to the Fund, redemptions are generally in cash, although the Fund reserves the right to meet redemptions on an in-kind basis. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, shares are not redeemable by the Fund.

The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the AP Agreement. The portfolio of securities required for purchase of a Creation Unit is generally the same as the portfolio of securities the Fund will deliver upon redemption of Fund shares, except under certain circumstances. The designated portfolio of securities in connection with a purchase or redemption of a Creation Unit generally will correspond pro rata, except under certain circumstances, to the securities held by the Fund.

As a result of any system failure or other interruption, creation or redemption orders either may not be executed according to the Fund’s instructions or may not be executed at all, or the Fund may not be able to place or change such orders.

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Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a broker-dealer or other participant in the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC participant and, in either case, has executed an AP Agreement with Distributors. Information about the procedures regarding creations and redemptions of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) is included in the Fund’s SAI.

Because new shares may be created and issued on an ongoing basis, at any point during the life of the Fund a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may be occurring. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters and subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. Any determination of whether one is an underwriter must take into account all the relevant facts and circumstances of each particular case.

Broker-dealers should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary transactions), and thus dealing with shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the 1933 Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the 1933 Act is available only with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange.

 

Premium/Discount Information

Information regarding how often the shares of the Fund traded on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. at a price above (at a premium) or below (at a discount) the NAV of the Fund can be found at libertyshares.com.

 

Distribution

Distributors or its agents distribute Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. Distributors does not maintain a secondary market in shares of the Fund. Distributors is an affiliate of Advisers.

Distribution and service (12b-1) fees  

The Board of Trustees has adopted a distribution plan, sometimes known as a Rule 12b-1 plan, that allows the Fund to pay distribution fees of up to 0.25% per year, to those who sell and distribute Fund shares and provide other services to shareholders. However, the Board of Trustees has determined not to authorize payment of a Rule 12b-1 plan fee at this time.

Because these fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, to the extent that a fee is authorized, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges.


 

 

 

For More Information

You can learn more about the Fund in the following documents:

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Annual/Semiannual Report to Shareholders

Includes a discussion of recent market conditions and Fund strategies that significantly affected Fund performance during its last fiscal year, financial statements, detailed performance information, portfolio holdings and, in the annual report only, the independent registered public accounting firm’s report.

Statement of Additional Information (SAI)

Contains more information about the Fund, its investments and policies. It is incorporated by reference (is legally a part of this prospectus).

For a free copy of the current annual/semiannual report, when available, or the SAI, please contact your investment representative or call us at the number below. You also can view the current annual/semiannual report, when available, and the SAI online through libertyshares.com.

You also can obtain information about the Fund by visiting the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, DC (phone (202) 551-8090) or the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s Internet site at http://www.sec.gov. You can obtain copies of this information, after paying a duplicating fee, by writing to the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, DC 20549-1520 or by electronic request at the following email address: publicinfo@sec.gov.







Individual investors should contact their financial advisor or broker dealer representative for more information about Franklin Templeton ETFs.
Financial Professionals should call (800) DIAL BEN®/342-5236.

 

One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906
libertyshares.com

For hearing impaired assistance, please contact us via a Relay Service.

 

Investment Company Act file #811-23124

 

© 2018 Franklin Templeton Investments. All rights reserved.

 

 


 

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Statement of Additional Information
[     ], 2018


 

Franklin Templeton ETF Trust

 


 

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, PRELIMINARY STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

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 SEC 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.

 

TICKER:

EXCHANGE:

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF

FLHY

Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF

FLIA

Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.

Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF

FLBL

Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.

 

 

 

 

This Statement of Additional Information (SAI) is not a prospectus. It contains information in addition to the information in the Funds’ (hereafter “the Fund”) prospectus. The Fund’s prospectus, dated [     ], 2018, which we may amend from time to time, contains the basic information you should know before investing in the Fund. You should read this SAI together with the Fund’s prospectus.

For a free copy of the current prospectus or annual report, contact your investment representative or call (800) DIAL BEN/342-5236.

CONTENTS
General Description of the Trust and the Fund
Exchange Listing and Trading
Goals, Strategies and Risks
Officers and Trustees
Fair Valuation and Liquidity
Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures
Management and Other Services
Portfolio Transactions
Distributions and Taxes
Organization, Voting Rights, Principal Holders and Additional Information Concerning the Trust
Creation and Redemption of Creation Units
The Underwriter
Miscellaneous Information
Description of Ratings

 


 

ETFs, annuities, and other investment products:

·                         are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, or any other agency of the U.S. government;

·                         are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank; and

·                         are subject to investment risks, including the possible loss of principal.

P.O. Box 997151
Sacramento, CA 95899-7151
Individual investors should contact their financial advisor or broker dealer representative for more information about Franklin Templeton ETFs.
Financial Professionals should call (800) DIAL BEN®/342-5236.

[ETF2 SAI __/18]



 

General Description of the Trust and the Fund

The Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF and Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF are diversified series of Franklin Templeton ETF Trust (Trust), an open-end management investment company. The Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF is a non-diversified series of the Trust.  The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust effective October 9, 2015 and is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The investment manager of the Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF and Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF is Franklin Advisers, Inc. (Advisers). The investment manager of the Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF is Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited (FTIML). Advisers is a wholly owned subsidiary and FTIML is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. (Resources), a publicly owned company engaged in the financial services industry through its subsidiaries.

The Fund offers and issues shares at their net asset value per share (NAV) only in aggregations of a specified number of shares (Creation Unit). The Fund may offer Creation Units of its shares in exchange for a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) (Deposit Securities), together with the deposit of a specified cash payment (Cash Component). Currently, the Fund generally offers Creation Units of its shares solely for cash. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (Listing Exchange or Cboe), a national securities exchange. Shares of the Fund are traded in the secondary market and elsewhere at market prices that may be at, above or below the Fund’s NAV. Shares of the Fund are redeemable only in Creation Units. The Fund may redeem Creation Units of its shares in exchange for portfolio securities and a Cash Component. Currently, the Fund generally redeems Creation Units of its shares solely for cash. Creation Units typically are a specified number of shares, generally 50,000 or multiples thereof.

The Trust reserves the right to permit or require that creations and redemptions of shares are effected fully or partially in cash. Shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities, subject to various conditions, including a requirement to maintain with the Trust a cash deposit equal to at least 105% and up to 115%, which percentage the Trust may change from time to time, of the market value of the omitted Deposit Securities. See the “Creation and Redemption of Creation Units” section of this SAI. Transaction fees and other costs associated with creations or redemptions that include a cash portion may be higher than the transaction fees and other costs associated with in-kind creations or redemptions. In all cases, transaction fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of SEC rules and regulations applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities.

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Exchange Listing and Trading

A discussion of exchange listing and trading matters associated with an investment in the Fund is contained in the “Shareholder Information” section of the Fund’s prospectus. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, that section of the prospectus.

Shares of the Fund are listed for trading, and trade throughout the day, on the Listing Exchange and in other secondary markets. Shares of the Fund may also be listed on certain non-U.S. exchanges. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Listing Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of shares of the Fund will continue to be met. The Listing Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the shares of the Fund from listing if (i) following the initial 12-month period beginning upon the commencement of trading of Fund shares, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of shares of the Fund, (ii) the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (IOPV) of the Fund is no longer calculated or available, or (iii) any other event shall occur or condition shall exist that, in the opinion of the Listing Exchange, makes further dealings on the Listing Exchange inadvisable. The Listing Exchange will also remove shares of the Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Fund.

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

In order to provide additional information regarding the indicative value of shares of the Fund, the Listing Exchange or a market data vendor disseminates information every 15 seconds through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association, or through other widely disseminated means, an updated IOPV for the Fund as calculated by an information provider or market data vendor. The Trust is not involved in or responsible for any aspect of the calculation or dissemination of the IOPVs and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IOPVs.

The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash contained in the portfolio at the beginning of the trading day. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the best possible valuation of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund and may not be calculated in the same manner as the NAV. Therefore, the Fund’s IOPV disseminated during the Listing Exchange trading hours should not be viewed as a real-time update of the Fund’s NAV, which is calculated only once a day. The Fund’s IOPV is not calculated by the Fund.

The cash component included in an IOPV may consist of other assets held by the Fund, including cash, estimated accrued interest, dividends and other income, less expenses. If applicable, each IOPV also reflects changes in currency exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the applicable currency.

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

Goals, Strategies and Risks

The following information provided with respect to the Fund is in addition to that included in the Fund’s prospectus. The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (ETF) that does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index.

In addition to the main types of investments and strategies undertaken by the Fund as described in the prospectus, the Fund also may invest in other types of instruments and engage in and pursue other investment strategies, which are described in this SAI. Investments and investment strategies with respect to the Fund are discussed in greater detail in the section below entitled “Glossary of Investments, Techniques, Strategies and Their Risks.”

Generally, the policies and restrictions discussed in this SAI and in the prospectus apply when the Fund makes an investment. In most cases, the Fund is not required to sell an investment because circumstances change and the investment no longer meets one or more of the Fund’s policies or restrictions. If a percentage restriction or limitation is met at the time of investment, a later increase or decrease in the percentage due to a change in the value or liquidity of portfolio investments will not be considered a violation of the restriction or limitation, with the exception of the Fund’s limitations on borrowing as described herein or unless otherwise noted herein.

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Incidental to the Fund’s other investment activities, including in connection with a bankruptcy, restructuring, workout, or other extraordinary events concerning a particular investment the Fund owns, the Fund may receive securities (including convertible securities, warrants and rights), real estate or other investments that the Fund normally would not, or could not, buy. If this happens, the Fund may, although it is not required to, sell such investments as soon as practicable while seeking to maximize the return to shareholders.

The Fund has adopted certain investment restrictions as fundamental and non-fundamental policies. A fundamental policy may only be changed if the change is approved by (i) more than 50% of the Fund’s outstanding shares or (ii) 67% or more of the Fund’s shares present at a shareholder meeting if more than 50% of the Fund’s outstanding shares are represented at the meeting in person or by proxy, whichever is less. A non-fundamental policy may be changed without the approval of shareholders.

For more information about the restrictions of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (1940 Act) on the Fund with respect to borrowing and senior securities, see “Glossary of Investments, Techniques, Strategies and Their Risks - Borrowing” below.

Fundamental Investment Policies

The Fund has adopted the following restrictions as fundamental investment policies:

The Fund may not:

1.  Borrow money, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder that may be adopted, granted or issued by the SEC.

2.  Act as an underwriter, except to the extent the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter when disposing of securities it owns or when selling its own shares.

3.  Make loans if, as a result, more than 33 1/3% of its total assets would be lent to other persons, including other investment companies to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder that may be adopted, granted or issued by the SEC. This limitation does not apply to (i) the lending of portfolio securities, (ii) the purchase of debt securities, other debt instruments, loan participations and/or engaging in direct corporate loans in accordance with its investment goals and policies, and (iii) repurchase agreements to the extent the entry into a repurchase agreement is deemed to be a loan.

4.  Purchase or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments and provided that this restriction does not prevent the Fund from (i) purchasing or selling securities or instruments secured by real estate or interests therein, securities or instruments representing interests in real estate or securities or instruments of issuers that invest, deal or otherwise engage in transactions in real estate or interests therein, and (ii) making, purchasing or selling real estate mortgage loans.

5.  Purchase or sell commodities, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder that may be adopted, granted or issued by the SEC.

6.  Issue senior securities, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder that may be adopted, granted or issued by the SEC.

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF and Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF may not:

Invest more than 25% of the Fund’s net assets in securities of issuers in any one industry (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities).

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Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF may not:

Invest more than 25% of its net assets in securities of issuers in any one industry (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities), except that, under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest more than 25% of its net assets in the securities of companies operating in the industry group consisting of financial institutions and their holding companies, including commercial banks, thrift institutions, insurance companies and finance companies.1

1. For purposes of this restriction, the Fund currently considers such companies to include the borrower, the agent bank and any intermediate participant (as described in the Fund’s prospectus or this SAI).

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF and Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF may not:

Purchase the securities of any one issuer (other than the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities or securities of other investment companies, whether registered or excluded from registration under Section 3(c) of the 1940 Act) if immediately after such investment (i) more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets would be invested in such issuer or (ii) more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer would be owned by the Fund, except that up to 25% of the value of the Fund’s total assets may be invested without regard to such 5% and 10% limitations.

Non-Fundamental Investment Policies

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF

The Fund’s principal investment goal is to earn a high level of current income. Its secondary goal is to seek capital appreciation to the extent it is possible and consistent with the Fund’s principal goal. Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in high yield corporate debt securities and investments that provide exposure to high yield corporate debt securities. The Fund’s investment goals and 80% policy are non-fundamental, which means that they may be changed by the board of trustees without the approval of shareholders. Shareholders will be given at least 60 days’ advance notice of any change to the Fund’s investment goals or 80% policy. Net assets for purposes of the 80% policy include the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes.

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF

The Fund’s investment goal is total investment return, consistent with prudent investing, consisting of a combination of interest income and capital appreciation. Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in “bonds” and investments that provide exposure to bonds.  Bonds include debt obligations of any maturity, such as bonds, notes, bills and debentures. The Fund’s investment goal and 80% policy are non-fundamental, which means that they may be changed by the board of trustees without the approval of shareholders. Shareholders will be given at least 60 days’ advance notice of any change to the Fund’s investment goal or 80% policy. Net assets for purposes of the 80% policy include the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes.

Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF

The Fund’s primary investment goal is to provide a high level of current income. A secondary goal is preservation of capital. Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in senior loans and investments that provide exposure to senior loans.  Senior loans include loans referred to as leveraged loans, bank loans and/or floating rate loans.  The Fund’s investment goals and 80% policy are non-fundamental, which means that they may be changed by the board of trustees without the approval of shareholders. Shareholders will be given at least 60 days’ advance notice of any change to the Fund’s investment goals or 80% policy. Net assets for purposes of the 80% policy include the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes.

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All Funds

 

Additional Strategies

In trying to achieve its investment goals, the Fund may invest in the types of instruments or engage in the types of transactions identified below and in the section “Glossary of Investments, Techniques, Strategies and Their Risks,” which also describes the risks associated with these investment policies. The Fund may or may not use all of these techniques at any one time.

Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF

The Fund may invest, buy or engage in:

  • securities in any foreign country, including developing or frontier markets
  • trust preferred securities
  • derivative transactions, including currency and cross currency forwards; currency and interest rate futures contracts; and swap agreements, including interest rate, fixed income total return, currency and credit default swaps (including credit default index swaps)

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF

The Fund may invest, buy or engage in:

  • securities in any foreign country, including developing or frontier markets
  • trust preferred securities
  • derivative transactions, including currency and cross currency forwards; interest rate/bond, currency and currency index futures contracts; options on interest rate futures contracts; swap agreements (which may include interest rate, fixed income total return and credit defaults swaps); and options on interest rate, fixed income total return and credit defaults swaps

Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF

The Fund may invest, buy or engage in:

  • securities in any foreign country, including developing markets. The Fund currently limits its investments in debt obligations of non-U.S. entities to no more than 25% of its total assets.
  • derivative transactions, including high yield credit default index swaps

All Funds

The Fund may invest, buy or engage in:

  • up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities
  • equity securities and investments (including convertible securities, preferred stock, warrants and rights), including those acquired in connection with or incidental to the Fund’s other investment activities, such as a result of the restructuring of corporate loans and/or debt securities
  • purchase securities of other investment companies, including Franklin Templeton money market funds and ETFs

Glossary of Investments, Techniques, Strategies and Their Risks

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Certain words or phrases may be used in descriptions of Fund investment policies and strategies to give investors a general sense of the Fund’s levels of investment. They are broadly identified with, but not limited to, the following percentages of Fund total assets:

“small portion”

less than 10%

“portion”

10% to 25%

“significant”

25% to 50%

“substantial”

50% to 66%

“primary”

66% to 80%

“predominant”

80% or more

 

If the Fund intends to limit particular investments or strategies to no more than specific percentages of Fund assets, the prospectus or SAI will clearly identify such limitations. The percentages above are not limitations unless specifically stated as such in the Fund’s prospectus or elsewhere in this SAI.

The Fund may invest in securities that are rated by various rating agencies such as Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services (S&P®), as well as securities that are unrated.

The NAV and trading price of your shares in the Fund will increase as the value of the investments owned by the Fund increases and will decrease as the value of the Fund’s investments decreases. In this way, you participate in any change in the value of the investments owned by the Fund. In addition to the factors that affect the value of any particular investment that the Fund owns, the NAV and trading price of the Fund’s shares may also change with movements in the investment markets as a whole.

The following is a description of various types of securities, instruments and techniques that may be purchased and/or used by the Fund:

Asset-backed securities     Asset-backed securities represent interests in a pool of loans, leases or other receivables. The assets underlying asset-backed securities may include receivables on home equity loans, credit card loans, and automobile, mobile home and recreational vehicle loans and leases and other assets. Asset-backed securities are often backed by a pool of assets representing the obligations of a number of different parties and may have adjustable interest rates that reset at periodic intervals.

The credit quality of most asset-backed securities depends primarily on the credit quality of the underlying assets, how well the issuers of the securities are insulated from the credit risk of the originator or affiliated entities, and the amount of credit support (if any) provided to the securities. Credit support for asset-backed securities is intended to lessen the effect of failures by obligors (such as individual borrowers or leasers) on the underlying assets to make payments. Credit support generally falls into two categories: (i) liquidity protection; and (ii) protection against losses from the default by an obligor on the underlying assets.

Liquidity protection refers to advances, generally provided by the entity administering the pool of assets, intended to ensure that the receipt of payments due on the underlying pool is timely. Protection against losses from the default by an obligor can enhance the likelihood of payments of the obligations on at least some of the assets in the pool. Protection against losses from default may be provided through guarantees, insurance policies or letters of credit obtained by the issuer or sponsor from third parties. Alternatively, this protection may be provided through various means of structuring the transaction, or through a combination of these approaches.

Examples of credit support arising out of the structure of the transaction include “senior subordinated securities” (securities with one or more classes that are subordinate to the other classes with respect to the payment of principal and interest, with the result that defaults on the underlying assets should be borne first by the holders of the subordinated class), creation of “reserve funds” (where cash or investments, sometimes funded from a portion of the payments on the underlying assets, are held in reserve against future losses), and “over-collateralization” (where the scheduled payments on, or the principal amount of, the underlying assets exceeds that required to make payments on the securities and pay any servicing or other fees).

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The degree of credit support provided is generally based on historical information about the level of credit risk associated with the underlying assets. Historical information may not adequately reflect present or future credit risk. Delinquencies or losses in excess of those anticipated could occur and could adversely affect the return on an investment in the securities. There is no guarantee that the type of credit support selected will be effective at reducing the illiquidity or losses to investors in the event of certain defaults. Where credit support is provided by a third party, the Fund will be exposed to the credit risk of that third party in addition to the credit risk of the issuer or sponsor of the asset-backed security and the underlying obligors.

Asset-backed securities also have risk due to a characteristic known as early amortization, or early payout, risk. Built into the structure of certain asset-backed securities are triggers for early payout, designed to protect investors from losses. These triggers are unique to each transaction and can include, among other things: a significant rise in defaults on the underlying loans, a sharp drop in the credit enhancement level, or the bankruptcy of the issuer or sponsor. Once early amortization begins, all incoming loan payments are used to pay investors as quickly as possible. Prepayment risk also arises when the underlying obligations may be satisfied or “prepaid” before due. Certain asset-backed securities backed by automobile receivables may be affected by such early prepayment of principal on the underlying vehicle sales contract. When amortization or prepayment occurs, the Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds at a rate of interest that is lower than the rate on the existing asset-backed security. In addition, the Fund may suffer a loss if it paid a premium for the asset-backed security as cash flows from the early amortization reduce the value of the premium paid.

Alternatively, if prepayments occur at a slower rate than the investment manager expected, or if payment on the underlying assets is delayed or defaulted upon, the Fund will experience extension risk.

The income received by the Fund on an asset-backed security generally fluctuates more than the income on fixed income debt securities. This is because asset-backed securities are usually structured as pass-through or pay-through securities (similar to mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage obligations). Cash flow generated by payments on the underlying obligations in these structures is shared with the investor as it is received. The rate of payment on asset-backed securities generally depends on the rate of principal and interest payments received on the underlying assets. Payments on underlying assets will be affected by various economic and other factors that shape the market for those underlying assets. Therefore, the income on asset-backed securities will be difficult to predict, and actual yield to maturity will be more or less than the anticipated yield to maturity.

Asset-backed securities have certain risks that stem from the characteristics of the underlying assets. For example, asset-backed securities do not have the benefit of the same type of security interests in the underlying collateral that mortgage-backed securities have, and there may be a limited ability to enforce any security interests that exist. Credit enhancements provided to support asset-backed securities, if any, may be inadequate to protect investors in the event of default. For example, credit card receivables are generally unsecured and a number of state and federal consumer credit laws give debtors the right to set off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the outstanding balance, which can negatively affect the yield and/or value of related asset-backed securities. Issuers of asset-backed securities for which automobile receivables are the underlying assets may be prevented from realizing the full amount due on an automobile sales contract because of state law requirements and restrictions relating to sales of vehicles following their repossession and the obtaining of deficiency judgments following such sales or because of depreciation, damage or loss of a vehicle, the application of bankruptcy and insolvency laws, or other factors. The absence of, or difficulty enforcing, such security interests in the underlying assets may result in additional expenses, delays and losses to the Fund. The Fund’s exposure to the credit risk of the credit support provider will also be greater if recourse is limited to the credit support provider in the event of widespread defaults on the underlying obligations.

Bank obligations     Bank obligations include fixed, floating or variable rate certificates of deposit (CDs), letters of credit, time and savings deposits, bank notes and bankers’ acceptances. CDs are negotiable certificates issued against funds deposited in a commercial bank for a definite period of time and earning a specified return. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits that are held in a banking institution for a specified period of time at a stated interest rate. Savings deposits are deposits that do not have a specified maturity and may be withdrawn by the depositor at any time. Bankers’ acceptances are negotiable drafts or bills of exchange normally drawn by an importer or exporter to pay for specific merchandise. When a bank “accepts” a bankers’ acceptance, the bank, in effect, unconditionally agrees to pay the face value of the instrument upon maturity. The full amount of the Fund’s investment in time and savings deposits or CDs may not be guaranteed against losses resulting from the default of the commercial or savings bank or other institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

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Bank obligations are exempt from registration with the SEC if issued by U.S. banks or foreign branches of U.S. banks. As a result, the Fund will not receive the same investor protections when investing in bank obligations as opposed to registered securities. Bank notes and other unsecured bank obligations are not guaranteed by the FDIC, so the Fund will be exposed to the credit risk of the bank or institution. In the event of liquidation, bank notes and unsecured bank obligations generally rank behind time deposits, savings deposits and CDs, resulting in a greater potential for losses to the Fund.

The Fund’s investments in bank obligations may be negatively impacted if adverse economic conditions prevail in the banking industry (such as substantial losses on loans, increases in non-performing assets and charge-offs and declines in total deposits). The activities of U.S. banks and most foreign banks are subject to comprehensive regulations which, in the case of U.S. regulations, have undergone substantial changes in the past decade. The enactment of new legislation or regulations, as well as changes in interpretation and enforcement of current laws, may affect the manner of operations and profitability of domestic and foreign banks. Significant developments in the U.S. banking industry have included increased competition from other types of financial institutions, increased acquisition activity and geographic expansion. Banks may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors, such as interest rate changes and adverse developments in the market for real estate. Fiscal and monetary policy and general economic cycles can affect the availability and cost of funds, loan demand and asset quality and thereby impact the earnings and financial conditions of banks.

Borrowing     The 1940 Act and the SEC’s current rules, exemptions and interpretations thereunder, permit the Fund to borrow up to one-third of the value of its total assets (including the amount borrowed, but less all liabilities and indebtedness not represented by senior securities) from banks. The Fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage of at least 300% with respect to such borrowings and to reduce the amount of its borrowings (within three days excluding Sundays and holidays) to restore such coverage if it should decline to less than 300% due to market fluctuations or otherwise. In the event that the Fund is required to reduce its borrowings, it may have to sell portfolio holdings, even if such sale of the Fund’s holdings would be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint.

If the Fund makes additional investments while borrowings are outstanding, this may be considered a form of leverage. Leveraging by means of borrowing may exaggerate the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of portfolio securities on the Fund’s net asset value, and money borrowed will be subject to interest and other costs (which may include commitment fees and/or the cost of maintaining minimum average balances), which may or may not exceed the income or gains received from the securities purchased with borrowed funds.

In addition to borrowings that are subject to 300% asset coverage and are considered by the SEC to be permitted “senior securities,” the Fund is also permitted under the 1940 Act to borrow for temporary purposes in an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of its total assets at the time when the loan is made. A loan will be presumed to be for temporary purposes if it is repaid within 60 days and is not extended or renewed.

Segregation of assets.     Consistent with SEC staff guidance, financial instruments that involve the Fund’s obligation to make future payments to third parties will not be viewed as creating any senior security provided that the Fund covers its obligations as described below. Those financial instruments can include, among others, (i) securities purchased or sold on a when-issued, delayed delivery, or to be announced basis, (ii) futures contracts, (iii) forward currency contracts, (iv) swaps, (v) written options, (vi) unfunded commitments, (vii) securities sold short, and (viii) reverse repurchase agreements.

Consistent with SEC staff guidance, the Fund will consider its obligations involving such a financial instrument as “covered” when the Fund (1) maintains an offsetting financial position, or (2) segregates liquid assets (constituting cash, cash equivalents or other liquid portfolio securities) equal to the Fund’s exposures relating to the financial instrument, as determined on a daily basis. Dedicated Fund compliance policies and procedures, which the Fund’s board has approved, govern the kinds of transactions that can be deemed to be offsetting positions for purposes of (1) above, and the amounts of assets that need to be segregated for purposes of (2) above (Asset Segregation Policies).

In the case of forward currency contracts, the Fund may offset the contracts for purposes of (1) above when the counterparties, terms and amounts match; otherwise an appropriate amount of assets will be segregated consistent with (2) above. Segregated assets for purposes of (2) above are not required to be physically segregated from other Fund assets, but are segregated through appropriate notation on the books of the Fund or the Fund’s custodian.

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The Fund’s Asset Segregation Policies may require the Fund to sell a portfolio security or exit a transaction, including a transaction in a financial instrument, at a disadvantageous time or price in order for the Fund to be able to segregate the required amount of assets. If segregated assets decline in value, the Fund will need to segregate additional assets or reduce its position in the financial instruments. In addition, segregated assets may not be available to satisfy redemptions or for other purposes, until the Fund’s obligations under the financial instruments have been satisfied. In addition, the Fund’s ability to use the financial instruments identified above may under some circumstances depend on the nature of the instrument and amount of assets that the Asset Segregation Policies require the Fund to segregate.

The Asset Segregation Policies provide, consistent with current SEC staff positions, that for futures and forward contracts that require only cash settlement, and swap agreements that call for periodic netting between the Fund and its counterparty, the segregated amount is the net amount due under the contract, as determined daily on a mark-to-market basis. For other kinds of futures, forwards and swaps, the Fund must segregate a larger amount of assets to cover its obligations, which essentially limits the Fund’s ability to use these instruments. If the SEC staff changes its positions concerning the segregation of the net amount due under certain forwards, futures and swap contracts, the ability of the Fund to use the financial instruments could be negatively affected.

Callable securities     Callable securities give the issuer the right to redeem the security on a given date or dates (known as the call dates) prior to maturity. In return, the call feature is factored into the price of the debt security, and callable debt securities typically offer a higher yield than comparable non-callable securities. Certain securities may be called only in whole (the entire security is redeemed), while others may be called in part (a portion of the total face value is redeemed) and possibly from time to time as determined by the issuer. There is no guarantee that the Fund will receive higher yields or a call premium on an investment in callable securities.

The period of time between the time of issue and the first call date, known as call protection, varies from security to security. Call protection provides the investor holding the security with assurance that the security will not be called before a specified date. As a result, securities with call protection generally cost more than similar securities without call protection. Call protection will make a callable security more similar to a long-term debt security, resulting in an associated increase in the callable security’s interest rate sensitivity.

Documentation for callable securities usually requires that investors be notified of a call within a prescribed period of time. If a security is called, the Fund will receive the principal amount and accrued interest, and may receive a small additional payment as a call premium. Issuers are more likely to exercise call options in periods when interest rates are below the rate at which the original security was issued, because the issuer can issue new securities with lower interest payments. Callable securities are subject to the risks of other debt securities in general, including prepayment risk, especially in falling interest rate environments.

Collateralized debt obligations     Collateralized debt obligations and similarly structured securities, sometimes known generally as CDOs, are interests in a trust or other special purpose entity (SPE) and are typically backed by a diversified pool of bonds, loans or other debt obligations. CDOs are not limited to investments in one type of debt and, accordingly, a CDO may be collateralized by corporate bonds, commercial loans, asset-backed securities, residential mortgage-backed securities, real estate investment trusts (REITs), commercial mortgage-backed securities, emerging market debt, and municipal bonds. Certain CDOs may use derivatives contracts, such as credit default swaps, to create “synthetic” exposure to assets rather than holding such assets directly, which entails the risks of derivative instruments described elsewhere in this SAI.

Common varieties of CDOs include the following:

Collateralized loan obligations.     Collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) are interests in a trust typically collateralized substantially by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans made to domestic and foreign borrowers, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans.

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Collateralized bond obligations.     Collateralized bond obligations (CBOs) are interests in a trust typically backed substantially by a diversified pool of high risk, below investment grade fixed income securities.

Structured finance CDOs.     Structured finance CDOs are interests in a trust typically backed substantially by structured investment products such as asset-backed securities and commercial mortgage-backed securities.

