497 1 tidal-etf_497c.htm DEFINITIVE MATERIALS


 
 
Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF
(AWTM)
Listed on NYSE Arca, Inc.



PROSPECTUS
 
January 9, 2019

 
Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the SEC, paper copies of the Fund’s shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the Fund’s reports from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.
 
If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action. Please contact your financial intermediary to elect to receive shareholder reports and other Fund communications electronically.
 
You may elect to receive all future Fund reports in paper free of charge. Please contact your financial intermediary to inform them that you wish to continue receiving paper copies of Fund shareholder reports and for details about whether your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds held with your financial intermediary.
 

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

The Fund offered through this Prospectus is not a money market fund and does not seek to maintain a fixed or stable net asset value (“NAV”) per share of $1.00.



Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF


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Fund Summary
Investment Objective
The Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to maximize current income targeting a yield of 0.75% to 1.00% over the yield of the most recently issued 3-month U.S. Treasury bill while maintaining a portfolio consistent with the preservation of capital and daily liquidity designed to meet the requirements of the relevant standard-setting and regulatory support organization applicable to U.S. insurance companies for treatment equivalent to that of investment grade securities held by a U.S. insurance company, while striving to achieve the status denoting the highest available credit quality category for such investments held by U.S. insurance companies.
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund (“Shares”). This table and the example below do not include the brokerage commissions that investors may pay on their purchases and sales of Shares.
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
 
Management Fees
0.23%
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees
0.00%
Other Expenses1
0.00%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses
0.23%
1
Estimated for the current fiscal year.
Expense 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 those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
1 Year
3 Years
$24
$74
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 Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in total annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, affect the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund is newly organized, portfolio turnover information is not yet available.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Fund is an actively-managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) that seeks to achieve its investment objective primarily by investing in U.S.-dollar denominated investment-grade fixed- and floating-rate bonds, debt securities, and other instruments with an overall effective duration of less than one year under normal circumstances. Effective duration is a measure of the Fund’s price sensitivity to changes in yields or interest rates and a fund with a higher effective duration will, under normal circumstances, have a greater sensitivity to interest rates. For example, if a portfolio has a duration of one year, and interest rates increase (fall) by 2%, the portfolio would decline (increase) in value by approximately 2%. However, duration may not accurately reflect the true interest rate sensitivity of instruments held by the Fund and, therefore, the Fund’s exposure to changes in interest rates. The Fund invests primarily in investment-grade debt securities, but may also invest in high yield debt securities (also known as “junk bonds”).
 
The Fund’s investments may include instruments issued by both U.S. and non-U.S. (including emerging markets) government and private sector issuers, including asset-backed securities. Instruments issued by the U.S. government include U.S. Treasury and U.S. agency securities, which may include mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, federal agencies, or U.S. government sponsored instrumentalities. The Fund may purchase or sell securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery, or forward commitment basis, including the use of the “To Be Announced” (“TBA”) market for MBS investments. The Fund may also invest in private placements and “Rule 144A” securities, which are subject to resale restrictions, as well as ETFs that primarily invest in debt instruments. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in preferred securities, convertible securities, and other equity-related securities.
The Fund is not a money market fund and does not seek to maintain a stable NAV of $1.00 per Share.
As part of the Fund’s principal investment strategy or for temporary defensive purposes, the Fund may invest, without limitation, in short-term instruments such as commercial paper and/or repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, corporate obligations, municipal debt securities, mortgage-backed securities, or convertible securities.
The Fund may engage in short sales or utilize various types of derivative instruments, including forwards, futures contracts, swaps, and options, although not all such derivatives are expected to be used at all times. Such derivatives may trade over-the-counter or on an exchange and may principally be used for one or more of the following purposes: speculation, duration management, or to pursue the Fund’s investment objective. The Fund may also invest in repurchase agreements.
The Fund’s sub-adviser, Aware Asset Management, Inc. (“Aware” or the “Sub-Adviser”), has broad discretion to determine the most favorable strategies and investment opportunities for the Fund, as well as the instruments and investment techniques used by the Fund to achieve its investment objective. The Sub-Adviser determines which instruments to purchase, hold, or sell based on a variety of factors, including expectations regarding an instrument or group of instruments’ risk and correlation, as well as market conditions and economic metrics, such as interest rates and inflation. The Sub-Adviser seeks to buy instruments that it believes will best help the Fund achieve its objective and seeks to sell instruments whose outlook has changed or to redeploy assets in more attractive investment opportunities.
The Fund is actively managed and does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index. The Fund seeks to generate income at a rate that is 0.75% to 1.00% higher than the rate associated with the most recently issued three-month U.S. Treasury bill. As the Fund does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index, the Fund may have a higher degree of portfolio turnover than other funds that do seek to replicate the performance of an index. The Fund may actively and frequently trade all or a significant portion of its portfolio.
The Fund’s portfolio is designed to meet the requirements of the relevant standard-setting and regulatory support organization applicable to U.S. insurance companies for treatment equivalent to that of investment grade securities held by a U.S. insurance company, while striving to achieve the status denoting the highest available credit quality category for such investments held by U.S. insurance companies.
Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund
The principal risks of investing in the Fund are summarized below. As with any investment, there is a risk that you could lose all or a portion of your investment in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any government agency.  An investment in this Fund or any other fund may not provide a complete investment program. The suitability of an investment in the Fund should be considered based on the investment objective, strategies, and risks described in this Prospectus, considered in light of all of the other investments in your portfolio, as well as your risk tolerance, financial goals, and time horizons. You may want to consult with a financial advisor to determine if this Fund is suitable for you. The following risks could affect the value of your investment in the Fund:
·
Agency Debt Risk. The Fund invests in unsecured bonds or debentures issued by U.S. government agencies, including the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), and government-sponsored entities, including, the Government National Mortgage Administration (“Ginnie Mae”). Bonds or debentures issued by U.S. government agencies, government-sponsored entities, or government corporations, including, among others, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are generally backed only by the general creditworthiness and reputation of the U.S. government agency, government-sponsored entity, or government corporation issuing the bond or debenture and are not guaranteed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“U.S. Treasury”) or backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. As a result, there is uncertainty as to the current status of many obligations of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other agencies that are placed under conservatorship of the federal government. By contrast, Ginnie Mae securities are generally backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
 
·
Asset-Backed Securities Risk. The price paid by the Fund for asset-backed securities, the yield the Fund expects to receive from such securities, and the average life of such securities are based on a number of factors, including the anticipated rate of prepayment of the underlying assets. The value of these securities may be significantly affected by changes in interest rates, the market’s perception of issuers, and the creditworthiness of the parties involved. The ability of the Fund to successfully utilize these instruments may depend on the ability of the Sub-Adviser to forecast interest rates and other economic factors correctly. These securities may have a structure that makes their reaction to interest rate changes and other factors difficult to predict, making their value highly volatile.
·
Cash Redemption Risk. The Fund’s investment strategy may require it to redeem Shares for cash or to otherwise include cash as part of its redemption proceeds. For example, the Fund may not be able to redeem in-kind certain securities held by the Fund (e.g., TBA transactions, short positions, derivative instruments, and bonds that cannot be broken up beyond certain minimum sizes needed for transfer and settlement). In such a case, the Fund may be required to sell or unwind portfolio investments to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. This may cause the Fund to recognize a capital gain that it might not have recognized if it had made a redemption in-kind. As a result, the Fund may pay out higher annual capital gain distributions than if the in-kind redemption process was used.
 
·
Commercial Paper Risk. The value of the Fund’s investments in commercial paper, which is an unsecured promissory note that generally has a maturity date between one and 270 days and is issued by a U.S. or foreign entity, is susceptible to changes in the issuer’s financial condition or credit quality. Investments in commercial paper are usually discounted from their value at maturity. Commercial paper can be fixed-rate or variable rate and can be adversely affected by changes in interest rates.
 
·
Convertible Securities Risk. A convertible security generally entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt securities or the dividend paid on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities generally have characteristics similar to both debt and equity securities. The value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates rise and, because of the conversion feature, tends to vary with fluctuations in the market value of the underlying securities. Contingent convertible securities are subject to additional risk factors. A contingent convertible security is a hybrid debt security typically issued by a non-U.S. bank that may be convertible into equity or may be written down if a pre-specified trigger event such as a decline in capital ratio below a prescribed threshold occurs. If such a trigger event occurs, the Fund may lose the principal amount invested on a permanent or temporary basis or the contingent convertible security may be converted to equity.
·
Credit Risk. The Fund’s investments are subject to the risk that issuers and/or counterparties will fail to make payments when due or default completely. If an issuer’s or counterparty’s financial condition worsens, the credit quality of the issuer or counterparty may deteriorate, making it difficult for the Fund to sell such investments. Changes in an issuer’s credit rating or the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness may also affect the value of an investment in that issuer.
·
Debt Securities Risk. The Fund invests in debt securities, such as bonds and certain asset-backed securities, that involve certain risks, including:
o
Call Risk. During periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of a callable bond held by the Fund may “call” or repay the security prior to its stated maturity, and the Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds at lower interest rates, resulting in a decline in the Fund’s income.
o
Event Risk. Event risk is the risk that corporate issuers may undergo restructurings, such as mergers, leveraged buyouts, takeovers, or similar events financed by increased debt. As a result of the added debt, the credit quality and market value of a company’s bonds and/or other debt securities may decline significantly.
o
Extension Risk. When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be repaid by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall.
·
Derivatives Risk. The Fund’s derivative investments have risks, including the imperfect correlation between the value of such instruments and the underlying assets or index; the loss of principal, including the potential loss of amounts greater than the initial amount invested in the derivative instrument; the possible default of the other party to the transaction; and illiquidity of the derivative investments. If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations under a derivative contract due to financial difficulties, the Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery under the derivative contract in a bankruptcy or other reorganization proceeding. The derivatives used by the Fund may give rise to a form of leverage. Leverage magnifies the potential for gain and the risk of loss. Certain of the Fund’s transactions in derivatives could also affect the amount, timing, and character of distributions to shareholders, which may result in the Fund realizing more short-term capital gain and ordinary income subject to tax at ordinary income tax rates than it would if it did not engage in such transactions, which may adversely impact the Fund’s after-tax returns.
 
The derivative instruments and techniques that the Fund may principally use include:
o
Forwards. A forward foreign currency contract is a negotiated agreement between two parties to exchange specified amounts of two or more currencies at a specified future time at a specified rate. Unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in losses to the Fund and poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not entered into currency forward or futures contracts. The Fund may enter into forward or futures contracts under various circumstances, including for hedging purposes.
o
Futures. A futures contract is a standardized agreement to buy or sell a specific quantity of an underlying instrument at a specific price at a specific future time. A decision as to whether, when and how to use futures involves the exercise of skill and judgment and even a well-conceived futures transaction may be unsuccessful because of market behavior or unexpected events. In addition to the derivatives risks discussed above, the prices of futures can be highly volatile, using futures can lower total return, and the potential loss from futures can exceed the Fund’s initial investment in such contracts.
o
Options. If the Fund buys an option, it buys a legal contract giving it the right to buy or sell a specific amount of the underlying instrument or swap or futures contract on the underlying instrument at an agreed-upon price typically in exchange for a premium paid by the Fund. If the Fund sells an option, it sells to another person the right to buy from or sell to the Fund a specific amount of the underlying instrument or swap or futures contract on the underlying instrument at an agreed-upon price typically in exchange for a premium received by the Fund. A decision as to whether, when and how to use options involves the exercise of skill and judgment and even a well-conceived option transaction may be unsuccessful because of market behavior or unexpected events. The prices of options can be highly volatile and the use of options can lower total returns.
o
Swaps. A swap contract is an agreement between two parties pursuant to which the parties exchange payments at specified dates on the basis of a specified notional amount, with the payments calculated by reference to specified securities, indexes, reference rates, or other instruments. Swap agreements are particularly subject to counterparty credit, liquidity, valuation, correlation, and leverage risk. Swaps could result in losses if interest rates or credit quality changes are not correctly anticipated by the Fund, if the reference index, security, or investments do not perform as expected, or if the counterparty defaults.
·
Emerging Markets Risk. The Fund may invest in instruments issued by countries, companies, or quasi-governmental agencies or entities domiciled or headquartered in emerging market nations. Investments in securities and instruments traded in developing or emerging markets, or that provide exposure to such securities or markets, can involve additional risks relating to political, economic, currency, or regulatory conditions not associated with investments in U.S. securities and instruments or investments in more developed international markets. Such conditions may impact the ability of the Fund to buy, sell or otherwise transfer securities, adversely affect the trading market and price for Fund Shares and cause the Fund to decline in value.
·
ETF Risks.
o
Authorized Participants, Market Makers, and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that are authorized to purchase and redeem Shares directly from the Fund (known as “Authorized Participants” or “APs”). In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services; or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.
o
Costs of Buying or Selling Shares. Due to the costs of buying or selling Shares, including brokerage commissions imposed by brokers and bid/ask spreads, frequent trading of Shares may significantly reduce investment results and an investment in Shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.
o
Shares May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. As with all ETFs, Shares may be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. Although it is expected that the market price of Shares will approximate the Fund’s NAV, there may be times when the market price of Shares is more than the NAV intra-day (premium) or less than the NAV intra-day (discount) due to supply and demand of Shares or during periods of market volatility. This risk is heightened in times of market volatility, periods of steep market declines, and periods when there is limited trading activity for Shares in the secondary market, in which case such premiums or discounts may be significant.
 
o
Trading. Although Shares are listed on a national securities exchange, such as NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”) and may be traded on U.S. exchanges other than the Exchange, there can be no assurance that Shares will trade with any volume, or at all, on any stock exchange. In stressed market conditions, the liquidity of Shares may begin to mirror the liquidity of the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings, which can be significantly less liquid than Shares.
·
Floating or Variable Rate Securities Risk. Floating or variable rate securities pay interest at rates that adjust in response to changes in a specified interest rate or reset at predetermined dates (such as the end of a calendar quarter). Securities with floating or variable interest rates are generally less sensitive to interest rate changes than securities with fixed interest rates, but may decline in value if their interest rates do not rise as much, or as quickly, as comparable market interest rates. Although floating or variable rate securities are generally less sensitive to interest rate risk than fixed rate securities, they are subject to credit, liquidity and default risk and may be subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale, which could impair their value.
·
Foreign Securities Risks. Investments in securities or other instruments of non-U.S. issuers involve certain risks not involved in domestic investments and may experience more rapid and extreme changes in value than investments in securities of U.S. companies. Financial markets in foreign countries often are not as developed, efficient or liquid as financial markets in the United States, and therefore, the prices of non-U.S. securities and instruments can be more volatile. In addition, the Fund will be subject to risks associated with adverse political and economic developments in foreign countries, which may include the imposition of economic sanctions. Generally, there is less readily available and reliable information about non-U.S. issuers due to less rigorous disclosure or accounting standards and regulatory practices.
·
General Market Risk. Economies and financial markets throughout the world are becoming increasingly interconnected, which increases the likelihood that events or conditions in one country or region will adversely impact markets or issuers in other countries or regions. Securities in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform in comparison to securities in the general financial markets, a particular financial market, or other asset classes, due to a number of factors, including inflation (or expectations for inflation), interest rates, global demand for particular products or resources, natural disasters or events, terrorism, regulatory events, and government controls.
·
High Portfolio Turnover Risk. The Fund may actively and frequently trade all or a significant portion of the securities in its portfolio. A high portfolio turnover rate increases transaction costs, which may increase the Fund’s expenses. Frequent trading may also cause adverse tax consequences for investors in the Fund due to an increase in short-term capital gains.
·
High-Yield Securities Risks. High-yield securities carry a greater degree of risk and are more volatile than investment grade securities and are considered speculative. High-yield securities may be issued by companies that are restructuring, are smaller and less creditworthy, or are more highly indebted than other companies. This means that they may have more difficulty making scheduled payments of principal and interest. Changes in the value of high-yield securities are influenced more by changes in the financial and business position of the issuing company than by changes in interest rates when compared to investment grade securities. The Fund’s investments in high-yield securities expose it to a substantial degree of credit risk.
·
Illiquid Securities Risks. The Fund may, at times, hold illiquid securities, by virtue of the absence of a readily available market for certain of its investments, or because of legal or contractual restrictions on sales. The Fund could lose money if it is unable to dispose of an investment at a time or price that is most beneficial to the Fund.
·
Industry and Sector Focus Risk. At times the Fund may increase the relative emphasis of its investments in a particular industry or sector. The prices of securities of issuers in a particular industry or sector may be more susceptible to fluctuations due to changes in economic or business conditions, government regulations, availability of basic resources or supplies, or other events that affect that industry or sector more than securities of issuers in other industries and sectors. To the extent that the Fund increases the relative emphasis of its investments in a particular industry or sector, the Fund’s Share values may fluctuate in response to events affecting that industry or sector.
·
Interest Rate Risk. The Fund’s investments in bonds and other debt securities will change in value based on changes in interest rates. If rates rise, the value of these investments generally declines. Securities with greater interest rate sensitivity and longer maturities generally are subject to greater fluctuations in value. Given that the Federal Reserve has begun to raise interest rates, the Fund may face a heightened level of interest rate risk.
 
·
Investment Company Risk. The risks of investing in investment companies typically reflect the risks of the types of instruments in which the investment companies invest. By investing in another investment company, the Fund becomes a shareholder of that investment company and bears its proportionate share of the fees and expenses of the other investment company. The Fund may be subject to statutory limits with respect to the amount it can invest in other ETFs, which may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. ETFs may be less liquid than other investments, and thus their share values more volatile than the values of the investments they hold. Investments in ETFs are also subject to the “ETF Risks” described above.
·
Limited Operating History Risk. The Fund is a recently organized management investment company and has not commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus. As a result, prospective investors have no track record or history on which to base their investment decision.
·
Management Risk. The Fund is actively-managed and may not meet its investment objective based on the Sub-Adviser’s success or failure to implement investment strategies for the Fund.
·
Market Trading Risk. The trading prices of debt securities and other instruments fluctuate in response to a variety of factors. The Fund’s NAV and market price may fluctuate significantly in response to these and other factors. As a result, an investor could lose money over short or long periods of time.
·
MBS Risk. The Fund invests in MBS issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government. Such securities are subject to credit, interest rate, prepayment, and extension risks. These securities also are subject to risk of default on the underlying mortgage or asset, particularly during periods of economic downturn. Small movements in interest rates may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain MBS.
·
NAV Risk. The Fund is not a money market fund, does not attempt to maintain a stable NAV, and is not subject to the rules that govern the quality, maturity, liquidity and other features of securities that money market funds may purchase. Under normal conditions, the Fund’s investments may be more susceptible than a money market fund to interest rate risk, valuation risk, credit risk, and other risks relevant to the Fund’s investments. The Fund’s NAV per share will fluctuate.
·
Other Investment Companies Risks. The Fund will incur higher and duplicative expenses when it invests in ETFs and other investment companies. There is also the risk that the Fund may suffer losses due to the investment practices of the underlying funds. When the Fund invests in other investment companies, the Fund will be subject to substantially the same risks as those associated with the direct ownership of securities held by such investment companies.
·
Preferred Securities Risk. Preferred securities may pay fixed or adjustable rates of return and are subject to many of the risks associated with debt securities (e.g., interest rate risk, call risk and extension risk). In addition, preferred securities are subject to issuer-specific and market risks applicable generally to equity securities. Because many preferred securities allow the issuer to convert their preferred stock into common stock, preferred securities are often sensitive to declining common stock values. A company’s preferred securities generally pay dividends only after the company makes required payments to holders of its bonds and other debt. For this reason, the value of preferred securities will usually react more strongly than bonds and other debt to actual or perceived changes in the company’s financial condition or prospects. Preferred securities of smaller companies may be more vulnerable to adverse developments than preferred stock of larger companies.
·
Prepayment Risk. The issuer of certain securities may repay principal in advance, especially when yields fall. Changes in the rate at which prepayments occur can affect the return on investment of these securities. When debt obligations are prepaid or when securities are called, the Fund may have to reinvest in securities with a lower yield. The Fund also may fail to recover additional amounts (i.e., premiums) paid for securities with higher coupons, resulting in an unexpected capital loss.
·
Privately Placed Securities Risk. Privately placed securities generally are less liquid than publicly traded securities and the Fund may not always be able to sell such securities without experiencing delays in finding buyers or reducing the sale price for such securities. The disposition of some of the securities held by the Fund may be restricted under federal securities laws. As a result, the Fund may not be able to dispose of such investments at a time when, or at a price at which, it desires to do so and may have to bear expenses of registering these securities, if necessary. These securities may also be difficult to value.
 