Synthetic CDOs.     In contrast to CDOs that directly own the underlying debt obligations, referred to as cash CDOs, synthetic CDOs are typically collateralized substantially by derivatives contracts, such as credit default swaps, to create “synthetic” exposure to assets rather than holding such assets directly, which entails the risks of derivative instruments described elsewhere in this SAI, principally counterparty risk.

CDOs are similar in structure to collateralized mortgage obligations, described elsewhere in this SAI. Unless the context indicates otherwise, the discussion of CDOs below also applies to CLOs, CBOs and other similarly structured securities.

In CDOs, the cash flows from the SPE are split into two or more portions, called tranches (or classes), that vary in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche which bears the first loss from defaults on the bonds or loans in the SPE and is intended to protect the other, more senior tranches from severe, and potentially unforeseen, defaults or delinquent collateral payments (though such protection is not complete). Because they may be partially protected from defaults, senior tranches from a CDO typically have higher ratings and lower yields than the underlying collateral securities held by the trust, and may be rated investment grade. Despite protection from the equity tranche, more senior tranches can experience, and may have experienced in the past, substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default, downgrades of the underlying collateral by rating agencies, forced liquidation of a collateral pool due to a failure of coverage tests, disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as a market aversion to CDO securities as a class.

The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of collateral held by the SPE and the tranche of the CDO in which the Fund invests. Investment risk may also be affected by the performance of a CDO’s collateral manager (the entity responsible for selecting and managing the pool of collateral securities held by the SPE trust), especially during periods of market volatility. Normally, CDOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws and traded in a public market. As a result, investments in CDOs may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities. However, an active dealer market may exist for CDOs allowing the Fund to trade CDOs with other qualified institutional investors under Rule 144A. To the extent such investments are characterized as illiquid, they will be subject to the Fund’s restrictions on investments in illiquid securities. The Fund’s investment in unregistered securities such as CDOs will not receive the same investor protection as an investment in registered securities.

All tranches of CDOs, including senior tranches with high credit ratings, can experience, and at times many have experienced, substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to future defaults due to the disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as market aversion to CDO securities as a class. In the past, prices of CDO tranches have declined considerably. The drop in prices was initially triggered by the subprime mortgage crisis. Subprime mortgages make up a significant portion of the mortgage securities that collateralize many CDOs. As floating interest rates and mortgage default rates increased, the rating agencies that had rated the mortgage securities and CDO transactions backed by such mortgages realized their default assumptions were too low and began to downgrade the credit rating of these transactions. There can be no assurance that additional losses of equal or greater magnitude will not occur in the future.

In addition to the normal risks associated with debt securities and asset backed securities (e.g., interest rate risk, credit risk and default risk) described elsewhere in this SAI, CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or quality or go into default or be downgraded; (iii) the Fund may invest in tranches of a CDO that are subordinate to other classes; and (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer, difficulty in valuing the security or unexpected investment results.

Certain issuers of CDOs may be deemed to be “investment companies” as defined in the 1940 Act. As a result, the Fund’s investment in these structured investments from these issuers may be limited by the restrictions contained in the 1940 Act. CDOs generally charge management fees and administrative expenses that the shareholders of the Fund would pay indirectly.

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Convertible securities     A convertible security is generally a debt obligation, preferred stock or other security that may be converted within a specified period of time into a certain amount of common stock of the same or of a different issuer. The conversion may occur at the option of the investor in or issuer of the security, or upon a predetermined event. A convertible security typically provides a fixed-income stream and the opportunity, through its conversion feature, to participate in the capital appreciation resulting from a market price advance in its underlying common stock. As with a straight fixed-income security, a convertible security tends to increase in market value when interest rates decline and decrease in value when interest rates rise. Like a common stock, the value of a convertible security also tends to increase as the market value of the underlying stock rises, and it tends to decrease as the market value of the underlying stock declines. Because both interest rate and market movements can influence its value, a convertible security is usually not as sensitive to interest rate changes as a similar fixed-income security, nor is it as sensitive to changes in share price as its underlying stock. Convertible securities are also subject to risks that affect debt securities in general.

Although less than an investment in the underlying stock, the potential for gain on an investment in a convertible security is greater than for similar non-convertible securities. As a result, a lower yield is generally offered on convertible securities than on otherwise equivalent non-convertible securities. There is no guarantee that the Fund will realize gains on a convertible security in excess of the foregone yield it accepts to invest in such convertible security.

A convertible security is usually issued either by an operating company or by an investment bank. When issued by an operating company, a convertible security tends to be senior to the company’s common stock, but may be subordinate to other types of fixed-income securities issued by that company. When a convertible security issued by an operating company is “converted,” the operating company often issues new stock to the holder of the convertible security. However, if the convertible security is redeemable and the parity price of the convertible security is less than the call price, the operating company may pay out cash instead of common stock.

If the convertible security is issued by an investment bank or other sponsor, the security is an obligation of and is convertible through, the issuing investment bank. However, the common stock received upon conversion is of a company other than the investment bank or sponsor. The issuer of a convertible security may be important in determining the security’s true value. This is because the holder of a convertible security will have recourse only to the issuer.

Contingent convertible securities (CoCos).     A contingent convertible security, or CoCo, is a hybrid debt security typically issued by a non-U.S. bank that, upon the occurrence of a specified trigger event, may be (i) convertible into equity securities of the issuer at a predetermined share price; or (ii) written down in liquidation value. Trigger events are identified in the documents that govern the CoCo and may include a decline in the issuer’s capital below a specified threshold level, an increase in the issuer’s risk weighted assets, the share price of the issuer falling to a particular level for a certain period of time and certain regulatory events, such as a change in regulatory capital requirements. CoCos are designed to behave like bonds in times of economic health yet absorb losses when the trigger event occurs.

With respect to CoCos that provide for conversion of the CoCo into common shares of the issuer in the event of a trigger event, the conversion would deepen the subordination of the investor, subjecting the Fund to a greater risk of loss in the event of bankruptcy. In addition, because the common stock of the issuer may not pay a dividend, investors in such instruments could experience reduced yields (or no yields at all). With respect to CoCos that provide for the write down in liquidation value of the CoCo in the event of a trigger event, it is possible that the liquidation value of the CoCo may be adjusted downward to below the original par value or written off entirely under certain circumstances. For instance, if losses have eroded the issuer’s capital levels below a specified threshold, the liquidation value of the CoCo may be reduced in whole or in part. The write-down of the CoCo’s par value may occur automatically and would not entitle holders to institute bankruptcy proceedings against the issuer. In addition, an automatic write-down could result in a reduced income rate if the dividend or interest payment associated with the CoCo is based on par value. Coupon payments on CoCos may be discretionary and may be cancelled by the issuer for any reason or may be subject to approval by the issuer’s regulator and may be suspended in the event there are insufficient distributable reserves.

CoCos are subject to the credit, interest rate, high yield securities, foreign securities and market risks associated with bonds and equity securities, and to the risks specific to convertible securities in general. They are also subject to other specific risks. CoCos typically are structurally subordinated to traditional convertible bonds in the issuer’s capital structure, which increases the risk that the Fund may experience a loss. In certain scenarios, investors in CoCos may suffer a loss of capital ahead of equity holders or when equity holders do not. CoCos are generally speculative and the prices of CoCos may be volatile. There is no guarantee that the Fund will receive return of principal on CoCos.

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Convertible preferred stock.     A convertible preferred stock is usually treated like a preferred stock for the Fund’s financial reporting, credit rating and investment policies and limitations purposes. A preferred stock is subordinated to all debt obligations in the event of insolvency, and an issuer’s failure to make a dividend payment is generally not an event of default entitling the preferred shareholder to take action. A preferred stock generally has no maturity date, so that its market value is dependent on the issuer’s business prospects for an indefinite period of time. Distributions from preferred stock are dividends, rather than interest payments, and are usually treated as such for tax purposes. Investments in convertible preferred stock, as compared to the debt obligations of an issuer, generally increase the Fund’s exposure to the credit risk of the issuer and market risk generally, because convertible preferred stock will fare more poorly if the issuer defaults or markets suffer.

Enhanced convertible securities.     In addition to “plain vanilla” convertible securities, a number of different structures have been created to fit the characteristics of specific investors and issuers. Examples of these features include yield enhancement, increased equity exposure or enhanced downside protection. From an issuer’s perspective, enhanced structures are designed to meet balance sheet criteria, maximize interest/dividend payment deductibility and reduce equity dilution. Examples of enhanced convertible securities include mandatory convertible securities, convertible trust preferred securities, exchangeable securities, and zero coupon and deep discount convertible bonds.

Risks.     An investment in a convertible security may involve risks. The Fund may have difficulty disposing of such securities because there may be a thin trading market for a particular security at any given time. Reduced liquidity may have an adverse impact on market price and the Fund’s ability to dispose of a security when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event, such as the deterioration in the creditworthiness of an issuer. Reduced liquidity in the secondary market for certain securities may also make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain market quotations based on actual trades for purposes of valuing the Fund’s portfolio. Although the Fund intends to acquire convertible securities that the investment manager considers to be liquid (i.e., those securities that the investment manager determines may be sold on an exchange, or an institutional or other substantial market), there can be no assurances that this will be achieved. Certain securities and markets can become illiquid quickly, resulting in liquidity risk for the Fund. The Fund will also encounter difficulty valuing convertible securities due to illiquidity or other circumstances that make it difficult for the Fund to obtain timely market quotations based on actual trades for convertible securities. Convertible securities may have low credit ratings, which generally correspond with higher credit risk to an investor like the Fund.

Synthetic convertible securities. A synthetic convertible is created by combining distinct securities that together possess the two principal characteristics of a true convertible security, i.e., fixed income payments in the form of interest or dividends and the right to acquire the underlying equity security. This combination is achieved by investing in nonconvertible debt securities and in warrants or stock or stock index call options which grant the holder the right to purchase a specified quantity of securities within a specified period of time at a specified price (or to receive cash, in the case of stock index options). Synthetic convertibles are typically offered by financial institutions and investment banks in private placement transactions. Upon conversion, the Fund generally receives an amount in cash equal to the difference between the conversion price and the then-current value of the underlying security. Synthetic convertible instruments may also include structured notes, equity-linked notes, mandatory convertibles and combinations of securities and instruments.

In addition to the general risks of convertible securities and the special risks of enhanced convertible securities, there are risks unique to synthetic convertible securities. Synthetic convertible securities differ from true convertible securities in several respects. The value of a synthetic convertible security is the sum of the values of its debt security component and its convertibility component. Thus, the values of a synthetic convertible and a true convertible security will respond differently to market fluctuations. Although the investment manager expects normally to create synthetic convertible securities whose two components provide exposure to the same issuer, the character of a synthetic convertible allows the Fund to combine components representing distinct issuers, or to combine a debt security with a call option on a stock index. In addition, the component parts of a synthetic convertible security may be purchased simultaneously or separately; and the holder of a synthetic convertible faces the risk that the price of the stock, or the level of the market index underlying the convertibility component will decline. Exposure to more than one issuer or participant will increase the number of parties upon which the investment depends and the complexity of that investment and, as a result, increase the Fund’s credit risk and valuation risk.

Corporate Loans, Assignments and Participations  

Corporate loans.     Corporate loans typically are structured and negotiated by a group of financial institutions and other investors, including in some cases, the Fund, that provide capital to the borrowers. In return, the borrowers pay interest and repay the loan’s principal. Such corporate loans often pay interest rates that are reset periodically on the basis of a floating base lending rate, such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus a premium. The Fund may invest in corporate loans directly at the time of the loan’s closing or by buying an assignment of all or a portion of the corporate loan from a lender. The Fund may also invest indirectly in a corporate loan by buying a loan participation from a lender or other purchaser of a participation. Corporate loans may include term loans and, to the extent permissible for the Fund, revolving credit facilities, prefunded letters of credit term loans, delayed draw term loans and receivables purchase facilities.

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The Fund limits the amount of total assets that it will invest in any one issuer. For purposes of these limitations, the Fund generally will treat the borrower as the “issuer” of indebtedness held by the Fund. In loan participations, a bank or other lending institution serves as financial intermediary between the Fund and the borrower, the participation may not shift to the Fund the direct debtor-creditor relationship with the borrower. In this case, SEC interpretations require the Fund, in appropriate circumstances, to treat both the lending bank or other lending institution and the borrower as “issuers” for these purposes. Treating a financial intermediary as an issuer of indebtedness may restrict the Fund’s ability to invest in indebtedness related to a single financial intermediary, or intermediaries engaged in the same industry, even if the underlying borrowers represent different companies and industries.

Negotiation and administration of loans.     Each type of corporate loan in which the Fund may invest typically is structured by a group of lenders and other investors. This means that the lenders and other investors participate in the negotiations with the corporate borrower and in the drafting of the terms of the corporate loan. The group of lenders and other investors often consists of commercial banks, thrift institutions, insurance companies, finance companies, other financial institutions, or in some cases other investors, including investment companies such as the Fund. Under normal circumstances, the Fund will not act as the sole negotiator or sole investor for a corporate loan. One or more of the lenders usually administers the corporate loan on behalf of all the lenders and other investors; this lender is referred to as the Agent Bank.

Three ways to invest in corporate loans.     The Fund may invest in corporate loans in any of three ways. The Fund may: (i) make a direct investment by purchasing an assignment of part or all of a corporate loan; (ii) make an indirect investment by purchasing a participation interest in a corporate loan; or (iii) make a direct investment in a corporate loan by participating as one of the initial investors. Participation interests are interests sold by a lender or other holders of participation interests, which usually represent a fractional interest in a corporate loan. An assignment represents a direct interest in a corporate loan or portion of a corporate loan previously owned by a different investor. Unlike where the Fund purchases a participation interest, the Fund will generally become an investor for the purposes of the relevant corporate loan agreement by purchasing an assignment.

1. Assignments of corporate loans.   If the Fund purchases an assignment of a corporate loan, the Fund will assume the position of the original investor. The Fund will have the right to receive payments directly from the corporate borrower and to enforce its contractual rights directly against the corporate borrower. The purchase may be made at a discount to par. This means that the Fund receives a return at the full interest rate for the corporate loan rather than a discounted rate.

2. Participation interests in corporate loans.   In contrast to the purchase of an assignment, if the Fund purchases a participation interest either from a lender or a participant, the Fund typically will have established a direct contractual relationship with the seller of the participation interest, but not with the corporate borrower. Consequently, the Fund is subject to the credit risk of the lender or participant who sold the participation interest to the Fund, in addition to the usual credit risk of the corporate borrower. Therefore, when the Fund considers an investment in corporate loans through the purchase of participation interests, its investment manager will take into account the creditworthiness of the Agent Bank and any lenders and participants interposed between the Fund and the corporate borrower. These parties are referred to as Intermediate Participants. Additionally, the Fund will consider that there may be limitations on the Fund’s ability to vote on amendments to the borrower’s underlying loan agreement.

3. Direct investments in corporate loans.   When the Fund invests as an initial investor in a new corporate loan, the investment may be made at a discount to par. This means that the Fund receives a return at the full interest rate for the corporate loan, which incorporates the discount.

Because secondary purchases of loans may be made at par, at a premium from par or at a discount from par, the Fund’s return on such an investment may be lower or higher than it would have been if the Fund had made a direct initial investment. While loan participations generally trade at a discount, the Fund may buy participations trading at par or at a premium. At certain times when reduced opportunities for direct initial investment in corporate loans may exist, however, the Fund may be able to invest in corporate loans only through participation interests or assignments.

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Loan participations.     Loan participations may enable the Fund to acquire an interest in a corporate loan from a borrower, which it could not do directly. Because the Fund establishes a direct contractual relationship with the lender or Participant, the Fund is subject to the credit risk of the lender or Participant in addition to the usual credit risk of the corporate borrower and any Agent Bank. Under normal market conditions, loan participations that sell at a significant discount to the secondary loan price may indicate the borrower has credit problems or other issues associated with the credit risk of the loan. To the extent the credit problems are resolved, loan participations may appreciate in value.

In the event the corporate borrower fails to pay principal and interest when due, the Fund may have to assert rights against the borrower through an Intermediate Participant. This may subject the Fund to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would be involved if the Fund could enforce its rights directly against the corporate borrower. Also, in the event of the insolvency of the lender or Intermediate Participant who sold the participation interest to the Fund, the Fund may not have any exclusive or senior claim with respect to the lender’s interest in the corporate loan, or in the collateral securing the corporate loan. Consequently, the Fund might not benefit directly from the collateral supporting the underlying corporate loan. If the Intermediate Participant becomes insolvent, payments of principal and/or interest may be held up or not paid by such Participant or such Participant may not have the resources to assert its and the Fund’s rights against the corporate borrower. Similar risks may arise with respect to the Agent Bank.

Obligations to make future advances.     Certain revolving credit facility corporate loans (revolvers) and some types of delayed draw loans require that the lenders and other investors, including the Fund, and Intermediate Participants make future advances to the corporate borrower at the demand of the borrower. Other continuing obligations may also exist pursuant to the terms of these types of corporate loans. If the Fund’s future obligations are not met for any reason, including the failure of an Intermediate Participant to fulfill its obligations, the Fund’s interests may be harmed.

Delayed draw term loans.     Delayed draw term loans have characteristics of both revolvers and term loans, in that, before they are drawn upon by the borrower, they are similar to a revolver; however when they are drawn upon, they become fully and permanently drawn and are in essence term loans. Upon funding, when a loan is drawn upon, the loan becomes permanently funded, repaid principal amounts may not be reborrowed and interest accrues on the amount outstanding. The borrower pays a fee during the commitment period. Because these loans involve forward obligations, they are subject to the Fund’s asset segregation policies.

Prefunded L/C term loan.     A prefunded L/C term loan (Pre L/C Loan) is sometimes referred to as a funded letter of credit facility. For these loans, the Agent Bank (or another bank) issues letters of credit (each letter, an L/C) to guarantee the repayment of the borrowings by the borrower, as the ultimate debtor under these loans. Each lender or other investor, such as the Fund, transfers to the Agent Bank the amount of money the lender or other investor, has committed under the Pre L/C Loan agreement. The Agent Bank holds the monies solely to satisfy the lenders’ or other investors’ obligations under the loan agreement.

Whenever the borrower needs funds, it draws against the Pre L/C Loan. Consequently, the lenders or other investors do not have to advance any additional monies at the time the borrower draws against the Pre L/C Loan. To the extent that the borrower does not draw down these monies as borrowings during the term of the Pre L/C Loan, the Agent Bank invests these monies as deposits that pay interest, usually approximating a benchmark rate, such as LIBOR. This interest is paid to the borrower. Generally, the borrower, via the Agent Bank, pays the lenders or other investors interest at a rate equivalent to the fully drawn spread plus a benchmark rate, usually LIBOR. The borrower pays this interest during the term of the loan whether or not the borrower borrows monies from the amounts held and invested by the Agent Bank. The principal and any unpaid accrued interest will be returned to the lenders and other investors upon termination of the Pre L/C loan (and upon satisfaction of all obligations).

The risks of investing in corporate loans include all the general risks of investing in debt securities. For example, investments in corporate loans are exposed to the credit risk of the borrowing corporation and any Intermediate Participants, the valuation risk of pricing corporate loans and collateral, and the illiquidity risk associated with holding unregistered, non-exchange traded securities. There are also additional risks associated with an investment in corporate loans, including those described below.

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Additional credit risks.     Corporate loans may be issued in leveraged or highly leveraged transactions (such as mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, liquidations, spinoffs, reorganizations or financial restructurings), or involving distressed companies or those in bankruptcy (including debtor-in-possession transactions). This means that the borrower is assuming large amounts of debt in order to have large amounts of financial resources to attempt to achieve its business objectives; there is no guarantee, however, that the borrower will achieve its business objectives. Loans issued in leveraged or highly leveraged transactions are subject to greater credit risks than other loans, including an increased possibility that the borrower might default or go into bankruptcy.

Insufficient collateral.     The terms of most senior secured corporate loans and corporate debt securities in which the Fund invests generally provide that the collateral provided by the corporate borrower have a fair market value at least equal to 100% of the amount of such corporate loan at the time of the loan. The investment manager generally will determine the value of the collateral by customary valuation techniques that it considers appropriate. The collateral may consist of various types of assets or interests including working capital assets, such as accounts receivable or inventory, tangible fixed assets, such as real property, buildings and equipment, tangible or intangible assets, such as trademarks, copyrights and patent rights, or security interests in securities of subsidiaries or affiliates. The borrower’s owners or other parties may provide additional security.

The Fund may encounter difficulty valuing the collateral, especially less tangible assets. The value of the collateral may decline following investment by the Fund in the corporate loan. Also, collateral may be difficult to sell or liquidate and insufficient in the event of a default. Consequently, there can be no assurance that the liquidation of any collateral securing a corporate loan would satisfy the borrower’s obligation in the event of nonpayment of scheduled interest or principal payments, or that such collateral could be readily liquidated. In the event of bankruptcy of a borrower, the Fund could experience delays or limitations with respect to its ability to realize the benefits of any collateral securing a corporate loan. Collateral securing a corporate loan may lose all or substantially all of its value in the event of bankruptcy of a borrower. Some corporate loans are subject to the risk that a court, pursuant to fraudulent conveyance or other similar laws, could order currently existing or future indebtedness of the corporate borrower to be paid ahead of the corporate loans. This order could make repayment of the corporate loans in part or in full less likely. The court could take other action detrimental to the holders of the corporate loans including, in certain circumstances, invalidating such corporate loans or causing interest previously paid to be refunded to the borrower.

Lack of publicly available information and ratings.     Many corporate loans in which the Fund may invest may not be rated by a rating agency, will not be registered with the SEC or any state securities commission and will not be listed on any national securities exchange. The amount of public information available with respect to corporate loans will generally be less than that available for registered or exchange listed securities. If a corporate loan purchased by the Fund is not considered to be a “security,” the Fund will not receive the same investor protections with respect to such investment that are available to purchasers of investments that are considered “securities” under federal and state securities laws. In evaluating the creditworthiness of borrowers, the investment manager may consider, and may rely in part, on analyses performed by others. Corporate loans held by the Fund directly or as a participation interest or assignment of the loan may be assigned ratings below investment grade by a rating agency, or be unrated but judged by the investment manager to be of comparable quality.

Non-public information and limitations on its use.     From time to time, the investment manager, on behalf of the Fund, may elect to receive material non-public information (MNPI) about an individual loan that is not available to other lenders of such loan who may be unwilling to enter into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the borrower or company and restrict themselves from trading in the loan for a specified period of time. If the investment manager, on behalf of the Fund, elects to become restricted on any individual loan as a result of agreeing to receive MNPI about the loan and signing an NDA, the Fund might be unable to enter into a transaction in a security of that borrower, when it would otherwise be advantageous to do so.

Liquidity of corporate loans.     The investment manager generally considers corporate loans, loan participations and assignments of corporate loans to be liquid. To the extent such investments are deemed to be liquid by the investment manager, they will not be subject to the Fund’s restrictions on investments in illiquid securities. Generally, a liquid market with institutional buyers exists for such interests. The investment manager monitors each type of loan and/or loan interest in which the Fund is invested to determine whether it is liquid consistent with the liquidity procedures adopted by the Fund.

No active trading market may exist for some corporate loans and some corporate loans may be subject to restrictions on resale. A secondary market in corporate loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods (sometimes longer than seven days), which may impair the ability to accurately value existing and prospective investments and to realize in a timely fashion the full value on sale of a corporate loan. In addition, the Fund may not be able to readily sell its corporate loans at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell such loans if they were more widely held and traded. As a result of such potential illiquidity, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations.

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Risks based on Agent Banks and/or Intermediate Participants.     The Agent Bank typically administers the corporate loan. The Agent Bank typically is responsible for collecting principal, interest and fee payments from the corporate borrower. The Agent Bank then distributes these payments to all lenders and other investors that are parties to the corporate loan or own participation interests therein. The Fund will not act as an Agent Bank under normal circumstances. The Fund generally will rely on the Agent Bank or an Intermediate Participant to collect its portion of the payments. The Fund will also rely on the Agent Bank to take appropriate actions against a corporate borrower that is not making payments as scheduled. Typically, the Agent Bank is given broad discretion in enforcing the terms of the corporate loan, and is required to use only the same care it would use in the management of its own property. The corporate borrower compensates the Agent Bank for these services and this could create an incentive for the Agent Bank to exercise its discretion to the advantage of the corporate borrower to a greater extent than might otherwise be the case. Such compensation may include special fees paid at the start of corporate loans and fees paid on a continuing basis for ongoing services.

In the event that a corporate borrower becomes bankrupt or insolvent, the borrower may attempt to assert certain legal defenses as a result of improper conduct by the Agent Bank or Intermediate Participant. Asserting the Fund’s legal rights against the Agent Bank or Intermediate Participant could be expensive and result in the delay or loss to the Fund of principal and/or interest payments.

There is a risk that an Agent Bank may have financial difficulty. An Agent Bank could even declare bankruptcy, or have a receiver, conservator, or similar official appointed for it by a regulatory authority. If this happens, assets held by the Agent Bank under the corporate loan should remain available to holders of corporate loans, including the Fund. However, a regulatory authority or court may determine that assets held by the Agent Bank for the benefit of the Fund are subject to the claims of the Agent Bank’s general or secured creditors. The Fund might incur costs and delays in realizing payment on a corporate loan or might suffer a loss of principal or interest. Similar risks arise in situations involving Intermediate Participants, as described above.

Covenants.     The borrower or issuer under a corporate loan or debt security generally must comply with various restrictive covenants contained in any corporate loan agreement between the borrower and the lending syndicate or in any trust indenture or comparable document in connection with a corporate debt security. A restrictive covenant is a promise by the borrower to take certain actions that protect, or not to take certain actions that may impair, the rights of lenders. These covenants, in addition to requiring the scheduled payment of interest and principal, may include restrictions on dividend payments and other distributions to shareholders, provisions requiring the borrower to maintain specific financial ratios or relationships regarding, and/or limits on, total debt. In addition, a covenant may require the borrower to prepay the corporate loan or corporate debt security with any excess cash flow. Excess cash flow generally includes net cash flow (after scheduled debt service payments and permitted capital expenditures) as well as the proceeds from asset dispositions or sales of securities. A breach of a covenant (after giving effect to any cure period) in a corporate loan agreement which is not waived by the Agent Bank and the lending syndicate normally is an event of acceleration. This means that the Agent Bank has the right to demand immediate repayment in full of the outstanding corporate loan. Acceleration may also occur in the case of the breach of a covenant in a corporate debt security document. If acceleration occurs and the Fund receives repayment before expected, the Fund will experience prepayment risk.

Covenants and covenant lite loans and debt securities.     Some covenant lite loans may be in the market from time to time which tend to have fewer or no financial maintenance covenants and restrictions. A covenant lite loan typically contains fewer clauses which allow an investor to monitor the performance of a company. Covenant lite loans also generally provide fewer investor protections if certain criteria are breached. The Fund may experience losses or delays in enforcing its rights on its holdings of covenant lite loans.

Bridge financings.     The Fund may also acquire interests in loans which are designed to provide temporary or “bridge” financing (Bridge Loans) to a borrower pending the sale of identified assets; the arrangement of longer-term loans; or the issuance and sale of debt obligations. The Fund may also make a commitment to participate in a Bridge Loan facility. Most Bridge Loans are structured as floating-rate debt with step-up provisions under which the interest rate on the Bridge Loan rises the longer the Loan remains outstanding. In addition, Bridge Loans commonly contain a conversion feature that allows the Bridge Loan investor to convert its loan interest to senior exchange notes if the loan has not been prepaid in full on or prior to its maturity date. Bridge Loans may be subordinate to other debt and may be unsecured or under-secured. Bridge Loans are subject to the same general risks discussed above inherent to any loan investment. Due to their subordinated nature and possible unsecured or under-secured status, Bridge Loans involve a higher degree of overall credit risk than more senior loans of the same borrower. Bridge Loans also carry the expectation that the borrower will be able to sell the assets, obtain permanent financing or sell other debt obligations in the near future. Any delay in these occurrences subjects the Bridge Loan investor to increased credit risk and may impair the borrower’s perceived creditworthiness.

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Debtor-in-possession financings. The Fund may also invest in “debtor-in-possession” or “DIP” financings newly issued in connection with “special situation” restructuring and refinancing transactions. DIP financings are loans to a debtor-in-possession in a proceeding under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that has been approved by the bankruptcy court. These financings allow the entity to continue its business operations while reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. A DIP financing can be secured by a senior lien on the debtor’s unencumbered assets, or encumbered assets which would allow the existing senior lien holders to maintain at least the same lien position as the pre-petition secured debt. DIP financings are often required to close in a rapid manner in order for the debtor to continue ongoing operations and satisfy existing creditors. Additionally, a DIP financing may be “rolled” into exit financing which enable the issuer to emerge from bankruptcy.

Credit-linked notes     Credit-linked notes (CLNs) are typically set-up as a “pass-through” note structure created by a broker or bank as an alternative investment for funds or other purchasers to directly buying a bond or group of bonds. CLNs are typically issued at par, with a one to one relationship with the notional value to the underlying bond(s). The performance of the CLN, however, including maturity value, is linked to the performance of the specified underlying bond(s) as well as that of the issuing entity.

In addition to the risk of loss of its principal investment, the Fund bears the risk that the issuer of the CLN will default or become bankrupt. In such an event, the Fund may have difficulty being repaid, or fail to be repaid, the principal amount of its investment. A downgrade or impairment to the credit rating of the issuer will also likely impact negatively the price of the CLN, regardless of the price of the bond(s) underlying the CLNs. A CLN is typically structured as a limited recourse, unsecured obligation of the issuer of such security such that the security will usually be the obligation solely of the issuer and will not be an obligation or responsibility of any other person, including the issuer of the underlying bond(s).

Most CLNs are structured as Rule 144A securities so that they may be freely traded among institutional buyers. However, the market for CLNs may be, or suddenly can become, illiquid. The other parties to the transaction may be the only investors with sufficient understanding of the CLN to be interested in bidding for it. Changes in liquidity may result in significant, rapid and unpredictable changes in the prices of CLNs. In certain cases, a market price for a CLN may not be available or may not be reliable, and the Fund could experience difficulty in selling such security at a price the investment manager believes is fair.

Credit-linked securities     Credit-linked securities, which may be considered to be a type of structured investment, are debt securities that represent an interest in a pool of, or are otherwise collateralized by, one or more corporate debt obligations or credit default swaps on corporate debt or bank loan obligations. Such debt obligations may represent the obligations of one or more corporate issuers. The Fund has the right to receive periodic interest payments from the issuer of the credit-linked security (usually the seller of the underlying credit default swap(s)) at an agreed-upon interest rate, and a return of principal at the maturity date. The Fund bears the risk of loss of its principal investment, and the periodic interest payments expected to be received for the duration of its investment in the credit-linked security, in the event that one or more of the debt obligations underlying bonds or debt obligations underlying the credit default swaps go in to default or otherwise become non-performing. Upon the occurrence of such a credit event (including bankruptcy, failure to timely pay interest or principal, or a restructuring) with respect to an underlying debt obligation (which may represent a credit event of one or more underlying obligors), the Fund will generally reduce the principal balance of the related credit-linked security by the Fund’s pro rata interest in the par amount of the defaulted underlying debt obligation in exchange for the actual value of the defaulted underlying obligation or the defaulted underlying obligation itself, thereby causing the Fund to lose a portion of its investment. As a result, on an ongoing basis, interest on the credit-linked security will accrue on a smaller principal balance and a smaller principal balance will be returned at maturity. To the extent a credit-linked security represents an interest in underlying obligations of a single corporate issuer, a credit event with respect to such issuer presents greater risk of loss to the Fund than if the credit-linked security represented an interest in underlying obligations of multiple corporate issuers.

In addition, the Fund bears the risk that the issuer of the credit-linked security will default or become bankrupt. In such an event, the Fund may have difficulty being repaid, or fail to be repaid, the principal amount of its investment and the remaining periodic interest payments thereon.

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An investment in credit-linked securities also involves reliance on the counterparty to the swap entered into with the issuer to make periodic payments to the issuer under the terms of the credit default swap. Any delay or cessation in the making of such payments may be expected in certain instances to result in delays or reductions in payments to the Fund as an investor in such credit-linked securities. Additionally, credit-linked securities are typically structured as limited recourse obligations of the issuer of such securities such that the securities issued will usually be obligations solely of the issuer and will not be obligations or responsibilities of any other person.

Most credit-linked securities are structured as Rule 144A securities so that they may be freely traded among institutional buyers. The Fund will generally only purchase credit-linked securities which are determined to be liquid in accordance with the Fund’s liquidity guidelines. However, the market for credit-linked securities may be, or suddenly can become, illiquid. The other parties to the transaction may be the only investors with sufficient understanding of the securities to be interested in bidding for them. Changes in liquidity may result in significant, rapid and unpredictable changes in the prices for credit-linked securities. In certain cases, a market price for a credit-linked security may not be available or may not be reliable, and the Fund could experience difficulty in selling such security at a price the investment manager believes is fair. In the event a credit-linked security is deemed to be illiquid, the Fund will include such security in calculating its limitation on investments in illiquid securities.

The value of a credit-linked security will typically increase or decrease with any change in value of the underlying debt obligations, if any, held by the issuer and the credit default swap. Further, in cases where the credit-linked security is structured such that the payments to the Fund are based on amounts received in respect of, or the value of performance of, any underlying debt obligations specified in the terms of the relevant credit default swap, fluctuations in the value of such obligation may affect the value of the credit-linked security.

The collateral of a credit-linked security may be one or more credit default swaps, which are subject to additional risks.

Debt securities - general description     In general, a debt security represents a loan of money to the issuer by the purchaser of the security. A debt security typically has a fixed payment schedule that obligates the issuer to pay interest to the lender and to return the lender’s money over a certain time period. A company typically meets its payment obligations associated with its outstanding debt securities before it declares and pays any dividend to holders of its equity securities. Bonds, notes and commercial paper are examples of debt securities and differ in the length of the issuer’s principal repayment schedule, with bonds carrying the longest repayment schedule and commercial paper the shortest:

Bonds.     A bond is a debt security in which investors lend money to an entity that borrows for a defined period of time, usually a period of more than five years, at a specified interest rate.

Commercial paper.     Commercial paper is an unsecured, short-term loan to a corporation, typically for financing accounts receivable and inventory with maturities of up to 270 days.

Debentures.     A debenture is an unsecured debt security backed only by the creditworthiness of the borrower, not by collateral.

Bills.     A bill is a short-term debt instrument, usually with a maturity of two years or less.

Notes.     A note is a debt security usually with a maturity of up to ten years.

For purposes of the discussion in this SAI of the risks of investing in debt securities generally, loans or other short-term instruments, which otherwise may not technically be considered securities, are included.

Debt securities are all generally subject to interest rate, credit, income and prepayment risks and, like all investments, are subject to liquidity and market risks to varying degrees depending upon the specific terms and type of security. The Fund’s investment manager attempts to reduce credit and market risk through diversification of the Fund’s portfolio and ongoing credit analysis of each issuer, as well as by monitoring economic developments, but there can be no assurance that it will be successful at doing so.

Defaulted debt securities     If the issuer of a debt security in the Fund’s portfolio defaults, the Fund may have unrealized losses on the security, which may lower the Fund’s net asset value. Defaulted securities tend to lose much of their value before they default. Thus, the Fund’s net asset value may be adversely affected before an issuer defaults. The Fund will incur additional expenses if it tries to recover principal or interest payments on a defaulted security. Defaulted debt securities often are illiquid. An investment in defaulted debt securities will be considered speculative and expose the Fund to similar risks as an investment in high-yield debt.

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The Fund may buy defaulted debt securities. The Fund is also not required to sell a debt security that has defaulted if the investment manager believes it is advantageous to continue holding the security.

Depositary receipts     Many securities of foreign issuers are represented by American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs), and European Depositary Receipts (EDRs) (collectively, depositary receipts). Generally, depositary receipts in registered form are designed for use in the U.S. securities market and depositary receipts in bearer form are designed for use in securities markets outside the U.S.

ADRs evidence ownership of, and represent the right to receive, securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or trust company or a foreign correspondent bank. Prices of ADRs are quoted in U.S. dollars, and ADRs are traded in the U.S. on exchanges or over-the-counter. While ADRs do not eliminate all the risks associated with foreign investments, by investing in ADRs rather than directly in the stock of foreign issuers, the Fund will avoid currency and certain foreign market trading risks during the settlement period for either purchases or sales. In general, there is a large, liquid market in the U.S. for ADRs quoted on a national securities exchange. The information available for ADRs is subject to the accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards of the U.S. market or exchange on which they are traded, which standards are generally more uniform and more exacting than those to which many foreign issuers may be subject.

EDRs and GDRs are typically issued by foreign banks or trust companies and evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by either a foreign or a U.S. corporation. EDRs and GDRs may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted. The underlying shares are held in trust by a custodian bank or similar financial institution in the issuer’s home country. If the issuer’s home country does not have developed financial markets, the Fund could be exposed to the credit risk of the custodian or financial institution and greater market risk. The depository bank may not have physical custody of the underlying securities at all times and may charge fees for various services, including forwarding dividends and interest, and processing corporate actions. The Fund would be expected to pay a share of the additional fees, which it would not pay if investing directly in the foreign securities. The Fund may experience delays in receiving its dividend and interest payments or exercising rights as a shareholder.

Depositary receipts may reduce some but not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in the securities of foreign issuers. Depositary receipts are still subject to the political and economic risks of the underlying issuer’s country and are still subject to foreign currency exchange risk. Depositary receipts will be issued under sponsored or unsponsored programs. In sponsored programs, an issuer has made arrangements to have its securities traded in the form of depositary receipts. In unsponsored programs, the issuer may not be directly involved in the creation of the program. Although regulatory requirements with respect to sponsored and unsponsored programs are generally similar, in some cases it may be easier to obtain financial information about an issuer that has participated in the creation of a sponsored program. There may be an increased possibility of untimely responses to certain corporate actions of the issuer, such as stock splits and rights offerings, in an unsponsored program. Accordingly, there may be less information available regarding issuers of securities underlying unsponsored programs and there may not be a correlation between this information and the market value of the depositary receipts. If the Fund’s investment depends on obligations being met by the arranger as well as the issuer of an unsponsored program, the Fund will be exposed to additional credit risk.

Derivative instruments     Generally, derivatives are financial instruments whose value depends on or is derived from, the value of one or more underlying assets, reference rates, or indices or other market factors (a “reference instrument”) and may relate to stocks, bonds, interest rates, credit, currencies, commodities or related indices. Derivative instruments can provide an efficient means to gain or reduce exposure to the value of a reference instrument without actually owning or selling the instrument. Some common types of derivatives include options, futures, forwards and swaps.

Derivative instruments may be used for “hedging,” which means that they may be used when the investment manager seeks to protect the Fund’s investments from a decline in value resulting from changes to interest rates, market prices, currency fluctuations or other market factors. Derivative instruments may also be used for other purposes, including to seek to increase liquidity, provide efficient portfolio management, broaden investment opportunities (including taking short or negative positions), implement a tax or cash management strategy, gain exposure to a particular security or segment of the market, modify the effective duration of the Fund’s portfolio investments and/or enhance total return. However derivative instruments are used, their successful use is not assured and will depend upon, among other factors, the investment manager’s ability to gauge relevant market movements.

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Derivative instruments may be used for purposes of direct hedging. Direct hedging means that the transaction must be intended to reduce a specific risk exposure of a portfolio security or its denominated currency and must also be directly related to such security or currency. The Fund’s use of derivative instruments may be limited from time to time by policies adopted by the board of trustees or the Fund’s investment manager.

Because some derivative instruments used by the Fund may oblige the Fund to make payments or incur additional obligations in the future, the SEC requires investment companies to “cover” or segregate liquid assets equal to the potential exposure created by such derivatives. The obligation to cover or segregate such assets is described more fully under “Borrowing” in this SAI.

Exclusion of investment manager from commodity pool operator definition.     With respect to the Fund, the investment manager has claimed an exclusion from the definition of “commodity pool operator” (CPO) under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and the rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and, therefore, is not subject to CFTC registration or regulation as a CPO. In addition, with respect to the Fund, the investment manager is relying upon a related exclusion from the definition of “commodity trading advisor” (CTA) under the CEA and the rules of the CFTC.

The terms of the CPO exclusion require the Fund, among other things, to adhere to certain limits on its investments in “commodity interests.” Commodity interests include commodity futures, commodity options and swaps, which in turn include non-deliverable currency forward contracts, as further described below. Because the investment manager and the Fund intend to comply with the terms of the CPO exclusion, the Fund may, in the future, need to adjust its investment strategies, consistent with its investment goal, to limit its investments in these types of instruments. The Fund is not intended as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the investment manager’s reliance on these exclusions, or the Fund, its investment strategies or this SAI.

Generally, the exclusion from CPO regulation on which the investment manager relies requires the Fund to meet one of the following tests for its commodity interest positions, other than positions entered into for bona fide hedging purposes (as defined in the rules of the CFTC): either (1) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish the Fund’s positions in commodity interests may not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions); or (2) the aggregate net notional value of the Fund’s commodity interest positions, determined at the time the most recent such position was established, may not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). In addition to meeting one of these trading limitations, the Fund may not be marketed as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. If, in the future, the Fund can no longer satisfy these requirements, the investment manager would withdraw its notice claiming an exclusion from the definition of a CPO, and the investment manager would be subject to registration and regulation as a CPO with respect to the Fund, in accordance with CFTC rules that apply to CPOs of registered investment companies. Generally, these rules allow for substituted compliance with CFTC disclosure and shareholder reporting requirements, based on the investment manager’s compliance with comparable SEC requirements. However, as a result of CFTC regulation with respect to the Fund, the Fund may incur additional compliance and other expenses.

Currency forward contracts.     A currency forward contract is an obligation to purchase or sell a specific non-U.S. currency in exchange for another currency, which may be U.S. dollars, at an agreed exchange rate (price) at a future date. Currency forwards are typically individually negotiated and privately traded by currency traders and their customers in the interbank market. A cross currency forward is a forward contract to sell a specific non-U.S. currency in exchange for another non-U.S. currency and may be used when the price of one of those non-U.S. currencies is expected to experience a substantial movement against the other non-U.S. currency. A currency forward contract will tend to reduce or eliminate exposure to the currency that is sold, and increase exposure to the currency that is purchased, similar to when the Fund sells a security denominated in one currency and purchases a security denominated in another currency. For example, the Fund may enter into a forward contract when it owns a security that is denominated in a non-U.S. currency and desires to “lock in” the U.S. dollar value of the security. In addition, when the Fund’s investment manager believes that a specific foreign currency may experience a substantial movement against another foreign currency, the Fund may enter into a cross currency forward contract to buy or sell, as appropriate, an amount of the foreign currency either: (a) approximating the value of some or all of its portfolio securities denominated in such currency (this investment practice generally is referred to as “cross-hedging”); (b) designed to derive a level of additional income or return that the Fund’s investment manager seeks to achieve for the Fund; (c) to increase liquidity; or (d) to gain exposure to a currency in a more efficient or less expensive way. The Fund may also engage in “proxy hedging.” Proxy hedging entails entering into a forward contract to buy or sell a currency whose changes in value are generally considered to perform similarly to a currency or currencies in which some or all of the Fund’s portfolio securities are or are expected to be denominated. Proxy hedging is often used when the currency to which the Fund’s portfolio is exposed is difficult to hedge or to hedge against the U.S. dollar and therefore another currency is used as a “proxy” for such currency.

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At the maturity of a currency or cross currency forward, the Fund may either exchange the currencies specified at the maturity of a forward contract or, prior to maturity, the Fund may enter into a closing transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing transactions with respect to forward contracts are usually effected with the counterparty to the original forward contract. The Fund may also enter into forward contracts that do not provide for physical settlement of the two currencies but instead provide for settlement by a single cash payment calculated as the difference between the agreed upon exchange rate and the spot rate at settlement based upon an agreed upon notional amount (non-deliverable forwards).

Under definitions adopted by the CFTC and SEC, non-deliverable forwards are considered swaps, and therefore are included in the definition of “commodity interests.” Although non-deliverable forwards have historically been traded in the over-the-counter (OTC) market, as swaps they may in the future be required to be centrally cleared and traded on public facilities. For more information on central clearing and trading of cleared swaps, see “Cleared swaps,” “Risks of cleared swaps,” New swaps regulation” and “Developing government regulation of derivatives.” Currency and cross currency forwards that qualify as deliverable forwards are not regulated as swaps for most purposes, and are not included in the definition of “commodity interests.” However these forwards are subject to some requirements applicable to swaps, including reporting to swap data repositories, documentation requirements, and business conduct rules applicable to swap dealers.

CFTC regulation of currency and cross currency forwards, especially non-deliverable forwards, may restrict the Fund’s ability to use these instruments in the manner described above or subject the investment manager to CFTC registration and regulation as a CPO.

Risks of currency forward contracts.     The successful use of these transactions will usually depend on the investment manager’s ability to accurately forecast currency exchange rate movements. Should exchange rates move in an unexpected manner, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, or it may realize losses. In addition, these techniques could result in a loss if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised, including because of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. While the Fund uses only counterparties that meet its credit quality standards, in unusual or extreme market conditions, a counterparty’s creditworthiness and ability to perform may deteriorate rapidly, and the availability of suitable replacement counterparties may become limited. Moreover, investors should bear in mind that the Fund is not obligated to actively engage in hedging or other currency transactions. For example, the Fund may not have attempted to hedge its exposure to a particular foreign currency at a time when doing so might have avoided a loss.

Currency forward contracts may limit potential gain from a positive change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies. Unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not engaged in such contracts. Moreover, there may be an imperfect correlation between the Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities denominated in a particular currency and the currencies bought or sold in the forward contracts entered into by the Fund. This imperfect correlation may cause the Fund to sustain losses that will prevent the Fund from achieving a complete hedge or expose the Fund to risk of foreign exchange loss.

Futures contracts.     Generally, a futures contract is a standard binding agreement to buy or sell a specified quantity of an underlying reference instrument, such as a specific security, currency or commodity, at a specified price at a specified later date. A “sale” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to deliver the underlying reference instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. A “purchase” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to acquire the underlying reference instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. The purchase or sale of a futures contract will allow the Fund to increase or decrease its exposure to the underlying reference instrument without having to buy the actual instrument.

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The underlying reference instruments to which futures contracts may relate include non-U.S. currencies, interest rates, stock and bond indices and debt securities, including U.S. government debt obligations. In certain types of futures contracts, the underlying reference instrument may be a swap agreement. For more information about swap agreements generally, see “Swaps” below. In most cases the contractual obligation under a futures contract may be offset, or “closed out,” before the settlement date so that the parties do not have to make or take delivery. The closing out of a contractual obligation is usually accomplished by buying or selling, as the case may be, an identical, offsetting futures contract. This transaction, which is effected through a member of an exchange, cancels the obligation to make or take delivery of the underlying instrument or asset. Although some futures contracts by their terms require the actual delivery or acquisition of the underlying instrument or asset, some require cash settlement.

Futures contracts may be bought and sold on U.S. and non-U.S. exchanges. Futures contracts in the U.S. have been designed by exchanges that have been designated “contract markets” by the CFTC and must be executed through a futures commission merchant (FCM), which is a brokerage firm that is a member of the relevant contract market. Each exchange guarantees performance of the contracts as between the clearing members of the exchange, thereby reducing the risk of counterparty default. Futures contracts may also be entered into on certain exempt markets, including exempt boards of trade and electronic trading facilities, available to certain market participants. Because all transactions in the futures market are made, offset or fulfilled by an FCM through a clearinghouse associated with the exchange on which the contracts are traded, the Fund will incur brokerage fees when it buys or sells futures contracts.

The Fund generally buys and sells futures contracts only on contract markets (including exchanges or boards of trade) where there appears to be an active market for the futures contracts, but there is no assurance that an active market will exist for any particular contract or at any particular time. An active market makes it more likely that futures contracts will be liquid and bought and sold at competitive market prices. In addition, many of the futures contracts available may be relatively new instruments without a significant trading history. As a result, there can be no assurance that an active market will develop or continue to exist.

When the Fund enters into a futures contract, it must deliver to an account controlled by the FCM (that has been selected by the Fund), an amount referred to as “initial margin” that is typically calculated as an amount equal to the volatility in market value of a contract over a fixed period. Initial margin requirements are determined by the respective exchanges on which the futures contracts are traded and the FCM. Thereafter, a “variation margin” amount may be required to be paid by the Fund or received by the Fund in accordance with margin controls set for such accounts, depending upon changes in the marked-to-market value of the futures contract. The account is marked-to-market daily and the variation margin is monitored by the Fund’s investment manager and custodian on a daily basis. When the futures contract is closed out, if the Fund has a loss equal to or greater than the margin amount, the margin amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the margin amount. If the Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to the Fund. If the Fund has a gain, the full margin amount and the amount of the gain is paid to the Fund.

Some futures contracts provide for the delivery of securities that are different than those that are specified in the contract. For a futures contract for delivery of debt securities, on the settlement date of the contract, adjustments to the contract can be made to recognize differences in value arising from the delivery of debt securities with a different interest rate from that of the particular debt securities that were specified in the contract. In some cases, securities called for by a futures contract may not have been issued when the contract was written.

Credit index futures. Credit index futures are exchange-traded contracts whereby a Fund agrees to buy or sell a specified quantity of an underlying credit default swap on an index at a specified price at a specified later date. Like other futures contracts, credit index futures trade on centralized, regulated exchanges (requiring daily margining through a central clearinghouse). Although some futures contracts by their terms require the actual delivery or acquisition of the underlying reference asset, credit index futures require cash settlement at maturity. The purchase or sale of credit index futures will therefore allow a Fund to obtain long or short exposure to credit default swaps on indices without having to enter into the underlying swap agreements. Credit index futures generally have the same uses and are subject to the same risks as futures contracts and credit default swaps, described herein. For more information about credit default swaps specifically, see “Credit default swaps” below.

Risks of futures contracts.     The Fund’s use of futures contracts is subject to the risks associated with derivative instruments generally. In addition, a purchase or sale of a futures contract may result in losses to the Fund in excess of the amount that the Fund delivered as initial margin. Because of the relatively low margin deposits required, futures trading involves a high degree of leverage; as a result, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss, or gain, to the Fund. In addition, if the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements or close out a futures position, it may have to sell securities from its portfolio at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. Adverse market movements could cause the Fund to experience substantial losses on an investment in a futures contract.

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There is a risk of loss by the Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position in a futures contract. The assets of the Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the FCM or central counterparty because the Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and margin segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets, which are held in an omnibus account with assets belonging to the FCM’s other customers, to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer to the central counterparty.

The Fund may not be able to properly hedge or effect its strategy when a liquid market is unavailable for the futures contract the Fund wishes to close, which may at times occur. In addition, when futures contracts are used for hedging, there may be an imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the underlying reference instrument on which the futures contract is based and movements in the prices of the assets sought to be hedged.

If the investment manager’s investment judgment about the general direction of market prices or interest or currency exchange rates is incorrect, the Fund’s overall performance will be poorer than if it had not entered into a futures contract. For example, if the Fund has purchased futures to hedge against the possibility of an increase in interest rates that would adversely affect the price of bonds held in its portfolio and interest rates instead decrease, the Fund will lose part or all of the benefit of the increased value of the bonds which it has hedged. This is because its losses in its futures positions will offset some or all of its gains from the increased value of the bonds.

The difference (called the “spread”) between prices in the cash market for the purchase and sale of the underlying reference instrument and the prices in the futures market is subject to fluctuations and distortions due to differences in the nature of those two markets. First, all participants in the futures market are subject to initial deposit and variation margin requirements. Rather than meeting additional variation margin requirements, investors may close futures contracts through offsetting transactions that could distort the normal pricing spread between the cash and futures markets. Second, the liquidity of the futures markets depends on participants entering into offsetting transactions rather than making or taking delivery of the underlying instrument. To the extent participants decide to make or take delivery, liquidity in the futures market could be reduced, resulting in pricing distortion. Third, from the point of view of speculators, the margin deposit requirements that apply in the futures market are less onerous than similar margin requirements in the securities market. Therefore, increased participation by speculators in the futures market may cause temporary price distortions. When such distortions occur, a correct forecast of general trends in the price of an underlying reference instrument by the investment manager may still not necessarily result in a profitable transaction.

Futures contracts that are traded on non-U.S. exchanges may not be as liquid as those purchased on CFTC-designated contract markets. In addition, non-U.S. futures contracts may be subject to varied regulatory oversight. The price of any non-U.S. futures contract and, therefore, the potential profit and loss thereon, may be affected by any change in the non-U.S. exchange rate between the time a particular order is placed and the time it is liquidated, offset or exercised.

The CFTC and the various exchanges have established limits referred to as “speculative position limits” on the maximum net long or net short position that any person, such as the Fund, may hold or control in a particular futures contract. Trading limits are also imposed on the maximum number of contracts that any person may trade on a particular trading day. An exchange may order the liquidation of positions found to be in violation of these limits and it may impose other sanctions or restrictions. The regulation of futures, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law. For more information, see “Developing government regulation of derivatives” below.

Futures exchanges may also limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in certain futures contract prices during a single trading day. This daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price. Once the daily limit has been reached in a futures contract subject to the limit, no more trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movements during a particular trading day and does not limit potential losses because the limit may prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. For example, futures prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of positions and subjecting some holders of futures contracts to substantial losses.

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Options on futures contracts.     Options on futures contracts trade on the same contract markets as the underlying futures contract. When the Fund buys an option, it pays a premium for the right, but does not have the obligation, to purchase (call) or sell (put) a futures contract at a set price (called the exercise price). The purchase of a call or put option on a futures contract, whereby the Fund has the right to purchase or sell, respectively, a particular futures contract, is similar in some respects to the purchase of a call or put option on an individual security or currency. Depending on the premium paid for the option compared to either the price of the futures contract upon which it is based or the price of the underlying reference instrument, the option may be less risky than direct ownership of the futures contract or the underlying reference instrument. For example, the Fund could purchase a call option on a long futures contract when seeking to hedge against an increase in the market value of the underlying reference instrument, such as appreciation in the value of a non-U.S. currency against the U.S. dollar.

The seller (writer) of an option becomes contractually obligated to take the opposite futures position if the buyer of the option exercises its rights to the futures position specified in the option. In return for the premium paid by the buyer, the seller assumes the risk of taking a possibly adverse futures position. In addition, the seller will be required to post and maintain initial and variation margin with the FCM. One goal of selling (writing) options on futures may be to receive the premium paid by the option buyer.

For more general information about the mechanics of purchasing and writing options, see “Options” below.

Risks of options on futures contracts.     The Fund’s use of options on futures contracts is subject to the risks related to derivative instruments generally. In addition, the amount of risk the Fund assumes when it purchases an option on a futures contract is the premium paid for the option plus related transaction costs. The purchase of an option also entails the risk that changes in the value of the underlying futures contract will not be fully reflected in the value of the option purchased. The seller (writer) of an option on a futures contract is subject to the risk of having to take a possibly adverse futures position if the purchaser of the option exercises its rights. If the seller were required to take such a position, it could bear substantial losses. An option writer has potentially unlimited economic risk because its potential loss, except to the extent offset by the premium received, is equal to the amount the option is “in-the-money” at the expiration date. A call option is in-the-money if the value of the underlying futures contract exceeds the exercise price of the option. A put option is in-the-money if the exercise price of the option exceeds the value of the underlying futures contract.

Options.     An option is a contract that gives the purchaser of the option, in return for the premium paid, the right to buy an underlying reference instrument, such as a specified security, currency, index, or other instrument, from the writer of the option (in the case of a call option), or to sell a specified reference instrument to the writer of the option (in the case of a put option) at a designated price during the term of the option. The premium paid by the buyer of an option will reflect, among other things, the relationship of the exercise price to the market price and the volatility of the underlying reference instrument, the remaining term of the option, supply, demand, interest rates and/or currency exchange rates. An American style put or call option may be exercised at any time during the option period while a European style put or call option may be exercised only upon expiration or during a fixed period prior thereto. Put and call options are traded on national securities exchanges and in the OTC market.

Options traded on national securities exchanges are within the jurisdiction of the SEC or other appropriate national securities regulator, as are securities traded on such exchanges. As a result, many of the protections provided to traders on organized exchanges will be available with respect to such transactions. In particular, all option positions entered into on a national securities exchange in the United States are cleared and guaranteed by the Options Clearing Corporation, thereby reducing the risk of counterparty default. Furthermore, a liquid secondary market in options traded on a national securities exchange may be more readily available than in the OTC market, potentially permitting the Fund to liquidate open positions at a profit prior to exercise or expiration, or to limit losses in the event of adverse market movements. There is no assurance, however, that higher than anticipated trading activity or other unforeseen events might not temporarily render the capabilities of the Options Clearing Corporation inadequate, and thereby result in the exchange instituting special procedures which may interfere with the timely execution of the Fund’s orders to close out open options positions.

Purchasing call and put options.     As the buyer of a call option, the Fund has a right to buy the underlying reference instrument (e.g., a currency or security) at the exercise price at any time during the option period (for American style options). The Fund may enter into closing sale transactions with respect to call options, exercise them, or permit them to expire. For example, the Fund may buy call options on underlying reference instruments that it intends to buy with the goal of limiting the risk of a substantial increase in their market price before the purchase is effected. Unless the price of the underlying reference instrument changes sufficiently, a call option purchased by the Fund may expire without any value to the Fund, in which case the Fund would experience a loss to the extent of the premium paid for the option plus related transaction costs.

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As the buyer of a put option, the Fund has the right to sell the underlying reference instrument at the exercise price at any time during the option period (for American style options). Like a call option, the Fund may enter into closing sale transactions with respect to put options, exercise them or permit them to expire. The Fund may buy a put option on an underlying reference instrument owned by the Fund (a protective put) as a hedging technique in an attempt to protect against an anticipated decline in the market value of the underlying reference instrument. Such hedge protection is provided only during the life of the put option when the Fund, as the buyer of the put option, is able to sell the underlying reference instrument at the put exercise price, regardless of any decline in the underlying instrument’s market price. The Fund may also seek to offset a decline in the value of the underlying reference instrument through appreciation in the value of the put option. A put option may also be purchased with the intent of protecting unrealized appreciation of an instrument when the investment manager deems it desirable to continue to hold the instrument because of tax or other considerations. The premium paid for the put option and any transaction costs would reduce any short-term capital gain that may be available for distribution when the instrument is eventually sold. Buying put options at a time when the buyer does not own the underlying reference instrument allows the buyer to benefit from a decline in the market price of the underlying reference instrument, which generally increases the value of the put option.

If a put option was not terminated in a closing sale transaction when it has remaining value, and if the market price of the underlying reference instrument remains equal to or greater than the exercise price during the life of the put option, the buyer would not make any gain upon exercise of the option and would experience a loss to the extent of the premium paid for the option plus related transaction costs. In order for the purchase of a put option to be profitable, the market price of the underlying reference instrument must decline sufficiently below the exercise price to cover the premium and transaction costs.

Writing call and put options.     Writing options may permit the writer to generate additional income in the form of the premium received for writing the option. The writer of an option may have no control over when the underlying reference instruments must be sold (in the case of a call option) or purchased (in the case of a put option) because the writer may be notified of exercise at any time prior to the expiration of the option (for American style options). In general, though, options are infrequently exercised prior to expiration. Whether or not an option expires unexercised, the writer retains the amount of the premium. Writing “covered” call options means that the writer owns the underlying reference instrument that is subject to the call option. Call options may also be written on reference instruments that the writer does not own.