·
Rating Agencies Risks. Ratings are not an absolute standard of quality. Ratings are general indicators that reflect only the view of the originating rating agencies from which an explanation of the significance of such ratings may be obtained. There is no assurance that a particular rating will continue for any given period of time or that any such rating will not be revised downward or withdrawn entirely. Such changes may negatively affect the liquidity or market price of the securities in which the Fund invests. The ratings of securitized assets may not adequately reflect the credit risk of those assets due to their structure.
·
Repurchase Agreement Risk. Repurchase agreements may be construed to be collateralized loans by the Fund, and if so, the underlying securities relating to the repurchase agreement will only constitute collateral for the seller’s obligation to pay the repurchase price. If the seller defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the Fund may suffer delays and incur costs or lose money in exercising its rights under the agreement. A seller failing to repurchase the security coupled with a decline in the market value of the security may result in the Fund losing money.
·
RIC-Related Risks of Investments Generating Non-Cash Taxable Income. Certain of the Fund’s investments will require the Fund to recognize taxable income in excess of the cash generated on those investments in that tax year, which could cause the Fund to have difficulty satisfying the annual distribution requirements applicable to regulated investment companies (“RICs”) and avoiding Fund-level U.S. federal income and/or excise taxes.
·
Short Sales Risks. The Fund may make short sales of securities, which involves selling a security it does not own in anticipation that the price of the security will decline. Short sales may involve substantial risk and leverage. Short sales expose the Fund to the risk that it will be required to buy (“cover”) the security sold short when the security has appreciated in value or is unavailable, thus resulting in a loss to the Fund. Short sales also involve the risk that losses may exceed the amount invested and may be unlimited.
·
Sovereign Debt Risk. The Fund may invest in securities issued or guaranteed by foreign governmental entities (known as sovereign debt securities). These investments are subject to the risk of payment delays or defaults, due, for example, to cash flow problems, insufficient foreign currency reserves, political considerations, large debt positions relative to the country’s economy, or failure to implement economic reforms. There is no legal or bankruptcy process for collecting sovereign debt.
·
TBA Securities and Rolls Risk. TBA transactions are subject to increased credit risk and increased overall investment exposure. TBA rolls involve the risk that the Fund’s counterparty will be unable to deliver the MBS underlying the TBA roll at the fixed time. If the buyer files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, the buyer or its representative may ask for and receive an extension of time to decide whether to enforce the Fund’s repurchase obligation. In addition, the Fund earns interest by investing the transaction proceeds during the roll period. TBA roll transactions may have the effect of creating leverage in the Fund’s portfolio.
·
Uncertain Tax Treatment. Below investment grade instruments may present special tax issues for the Fund. U.S. federal income tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as when the Fund may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount (“OID”) or market discount, when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless instruments, how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income and whether exchanges of debt obligations in a bankruptcy or workout context are taxable, which may make it difficult for the Fund to satisfy the annual distribution requirements applicable to RICs.
·
Unrated Securities Risks. Unrated securities may be less liquid than comparable rated securities and involve the risk that the Sub-Adviser may not accurately evaluate the security’s comparative credit rating.
·
U.S. Government Obligations Risk. Obligations of U.S. government agencies and authorities receive varying levels of support and may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, which could affect the Fund’s ability to recover should they default. No assurance can be given that the U.S. government will provide financial support to its agencies and authorities if it is not obligated by law to do so. Additionally, market prices and yields of securities supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government or other countries may decline or be negative for short or long periods of time.
·
Valuation Risk. The prices provided by the Fund’s pricing services or independent dealers or the fair value determinations made by the Fund’s valuation committee may be different from the prices used by other investment companies or from the prices at which debt obligations are actually bought and sold. The prices of certain debt obligations provided by pricing services may be subject to frequent and significant change, and will vary depending on the information that is available.
 
 
·
When-Issued, Delayed Delivery, and Forward Commitment Risks. When-issued and delayed delivery transactions arise when securities are purchased by the Fund with payment and delivery taking place in the future to secure a price and yield to the Fund at the time of entering into the transaction. In a forward commitment transaction, the Fund contracts to purchase securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond customary settlement time. The Fund is required to hold and maintain until the settlement date, cash or other liquid assets sufficient to meet the purchase price or enter into offsetting contracts for the forward sale of other securities that it owns. The purchase of securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery, or forward commitment basis involves a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date.

Performance
Performance information for the Fund is not included because the Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus. When such information is included, this section will provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s performance history from year to year and showing how the Fund’s average annual total returns compare with those of a broad measure of market performance. Although past performance of the Fund is no guarantee of how it will perform in the future, historical performance may give you some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. Updated performance information is also available on the Fund’s website at www.awareetf.com.
 
Management
Investment Adviser: Toroso Investments, LLC (“Toroso” or the “Adviser”)
Investment Sub-Adviser: Aware Asset Management, Inc.
Portfolio Managers: The following individuals are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund and have acted in this capacity since the Fund’s inception in January 2019:
John E. Kaprich, CFA, Investment Director of Aware
Andrea M. Roemhildt, CPA, Investment Manager of Aware
Stephen J. Smitley, Head of Structured Products of Aware
Ian C. Carroll, CFA, Head of Corporate Research of Aware
Purchase and Sale of Shares
Shares are listed on a national securities exchange, such as the Exchange, and most investors will buy and sell Shares through brokers at market prices, rather than NAV. Because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount).
The Fund issues and redeems Shares at NAV only in large blocks known as “Creation Units,” which only APs (typically, broker-dealers) may purchase or redeem. Creation Units generally consist of 25,000 Shares, though this may change from time to time. The Fund generally issues and redeems Creation Units in exchange for a portfolio of securities closely approximating the holdings of the Fund (the “Deposit Securities”) and/or a designated amount of U.S. cash.
Tax Information
Fund distributions are generally taxable as ordinary income, qualified dividend income, or capital gains (or a combination), unless your investment is in an individual retirement account (“IRA”) or other tax-advantaged account. Distributions on investments made through tax-deferred arrangements may be taxed later upon withdrawal of assets from those accounts.
Financial Intermediary Compensation
If you purchase Shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank) (an “Intermediary”), the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, or their affiliates may pay Intermediaries for certain activities related to the Fund, including participation in activities that are designed to make Intermediaries more knowledgeable about exchange traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities, such as marketing, educational training or other initiatives related to the sale or promotion of Shares. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the Intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Any such arrangements do not result in increased Fund expenses. Ask your salesperson or visit the Intermediary’s website for more information.
Additional Information about the Fund
The Fund is an ETF, which is a fund that trades like other publicly traded securities. The name, investment objective, and policies of the Fund may be similar to other funds or investment products advised by the Sub-Adviser or its affiliates. However, the investment results of the Fund may be higher or lower than, and there is no guarantee that the investment results of the Fund will be comparable to, any other of these funds or investment products. New funds may not be able to fully implement their investment strategy immediately upon commencing investment operations, which could reduce investment performance.
Investment Objective
An investment objective is fundamental if it cannot be changed without the consent of the holders of a majority of the outstanding Shares. The Fund’s investment objective has not been adopted as a fundamental investment policy and therefore may be changed without the consent of Fund shareholders upon 60 days’ written notice to shareholders.
Principal Investment Strategies
The following information is in addition to, and should be read along with, the description of the Fund’s principal investment strategies in the section titled “Fund Summary—Principal Investment Strategies” above.
144A Securities. The Fund may invest in Rule 144A securities (known as “restricted securities”), which are not registered under the federal securities laws and cannot be sold to the U.S. public because of SEC regulations.  The Fund generally considers Rule 144A securities to be liquid unless the Sub-Adviser determines otherwise.  
High-Yield Securities. The Fund invests primarily in investment-grade debt securities, but may also invest in high yield securities (also known as “junk bonds”) rated Ba3 or higher by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), or equivalently rated by Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), a division of the McGraw Hill Companies, or Fitch, Inc. (“Fitch”), or any other nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”), or, if unrated, determined by the Sub-Adviser to be of comparable quality. The Fund will not invest in securities that are in default at the time of investment, and the Fund may hold or sell securities that default after purchase by the Fund.
MBS: The Fund’s investments may include instruments issued by both U.S. and non-U.S. (including emerging markets) government and private sector issuers, including asset-backed securities. Instruments issued by the U.S. government include U.S. Treasuries and U.S. agency securities, which may include MBS issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, federal agencies, or U.S. government sponsored instrumentalities, such as Ginnie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”). The Fund may also invest in private placements and “Rule 144A” securities, which are subject to resale restrictions, as well as ETFs that primarily invest in debt instruments. 
Repurchase Agreements. As part of the Fund’s principal investment strategy or for temporary defensive purposes, the Fund may invest, without limitation, in short-term instruments such as commercial paper and/or repurchase agreements. A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which the Fund acquires a financial instrument (e.g., a security issued by the U.S. government or an agency thereof) from a seller. At the time of purchase, the seller (usually a commercial bank, broker, or dealer) agrees to repurchase the underlying security at a mutually agreed-upon price on a designated future date (normally, the next business day). The securities acquired by the Fund pursuant to repurchase agreement transactions will generally have a total value (including accrued interest earned thereon) in excess of the repurchase agreement’s value and will be held by the Fund’s custodian until the securities are repurchased. As a result, repurchase agreements may be considered a loan collateralized by securities. Such securities may include U.S. government securities, corporate obligations, municipal debt securities, MBS, and convertible securities.
TBA Securities. The TBA market allows investors to gain exposure to MBS with certain broad characteristics (e.g., maturity, coupon, age) without taking delivery of the actual securities until the settlement day, which is once every month. In addition, the Fund may utilize the TBA roll market, in which one sells, in the TBA market, the security for current month settlement, while simultaneously committing to buy the same TBA security for next month settlement. The Fund may utilize the TBA roll market for extended periods of time without taking delivery of the physical securities. The Fund may, without limitation, seek to obtain market exposure to the securities in which it primarily invests by entering into a series of purchase and sale contracts or by using other investment techniques (such as buy backs or dollar rolls).
Temporary Strategies. For temporary defensive purposes, the Sub-Adviser may invest in short-term instruments such as commercial paper and/or repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, corporation obligations, municipal debt securities, MBS, or convertible securities. Taking a temporary defensive position may result in the Fund not achieving its investment objective.
 
Manager of Managers Structure
The Fund and the Adviser have applied for exemptive relief from the SEC permitting the Adviser (subject to certain conditions and the approval of the Fund’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”)) to change or select new sub-advisers without obtaining shareholder approval. The relief would also permit the Adviser to materially amend the terms of agreements with a sub-adviser (including an increase in the fee paid by the Adviser to the sub-adviser (and not paid by the Fund)) or to continue the employment of a sub-adviser after an event that would otherwise cause the automatic termination of services with Board approval, but without shareholder approval. Shareholders will be notified of any sub-adviser changes. Unless and until such exemptive relief is granted and the Fund’s reliance on such relief is approved by Fund shareholders, shareholder approval will be required for changes in a sub-adviser agreement or for the addition of a new sub-adviser.
Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund
There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any government agency.  An investment in this Fund or any other fund may not provide a complete investment program. The suitability of an investment in the Fund should be considered based on the investment objective, strategies and risks described in this Prospectus, considered in light of all of the other investments in your portfolio, as well as your risk tolerance, financial goals, and time horizons. You may want to consult with a financial advisor to determine if this Fund is suitable for you. The following information is in addition to, and should be read along with, the description of the Fund’s principal investment risks in the section titled “Fund Summary—Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund” above.
 
Agency Debt Risk. The Fund invests in unsecured bonds or debentures issued by U.S. government agencies and government sponsored entities. Bonds or debentures issued by U.S. government agencies, government-sponsored entities, or government corporations, including, among others, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are generally backed only by the general creditworthiness and reputation of the U.S. government agency, government-sponsored entity, or government corporation issuing the bond or debenture and are not guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Ginnie Mae securities are generally backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

Some U.S. government agencies, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, purchase and guarantee residential mortgages and form MBS that they issue to the market. These agencies also hold their own MBS as well as those of other institutions with funding from the agency debentures they issue. The market for MBS has been adversely affected by the value of those MBS held and/or issued by these agencies. These securities are subject to more credit risk than U.S. government securities that are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. (e.g., U.S. Treasury bonds). If a U.S. government agency that is the issuer of securities in which the Fund invests is unable to meet its obligations or ceases to exist and no plan is made for repayment of securities, the performance of the Fund will be adversely impacted.
Asset-Backed Securities Risk. The price paid by the Fund for asset-backed securities, the yield the Fund expects to receive from such securities, and the average life of such securities are based on a number of factors, including the anticipated rate of prepayment of the underlying assets. The value of these securities may be significantly affected by changes in interest rates, the market’s perception of issuers, and the creditworthiness of the parties involved. The ability of the Fund to successfully utilize these instruments may depend on the ability of the Sub-Adviser to forecast interest rates and other economic factors correctly. These securities may have a structure that makes their reaction to interest rate changes and other factors difficult to predict, making their value highly volatile.
Cash Redemption Risk. The Fund’s investment strategy may require it to redeem Shares for cash or to otherwise include cash as part of its redemption proceeds. For example, the Fund may not be able to redeem in-kind certain securities held by the Fund (e.g., TBA transactions, short positions, derivative instruments, and bonds that cannot be broken up beyond certain minimum sizes needed for transfer and settlement). In such a case, the Fund may be required to sell or unwind portfolio investments to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. This may cause the Fund to recognize a capital gain that it might not have recognized if it had made a redemption in-kind (i.e., distribute securities as payment of redemption proceeds). As a result, the Fund may pay out higher annual capital gain distributions than if the in-kind redemption process was used.
 
Commercial Paper Risk. The value of the Fund’s investments in commercial paper, which is an unsecured promissory note that generally has a maturity date between one and 270 days and is issued by a U.S. or foreign entity, is susceptible to changes in the issuer’s financial condition or credit quality. Commercial paper is typically repaid with the proceeds from the issuance of new commercial paper. Thus, investments in commercial paper are subject to the risk (commonly referred to as rollover risk) that the issuer will be unable to issue sufficient new commercial paper to meet the repayment obligations under its outstanding commercial paper. Investments in commercial paper are usually discounted from their value at maturity. Commercial paper can be fixed-rate or variable rate and can be adversely affected by changes in interest rates. As with other debt securities, there is a risk that the issuer of commercial paper will default completely on its obligations. Commercial paper is generally unsecured and, thus, is subject to increased credit risk. The Fund may have limited or no recourse against the issuer of commercial paper in the event of default.
 
Convertible Securities Risk. A convertible security generally entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt securities or the dividend paid on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities generally have characteristics similar to both debt and equity securities. The value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates rise and, because of the conversion feature, tends to vary with fluctuations in the market value of the underlying securities. Convertible securities ordinarily provide a stream of income with generally higher yields than those of common stock of the same or similar issuers. Convertible securities generally rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure but are usually subordinated to comparable nonconvertible securities. Convertible securities generally do not participate directly in any dividend increases or decreases of the underlying securities, although the market prices of convertible securities may be affected by any dividend changes or other changes in the underlying securities. Contingent convertible securities are subject to additional risks factors. A contingent convertible security is a hybrid debt security typically issued by a non-U.S. bank that may be convertible into equity or may be written down if a pre-specified trigger event such as a decline in capital ratio below a prescribed threshold occurs. If such a trigger event occurs, the Fund may lose the principal amount invested on a permanent or temporary basis or the contingent convertible security may be converted to equity. Coupon payments on contingent convertible securities may be discretionary and may be cancelled by the issuer. Holders of contingent convertible securities may suffer a loss of capital when comparable equity holders do not.
Credit Risk. The Fund’s investments are subject to the risk that issuers and/or counterparties will fail to make payments when due or default completely. If an issuer’s or counterparty’s financial condition worsens, the credit quality of the issuer or counterparty may deteriorate, making it difficult for the Fund to sell such investments. Changes in an issuer’s credit rating or the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness may also affect the value of an investment in that issuer.
Debt Securities Risk. The Fund invests in debt securities, such as bonds and certain asset-backed securities, that involve certain risks, including:

Call Risk. During periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of a callable bond held by the Fund may “call” or repay the security before its stated maturity, and the Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds in securities with lower yields, which would result in a decline in the Fund’s income, or in securities with greater risks or with other less favorable features.
Event Risk. Event risk is the risk that corporate issuers may undergo restructurings, such as mergers, leveraged buyouts, takeovers, or similar events financed by increased debt. As a result of the added debt, the credit quality and market value of a company’s bonds and/or other debt securities may decline significantly.
Extension Risk. When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be repaid by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of securities, making them more sensitive to future changes in interest rates. The value of longer-term securities generally changes more in response to changes in interest rates than the value of shorter-term securities. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, securities may exhibit additional volatility and may lose value.
Derivatives Risks. The Fund’s derivative investments have risks, including the imperfect correlation between the value of such instruments and the underlying asset, rate or index, which creates the possibility that the loss on such instruments may be greater than the gain in the value of the underlying asset, rate or index; the loss of principal; the possible default of the other party to the transaction; and illiquidity of the derivative investments. If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations under a derivative contract due to financial difficulties, the Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery under the derivative contract in a bankruptcy or other reorganization proceeding, or may not recover at all. In addition, in the event of the insolvency of a counterparty to a derivative transaction, the derivative contract would typically be terminated at its fair market value. If the Fund is owed this fair market value in the termination of the derivative contract and its claim is unsecured, the Fund will be treated as a general creditor of such counterparty, and will not have any claim with respect to the underlying security. Certain of the derivative investments in which the Fund may invest may, in certain circumstances, give rise to a form of financial leverage, which may magnify the risk of owning such instruments. The ability to successfully use derivative investments depends on the ability of the Sub-Adviser to predict pertinent market movements, which cannot be assured. In addition, amounts paid by the Fund as premiums and cash or other assets held in margin accounts with respect to the Fund’s derivative investments would not be available to the Fund for other investment purposes, which may result in lost opportunities for gain.
The derivative instruments and techniques that the Fund may principally use include:
Forwards. A forward foreign currency contract is a negotiated agreement between two parties to exchange specified amounts of two or more currencies at a specified future time at a specified rate. The rate specified by the forward contract can be higher or lower than the spot rate between the currencies that are the subject of the contract. Currency futures are similar to currency forward contracts, except that they are traded on an exchange and standardized as to contract size and delivery date. Most currency futures call for payment or delivery in U.S. dollars. Unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in losses to the Fund and poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not entered into currency forward or futures contracts. The Fund may enter into forward or futures contracts under various circumstances, including for hedging purposes.
Futures. A futures contract is a standardized agreement to buy or sell a specific quantity of an underlying instrument at a specific price at a specific future time. The value of a futures contract tends to increase and decrease in tandem with the value of the underlying instrument. Depending on the terms of the particular contract, futures contracts are settled through either physical delivery of the underlying instrument on the settlement date or by payment of a cash settlement amount on the settlement date. A decision as to whether, when and how to use futures involves the exercise of skill and judgment and even a well-conceived futures transaction may be unsuccessful because of market behavior or unexpected events. In addition to the derivatives risks discussed above, the prices of futures can be highly volatile, using futures can lower total return, and the potential loss from futures can exceed the Fund’s initial investment in such contracts.
Options. If the Fund buys an option, it buys a legal contract giving it the right to buy or sell a specific amount of the underlying instrument or futures contract on the underlying instrument at an agreed-upon price typically in exchange for a premium paid by the Fund. If the Fund sells an option, it sells to another person the right to buy from or sell to the Fund a specific amount of the underlying instrument or futures contract on the underlying instrument at an agreed-upon price typically in exchange for a premium received by the Fund. A decision as to whether, when and how to use options involves the exercise of skill and judgment and even a well-conceived option transaction may be unsuccessful because of market behavior or unexpected events. The prices of options can be highly volatile and the use of options can lower total returns.
Swaps. A swap contract is an agreement between two parties pursuant to which the parties exchange payments at specified dates on the basis of a specified notional amount, with the payments calculated by reference to specified securities, indexes, reference rates, currencies or other instruments. Most swap agreements provide that when the period payment dates for both parties are the same, the payments are made on a net basis (i.e., the two payment streams are netted out, with only the net amount paid by one party to the other). The Fund’s obligations or rights under a swap contract entered into on a net basis will generally be equal only to the net amount to be paid or received under the agreement, based on the relative values of the positions held by each counterparty. Swap agreements are particularly subject to counterparty credit, liquidity, valuation, correlation and leverage risk. Certain standardized swaps are now subject to mandatory central clearing requirements and others are now required to be exchange-traded. While central clearing and exchange-trading are intended to reduce counterparty and liquidity risk, they do not make swap transactions risk-free. Swaps could result in losses if interest rate or foreign currency exchange rates or credit quality changes are not correctly anticipated by the Fund or if the reference index, security or investments do not perform as expected. The Fund’s use of swaps may include those based on the credit of an underlying security, commonly referred to as “credit default swaps.” Where the Fund is the buyer of a credit default swap contract, it would be entitled to receive the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a referenced debt obligation from the counterparty to the contract only in the event of a default or similar event by a third party on the debt obligation. If no default occurs, the Fund would have paid to the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract and received no benefit from the contract. When the Fund is the seller of a credit default swap contract, it receives the stream of payments but is obligated to pay an amount equal to the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a referenced debt obligation upon the default or similar event of that obligation. The use of credit default swaps can result in losses if the Fund’s assumptions regarding the creditworthiness of the underlying obligation prove to be incorrect. The Fund will “cover” its swap positions by segregating an amount of cash and/or liquid securities as required by the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”) and applicable SEC interpretations and guidance from time to time.
Emerging Markets Risk. Investments in securities and instruments traded in developing or emerging markets, or that provide exposure to such securities or markets, can involve additional risks relating to political, economic, or regulatory conditions not associated with investments in U.S. securities and instruments. For example, developing and emerging markets may be subject to (i) greater market volatility, (ii) lower trading volume and liquidity, (iii) greater social, political and economic uncertainty, (iv) governmental controls on foreign investments and limitations on repatriation of invested capital, (v) lower disclosure, corporate governance, auditing and financial reporting standards, (vi) fewer protections of property rights, (vii) restrictions on the transfer of securities or currency, and (viii) settlement and trading practices that differ from those in U.S. markets. Each of these factors may impact the ability of the Fund to buy, sell or otherwise transfer securities, adversely affect the trading market and price for Fund Shares and cause the Fund to decline in value.
ETF Risks.
Authorized Participants, Market Makers, and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as APs. In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services; or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.
Costs of Buying or Selling Shares. Investors buying or selling Shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers, as determined by that broker. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts of Shares. In addition, secondary market investors will also incur the cost of the difference between the price at which an investor is willing to buy Shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which an investor is willing to sell Shares (the “ask” price). This difference in bid and ask prices is often referred to as the “spread” or “bid/ask spread.” The bid/ask spread varies over time for Shares based on trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if Shares have more trading volume and market liquidity and higher if Shares have little trading volume and market liquidity. Further, a relatively small investor base in the Fund, asset swings in the Fund and/or increased market volatility may cause increased bid/ask spreads. Due to the costs of buying or selling Shares, including bid/ask spreads, frequent trading of Shares may significantly reduce investment results and an investment in Shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.
Shares May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. As with all ETFs, Shares may be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. Although it is expected that the market price of the Shares will approximate the Fund’s NAV, there may be times when the market price of Shares is more than the NAV intra-day (premium) or less than the NAV intra-day (discount) due to supply and demand of the Shares or during periods of market volatility. This risk is heightened in times of market volatility or periods of steep market declines. The market price of Shares during the trading day, like the price of any exchange-traded security, includes a “bid/ask” spread charged by the exchange specialist, market makers or other participants that trade the Shares. In times of severe market disruption, the bid/ask spread can increase significantly. At those times, Shares are most likely to be traded at a discount to NAV, and the discount is likely to be greatest when the price of Shares is falling fastest, which may be the time that you most want to sell your Shares. The Adviser believes that, under normal market conditions, large market price discounts or premiums to NAV will not be sustained because of arbitrage opportunities.
Trading. Although Shares are listed for trading on the Exchange and may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such Shares will develop or be maintained. Trading in Shares may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to Exchange “circuit breaker” rules, which temporarily halt trading on the Exchange when a decline in the S&P 500 Index during a single day reaches certain thresholds (e.g., 7%, 13%, and 20%). Additional rules applicable to the Exchange may halt trading in Shares when extraordinary volatility causes sudden, significant swings in the market price of Shares. There can be no assurance that Shares will trade with any volume, or at all, on any stock exchange. In stressed market conditions, the liquidity of Shares may begin to mirror the liquidity of the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings, which can be significantly less liquid than Shares.
Floating or Variable Rate Securities Risk. Floating or variable rate securities pay interest at rates that adjust in response to changes in a specified interest rate or reset at predetermined dates (such as the end of a calendar quarter). Securities with floating or variable interest rates are generally less sensitive to interest rate changes than securities with fixed interest rates, but may decline in value if their interest rates do not rise as much, or as quickly, as comparable market interest rates. Conversely, floating or variable rate securities will not generally increase in value if interest rates decline. The impact of interest rate changes on floating or variable rate securities is typically mitigated by the periodic interest rate reset of the investments. Floating or variable rate securities can be rated below investment grade or unrated; therefore, the Fund relies heavily on the analytical ability of the Sub-Adviser. Lower-rated floating or variable rate securities are subject to many of the same risks as high yield securities, although these risks are reduced when the instruments are senior and secured as opposed to many high yield securities that are junior and unsecured. Floating or variable rate securities are often subject to restrictions on resale, which can result in reduced liquidity.
Foreign Securities Risks. Certain foreign countries may impose exchange control regulations, restrictions on repatriation of profit on investments or of capital invested, local taxes on investments, and restrictions on the ability of issuers of non-U.S. securities to make payments of principal and interest to investors located outside the country, whether from currency blockage or otherwise. In addition, the Fund will be subject to risks associated with adverse political and economic developments in foreign countries, including seizure or nationalization of foreign deposits, the imposition of economic sanctions, different legal systems and laws relating to bankruptcy and creditors’ rights and the potential inability to enforce legal judgments, all of which could cause the Fund to lose money on its investments in non-U.S. securities. The cost of servicing external debt will also generally be adversely affected by rising international interest rates, as many external debt obligations bear interest at rates which are adjusted based upon international interest rates. Because non-U.S. securities may trade on days when the Fund’s shares are not priced, NAV may change at times when the Fund’s shares cannot be sold.
Foreign banks and securities depositories at which the Fund holds its foreign securities and cash may be recently organized or new to the foreign custody business and may be subject to only limited or no regulatory oversight. Additionally, many foreign governments do not supervise and regulate stock exchanges, brokers and the sale of securities to the same extent as does the United States and may not have laws to protect investors that are comparable to U.S. securities laws. Settlement and clearance procedures in certain foreign markets may result in delays in payment for or delivery of securities not typically associated with settlement and clearance of U.S. investments.
In recent years, the European financial markets have experienced volatility and adverse trends due to concerns about economic downturns in, or rising government debt levels of, several European countries. These events may spread to other countries in Europe, including countries that do not use the Euro. These events may affect the value and liquidity of certain of the Fund’s investments.
General Market Risk. Economies and financial markets throughout the world are becoming increasingly interconnected, which increases the likelihood that events or conditions in one country or region will adversely impact markets or issuers in other countries or regions. Securities in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform in comparison to securities in the general financial markets, a particular financial market or other asset classes, due to a number of factors, including inflation (or expectations for inflation), interest rates, global demand for particular products or resources, natural disasters or events, terrorism, regulatory events, and government controls.
High Portfolio Turnover Risk. The Fund may actively and frequently trade all or a significant portion of the securities in its portfolio. A high portfolio turnover rate increases transaction costs, which may increase the Fund’s expenses. Frequent trading may also cause adverse tax consequences for investors in the Fund due to an increase in short-term capital gains.
High-Yield Securities Risks. Below investment grade instruments are commonly referred to as “junk” or high-yield instruments and are regarded as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Lower grade instruments may be particularly susceptible to economic downturns. It is likely that a prolonged or deepening economic recession could adversely affect the ability of the issuers of such instruments to repay principal and pay interest thereon, increase the incidence of default for such instruments and severely disrupt the market value of such instruments.
Lower grade instruments, though higher yielding, are characterized by higher risk. The retail secondary market for lower grade instruments, which are often thinly traded or subject to irregular trading, may be less liquid than that for higher rated instruments. Such instruments can be more difficult to sell and to value than higher rated instruments because there is generally less public information available about such securities. As a result, subjective judgment may play a greater role in valuing such instruments. Adverse conditions could make it difficult at times for the Fund to sell certain instruments or could result in lower prices than those used in calculating the Fund’s NAV. Because of the substantial risks associated with investments in lower grade instruments, investors could lose money on their investment in the Fund, both in the short-term and the long-term.
Illiquid Securities Risks. The Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities. The Fund may also invest in restricted securities. Investments in restricted securities could have the effect of increasing the amount of the Fund’s assets invested in illiquid securities if qualified institutional buyers are unwilling to purchase these securities.
Illiquid and restricted securities may be difficult to dispose of at a fair price at the times when the Fund believes it is desirable to do so. The market price of illiquid and restricted securities generally is more volatile than that of more liquid securities, which may adversely affect the price that the Fund pays for or recovers upon the sale of such securities. Illiquid and restricted securities are also more difficult to value, especially in challenging markets. The Sub-Adviser’s judgment may play a greater role in the valuation process. Investment of the Fund’s assets in illiquid and restricted securities may restrict the Fund’s ability to take advantage of market opportunities. To dispose of an unregistered security, the Fund, where it has contractual rights to do so, may have to cause such security to be registered. A considerable period may elapse between the time the decision is made to sell the security and the time the security is registered, thereby enabling the Fund to sell it. Contractual restrictions on the resale of securities vary in length and scope and are generally the result of a negotiation between the issuer and acquiror of the securities. In either case, the Fund would bear market risks during that period. Liquidity risk may impact the Fund’s ability to meet shareholder redemptions and as a result, the Fund may be forced to sell securities at inopportune prices.
Certain fixed-income instruments are not readily marketable and may be subject to restrictions on resale. Fixed-income instruments may not be listed on any national securities exchange and no active trading market may exist for certain of the fixed-income instruments in which the Fund will invest. Where a secondary market exists, the market for some fixed-income instruments may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods. In addition, dealer inventories of certain securities are at historic lows in relation to market size, which indicates a potential for reduced liquidity as dealers may be less able to “make markets” for certain fixed-income securities.
Industry and Sector Focus Risk. At times the Fund may increase the relative emphasis of its investments in a particular industry or sector.  The prices of securities of issuers in a particular industry or sector may be more susceptible to fluctuations due to changes in economic or business conditions, government regulations, availability of basic resources or supplies, or other events that affect that industry or sector more than securities of issuers in other industries and sectors. To the extent that the Fund increases the relative emphasis of its investments in a particular industry or sector, the Fund’s Share values may fluctuate in response to events affecting that industry or sector.
Interest Rate Risk. The Fund’s investments in bonds and other debt securities will change in value based on changes in interest rates. If rates rise, the value of these investments generally declines. Securities with greater interest rate sensitivity and longer maturities generally are subject to greater fluctuations in value. Given that the Federal Reserve has begun to raise interest rates, the Fund may face a heightened level of interest rate risk.
Investment Company Risk. The Fund may invest in shares of investment companies, such as ETFs, that invest in a wide range of instruments designed to track the performance of a particular securities market index (or sector of an index) or that are actively-managed. The risks of investment in these securities typically reflect the risks of the types of instruments in which the investment company invests. When the Fund invests in investment company securities, shareholders of the Fund bear indirectly their proportionate share of their fees and expenses, as well as their share of the Fund’s fees and expenses. As a result, an investment by the Fund in an investment company will cause the Fund’s operating expenses (taking into account indirect expenses such as the fees and expenses of the investment company) to be higher and, in turn, performance to be lower than if it were to invest directly in the instruments underlying the investment company. Additionally, there may not be an active trading market available for shares of some ETFs. Shares of an ETF may also trade in the market at a premium or discount to their NAV. The Fund’s investments in other investment companies may include investments in listed closed-end funds (“CEFs”). Shares of CEFs frequently trade at a price per share that is less than the fund’s NAV. There can be no assurance that the market discount on shares of any CEF purchased by the Fund will ever decrease or that when the Fund seeks to sell shares of a CEF it can receive the NAV of those shares. CEFs have lower levels of daily volume when compared to open-end companies. There are greater risks involved in investing in securities with limited market liquidity.  Limited Operating History Risk. The Fund is a recently organized management investment company and has not commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus. As a result, prospective investors have no track record or history on which to base their investment decision. There can be no assurance that the Fund will grow to or maintain an economically viable size.
Management Risk. The Fund is actively-managed and may not meet its investment objective based on the Sub-Adviser’s success or failure to implement investment strategies for the Fund.
Market Trading Risk. The trading prices of debt securities and other instruments fluctuate in response to a variety of factors. These factors include events impacting the entire market or specific market segments, such as political, market and economic developments, as well as events that impact specific issuers. The Fund’s NAV and market price, like security and commodity prices generally, may fluctuate significantly in response to these and other factors. As a result, an investor could lose money over short or long periods of time.
MBS Risk. Mortgage-related securities represent ownership in pools of mortgage loans assembled for sale to investors by various government agencies such as Ginnie Mae and government-related organizations such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Although these mortgage-related securities are guaranteed by a third party or otherwise similarly secured, the market value of the security, which may fluctuate, is not so secured.  MBS, like traditional fixed-income securities, are subject to credit, interest rate, prepayment, and extension risks (see “Credit Risk,” “Interest Rate Risk,” “Prepayment Risk,” and “Extension Risk” for more information on these risks).
These securities differ from conventional bonds in that the principal is paid back to the investor as payments are made on the underlying mortgages in the pool.  Accordingly, the Fund will receive scheduled payments of principal and interest along with any unscheduled principal prepayments on the underlying mortgages.  Because these scheduled and unscheduled principal payments must be reinvested at prevailing interest rates, MBS do not provide an effective means of locking in long-term interest rates for the investor. Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain MBS.
The mortgage market in the United States has experienced and may in the future experience difficulties that may adversely affect the performance and market value of certain of the Fund’s mortgage-related investments. Delinquencies and losses on mortgage loans (including subprime and second-lien mortgage loans) may increase and real-estate values may decline due to such difficulties, which may exacerbate such delinquencies and losses. Reduced investor demand for mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities and increased investor yield requirements may cause limited liquidity in the secondary market for mortgage-related securities, which can adversely affect the market value of mortgage-related securities and the Fund.
NAV Risk. The Fund is not a money market fund, does not attempt to maintain a stable NAV, and is not subject to the rules that govern the quality, maturity, liquidity and other features of securities that money market funds may purchase. Under normal conditions, the Fund’s investments may be more susceptible than a money market fund to interest rate risk, valuation risk, credit risk, and other risks relevant to the Fund’s investments. The Fund’s NAV per share will fluctuate.
Preferred Securities Risk. Preferred securities are subject to risks associated with both equity and debt instruments. Because many preferred securities allow the issuer to convert its preferred stock into common stock, preferred securities are often sensitive to declining common stock values. In addition, certain preferred securities contain provisions that allow an issuer to skip or defer distributions, which may be more likely when the issuer is less able to make dividend payments as a result of financial difficulties. Preferred securities can also be affected by changes in interest rates, especially if dividends are paid at a fixed rate, and may also include call features in favor of the issuer. In the event of redemptions by the issuer, the Fund may not be able to reinvest the proceeds at comparable or favorable rates of return. Preferred securities are generally subordinated to bonds and other debt securities in an issuer’s capital structure in terms of priority for corporate income and liquidation payments, and may trade less frequently and in a more limited volume and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than many other securities.