If the Fund writes a covered call option, any underlying reference instruments that are held by the Fund and are subject to the call option will be earmarked on the books of the Fund as segregated to satisfy its obligations under the option. The Fund will be unable to sell the underlying reference instruments that are subject to the written call option until it either effects a closing transaction with respect to the written call, or otherwise satisfies the conditions for release of the underlying reference instruments from segregation. As the writer of a covered call option, the Fund gives up the potential for capital appreciation above the exercise price of the option should the underlying reference instrument rise in value. If the value of the underlying reference instrument rises above the exercise price of the call option, the reference instrument will likely be “called away,” requiring the Fund to sell the underlying instrument at the exercise price. In that case, the Fund will sell the underlying reference instrument to the option buyer for less than its market value, and the Fund will experience a loss (which will be offset by the premium received by the Fund as the writer of such option). If a call option expires unexercised, the Fund will realize a gain in the amount of the premium received. If the market price of the underlying reference instrument decreases, the call option will not be exercised and the Fund will be able to use the amount of the premium received to hedge against the loss in value of the underlying reference instrument. The exercise price of a call option will be chosen based upon the expected price movement of the underlying reference instrument. The exercise price of a call option may be below, equal to (at-the-money), or above the current value of the underlying reference instrument at the time the option is written.

As the writer of a put option, the Fund has a risk of loss should the underlying reference instrument decline in value. If the value of the underlying reference instrument declines below the exercise price of the put option and the put option is exercised, the Fund, as the writer of the put option, will be required to buy the instrument at the exercise price, which will exceed the market value of the underlying reference instrument at that time. The Fund will incur a loss to the extent that the current market value of the underlying reference instrument is less than the exercise price of the put option. However, the loss will be offset in part by the premium received from the buyer of the put. If a put option written by the Fund expires unexercised, the Fund will realize a gain in the amount of the premium received.

Closing out options (exchange-traded options).     If the writer of an option wants to terminate its obligation, the writer may effect a “closing purchase transaction” by buying an option of the same series as the option previously written. The effect of the purchase is that the clearing corporation will cancel the option writer’s position. However, a writer may not effect a closing purchase transaction after being notified of the exercise of an option. Likewise, the buyer of an option may recover all or a portion of the premium that it paid by effecting a “closing sale transaction” by selling an option of the same series as the option previously purchased and receiving a premium on the sale. There is no guarantee that either a closing purchase or a closing sale transaction may be made at a time desired by the Fund. Closing transactions allow the Fund to terminate its positions in written and purchased options. The Fund will realize a profit from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is less than the premium received from writing the original option (in the case of written options) or is more than the premium paid by the Fund to buy the option (in the case of purchased options). For example, increases in the market price of a call option sold by the Fund will generally reflect increases in the market price of the underlying reference instrument. As a result, any loss resulting from a closing transaction on a written call option is likely to be offset in whole or in part by appreciation of the underlying instrument owned by the Fund.

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Over-the-counter (OTC) options.     Like exchange-traded options, OTC options give the holder the right to buy from the writer, in the case of OTC call options, or sell to the writer, in the case of OTC put options, an underlying reference instrument at a stated exercise price. OTC options, however, differ from exchange-traded options in certain material respects.

OTC options are arranged directly with dealers and not with a clearing corporation or exchange. Consequently, there is a risk of non-performance by the dealer, including because of the dealer’s bankruptcy or insolvency. While the Fund uses only counterparties, such as dealers, that meet its credit quality standards, in unusual or extreme market conditions, a counterparty’s creditworthiness and ability to perform may deteriorate rapidly, and the availability of suitable replacement counterparties may become limited. Because there is no exchange, pricing is typically done based on information from market makers or other dealers. OTC options are available for a greater variety of underlying reference instruments and in a wider range of expiration dates and exercise prices than exchange-traded options.

There can be no assurance that a continuous liquid secondary market will exist for any particular OTC option at any specific time. The Fund may be able to realize the value of an OTC option it has purchased only by exercising it or entering into a closing sale transaction with the dealer that issued it. When the Fund writes an OTC option, it generally can close out that option prior to its expiration only by entering into a closing purchase transaction with the dealer with which the Fund originally wrote the option. The Fund may suffer a loss if it is not able to exercise (in the case of a purchased option) or enter into a closing sale transaction on a timely basis.

The Fund understands that the staff of the SEC has taken the position that purchased OTC options on securities are considered illiquid securities and that the assets segregated to cover the Fund’s obligation under an OTC option on securities it has written are considered illiquid. Pending a change in the staff’s position, the Fund will treat such OTC options on securities and “covering” assets as illiquid and subject to the Fund’s limitation on illiquid securities.

Risks of options.     The Fund’s options investments involve certain risks, including general risks related to derivative instruments. There can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option, or at any particular time, and the Fund may have difficulty effecting closing transactions in particular options. Therefore, the Fund would have to exercise the options it purchased in order to realize any profit, thus taking or making delivery of the underlying reference instrument when not desired. The Fund could then incur transaction costs upon the sale of the underlying reference instruments. Similarly, when the Fund cannot effect a closing transaction with respect to a put option it wrote, and the buyer exercises, the Fund would be required to take delivery and would incur transaction costs upon the sale of the underlying reference instruments purchased. If the Fund, as a covered call option writer, is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it will not be able to sell the underlying reference instrument until the option expires, it delivers the underlying instrument upon exercise, or it segregates enough liquid assets to purchase the underlying reference instrument at the marked-to-market price during the term of the option. When trading options on non-U.S. exchanges or in the OTC market, many of the protections afforded to exchange participants will not be available. For example, there may be no daily price fluctuation limits, and adverse market movements could therefore continue to an unlimited extent over an indefinite period of time.

The effectiveness of an options strategy for hedging depends on the degree to which price movements in the underlying reference instruments correlate with price movements in the relevant portion of the Fund’s portfolio that is being hedged. In addition, the Fund bears the risk that the prices of its portfolio investments will not move in the same amount as the option it has purchased or sold for hedging purposes, or that there may be a negative correlation that would result in a loss on both the investments and the option. If the investment manager is not successful in using options in managing the Fund’s investments, the Fund’s performance will be worse than if the investment manager did not employ such strategies.

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Swaps.     Generally, swap agreements are contracts between the Fund and another party (the swap counterparty) involving the exchange of payments on specified terms over periods ranging from a few days to multiple years. A swap agreement may be negotiated bilaterally and traded OTC between the two parties (for an uncleared swap) or, in some instances, must be transacted through an FCM and cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty (for a cleared swap). In a basic swap transaction, the Fund agrees with the swap counterparty to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) and/or cash flows earned or realized on a particular “notional amount” or value of predetermined underlying reference instruments. The notional amount is the set dollar or other value selected by the parties to use as the basis on which to calculate the obligations that the parties to a swap agreement have agreed to exchange. The parties typically do not actually exchange the notional amount. Instead they agree to exchange the returns that would be earned or realized if the notional amount were invested in given investments or at given interest rates. Examples of returns that may be exchanged in a swap agreement are those of a particular security, a particular fixed or variable interest rate, a particular non-U.S. currency, or a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. Swaps can also be based on credit and other events.

The Fund will generally enter into swap agreements on a net basis, which means that the two payment streams that are to be made by the Fund and its counterparty with respect to a particular swap agreement are netted out, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net difference in the two payments. The Fund’s obligations (or rights) under a swap agreement that is entered into on a net basis will generally be the net amount to be paid or received under the agreement based on the relative values of the obligations of each party upon termination of the agreement or at set valuation dates. The Fund will accrue its obligations under a swap agreement daily (offset by any amounts the counterparty owes the Fund). If the swap agreement does not provide for that type of netting, the full amount of the Fund’s obligations will be accrued on a daily basis.

New swaps regulation.     The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the Dodd-Frank Act) and related regulatory developments have imposed comprehensive new regulatory requirements on swaps and swap market participants. The new regulatory framework includes: (1) registration and regulation of swap dealers and major swap participants; (2) requiring central clearing and execution of standardized swaps; (3) imposing margin requirements on swap transactions; (4) regulating and monitoring swap transactions through position limits and large trader reporting requirements; and (5) imposing record keeping and centralized and public reporting requirements, on an anonymous basis, for most swaps. The CFTC is responsible for the regulation of most swaps, and has completed most of its rules implementing the Dodd-Frank Act swap regulations. The SEC has jurisdiction over a small segment of the market referred to as “security-based swaps,” which includes swaps on single securities or credits, or narrow-based indices of securities or credits, but has not yet completed its rulemaking.

Uncleared swaps.     In an uncleared swap, the swap counterparty is typically a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. The Fund customarily enters into uncleared swaps based on the standard terms and conditions of an International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) Master Agreement. ISDA is a voluntary industry association of participants in the over-the-counter derivatives markets that has developed standardized contracts used by such participants that have agreed to be bound by such standardized contracts.

In the event that one party to a swap transaction defaults and the transaction is terminated prior to its scheduled termination date, one of the parties may be required to make an early termination payment to the other. An early termination payment may be payable by either the defaulting or non-defaulting party, depending upon which of them is “in-the-money” with respect to the swap at the time of its termination. Early termination payments may be calculated in various ways, but are intended to approximate the amount the “in-the-money” party would have to pay to replace the swap as of the date of its termination.

During the term of an uncleared swap, the Fund is usually required to pledge to the swap counterparty, from time to time, an amount of cash and/or other assets equal to the total net amount (if any) that would be payable by the Fund to the counterparty if the swap were terminated on the date in question, including any early termination payments. Periodically, changes in the amount pledged are made to recognize changes in value of the contract resulting from, among other things, interest on the notional value of the contract, market value changes in the underlying investment, and/or dividends paid by the issuer of the underlying instrument. Likewise, the counterparty may be required to pledge cash or other assets to cover its obligations to the Fund. However, the amount pledged may not always be equal to or more than the amount due to the other party. Therefore, if a counterparty defaults in its obligations to the Fund, the amount pledged by the counterparty and available to the Fund may not be sufficient to cover all the amounts due to the Fund and the Fund may sustain a loss.

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Currently, the Fund does not typically provide initial margin in connection with uncleared swaps. However, rules requiring both initial and variation margin for uncleared swaps have been adopted but are not yet effective as of the date hereof. When these rules take effect, the Fund may be required to post both initial margin and variation margin.

Cleared swaps.     Certain standardized swaps are subject to mandatory central clearing and exchange-trading. The Dodd-Frank Act and implementing rules will ultimately require the clearing and exchange-trading of many swaps. Mandatory exchange-trading and clearing will occur on a phased-in basis based on the type of market participant, CFTC approval of contracts for central clearing and public trading facilities making such cleared swaps available to trade. To date, the CFTC has designated only certain of the most common types of credit default index swaps and interest rate swaps as subject to mandatory clearing and certain public trading facilities have made certain of those cleared swaps available to trade, but it is expected that additional categories of swaps will in the future be designated as subject to mandatory clearing and trade execution requirements. Central clearing is intended to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity, but central clearing does not eliminate these risks and may involve additional costs and risks not involved with uncleared swaps. For more information, see “Risks of cleared swaps” below.

In a cleared swap, the Fund’s ultimate counterparty is a central clearinghouse rather than a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. Cleared swaps are submitted for clearing through each party’s FCM, which must be a member of the clearinghouse that serves as the central counterparty. Transactions executed on a swap execution facility (SEF) may increase market transparency and liquidity but may require the Fund to incur increased expenses to access the same types of swaps that it has used in the past. When the Fund enters into a cleared swap, it must deliver to the central counterparty (via the FCM) an amount referred to as “initial margin.” Initial margin requirements are determined by the central counterparty, and are typically calculated as an amount equal to the volatility in market value of the cleared swap over a fixed period, but an FCM may require additional initial margin above the amount required by the central counterparty. During the term of the swap agreement, a “variation margin” amount may also be required to be paid by the Fund or may be received by the Fund in accordance with margin controls set for such accounts. If the value of the Fund’s cleared swap declines, the Fund will be required to make additional “variation margin” payments to the FCM to settle the change in value. Conversely, if the market value of the Fund’s position increases, the FCM will post additional “variation margin” to the Fund’s account. At the conclusion of the term of the swap agreement, if the Fund has a loss equal to or greater than the margin amount, the margin amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the margin amount. If the Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to the Fund. If the Fund has a gain, the full margin amount and the amount of the gain is paid to the Fund.

Credit default swaps.     The “buyer” of protection in a credit default swap agreement is obligated to pay the “seller” a periodic stream of payments over the term of the agreement in return for a payment by the “seller” that is contingent upon the occurrence of a credit event with respect to a specific underlying reference debt obligation (whether as a single debt instrument or as part of an index of debt instruments). The contingent payment by the seller generally is the face amount of the debt obligation, in return for the buyer’s obligation to make periodic cash payments and deliver in physical form the reference debt obligation or a cash payment equal to the then-current market value of that debt obligation at the time of the credit event. If no credit event occurs, the seller would receive a fixed rate of income throughout the term of the contract, while the buyer would lose the amount of its payments and recover nothing. The buyer is also subject to the risk that the seller will not satisfy its contingent payment obligation, if and when due.

Purchasing protection through a credit default swap may be used to attempt to hedge against a decline in the value of debt security or securities due to a credit event. The seller of protection under a credit default swap receives periodic payments from the buyer but is exposed to the risk that the value of the reference debt obligation declines due to a credit event and that it will have to pay the face amount of the reference obligation to the buyer. Selling protection under a credit default swap may also permit the seller to gain exposure that is similar to owning the reference debt obligation directly. As the seller of protection, the Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total assets, the Fund would be subject to the risk that there would be a credit event and the Fund would have to make a substantial payment in the future.

Generally, a credit event means bankruptcy, failure to timely pay interest or principal, obligation acceleration or default, or repudiation or restructuring of the reference debt obligation. There may be disputes between the buyer or seller of a credit default swap agreement or within the swaps market as a whole as to whether or not a credit event has occurred or what the payout should be which could result in litigation. In some instances where there is a dispute in the credit default swap market, a regional Determinations Committee set up by ISDA may make an official binding determination regarding the existence of credit events with respect to the reference debt obligation of a credit default swap agreement or, in the case of a credit default swap on an index, with respect to a component of the index underlying the credit default swap agreement. In the case of a credit default swap on an index, the existence of a credit event is determined according to the index methodology, which may in turn refer to determinations made by ISDA’s Determinations Committees with respect to particular components of the index.

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ISDA’s Determination Committees are comprised principally of dealers in the OTC derivatives markets which may have a conflicting interest in the determination regarding the existence of a particular credit event. In addition, in the sovereign debt market, a credit default swap agreement may not provide the protection generally anticipated because the government issuer of the sovereign debt instruments may be able to restructure or renegotiate the debt in such a manner as to avoid triggering a credit event. Moreover, (1) sovereign debt obligations may not incorporate common, commercially acceptable provisions, such as collective action clauses, or (2) the negotiated restructuring of the sovereign debt may be deemed non-mandatory on all holders. As a result, the determination committee might then not be able to determine, or may be able to avoid having to determine, that a credit event under the credit default agreement has occurred.

For these and other reasons, the buyer of protection in a credit default swap agreement is subject to the risk that certain occurrences, such as particular restructuring events affecting the value of the underlying reference debt obligation, or the restructuring of sovereign debt, may not be deemed credit events under the credit default swap agreement. Therefore, if the credit default swap was purchased as a hedge or to take advantage of an anticipated increase in the value of credit protection for the underlying reference obligation, it may not provide any hedging benefit or otherwise increase in value as anticipated. Similarly, the seller of protection in a credit default swap agreement is subject to the risk that certain occurrences may be deemed to be credit events under the credit default swap agreement, even if these occurrences do not adversely impact the value or creditworthiness of the underlying reference debt obligation.

Currency swaps.     A currency swap is an agreement between two parties to exchange periodic cash flows on a notional amount of two or more currencies based on the relative value differential between them. For example, a currency swap may involve the exchange of payments in a non-U.S. currency for payments in U.S. dollars. Currency swaps typically involve the delivery of the entire notional values of the two designated currencies. In such a situation, the full notional value of a currency swap is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations. The Fund may also enter into currency swaps on a net basis, which means the two different currency payment streams under the swap agreement are converted and netted out to a single cash payment in just one of the currencies.

For example, a currency swap may be used to hedge the interest payments and principal amount of a debt obligation that is denominated in a non-U.S. currency by entering into a cross currency swap whereby one party would make payments in the non-U.S. currency and receive payments in U.S. dollars. Or, a currency swap may be used to gain exposure to non-U.S. currencies and non-U.S. interest rates by making payments in U.S. dollars and receiving payments in non-U.S. currencies.

Because currency control is of great importance to the issuing governments and influences economic planning and policy, purchases and sales of currency and related instruments can be negatively affected by government exchange controls, blockages, and manipulations or exchange restrictions imposed by governments. These actions could result in losses to the Fund if it is unable to deliver or receive a specified currency or funds in settlement of obligations, including any derivative transaction obligations. These actions could also have an adverse effect on the Fund’s currency transactions or cause the Fund’s hedging positions to be rendered useless.

Interest rate swaps.     An interest rate swap is an agreement between two parties to exchange interest rate payment obligations. Typically, one party’s obligation is based on an interest rate fixed to maturity while the other party’s obligation is based on an interest rate that changes in accordance with changes in a designated benchmark (for example, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), prime rate, commercial paper rate, or other benchmarks). Alternatively, both payment obligations may be based on an interest rate that changes in accordance with changes in a designated benchmark (also known as a “basis swap”). In a basis swap, the rates may be based on different benchmarks (for example, LIBOR versus commercial paper) or on different terms of the same benchmark (for example, one-month LIBOR versus three-month LIBOR). Each party’s payment obligation under an interest rate swap is determined by reference to a specified “notional” amount of money. Therefore, interest rate swaps generally do not involve the delivery of securities, other underlying instruments, or principal amounts; rather they entail the exchange of cash payments based on the application of the designated interest rates to the notional amount. Accordingly, barring swap counterparty or FCM default, the risk of loss in an interest rate swap is limited to the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is obligated to make or receive (as applicable), as well as any early termination payment payable by or to the Fund upon early termination of the swap.

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By swapping fixed interest rate payments for floating payments, an interest rate swap can be used to increase or decrease the Fund’s exposure to various interest rates, including to hedge interest rate risk. Interest rate swaps are generally used to permit the party seeking a floating rate obligation the opportunity to acquire such obligation at a rate lower than is directly available in the credit markets, while permitting the party desiring a fixed-rate obligation the opportunity to acquire such a fixed-rate obligation, also frequently at a rate lower than is directly available in the credit markets. The success of such a transaction depends in large part on the availability of fixed-rate obligations at interest (or coupon) rates low enough to cover the costs involved. Similarly, a basis swap can be used to increase or decrease the Fund’s exposure to various interest rates, including to hedge against or speculate on the spread between the two indexes, or to manage duration. An interest rate swap transaction is affected by changes in interest rates, which, in turn, may affect the prepayment rate of any underlying debt obligations upon which the interest rate swap is based.

Inflation index swaps.     An inflation index swap is a contract between two parties, whereby one party makes payments based on the cumulative percentage increase in an index that serves as a measure of inflation (typically, the Consumer Price Index) and the other party makes a regular payment based on a compounded fixed rate. Each party’s payment obligation under the swap is determined by reference to a specified “notional” amount of money. Typically, an inflation index swap has payment obligations netted and exchanged upon maturity. The value of an inflation index swap is expected to change in response to changes in the rate of inflation. If inflation increases at a faster rate than anticipated at the time the swap is entered into, the swap will increase in value. Similarly, if inflation increases at a rate slower than anticipated at the time the swap is entered into, the swap will decrease in value.

Fixed income total return swaps.     Generally, a total return swap is an agreement between two parties, pursuant to which one pays (and the other receives) an amount equal to the total return (including, typically, income and capital gains distributions, principal prepayment or credit losses) of an underlying reference asset (e.g., a note, bond or securities index) in exchange for a regular payment, at a floating rate based on LIBOR, or alternatively at a fixed rate or the total rate of return on another financial instrument. The Fund may take either position in a total return swap (i.e., the Fund may receive or pay the total return on the underlying reference asset). A fixed income total return swap may be written on many different kinds of underlying reference assets, and may include different indices for various kinds of debt securities (e.g., U.S. investment grade bonds, high yield bonds or emerging market bonds). A fixed income total return swap is similar to other swaps, such as interest rate swaps where payment streams are exchanged between a fund and the counterparty.

Options on swap agreements.     An option on a swap agreement generally is an OTC option (see the discussion above on OTC options) that gives the buyer of the option the right, but not the obligation, in return for payment of a premium to the seller, to enter into a previously negotiated swap agreement, or to extend, terminate or otherwise modify the terms of an existing swap agreement. The writer (seller) of an option on a swap agreement receives premium payments from the buyer and, in exchange, becomes obligated to enter into or modify an underlying swap agreement upon the exercise of the option by the buyer. When the Fund purchases an option on a swap agreement, it risks losing only the amount of the premium it has paid should it decide to let the option expire unexercised, plus any related transaction costs.

There can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular option on a swap agreement, or at any particular time, and the Fund may have difficulty affecting closing transactions in particular options on swap agreements. Therefore, the Fund may have to exercise the options that it purchases in order to realize any profit and take delivery of the underlying swap agreement. The Fund could then incur transaction costs upon the sale or closing out of the underlying swap agreement. In the event that the option on a swap is exercised, the counterparty for such option would be the same counterparty with whom the Fund entered into the underlying swap.

However, if the Fund writes (sells) an option on a swap agreement, the Fund is bound by the terms of the underlying swap agreement upon exercise of the option by the buyer, which may result in losses to the Fund in excess of the premium it received. Options on swap agreements involve the risks associated with derivative instruments generally, as described above, as well as the additional risks associated with both options and swaps generally.

Options on swap agreements are considered to be swaps for purposes of CFTC regulation. Although they are traded OTC, the CFTC may in the future designate certain options on swaps as subject to mandatory clearing. For more information, see “Cleared swaps” and “Risks of cleared swaps.”

An option on an interest rate swap (also sometimes referred to as a “swaption”) is a contract that gives the purchaser the right, but not the obligation, in return for payment of a premium, to enter into a new interest rate swap. A pay fixed option on an interest rate swap gives the buyer the right to establish a position in an interest rate swap where the buyer will pay (and the writer will receive) the fixed-rate cash flows and receive (and the writer will pay) the floating-rate cash flows. In general, most options on interest rate swaps are “European” exercise, which means that they can only be exercised at the end of the option term. Depending on the movement of interest rates between the time of purchase and expiration, the value of the underlying interest rate swap and therefore also the value of the option on the interest rate swap will change.

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An option on a credit default swap is a contract that gives the buyer the right (but not the obligation), in return for payment of a premium to the option seller, to enter into a new credit default swap on a reference entity at a predetermined spread on a future date. This spread is the price at which the contract is executed (the option strike price). Similar to a put option, in a payer option on a credit default swap, the option buyer pays a premium to the option seller for the right, but not the obligation, to buy credit protection on a reference entity (e.g., a particular portfolio security) at a predetermined spread on a future date. Similar to a call option, in a receiver option on a credit default swap the option buyer pays a premium for the right, but not the obligation to sell credit default swap protection on a reference entity or index. Depending on the movement of market spreads with respect to the particular referenced debt securities between the time of purchase and expiration of the option, the value of the underlying credit default swap and therefore the value of the option will change. Options on credit default swaps currently are traded OTC and the specific terms of each option on a credit default swap are negotiated directly with the counterparty.

An option on a total return swap is a contract that gives the buyer the right (but not the obligation), in return for payment of a premium to the option seller, to enter into a new total return swap on a reference asset at a predetermined spread on a future date. This spread is the price at which the contract is executed (the option strike price). Similar to a payer option on a credit default swap, in a payer option on a total return swap, the option buyer pays a premium to the option seller for the right, but not the obligation, to sell the return on a reference asset or index at a predetermined spread on a future date in return for a regular payment. Similar to a receiver option on a credit default swap, in a receiver option on a total return swap the option buyer pays a premium for the right, but not the obligation to receive the total return of the reference asset or index in return for a regular payment. Depending on the movement of market spreads with respect to the particular referenced asset or index between the time of purchase and expiration of the option, the value of the underlying total return swap and therefore the value of the option will change. Options on total return swaps currently are traded OTC and the specific terms of each option on a total return swap are negotiated directly with the counterparty.

Risks of swaps generally.     The use of swap transactions is a highly specialized activity, which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. Whether the Fund will be successful in using swap agreements to achieve its investment goal depends on the ability of the investment manager correctly to predict which types of investments are likely to produce greater returns. If the investment manager, in using swap agreements, is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates, inflation, currency exchange rates or other applicable factors, the investment performance of the Fund will be less than its performance would have been if it had not used the swap agreements.

The risk of loss to the Fund for swap transactions that are entered into on a net basis depends on which party is obligated to pay the net amount to the other party. If the counterparty is obligated to pay the net amount to the Fund, the risk of loss to the Fund is loss of the entire amount that the Fund is entitled to receive. If the Fund is obligated to pay the net amount, the Fund’s risk of loss is generally limited to that net amount. If the swap agreement involves the exchange of the entire principal value of a security, the entire principal value of that security is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations. In addition, the Fund’s risk of loss also includes any margin at risk in the event of default by the counterparty (in an uncleared swap) or the central counterparty or FCM (in a cleared swap), plus any transaction costs.

Because bilateral swap agreements are structured as two-party contracts and may have terms of greater than seven days, these swaps may be considered to be illiquid and, therefore, subject to the Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, the Fund may not be able to establish or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. Participants in the swap markets are not required to make continuous markets in the swap contracts they trade. Participants could refuse to quote prices for swap contracts or quote prices with an unusually wide spread between the price at which they are prepared to buy and the price at which they are prepared to sell. Some swap agreements entail complex terms and may require a greater degree of subjectivity in their valuation. However, the swap markets have grown substantially in recent years, with a large number of financial institutions acting both as principals and agents, utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap markets have become increasingly liquid. In addition, central clearing and the trading of cleared swaps on public facilities are intended to increase liquidity. The Fund’s investment manager, under the supervision of the board of trustees, is responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of the Fund’s swap transactions.

Rules adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act require centralized reporting of detailed information about many swaps, whether cleared or uncleared. This information is available to regulators and also, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data is intended to result in greater market transparency. This may be beneficial to funds that use swaps in their trading strategies. However, public reporting imposes additional recordkeeping burdens on these funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity are not yet tested and may not provide protection of fund’s identities as intended.

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Certain IRS positions may limit the Fund’s ability to use swap agreements in a desired tax strategy. It is possible that developments in the swap markets and/or the laws relating to swap agreements, including potential government regulation, could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to benefit from using swap agreements, or could have adverse tax consequences. For more information about potentially changing regulation, see “Developing government regulation of derivatives” below.

Risks of uncleared swaps.     Uncleared swaps are typically executed bilaterally with a swap dealer rather than traded on exchanges. As a result, swap participants may not be as protected as participants on organized exchanges. Performance of a swap agreement is the responsibility only of the swap counterparty and not of any exchange or clearinghouse. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that a counterparty will be unable or will refuse to perform under such agreement, including because of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. The Fund risks the loss of the accrued but unpaid amounts under a swap agreement, which could be substantial, in the event of a default, insolvency or bankruptcy by a swap counterparty. In such an event, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the swap agreements, but bankruptcy and insolvency laws could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor. If the counterparty’s creditworthiness declines, the value of a swap agreement would likely decline, potentially resulting in losses. The Fund’s investment manager will only approve a swap agreement counterparty for the Fund if the investment manager deems the counterparty to be creditworthy under the Fund’s Counterparty Credit Review Standards, adopted and reviewed annually by the Fund’s board. However, in unusual or extreme market conditions, a counterparty’s creditworthiness and ability to perform may deteriorate rapidly, and the availability of suitable replacement counterparties may become limited.

Risks of cleared swaps.     As noted above, under recent financial reforms, certain types of swaps are, and others eventually are expected to be, required to be cleared through a central counterparty, which may affect counterparty risk and other risks faced by the Fund.

Central clearing is designed to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity compared to uncleared swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap, but it does not eliminate those risks completely. There is also a risk of loss by the Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position, or the central counterparty in a swap contract. The assets of the Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the FCM or central counterparty because the Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and margin segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets, which are held in an omnibus account with assets belonging to the FCM’s other customers, to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer to the central counterparty. Credit risk of cleared swap participants is concentrated in a few clearinghouses, and the consequences of insolvency of a clearinghouse are not clear.

With cleared swaps, the Fund may not be able to obtain as favorable terms as it would be able to negotiate for a bilateral, uncleared swap. In addition, an FCM may unilaterally amend the terms of its agreement with the Fund, which may include the imposition of position limits or additional margin requirements with respect to the Fund’s investment in certain types of swaps. Central counterparties and FCMs can require termination of existing cleared swap transactions upon the occurrence of certain events, and can also require increases in margin above the margin that is required at the initiation of the swap agreement.

Currently, depending on a number of factors, the margin required under the rules of the clearinghouse and FCM may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar uncleared swap. However, regulators have proposed and are expected to adopt rules imposing certain margin requirements on uncleared swaps in the near future, which are likely to impose higher margin requirements on uncleared swaps.

Finally, the Fund is subject to the risk that, after entering into a cleared swap with an executing broker, no FCM or central counterparty is willing or able to clear the transaction. In such an event, the Fund may be required to break the trade and make an early termination payment to the executing broker.

Combined transactions.     The Fund may enter into multiple derivative instruments, and any combination of derivative instruments as part of a single or combined strategy (a Combined Transaction) when, in the opinion of the investment manager, it is in the best interests of the Fund to do so. A Combined Transaction will usually contain elements of risk that are present in each of its component transactions.

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Although Combined Transactions are normally entered into based on the investment manager’s judgment that the combined strategies will reduce risk or otherwise more effectively achieve the desired portfolio management goal(s), it is possible that the combination will instead increase such risks or hinder achievement of the portfolio management objective.