Prepayment Risk. The issuer of certain securities may repay principal in advance, especially when yields fall. Changes in the rate at which prepayments occur can affect the return on investment of these securities. When debt obligations are prepaid or when securities are called, the Fund may have to reinvest in securities with a lower yield. The Fund also may fail to recover additional amounts (i.e., premiums) paid for securities with higher coupons, resulting in an unexpected capital loss. In periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayments tends to increase (as does price fluctuation) as borrowers are motivated to repay debt and refinance at new lower rates. During such periods, reinvestment of the prepayment proceeds by the management team will generally be at lower rates of return than the return on the assets that were prepaid. Prepayment reduces the yield to maturity and the average life of the security.
Privately Placed Securities Risk. Privately placed securities generally are less liquid than publicly traded securities and the Fund may not always be able to sell such securities without experiencing delays in finding buyers or reducing the sale price for such securities. The disposition of some of the securities held by the Fund may be restricted under federal securities laws. As a result, the Fund may not be able to dispose of such investments at a time when, or at a price at which, it desires to do so and may have to bear expenses of registering these securities, if necessary. These securities may also be difficult to value.
Rating Agencies Risk. Rating agencies may fail to make timely changes in credit ratings and an issuer’s current financial condition may be better or worse than a rating indicates. In addition, rating agencies are subject to an inherent conflict of interest because they are often compensated by the same issuers whose securities they grade.
Repurchase Agreement Risk. Repurchase agreements may be construed to be collateralized loans by the purchaser to the seller secured by the securities transferred to the purchaser. If a repurchase agreement is construed to be a collateralized loan, the underlying securities will not be considered to be owned by the Fund but only to constitute collateral for the seller’s obligation to pay the repurchase price. Repurchase agreements that do not provide for payment within seven days will be treated as illiquid securities. In the event of a bankruptcy or other default by the seller of a repurchase agreement, the Fund could experience both delays in liquidating the underlying security and losses. These losses could result from: (a) possible decline in the value of the underlying security while the Fund is seeking to enforce its rights under the repurchase agreement; (b) possible reduced levels of income or lack of access to income during this period; and (c) expenses of enforcing its rights.
RIC-Related Risks of Investments Generating Non-Cash Taxable Income. Certain of the Fund’s investments will require the Fund to recognize taxable income in a taxable year in excess of the cash generated on those investments during that year. In particular, the Fund expects to invest in debt obligations that will be treated as having “market discount” and/or OID for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Because the Fund may be required to recognize income in respect of these investments before, or without receiving, cash representing such income, the Fund may have difficulty satisfying the annual distribution requirements applicable to RICs and avoiding Fund-level U.S. federal income and/or excise taxes. Accordingly, the Fund may be required to sell assets, including at potentially disadvantageous times or prices, raise additional debt or equity capital, make taxable distributions of its Shares or debt securities, or reduce new investments, to obtain the cash needed to make these income distributions. If the Fund liquidates assets to raise cash, the Fund may realize gain or loss on such liquidations; in the event the Fund realizes net capital gains from such liquidation transactions, the Fund shareholders may receive larger capital gain distributions than they would in the absence of such transactions.
Short Sales Risks. If a security sold short increases in price, the Fund may have to cover its short position at a higher price than the short sale price, resulting in a loss. Short sales involve the risk that losses may exceed the amount invested and may be unlimited. The Fund will ordinarily engage in short sales where it does not own or have the immediate right to acquire the security sold short, and as such must borrow those securities to make delivery to the buyer under the short sale transaction. The Fund may not be able to borrow a security that it needs to deliver or it may not be able to close out a short position at an acceptable price and may have to sell related long positions earlier than it had expected. Thus, the Fund may not be able to successfully implement its short sale strategy due to limited availability of desired securities or for other reasons. Also, there is the risk that the counterparty to a short sale may fail to honor its contractual terms, causing a loss to the Fund.
Until the Fund replaces a security borrowed in connection with a short sale, it may be required to maintain a segregated account of cash or liquid assets with a broker or custodian to cover the Fund’s short position. Generally, securities held in a segregated account cannot be sold unless they are replaced with other liquid assets. The Fund’s ability to access the pledged collateral may also be impaired in the event the broker becomes bankrupt, insolvent or otherwise fails to comply with the terms of the contract. In such instances, the Fund may not be able to substitute or sell the pledged collateral and may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery in a bankruptcy or other reorganization proceeding. Additionally, the Fund must maintain sufficient liquid assets (less any additional collateral pledged to the broker), marked-to-market daily, to cover the borrowed securities obligations. This may limit the Fund’s investment flexibility, as well as its ability to meet other current obligations.
In times of unusual or adverse market, economic, regulatory or political conditions, the Fund may not be able, fully or partially, to implement its short selling strategy. Periods of unusual or adverse market, economic, regulatory or political conditions generally may exist for as long as six months and, in some cases, much longer.
Sovereign Debt Risk. The Fund may invest in securities issued or guaranteed by foreign governmental entities (known as sovereign debt securities). These investments are subject to the risk of payment delays or defaults, due, for example, to cash flow problems, insufficient foreign currency reserves, political considerations, large debt positions relative to the country’s economy, or failure to implement economic reforms. There is no legal or bankruptcy process for collecting sovereign debt.
TBA Securities and Rolls Risk. The Fund may invest in TBA securities. In a TBA transaction, a seller agrees to deliver a security at a future date, but does not specify the particular security to be delivered. Instead, the seller agrees to accept any security that meets specified terms. The principal risks of TBA transactions are increased credit risk and increased overall investment exposure. The Fund may enter into TBA roll transactions, in which the Fund sells MBS for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts to purchase substantially similar securities on a specified future date from the same party. The investor may assume some risk because the characteristics of the MBS delivered to the investor may be less favorable than the MBS the investor delivered to the dealer. Because the dealer is not obligated to return the identical MBS collateral that the investor has delivered, both parties usually transact the dollar roll with generic MBS pools that have the same or less value than the average TBA-eligible security.
Uncertain Tax Treatment. The Fund may invest a portion of its net assets in below investment grade instruments. Investments in these types of instruments may present special tax issues for the Fund. U.S. federal income tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as when the Fund may cease accruing interest, OID or market discount, when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless instruments, how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income and whether exchanges of debt obligations in a bankruptcy or workout context are taxable. These and other issues will be addressed by the Fund to the extent necessary to seek to ensure that it distributes sufficient income that it does not become subject to U.S. federal income or excise tax.
Unrated Securities Risks. The Fund may purchase unrated securities which are not rated by a rating agency if the Sub-Adviser determines that the security is of comparable quality to a rated security that the Fund may purchase. Unrated securities may be less liquid than comparable rated securities and involve the risk that the Sub-Adviser may not accurately evaluate the security’s comparative credit rating. Analysis of creditworthiness of issuers of high yield securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher-quality debt securities. To the extent that the Fund purchases unrated securities, the Fund’s success in achieving its investment objective may depend more heavily on the Sub-Adviser’s creditworthiness analysis than if the Fund invested exclusively in rated securities.
U.S. Government Obligations Risk. The Fund invests in securities issued by the U.S. government. The total public debt of the United States as a percentage of gross domestic product has grown rapidly since the beginning of the 2008–2009 financial downturn.  Although high debt levels do not necessarily indicate or cause economic problems, they may create certain systemic risks if sound debt management practices are not implemented.  A high national debt can raise concerns that the U.S. government will not be able to make principal or interest payments when they are due.  This increase has also necessitated the need for the U.S. Congress to negotiate adjustments to the statutory debt limit to increase the cap on the amount the U.S. government is permitted to borrow to meet its existing obligations and finance current budget deficits. In August 2011, S&P lowered its long term sovereign credit rating on the U.S. In explaining the downgrade at that time, S&P cited, among other reasons, controversy over raising the statutory debt limit and growth in public spending. On February 9, 2018, following passage by Congress, the President of the United States signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which suspends the statutory debt limit through March 1, 2019. Any controversy or ongoing uncertainty regarding the statutory debt ceiling negotiations may impact the U.S. long-term sovereign credit rating and may cause market uncertainty. As a result, market prices and yields of securities supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government may be adversely affected.
Valuation Risk. It may be difficult for the Fund to purchase and sell particular investments within a reasonable time at a fair price, or the price at which it has been valued for purposes of the Fund’s net asset value, causing the Fund to be less liquid and unable to sell securities for what the Adviser believes is the appropriate price of the investment. Valuation of portfolio investments may be difficult, such as during periods of market turmoil or reduced liquidity and for investments that trade infrequently or irregularly. In these and other circumstances, an investment may be valued using fair value methodologies, which are inherently subjective, reflect good faith judgments based on available information and may not accurately estimate the price at which the Fund could sell the investment at that time. Based on its investment strategies, a significant portion of the Fund’s investments can be difficult to value and potentially less liquid and therefore particularly prone to these risks.
When-Issued, Delayed Delivery, and Forward Commitment Risks. To ensure the availability of suitable securities for its portfolio, the Fund may purchase when-issued or delayed delivery securities. When-issued and delayed delivery transactions arise when securities are purchased by the Fund with payment and delivery taking place in the future to secure a price and yield to the Fund at the time of entering into the transaction. In a forward commitment transaction, the Fund contracts to purchase securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond customary settlement time. The Fund is required to hold and maintain until the settlement date, cash or other liquid assets sufficient to meet the purchase price or enter into offsetting contracts for the forward sale of other securities that it owns. The purchase of securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery, or forward commitment basis involves a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date. Although the Fund would generally purchase securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery, or forward commitment basis with the intention of actually acquiring securities for its portfolio, it may dispose of a when-issued or delayed delivery security or forward commitment prior to settlement if the Sub-Adviser deems it appropriate to do so.
Additional Risks of Investing in the Fund
Foreign Issuer Risk. The Fund may invest in U.S. dollar-denominated securities of foreign issuers or U.S. affiliates of foreign issuers. Although these securities are not subject to all of the risks summarized in “Foreign Securities Risk” and “Emerging Markets Risk”, they may be subject to additional risks not faced by domestic issuers. These risks include political and economic risks, civil conflicts and war, greater volatility, expropriation and nationalization risks, and regulatory issues facing issuers in such foreign countries.
Inflation-Linked and Inflation-Protected Security Risk. Inflation-linked debt securities are subject to the effects of changes in market interest rates caused by factors other than inflation (real interest rates). In general, the price of an inflation-linked security tends to decrease when real interest rates increase and can increase when real interest rates decrease. Interest payments on inflation-linked securities are unpredictable and will fluctuate as the principal and interest are adjusted for inflation. Any increase in the principal amount of an inflation-linked debt security will be considered taxable ordinary income, even though the Fund will not receive the principal until maturity. There can also be no assurance that the inflation index used will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services. The Fund’s investments in inflation-linked securities may lose value in the event that the actual rate of inflation is different than the rate of the inflation index. In addition, inflation-linked securities are subject to the risk that the CPI‑U or other relevant pricing index may be discontinued, fundamentally altered in a manner materially adverse to the interests of an investor in the securities, altered by legislation or Executive Order in a materially adverse manner to the interests of an investor in the securities or substituted with an alternative index.
Loan Risk. The Fund may invest in loans including loans that are rated below investment grade or the unrated equivalent. Like other high yield, corporate debt instruments, such loans are subject to an increased risk of default in the payment of principal and interest as well as the other risks described under “Interest Rate Risk,” “Credit Risk,” “High Yield Securities Risk,” “Foreign Securities Risk,” and “Emerging Markets Risk.” Although certain loans are secured by collateral, the Fund could experience delays or limitations in realizing on such collateral or have its interest subordinated to other indebtedness of the obligor. Loans are vulnerable to market sentiment such that economic conditions or other events may reduce the demand for loans and cause their value to decline rapidly and unpredictably. No active trading market may exist for some of the loans and certain loans may be subject to restrictions on resale. The inability to dispose of loans in a timely fashion could result in losses to the Fund. In addition, the settlement period for loans is uncertain as there is no standardized settlement schedule applicable to such investments. Certain loans may take more than seven days to settle. Because some loans that the Fund invests in may have a more limited secondary market, liquidity and valuation risk is more pronounced for the Fund than for funds that invest primarily in other types of fixed income instruments or equity securities. Typically, loans are not registered securities and are not listed on any national securities exchange. Consequently, there may be less public information available about the Fund’s investments and the market for certain loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods. As a result, the Fund may be more dependent upon the analytical ability of its Sub-Adviser.
Municipal Securities Risk. Changes in a municipality’s financial health may make it difficult for the municipality to make interest and principal payments when due. A number of municipalities have had significant financial problems recently, and these and other municipalities could, potentially, continue to experience significant financial problems resulting from lower tax revenues and/or decreased aid from state and local governments in the event of an economic downturn. This could decrease the Fund’s income or hurt the ability to preserve capital and liquidity.
Under some circumstances, municipal securities might not pay interest unless the state legislature or municipality authorizes money for that purpose. Some securities, including municipal lease obligations, carry additional risks. For example, they may be difficult to trade or interest payments may be tied only to a specific stream of revenue.
Since some municipal securities may be secured or guaranteed by banks and other institutions, the risk to the Fund could increase if the banking or financial sector suffers an economic downturn and/or if the credit ratings of the institutions issuing the guarantee are downgraded or at risk of being downgraded by a national rating organization. If such events were to occur, the value of the security could decrease or the value could be lost entirely, and it may be difficult or impossible for the Fund to sell the security at the time and the price that normally prevails in the market. Interest on municipal obligations, while generally exempt from federal income tax, may not be exempt from federal alternative minimum tax.
Portfolio Holdings Information
Information about the Fund’s daily portfolio holdings is available at www.awareetf.com. A complete description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).
Management
Investment Adviser
Toroso Investments, LLC, 898 N. Broadway, Suite 2, Massapequa, New York 11758, serves as investment adviser to the Fund and has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Fund. The Adviser also arranges for sub-advisory, transfer agency, custody, fund administration, and all other related services necessary for the Fund to operate. For the services it provides to the Fund, the Fund pays the Adviser a unified management fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of 0.23% of the Fund’s average daily net assets.
Under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Adviser has agreed to pay all expenses incurred by the Fund except for interest charges on any borrowings, dividends and other expenses on securities sold short, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses incurred in placing orders for the purchase and sale of securities and other investment instruments, acquired fund fees and expenses, accrued deferred tax liability, extraordinary expenses, distribution fees and expenses paid by the Fund under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act, and the unified management fee payable to the Adviser (collectively, “Excluded Expenses”).
Investment Sub-Adviser
Aware Asset Management, Inc., 3535 Blue Cross Road, Eagan, Minnesota 55122, serves as investment sub-adviser to the Fund and is responsible for trading portfolio securities for the Fund, including selecting broker-dealers to execute purchase and sale transactions, subject to the supervision of the Adviser and the Board. For its advisory services, the Sub-Adviser is paid a fee by the Adviser, which fee is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate based on the average daily net assets of the Fund of 0.21%. Aware is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aware Integrated, Inc., a nonprofit corporation. Aware provides investment advice to insurance companies and other corporations. As of September 30, 2018, Aware had approximately $1.7 billion in assets under management.
 

Under the Sub-Advisory Agreement, the Sub-Adviser has agreed to assume the Adviser’s obligation to pay all expenses incurred by the Fund except for the sub-advisory fee payable to the Sub-Adviser and Excluded Expenses. Such expenses incurred by the Fund and paid by the Sub-Adviser include fees charged by Tidal ETF Services LLC, the Fund’s administrator and an affiliate of the Adviser. See the section of the SAI entitled “Administrator” for additional information about the Fund’s administrator.
The basis for the Board’s approval of the Fund’s Investment Advisory and Sub-Advisory Agreements will be available in the Fund’s first Semi-Annual or Annual Report to Shareholders.
Portfolio Managers
John E. Kaprich, CFA
Aware – Investment Director
As investment director, Mr. Kaprich is responsible for overseeing market strategy, portfolio construction, and risk management for Aware. He currently oversees Aware’s Core Bond strategy. With over 20 years of investment experience, he has held multiple portfolio management positions, including Chief Investment Officer, prior to joining the Aware organization in 2011. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance and his Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Iowa. He is a CFA®  charterholder.
Andrea M. Roemhildt, CPA
Aware – Investment Manager
Ms. Roemhildt is an investment manager for Aware, where she oversees the credit strategy including portfolio construction and trading. She joined an affiliate of Aware in 2011 as a Senior Internal Auditor, and transitioned to her current role in 2012. She received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Ms. Roemhildt received her CPA license in 2008.
Stephen J. Smitley
Aware – Head of Structured Products
Mr. Smitley is responsible for evaluating opportunities, assessing risk and the overall portfolio management of Structured Credit investments for Aware. Prior to joining the Aware organization in 2017, Mr. Smitley was with Carval Investors as a member of the Structured Products Investment team from 2009 to 2017. Earlier in his career, Mr. Smitley held roles in structured finance and loan servicing at Black River Asset Management, GMAC-RFC and IndyMac.  Mr. Smitley earned a bachelor’s degree from the California State University-Northridge.
Ian C. Carroll, CFA
Aware – Head of Corporate Credit Research
As head of corporate credit research for Aware, Mr. Carroll brings a broad perspective from 20 years of experience. He joined the Aware organization in 2017 from CalPERS Global Fixed Income, where he was a senior analyst on the corporate credit research team from June 2013 to May 2017, and has held senior credit positions at Rabobank, N.A. and Standard & Poor’s. Mr. Carroll has a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and a certificate in finance from UC Berkeley. He is a CFA® charterholder.
 
The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers’ compensation structure, other accounts that the Portfolio Managers manage, and the Portfolio Managers’ ownership of Shares.
CFA® is a registered trademark owned by the CFA Institute.
How to Buy and Sell Shares
The Fund issues and redeems Shares only in Creation Units at the NAV per share next determined after receipt of an order from an AP. Only APs may acquire Shares directly from the Fund, and only APs may tender their Shares for redemption directly to the Fund, at NAV. APs must be: (i) a broker-dealer or other participant in the clearing process through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC, a clearing agency that is registered with the SEC; or (ii) a Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) participant (as discussed below). In addition, each AP must execute a Participant Agreement that has been agreed to by the Distributor (defined below), and that has been accepted by the transfer agent, with respect to purchases and redemptions of Creation Units. Once created, Shares trade in the secondary market in quantities less than a Creation Unit.
Most investors buy and sell Shares in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares are listed for trading on the secondary market on the Exchange and can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded securities.
When buying or selling Shares through a broker, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges, and you may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offer price in the secondary market on each leg of a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction. In addition, because secondary market transactions occur at market prices, you may pay more than NAV when you buy Shares, and receive less than NAV when you sell those Shares.
Book-Entry
Shares are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. DTC or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding Shares.
Investors owning Shares are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for all Shares. DTC’s 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” through your brokerage account.
Share Trading Prices on the Exchange
Trading prices of Shares on the Exchange may differ from the Fund’s daily NAV. Market forces of supply and demand, economic conditions, and other factors may affect the trading prices of Shares. To provide additional information regarding the indicative value of Shares, the Exchange or a market data vendor disseminates information every 15 seconds through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association or other widely disseminated means an updated “intraday indicative value” (“IIV”) for Shares as calculated by an information provider or market data vendor. The Fund is not involved in or responsible for any aspect of the calculation or dissemination of the IIVs and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IIVs. If the calculation of the IIV is based on the basket of Deposit Securities and/or a designated amount of U.S. cash, such IIV may not represent the best possible valuation of the Fund’s portfolio because the basket of Deposit Securities does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current Fund portfolio at a particular point in time and does not include a reduction for the fees, operating expenses, or transaction costs incurred by the Fund. The IIV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the Fund’s NAV because the IIV may not be calculated in the same manner as the NAV, which is computed only once a day, typically at the end of the business day. The IIV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the Deposit Securities.
Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Shares
The Fund imposes no restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions of Shares. In determining not to approve a written, established policy, the Board evaluated the risks of market timing activities by Fund shareholders. Purchases and redemptions by APs, who are the only parties that may purchase or redeem Shares directly with the Fund, are an essential part of the ETF process and help keep Share trading prices in line with NAV. As such, the Fund accommodates frequent purchases and redemptions by APs. However, the Board has also determined that frequent purchases and redemptions for cash may increase tracking error and portfolio transaction costs and may lead to the realization of capital gains. To minimize these potential consequences of frequent purchases and redemptions, the Fund employs fair value pricing and may impose transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Creation Units to cover the custodial and other costs incurred by the Fund in effecting trades. In addition, the Fund and the Adviser reserve the right to reject any purchase order at any time.
Determination of NAV
The Fund’s NAV is calculated as of the scheduled close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange, generally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, each day the New York Stock Exchange is open for business. The NAV is calculated by dividing the Fund’s net assets by its Shares outstanding.
In calculating its NAV, the Fund generally values its assets on the basis of market quotations, last sale prices, or estimates of value furnished by a pricing service or brokers who make markets in such instruments. If such information is not available for a security held by the Fund or is determined to be unreliable, the security will be valued at fair value estimates under guidelines established by the Board (as described below).
Fair Value Pricing
The Board has adopted procedures and methodologies to fair value Fund securities whose market prices are not “readily available” or are deemed to be unreliable. For example, such circumstances may arise when: (i) a security has been de-listed or has had its trading halted or suspended; (ii) a security’s primary pricing source is unable or unwilling to provide a price; (iii) a security’s primary trading market is closed during regular market hours; or (iv) a security’s value is materially affected by events occurring after the close of the security’s primary trading market. Generally, when fair valuing a security, the Fund will take into account all reasonably available information that may be relevant to a particular valuation including, but not limited to, fundamental analytical data regarding the issuer, information relating to the issuer’s business, recent trades or offers of the security, general and/or specific market conditions and the specific facts giving rise to the need to fair value the security. Fair value determinations are made in good faith and in accordance with the fair value methodologies included in the Board-adopted valuation procedures. Due to the subjective and variable nature of fair value pricing, there can be no assurance that the Sub-Adviser will be able to obtain the fair value assigned to the security upon the sale of such security.
Investments by Registered Investment Companies
Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by registered investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including Shares. The SEC has granted an exemptive order to the Trust permitting registered investment companies that enter into an agreement with the Trust (“Investing Funds”) to invest in the Fund beyond the limits of Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions. However, to the extent the Fund invests in securities of another investment company in excess of the limits contained in section 12(d)(1)(A), such exemptive relief will not be applicable to the Fund and, accordingly, Investing Funds would have to adhere to the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) when investing in the Fund.
Delivery of Shareholder Documents – Householding
Householding is an option available to certain investors of the Fund. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Householding for the Fund is available through certain broker-dealers. If you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder documents, please contact your broker-dealer. If you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status, please contact your broker-dealer.
Dividends, Distributions, and Taxes
Dividends and Distributions
The Fund intends to pay out dividends and interest income, if any, monthly, and distribute any net realized capital gains to its shareholders at least annually. The Fund will declare and pay capital gain distributions, if any, in cash. Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole Shares only if the broker through whom you purchased Shares makes such option available. Your broker is responsible for distributing the income and capital gain distributions to you.
Taxes
The following discussion is a summary of some important U.S. federal income tax considerations generally applicable to investments in the Fund. Your investment in the Fund may have other tax implications. Please consult your tax advisor about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares, including the possible application of foreign, state, and local tax laws.
The Fund intends to qualify each year for treatment as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. If it meets certain minimum distribution requirements, a RIC is not subject to tax at the fund level on income and gains from investments that are timely distributed to shareholders. However, the Fund’s failure to qualify as a RIC or to meet minimum distribution requirements would result (if certain relief provisions were not available) in fund-level taxation and, consequently, a reduction in income available for distribution to shareholders.
Unless your investment in Shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-advantaged account, such as an IRA plan, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions, when you sell your Shares listed on the Exchange; and when you purchase or redeem Creation Units (institutional investors only).
The recently enacted tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) made significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax rules for taxation of individuals and corporations, generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Many of the changes applicable to individuals are temporary and would apply only to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026. There are only minor changes with respect to the specific rules only applicable to a RIC, such as the Fund. The Tax Act, however, made numerous other changes to the tax rules that may affect shareholders and the Fund.  You are urged to consult with your own tax advisor regarding how the Tax Act affects your investment in the Fund.
Taxes on Distributions
The Fund generally declares and distributes net investment income, if any, at least monthly. The Fund will distribute net realized capital gain, if any, at least annually. For each taxable year, the Fund will distribute substantially all of its net investment income and net realized capital gain. For federal income tax purposes, distributions of investment company taxable income are generally taxable as ordinary income or qualified dividend income. Taxes on distributions of capital gains (if any) are determined by how long the Fund owned the investments that generated them, rather than how long a shareholder has owned his or her Shares. Sales of assets held by the Fund for more than one year generally result in long-term capital gains and losses, and sales of assets held by the Fund for one year or less generally result in short-term capital gains and losses. Distributions of the Fund’s net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses) that are reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends (“Capital Gain Dividends”) will be taxable as long-term capital gains, which for non-corporate shareholders are subject to tax at reduced rates of up to 20% (lower rates apply to individuals in lower tax brackets). Distributions of short-term capital gain will generally be taxable as ordinary income. Dividends and distributions are generally taxable to you whether you receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares.
Distributions reported by the Fund as “qualified dividend income” are generally taxed to non-corporate shareholders at rates applicable to long-term capital gains, provided certain holding period and other requirements are met. “Qualified dividend income” generally is income derived from dividends paid by U.S. corporations or certain foreign corporations that are either incorporated in a U.S. possession or eligible for tax benefits under certain U.S. income tax treaties. In addition, dividends that the Fund receives in respect of stock of certain foreign corporations may be qualified dividend income if that stock is readily tradable on an established U.S. securities market.
Shortly after the close of each calendar year, you will be informed of the character of any distributions received from the Fund.
In addition to the federal income tax, certain individuals, trusts, and estates may be subject to a net investment income (“NII”) tax of 3.8%.  The NII tax is imposed on the lesser of: (i) a taxpayer’s investment income, net of deductions properly allocable to such income; or (ii) the amount by which such taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income exceeds certain thresholds ($250,000 for married individuals filing jointly, $200,000 for unmarried individuals and $125,000 for married individuals filing separately).  The Fund’s distributions are includable in a shareholder’s investment income for purposes of this NII tax.  In addition, any capital gain realized by a shareholder upon a sale or redemption of Fund shares is includable in such shareholder’s investment income for purposes of this NII tax.
In general, your distributions are subject to federal income tax for the year in which they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year. Distributions are generally taxable even if they are paid from income or gains earned by the Fund before your investment (and thus were included in the Shares’ NAV when you purchased your Shares).
You may wish to avoid investing in the Fund shortly before a dividend or other distribution, because such a distribution will generally be taxable even though it may economically represent a return of a portion of your investment.
If you are neither a resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a foreign entity, distributions (other than Capital Gain Dividends) paid to you by the Fund will generally be subject to a U.S. withholding tax at the rate of 30%, unless a lower treaty rate applies. The Fund may, under certain circumstances, report all or a portion of a dividend as an “interest-related dividend” or a “short-term capital gain dividend,” which would generally be exempt from this 30% U.S. withholding tax, provided certain other requirements are met.
The Fund (or a financial intermediary, such as a broker, through which a shareholder owns Shares) generally is required to withhold and remit to the U.S. Treasury a percentage of the taxable distributions and sale or redemption proceeds paid to any shareholder who fails to properly furnish a correct taxpayer identification number, who has underreported dividend or interest income, or who fails to certify that he, she or it is not subject to such withholding.
Taxes When Shares are Sold on the Exchange
Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Shares generally is treated as a long-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for one year or less. However, any capital loss on a sale of Shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of Capital Gain Dividends paid with respect to such Shares. The ability to deduct capital losses may be limited.
Taxes on Purchases and Redemptions of Creation Units
An AP having the U.S. dollar as its functional currency for U.S. federal income tax purposes who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally recognizes a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the value of the Creation Units at the time of the exchange and the exchanging AP’s aggregate basis in the securities delivered, plus the amount of any cash paid for the Creation Units. An AP who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanging AP’s basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate U.S. dollar market value of the securities received, plus any cash received for such Creation Units. The Internal Revenue Service may assert, however, that a loss that is realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units may not be currently deducted under the rules governing “wash sales” (for an AP who does not mark-to-market their holdings), or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities should consult their own tax advisor with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.
Any capital gain or loss realized upon redemption of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for one year or less.
The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the possible consequences under current federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You also may be subject to foreign, state, and local tax on Fund distributions and sales of Shares. Consult your personal tax advisor about the potential tax consequences of an investment in Shares under all applicable tax laws. For more information, please see the section entitled “Federal Income Taxes” in the SAI.
Distribution
The Distributor, Foreside Fund Services, LLC, is a broker-dealer registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Distributor distributes Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis and does not maintain a secondary market in Shares. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the Fund or the securities that are purchased or sold by the Fund. The Distributor’s principal address is Three Canal Plaza, Suite 100, Portland, Maine 04101.
The Board has adopted a Distribution (Rule 12b-1) Plan (the “Plan”) pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. In accordance with the Plan, the Fund is authorized to pay an amount up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year for certain distribution-related activities and shareholder services.
No Rule 12b-1 fees are currently paid by the Fund, and there are no plans to impose these fees. However, in the event Rule 12b-1 fees are charged in the future, because the fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than certain other types of sales charges.
Premium/Discount Information
The Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus, and, therefore, does not have information about the differences between the Fund’s daily market price on the Exchange and its NAV. When available, information regarding how often the Shares of the Fund traded on the Exchange at a price above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount) the NAV of the Fund can be found at www.awareetf.com.
Additional Notices
Shares are not sponsored, endorsed, or promoted by the Exchange. The Exchange is not responsible for, nor has it participated in the determination of, the timing, prices, or quantities of Shares to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which Shares are redeemable. The Exchange has no obligation or liability to owners of Shares in connection with the administration, marketing, or trading of Shares.
Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall the Exchange have any liability for any lost profits or indirect, punitive, special, or consequential damages even if notified of the possibility thereof.
The Adviser, the Sub-Adviser, and the Fund make no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of Shares or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly.
Financial Highlights
This section would ordinarily include Financial Highlights. The Financial Highlights table is intended to help you understand the Fund’s performance for the Fund’s periods of operations. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus, no Financial Highlights are shown.


AWARE ULTRA-SHORT DURATION ENHANCED INCOME ETF

Adviser 
 Toroso Investments, LLC
 898 N. Broadway, Suite 2
 Massapequa, New York 11758
Sub-Adviser 
 Aware Asset Management, Inc.
 3535 Blue Cross Road
 Eagan, Minnesota 55122
Custodian 
 U.S. Bank National Association
 1555 N. Rivercenter Dr. 
 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212
 
Administrator 
 Tidal ETF Services LLC 
 898 N. Broadway, Suite 2
 Massapequa, New York 11758
Sub-Administrator, 
Fund Accountant, 
and Transfer Agent 
 U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC 
 615 East Michigan Street 
 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
 
Distributor 
 Foreside Fund Services, LLC
 Three Canal Plaza, Suite 100
 Portland, Maine 04101
 
Legal Counsel 
 Godfrey & Kahn S.C.
 833 East Michigan Street, Suite 1800
 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Independent 
Registered Public 
Accounting Firm 
 Tait, Weller & Baker LLP
 Two Liberty Place
 50 S 16th Street
 Philadelphia, PA 19102

Investors may find more information about the Fund in the following documents:
Statement of Additional Information: The Fund’s SAI provides additional details about the investments and techniques of the Fund and certain other additional information. A current SAI dated January 9, 2019, as supplemented from time to time, is on file with the SEC and is herein incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. It is legally considered a part of this Prospectus.
Annual/Semi-Annual Reports: Additional information about the Fund’s investments will be available in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the annual report you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance after the first fiscal year the Fund is in operation.
You can obtain free copies of these documents, when available, request other information or make general inquiries about the Fund by contacting the Fund at Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF, c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, P.O. Box 701, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-0701 or calling (866) 539-9530.
Shareholder reports and other information about the Fund are also available:
·
Free of charge from the SEC’s EDGAR database on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov; or
·
Free of charge from the Fund’s Internet website at www.awareetf.com; or
·
For a fee, by e-mail request to publicinfo@sec.gov.

(SEC Investment Company Act File No. 811-23377
 

 
Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF
(AWTM)
a series of Tidal ETF Trust
Listed on NYSE Arca, Inc.
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
January 9, 2019
 
This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus for the Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF (the “Fund”), a series of Tidal ETF Trust (the “Trust”), dated January 9, 2019, as may be supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectus”). Capitalized terms used in this SAI that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted. A copy of the Prospectus may be obtained without charge, by calling the Fund at (866) 539‑9530, visiting www.awareetf.com, or writing to the Fund, c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, P.O. Box 701, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-0701.
The Fund’s audited financial statements for the most recent fiscal year (when available) will be incorporated into this SAI by reference to the Fund’s most recent Annual Report to Shareholders (File No. 811-23377). When available, you may obtain a copy of the Fund’s Annual Report at no charge by contacting the Fund at the address or phone number noted above.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

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Custodian  41
Compliance Service Administrator  41
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1


General Information about the Trust
The Trust is an open-end management investment company consisting of a single series, the Fund. This SAI relates to the Fund. The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on June 4, 2018. The Trust is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (together with the rules and regulations adopted thereunder, as amended, the “1940 Act”), as an open-end management investment company and the offering of the Fund’s shares (“Shares”) is registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The Trust is governed by its Board of Trustees (the “Board”). Toroso Investments, LLC (the “Adviser”) serves as investment adviser to the Fund, and Aware Asset Management, Inc. (the “Sub-Adviser”) serves as investment sub-adviser to the Fund. The investment objective of the Fund is as stated in the Fund’s Prospectus under “Investment Objective”.
The Fund offers and issues Shares at their net asset value (“NAV”) only in aggregations of a specified number of Shares (each, a “Creation Unit”). The Fund generally offers and issues Shares in exchange for a basket of securities included in its portfolio (“Deposit Securities”) together with the deposit of a specified cash payment (“Cash Component”). The Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of a “cash in lieu” amount (“Deposit Cash”) to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security. Shares are or will be listed on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”) and trade on the Exchange at market prices that may differ from the Shares’ NAV. Shares are also redeemable only in Creation Unit aggregations, primarily for a basket of Deposit Securities together with a Cash Component. A Creation Unit of the Fund generally consists of 25,000 Shares, though this may change from time to time. Creation Units are not expected to consist of fewer than 25,000 Shares. As a practical matter, only institutions or large investors, known as “Authorized Participants” or “APs,” purchase or redeem Creation Units. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable securities.
Shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions, including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Trust cash at least equal to a specified percentage of the value of the missing Deposit Securities, as set forth in the Participant Agreement (as defined below). The Trust may impose a transaction fee for each creation or redemption. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. As in the case of other publicly traded securities, brokers’ commissions on transactions in the secondary market will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels.
Additional Information about Investment Objectives, Policies, and Related Risks
The Fund’s investment objective and principal investment strategies are described in the Prospectus. The following information supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Prospectus. For a description of certain permitted investments, see “Description of Permitted Investments” in this SAI.
With respect to the Fund’s investments, unless otherwise noted, if a percentage limitation on investment is adhered to at the time of investment or contract, a subsequent increase or decrease as a result of market movement or redemption will not result in a violation of such investment limitation.
Diversification
The Fund is “diversified” within the meaning of the 1940 Act. Under applicable federal laws, to qualify as a diversified fund, the Fund, with respect to 75% of its total assets, may not invest greater than 5% of its total assets in any one issuer and may not hold greater than 10% of the securities of one issuer, other than investments in cash and cash items (including receivables), U.S. government securities, and securities of other investment companies. The remaining 25% of the Fund’s total assets does not need to be “diversified” and may be invested in securities of a single issuer, subject to other applicable laws. The diversification of the Fund’s holdings is measured at the time the Fund purchases a security. However, if the Fund purchases a security and holds it for a period of time, the security may become a larger percentage of the Fund’s total assets due to movements in the financial markets. If the market affects several securities held by the Fund, the Fund may have a greater percentage of its assets invested in securities of fewer issuers.
General Risks
The value of the Fund’s portfolio securities may fluctuate with changes in the financial condition of an issuer or counterparty, changes in specific economic or political conditions that affect a particular security or issuer and changes in general economic or political conditions. An investor in the Fund could lose money over short or long periods of time.
There can be no guarantee that a liquid market for the securities held by the Fund will be maintained. The existence of a liquid trading market for certain securities may depend on whether dealers will make a market in such securities. There can be no assurance that a market will be made or maintained or that any such market will be or remain liquid. The price at which securities may be sold and the value of Shares will be adversely affected if trading markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities are limited or absent, or if bid/ask spreads are wide.
Financial markets, both domestic and foreign, have experienced an unusually high degree of volatility as recently as the beginning of 2018. Continuing events and possible continuing market turbulence may have an adverse effect on Fund performance.
Cyber Security Risk. Investment companies, such as the Fund, and their service providers may be subject to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber attacks. Cyber attacks include, among other behaviors, stealing or corrupting data maintained online or digitally, denial of service attacks on websites, the unauthorized release of confidential information or various other forms of cyber security breaches. Cyber attacks affecting the Fund or the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, Custodian (defined below), Transfer Agent (defined below), intermediaries and other third-party service providers may adversely impact the Fund. For instance, cyber attacks may interfere with the processing of shareholder transactions, impact the Fund’s ability to calculate its NAV, cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential company information, impede trading, subject the Fund to regulatory fines or financial losses, and cause reputational damage. The Fund may also incur additional costs for cyber security risk management purposes. Similar types of cyber security risks are also present for issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause the Fund’s investment in such portfolio companies to lose value.
Description of Permitted Investments
The following are descriptions of the permitted investments and investment practices and the associated risk factors. The Fund will only invest in any of the following instruments or engage in any of the following investment practices if such investment or activity is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and permitted by the Fund’s stated investment policies.
Borrowing
Although the Fund does not intend to borrow money, the Fund may do so to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may borrow up to one-third (1/3) of its total assets. The Fund will borrow money only for short-term or emergency purposes. Such borrowing is not for investment purposes and will be repaid by the Fund promptly. Borrowing will tend to exaggerate the effect on NAV of any increase or decrease in the market value of the Fund’s portfolio. Money borrowed will be subject to interest costs that may or may not be recovered by earnings on the securities purchased. The Fund also may be required to maintain minimum average balances in connection with a borrowing or to pay a commitment or other fee to maintain a line of credit; either of these requirements would increase the cost of borrowing over the stated interest rate.
Collateralized Debt Obligations (“CDOs”)
The Fund may invest in CDOs. A CDO is a security backed by a pool of bonds, loans and other debt obligations. CDOs are not limited to investing in one type of debt and accordingly, a CDO may own corporate bonds, commercial loans, asset-backed securities, residential mortgage-backed securities, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and emerging market debt. The CDO’s securities are typically divided into several classes, or bond tranches, that have differing levels of investment grade or credit tolerances. Most CDO issues are structured in a way that enables the senior bond classes and mezzanine classes to receive investment-grade credit ratings. Credit risk is shifted to the most junior class of securities. If any defaults occur in the assets backing a CDO, the senior bond classes are first in line to receive principal and interest payments, followed by the mezzanine classes and finally by the lowest rated (or non-rated) class, which is known as the equity tranche. Similar in structure to a collateralized mortgage obligation (described above) CDOs are unique in that they represent different types of debt and credit risk.
Collateralized Loan Obligations (“CLOs”)
The Fund may invest in CLOs, which are debt instruments typically backed by a pool of loans. The risks of an investment in a CLO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CLO in which the Fund invests. Some CLOs have credit ratings, but are typically issued in various classes with various priorities. Normally, CLOs are privately offered and sold (that is, they are not registered under the securities laws) and may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities; however, an active dealer market may exist for CLOs that qualify for Rule 144A transactions. In addition to the normal interest rate, default and other risks of debt securities, CLOs carry additional risks, including the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments, the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default, the Fund may invest in CLOs that are subordinate to other classes, values may be volatile, and disputes with the issuer may produce unexpected investment results.
Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”)
The Fund may invest in CMOs. A CMO is a hybrid between a mortgage-backed bond and a mortgage pass-through security. A CMO is a type of mortgage-backed security that creates separate classes with varying maturities and interest rates, called tranches. Similar to a bond, interest and prepaid principal is paid, in most cases, semiannually. CMOs may be collateralized by whole mortgage loans, but are more typically collateralized by portfolios of mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”) and government-related organizations such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”), and their income streams.
CMOs are structured into multiple classes, each bearing a different fixed or floating interest rate and stated maturity. Actual maturity and average life will depend upon the prepayment experience of the collateral. CMOs provide for a modified form of call protection through a de facto breakdown of the underlying pool of mortgages according to how quickly the loans are repaid. Monthly payment of principal received from the pool of underlying mortgages, including prepayments, is first returned to investors holding the shortest maturity class. Investors holding the longer maturity classes receive principal only after the first class has been retired. An investor is partially guarded against a sooner than desired return of principal because of the sequential payments.
In a typical CMO transaction, a corporation (issuer) issues multiple series (e.g., Series A, B, C and Z) of CMO bonds (Bonds). Proceeds of the Bond offering are used to purchase mortgages or mortgage pass-through certificates (Collateral). The Collateral is pledged to a third party trustee as security for the Bonds. Principal and interest payments from the Collateral are used to pay principal on the Bonds in the following order: Series A, B, C and Z. The Series A, B, and C Bonds all bear current interest. Interest on a Series Z Bond is accrued and added to principal and a like amount is paid as principal on the Series A, B, or C Bond currently being paid off. Only after the Series A, B, and C Bonds are paid in full does the Series Z Bond begin to receive payment. With some CMOs, the issuer serves as a conduit to allow loan originators (primarily builders or savings and loan associations) to borrow against their loan portfolios.
CMOs that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or by any of its agencies or instrumentalities will be considered U.S. government securities by the Fund, while other CMOs, even if collateralized by U.S. government securities, will have the same status as other privately issued securities for purposes of applying the Fund’s diversification tests.
FHLMC CMOs are debt obligations of FHLMC issued in multiple classes having different maturity dates which are secured by the pledge of a pool of conventional mortgage loans purchased by FHLMC. Payments of principal and interest on the FHLMC CMOs are made semiannually. The amount of principal payable on each semiannual payment date is determined in accordance with FHLMC’s mandatory sinking fund schedule, which, in turn, is equal to approximately 100% of FHA prepayment experience applied to the mortgage collateral pool. All sinking fund payments in the FHLMC CMOs are allocated to the retirement of the individual classes of bonds in the order of their stated maturities. Payment of principal on the mortgage loans in the collateral pool in excess of the amount of FHLMC’s minimum sinking fund obligation for any payment date are paid to the holders of the FHLMC CMOs as additional sinking fund payments. Because of the “pass-through” nature of all principal payments received on the collateral pool in excess of FHLMC’s minimum sinking fund requirement, the rate at which principal of the FHLMC CMOs is actually repaid is likely to be such that each class of bonds will be retired in advance of its scheduled maturity date. If collection of principal (including prepayments) on the mortgage loans during any semiannual payment period is not sufficient to meet FHLMC CMO’s minimum sinking fund obligation on the next sinking fund payment date, FHLMC agrees to make up the deficiency from its general funds.
Classes of CMOs may also include interest only (“IOs”) and principal only (“POs”). IOs and POs are stripped mortgage-backed securities representing interests in a pool of mortgages the cash flow from which has been separated into interest and principal components. IOs (interest only securities) receive the interest portion of the cash flow while POs (principal only securities) receive the principal portion. IOs and POs can be extremely volatile in response to changes in interest rates. As interest rates rise and fall, the value of IOs tends to move in the same direction as interest rates. POs perform best when prepayments on the underlying mortgages rise since this increases the rate at which the investment is returned and the yield to maturity on the PO. When payments on mortgages underlying a PO are slow, the life of the PO is lengthened and the yield to maturity is reduced.
CMOs are generally subject to the same risks as mortgage-backed securities. In addition, CMOs may be subject to credit risk because the issuer or credit enhancer has defaulted on its obligations and the Fund may not receive all or part of its principal. Obligations issued by U.S. government-related entities are guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest, but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The performance of private label mortgage-backed securities, issued by private institutions, is based on the financial health of those institutions. Although GNMA guarantees timely payment of GNMA certificates even if homeowners delay or default, tracking the “pass-through” payments may, at times, be difficult.
Commercial Paper
The Fund may invest in commercial paper. The Fund may invest in fixed rate or variable rate commercial paper, issued by U.S. or foreign entities. Commercial paper consists of short-term (usually from one to 270 days), unsecured promissory notes issued by U.S. or foreign corporations to finance their current operations. Any commercial paper issued by a foreign entity corporation and purchased by the Fund must be U.S. dollar-denominated and must not be subject to foreign withholding tax at the time of purchase. Investing in foreign commercial paper generally involves risks relating to obligations of foreign banks or foreign branches and subsidiaries of U.S. and foreign banks. The Fund may invest in commercial paper collateralized by other financial assets, such as asset-backed commercial paper. These securities are exposed not only to the risks relating to commercial paper, but also the risks relating to the collateral.
The Fund may also invest in variable rate master demand notes. A variable rate master demand note (a type of commercial paper) represents a direct borrowing arrangement involving periodically fluctuating rates of interest under a letter agreement between a commercial paper issuer and an institutional lender pursuant to which the lender may determine to invest varying amounts.
Convertible Securities
The Fund may invest in convertible securities which are preferred stocks or bonds that pay a fixed dividend or interest payment and are convertible into common stock or other equity interests at a specified price or conversion ratio during a specified period. Although convertible bonds, convertible preferred stocks, and other securities convertible into equity securities may have some attributes of income securities or debt securities, the Fund generally treats such securities as equity securities. By investing in convertible securities, the Fund may seek income, and may also seek the opportunity, through the conversion feature, to participate in the capital appreciation of the common stock or other interests into which the securities are convertible, while potentially earning a higher fixed rate of return than is ordinarily available in common stocks. While the value of convertible securities depends in part on interest rate changes and the credit quality of the issuers, the value of these securities will also change based on changes in the value of the underlying stock. Income paid by a convertible security may provide a limited cushion against a decline in the price of the security; however, convertible securities generally have less potential for gain than common stocks. Also, convertible bonds generally pay less income than non-convertible bonds.
The Fund may invest in contingent securities structured as contingent convertible securities, also known as “CoCos.” Contingent convertible securities are a hybrid debt securities typically issued by non-U.S. banks and are designed to behave like bonds in times of economic health and either convert into equity at a predetermined share price or are written down in value based on the specific terms of the individual security if a pre-specified trigger event occurs. Unlike traditional convertible securities, the conversion of a contingent convertible security from debt to equity is “contingent” and will occur only in the case of a trigger event. Trigger events vary by instrument and are defined by the documents governing the contingent convertible security. Trigger events may include a decline in the issuer’s capital below a specified threshold level, increase in the issuer’s risk weighted assets, the share price of the issuer falling to a particular level for a certain period of time and certain regulatory events.
Contingent convertible securities are subject to the credit, interest rate, high yield security, foreign security and markets risks associated with bonds and equities, and to the risks specific to convertible securities in general. Contingent convertible securities are also subject to additional risks specific to their structure including conversion risk. Because trigger events are not consistently defined among contingent convertible securities, this risk is greater for contingent convertible securities that are issued by banks with capital ratios close to the level specified in the trigger event.
In addition, coupon payments on contingent convertible securities are discretionary and may be cancelled by the issuer at any point, for any reason, and for any length of time. Due to the uncertainty surrounding coupon payments, contingent convertible securities may be volatile and their price may decline rapidly in the event that coupon payments are suspended.
Convertible contingent securities are a newer form of instrument and the regulatory environment for these instruments continues to evolve. Because the market for contingent convertible securities is evolving, it is uncertain how the larger market for contingent convertible securities would react to a trigger event or coupon suspension applicable to a single issuer.
Corporate Debt Securities
Corporate debt securities are long- and short-term debt obligations issued by companies (such as publicly issued and privately placed bonds, notes and commercial paper). The Sub-Adviser considers corporate debt securities to be of investment grade quality if they are rated BBB or higher by Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), a division of the McGraw Hill Companies, or Baa or higher by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), or if unrated, determined by the Sub-Adviser to be of comparable quality. Investment grade debt securities generally have adequate to strong protection of principal and interest payments. In the lower end of this category, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to pay interest and repay principal than in higher rated categories.
Currency Transactions
The Fund may enter into foreign currency forward and foreign currency futures contracts to facilitate local securities settlements or to protect against currency exposure in connection with distributions to shareholders. The Fund does not expect to engage in currency transactions for the purpose of hedging against declines in the value of the Fund’s total assets that are denominated in one or more foreign currencies.
Forward Foreign Currency Contracts. A forward foreign currency exchange contract (“forward contract”) involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are principally traded in the interbank market conducted directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. Forward contracts are contracts between parties in which one party agrees to make a payment to the other party (the counterparty) based on the market value or level of a specified currency. In return, the counterparty agrees to make payment to the first party based on the return of a different specified currency. A forward contract generally has no margin deposit requirement, and no commissions are charged at any stage for trades. These contracts typically are settled by physical delivery of the underlying currency or currencies in the amount of the full contract value.
A non-deliverable forward contract is a forward contract where there is no physical settlement of two currencies at maturity. Non-deliverable forward contracts will usually be done on a net basis, with the Fund receiving or paying only the net amount of the two payments. The net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each non-deliverable forward contract is accrued on a daily basis and an amount of cash or highly liquid securities having an aggregate value at least equal to the accrued excess is maintained in an account at the Fund’s custodian bank. The risk of loss with respect to non-deliverable forward contracts generally is limited to the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually obligated to make or receive.
Foreign Currency Futures Contracts. A foreign currency futures contract is a contract involving an obligation to deliver or acquire the specified amount of a specific currency, at a specified price and at a specified future time. Futures contracts may be settled on a net cash payment basis rather than by the sale and delivery of the underlying currency.
Currency exchange transactions involve a significant degree of risk and the markets in which currency exchange transactions are effected are highly volatile, highly specialized and highly technical. Significant changes, including changes in liquidity and prices, can occur in such markets within very short periods of time, often within minutes. Currency exchange trading risks include, but are not limited to, exchange rate risk, maturity gap, interest rate risk, and potential interference by foreign governments through regulation of local exchange markets, foreign investment or particular transactions in foreign currency. If the Fund utilizes foreign currency transactions at an inappropriate time, such transactions may lower the Fund’s return. The Fund could experience losses if the value of any currency forwards and futures positions is poorly correlated with its other investments or if it could not close out its positions because of an illiquid market. Such contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty will default on its obligations. In addition, the Fund will incur transaction costs, including trading commissions, in connection with certain foreign currency transactions.
Debt Securities
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.
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 Sub-Adviser 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.
Inflation-Indexed Bonds. Inflation-indexed bonds are debt securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. Two structures are common. The U.S. Treasury and some other issuers use a structure that accrues inflation into the principal value of the bond. Most other issuers pay out the Consumer Price Index accruals as part of a semiannual coupon.
Inflation-indexed securities issued by the U.S. Treasury, commonly known as “TIPS,” have maturities of five, ten or thirty years, although it is possible that securities with other maturities will be issued in the future. TIPS pay interest on a semi-annual basis, equal to a fixed percentage of the inflation-adjusted principal amount. For example, if the Fund purchased an inflation-indexed bond with a par value of $1,000 and a 3% real rate of return coupon (payable 1.5% semi-annually), and inflation over the first six months were 1%, the mid-year par value of the bond would be $1,010 and the first semi-annual interest payment would be $15.15 ($1,010 times 1.5%). If inflation during the second half of the year resulted in the whole years’ inflation equaling 3%, the end-of-year par value of the bond would be $1,030 and the second semiannual interest payment would be $15.45 ($1,030 times 1.5%).
If the periodic adjustment rate measuring inflation falls, the principal value of inflation-indexed bonds will be adjusted downward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities (calculated with respect to a smaller principal amount) will be reduced. Repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity (as adjusted for inflation) is guaranteed in the case of TIPS, even during a period of deflation. However, the current market value of the bonds is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate. The Fund may also invest in other inflation related bonds which may or may not provide a similar guarantee. If a guarantee of principal is not provided, the adjusted principal value of the bond repaid at maturity may be less than the original principal.
The value of inflation-indexed bonds is expected to change in response to changes in real interest rates. Real interest rates in turn are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. Therefore, if inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of inflation-indexed bonds. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increased at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in value of inflation-indexed bonds.
While these securities are expected to be protected from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may lead to a decline in value. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in currency exchange rates), investors in these securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bond’s inflation measure.
The periodic adjustment of U.S. inflation-indexed bonds 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 a measurement of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation and energy. Inflation-indexed bonds issued by a foreign government are generally adjusted to reflect a comparable inflation index, calculated by that government. There can be no assurance that the CPI-U or any foreign inflation index will accurately measure the real 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.
Any increase in the principal amount of an inflation-indexed bond will be considered taxable ordinary income, even though investors do not receive their principal until maturity.
The Fund’s investments in debt securities may subject the Fund to the following risks:
Credit risk. 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.
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 Sub-Adviser 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 Investors Service (“Moody’s”) or Standard & Poor’s Financial Services (“S&P®”), to help describe the creditworthiness of the issuer.
Credit ratings risk.  The Sub-Adviser may perform 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 Sub-Adviser also may consider 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 “Appendix A – Description of Securities 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 risk. The Fund is subject to extension risk, which is the risk that 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. 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 risk. 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.
Inflation risk. 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 risk.  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 risk. 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.
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 Sub-Adviser 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 Sub-Adviser’s ability to gauge relevant market movements.
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, the Adviser, or the Sub-Adviser.
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. See “Borrowing” above for more information on the Funds’ obligation to cover or segregate such assets.
Commodity Pool Operator Regulation. With regard to the Fund, the Adviser will claim relief from the definition of commodity pool operator (“CPO”) under revised U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Rule 4.5. Specifically, pursuant to CFTC Rule 4.5, the Adviser may claim exclusion from the definition of CPO, and thus from having to register as a CPO, with regard to a fund that enters into commodity futures, commodity options, or swaps solely for “bona fide hedging purposes,” or that limits its investment in commodities to a “de minimis” amount, as defined in CFTC rules, so long as the shares of the fund are not marketed as interests in a commodity pool or other vehicle for trading in commodity futures, commodity options, or swaps. It is expected that the Fund will be able to operate pursuant to the limitations under the revised CFTC Rule 4.5 without materially adversely affecting its ability to achieve its investment objective. If, however, these limitations were to make it difficult for the Fund to achieve its investment objective in the future, the Trust may determine to operate the Fund as a regulated commodity pool pursuant to the Adviser’s CPO registration or to reorganize or close the Fund or to materially change the Fund’s investment objective and strategy.
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 Sub-Adviser 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 Sub-Adviser 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.
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. 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.
Risks of currency forward contracts. The successful use of these transactions will usually depend on the Sub-Adviser’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.
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. 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 Sub-Adviser and Custodian (defined below) 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.
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.
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 Sub-Adviser’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 Sub-Adviser 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.
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 (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.
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 Sub-Adviser 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.
Over-the-counter 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 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.
Interest rate caps. An interest rate cap is a type of OTC option. The buyer of an interest rate cap pays a premium to the seller in exchange for payments at set intervals for which a floating interest rate exceeds an agreed upon interest rate. The floating interest rate may be tied to a reference rate (for example, the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”)), a long-term swap rate or other benchmark. The amount of each payment is determined by reference to a specified “notional” amount of money. Interest rate caps do not involve the delivery of securities, other underlying instruments, or principal amounts. Accordingly, barring counterparty risk, the risk of loss to the purchaser of an interest rate cap is limited to the amount of the premium paid.
An interest rate cap can be used to increase or decrease exposure to various interest rates, including to hedge interest rate risk. By purchasing an interest rate cap, the buyer of the cap can benefit from rising interest rates while limiting its downside risk to the amount of the premium paid. If the Fund buys an interest rate cap and the Sub-Adviser is correct at predicting the direction of interest rates, the interest rate cap will increase in value. But if the Sub-Adviser is incorrect at predicting the direction, the interest rate cap will expire worthless.
By writing (selling) an interest rate cap, the seller of the cap can benefit by receiving a premium in exchange for assuming an obligation to make payments at set intervals for which a floating interest rate exceeds an agreed upon interest rate. If interest rates rise above the agreed upon cap, the seller’s obligation to make payments may result in losses in excess of the premium received.
Correctly predicting the value of an interest rate cap requires an understanding of the referenced interest rate, and the Fund bears the risk that the Sub-Adviser will not correctly forecast future market events, such as interest rate movements. Interest rate caps also involve the risks associated with derivative instruments generally, as described herein, including the risks associated with OTC options.