Developing government regulation of derivatives.     The regulation of cleared and uncleared swaps, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In addition, the SEC, CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the implementation or reduction of speculative position limits, the implementation of higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading.

It is not possible to predict fully the effects of current or future regulation. However, it is possible that developments in government regulation of various types of derivative instruments, such as speculative position limits on certain types of derivatives, or limits or restrictions on the counterparties with which the Fund engages in derivative transactions, may limit or prevent the Fund from using or limit the Fund’s use of these instruments effectively as a part of its investment strategy, and could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment goal(s). The investment manager will continue to monitor developments in the area, particularly to the extent regulatory changes affect the Fund’s ability to enter into desired swap agreements. New requirements, even if not directly applicable to the Fund, may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business.

Equity securities     Equity securities represent a proportionate share of the ownership of a company; their value is based on the success of the company’s business and the value of its assets, as well as general market conditions. The purchaser of an equity security typically receives an ownership interest in the company as well as certain voting rights. The owner of an equity security may participate in a company’s success through the receipt of dividends, which are distributions of earnings by the company to its owners. Equity security owners may also participate in a company’s success or lack of success through increases or decreases in the value of the company’s shares. Equity securities generally take the form of common stock or preferred stock, as well as securities convertible into common stock. Preferred stockholders typically receive greater dividends but may receive less appreciation than common stockholders and may have different voting rights as well. Equity securities may also include convertible securities, warrants, rights or equity interests in trusts, partnerships, joint ventures or similar enterprises. Warrants or rights give the holder the right to buy a common stock at a given time for a specified price.

Financial services companies risk.     To the extent that the Fund invests its assets in investments of financial services companies, the Fund’s investments and performance will be affected by general market and economic conditions as well as other risk factors particular to the financial services industry. Financial services companies are subject to extensive government regulation. This regulation may limit both the amount and types of loans and other financial commitments a financial services company can make, and the interest rates and fees it can charge. Such limitations may have a significant impact on the profitability of a financial services company since that profitability is attributable, at least in part, to the company’s ability to make financial commitments such as loans. Profitability of a financial services company is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of the company’s funds, and can fluctuate significantly when interest rates change. The financial difficulties of borrowers can negatively impact the industry to the extent that borrowers may not be able to repay loans made by financial services companies.

In response to the recent economic instability, the United States and other governments have taken actions designed to support the financial markets. The withdrawal of this support could negatively affect the value and liquidity of certain securities. Moreover, the implications of government ownership interests in financial institutions, by virtue of aging distressed assets, is unforeseeable.

In addition, the financial services industry is an evolving and competitive industry that is undergoing significant change, as existing distinctions between financial segments become less clear. Such changes have resulted from various consolidations as well as the continual development of new products, structures and a changing regulatory framework. These changes are likely to have a significant impact on the financial services industry and the Fund.

Insurance companies may be subject to severe price competition, claims activity, marketing competition and general economic conditions. Particular insurance lines will also be influenced by specific matters. Property and casualty insurer profits may be affected by events such as man-made and natural disasters (including weather catastrophe and terrorism). Life and health insurer profits may be affected by mortality risks and morbidity rates. Individual insurance companies may be subject to material risks including inadequate reserve funds to pay claims and the inability to collect from the insurance companies which insure insurance companies, so-called reinsurance carriers.

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Foreign securities     There are substantial risks associated with investing in the securities of governments and companies located in, or having substantial operations in, foreign countries, which are in addition to the usual risks inherent in domestic investments. The value of foreign securities (like U.S. securities) is affected by general economic conditions and individual issuer and industry earnings prospects. Investments in depositary receipts also involve some or all of the risks described below.

There is the possibility of cessation of trading on foreign exchanges, expropriation, nationalization of assets, confiscatory or punitive taxation, withholding and other foreign taxes on income (including capital gains or other amounts), taxation on a retroactive basis, sudden or unanticipated changes in foreign tax laws, financial transaction taxes, denial or delay of the realization of tax treaty benefits, payment of foreign taxes not available for credit or deduction when passed through to shareholders, foreign exchange controls (which may include suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a given country), restrictions on removal of assets, political or social instability, military action or unrest, or diplomatic developments, including sanctions imposed by other countries or governmental entities, that could affect investments in securities of issuers in foreign nations. There is no assurance that the investment manager will be able to anticipate these potential events. In addition, the value of securities denominated in foreign currencies and of dividends and interest paid with respect to such securities will fluctuate based on the relative strength of the U.S. dollar.

There may be less publicly available information about foreign issuers comparable to the reports and ratings published about issuers in the U.S. Foreign issuers generally are not subject to uniform accounting or financial reporting standards. Auditing practices and requirements may not be comparable to those applicable to U.S. issuers. Certain countries’ legal institutions, financial markets and services are less developed than those in the U.S. or other major economies. The Fund may have greater difficulty voting proxies, exercising shareholder rights, securing dividends and obtaining information regarding corporate actions on a timely basis, pursuing legal remedies, and obtaining judgments with respect to foreign investments in foreign courts than with respect to domestic issuers in U.S. courts. The costs associated with foreign investments, including withholding taxes, brokerage commissions, and custodial costs, are generally higher than with U.S. investments.

Certain countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons, or limit the amount of investment by foreign persons in a particular company. Some countries limit the investment of foreign persons to only a specific class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous terms than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. Although securities subject to such restrictions may be marketable abroad, they may be less liquid than foreign securities of the same class that are not subject to such restrictions. In some countries the repatriation of investment income, capital and proceeds of sales by foreign investors may require governmental registration and/or approval. The Fund could be adversely affected by delays in or a refusal to grant any required governmental registration or approval for repatriation.

From time to time, trading in a foreign market may be interrupted. Foreign markets also have substantially less volume than the U.S. markets and securities of some foreign issuers are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. issuers. The Fund, therefore, may encounter difficulty in obtaining market quotations for purposes of valuing its portfolio and calculating its net asset value.

In many foreign countries there is less government supervision and regulation of stock exchanges, brokers, and listed companies than in the U.S., which may result in greater potential for fraud or market manipulation. Foreign over-the-counter markets tend to be less regulated than foreign stock exchange markets and, in certain countries, may be totally unregulated. Brokerage commission rates in foreign countries, which generally are fixed rather than subject to negotiation as in the U.S., are likely to be higher. Foreign security trading, settlement and custodial practices (including those involving securities settlement where assets may be released prior to receipt of payment) are often less developed than those in U.S. markets, may be cumbersome and may result in increased risk or substantial delays. This could occur in the event of a failed trade or the insolvency of, or breach of duty by, a foreign broker-dealer, securities depository, or foreign subcustodian.

To the extent that the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a specific geographic region or country, the Fund will have more exposure to economic risks related to such region or country than a fund whose investments are more geographically diversified. Adverse conditions or changes in policies in a certain region or country can affect securities of other countries whose economies appear to be unrelated but are otherwise connected. In the event of economic or political turmoil, a deterioration of diplomatic relations or a natural or man-made disaster in a region or country where a substantial portion of the Fund’s assets are invested, the Fund may have difficulty meeting a large number of shareholder redemption requests.

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On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted via referendum to leave the European Union (EU), which immediately led to significant market volatility around the world, as well as political, economic, and legal uncertainty. On March 29, 2017, the United Kingdom invoked a treaty provision that sets out the basics of a withdrawal from the EU and provides that negotiations must be completed within two years, unless all EU member states agree on an extension. There is considerable uncertainty relating to the circumstances and potential consequences of an exit; how the negotiations for the withdrawal and new trade agreements will be conducted, and whether the United Kingdom’s exit will increase the likelihood of other countries also departing the EU, which may increase market volatility across the global economy. During this period of uncertainty, the negative impact on, not only the United Kingdom and European economies, but the broader global economy, could be significant, potentially resulting in increased volatility and illiquidity and lower economic growth for companies that rely significantly on Europe for their business activities and revenues. Any further exits from the EU, or an increase in the belief that such exits are likely or possible, would likely cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties.

The holding of foreign securities may be limited by the Fund to avoid investment in certain Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFICs) and the imposition of a PFIC tax on the Fund resulting from such investments.

Developing markets or emerging markets.     Investments in issuers domiciled or with significant operations in developing market or emerging market countries may be subject to potentially higher risks than investments in developed countries. These risks include, among others (i) less social, political and economic stability; (ii) smaller securities markets with low or nonexistent trading volume, which result in greater illiquidity and greater price volatility; (iii) certain national policies which may restrict the Fund’s investment opportunities, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (iv) foreign taxation, including less transparent and established taxation policies; (v) less developed regulatory or legal structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for injury to private property; (vi) the absence, until recently in many developing market countries, of a capital market structure or market-oriented economy; (vii) more widespread corruption and fraud; (viii) the financial institutions with which the Fund may trade may not possess the same degree of financial sophistication, creditworthiness or resources as those in developed markets; and (ix) the possibility that when favorable economic developments occur in some developing market countries, such developments may be slowed or reversed by unanticipated economic, political or social events in such countries.

Due to political, military or regional conflicts or due to terrorism or war, it is possible that the United States, other nations or other governmental entities (including supranational entities) could impose sanctions on a country involved in such conflicts that limit or restrict foreign investment, the movement of assets or other economic activity in that country. Such sanctions or other intergovernmental actions could result in the devaluation of a country’s currency, a downgrade in the credit ratings of issuers in such country, or a decline in the value and liquidity of securities of issuers in that country. In addition, an imposition of sanctions upon certain issuers in a country could result in an immediate freeze of that issuer’s securities, impairing the ability of the Fund to buy, sell, receive or deliver those securities. Countermeasures could be taken by the country’s government, which could involve the seizure of the Fund’s assets. In addition, such actions could adversely affect a country’s economy, possibly forcing the economy into a recession.

In addition, many developing market countries have experienced substantial, and during some periods, extremely high rates of inflation, for many years. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain countries. Moreover, the economies of some developing market countries may differ unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, currency depreciation, debt burden, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position. The economies of some developing market countries may be based on only a few industries, and may be highly vulnerable to changes in local or global trade conditions.

Settlement systems in developing market countries may be less organized than in developed countries. Supervisory authorities may also be unable to apply standards which are comparable with those in more developed countries. There may be risks that settlement may be delayed and that cash or securities belonging to the Fund may be in jeopardy because of failures of or defects in the settlement systems. Market practice may require that payment be made prior to receipt of the security which is being purchased or that delivery of a security must be made before payment is received. In such cases, default by a broker or bank (counterparty) through whom the relevant transaction is effected might result in a loss being suffered by the Fund. The Fund seeks, where possible, to use counterparties whose financial status reduces this risk. However, there can be no certainty that the Fund will be successful in eliminating or reducing this risk, particularly as counterparties operating in developing market countries frequently lack the substance, capitalization and/or financial resources of those in developed countries. Uncertainties in the operation of settlement systems in individual markets may increase the risk of competing claims to securities held by or to be transferred to the Fund. Legal compensation schemes may be non-existent, limited or inadequate to meet the Fund’s claims in any of these events.

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Securities trading in developing markets presents additional credit and financial risks. The Fund may have limited access to, or there may be a limited number of, potential counterparties that trade in the securities of developing market issuers. Governmental regulations may restrict potential counterparties to certain financial institutions located or operating in the particular developing market. Potential counterparties may not possess, adopt or implement creditworthiness standards, financial reporting standards or legal and contractual protections similar to those in developed markets. Currency and other hedging techniques may not be available or may be limited.

The local taxation of income and capital gains accruing to non-residents varies among developing market countries and may be comparatively high. Developing market countries typically have less well-defined tax laws and procedures and such laws may permit retroactive taxation so that the Fund could in the future become subject to local tax liabilities that had not been anticipated in conducting its investment activities or valuing its assets.

Many developing 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. Investments in developing market countries may involve risks of nationalization, expropriation and confiscatory taxation. For example, the Communist governments of a number of Eastern European countries expropriated large amounts of private property in the past, in many cases without adequate compensation, and there can be no assurance that similar expropriation will not occur in the future. In the event of expropriation, the Fund could lose all or a substantial portion of any investments it has made in the affected countries. Accounting, auditing and reporting standards in certain countries in which the Fund may invest may not provide the same degree of investor protection or information to investors as would generally apply in major securities markets. In addition, it is possible that purported securities in which the Fund invested may subsequently be found to be fraudulent and as a consequence the Fund could suffer losses.

Finally, currencies of developing market countries are subject to significantly greater risks than currencies of developed countries. Some developing market currencies may not be internationally traded or may be subject to strict controls by local governments, resulting in undervalued or overvalued currencies and associated difficulties with the valuation of assets, including the Fund’s securities, denominated in that currency. Some developing 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 developing market countries, such as certain Eastern European countries, may be convertible into U.S. dollars, the conversion rates may be artificial to the actual market values and may be adverse to the Fund’s shareholders.

Frontier markets.     Frontier market countries include a sub-set of those currently considered to be developing by the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the United Nations, or the countries’ authorities, or countries with a stock market capitalization of less than 3% of the MSCI World Index. These countries typically are located in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, Central and South America, Eastern Europe and Africa. The risks of investing in emerging/developing markets are heightened in frontier markets, which have even less developed economies and financial systems.

Foreign corporate debt securities.     Foreign corporate debt securities, including Samurai bonds, Yankee bonds, Eurobonds and Global Bonds, may be purchased to gain exposure to investment opportunities in other countries in a certain currency. A Samurai bond is a yen-denominated bond issued in Japan by a non-Japanese company. Eurobonds are foreign bonds issued and traded in countries other than the country and currency in which the bond was denominated. Eurobonds generally trade on a number of exchanges and are issued in bearer form, carry a fixed or floating rate of interest, and typically amortize principal through a single payment for the entire principal at maturity with semiannual interest payments. Yankee bonds are bonds denominated in U.S. dollars issued by foreign banks and corporations, and registered with the SEC for sale in the U.S. A Global Bond is a certificate representing the total debt of an issue. Such bonds are created to control the primary market distribution of an issue in compliance with selling restrictions in certain jurisdictions or because definitive bond certificates are not available. A Global Bond is also known as a Global Certificate.

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Sukuk.     Sukuk are certificates, similar to bonds, issued by the issuer to obtain an upfront payment in exchange for an income stream to be generated by certain assets of the issuer. Generally, the issuer sells the investor a certificate, which the investor then rents back to the issuer for a predetermined rental fee. The issuer also makes a contractual promise to buy back the certificate at a future date at par value. While the certificate is linked to the returns generated by certain assets of the issuer, the underlying assets are not pledged as security for the certificates, and the Fund (as the investor) will rely on the creditworthiness of the issuer for all payments required by the sukuk. Issuers of sukuk may include international financial institutions, foreign governments and agencies of foreign governments. Underlying assets may include, without limitation, real estate (developed and undeveloped), lease contracts and machinery and equipment.

Foreign currency exchange rates.     Changes in foreign currency exchange rates will affect the U.S. dollar market value of securities denominated in such foreign currencies and any income received or expenses paid by the Fund in that foreign currency. This may affect the Fund’s share price, income and distributions to shareholders. Some countries may have fixed or managed currencies that are not free-floating against the U.S. dollar. It will be more difficult for the investment manager to value securities denominated in currencies that are fixed or managed. Certain currencies may not be internationally traded, which could cause illiquidity with respect to the Fund’s investments in that currency and any securities denominated in that currency. Currency markets generally are not as regulated as securities markets. The Fund endeavors to buy and sell foreign currencies on as favorable a basis as practicable. Some price spread in currency exchanges (to cover service charges) may be incurred, particularly when the Fund changes investments from one country to another or when proceeds of the sale of securities in U.S. dollars are used for the purchase of securities denominated in foreign currencies. Some countries may adopt policies that would prevent the Fund from transferring cash out of the country or withhold portions of interest and dividends at the source.

Certain currencies have experienced a steady devaluation relative to the U.S. dollar. Any devaluations in the currencies in which the Fund’s portfolio securities are denominated may have a detrimental impact on the Fund. Where the exchange rate for a currency declines materially after the Fund’s income has been accrued and translated into U.S. dollars, the Fund may need to redeem portfolio securities to make required distributions. Similarly, if an exchange rate declines between the time the Fund incurs expenses in U.S. dollars and the time such expenses are paid, the Fund will have to convert a greater amount of the currency into U.S. dollars in order to pay the expenses.

Investing in foreign currencies for purposes of gaining from projected changes in exchange rates further increases the Fund’s exposure to foreign securities losses.

The Fund does not consider currencies or other financial commodities or contracts and financial instruments to be physical commodities (which include, for example, oil, precious metals and grains). Accordingly, the Fund interprets its fundamental restriction regarding purchasing and selling physical commodities to permit the Fund (subject to the Fund’s investment goals and general investment policies as stated in the Fund’s prospectus and SAI) to invest directly in foreign currencies and other financial commodities and to purchase, sell or enter into foreign currency futures contracts and options thereon, foreign currency forward contracts, foreign currency options, currency, commodity- and financial instrument-related swap agreements, hybrid instruments, interest rate, securities-related or foreign currency-related futures contracts or other currency-, commodity- or financial instrument-related derivatives, subject to compliance with any applicable provisions of the federal securities or commodities laws. The Fund also interprets its fundamental restriction regarding purchasing and selling physical commodities to permit the Fund to invest in exchange-traded products or other entities that invest in physical and/or financial commodities, subject to the limits described in the Fund’s prospectus and SAI.

Foreign governmental and supranational debt securities.     Investments in debt securities of governmental or supranational issuers are subject to all the risks associated with investments in U.S. and foreign securities and certain additional risks.

Foreign government debt securities, sometimes known as sovereign debt securities, include debt securities issued, sponsored or guaranteed by: governments or governmental agencies, instrumentalities, or political subdivisions located in emerging or developed market countries; government owned, controlled or sponsored entities located in emerging or developed market countries; and entities organized and operated for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of instruments issued by any of the above issuers.

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A supranational entity is a bank, commission or company established or financially supported by the national governments of one or more countries to promote reconstruction, trade, harmonization of standards or laws, economic development, and humanitarian, political or environmental initiatives. Supranational debt obligations include: Brady Bonds (which are debt securities issued under the framework of the Brady Plan as a means for debtor nations to restructure their outstanding external indebtedness); participations in loans between emerging market governments and financial institutions; and debt securities issued by supranational entities such as the World Bank, Asia Development Bank, European Investment Bank and the European Economic Community.

Foreign government debt securities are subject to risks in addition to those relating to debt securities generally. Governmental issuers of foreign debt securities may be unwilling or unable to pay interest and repay principal, or otherwise meet obligations, when due and may require that the conditions for payment be renegotiated. As a sovereign entity, the issuing government may be immune from lawsuits in the event of its failure or refusal to pay the obligations when due. The debtor’s willingness or ability to repay in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its non-U.S. reserves, the availability of sufficient non-U.S. exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the issuing country’s economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy toward principal international lenders, such as the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, and the political considerations or constraints to which the sovereign debtor may be subject. Governmental debtors also will be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments or multinational agencies and the country’s access to, or balance of, trade. Some governmental debtors have in the past been able to reschedule or restructure their debt payments without the approval of debt holders or declare moratoria on payments, and similar occurrences may happen in the future. There is no bankruptcy proceeding by which the Fund may collect in whole or in part on debt subject to default by a government.

High-yield debt securities     High-yield or lower-rated debt securities (also referred to as “junk bonds”) are securities that have been rated below the top four rating categories (e.g., BB+ or Ba1 and lower) by one or more independent rating organizations such as Moody’s or S&P and are considered below investment grade. These securities generally have greater risk with respect to the payment of interest and repayment of principal, or may be in default and are often considered to be speculative and involve greater risk of loss because they are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to other debt of the issuer.

Adverse publicity, investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, or real or perceived adverse economic and competitive industry conditions may decrease the values and liquidity of lower-rated debt securities, especially in a thinly traded market. Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of lower-rated debt securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher-rated securities. The Fund relies on the investment manager’s judgment, analysis and experience in evaluating the creditworthiness of an issuer of lower-rated securities. In such evaluations, the investment manager takes into consideration, among other things, the issuer’s financial resources, its sensitivity to economic conditions and trends, its operating history, the quality of the issuer’s management and regulatory matters. There can be no assurance the investment manager will be successful in evaluating the creditworthiness of an issuer or the value of high yield debt securities generally.

The prices of lower-rated debt securities may be less sensitive to interest rate changes than higher-rated debt securities, but more sensitive to economic downturns or individual adverse corporate developments. Market anticipation of an economic downturn or of rising interest rates, for example, could cause a decline in lower-rated debt securities prices. This is because an economic downturn could lessen the ability of a highly leveraged company to make principal and interest payments on its debt securities. Similarly, the impact of individual adverse corporate developments, or public perceptions thereof, will be greater for lower-rated securities because the issuers of such securities are more likely to enter bankruptcy. If the issuer of lower-rated debt securities defaults, the Fund may incur substantial expenses to seek recovery of all or a portion of its investments or to exercise other rights as a security holder. The Fund may choose, at its expense or in conjunction with others, to pursue litigation or otherwise to exercise its rights as a security holder to seek to protect the interests of security holders if it determines this to be in the best interest of the Fund’s shareholders.

Lower-rated debt securities frequently have call or buy-back features that allow an issuer to redeem the securities from their holders. Although these securities are typically not callable for a period of time, usually for three to five years from the date of issue, the Fund will be exposed to prepayment risk.

The markets in which lower-rated debt securities are traded are more limited than those in which higher-rated securities are traded. The existence of limited markets for particular securities may diminish the Fund’s ability to sell the securities at desirable prices to meet redemption requests or to respond to a specific economic event, such as deterioration in the creditworthiness of the issuer. Reduced secondary market liquidity for certain lower-rated debt securities also may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for the purposes of valuing the Fund’s portfolio. Market quotations are generally available on many lower-rated securities only from a limited number of dealers and may not necessarily represent firm bids of such dealers or prices of actual sales, which may limit the Fund’s ability to rely on such quotations.

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Some lower-rated debt securities are sold without registration under federal securities laws and, therefore, carry restrictions on resale. While many of such lower-rated debt securities have been sold with registration rights, covenants and penalty provisions for delayed registration, if the Fund is required to sell restricted securities before the securities have been registered, it may be deemed an underwriter of the securities under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (1933 Act), which entails special responsibilities and liabilities. The Fund also may incur extra costs when selling restricted securities, although the Fund will generally not incur any costs when the issuer is responsible for registering the securities.

High-yield, fixed-income securities acquired during an initial underwriting involve special credit risks because they are new issues. The investment manager will carefully review the issuer’s credit and other characteristics.

The credit risk factors described above also apply to high-yield zero coupon, deferred interest and pay-in-kind securities. These securities have an additional risk, however, because unlike securities that pay interest periodically until maturity, zero coupon bonds and similar securities will not make any interest or principal payments until the cash payment date or maturity of the security. If the issuer defaults, the Fund may not obtain any return on its investment.

Illiquid securities     Generally, an “illiquid security” is any security that cannot be disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the amount at which the Fund has valued the instrument. Illiquid securities generally include securities for which no market exists or which are legally restricted as to their transfer (such as those issued pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements of the federal securities laws). Restricted securities are generally sold in privately negotiated transactions, pursuant to an exemption from registration under the 1933 Act. If registration of a security previously acquired in a private transaction is required, the Fund, as the holder of the security, may be obligated to pay all or part of the registration expense and a considerable period may elapse between the time it decides to seek registration and the time it will be permitted to sell a security under an effective registration statement. If, during such a period, adverse market conditions were to develop, the Fund might obtain a less favorable price than prevailed when it decided to seek registration of the security. To the extent the investment manager determines there is a liquid institutional or other market for restricted securities, the Fund considers them to be liquid securities. An example is a restricted security that may be freely transferred among qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act, and for which a liquid institutional market has developed. Rule 144A securities may be subject, however, to a greater possibility of becoming illiquid than securities that have been registered with the SEC.

The Fund’s board will review on a periodic basis any determination by the investment manager to treat a restricted security as liquid. In determining whether a restricted security is properly considered a liquid security, the investment manager takes into account the following factors: (i) the frequency of trades and quotes for the security; (ii) the number of dealers willing to buy or sell the security and the number of other potential buyers; (iii) any dealer undertakings to make a market in the security; and (iv) the nature of the security and of the marketplace trades (e.g., any demand, put or tender features, the method of soliciting offers, the mechanics and other requirements for transfer, and the ability to assign or offset the rights and obligations of the security). The nature of the security and its trading includes the time needed to sell the security, the method of soliciting offers to purchase or sell the security, and the mechanics of transferring the security including the role of parties such as foreign or U.S. custodians, subcustodians, currency exchange brokers, and depositories.

The sale of illiquid securities often requires more time and results in higher brokerage charges or dealer discounts and other selling expenses than the sale of securities eligible for trading on national securities exchanges or in the over-the-counter (OTC) markets. Illiquid securities often sell at a price lower than similar securities that are not subject to restrictions on resale.

The risk to the Fund in holding illiquid securities is that they may be more difficult to sell if the Fund wants to dispose of the security in response to adverse developments or in order to raise money for redemptions or other investment opportunities. Illiquid trading conditions may also make it more difficult for the Fund to realize a security’s fair value.

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The Fund may also be unable to achieve its desired level of exposure to a certain security, issuer, or sector due to overall limitations on its ability to invest in illiquid securities and the difficulty in purchasing such securities.

Inflation-indexed securities     Inflation-indexed securities are debt securities, the value of which is periodically adjusted to reflect a measure of inflation. Two structures are common for inflation-indexed securities. The U.S. Treasury and some other issuers use a structure that reflects inflation as it accrues by increasing the U.S. dollar amount of the principal originally invested. Other issuers pay out the inflation as it accrues as part of a semiannual coupon. Any amount accrued on an inflation-indexed security, regardless whether paid out as a coupon or added to the principal, is generally considered taxable income. Where the accrued amount is added to the principal and no cash income is received until maturity, the Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities that it would otherwise continue to hold in order to obtain sufficient cash to make distributions to shareholders required for U.S. tax purposes.

An investor could experience a loss of principal and income on investments in inflation-indexed securities. In a deflationary environment, the value of the principal invested in an inflation-indexed security will be adjusted downward, just as it would be adjusted upward in an inflationary environment. Because the interest on an inflation-indexed security is calculated with respect to the amount of principal which is smaller following a deflationary period, interest payments will also be reduced, just as they would be increased following an inflationary period.

In the case of U.S. Treasury inflation-indexed securities, the return of at least the original U.S. dollar amount of principal invested is guaranteed, so an investor receives the greater of its original principal or the inflation-adjusted principal. If the return of principal is not guaranteed, the investor may receive less than the amount it originally invested in an inflation-indexed security following a period of deflation. Any guarantee of principal provided by a party other than the U.S. government will increase the Fund’s exposure to the credit risk of that party.

The value of inflation-indexed securities is generally expected to change in response to changes in “real” interest rates. The real interest rate is the rate of interest that would be paid in the absence of inflation. The actual rate of interest, referred to as the nominal interest rate, is equal to the real interest rate plus the rate of inflation. If inflation rises at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of inflation-indexed securities. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in value of inflation-indexed securities.

While inflation-indexed securities are designed to provide some protection from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may lead to a decline in their value. For example, if interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation, investors in these securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the security’s inflation measure. The reasons that interest rates may rise without a corresponding increase in inflation include changes in currency exchange rates and temporary shortages of credit or liquidity. When interest rates rise without a corresponding increase in inflation, the Fund’s investment in inflation-indexed securities will forego the additional return that could have been earned on a floating rate debt security.

The periodic adjustment of U.S. inflation-protected debt securities is tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which is calculated monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI-U is an index of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation and energy. Inflation-protected debt securities issued by a foreign government are generally adjusted to reflect a comparable consumer inflation index, calculated by that government. There can be no assurance that the CPI-U or any foreign inflation index will accurately measure the actual rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services. Moreover, there can be no assurance that the rate of inflation in a foreign country will be correlated to the rate of inflation in the United States. To the extent that the Fund invests in inflation-indexed securities as a hedge against inflation, an imperfect hedge will result if the cost of living (as represented in the CPI-U) has a different inflation rate than the Fund’s interests in industries and sectors minimally affected by changes in the cost of living.

Investment company securities     The Fund may invest in other investment companies to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, SEC rules thereunder and exemptions thereto. With respect to unaffiliated funds in which the Fund may invest, Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act requires that, as determined immediately after a purchase is made, (i) not more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets will be invested in the securities of any one investment company, (ii) not more than 10% of the value of the Fund’s total assets will be invested 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 the Fund. The Fund will limit its investments in unaffiliated funds in accordance with the Section 12(d)(1)(A) limitations set forth above, except to the extent that any rules, regulations or no-action or exemptive relief under the 1940 Act permits the Fund’s investments to exceed such limits in unaffiliated underlying funds. To the extent that the Fund invests in another investment company, because other investment companies pay advisory, administrative and service fees that are borne indirectly by investors, such as the Fund, there may be duplication of investment management and other fees. The Fund may also invest its cash balances in affiliated money market funds to the extent permitted by its investment policies and rules and exemptions granted under the 1940 Act.

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The Fund will not acquire shares of other affiliated or unaffiliated open-end funds or unit investment trusts in reliance on paragraph (F) or (G) of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act.

Closed-end funds.     The shares of a closed-end fund typically are bought and sold on an exchange. The risks of investing in a closed-end investment company typically reflect the risk of the types of securities in which the closed-end fund invests. Closed-end funds often leverage returns by issuing debt securities, auction rate preferred securities or reverse-repurchase agreements. The Fund may invest in debt securities issued by closed-end funds, subject to any quality or other standards applicable to the Fund’s investment in debt securities. If the Fund invests in shares issued by leveraged closed-end funds, it will face certain risks associated with leveraged investments.