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 Sub-Adviser is not successful in using options in managing the Fund’s investments, the Fund’s performance will be worse than if the Sub-Adviser did not employ such strategies.
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.
Comprehensive swaps regulation. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and related regulatory developments imposed comprehensive 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. The SEC has jurisdiction over a small segment of the market referred to as “security-based swaps,” which includes swaps on single securities or credits, or narrow-based indices of securities or credits.
Uncleared swaps. In an uncleared swap, the swap counterparty is typically a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. 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 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 all outstanding swaps between the parties were terminated on the date in question, including any early termination payments (“variation margin”). Periodically, changes in the amount pledged are made to recognize changes in value of the contract resulting from, among other things, interest on the notional value of the contract, market value changes in the underlying investment, and/or dividends paid by the issuer of the underlying instrument. Likewise, the counterparty will be required to pledge cash or other assets to cover its obligations to 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.
Currently, the Fund does not typically provide initial margin in connection with uncleared swaps. However, rules requiring initial margin for uncleared swaps have been adopted and are being phased in over time. When these rules take effect, if the Fund is deemed to have material swaps exposure under applicable swap regulations, the Fund will be required to post initial margin in addition to 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. 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.
ISDA’s Determinations 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, 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.
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 change 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.
Equity total return swaps. A total return swap (also sometimes referred to as a synthetic equity swap or “contract for difference” when written with respect to an equity security or basket of equity securities) is an agreement between two parties under which the parties agree to make payments to each other so as to replicate the economic consequences that would apply had a purchase or short sale of the underlying reference instrument or index thereof taken place. For example, one party agrees to pay the other party the total return earned or realized on the notional amount of an underlying equity security and any dividends declared with respect to that equity security. In return the other party makes payments, typically at a floating rate, calculated based on the notional amount.
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.
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.
Commodity-linked total return swaps. A commodity-linked total return swap is an agreement between two parties under which the parties agree to exchange a fixed return or interest rate on the notional amount of the swap for the return of a particular commodities index, commodity contract or basket of commodity contracts as if such notional amount had been invested in such index, commodity contract or basket of commodity contracts. For example, one party agrees to pay the other party the return on a particular index multiplied by the notional amount of the swap. In return, the other party makes periodic payments, such as at a floating interest rate, calculated based on such notional amount. If the commodity swap is for one period, the Fund may pay a fixed fee, established at the outset of the swap. However, if the term of the commodity swap is more than one period, with interim swap payments, the Fund may pay an adjustable or floating fee. With a “floating” rate, the fee may be pegged to a base rate, such as the LIBOR, and is adjusted each period. Therefore, if interest rates increase over the term of the swap contract, the Fund may be required to pay a higher fee at each swap reset date.
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 Sub-Adviser correctly to predict which types of investments are likely to produce greater returns. If the Sub-Adviser, in using swap agreements, is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates, inflation, currency exchange rates or other applicable factors, the investment performance of 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 Sub-Adviser, under the supervision of the Board, 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 the funds’ identities as intended.
Certain U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“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 Sub-Adviser will only approve a swap agreement counterparty for the Fund if the Sub-Adviser deems the counterparty to be creditworthy under the Fund’s Counterparty Credit Review Standards, adopted and reviewed annually by the 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.
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 the Sub-Adviser believes 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.
Although Combined Transactions are normally entered into based on the Sub-Adviser’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 Sub-Adviser 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.
Dollar Rolls
A dollar roll transaction involves a sale by the Fund of a security concurrently with an agreement by the Fund to repurchase a similar security at a later date at an agreed-upon price. A dollar roll may be considered a borrowing giving rise to leverage. The securities that are repurchased will bear the same interest rate and a similar maturity as those sold, but the assets collateralizing these securities may have different prepayment histories than those sold. During the period between the sale and repurchase, the Fund will not be entitled to receive interest and principal payments on the securities sold. Proceeds of the sale will be invested in additional investments, and the income from these investments will generate income for the Fund. If such income does not exceed the income, capital appreciation and gain or loss that would have been realized on the securities sold as part of the dollar roll, the use of this technique will diminish the investment performance of the Fund compared with what the performance would have been without the use of dollar rolls. Dollar rolls involve the risk that the market value of the securities subject to the Fund’s forward purchase commitment may decline below, or the market value of the securities subject to the Fund’s forward sale commitment may increase above, the exercise price of the forward commitment. In the event the buyer of the securities files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, the Fund’s use of the proceeds of the current sale portion of the transaction may be restricted.
Equity Securities
Equity securities, such as the common stocks of an issuer, are subject to stock market fluctuations and therefore may experience volatile changes in value as market conditions, consumer sentiment or the financial condition of the issuers change. A decrease in value of the equity securities in the Fund’s portfolio may also cause the value of the Fund’s Shares to decline.
An investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding of the risks inherent in an investment in equity securities, including the risk that the financial condition of issuers may become impaired or that the general condition of the stock market may deteriorate (either of which may cause a decrease in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities and therefore a decrease in the value of Shares of the Fund). Common stocks are susceptible to general stock market fluctuations and to volatile increases and decreases in value as market confidence and perceptions change. These investor perceptions are based on various and unpredictable factors, including expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies; inflation and interest rates; economic expansion or contraction; and global or regional political, economic or banking crises.
Holders of common stocks incur more risk than holders of preferred stocks and debt obligations because common stockholders, as owners of the issuer, generally have inferior rights to receive payments from the issuer in comparison with the rights of creditors or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks. Further, unlike debt securities, which typically have a stated principal amount payable at maturity (whose value, however, is subject to market fluctuations prior thereto), or preferred stocks, which typically have a liquidation preference and which may have stated optional or mandatory redemption provisions, common stocks have neither a fixed principal amount nor a maturity. Common stock values are subject to market fluctuations as long as the common stock remains outstanding.
When-Issued Securities – A when-issued security is one whose terms are available and for which a market exists, but which has not been issued. When the Fund engages in when-issued transactions, it relies on the other party to consummate the sale. If the other party fails to complete the sale, the Fund may miss the opportunity to obtain the security at a favorable price or yield.
When purchasing a security on a when-issued basis, the Fund assumes the rights and risks of ownership of the security, including the risk of price and yield changes. At the time of settlement, the value of the security may be more or less than the purchase price. The yield available in the market when the delivery takes place also may be higher than those obtained in the transaction itself. Because the Fund does not pay for the security until the delivery date, these risks are in addition to the risks associated with its other investments.
Decisions to enter into “when-issued” transactions will be considered on a case-by-case basis when necessary to maintain continuity in a company’s index membership. The Fund will segregate cash or liquid securities equal in value to commitments for the when-issued transactions. The Fund will segregate additional liquid assets daily so that the value of such assets is equal to the amount of the commitments.
Types of Equity Securities:
Common Stocks — Common stocks represent units of ownership in a company. Common stocks usually carry voting rights and earn dividends. Unlike preferred stocks, which are described below, dividends on common stocks are not fixed but are declared at the discretion of the company’s board of directors.
Preferred Stocks — Preferred stocks are also units of ownership in a company. Preferred stocks normally have preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of the company. However, in all other respects, preferred stocks are subordinated to the liabilities of the issuer. Unlike common stocks, preferred stocks are generally not entitled to vote on corporate matters. Types of preferred stocks include adjustable-rate preferred stock, fixed dividend preferred stock, perpetual preferred stock, and sinking fund preferred stock.
Generally, the market values of preferred stock with a fixed dividend rate and no conversion element vary inversely with interest rates and perceived credit risk.
Rights and Warrants — A right is a privilege granted to existing shareholders of a corporation to subscribe to shares of a new issue of common stock before it is issued. Rights normally have a short life of usually two to four weeks, are freely transferable and entitle the holder to buy the new common stock at a lower price than the public offering price. Warrants are securities that are usually issued together with a debt security or preferred stock and that give the holder the right to buy proportionate amount of common stock at a specified price. Warrants are freely transferable and are traded on major exchanges. Unlike rights, warrants normally have a life that is measured in years and entitles the holder to buy common stock of a company at a price that is usually higher than the market price at the time the warrant is issued. Corporations often issue warrants to make the accompanying debt security more attractive.
An investment in warrants and rights may entail greater risks than certain other types of investments. Generally, rights and warrants do not carry the right to receive dividends or exercise voting rights with respect to the underlying securities, and they do not represent any rights in the assets of the issuer. In addition, their value does not necessarily change with the value of the underlying securities, and they cease to have value if they are not exercised on or before their expiration date. Investing in rights and warrants increases the potential profit or loss to be realized from the investment as compared with investing the same amount in the underlying securities.
Exchange-Traded Notes
The Fund may invest in exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”). ETNs are a type of senior, unsecured, unsubordinated debt security issued by financial institutions that combines both aspects of bonds and exchange traded funds (“ETFs”). An ETN’s returns are based on the performance of a market index minus fees and expenses. Similar to ETFs, ETNs are listed on an exchange and traded in the secondary market. However, unlike an ETF, an ETN can be held until the ETN’s maturity, at which time the issuer will pay a return linked to the performance of the market index to which the ETN is linked minus certain fees.
Unlike regular bonds, ETNs do not make periodic interest payments and principal is not protected. ETNs are subject to credit risk and the value of an ETN may drop due to a downgrade in the issuer’s credit rating, despite the underlying market benchmark or strategy remaining unchanged. The value of an ETN may also be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand for the ETN, volatility and lack of liquidity in underlying assets, changes in the applicable interest rates, changes in the issuer’s credit rating, and economic, legal, political, or geographic events that affect the referenced underlying asset. When the Fund invests in ETNs it will bear its proportionate share of any fees and expenses borne by the ETN. The Fund’s decision to sell its ETN holdings may be limited by the availability of a secondary market. In addition, although an ETN may be listed on an exchange, the issuer may not be required to maintain the listing and there can be no assurance that a secondary market will exist for an ETN.
ETNs are also subject to tax risk. No assurance can be given that the IRS will accept, or a court will uphold, how the Fund characterizes and treats ETNs for tax purposes. Further, the IRS and Congress have considered proposals that would change the timing and character of income and gains from ETNs.
An ETN that is tied to a specific market benchmark or strategy may not be able to replicate and maintain exactly the composition and relative weighting of securities, commodities or other components in the applicable market benchmark or strategy. Some ETNs that use leverage can, at times, be relatively illiquid and, thus, they may be difficult to purchase or sell at a fair price. Leveraged ETNs are subject to the same risk as other instruments that use leverage in any form.
The market value of ETN shares may differ from their market benchmark or strategy. This difference in price may be due to the fact that the supply and demand in the market for ETN shares at any point in time is not always identical to the supply and demand in the market for the securities, commodities or other components underlying the market benchmark or strategy that the ETN seeks to track. As a result, there may be times when an ETN share trades at a premium or discount to its market benchmark or strategy.
Foreign Securities
The Fund may invest directly in foreign securities. Investing in securities of foreign companies and countries involves certain considerations and risks that are not typically associated with investing in U.S. government securities and securities of domestic companies. There may be less publicly available information about a foreign issuer than a domestic one, and foreign companies are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. There may also be less government supervision and regulation of foreign securities exchanges, brokers and listed companies than exists in the United States. Interest and dividends paid by foreign issuers as well as gains or proceeds realized from the sale or other disposition of foreign securities may be subject to withholding and other foreign taxes, which may decrease the net return on such investments as compared to dividends and interest paid to the Fund by domestic companies or the U.S. government. There may be the possibility of expropriations, seizure or nationalization of foreign deposits, the imposition of economic sanctions, confiscatory taxation, political, economic or social instability or diplomatic developments that could affect assets of the Fund held in foreign countries. The establishment of exchange controls or other foreign governmental laws or restrictions could adversely affect the payment of obligations. In addition, investing in foreign securities will generally result in higher commissions than investing in similar domestic securities.
Decreases in the value of currencies of the foreign countries in which the Fund will invest relative to the U.S. dollar will result in a corresponding decrease in the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s assets denominated in those currencies (and possibly a corresponding increase in the amount of securities required to be liquidated to meet distribution requirements). Conversely, increases in the value of currencies of the foreign countries in which the Fund invests relative to the U.S. dollar will result in a corresponding increase in the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s assets (and possibly a corresponding decrease in the amount of securities to be liquidated).
Investing in emerging markets can have more risk than investing in developed foreign markets. The risks of investing in these markets may be exacerbated relative to investments in foreign markets. Governments of developing and emerging market countries may be more unstable as compared to more developed countries. Developing and emerging market countries may have less developed securities markets or exchanges, and legal and accounting systems. It may be more difficult to sell securities at acceptable prices and security prices may be more volatile than in countries with more mature markets. Currency values may fluctuate more in developing or emerging markets. Developing or emerging market countries may be more likely to impose government restrictions, including confiscatory taxation, expropriation or nationalization of a company’s assets, and restrictions on foreign ownership of local companies. In addition, emerging markets may impose restrictions on the Fund’s ability to repatriate investment income or capital and thus, may adversely affect the operations of the Fund. Certain emerging markets may impose constraints on currency exchange and some currencies in emerging markets may have been devalued significantly against the U.S. Dollar. For these and other reasons, the prices of securities in emerging markets can fluctuate more significantly than the prices of securities of companies in developed countries. The less developed the country, the greater effect these risks may have on the Fund.
High Yield Securities
When investing in debt securities, the Fund may purchase securities regardless of their rating, including debt securities rated below investment grade – securities rated below investment grade are often referred to as high yield securities or “junk bonds”. Investments in securities rated below investment grade that are eligible for purchase by the Fund are described as “speculative” by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. Investments in lower rated corporate debt securities generally provide greater income and increased opportunity for capital appreciation than investments in higher quality securities, but they also typically entail greater price volatility and principal and income risk. These high yield securities are regarded as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s continuing ability to meet principal and interest payments. Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of debt securities that are high yield may be more complex than for issuers of higher quality debt securities.
High yield securities may be more susceptible to real or perceived adverse economic and competitive industry conditions than investment grade securities. The prices of high yield securities have been found to be more sensitive to adverse economic downturns or individual corporate developments. A projection of an economic downturn or of a period of rising interest rates, for example, could cause a decline in high yield security prices because the advent of a recession could lessen the ability of a highly leveraged company to make principal and interest payments on its debt securities. If an issuer of high yield securities defaults, in addition to risking payment of all or a portion of interest and principal, the Fund by investing in such securities may incur additional expenses to obtain recovery. In the case of high yield securities structured as zero-coupon or pay-in-kind securities, their market prices are affected to a greater extent by interest rate changes, and therefore tend to be more volatile than securities that pay interest periodically and in cash.
The secondary market on which high yield securities are traded may be less liquid than the market for higher grade securities. Less liquidity in the secondary trading market could adversely affect the price at which the Fund could sell a high yield security, and could adversely affect the daily NAV of the shares. Adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the values and liquidity of high yield securities, especially in a thinly-traded market. When secondary markets for high yield securities are less liquid than the market for higher grade securities, it may be more difficult to value the securities because such valuation may require more research, and elements of judgment may play a greater role in the valuation because there is less reliable, objective data available.
The use of credit to evaluate high yield securities can involve certain risks. For example, credit ratings evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments, not the market value risk of high yield securities. Also, credit rating agencies may fail to change credit ratings in a timely fashion to reflect events since the security was last rated. The Sub-Adviser does not rely solely on credit ratings when selecting securities for the Fund, and develops its own analysis of issuer credit quality. If a credit rating agency changes the rating of a portfolio security held by the Fund, the Fund may retain the security if the Sub-Adviser deems it in the best interest of shareholders.
Hybrid Securities
Preferred stock, including trust-preferred stocks, has a preference in liquidation (and, generally dividends) over common stock but is subordinated in liquidation to debt. As a general rule the market value of preferred stocks with fixed dividend rates and no conversion rights varies inversely with interest rates and perceived credit risk, with the price determined by the dividend rate. Some preferred stocks are convertible into other securities (for example, common stock) at a fixed price and ratio or upon the occurrence of certain events. The market price of convertible preferred stocks generally reflects an element of conversion value. Because many preferred stocks lack a fixed maturity date, these securities generally fluctuate substantially in value when interest rates change; such fluctuations often exceed those of long-term bonds of the same issuer. Some preferred stocks pay an adjustable dividend that may be based on an index, formula, auction procedure or other dividend rate reset mechanism. In the absence of credit deterioration, adjustable rate preferred stocks tend to have more stable market values than fixed rate preferred stocks. All preferred stocks are also subject to the same types of credit risks of the issuer as corporate bonds. In addition, because preferred stock is junior to debt securities and other obligations of an issuer, deterioration in the credit rating of the issuer will cause greater changes in the value of a preferred stock than in a more senior debt security with similar yield characteristics. Preferred stocks may be rated by S&P and Moody’s although there is no minimum rating which a preferred stock must have (and a preferred stock may not be rated) to be an eligible investment for the Fund. The Sub-Adviser expects, however, that generally the preferred stocks in which the Fund invests will be rated at least CCC by S&P or Caa by Moody’s or, if unrated, of comparable quality in the opinion of the Sub-Adviser. Preferred stocks rated CCC by S&P are regarded as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay preferred stock obligations and represent the highest degree of speculation among securities rated between BB and CCC; preferred stocks rated Caa by Moody’s are likely to be in arrears on dividend payments. Moody’s rating with respect to preferred stocks does not purport to indicate the future status of payments of dividends.
Illiquid Securities
The Fund may invest in illiquid securities (i.e., securities that are not readily marketable). Illiquid securities include, but are not limited to, restricted securities (securities the disposition of which is restricted under the federal securities laws), securities that may only be resold pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), but that are deemed to be illiquid; and repurchase agreements with maturities in excess of seven days. However, the Fund will not acquire illiquid securities if, as a result, such securities would comprise more than 15% of the value of the Fund’s net assets. The Board has the ultimate authority to determine, to the extent permissible under the federal securities laws, which securities are liquid or illiquid for purposes of this 15% limitation and has delegated the function of making determinations of liquidity to the Sub-Adviser. The Sub-Adviser determines and monitors the liquidity of the portfolio securities and reports periodically on its decisions to the Board. In making such determinations it takes into account a number of factors in reaching liquidity decisions, including but not limited to: (1) the frequency of trades and quotations for the security; (2) the number of dealers willing to purchase or sell the security and the number of other potential buyers; (3) the willingness of dealers to undertake to make a market in the security; and (4) the nature of the marketplace trades, including the time needed to dispose of the security, the method of soliciting offers and the mechanics of the transfer. On or about June 1, 2019, in connection with the implementation of the SEC’s new liquidity risk management rule, the term “illiquid security” will be defined as a security that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the security.  
An institutional market has developed for certain restricted securities. Accordingly, contractual or legal restrictions on the resale of a security may not be indicative of the liquidity of the security. If such securities are eligible for purchase by institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A under the Securities Act or other exemptions, the Sub-Adviser may determine that the securities are liquid.
Restricted securities may be sold only in privately negotiated transactions or in a public offering with respect to which a registration statement is in effect under the Securities Act. Where registration is required, the Fund may be obligated to pay all or part of the registration expenses and a considerable period may elapse between the time of the decision to sell and the time the Fund may 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 that which prevailed when it decided to sell.
Illiquid securities will be priced at fair value as determined in good faith under procedures adopted by the Board. If, through the appreciation of illiquid securities or the depreciation of liquid securities, the Fund should be in a position where more than 15% of the value of its net assets are invested in illiquid securities, including restricted securities which are not readily marketable, the Fund will take such steps as are deemed advisable, if any, to protect liquidity.
Investment Company Securities
The Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including money market funds and ETFs, subject to applicable limitations under Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act. Investing in another pooled vehicle exposes the Fund to all the risks of that pooled vehicle. Pursuant to Section 12(d)(1), the Fund may invest in the securities of another investment company (the “acquired company”) provided that the Fund, immediately after such purchase or acquisition, does not own in the aggregate: (i) more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired company; (ii) securities issued by the acquired company having an aggregate value in excess of 5% of the value of the total assets of the Fund; or (iii) securities issued by the acquired company and all other investment companies (other than treasury stock of the Fund) having an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the value of the total assets of the Fund. To the extent allowed by law or regulation, the Fund may invest its assets in securities of investment companies that are money market funds in excess of the limits discussed above.