Investments in closed-end funds are subject to additional risks. For example, the price of the closed-end fund’s shares quoted on an exchange may not reflect the net asset value of the securities held by the closed-end fund. The premium or discount that the share prices represent versus net asset value may change over time based on a variety of factors, including supply of and demand for the closed-end fund’s shares, that are outside the closed-end fund’s control or unrelated to the value of the underlying portfolio securities. If the Fund invests in the closed-end fund to gain exposure to the closed-end fund’s investments, the lack of correlation between the performance of the closed-end fund’s investments and the closed-end fund’s share price may compromise or eliminate any such exposure.

Exchange-traded funds.     The Fund may invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Most ETFs are regulated as registered investment companies under the 1940 Act. Many ETFs acquire and hold securities of all of the companies or other issuers, or a representative sampling of companies or other issuers that are components of a particular index. Such ETFs are intended to provide investment results that, before expenses, generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the corresponding market index, and the value of their shares should, under normal circumstances, closely track the value of the index’s underlying component securities. Because an ETF has operating expenses and transaction costs, while a market index does not, ETFs that track particular indices typically will be unable to match the performance of the index exactly. ETF shares may be purchased and sold in the secondary trading market on a securities exchange, in lots of any size, at any time during the trading day. More recently, actively managed ETFs have been created that are managed similarly to other investment companies.

The shares of an ETF may be assembled in a block (typically 50,000 shares) known as a creation unit and redeemed in kind for a portfolio of the underlying securities (based on the ETF’s net asset value) together with a cash payment generally equal to accumulated dividends as of the date of redemption. Conversely, a creation unit may be purchased from the ETF by depositing a specified portfolio of the ETF’s underlying securities, as well as a cash payment generally equal to accumulated dividends of the securities (net of expenses) up to the time of deposit.

ETF shares, as opposed to creation units, are generally purchased and sold in a secondary market on a securities exchange. ETF shares can be traded in lots of any size, at any time during the trading day. Although the Fund, like most other investors in ETFs, intends to purchase and sell ETF shares primarily in the secondary trading market, the Fund may redeem creation units for the underlying securities (and any applicable cash), and may assemble a portfolio of the underlying securities and use it (and any required cash) to purchase creation units, if the investment manager believes it is in the Fund’s best interest to do so.

An investment in an ETF is subject to all of the risks of investing in the securities held by the ETF and has similar risks as investing in a closed-end fund. In addition, because of the ability of large market participants to arbitrage price differences by purchasing or redeeming creation units, the difference between the market value and the net asset value of ETF shares should in most cases be small. An ETF may be terminated and need to liquidate its portfolio securities at a time when the prices for those securities are falling.

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Investment grade debt securities     Investment grade debt securities are securities that are rated at the time of purchase in the top four ratings categories by one or more independent rating organizations such as S&P (rated BBB- or better) or Moody’s (rated Baa3 or higher) or, if unrated, are determined to be of comparable quality by the Fund’s investment manager. Generally, a higher rating indicates the rating agency’s opinion that there is less risk of default of obligations thereunder including timely repayment of principal and payment of interest. Debt securities in the lowest investment grade category may have speculative characteristics and more closely resemble high-yield debt securities than investment-grade debt securities. Lower-rated securities may be subject to all the risks applicable to high-yield debt securities and changes in economic conditions or other circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to make principal and interest payments than is the case with higher grade debt securities.

A number of risks associated with rating agencies apply to the purchase or sale of investment grade debt securities.

Mortgage securities  

Overview of mortgage-backed securities.     Mortgage-backed securities represent an ownership interest in a pool of mortgage loans, usually originated by mortgage bankers, commercial banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks and credit unions to finance purchases of homes, commercial buildings or other real estate. The individual mortgage loans are packaged or “pooled” together for sale to investors. These mortgage loans may have either fixed or adjustable interest rates. A guarantee or other form of credit support may be attached to a mortgage-backed security to protect against default on obligations.

As the underlying mortgage loans are paid off, investors receive principal and interest payments, which “pass-through” when received from individual borrowers, net of any fees owed to the administrator, guarantor or other service providers. Some mortgage-backed securities make payments of both principal and interest at a range of specified intervals; others make semiannual interest payments at a predetermined rate and repay principal at maturity (like a typical bond).

Mortgage-backed securities are based on different types of mortgages, including those on commercial real estate or residential properties. The primary issuers or guarantors of mortgage-backed securities have historically been the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae), the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA or Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC or Freddie Mac). Other issuers of mortgage-backed securities include commercial banks and other private lenders. Trading in mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by a governmental agency, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise may frequently take place in the to-be-announced (TBA) forward market. See “When-issued, delayed delivery and to-be-announced transactions” below.

Ginnie Mae is a wholly-owned United States government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ginnie Mae guarantees the principal and interest on securities issued by institutions approved by Ginnie Mae (such as savings and loan institutions, commercial banks and mortgage bankers). Ginnie Mae also guarantees the principal and interest on securities backed by pools of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (the “FHA”), or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (the “VA”). Ginnie Mae’s guarantees are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Guarantees as to the timely payment of principal and interest do not extend to the value or yield of mortgage-backed securities nor do they extend to the value of the Fund’s shares which will fluctuate daily with market conditions.

Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored corporation, but its common stock is owned by private stockholders. Fannie Mae purchases conventional (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any government agency) residential mortgages from a list of approved seller/servicers which include state and federally chartered savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks and credit unions and mortgage bankers. Pass-through securities issued by Fannie Mae are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by Fannie Mae, but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

Freddie Mac was created by Congress in 1970 for the purpose of increasing the availability of mortgage credit for residential housing. It is a government-sponsored corporation formerly owned by the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks but now its common stock is owned entirely by private stockholders. Freddie Mac issues Participation Certificates (PCs), which are pass-through securities, each representing an undivided interest in a pool of residential mortgages. Freddie Mac guarantees the timely payment of interest and ultimate collection of principal, but PCs are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

Although the mortgage-backed securities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, the Secretary of the Treasury has the authority to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by purchasing limited amounts of their respective obligations. The yields on these mortgage-backed securities have historically exceeded the yields on other types of U.S. government securities with comparable maturities due largely to their prepayment risk. The U.S. government, in the past, provided financial support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the U.S. government has no legal obligation to do so, and no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will continue to do so.

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On September 6, 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship. As the conservator, FHFA succeeded to all rights, titles, powers and privileges of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and of any stockholder, officer or director of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA selected a new chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors for each of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Also, the U.S. Treasury entered into a Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement imposing various covenants that severely limit each enterprise’s operations.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to operate as going concerns while in conservatorship and each remains liable for all of its obligations, including its guaranty obligations associated with its mortgage-backed securities. The FHFA has the power to repudiate any contract entered into by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prior to FHFA’s appointment as conservator or receiver, including the guaranty obligations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Accordingly, securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will involve a risk of non-payment of principal and interest.

Private mortgage-backed securities.     Issuers of private mortgage-backed securities, such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers, are not U.S. government agencies and may be both the originators of the underlying mortgage loans as well as the guarantors of the mortgage-backed securities, or they may partner with a government entity by issuing mortgage loans guaranteed or sponsored by the U.S. government or a U.S. government agency or sponsored enterprise. Pools of mortgage loans created by private issuers generally offer a higher rate of interest than government and government-related pools because there are no direct or indirect government or government agency guarantees of payment. The risk of loss due to default on private mortgage-backed securities is historically higher because neither the U.S. government nor an agency or instrumentality have guaranteed them. Timely payment of interest and principal is, however, generally supported by various forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance. Government entities, private insurance companies or the private mortgage poolers issue the insurance and guarantees. The insurance and guarantees and the creditworthiness of their issuers will be considered when determining whether a mortgage-backed security meets the Fund’s quality standards. The Fund may buy mortgage-backed securities without insurance or guarantees if, through an examination of the loan experience and practices of the poolers, the investment manager determines that the securities meet the Fund’s quality standards. Private mortgage-backed securities whose underlying assets are neither U.S. government securities nor U.S. government-insured mortgages, to the extent that real properties securing such assets may be located in the same geographical region, may also be subject to a greater risk of default than other comparable securities in the event of adverse economic, political or business developments that may affect such region and, ultimately, the ability of property owners to make payments of principal and interest on the underlying mortgages. Non-government mortgage-backed securities are generally subject to greater price volatility than those issued, guaranteed or sponsored by government entities because of the greater risk of default in adverse market conditions. Where a guarantee is provided by a private guarantor, the Fund is subject to the credit risk of such guarantor, especially when the guarantor doubles as the originator.

Mortgage-backed securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, are not subject to the Fund’s industry concentration restrictions, set forth under “Fundamental Investment Policies,” by virtue of the exclusion from that test available to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities. In the case of privately issued mortgage-backed securities, the Fund categorizes the securities by the issuer’s industry for purposes of the Fund’s industry concentration restrictions.

Other mortgage securities.     Mortgage securities may include interests in pools of (i) reperforming loans, meaning that the mortgage loans are current, including because of loan modifications, but had been delinquent in the past and (ii) non-performing loans, meaning that the mortgage loans are not current. Such mortgage securities present increased risks of default, including non-payment

Additional risks.     In addition to the special risks described below, mortgage securities are subject to many of the same risks as other types of debt securities. The market value of mortgage securities, like other debt securities, will generally vary inversely with changes in market interest rates, declining when interest rates rise and rising when interest rates decline. Mortgage securities differ from conventional debt securities in that most mortgage securities are pass-through securities. This means that they typically provide investors with periodic payments (typically monthly) consisting of a pro rata share of both regular interest and principal payments, as well as unscheduled early prepayments, on the underlying mortgage pool (net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of such securities and any applicable loan servicing fees). As a result, the holder of the mortgage securities (i.e., the Fund) receives scheduled payments of principal and interest and may receive unscheduled principal payments representing prepayments on the underlying mortgages. The rate of prepayments on the underlying mortgages generally increases as interest rates decline, and when the Fund reinvests the payments and any unscheduled payments of principal it receives, it may receive a rate of interest that is lower than the rate on the existing mortgage securities. For this reason, pass-through mortgage securities may have less potential for capital appreciation as interest rates decline and may be less effective than other types of U.S. government or other debt securities as a means of “locking in” long-term interest rates. In general, fixed rate mortgage securities have greater exposure to this “prepayment risk” than variable rate securities.

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An unexpected rise in interest rates could extend the average life of a mortgage security because of a lower than expected level of prepayments or higher than expected amounts of late payments or defaults. In addition, to the extent mortgage securities are purchased at a premium, mortgage foreclosures and unscheduled principal prepayments may result in some loss of the holder’s principal investment to the extent of the premium paid. On the other hand, if mortgage securities are purchased at a discount, both a scheduled payment of principal and an unscheduled payment of principal will increase current and total returns and will accelerate the recognition of income that, when distributed to shareholders, will generally be taxable as ordinary income. Regulatory, policy or tax changes may also adversely affect the mortgage securities market as a whole or particular segments of such market, including if one or more government sponsored entities, such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, are privatized or their conservatorship is terminated.

Guarantees.     The existence of a guarantee or other form of credit support on a mortgage security usually increases the price that the Fund pays or receives for the security. There is always the risk that the guarantor will default on its obligations. When the guarantor is the U.S. government, there is minimal risk of guarantor default. However, the risk remains if the credit support or guarantee is provided by a private party or a U.S. government agency or sponsored enterprise. Even if the guarantor meets its obligations, there can be no assurance that the type of guarantee or credit support provided will be effective at reducing losses or delays to investors, given the nature of the default. A guarantee only assures timely payment of interest and principal, not a particular rate of return on the Fund’s investment or protection against prepayment or other risks. The market price and yield of the mortgage security at any given time are not guaranteed and likely to fluctuate.

Sector focus.     The Fund’s investments in mortgage securities may cause the Fund to have significant, indirect exposure to a given market sector. If the underlying mortgages are predominantly from borrowers in a given market sector, the mortgage securities may respond to market conditions just as a direct investment in that sector would. As a result, the Fund may experience greater exposure to that specific market sector than it would if the underlying mortgages came from a wider variety of borrowers. Greater exposure to a particular market sector may result in greater volatility of the security’s price and returns to the Fund, as well as greater potential for losses in the absence or failure of a guarantee to protect against widespread defaults or late payments by the borrowers on the underlying mortgages.

Similar risks may result from an investment in mortgage securities if the underlying real properties are located in the same geographical region or dependent upon the same industries or sectors. Such mortgage securities will experience greater risk of default or late payment than other comparable but diversified securities in the event of adverse economic, political or business developments because of the widespread affect an adverse event will have on borrowers’ ability to make payments on the underlying mortgages.

Adjustable rate mortgage securities (ARMS)     ARMS, like traditional fixed rate mortgage-backed securities, represent an ownership interest in a pool of mortgage loans and are issued, guaranteed or otherwise sponsored by governmental or by private entities. Unlike traditional mortgage-backed securities, the mortgage loans underlying ARMS generally carry adjustable interest rates, and in some cases principal repayment rates, that are reset periodically. An adjustable interest rate may be passed-through or otherwise offered on certain ARMS. The interest obtained by owning ARMS (and, as a result, the value of the ARMS) may vary monthly as a result of resets in interest rates and/or principal repayment rates of any of the mortgage loans that are part of the pool of mortgage loans comprising the ARMS. Investing in ARMS may permit the Fund to participate in increases in prevailing current interest rates through periodic adjustments in the interest rate payments on mortgages underlying the pool on which the ARMS are based. ARMS generally have lower price fluctuations than is the case with more traditional fixed income debt securities of comparable rating and maturity.

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The interest rates paid on ARMS generally are readjusted at intervals of one year or less to a rate that is an increment over some predetermined interest rate index, although some securities may have reset intervals as long as five years. Some adjustable rate mortgage loans have fixed rates for an initial period, typically three, five, seven or ten years, and adjust annually thereafter. There are three main categories of indices: those based on LIBOR, those based on U.S. Treasury securities and those derived from a calculated measure such as a cost of funds index (indicating the cost of borrowing) or a moving average of mortgage rates. Commonly used indices include the one-, three-, and five-year constant-maturity Treasury rates; the three-month Treasury bill rate; the 180-day Treasury bill rate; rates on longer-term Treasury securities; the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds; the National Median Cost of Funds; the one-, three-, six-month, or one-year LIBOR; the prime rate of a specific bank; or commercial paper rates.

In a changing interest rate environment, the reset feature may act as a buffer to reduce sharp changes in the ARMS’ value in response to normal interest rate fluctuations. However, the time interval between each interest reset causes the yield on the ARMS to lag behind changes in the prevailing market interest rate. As interest rates are reset on the underlying mortgages, the yields of the ARMS gradually re-align themselves to reflect changes in market rates so that their market values remain relatively stable compared to fixed-rate mortgage-backed securities.

As a result, ARMS generally also have less risk of a decline in value during periods of rising interest rates than traditional long-term, fixed-rate mortgage-backed securities. However, during such periods, this reset lag may result in a lower net asset value until the interest rate resets to market rates. If prepayments of principal are made on the underlying mortgages during periods of rising interest rates, the Fund generally will be able to reinvest these amounts in securities with a higher current rate of return. However, the Fund will not benefit from increases in interest rates to the extent that interest rates exceed the maximum allowable annual or lifetime reset limits (or cap rates) for a particular mortgage-backed security. See “Caps and floors.” Additionally, borrowers with adjustable rate mortgage loans that are pooled into ARMS generally see an increase in their monthly mortgage payments when interest rates rise which in turn may increase their rate of late payments and defaults.

Because an investor is “locked in” at a given interest rate for the duration of the interval until the reset date, whereas interest rates continue to fluctuate, the sensitivity of an ARMS’ price to changes in interest rates tends to increase along with the length of the interval. To the extent the Fund invests in ARMS that reset infrequently, the Fund will be subject to similar interest rate risks as when investing in fixed-rate debt securities. For example, the Fund can expect to receive a lower interest rate than the prevailing market rates (or index rates) in a rising interest rate environment because of the lag between daily increases in interest rates and periodic readjustments.

During periods of declining interest rates, the interest rates on the underlying mortgages may reset downward with a similar lag, resulting in lower yields to the Fund. As a result, the value of ARMS is unlikely to rise during periods of declining interest rates to the same extent as the value of fixed-rate securities do.

Caps and floors.     The underlying mortgages that collateralize ARMS will frequently have caps and floors that limit the maximum amount by which the interest rate to the residential borrower may change up or down (a) per reset or adjustment interval and (b) over the life of the loan. Fluctuations in interest rates above the applicable caps or floors on the ARMS could cause the ARMS to “cap out” and to behave more like long-term, fixed-rate debt securities.

Negative amortization.     Some mortgage loans restrict periodic adjustments by limiting changes in the borrower’s monthly principal and interest payments rather than limiting interest rate changes. These payment caps may result in negative amortization, where payments are less than the amount of principal and interest owed, with excess amounts added to the outstanding principal balance, which can extend the average life of the mortgage-backed securities.

Collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs), real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs) and multi-class pass-throughs     Some mortgage-backed securities known as collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) are divided into multiple classes. Each of the classes is allocated a different share of the principal and/or interest payments received from the pool according to a different payment schedule depending on, among other factors, the seniority of a class relative to their classes. Other mortgage-backed securities such as real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs) are also divided into multiple classes with different rights to the interest and/or principal payments received on the pool of mortgages. A CMO or REMIC may designate the most junior of the securities it issues as a “residual” which will be entitled to any amounts remaining after all classes of shareholders (and any fees or expenses) have been paid in full. Some of the different rights may include different maturities, interest rates, payment schedules, and allocations of interest and/or principal payments on the underlying mortgage loans. Multi-class pass-through securities are equity interests in a trust composed of mortgage loans or other mortgage-backed securities. Payments of principal and interest on the underlying collateral provide the funds to pay the debt service on CMOs or REMICs or to make scheduled distributions on the multi-class pass-through securities. Unless the context indicates otherwise, the discussion of CMOs below also applies to REMICs and multi-class pass-through securities.

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All the risks applicable to a traditional mortgage-backed security also apply to the CMO or REMIC taken as a whole, even though certain classes of the CMO or REMIC will be protected against a particular risk by subordinated classes. The risks associated with an investment in a particular CMO or REMIC class vary substantially depending on the combination of rights associated with that class. An investment in the most subordinated classes of a CMO or REMIC bears a disproportionate share of the risks associated with mortgage-backed securities generally, be it credit risk, prepayment or extension risk, interest rate risk, income risk, market risk, illiquidity risk or any other risk associated with a debt or equity instrument with similar features to the relevant class. As a result, an investment in the most subordinated classes of a CMO or REMIC is often riskier than an investment in other types of mortgage-backed securities.

CMOs are generally required to maintain more collateral than REMICs to collateralize the CMOs being issued. Most REMICs are not subject to the same minimum collateralization requirements and may be permitted to issue the full value of their assets as securities, without reserving any amount as collateral. As a result, an investment in the subordinated classes of a REMIC may be riskier than an investment in equivalent classes of a CMO.

CMOs may be issued, guaranteed or sponsored by governmental entities or by private entities. Consequently, they involve risks similar to those of traditional mortgage-backed securities that have been issued, guaranteed or sponsored by such government and/or private entities. For example, the Fund is generally exposed to a greater risk of loss due to default when investing in CMOs that have not been issued, guaranteed or sponsored by a government entity.

CMOs are typically issued in multiple classes. Each class, often referred to as a “tranche,” is issued at a specified coupon rate or adjustable rate and has a stated maturity or final distribution date. Principal prepayments on collateral underlying CMOs may cause the CMOs to be retired substantially earlier than their stated maturities or final distribution dates. Interest is paid or accrues on most classes of a CMO on a monthly, quarterly or semiannual basis. The principal and interest on the mortgages underlying CMOs may be allocated among the several classes in many ways. In a common structure, payments of principal on the underlying mortgages, including any principal prepayments, are applied to the classes of a series of a CMO in the order of their respective stated maturities or final distribution dates, so that no payment of principal will be made on any class until all other classes having an earlier stated maturity or final distribution date have been paid in full.

One or more classes of a CMO may have interest rates that reset periodically as ARMS do. These adjustable rate classes are known as “floating-rate CMOs” and are subject to most risks associated with ARMS. Floating-rate CMOs may be backed by fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgages. To date, fixed-rate mortgages have been more commonly used for this purpose. Floating-rate CMOs are typically issued with lifetime “caps” on the interest rate. These caps, similar to the caps on ARMS, limit the Fund’s potential to gain from rising interest rates and increasing the sensitivity of the CMO’s price to interest rate changes while rates remain above the cap.

Timely payment of interest and principal (but not the market value and yield) of some of these pools is supported by various forms of insurance or guarantees issued by private issuers, those who pool the mortgage assets and, in some cases, by U.S. government agencies.

CMOs involve risks including the uncertainty of the timing of cash flows that results from the rate of prepayments on the underlying mortgages serving as collateral, and risks resulting from the structure of the particular CMO transaction and the priority of the individual tranches. The prices of some CMOs, depending on their structure and the rate of prepayments, can be volatile. Some CMOs may be less liquid than other types of mortgage-backed securities. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible to sell the securities at an advantageous price or time under certain circumstances. Yields on privately issued CMOs have been historically higher than the yields on CMOs issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities. The risk of loss due to default on privately issued CMOs, however, is historically higher since the U.S. government has not guaranteed them.

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To the extent any privately issued CMOs in which the Fund invests are considered by the SEC to be an investment company, the Fund will limit its investments in such securities in a manner consistent with the provisions of the 1940 Act.

CMO and REMIC Residuals.     The residual in a CMO or REMIC structure is the interest in any excess cash flow generated by the mortgage pool that remains after first making the required payments of principal and interest to the other classes of the CMO or REMIC and, second, paying the related administrative expenses and any management fee of the issuer. Each payment of such excess cash flow to a holder of the related CMO or REMIC residual represents income and/or a return of capital. The amount of residual cash flow resulting from a CMO or REMIC will depend on, among other things, the characteristics of the mortgage assets, the interest rate of each class, prevailing interest rates, the amount of administrative expenses and the pre-payment experience on the mortgage assets. In particular, the return on CMO and REMIC residuals is extremely sensitive to pre-payments on the related underlying mortgage assets. If a class of a CMO or REMIC bears interest at an adjustable rate, the CMO or REMIC residual will also be extremely sensitive to changes in the level of the index upon which interest rate adjustments are based. CMO and REMIC residuals are generally purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers and may not have been registered under the 1933 Act. CMO and REMIC residuals, whether or not registered under the 1933 Act, may be subject to certain restrictions on transferability, and may be deemed “illiquid” and subject to the Fund’s limitation on investment in illiquid securities.

Stripped mortgage-backed securities and net interest margin securities     Some mortgage-backed securities referred to as stripped mortgage-backed securities are divided into classes which receive different proportions of the principal and interest payments or, in some cases, only payments of principal or interest (but not both). Other mortgage-backed securities referred to as net interest margin (NIM) securities give the investor the right to receive any excess interest earned on a pool of mortgage loans remaining after all classes and service providers have been paid in full. Stripped mortgage-backed securities may be issued by government or private entities. Stripped mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government are typically more liquid than privately issued stripped mortgage-backed securities.

Stripped mortgage-backed securities are usually structured with two classes, each receiving different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. In most cases, one class receives all of the interest (interest-only or “IO” class), while the other class receives all of the principal (principal-only or “PO” class). The return on an IO class is extremely sensitive not only to changes in prevailing interest rates but also to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the underlying mortgage assets. A rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on any IO class held by the Fund. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund may fail to recoup its initial investment fully, even if the securities are rated in the highest rating categories, AAA or Aaa, by S&P or Moody’s, respectively.

NIM securities represent a right to receive any “excess” interest computed after paying coupon costs, servicing costs and fees and any credit losses associated with the underlying pool of home equity loans. Like traditional stripped mortgage-backed securities, the return on a NIM security is sensitive not only to changes in prevailing interest rates but also to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the underlying home equity loans. NIM securities are highly sensitive to credit losses on the underlying collateral and the timing in which those losses are taken.

Stripped mortgage-backed securities and NIM securities tend to exhibit greater market volatility in response to changes in interest rates than other types of mortgage-backed securities and are purchased and sold by institutional investors, such as the Fund, through investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers. Some of these securities may be deemed “illiquid” and therefore subject to the Fund’s limitation on investment in illiquid securities and the risks associated with illiquidity.

Future developments.     Mortgage loan and home equity loan pools offering pass-through investments in addition to those described above may be created in the future. The mortgages underlying these securities may be alternative mortgage instruments, that is, mortgage instruments whose principal or interest payments may vary or whose terms to maturity may differ from customary long-term, fixed-rate mortgages. As new types of mortgage and home equity loan securities are developed and offered to investors, the Fund may invest in them if they are consistent with the Fund’s goals, policies and quality standards.

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Mortgage Dollar and U.S. Treasury Rolls  

Mortgage dollar rolls.     In a mortgage dollar roll, the Fund sells or buys mortgage-backed securities for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts to repurchase or sell substantially similar (same type, coupon, and maturity) securities on a specified future date. During the period between the sale and repurchase (known as the “roll period”), the Fund forgoes principal and interest payments that it would otherwise have received on the securities sold. The Fund is compensated by the difference between the current sales price, which it receives, and the lower forward price that it will pay for the future purchase (often referred to as the “drop”), as well as by the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale.

For each roll transaction, the Fund will segregate assets as set forth in “Segregation of assets” under “Borrowing.”

The Fund is exposed to the credit risk of its counterparty in a mortgage dollar roll or U.S. Treasury roll transaction. The Fund could suffer a loss if the counterparty fails to perform the future transaction or otherwise meet its obligations and the Fund is therefore unable to repurchase at the agreed upon price the same or substantially similar mortgage-backed securities it initially sold. The Fund also takes the risk that the mortgage-backed securities that it repurchases at a later date will have less favorable market characteristics than the securities originally sold (e.g., greater prepayment risk).

The Fund intends to enter into mortgage dollar rolls only with high quality securities dealers and banks as determined by the investment manager under board approved counterparty review procedures. Although rolls could add leverage to the Fund’s portfolio, the Fund does not consider the purchase and/or sale of a mortgage dollar roll to be a borrowing for purposes of the Fund’s fundamental restrictions or other limitations on borrowing.

U.S. Treasury rolls.     In U.S. Treasury rolls, the Fund sells U.S. Treasury securities and buys back “when-issued” U.S. Treasury securities of slightly longer maturity for simultaneous settlement on the settlement date of the “when-issued” U.S. Treasury security. Two potential advantages of this strategy are (1) the Fund can regularly and incrementally adjust its weighted average maturity of its portfolio securities (which otherwise would constantly diminish with the passage of time); and (2) in a normal yield curve environment (in which shorter maturities yield less than longer maturities), a gain in yield to maturity can be obtained along with the desired extension.

During the period before the settlement date, the Fund continues to earn interest on the securities it is selling. It does not earn interest on the securities that it is purchasing until after the settlement date. The Fund could suffer an opportunity loss if the counterparty to the roll failed to perform its obligations on the settlement date, and if market conditions changed adversely. The Fund generally enters into U.S. Treasury rolls only with government securities dealers recognized by the Federal Reserve Board or with member banks of the Federal Reserve System.

Municipal securities     Municipal securities are issued by U.S. state and local governments and their agencies, instrumentalities, authorities and political subdivisions, as well as by the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and possessions. The issuer pays a fixed, floating or variable rate of interest, and must repay the amount borrowed (the “principal”) at maturity. Municipal securities are issued to raise money for a variety of public or private purposes, including financing state or local government, specific projects or public facilities.

Municipal securities generally are classified as general or revenue obligations. General obligations are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its full faith, credit and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. Revenue obligations are debt securities payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities, or a specific excise tax or other revenue source. As a result, an investment in revenue obligations is subject to greater risk of delay or non-payment if revenue does not accrue as expected or if other conditions are not met for reasons outside the control of the Fund. Conversely, if revenue accrues more quickly than anticipated, the Fund may receive payment before expected and have difficulty re-investing the proceeds on equally favorable terms.

The value of the municipal securities may be highly sensitive to events affecting the fiscal stability of the municipalities, agencies, authorities and other instrumentalities that issue securities. In particular, economic, legislative, regulatory or political developments affecting the ability of the issuers to pay interest or repay principal may significantly affect the value of the Fund’s investments. These developments can include or arise from, for example, insolvency of an issuer, uncertainties related to the tax status of municipal securities, tax base erosion, state or federal constitutional limits on tax increases or other actions, budget deficits and other financial difficulties, or changes in the credit ratings assigned to municipal issuers. There will be a limited market for certain municipal securities, and the Fund could face illiquidity risks.

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Pre-refunded bonds     These are outstanding debt securities that are not immediately callable (redeemable) by the issuer but have been “pre-refunded” by the issuer. The issuer “pre-refunds” the bonds by setting aside in advance all or a portion of the amount to be paid to the bondholders when the bond is called. Generally, an issuer uses the proceeds from a new bond issue to buy high grade, interest bearing debt securities, including direct obligations of the U.S. government, which are then deposited in an irrevocable escrow account held by a trustee bank to secure all future payments of principal and interest on the pre-refunded bonds. Due to the substantial “collateral” held in escrow, pre-refunded bonds often receive the same rating as obligations of the United States Treasury. Because pre-refunded bonds still bear the same interest rate as when they were originally issued and are of very high credit quality, their market value may increase. However, as the pre-refunded bond approaches its call or ultimate maturity date, the bond’s market value will tend to fall to its call or par price.

Repurchase agreements     Under a repurchase agreement, the Fund agrees to buy securities guaranteed as to payment of principal and interest by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities from a qualified bank, broker-dealer or other counterparty and then to sell the securities back to such counterparty on an agreed upon date (generally less than seven days) at a higher price, which reflects currently prevailing short-term interest rates. Entering into repurchase agreements allows the Fund to earn a return on cash in the Fund’s portfolio that would otherwise remain un-invested. The counterparty must transfer to the Fund’s custodian, as collateral, securities with an initial market value of at least 102% of the dollar amount paid by the Fund to the counterparty. The investment manager will monitor the value of such collateral daily to determine that the value of the collateral equals or exceeds the repurchase price.