If the Fund invests in and, thus, is a shareholder of, another investment company, the Fund’s shareholders will indirectly bear the Fund’s proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by such other investment company, including advisory fees, in addition to both the management fees payable directly by the Fund to the Adviser and the other expenses that the Fund bears directly in connection with the Fund’s own operations.
Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by registered investment companies in securities of other registered investment companies, including the Fund. The acquisition of Shares by registered investment companies is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act, except as may be permitted by exemptive rules under the 1940 Act or as may at some future time be permitted by an exemptive order that permits registered investment companies to invest in the Fund beyond the limits of Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions, including that the registered investment company enter into an agreement with the Fund regarding the terms of the investment.
The Fund may rely on Section 12(d)(1)(F) and Rule 12d1-3 of the 1940 Act, which provide an exemption from Section 12(d)(1) that allows the Fund to invest all of its assets in other registered funds, including ETFs, if, among other conditions: (a) the Fund, together with its affiliates, acquires no more than three percent of the outstanding voting stock of any acquired fund, and (b) the sales load charged on Shares is no greater than the limits set forth in Rule 2830 of the Conduct Rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”). Additionally, the Fund may rely on exemptive relief issued by the SEC to other registered funds, including ETFs, to invest in such other funds in excess of the limits of Section 12(d)(1) if the Fund complies with the terms and conditions of such exemptive relief.
Money Market Funds
The Fund may invest in underlying money market funds that either seek to maintain a stable $1 NAV (“stable NAV money market funds”) or that have a share price that fluctuates (“variable NAV market funds”). Although an underlying stable NAV money market fund seeks to maintain a stable $1 NAV, it is possible for the Fund to lose money by investing in such a money market fund. Because the share price of an underlying variable NAV market fund will fluctuate, when the Fund sells the shares it owns they may be worth more or less than what the Fund originally paid for them. In addition, neither type of money market fund is designed to offer capital appreciation. Certain underlying money market funds may impose a fee upon the sale of shares or may temporarily suspend the ability to sell shares if such fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums.
Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities
The Fund may invest in underlying funds that invest in mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities. Mortgage-backed securities are mortgage-related securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities, or issued by nongovernment entities. Mortgage-related securities represent ownership in pools of mortgage loans assembled for sale to investors by various government agencies such as the GNMA and government-related organizations such as the FNMA and the FHLMC, as well as by nongovernment issuers such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, mortgage bankers and private mortgage insurance companies. Although certain mortgage-related securities are guaranteed by a third party or otherwise similarly secured, the market value of the security, which may fluctuate, is not so secured. These securities differ from conventional bonds in that the principal is paid back to the investor as payments are made on the underlying mortgages in the pool. Accordingly, the investing fund receives monthly scheduled payments of principal and interest along with any unscheduled principal prepayments on the underlying mortgages. Because these scheduled and unscheduled principal payments must be reinvested at prevailing interest rates, mortgage-backed securities do not provide an effective means of locking in long-term interest rates for the investor.
In addition, there are a number of important differences among the agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. government that issue mortgage-related securities and among the securities they issue. Mortgage-related securities issued by GNMA include GNMA Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates (also known as Ginnie Maes) which are guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest. That guarantee is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. GNMA is a corporation wholly owned by the U.S. government within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mortgage-related securities issued by FNMA include FNMA Guaranteed Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates (also known as Fannie Maes) and are guaranteed as to payment of principal and interest by FNMA itself and backed by a line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. FNMA is a government-sponsored entity wholly owned by public stockholders. Mortgage-related securities issued by FHLMC include FHLMC Mortgage Participation Certificates (also known as Freddie Macs) guaranteed as to payment of principal and interest by FHLMC itself and backed by a line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. FHLMC is a government-sponsored entity wholly owned by public stockholders.
On September 7, 2008, the U.S. Treasury announced a federal takeover of Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), placing the two federal instrumentalities in conservatorship. Under the takeover, the U.S. Treasury agreed to acquire $1 billion of senior preferred stock of each instrumentality and obtained warrants for the purchase of common stock of each instrumentality (the “Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement” or “Agreement”). Under the Agreement, the U.S. Treasury pledged to provide up to $200 billion per instrumentality as needed, including the contribution of cash capital to the instrumentalities in the event their liabilities exceed their assets. This was intended to ensure that the instrumentalities maintain a positive net worth and meet their financial obligations, preventing mandatory triggering of receivership. On December 24, 2009, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was amending the Agreement to allow the $200 billion cap on the U.S. Treasury’s funding commitment to increase as necessary to accommodate any cumulative reduction in net worth over the next three years. As a result of this Agreement, the investments of holders, including the Funds, of mortgage-backed securities and other obligations issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are protected.
Asset-backed securities are structured like mortgage-backed securities, but instead of mortgage loans or interests in mortgage loans, the underlying assets may include such items as motor vehicle installment sales contracts or installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, and receivables from credit card agreements and from sales of personal property. Regular payments received on asset-backed securities include both interest and principal. Asset-backed securities typically have no U.S. government backing. Additionally, the ability of an issuer of asset-backed securities to enforce its security interest in the underlying assets may be limited.
If the investing ETF purchases a mortgage-backed or other asset-backed security at a premium, the premium may be lost if there is a decline in the market value of the security whether resulting from changes in interest rates or prepayments in the underlying collateral. As with other interest-bearing securities, the prices of such securities are inversely affected by changes in interest rates. Although the value of a mortgage-backed or other asset-backed security may decline when interest rates rise, the converse is not necessarily true, since in periods of declining interest rates the mortgages and loans underlying the securities are prone to prepayment, thereby shortening the average life of the security and shortening the period of time over which income at the higher rate is received. When interest rates are rising, the rate of prepayment tends to decrease, thereby lengthening the period of time over which income at the lower rate is received. For these and other reasons, a mortgage-backed or other asset-backed security’s average maturity may be shortened or lengthened as a result of interest rate fluctuations and, therefore, it is not possible to predict accurately the security’s return. In addition, while the trading market for short-term mortgages and asset-backed securities is ordinarily quite liquid, in times of financial stress the trading market for these securities may become restricted.
Municipal Obligations and Related Investments
The Fund may invest in underlying funds that invest in municipal obligations and related investments, as described below. Municipal obligations include debt obligations issued by states, possessions and territories of the U.S., including political subdivisions (such as counties, cities, towns and school and other districts), agencies and authorities thereof. Municipal obligations are issued by such governmental entities to obtain funds for various public purposes, including the construction of a wide range of public facilities, the refunding of outstanding obligations, the payment of general operating expenses and the extension of loans to public institutions and facilities, not-for-profit organizations, businesses and developers. Municipal obligations may be subject to federal and state income tax.  The Fund may invest in underlying funds that invest in the following types of municipal obligations:
General Obligation Bonds.  General obligation bonds are supported by the issuer’s full faith and credit and taxing authority.  The issuer must levy and collect taxes sufficient to pay principal and interest on the bonds.  However, in some cases the issuer’s authority to levy additional taxes may be limited by its charter or state law.
Revenue Bonds.  Revenue bonds are payable solely from specific income or revenues received by the issuer, often from its operation of a governmental enterprise or authority such as an electric or water utility, sewer system, parks, hospitals or other health authority, bus, train, subway, highway, airport or other transportation system, or housing authority.  Some revenue bonds may be issued for other public purposes, such as financing the development of an industrial park or commercial district or construction of a new stadium, parking structure or stadium.  The revenues may consist of specific taxes, assessments, tolls, fees, or other types of municipal revenues.  Although issued by municipal authorities, revenue bonds are generally not secured by the taxing power of the municipality but by the revenues of the authority derived from payments by users of the services or owners and operators of the facility financed with the proceeds of the bonds.  Bonds or other obligations of housing financing authorities may have various forms of security, such as reserve funds, insured or subsidized mortgages and net revenues from projects, but they are not backed by a pledge of the issuer’s credit.  The credit quality of revenue bonds is usually related to the credit standing of the enterprise being financed but can, if applicable, be tied to the credit worthiness of an institution which provides a guarantee, letter of credit or other credit enhancement for the bond issue.
Private Activity Bonds.  Private activity bonds are special revenue bonds used to finance private entities.  For example, a municipality may issue bonds to finance a new factory to improve its local economy or to enable a college or university, not-for-profit organization or hospital to construct new or expanded facilities.  The municipality would lend the proceeds to the company or other entity, and the company or other entity would agree to make loan payments sufficient to repay the bonds.  The bonds would be payable solely from the borrower’s loan payments, and not from any other revenues of the municipality.  Therefore, any default on the loan normally would result in a default on the bonds.  The interest on many types of private activity bonds is subject to the federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) for noncorporate shareholders.
Anticipation Notes.  Anticipation notes are securities issued in anticipation of the receipt of taxes, grants, bond proceeds, or other municipal revenues.  These may be in the form of bond anticipation notes, tax anticipation notes, tax and revenue anticipation notes, and revenue anticipation notes.  For example, many municipalities collect property taxes once a year.  Such municipalities may issue tax anticipation notes to fund their operations prior to collecting these taxes.  The issuers then repay the tax anticipation notes at the end of their fiscal year, either with collected taxes or proceeds from newly issued notes or bonds. Bond anticipation notes are notes that are intended to be refinanced through a subsequent offering of longer term bonds.
Tax Increment Financing Bonds.  Tax increment financing bonds are payable from increases in taxes or other revenues attributable to higher valuations on the businesses benefitting from improvements made to a particular area or district financed by the bonds.  For example, a municipality may issue these bonds to redevelop a commercial area.  The tax increment financing bonds would be payable solely from any increase in sales taxes collected from merchants in the area or in property taxes collected from property owners.  The bonds could default if merchants’ sales or owners’ property valuations, and related tax collections, failed to increase as anticipated.
Municipal obligations also include municipal commercial paper and other short-term notes, variable rate demand obligations, industrial revenue bonds, pre-refunded or advance refunding bonds, municipal lease obligations, construction loan notes insured by the Federal Housing Administration and financed by FNMA or GNMA, and participation, trust and partnership interests in any of the foregoing.
Opinions relating to the validity of municipal obligations and to the exemption of interest thereon from federal income tax are rendered by bond counsel to the respective issuers at the time of issuance.  There can be no assurance that the IRS will agree with a bond counsel’s opinion concluding that interest on a particular obligation is exempt from federal income tax.
Certain municipal obligations may be insured at the time of issuance as to the timely payment of principal and interest.  The insurance policies will usually be obtained by the issuer of the municipal obligation at the time of its original issuance.  In the event that the issuer defaults on interest or principal payment, the insurer will be notified and will be required to make payment to the bondholders.  There is, however, no guarantee that the insurer will meet its obligations.  In addition, such insurance will not protect against market fluctuations caused by changes in interest rates and other factors, including credit downgrades, supply and demand.
The payment of principal and interest on most debt obligations purchased by the Fund will depend upon the ability of the issuers to meet their obligations.  Municipal obligations may be adversely affected by political and economic conditions and developments (for example, legislation reducing state aid to local governments.)  An issuer’s obligations under its municipal obligations are also subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency, and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors, such as the Federal Bankruptcy Code, and laws, if any, which may be enacted by federal or state legislatures extending the time for payment of principal or interest, or both, or imposing other constraints upon enforcement of such obligations or upon the ability of municipalities to levy taxes.  The power or ability of an issuer to meet its obligations for the payment of interest on, and principal of, its municipal obligations may be materially adversely affected by litigation or other conditions.
Certain types of municipal obligations (private activity bonds) have been or are issued to obtain funds to provide privately operated housing facilities, pollution control facilities, convention or trade show facilities, mass transit, airport, port or parking facilities and certain local facilities for water supply, gas, electricity or sewage or solid waste disposal.  Private activity bonds are also issued on behalf of privately held or publicly owned corporations in the financing of commercial or industrial facilities.  State and local governments are authorized in most states to issue private activity bonds for such purposes to encourage corporations to locate within their communities.  The principal and interest on these obligations may be payable from the general revenues of the users of such facilities.
Municipal obligations may be backed by letters of credit issued by foreign and domestic banks and other financial institutions.  Such letters of credit are not necessarily subject to federal deposit insurance and adverse developments in the banking industry could have a negative effect on the credit quality of the investing fund’s portfolio debt obligations and its ability to maintain a stable net asset value and share price.  Letters of credit issued by foreign banks, like other obligations of foreign banks, may involve certain risks in addition to those of domestic obligations.
From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating the federal income tax exemption for interest on municipal obligations.  For example, under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), interest on certain private activity bonds must be included in a noncorporate investor’s alternative minimum taxable income.  The Fund cannot, of course, predict what legislation, if any, may be proposed in the future as regards the income tax status of interest on municipal obligations, or which proposals, if any, might be enacted.  Such proposals, while pending or if enacted, might materially and adversely affect the availability of municipal obligations for investment by the investing fund and the liquidity and value of its portfolio.
Municipal Lease Obligations.  Municipal lease obligations may be are issued by a state or local government authority to acquire land and a wide variety of equipment and facilities. These obligations typically are not fully backed by the municipality’s credit, and their interest may become taxable if the lease is assigned.  If the funds are not appropriated for the following year’s lease payments, the lease may terminate, with the possibility of default on the lease obligation and significant loss to an investing fund.  Certificates of participation in municipal lease obligations or installment sale contracts entitle the holder to a proportionate interest in the lease‑purchase payments made.
Other Short-Term Instruments
In addition to repurchase agreements, the Fund may invest in short-term instruments, including money market instruments, on an ongoing basis to provide liquidity or for other reasons. Money market instruments are generally short-term investments that may include but are not limited to: (i) shares of money market funds; (ii) obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities (including government-sponsored enterprises); (iii) negotiable certificates of deposit (“CDs”), bankers’ acceptances, fixed time deposits and other obligations of U.S. and foreign banks (including foreign branches) and similar institutions; (iv) commercial paper rated at the date of purchase “Prime-1” by Moody’s or “A-1” by S&P or, if unrated, of comparable quality as determined by the Sub-Adviser; (v) non-convertible corporate debt securities (e.g., bonds and debentures) with remaining maturities at the date of purchase of not more than 397 days and that satisfy the rating requirements set forth in Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act; and (vi) short-term U.S. dollar-denominated obligations of foreign banks (including U.S. branches) that, in the opinion of the Sub-Adviser, are of comparable quality to obligations of U.S. banks which may be purchased by the Fund. Any of these instruments may be purchased on a current or a forward-settled basis. Money market instruments also include shares of money market funds. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banking institutions for specified periods of time at stated interest rates. Bankers’ acceptances are time drafts drawn on commercial banks by borrowers, usually in connection with international transactions.
Repurchase Agreements
The Fund may invest in repurchase agreements with commercial banks, brokers or dealers to generate income from its excess cash balances and to invest securities lending cash collateral. A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which the Fund acquires a financial instrument (e.g., a security issued by the U.S. government or an agency thereof, a banker’s acceptance or a certificate of deposit) from a seller, subject to resale to the seller at an agreed upon price and date (normally, the next Business Day). A repurchase agreement may be considered a loan collateralized by securities. The resale price reflects an agreed upon interest rate effective for the period the instrument is held by the Fund and is unrelated to the interest rate on the underlying instrument.
In these repurchase agreement transactions, the securities acquired by the Fund (including accrued interest earned thereon) must have a total value in excess of the value of the repurchase agreement and are held by the Fund’s custodian bank until repurchased. No more than an aggregate of 15% of the Fund’s net assets will be invested in illiquid securities, including repurchase agreements having maturities longer than seven days and securities subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale, or for which there are no readily available market quotations.
The use of repurchase agreements involves certain risks. For example, if the other party to the agreement defaults on its obligation to repurchase the underlying security at a time when the value of the security has declined, the Fund may incur a loss upon disposition of the security. If the other party to the agreement becomes insolvent and subject to liquidation or reorganization under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or other laws, a court may determine that the underlying security is collateral for a loan by the Fund not within the control of the Fund and, therefore, the Fund may not be able to substantiate its interest in the underlying security and may be deemed an unsecured creditor of the other party to the agreement.
Restricted Securities
Within its limitation on investment in illiquid securities, the Fund may purchase restricted securities that generally can be sold in privately negotiated transactions, pursuant to an exemption from registration under the federal securities laws, or in a registered public offering. Where registration is required, the Fund 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 the Fund may 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. Restricted securities that can be offered and sold to qualified institutional buyers under Rule 144A of the Securities Act and are determined to be liquid are not subject to the limitations on illiquid securities. 
Reverse Repurchase Agreements
The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements, which involve the sale of securities held by the Fund subject to its agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon date or upon demand and at a price reflecting a market rate of interest. Reverse repurchase agreements are subject to the Fund’s limitation on borrowings and may be entered into only with banks or securities dealers or their affiliates. While a reverse repurchase agreement is outstanding, the Fund will maintain the segregation, either on its records or with its custodian bank, of cash or other liquid securities, marked-to-market daily, in an amount at least equal to its obligations under the reverse repurchase agreement.
Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the buyer of the securities sold by the Fund might be unable to deliver them when the Fund seeks to repurchase. If the buyer of securities under a reverse repurchase agreement files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, the buyer or trustee or receiver may receive an extension of time to determine whether to enforce the Fund’s obligation to repurchase the securities, and the Fund’s use of the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement may effectively be restricted pending such decision.
Securities Lending
The Fund may lend portfolio securities to certain creditworthy borrowers. The borrowers provide collateral that is maintained in an amount at least equal to the current value of the securities loaned. The Fund may terminate a loan at any time and obtain the return of the securities loaned. The lending Fund receives the value of any interest or cash or non-cash distributions paid on the loaned securities. Distributions received on loaned securities in lieu of dividend payments (i.e., substitute payments) would not be considered qualified dividend income.
With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, the borrower will be entitled to receive a fee based on the amount of cash collateral. The Fund is compensated by the difference between the amount earned on the reinvestment of cash collateral and the fee paid to the borrower. In the case of collateral other than cash, the Fund is compensated by a fee paid by the borrower equal to a percentage of the value of the loaned securities. Any cash collateral may be reinvested in certain short-term instruments either directly on behalf of the lending Fund or through one or more joint accounts or money market funds, which may include those managed by the Sub-Adviser.
The Fund may pay a portion of the interest or fees earned from securities lending to a borrower as described above, and to one or more securities lending agents approved by the Board who administer the lending program for the Fund in accordance with guidelines approved by the Board. In such capacity, the lending agent causes the delivery of loaned securities from the Fund to borrowers, arranges for the return of loaned securities to the Fund at the termination of a loan, requests deposit of collateral, monitors the daily value of the loaned securities and collateral, requests that borrowers add to the collateral when required by the loan agreements, and provides recordkeeping and accounting services necessary for the operation of the program.
Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including operational risk (i.e., the risk of losses resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process), “gap” risk (i.e., the risk of a mismatch between the return on cash collateral reinvestments and the fees the Fund has agreed to pay a borrower), and credit, legal, counterparty and market risk. In the event a borrower does not return the Fund’s securities as agreed, the Fund may experience losses if the proceeds received from liquidating the collateral do not at least equal the value of the loaned security at the time the collateral is liquidated plus the transaction costs incurred in purchasing replacement securities.
Short Sales
The Fund may make short sales as part of its overall portfolio management strategies or to offset a potential decline in value of an ETF. The Fund may engage in short sales with respect to ETFs. A short sale involves the sale of an ETF that is borrowed from a broker or other institution to complete the sale. The Fund may engage in short sales with respect to ETFs it owns, as well as securities that it does not own. Short sales expose the Fund to the risk that it will be required to acquire, convert or exchange ETFs to replace the borrowed ETF (also known as “covering” the short position) at a time when the ETF sold short have appreciated in value, thus resulting in a loss to the Fund. The Fund’s investment performance may also suffer if the Fund is required to close out a short position earlier than it had intended. The Fund must segregate assets determined to be liquid in accordance with procedures established by the Board, or otherwise cover its positions in a permissible manner. The Fund will be required to pledge its liquid assets to the broker to secure its performance on short sales. As a result, the assets pledged may not be available to meet the Fund’s needs for immediate cash or other liquidity. In addition, the Fund may be subject to expenses related to short sales that are not typically associated with investing in ETFs directly, such as costs of borrowing and margin account maintenance costs associated with the Fund’s open short positions. These types of short sales expenses are sometimes referred to as the “negative cost of carry,” and will tend to cause the Fund to lose money on a short sale even in instances where the price of the ETF sold short does not change over the duration of the short sale. Dividend expenses on ETFs sold short will be borne by the shareholders of the Fund. 