Repurchase agreements may involve risks in the event of default or insolvency of the counterparty, including possible delays or restrictions upon the Fund’s ability to sell the underlying securities and additional expenses in seeking to enforce the Fund’s rights and recover any losses. The Fund will enter into repurchase agreements only with parties who meet certain creditworthiness standards, i.e., banks or broker-dealers that the investment manager has determined, based on the information available at the time, present no serious risk of becoming involved in bankruptcy proceedings within the time frame contemplated by the repurchase agreement. Although the Fund seeks to limit the credit risk under a repurchase agreement by carefully selecting counterparties and accepting only high quality collateral, some credit risk remains. The counterparty could default which may make it necessary for the Fund to incur expenses to liquidate the collateral. In addition, the collateral may decline in value before it can be liquidated by the Fund.

A repurchase agreement with more than seven days to maturity is considered an illiquid security and is subject to the Fund’s investment restriction on illiquid securities.

Securities lending     To generate additional income, the Fund may lend certain of its portfolio securities to qualified banks and broker-dealers (referred to as “borrowers”). In exchange, the Fund receives cash collateral from a borrower at least equal to the value of the security loaned by the Fund. Cash collateral typically consists of any combination of cash, securities issued by the U.S. government and its agencies and instrumentalities, and irrevocable letters of credit. The Fund may invest this cash collateral while the loan is outstanding and generally retains part or all of the interest earned on the cash collateral. Securities lending allows the Fund to retain ownership of the securities loaned and, at the same time, earn additional income.

For each loan, the borrower usually must maintain with the Fund’s custodian collateral with an initial market value at least equal to 102% of the market value of the domestic securities loaned (or 105% of the market value of foreign securities loaned), including any accrued interest thereon. Such collateral will be marked-to-market daily, and if the coverage falls below 100%, the borrower will be required to deliver additional collateral equal to at least 102% of the market value of the domestic securities loaned (or 105% of the foreign securities loaned).

The Fund retains all or a portion of the interest received on investment of the cash collateral or receives a fee from the borrower. The Fund also continues to receive any distributions paid on the loaned securities. The Fund seeks to maintain the ability to obtain the right to vote or consent on proxy proposals involving material events affecting securities loaned. The Fund may terminate a loan at any time and obtain the return of the securities loaned within the normal settlement period for the security involved.

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If the borrower defaults on its obligation to return the securities loaned because of insolvency or other reasons, the Fund could experience delays and costs in recovering the securities loaned or in gaining access to the collateral. These delays and costs could be greater for foreign securities. If the Fund is not able to recover the securities loaned, the Fund may sell the collateral and purchase a replacement investment in the market. Additional transaction costs would result, and the value of the collateral could decrease below the value of the replacement investment by the time the replacement investment is purchased. Until the replacement can be purchased, the Fund will not have the desired level of exposure to the security which the borrower failed to return. Cash received as collateral through loan transactions may be invested in other eligible securities, including shares of a money market fund. Investing this cash subjects the Fund to greater market risk including losses on the collateral and, should the Fund need to look to the collateral in the event of the borrower’s default, losses on the loan secured by that collateral.

The Fund will loan its securities only to parties who meet creditworthiness standards approved by the Fund’s board (i.e., banks or broker-dealers that the investment manager has determined are not apparently at risk of becoming involved in bankruptcy proceedings within the time frame contemplated by the loan). In addition, pursuant to the 1940 Act and SEC interpretations thereof, the aggregate market value of securities that may be loaned by the Fund is limited to 33 1/3% of the Fund’s total assets or such lower limit as set by the Fund or its board.

Stripped securities     Stripped securities are debt securities that have been transformed from a principal amount with periodic interest coupons into a series of zero coupon bonds, each with a different maturity date corresponding to one of the payment dates for interest coupon payments or the redemption date for the principal amount. Stripped securities are subject to all the risks applicable to zero coupon bonds as well as certain additional risks.

Like zero coupon bonds, stripped securities do not provide for periodic payments of interest prior to maturity. Rather they are offered at a discount from their face amount that will be paid at maturity. This results in the security being subject to greater fluctuations in response to changing interest rates than interest-paying securities of similar maturities. Federal income taxes generally accrue on stripped securities each year although no cash income is received until maturity, and the Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities that it would otherwise continue to hold in order to obtain sufficient cash to make distributions to shareholders required for U.S. tax purposes.

The riskiness of an investment in stripped securities depends on the type involved. Some stripped securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Others receive an implied backing by the U.S. government as a sponsor or partner in the agency or entity issuing the stripped security. A few are secured with a guarantee from the financial institution or broker or dealer through which the stripped security is held. Others are supported only by the collateral, revenue stream or third party guarantee securing the underlying debt obligation from which zero coupon bonds were stripped. Stripped securities include: U.S. Treasury STRIPS, Stripped Government Securities, Stripped Obligations of the Financing Corporation (FICO STRIPS), Stripped Corporate Securities, and Stripped Eurodollar Obligations.

Stripped government securities are issued by the U.S. federal, state and local governments and their agencies and instrumentalities, and by “mixed-ownership government corporations.” Stripped government securities vary widely in the terms, conditions and relative assurances of payment. The type of debt obligation from which the stripped government security was taken will indicate many of the risks associated with that investment. U.S. Treasury STRIPS and FICO Strips are types of stripped government securities.

U.S. Treasury STRIPS (Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities) are considered U.S. Treasury securities for purposes of the Fund’s investment policies and are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Their risks are similar to those of other U.S. government securities, although their price may be more volatile. The U.S. Treasury 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.

FICO STRIPS represent interests in securities issued by the Financing Corporation (FICO). FICO was established to enable recapitalization of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) in the 1980’s. FICO STRIPS are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government but are generally treated as U.S. government agency securities. The market for FICO STRIPS is substantially smaller and, therefore, less liquid and more volatile than the market for U.S. Treasury STRIPS. A higher yield is typically offered on FICO STRIPS to compensate investors for the greater illiquidity and additional risk that the U.S. government will not meet obligations on the FICO STRIPS if FICO defaults.

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Structured investments     Structured investments are interests in entities organized and operated solely for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of a security or securities and then issuing that restructured security. Restructuring involves the deposit with, or purchase by, an entity (such as a corporation or trust) of specified instruments and the issuance by that entity of one or more classes of securities (structured investments) backed by, or representing interests in, the underlying instruments.

Subordinated classes typically have higher yields and present greater risks than unsubordinated classes. The extent of the payments made with respect to structured investments is dependent on the extent of the cash flow on the underlying instruments.

Certain issuers of structured investments may be deemed to be “investment companies” as defined in the 1940 Act. As a result, the Fund’s investment in these structured investments may be limited by the restrictions contained in the 1940 Act. The risks associated with investing in a structured investment are usually tied to the risks associated with investing in the underlying instruments and securities. The risks will also depend upon the comparative subordination of the class held by the Fund, relative to the likelihood of a default on the structured investment. To the extent that the Fund is exposed to default, the Fund’s structured investment may involve risks similar to those of high-yield debt securities. Structured investments typically are sold in private placement transactions, and there currently is no active trading market for structured investments. To the extent such investments are deemed to be illiquid, they will be subject to the Fund’s restrictions on investments in illiquid securities.

These entities typically are organized by investment banking firms that receive fees in connection with establishing each entity and arranging for the placement of its securities. The Fund will indirectly pay its portion of these fees in addition to the fees associated with the creation and marketing of the underlying instruments and securities. If an active investment management component is combined with the underlying instruments and securities in the structured investment, there may be ongoing advisory fees which the Fund’s shareholders would indirectly pay.

Subscription rights     The Fund may purchase the securities of any issuer pursuant to the exercise of subscription rights distributed to the Fund by the issuer. Foreign corporations frequently issue additional capital stock by means of subscription rights offerings to existing shareholders at a price below the market price of the shares. The failure to exercise such rights would result in dilution of the Fund’s interest in the issuing company.

Foreign corporations frequently issue additional capital stock by means of subscription rights offerings to existing shareholders at a price below the market price of the shares. The failure to exercise such rights would result in dilution of the Fund’s interest in the issuing company. Nothing herein shall be deemed to prohibit the Fund from purchasing the securities of any issuer pursuant to the exercise of subscription rights distributed to the Fund by the issuer, except that no such purchase may be made if, as a result, the Franklin Liberty High Yield Corporate ETF or Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF would no longer be a diversified investment company as defined in the 1940 Act.

Temporary investments     When the investment manager believes market or economic conditions are unfavorable for investors, the investment manager may invest up to 100% of the Fund’s assets in temporary defensive investments, including cash, cash equivalents or other high quality short-term investments, such as short-term debt instruments, including U.S. government securities, high grade commercial paper, repurchase agreements, negotiable certificates of deposit, non-negotiable fixed time deposits, bankers acceptances, and other money market equivalents. To the extent allowed by exemptions from and rules under the 1940 Act and the Fund’s other investment policies and restrictions, the investment manager also may invest the Fund’s assets in shares of one or more money market funds managed by the investment manager or its affiliates. Unfavorable market or economic conditions may include excessive volatility or a prolonged general decline in the securities markets, the securities in which the Fund normally invests, or the economies of the countries where the Fund invests. Temporary defensive investments can and do experience defaults. The likelihood of default on a temporary defensive investment may increase in the market or economic conditions which are likely to trigger the Fund’s investment therein. The investment manager also may invest in these types of securities or hold cash while looking for suitable investment opportunities or to maintain liquidity. When the Fund’s assets are invested in temporary investments, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment goal.

Unrated debt securities     Not all debt securities or their issuers are rated by rating agencies, sometimes due to the size of or manner of the securities offering, the decision by one or more rating agencies not to rate certain securities or issuers as a matter of policy, or the unwillingness or inability of the issuer to provide the prerequisite information and fees to the rating agencies. Some debt securities markets may have a disproportionately large number of unrated issuers.

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In evaluating unrated securities, the investment manager may consider, among other things, the issuer’s financial resources, its sensitivity to economic conditions and trends, its operating history, the quality of the issuer’s management and regulatory matters. Although unrated debt securities may be considered to be of investment grade quality, issuers typically pay a higher interest rate on unrated than on investment grade rated debt securities. Less information is typically available to the market on unrated securities and obligors, which may increase the potential for credit and valuation risk.

U.S. government securities     U.S. government securities include obligations of, or guaranteed by, the U.S. federal government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. Some U.S. government securities are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. These include U.S. Treasury obligations and securities issued by the GNMA. A second category of U.S. government securities are those supported by the right of the agency, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise to borrow from the U.S. government to meet its obligations. These include securities issued by Federal Home Loan Banks.

A third category of U.S. government securities are those supported by only the credit of the issuing agency, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise. These include securities issued by the FNMA and FHLMC. In the event of a default, an investor like the Fund would only have legal recourse to the issuer, not the U.S. government. Although the U.S. government has provided support for these securities in the past, there can be no assurance that it will do so in the future. The U.S. government has also made available additional guarantees for limited periods to stabilize or restore a market in the wake of an economic, political or natural crisis. Such guarantees, and the economic opportunities they present, are likely to be temporary and cannot be relied upon by the Fund. Any downgrade of the credit rating of the securities issued by the U.S. government may result in a downgrade of securities issued by its agencies or instrumentalities, including government-sponsored entities.

Variable rate securities     Variable rate securities are debt securities that provide for periodic adjustments in the interest rate paid on the debt security. Floating rate securities, adjustable rate securities and inverse floating rate securities (referred to as “inverse floaters”) are types of variable rate securities. An adjustable rate security is a debt security with an interest rate which is adjusted according to a formula that specifies the interval at which the rate will be reset and the interest rate index, benchmark or other mechanism upon which the reset rate is based. A floating rate debt security has a rate of interest which is usually established as the sum of a base lending rate (e.g., the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR), the U.S. Prime Rate, the Prime Rate of a designated U.S. bank or the certificate of deposit rate) plus a specified margin. The interest rate on prime rate-based loans and securities floats periodically as the prime rate changes. The interest rate on LIBOR-based and CD-based loans and securities is reset periodically, typically at regular intervals ranging between 30 days and one year. Certain floating rate securities will permit the borrower to select an interest rate reset period of up to one year.

Some variable rate securities are structured with put features that permit holders to demand payment of the unpaid principal balance plus accrued interest from the issuers or certain financial intermediaries at or about the time the interest rate is reset. If the Fund purchases a variable rate security with a put feature and market movements make exercise of the put unattractive, the Fund will forfeit the entire amount of any premium paid plus related transaction costs.

Movements in the relevant index or benchmark on which adjustments are based will affect the interest paid on these securities and, therefore, the current income earned by the Fund and the securities’ market value. The degree of volatility in the market value of the variable rate securities held by the Fund will generally increase along with the length of time between adjustments, the degree of volatility in the applicable index, benchmark or base lending rate and whether the index, benchmark or base lending rate to which it resets or floats approximates short-term or other prevailing interest rates. It will also be a function of the maximum increase or decrease of the interest rate adjustment on any one adjustment date, in any one year, and over the life of the security. These maximum increases and decreases are typically referred to as “caps” and “floors,” respectively.

During periods when short-term interest rates move within the caps and floors of the security held by the Fund, the interest rate of such security will reset to prevailing rates within a short period. As a result, the fluctuation in market value of the variable rate security held by the Fund is generally expected to be limited.

In periods of substantial short-term volatility in interest rates, the market value of such debt securities may fluctuate more substantially if the caps and/or floors prevent the interest rates from adjusting to the full extent of the movements in the market rates during any one adjustment period or over the term of the security. In the event of dramatic increases in interest rates, any lifetime caps on these securities may prevent the securities from adjusting to prevailing rates over the term of the security. In either the case of caps or floors, the market value of the securities may be reduced.

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The income earned by the Fund and distributed to shareholders will generally increase or decrease along with movements in the relevant index, benchmark or base lending rate. Thus the Fund’s income will be more unpredictable than the income earned on similar investments with a fixed rate of interest.

Inverse floaters.     Inverse floaters are variable rate debt securities with floating or variable interest rates that move in the opposite direction, usually at an accelerated speed, to short-term interest rates or a related benchmark or index. The prices of inverse floaters can be highly volatile as a result. When short-term interests rates rise, an inverse floater usually experiences a decline in both its price and rate of income. The result is that interest rate risk and volatility of inverse floaters is magnified, and valuation of inverse floaters will also be more difficult.

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

Trust preferred securities are typically junior and fully subordinated liabilities of an issuer and benefit from a guarantee that is junior and fully subordinated to the other liabilities of the guarantor. In addition, trust preferred securities typically permit an issuer to defer the payment of income for five years or more without triggering an event of default. Because of their subordinated position in the capital structure of an issuer, the ability to defer payments for extended periods of time without default consequences to the issuer, and certain other features (such as restrictions on common dividend payments by the issuer or ultimate guarantor when full cumulative payments on the trust preferred securities have not been made), these trust preferred securities are often treated as close substitutes for traditional preferred securities, both by issuers and investors.

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

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

When-issued, delayed delivery and to-be-announced transactions     When-issued, delayed delivery and to-be-announced (TBA) transactions are arrangements under which the parties agree on the sale of securities with payment for and delivery of the security scheduled for a future time. The securities may have been authorized but not yet issued, or, in the TBA market for U.S. Government agency mortgage-backed securities, the parties agree on a price, volume, and basic characteristics of securities to be delivered on the settlement date, rather than particular securities. In addition to buying securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or TBA basis, the Fund may also sell these securities on a TBA basis to close out an existing TBA position before the settlement date, to take advantage of an expected decline in value of the securities, or for hedging purposes.

Entering into a when-issued, delayed delivery or TBA transaction may be viewed as a form of leverage and will result in associated risks for the Fund. To mitigate these risks, when the Fund enters into this type of transaction, it will segregate liquid assets as set forth in “Segregation of assets” under “Borrowing.” However, the Fund does not consider the purchase and/or sale of securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or TBA basis to be a borrowing for purposes of the Fund’s fundamental restrictions or other limitations on borrowing.

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Many when-issued, delayed-delivery or TBA transactions also are subject to the risk that a counterparty may become bankrupt or otherwise fail to perform its obligations due to financial difficulties, including making payments or fulfilling other obligations to the Fund. The Fund may obtain no or only limited recovery in a bankruptcy or other organizational proceedings, and any recovery may be significantly delayed. With respect to forward settling TBA transactions involving U.S. Government agency mortgage backed securities, the counterparty risk may be mitigated by the recently adopted requirement that counterparties exchange variation margin on a regular basis as the market value of the deliverable security fluctuates.

The Fund also relies on the counterparty to complete the transaction. The counterparty’s failure to do so may cause the Fund to miss a price or yield considered advantageous to the Fund. Although their price typically reflects accrued interest, securities purchased on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis do not generally earn interest until their scheduled delivery date. Purchases or sales of debt securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis are also subject to the risk that the market value or the yield at delivery may be more or less than the market price or yield available when the transaction was entered into, or that the Fund is unable to purchase securities for delivery at the settlement date with the characteristics agreed upon at the time of the transaction.

Zero coupon, deferred interest and pay-in-kind bonds     Zero coupon or deferred interest bonds are debt securities that make no periodic interest payments until maturity or a specified date when the securities begin paying current interest (cash payment date). Zero coupon and deferred interest bonds generally are issued and traded at a discount from their face amount or par value.

The original discount on zero coupon or deferred interest bonds approximates the total amount of interest the bonds will accumulate over the period until maturity or the first cash payment date and compounds at a rate of interest reflecting the market rate of the security at the time of issuance. The discount varies depending on the time remaining until maturity or the cash payment date, as well as prevailing interest rates, liquidity of the market for the security, and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. The discount, in the absence of financial difficulties of the issuer, typically decreases as the final maturity or cash payment date approaches. The discount typically increases as interest rates rise, the market becomes less liquid or the creditworthiness of the issuer deteriorates.

Pay-in-kind bonds are debt securities that provide for interest payments to be made in a form other than cash, generally at the option of the issuer. Common forms include payment of additional bonds of the same issuer or an increase in principal underlying the pay-in-kind bonds. To the extent that no cash income will be paid for an extended period of time, pay-in-kind bonds resemble zero coupon or deferred interest bonds and are subject to similar influences and risks.

For accounting and federal tax purposes, holders of bonds issued at a discount, such as the Fund, are deemed to receive interest income over the life of the bonds even though the bonds do not pay out cash to their holders before maturity or the cash payment date. That income is distributable to Fund shareholders even though no cash is received by the Fund at the time of accrual, which may require the liquidation of other portfolio securities to satisfy the Fund’s distribution obligations.

Because investors receive no cash prior to the maturity or cash payment date, an investment in debt securities issued at a discount generally has a greater potential for complete loss of principal and/or return than an investment in debt securities that make periodic interest payments. Such investments are more vulnerable to the creditworthiness of the issuer and any other parties upon which performance relies.

The following is a description of the general risks associated with the Fund’s investing in debt securities:

Credit     Debt securities are subject to the risk of an issuer’s (or other party’s) failure or inability to meet its obligations under the security. Multiple parties may have obligations under a debt security. An issuer or borrower may fail to pay principal and interest when due. A guarantor, insurer or credit support provider may fail to provide the agreed upon protection. A counterparty to a transaction may fail to perform its side of the bargain. An intermediary or agent interposed between the investor and other parties may fail to perform the terms of its service. Also, performance under a debt security may be linked to the obligations of other persons who may fail to meet their obligations. The credit risk associated with a debt security could increase to the extent that the Fund’s ability to benefit fully from its investment in the security depends on the performance by multiple parties of their respective contractual or other obligations. The market value of a debt security is also affected by the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer.

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The Fund may incur substantial losses on debt securities that are inaccurately perceived to present a different amount of credit risk than they actually do by the market, the investment manager or the rating agencies. Credit risk is generally greater where less information is publicly available, where fewer covenants safeguard the investors’ interests, where collateral may be impaired or inadequate, where little legal redress or regulatory protection is available, or where a party’s ability to meet obligations is speculative. Additionally, any inaccuracy in the information used by the Fund to evaluate credit risk may affect the value of securities held by the Fund.

Obligations under debt securities held by the Fund may never be satisfied or, if satisfied, only satisfied in part.

Some securities are subject to risks as a result of a credit downgrade or default by a government, or its agencies or, instrumentalities. Credit risk is a greater concern for high-yield debt securities and debt securities of issuers whose ability to pay interest and principal may be considered speculative. Debt securities are typically classified as investment grade-quality (medium to highest credit quality) or below investment grade-quality (commonly referred to as high-yield or junk bonds). Many individual debt securities are rated by a third party source, such as Moody’s or S&P to help describe the creditworthiness of the issuer.

Debt securities ratings     The investment manager performs its own independent investment analysis of securities being considered for the Fund’s portfolio, which includes consideration of, among other things, the issuer’s financial resources, its sensitivity to economic conditions and trends, its operating history, the quality of the issuer’s management and regulatory matters. The investment manager also considers the ratings assigned by various investment services and independent rating agencies, such as Moody’s and S&P, that publish ratings based upon their assessment of the relative creditworthiness of the rated debt securities. Generally, a lower rating indicates higher credit risk. Higher yields are ordinarily available from debt securities in the lower rating categories. These ratings are described at the end of this SAI under “Description of Ratings.”

Using credit ratings to evaluate debt securities can involve certain risks. For example, ratings assigned by the rating agencies are based upon an analysis completed at the time of the rating of the obligor’s ability to pay interest and repay principal. Rating agencies typically rely to a large extent on historical data which may not accurately represent present or future circumstances. Ratings do not purport to reflect the risk of fluctuations in market value of the debt security and are not absolute standards of quality and only express the rating agency’s current opinion of an obligor’s overall financial capacity to pay its financial obligations. A credit rating is not a statement of fact or a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold a debt obligation. Also, credit quality can change suddenly and unexpectedly, and credit ratings may not reflect the issuer’s current financial condition or events since the security was last rated. Rating agencies may have a financial interest in generating business, including from the arranger or issuer of the security that normally pays for that rating, and providing a low rating might affect the rating agency’s prospects for future business. While rating agencies have policies and procedures to address this potential conflict of interest, there is a risk that these policies will fail to prevent a conflict of interest from impacting the rating.

Extension     The market value of some debt securities, particularly mortgage securities and certain asset-backed securities, may be adversely affected when bond calls or prepayments on underlying mortgages or other assets are less or slower than anticipated. This risk is extension risk. Extension risk may result from, for example, rising interest rates or unexpected developments in the markets for the underlying assets or mortgages. As a consequence, the security’s effective maturity will be extended, resulting in an increase in interest rate sensitivity to that of a longer-term instrument. Extension risk generally increases as interest rates rise. This is because, in a rising interest rate environment, the rate of prepayment and exercise of call or buy-back rights generally falls and the rate of default and delayed payment generally rises. When the maturity of an investment is extended in a rising interest rate environment, a below-market interest rate is usually locked-in and the value of the security reduced. This risk is greater for fixed-rate than variable-rate debt securities.

Income     The Fund is subject to income risk, which is the risk that the Fund’s income will decline during periods of falling interest rates or when the Fund experiences defaults on debt securities it holds. The Fund’s income declines when interest rates fall because, as the Fund’s higher-yielding debt securities mature or are prepaid, the Fund must re-invest the proceeds in debt securities that have lower, prevailing interest rates. The amount and rate of distributions that the Fund’s shareholders receive are affected by the income that the Fund receives from its portfolio holdings. If the income is reduced, distributions by the Fund to shareholders may be less.

Fluctuations in income paid to the Fund are generally greater for variable rate debt securities. The Fund will be deemed to receive taxable income on certain securities which pay no cash payments until maturity, such as zero-coupon securities. The Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities that it would otherwise continue to hold in order to obtain sufficient cash to make the distribution to shareholders required for U.S. tax purposes.

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Inflation     The market price of debt securities generally falls as inflation increases because the purchasing power of the future income and repaid principal is expected to be worth less when received by the Fund. Debt securities that pay a fixed rather than variable interest rate are especially vulnerable to inflation risk because variable-rate debt securities may be able to participate, over the long term, in rising interest rates which have historically corresponded with long-term inflationary trends.

Interest rate     The market value of debt securities generally varies in response to changes in prevailing interest rates. Interest rate changes can be sudden and unpredictable. In addition, short-term and long-term rates are not necessarily correlated to each other as short-term rates tend to be influenced by government monetary policy while long-term rates are market driven and may be influenced by macroeconomic events (such as economic expansion or contraction), inflation expectations, as well as supply and demand. During periods of declining interest rates, the market value of debt securities generally increases. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, the market value of debt securities generally declines. This occurs because new debt securities are likely to be issued with higher interest rates as interest rates increase, making the old or outstanding debt securities less attractive. In general, the market prices of long-term debt securities or securities that make little (or no) interest payments are more sensitive to interest rate fluctuations than shorter-term debt securities. The longer the Fund’s average weighted portfolio duration, the greater the potential impact a change in interest rates will have on its share price. Also, certain segments of the fixed income markets, such as high quality bonds, tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes than other segments, such as lower-quality bonds.

Prepayment     Debt securities, especially bonds that are subject to “calls,” such as asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities, are subject to prepayment risk if their terms allow the payment of principal and other amounts due before their stated maturity. Amounts invested in a debt security that has been “called” or “prepaid” will be returned to an investor holding that security before expected by the investor. In such circumstances, the investor, such as a fund, may be required to re-invest the proceeds it receives from the called or prepaid security in a new security which, in periods of declining interest rates, will typically have a lower interest rate. Prepayment risk is especially prevalent in periods of declining interest rates and will result for other reasons, including unexpected developments in the markets for the underlying assets or mortgages. For example, a decline in mortgage interest rates typically initiates a period of mortgage refinancings. When homeowners refinance their mortgages, the investor in the underlying pool of mortgage-backed securities (such as a fund) receives its principal back sooner than expected, and must reinvest at lower, prevailing rates.

Securities subject to prepayment risk are often called during a declining interest rate environment and generally offer less potential for gains and greater price volatility than other income-bearing securities of comparable maturity.

Call risk is similar to prepayment risk and results from the ability of an issuer to call, or prepay, a debt security early. If interest rates decline enough, the debt security’s issuer can save money by repaying its callable debt securities and issuing new debt securities at lower interest rates.

The following is a description of the general risks associated with the Fund’s investments:

Focus     The greater the Fund’s exposure to (or focus on) any single type of investment – including investment in a given industry, sector, country, region, or type of security – the greater the impact of adverse events or conditions in such industry, sector, country, region or investment will have on the Fund’s performance. To the extent the Fund has greater exposure to any single type of investment, the Fund’s potential for loss (or gain) will be greater than if its portfolio were invested more broadly in many types of investments.

The Fund’s exposure to such industries, sectors, regions and other investments may also arise indirectly through the Fund’s investments in debt securities (e.g., mortgage or asset-backed securities) that are secured by such investments. Similar risks associated with focusing on a particular type of investment may result if real properties and collateral securing the Fund’s investments are located in the same geographical region or subject to the same risks or concerns.

Inside information     The investment manager (through its representatives or otherwise) may receive information that restricts the investment manager’s ability to cause the Fund to buy or sell securities of an issuer for substantial periods of time when the Fund otherwise could realize profit or avoid loss. This may adversely affect the Fund’s flexibility with respect to buying or selling securities.

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Liquidity     Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are or become difficult to purchase or sell at the price at which the Fund has valued the security, whether because of current market conditions, the financial condition of the issuer, or the specific type of investment. If the market for a particular security becomes illiquid (for example, due to changes in the issuer’s financial condition), the Fund may be unable to sell such security at an advantageous time or price due to the difficulty in selling such securities. To the extent that the Fund and its affiliates hold a significant portion of an issuer’s outstanding securities, the Fund may also be subject to greater liquidity risk than if the issuer’s securities were more widely held. The Fund may also need to sell some of the Fund’s more liquid securities when it otherwise would not do so in order to meet redemption requests, even if such sale of the liquid holdings would be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint. Reduced liquidity may also have an adverse impact on a security’s market value and the sale of such securities often results in higher brokerage charges or dealer discounts and other selling expenses. Reduced liquidity in the secondary market for certain securities will also make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain market quotations based on actual trades for purposes of valuing the Fund’s portfolio and thus pricing may be prone to error when market quotations are volatile, infrequent and/or subject to large spreads between bid and ask prices. In addition, prices received by the Fund for securities may be based on institutional “round lot” sizes, but the Fund may purchase, hold or sell smaller, “odd lot” sizes, which may be harder to sell. Odd lots may trade at lower prices than round lots, which may affect the Fund’s ability to accurately value its investments.

The market for certain equity or debt securities may become illiquid under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the conditions of a particular issuer. For example, dealer capacity in certain fixed income markets appears to have undergone fundamental changes since the financial crisis of 2008, which may result in low dealer inventories and a reduction in dealer market-making capacity. An increase in interest rates due to the tapering of the Federal Reserve Board’s quantitative easing program and other similar central bank actions, coupled with a reduction in dealer market-making capacity, may decrease liquidity and increase volatility in the fixed income markets. Liquidity risk generally increases (meaning that securities become more illiquid) as the number, or relative need, of investors seeking to liquidate in a given market increases; for example, when an asset class or classes fall out of favor and investors sell their holdings in such classes, either directly or indirectly through investment funds, such as mutual funds and ETFs.

Management     The Fund is an actively managed ETF. The investment manager’s judgments about markets, interest rates or the attractiveness, relative values or potential appreciation of particular investment strategies or sectors or securities purchased for the Fund’s portfolio may prove to be incorrect, all of which could cause the Fund to perform less favorably and may result in a decline in the Fund’s NAV and trading price.

The investment manager selects investments for the Fund based on its own analysis and information as well as on external sources of information, such as information that the investment manager obtains from other sources including through conferences and discussions with third parties, and data that issuers of securities provide to the investment manager or file with government agencies. The investment manager may also use information concerning institutional positions and buying activity in a security. The investment manager is not in a position to confirm the completeness, genuineness or accuracy of any of such information that is provided or filed by an issuer, and in some cases, complete and accurate information is not readily available. It is also possible that information on which the investment manager relies could be wrong or misleading. Additionally, legislative, regulatory, or tax developments may affect the investment techniques available to the investment manager in connection with managing the Fund and may also adversely affect the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment goal. Management risk is greater when less qualitative information is available to the investment manager about an investment.

Market     The market value of securities owned by the Fund may go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably due to general market conditions which are not specifically related to a single corporate borrower or security issuer. These general market conditions include real or perceived adverse economic or regulatory conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency exchange rates or adverse investor sentiment generally. Market values may also decline due to factors which affect a particular industry or sector, such as labor shortages or increased production costs and competitive conditions within an industry, or a particular segment, such as mortgage or government securities. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may decline in value simultaneously. When markets perform well, there can be no assurance that the Fund’s securities will participate in or otherwise benefit from the advance.

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Non-Diversification     A non-diversified fund for purposes of the 1940 Act may, with respect to more than 25% of its assets, invest more than 5% of its assets (taken at market value at the time of purchase) in the outstanding securities of any single issuer and/or own more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer. However, the Fund intends to meet certain diversification requirements for tax purposes. Generally, to meet federal tax requirements at the close of each quarter, the Fund will not invest more than 25% of its total assets in any one issuer and, with respect to 50% of total assets, will not invest more than 5% of its total assets in any one issuer or more than 10% of the issuer’s outstanding voting securities. These limitations do not apply to U.S. government securities and securities issued by regulated investment companies. If applicable federal income tax requirements are revised, the Fund may change its diversification policies without obtaining shareholder approval.

Because a non-diversified fund generally invests a greater portion of its assets in the securities of one or more issuers and/or invests overall in a smaller number of issuers than a diversified fund, the Fund may be more sensitive to a single economic, business, political, regulatory or other occurrence or to the financial results of a single issuer than a more diversified fund might be. Similarly, the Fund’s credit risk increases as more of the Fund’s assets are invested in a smaller number of issuers.

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

Portfolio turnover     Portfolio turnover is a measure of how frequently the Fund’s portfolio securities are bought and sold. High portfolio turnover rates generally increase transaction costs, which are Fund expenses. Such portfolio transactions may also result in the realization of taxable capital gains, including short-term capital gains, which are generally taxable at ordinary income tax rates for federal income tax purposes for shareholders subject to income tax and who hold their shares in a taxable account. Higher transaction costs reduce the Fund’s returns.

The SEC requires annual portfolio turnover to be calculated generally as the lesser of the Fund’s purchases or sales of portfolio securities during a given fiscal year, divided by the monthly average value of the Fund’s portfolio securities owned during that year (excluding securities with a maturity or expiration date that, at the time of acquisition, was less than one year). For example, a fund reporting a 100% portfolio turnover rate would have purchased and sold securities worth as much as the monthly average value of its portfolio securities during the year. The portfolio turnover rates for the Fund are disclosed in the sections entitled “Portfolio Turnover” and “Financial Highlights” of the Fund’s prospectus.

Portfolio turnover is affected by factors within and outside the control of the Fund and its investment manager. The investment manager’s investment outlook for the type of securities in which the Fund invests may change as a result of unexpected developments in domestic or international securities markets, or in economic, monetary or political relationships. High market volatility may result in the investment manager using a more active trading strategy than it might have otherwise pursued. The Fund’s investment manager will consider the economic effects of portfolio turnover but generally will not treat portfolio turnover as a limiting factor in making investment decisions. Investment decisions affecting turnover may include changes in investment policies or management personnel, as well as individual portfolio transactions.

Factors wholly outside the control of the investment manager that may increase portfolio turnover include increased merger and acquisition activity, or increased rates of bankruptcy or default, that may create involuntary transactions for funds that hold affected securities.

During periods of rapidly declining interest rates, the rate of prepayments on portfolio investments may increase rapidly. When this happens, “sales” of portfolio securities are increased due to the return of principal to the Fund followed by purchases of new portfolio securities to replace the “sold” ones.

The rate of bond calls by issuers of fixed-income debt securities may increase as interest rates decline. This causes “sales” of called bonds by the Fund and the subsequent purchase of replacement investments.

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In addition, redemptions or exchanges by investors may require the liquidation of portfolio securities. Changes in particular portfolio holdings may also be made whenever a security is considered to be no longer the most appropriate investment for the Fund, or another security appears to have a relatively better opportunity.

Policies and Procedures Regarding the Release of Portfolio Holdings  

On each business day of the Fund, before commencement of trading in shares on a national securities exchange, the Fund will disclose on its website the identities and quantities of the Fund’s portfolio holdings that will form the basis for the Fund’s calculation of NAV at the end of that business day. Consistent with current law, the Fund also releases complete portfolio holdings information each fiscal quarter through regulatory filings with no more than a 60-day lag.

Each business day, the Fund’s portfolio holdings information will be provided to Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. (Distributors) or other agents for dissemination through the facilities of the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) and/or other fee-based subscription services to NSCC members and/or subscribers to those other fee-based subscription services, including large institutional investors (known as “Authorized Participants”) that have been authorized by Distributors to purchase and redeem large blocks of shares pursuant to legal requirements, and to entities that publish and/or analyze such information in connection with the process of purchasing or redeeming Creation Units or trading shares of the Fund in the secondary market.

Portfolio holdings information made available in connection with the creation/redemption process may be provided to other entities that provide services to the Fund in the ordinary course of business after it has been disseminated to the NSCC. From time to time, information concerning portfolio holdings other than portfolio holdings information made available in connection with the creation/redemption process, as discussed above, may be provided to other entities that provide services to the Fund in the ordinary course of business, no earlier than one business day following the date of the information. The eligible third parties to whom portfolio holdings information may be released in advance of general release fall into the following categories: data consolidators (including rating agencies), fund rating/ranking services and other data providers and service providers to the Fund, including Authorized Participants and pricing services.

Continuous Offering  

The method by which Creation Units are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units are issued and sold by the Fund on an ongoing basis, at any point a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may occur. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery requirement and liability provisions of the 1933 Act.

For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with Distributors, breaks them down into constituent shares and sells such shares directly to customers or if it chooses to couple the creation of new shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the 1933 Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker-dealer or its client in the particular case and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a categorization as an underwriter.

Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of shares, generally are required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(3) of the 1933 Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to shares of the Fund are reminded that, pursuant to Rule 153 under the 1933 Act, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the 1933 Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on the Listing Exchange is satisfied by the fact that the prospectus is available at the Listing Exchange upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is available only with respect to transactions on an exchange.

Officers and Trustees

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The Trust has a board of trustees. Each trustee will serve until that person resigns and/or a successor is elected and qualified. The board is responsible for the overall management of the Trust, including general supervision and review of the Fund’s investment activities. The board, in turn, appoints the officers of the Trust who are responsible for administering the Trust’s day-to-day operations. While none are expected, the board will act appropriately to resolve any material conflict that may arise.

The name, year of birth and address of the officers and board members, as well as their affiliations, positions held with the Trust, principal occupations during at least the past five years, number of portfolios overseen in the Franklin Templeton fund complex and other directorships held during at least the past five years are shown below.

Independent Board Members

Name, Year of Birth and Address

Position

Length of Time Served

Number of Portfolios
in Fund Complex
Overseen by
Board Member1

Other Directorships Held During at Least the Past 5 Years

Rohit Bhagat (1964)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Lead Independent Trustee

Lead Independent Trustee and Trustee since 2016

36

Zentific Investment Management (hedge fund) (2015-present); Axis Bank (2013-present)

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Managing Member, Mukt Capital, LLC (private investment firm) (2014-present); and Advisor, Optimal Asset Management (investment technology and advisory services company) (2015-present); and
formerly, Chairman, Asia Pacific, BlackRock (2009-2012); Global Chief Operating Officer, Barclays Global Investors (investment management) (2005-2009); and Senior Partner, The Boston Consulting Group (management consulting) (1992-2005).

 

Anantha K. Pradeep (1963)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Trustee

Since 2016

36

None

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Chief Executive Officer, Smilables, Inc. (technology company) (2014-present); Founder and Managing Partner, Consult Meridian, LLC (consulting company) (2009-present); and
formerly, Founder, BoardVantage (board portal solution provider delivering paperless process for boards and leadership) (2000-2002).

 

Susan R. Thompson (1962)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Trustee

Since 2016

36

None

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
President and Chief Executive Officer, Thompson Peak Advisory LLC (asset management consulting) (2016-present); and
formerly, Senior Advisor, BlackRock, Inc. (investment management) (2015-2016) and Managing Director, BlackRock, Inc. (2007-2015).

 

 

Interested Board Member and Officers

Name, Year of Birth and Address

Position

Length of Time Served

Number of Portfolios
in Fund Complex
Overseen by
Board Member1

Other Directorships Held During at Least the Past 5 Years

Jennifer M. Johnson2 (1964)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Trustee and Chairperson of the Board

Since 2016

[45]

None

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
President and Chief Operating Officer, Franklin Resources, Inc.; officer and/or director or trustee, as the case may be, of some of the other subsidiaries of Franklin Resources, Inc. and of four of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments; and
formerly, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Franklin Resources, Inc. (1994-2015); Executive Vice President of Operations and Technology, Franklin Resources, Inc. (2005-2010); and Senior Vice President, Franklin Resources, Inc. (2003-2005).

 

Alison E. Baur (1964)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Vice President

Since 2016

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Deputy General Counsel, Franklin Templeton Investments; and officer of some of the other subsidiaries of Franklin Resources, Inc. and of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments.

 

Gaston Gardey (1967)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Chief Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer

Since 2015

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Treasurer, U.S. Fund Administration & Reporting, Franklin Templeton Investments; and officer of 27 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments.

 

Aliya S. Gordon (1973)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Vice President

Since 2016

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Senior Associate General Counsel, Franklin Templeton Investments; and officer of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments.

 

Steven J. Gray (1955)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Vice President

Since 2016

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Senior Associate General Counsel, Franklin Templeton Investments; Vice President, Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. and FT AlphaParity, LLC; and officer of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments.

 

Matthew T. Hinkle (1971)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Chief Executive Officer - Finance and Administration

Since June 2017

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Senior Vice President, Franklin Templeton Services, LLC; officer of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments; and
formerly, Vice President, Global Tax (2012-April 2017) and Treasurer/Assistant Treasurer, Franklin Templeton Investments (2009-2017).

 

Robert Lim (1948)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Vice President - AML Compliance

Since 2016

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Vice President, Franklin Templeton Companies, LLC; Chief Compliance Officer, Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. and Franklin Templeton Investor Services, LLC; and officer of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments.

 

Kimberly H. Novotny (1972)
[300 S.E. 2nd Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-1923]

Vice President

Since 2016

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Associate General Counsel, Franklin Templeton Investments; Vice President and Corporate Secretary, Fiduciary Trust International of the South; Vice President, Templeton Investment Counsel, LLC; Assistant Secretary, Franklin Resources, Inc.; and officer of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments.

 

Patrick O’Connor (1967)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

President and Chief Executive Officer – Investment Management

Since 2016

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Senior Vice President, Franklin Advisers, Inc.; officer of two of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments; and
formerly, Managing Director, Head of iShares Product Canada, BlackRock (1998-2014).

 

Robert C. Rosselot (1960)
300 S.E. 2nd Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-1923

Chief Compliance Officer

Since 2016

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Director, Global Compliance, Franklin Templeton Investments; Vice President, Franklin Templeton Companies, LLC; officer of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments; and
formerly, Senior Associate General Counsel, Franklin Templeton Investments (2007-2013); and Secretary and Vice President, Templeton Group of Funds (2004-2013).

 

Karen L. Skidmore (1952)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Vice President

Since 2016

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Senior Associate General Counsel, Franklin Templeton Investments; and officer of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments.

 

Navid J. Tofigh (1972)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Vice President and Secretary

Since 2015

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Associate General Counsel, Franklin Templeton Investments; and officer of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments.

 

Craig S. Tyle (1960)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Vice President

Since 2016

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Franklin Resources, Inc.; and officer of some of the other subsidiaries of Franklin Resources, Inc. and of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments.

 

Lori A. Weber (1964)
300 S.E. 2nd Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-1923

Vice President

Since 2016

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:
Senior Associate General Counsel, Franklin Templeton Investments; Assistant Secretary, Franklin Resources, Inc.; Vice President and Secretary, Templeton Investment Counsel, LLC; and officer of 45 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments.

 

Note 1: Officer information is current as of the date of this SAI. It is possible that after this date, information about officers may change.

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1. We base the number of portfolios on each separate series of the U.S. registered investment companies within the Franklin Templeton Investments fund complex. These portfolios have a common investment manager or affiliated investment managers.

2. Jennifer M. Johnson is considered to be an interested person of the Fund under the federal securities laws due to her position as an officer of Resources, which is the parent company of the Fund’s investment manager and distributor.

The Trust’s independent board members constitute the sole independent board members of two investment companies in the Franklin Templeton Investments complex for which each independent board member currently is paid a $20,000 annual retainer fee, together with a $5,000 per meeting fee for attendance at regularly scheduled board meetings. To the extent held, a $5,000 per meeting fee ($2,000 per meeting held via telephone) may also be paid for attendance at specially held board meetings. Board members who serve on the Audit Committee of the Trust receive a flat fee of $2,500 per Committee meeting attended in person and $1,000 per telephonic meeting. Rohit Bhagat, who serves as chairman of the Audit Committee of the Trust receives an additional fee of $10,000 per year. Members of the Committee are not separately compensated for any committee meeting held on the day of a regularly scheduled board meeting. The following table provides the total fees paid to independent board members by the Trust and by other funds in Franklin Templeton Investments.

Name

Total Fees
Received
from
the Trust
($)1

Total Fees
Received
from Franklin
Templeton
Investments
($)2

Number
of Boards
in Franklin
Templeton
Investments
on which
Each
Serves3

Rohit Bhagat

[___]

[___]

2

Anantha Pradeep

[___]

[___]

2

Susan R. Thompson

[___]

[___]

2

 

1. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.

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2. For the calendar year ended December 31, 2017.

3. We base the number of boards on the number of U.S. registered investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments. This number does not include the total number of series or portfolios within each investment company for which the board members are responsible.

Independent board members are reimbursed for expenses incurred in connection with attending board meetings and such expenses are paid pro rata by each fund in Franklin Templeton Investments for which they serve as director or trustee. No officer or board member received any other compensation, including pension or retirement benefits, directly or indirectly from the Fund or other funds in Franklin Templeton Investments. Certain officers or board members who are shareholders of Resources may be deemed to receive indirect remuneration by virtue of their participation, if any, in the fees paid to its subsidiaries.

The following tables provide the dollar range of equity securities beneficially owned by the board members of the Trust on December 31, 2017.

Independent Board Members

Name of
Board Member

Dollar Range of
Equity Securities
in the Fund

Aggregate
Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in
All Funds Overseen
by the Board
Member in the
Franklin Templeton
Fund Complex

Rohit Bhagat

None

None

Anantha Pradeep

None

None

Susan R. Thompson

None

None

 

Interested Board Member

Name of
Board Member

Dollar Range of
Equity Securities
in the Fund

Aggregate
Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in
All Funds Overseen
by the Board
Member in the
Franklin Templeton
Fund Complex

Jennifer M. Johnson

None

Over $100,000

 

Board committees     The board maintains two standing committees: the Audit Committee and the Nominating Committee. The Audit Committee is generally responsible for recommending the selection of the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm (auditors), including evaluating their independence and meeting with such auditors to consider and review matters relating to the Fund’s financial reports and internal controls. The Audit Committee is comprised of the following independent trustees of the Fund: Rohit Bhagat (Chair), Anantha Pradeep and Susan R. Thompson. The Nominating Committee is comprised of the following independent trustees of the Fund: Rohit Bhagat, Anantha Pradeep (Chair) and Susan R. Thompson.

The Nominating Committee is responsible for selecting candidates to serve as board members and recommending such candidates (a) for selection and nomination as independent board members by the incumbent independent board member and the full board; and (b) for selection and nomination as interested board members by the full board.

When the board has or expects to have a vacancy, the Nominating Committee receives and reviews information on individuals qualified to be recommended to the full board as nominees for election as board members, including any recommendations by “Qualifying Fund Shareholders” (as defined below). To date, the Nominating Committee has been able to identify, and expects to continue to be able to identify, from its own resources an ample number of qualified candidates. The Nominating Committee, however, will review recommendations from Qualifying Fund Shareholders to fill vacancies on the board if these recommendations are submitted in writing and addressed to the Nominating Committee at the Trust’s offices at One Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, CA 94403-1906 and are presented with appropriate background material concerning the candidate that demonstrates his or her ability to serve as a board member, including as an independent board member, of the Trust. A Qualifying Fund Shareholder is a shareholder who (i) has continuously owned of record, or beneficially through a financial intermediary, shares of the Fund having a net asset value of not less than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) during the 24-month period prior to submitting the recommendation; and (ii) provides a written notice to the Nominating Committee containing the following information: (a) the name and address of the Qualifying Fund Shareholder making the recommendation; (b) the number of shares of the Fund which are owned of record and beneficially by such Qualifying Fund Shareholder and the length of time that such shares have been so owned by the Qualifying Fund Shareholder; (c) a description of all arrangements and understandings between such Qualifying Fund Shareholder and any other person or persons (naming such person or persons) pursuant to which the recommendation is being made; (d) the name, age, date of birth, business address and residence address of the person or persons being recommended; (e) such other information regarding each person recommended by such Qualifying Fund Shareholder as would be required to be included in a proxy statement filed pursuant to the proxy rules of the SEC had the nominee been nominated by the board; (f) whether the shareholder making the recommendation believes the person recommended would or would not be an “interested person” of the Trust, as defined in the 1940 Act; and (g) the written consent of each person recommended to serve as a board member of the Trust if so nominated and elected/appointed.

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The Nominating Committee may amend these procedures from time to time, including the procedures relating to the evaluation of nominees and the process for submitting recommendations to the Nominating Committee.

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, the Audit Committee met [two] times; the Nominating Committee met [once].

Board role in risk oversight     The board, as a whole, considers risk management issues as part of its general oversight responsibilities throughout the year at regular board meetings, through regular reports that have been developed by management, in consultation with the board and its counsel. These reports address certain investment, valuation and compliance matters. The board also may receive special written reports or presentations on a variety of risk issues, either upon the board’s request or upon the investment manager’s initiative. In addition, the Audit Committee of the board meets regularly with the investment manager’s internal audit group to review reports on their examinations of functions and processes within Franklin Templeton Investments that affect the Fund.

With respect to investment risk, the board receives regular written reports describing and analyzing the investment performance of the Fund. In addition, the portfolio managers of the Fund meet regularly with the board to discuss portfolio performance, including investment risk. To the extent that the Fund changes a particular investment strategy that could have a material impact on the Fund’s risk profile, the board generally is consulted with respect to such change. To the extent that the Fund invests in certain complex securities, including derivatives, the board receives periodic reports containing information about exposure of the Fund to such instruments. In addition, the investment manager’s investment risk personnel meet regularly with the board to discuss a variety of issues, including the impact on the Fund of the investment in particular securities or instruments, such as derivatives and commodities.

With respect to valuation, the Fund’s administrator provides regular written reports to the board that enable the board to monitor the number of fair valued securities in a particular portfolio, the reasons for the fair valuation and the methodology used to arrive at the fair value. Such reports also include information concerning illiquid securities within the Fund’s portfolio. The board also reviews dispositional analysis information on the sale of securities that require special valuation considerations such as illiquid or fair valued securities. In addition, the Fund’s Audit Committee reviews valuation procedures and results with the Fund’s auditors in connection with such Committee’s review of the results of the audit of the Fund’s year-end financial statements.

With respect to compliance risks, the board receives regular compliance reports prepared by the investment manager’s compliance group and meets regularly with the Fund’s Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) to discuss compliance issues, including compliance risks. In accordance with SEC rules, the independent board members meet regularly in executive session with the CCO, and the Fund’s CCO prepares and presents an annual written compliance report to the board. The Fund’s board adopts compliance policies and procedures for the Fund and approves such procedures for the Fund’s service providers. The compliance policies and procedures are specifically designed to detect and prevent violations of the federal securities laws.

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The investment manager periodically provides an enterprise risk management presentation to the board to describe the way in which risk is managed on a complex-wide level. Such presentation covers such areas as investment risk, reputational risk, personnel risk, and business continuity risk.

Board structure     Seventy-five percent or more of board members consist of independent board members who are not deemed to be “interested persons” by reason of their relationship with the Fund’s management or otherwise as provided under the 1940 Act. While the Chairman of the Board is an interested person, the board is also served by a lead independent board member. The lead independent board member, together with independent counsel, reviews proposed agendas for board meetings and generally acts as a liaison with management with respect to questions and issues raised by the independent board members. The lead independent board member also presides at separate meetings of independent board members held in advance of each scheduled board meeting where various matters, including those being considered at such board meeting are discussed. It is believed such structure and activities assure that proper consideration is given at board meetings to matters deemed important to the Fund and its shareholders.

Trustee qualifications     Information on the Fund’s officers and board members appears above including information on the business activities of board members during the past five years and beyond. In addition to personal qualities, such as integrity, the role of an effective Fund board member inherently requires the ability to comprehend, discuss and critically analyze materials and issues presented in exercising judgments and reaching informed conclusions relevant to his or her duties and fiduciary obligations. The board believes that the specific background of each board member evidences such ability and is appropriate to his or her serving on the Fund’s board. As indicated, Rohit Bhagat has extensive experience in the asset management and financial services industries, Anantha Pradeep serves as chief executive officer of a consulting and technology company, Susan R. Thompson has extensive experience in asset management, including serving as president and chief executive officer of an asset management consulting company, and Jennifer M. Johnson is a high ranking executive officer of Franklin Templeton Investments.

Fair Valuation and Liquidity

The Fund’s board of trustees has delegated to the investment manager the task of ensuring that regulatory guidelines governing the fair valuation for securities are applied to the Fund and that the required level of liquidity is maintained. The Fund’s administrator has formed a Valuation Committee (VC) to oversee these obligations. The VC oversees and administers the policies and procedures governing fair valuation and liquidity determination of securities. The VC meets monthly to review and approve fair value and liquidity reports and conduct other business, and meets whenever necessary to review potential significant market events and take appropriate steps to adjust valuations in accordance with established policies. The VC provides regular reports that document its activities to the board of trustees for its review and approval of pricing determinations at scheduled meetings.

The Fund’s policies and procedures governing fair valuation and liquidity determination of securities have been initially reviewed and approved by the board of trustees and any material amendments will also be reviewed and approved by the board. The investment manager’s compliance staff conducts periodic reviews of compliance with the policies and provides at least annually a report to the board of trustees regarding the operation of the policies and any material changes recommended as a result of such review.

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

The board of trustees of the Fund has delegated the authority to vote proxies related to the portfolio securities held by the Fund to the Fund’s investment manager in accordance with the Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures (Policies) adopted by the investment manager.

The investment manager has delegated its administrative duties with respect to the voting of proxies for securities to the Proxy Group within Franklin Templeton Companies, LLC (Proxy Group), an affiliate and wholly owned subsidiary of Resources. All proxies received by the Proxy Group will be voted based upon the investment manager’s instructions and/or policies. The investment manager votes proxies solely in the best interests of the Fund and its shareholders.

To assist it in analyzing proxies of equity securities, the investment manager subscribes to Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc. (ISS), an unaffiliated third-party corporate governance research service that provides in-depth analyses of shareholder meeting agendas, vote recommendations, vote execution services, ballot reconciliation services, recordkeeping and vote disclosure services. In addition, the investment manager subscribes to Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (Glass Lewis), an unaffiliated third-party analytical research firm, to receive analyses and vote recommendations on the shareholder meetings of publicly held U.S. companies, as well as a limited subscription to its international research. Also, the investment manager has a supplemental subscription to Egan-Jones Proxy Services (Egan-Jones), an unaffiliated third party proxy advisory firm, to receive analyses and vote recommendations. Although analyses provided by ISS, Glass Lewis, Egan-Jones, and/or another independent third party proxy service provider (each a Proxy Service) are thoroughly reviewed and considered in making a final voting decision, the investment manager does not consider recommendations from a Proxy Service or any third party to be determinative of the investment manager’s ultimate decision. Rather, the investment manager exercises its independent judgment in making voting decisions. For most proxy proposals, the investment manager’s evaluation should result in the same position being taken for all Funds. In some cases, however, the evaluation may result in a Fund voting differently, depending upon the nature and objective of the Fund, the composition of its portfolio and other factors. As a matter of policy, the officers, directors/trustees and employees of the investment manager and the Proxy Group will not be influenced by outside sources whose interests conflict with the interests of the Fund and its shareholders. Efforts are made to resolve all conflicts in the best interests of the investment manager’s clients. Material conflicts of interest are identified by the Proxy Group based upon analyses of client, distributor, broker-dealer and vendor lists, information periodically gathered from directors and officers, and information derived from other sources, including public filings. In situations where a material conflict of interest is identified, the Proxy Group may vote consistent with the voting recommendation of a Proxy Service; or send the proxy directly to the Fund’s board or a committee of the board with the investment manager’s recommendation regarding the vote for approval.

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Where a material conflict of interest has been identified, but the items on which the investment manager’s vote recommendations differ from a Proxy Service and relate specifically to (1) shareholder proposals regarding social or environmental issues, (2) “Other Business” without describing the matters that might be considered, or (3) items the investment manager wishes to vote in opposition to the recommendations of an issuer’s management, the Proxy Group may defer to the vote recommendations of the investment manager rather than sending the proxy directly to the Fund’s board or a board committee for approval.

To avoid certain potential conflicts of interest, the investment manager will employ echo voting, if possible, in the following instances: (1) when the Fund invests in an underlying fund in reliance on any one of Sections 12(d) (1) (E), (F), or (G) of the 1940 Act, the rules thereunder, or pursuant to a SEC exemptive order thereunder; (2) when the Fund invests uninvested cash in affiliated money market funds pursuant to the rules under the 1940 Act or any exemptive orders thereunder; or (3) when required pursuant to the Fund’s governing documents or applicable law. Echo voting means that the investment manager will vote the shares in the same proportion as the vote of all of the other holders of the underlying fund’s shares.

The recommendation of management on any issue is a factor that the investment manager considers in determining how proxies should be voted. However, the investment manager does not consider recommendations from management to be determinative of the investment manager’s ultimate decision. As a matter of practice, the votes with respect to most issues are cast in accordance with the position of the company’s management. Each issue, however, is considered on its own merits, and the investment manager will not support the position of the company’s management in any situation where it deems that the ratification of management’s position would adversely affect the investment merits of owning that company’s shares.

Engagement with issuers. The investment manager believes that engagement with issuers is important to good corporate governance and to assist in making proxy voting decisions. The investment manager may engage with issuers to discuss specific ballot items to be voted on in advance of an annual or special meeting to obtain further information or clarification on the proposals. The investment manager may also engage with management on a range of environmental, social or corporate governance issues throughout the year.

Investment manager’s proxy voting policies and principles     The investment manager has adopted general proxy voting guidelines, which are summarized below. These guidelines are not an exhaustive list of all the issues that may arise and the investment manager cannot anticipate all future situations. In all cases, each proxy and proposal (including both management and shareholder proposals) will be considered based on the relevant facts and circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Board of directors.     The investment manager supports an independent, diverse board of directors, and prefers that key committees such as audit, nominating, and compensation committees be comprised of independent directors. The investment manager supports boards with strong risk management oversight. The investment manager will generally vote against management efforts to classify a board and will generally support proposals to declassify the board of directors. The investment manager will consider withholding votes from directors who have attended less than 75% of meetings without a valid reason. While generally in favor of separating Chairman and CEO positions, the investment manager will review this issue as well as proposals to restore or provide for cumulative voting on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration factors such as the company’s corporate governance guidelines or provisions and performance. The investment manager generally will support non-binding shareholder proposals to require a majority vote standard for the election of directors; however, if these proposals are binding, the investment manager will give careful review on a case-by-case basis of the potential ramifications of such implementation.

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In the event of a contested election, the investment manager will review a number of factors in making a decision including management’s track record, the company’s financial performance, qualifications of candidates on both slates, and the strategic plan of the dissidents and/or shareholder nominees.

Ratification of auditors of portfolio companies.     The investment manager will closely scrutinize the independence, role and performance of auditors. On a case-by-case basis, the investment manager will examine proposals relating to non-audit relationships and non-audit fees. The investment manager will also consider, on a case-by-case basis, proposals to rotate auditors, and will vote against the ratification of auditors when there is clear and compelling evidence of a lack of independence, accounting irregularities or negligence. The investment manager may also consider whether the ratification of auditors has been approved by an appropriate audit committee that meets applicable composition and independence requirements.

Management and director compensation.     A company’s equity-based compensation plan should be in alignment with the shareholders’ long-term interests. The investment manager believes that executive compensation should be directly linked to the performance of the company. The investment manager evaluates plans on a case-by-case basis by considering several factors to determine whether the plan is fair and reasonable, including the ISS quantitative model utilized to assess such plans and/or the Glass Lewis evaluation of the plans. The investment manager will generally oppose plans that have the potential to be excessively dilutive, and will almost always oppose plans that are structured to allow the repricing of underwater options, or plans that have an automatic share replenishment “evergreen” feature. The investment manager will generally support employee stock option plans in which the purchase price is at least 85% of fair market value, and when potential dilution is 10% or less.

Severance compensation arrangements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, although the inv