Structured Notes
Structured notes are derivative debt securities, the interest rate and/or principal of which is determined by an unrelated indicator. The value of the principal of and/or interest on structured notes is determined by reference to changes in the return, interest rate or value at maturity of a specific asset, reference rate or index (the “reference instrument”) or the relative change in two or more reference instruments. The interest rate or the principal amount payable upon maturity or redemption may be increased or decreased, depending upon changes in the applicable reference instruments. Structured notes may be positively or negatively indexed, so that an increase in value of the reference instrument may produce an increase or a decrease in the interest rate or value of the structured note at maturity. In addition, changes in the interest rate or the value of the structured note at maturity may be calculated as a specified multiple of the change in the value of the reference; therefore, the value of such note may be very volatile. Structured notes may entail a greater degree of market risk than other types of debt securities because the investor bears the risk of the reference instrument. Structured notes may also be more volatile, less liquid, and more difficult to accurately price than less complex securities or more traditional debt securities. To cover structured notes, the Fund, to the extent required by the SEC, will designate assets to cover its obligations with respect to such instruments.
Tax Risks
As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in Shares will be taxed. The tax information in the Prospectus and this SAI is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares.
Unless your investment in Shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an individual retirement account, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Shares.
TBA Transactions
The Fund may invest in underlying funds that invest in U.S. agency MBS. In the basic MBS structure, mortgages with similar issuer, term and coupon characteristics are collected and aggregated into a “pool” consisting of multiple mortgage loans. The pool is assigned a CUSIP number and undivided interests in the pool are traded and sold as pass-through securities. The holder of the security is entitled to a pro rata share of principal and interest payments (including unscheduled prepayments) from the pool of mortgage loans.
An investment in a specific pool of pass-through securities requires an analysis of the specific prepayment risk of mortgages within the covered pool (since mortgagors typically have the option to prepay their loans). The level of prepayments on a pool of mortgage securities is difficult to predict and can impact the subsequent cash flows and value of the mortgage pool. In addition, when trading specific mortgage pools, precise execution, delivery and settlement arrangements must be negotiated for each transaction. These factors combine to make trading in mortgage pools somewhat cumbersome.
For the foregoing and other reasons, a fund may seek to obtain exposure to U.S. agency MBS through the use of “to-be-announced” or “TBA transactions.” “TBA” refers to a commonly used mechanism for the forward settlement of U.S. agency MBS, and not to a separate type of MBS. Most transactions in MBS occur through the use of TBA transactions. TBA transactions generally are conducted in accordance with widely-accepted guidelines which establish commonly observed terms and conditions for execution, settlement and delivery. In a TBA transaction, the buyer and seller decide on general trade parameters, such as agency, settlement date, paramount, and price. The actual pools delivered generally are determined two days prior to settlement date. The Fund intends to use TBA transactions in several ways. For example, a fund expects that it will regularly enter into TBA agreements and “roll over” such agreements prior to the settlement date stipulated in such agreements. This type of TBA transaction is sometimes known as a “TBA roll.” In a “TBA roll” a fund generally will sell the obligation to purchase the pools stipulated in the TBA agreement prior to the stipulated settlement date and will enter into a new TBA agreement for future delivery of pools of MBS. In addition, a fund may enter into TBA agreements and settle such transactions on the stipulated settlement date by accepting actual receipt or delivery of the pools of MBS stipulated in the TBA agreement.
Default by or bankruptcy of a counterparty to a TBA transaction would expose the Fund to possible loss because of adverse market action, expenses or delays in connection with the purchase or sale of the pools of MBS specified in the TBA transaction. A fund’s use of “TBA rolls” may cause the fund to experience higher portfolio turnover, higher transaction costs and to pay higher capital gain distributions to shareholders (which may be taxable) than other funds.
U.S. Government Securities
The Fund may invest in U.S. government securities. Securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities include U.S. Treasury securities, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury and which differ only in their interest rates, maturities, and times of issuance. U.S. Treasury bills have initial maturities of one-year or less; U.S. Treasury notes have initial maturities of one to ten years; and U.S. Treasury bonds generally have initial maturities of greater than ten years. Certain U.S. government securities are issued or guaranteed by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government including, but not limited to, obligations of U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities such as the FNMA, GNMA, the Small Business Administration, the Federal Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Home Loan Banks, Banks for Cooperatives (including the Central Bank for Cooperatives), the Federal Land Banks, the Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Federal Financing Bank, the Student Loan Marketing Association, the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac).
Some obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities, including, for example, GNMA pass-through certificates, are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. Other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those securities issued by the FNMA, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the federal agency, while other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those of the Federal Home Loan Banks, are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, while the U.S. government provides financial support to such U.S. government-sponsored federal agencies, no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will always do so, since the U.S. government is not so obligated by law. U.S. Treasury notes and bonds typically pay coupon interest semi-annually and repay the principal at maturity.
On September 7, 2008, the U.S. Treasury announced a federal takeover of the FNMA and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), placing the two federal instrumentalities in conservatorship. Under the takeover, the U.S. Treasury agreed to acquire $1 billion of senior preferred stock of each instrumentality and obtained warrants for the purchase of common stock of each instrumentality (the “Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement” or “Agreement”). Under the Agreement, the U.S. Treasury pledged to provide up to $200 billion per instrumentality as needed, including the contribution of cash capital to the instrumentalities in the event their liabilities exceed their assets. This was intended to ensure that the instrumentalities maintain a positive net worth and meet their financial obligations, preventing mandatory triggering of receivership. On December 24, 2009, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was amending the Agreement to allow the $200 billion cap on the U.S. Treasury’s funding commitment to increase as necessary to accommodate any cumulative reduction in net worth over the next three years. As a result of this Agreement, the investments of holders, including the Fund, of mortgage-backed securities and other obligations issued by the FNMA and Freddie Mac are protected.
The total public debt of the United States as a percentage of gross domestic product has grown rapidly since the beginning of the 2008–2009 financial downturn.  Although high debt levels do not necessarily indicate or cause economic problems, they may create certain systemic risks if sound debt management practices are not implemented.  A high national debt can raise concerns that the U.S. government will not be able to make principal or interest payments when they are due.  This increase has also necessitated the need for the U.S. Congress to negotiate adjustments to the statutory debt limit to increase the cap on the amount the U.S. government is permitted to borrow to meet its existing obligations and finance current budget deficits. In August 2011, S&P lowered its long term sovereign credit rating on the U.S. In explaining the downgrade at that time, S&P cited, among other reasons, controversy over raising the statutory debt limit and growth in public spending. On February 9, 2018, following passage by Congress, the President of the United States signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which suspends the statutory debt limit through March 1, 2019. Any controversy or ongoing uncertainty regarding the statutory debt ceiling negotiations may impact the U.S. long-term sovereign credit rating and may cause market uncertainty. As a result, market prices and yields of securities supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government may be adversely affected.
Variable and Floating Rate Securities
The Fund may invest in variable and floating rate securities. Debt securities that have variable or floating rates of interest may, under certain limited circumstances, have varying principal amounts. These securities pay interest at rates that are adjusted periodically according to a specified formula, usually with reference to one or more interest rate indices or market interest rates (the “underlying index”). The interest paid on these securities is a function primarily of the underlying index upon which the interest rate adjustments are based. These adjustments minimize changes in the market value of the obligation. Similar to fixed rate debt instruments, variable and floating rate instruments are subject to changes in value based on changes in market interest rates or changes in the issuer’s creditworthiness. The rate of interest on securities may be tied to U.S. government securities or indices on those securities as well as any other rate of interest or index.
Variable and floating rate demand notes of corporations are redeemable upon a specified period of notice. These obligations include master demand notes that permit investment of fluctuating amounts at varying interest rates under direct arrangements with the issuer of the instrument. The issuer of these obligations often has the right, after a given period, to prepay the outstanding principal amount of the obligations upon a specified number of days’ notice.
Certain securities may have an initial principal amount that varies over time based on an interest rate index, and, accordingly, the Fund might be entitled to less than the initial principal amount of the security upon the security’s maturity. The Fund intends to purchase these securities only when the Sub-Adviser believes the interest income from the instrument justifies any principal risks associated with the instrument. The Sub-Adviser may attempt to limit any potential loss of principal by purchasing similar instruments that are intended to provide an offsetting increase in principal. There can be no assurance that the Sub-Adviser will be able to limit the effects of principal fluctuations and, accordingly, the Fund may incur losses on those securities even if held to maturity without issuer default.
There may not be an active secondary market for any particular floating or variable rate instruments, which could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of the instrument during periods that the Fund is not entitled to exercise any demand rights it may have. The Fund could, for this or other reasons, suffer a loss with respect to those instruments. The Sub-Adviser monitors the liquidity of the Fund’s investments in variable and floating rate instruments, but there can be no guarantee that an active secondary market will exist. 
When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments
The Fund may purchase securities offered on a “when-issued” and “forward commitment” basis (including a delayed delivery basis). Securities purchased on a “when-issued” or “forward commitment basis” are securities not available for immediate delivery despite the fact that a market exists for those securities. A purchase is made on a “delayed delivery” basis when the transaction is structured to occur sometime in the future.
When these transactions are negotiated, the price, which is generally expressed in yield terms, is fixed at the time the commitment is made, but delivery and payment for the securities take place at a later date. Normally, the settlement date occurs within two months after the transaction, but delayed settlements beyond two months may be negotiated. During the period between a commitment and settlement, no payment is made for the securities purchased by the purchaser and, thus, no interest accrues to the purchaser from the transaction. At the time the Fund makes the commitment to purchase securities on a when-issued basis or forward commitment, the Fund will record the transaction as a purchase and thereafter reflect the value each day of such securities in determining its NAV.
Temporary Strategies
Under normal market conditions, the Fund will stay fully invested according to its principal investment strategies as noted above.  The Fund, however, may temporarily depart from its principal investment strategies by making short-term investments in commercial paper and/or repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, corporate obligations, municipal debt securities, mortgage-backed securities, or convertible securities for temporary defensive purposes in response to adverse market, economic, or political conditions. Securities held by the Fund for temporary defensive purposes may differ in duration, maturity, credit quality, or other attributes relative to those generally held by the Fund as part of its principal investment strategies. This may result in the Fund not achieving its investment objective during that period.
Investment Restrictions
The Trust has adopted the following investment restrictions as fundamental policies with respect to the Fund. These restrictions cannot be changed with respect to the Fund without the approval of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities. For the purposes of the 1940 Act, a “majority of outstanding shares” means the vote of the lesser of: (1) 67% or more of the voting securities of the Fund present at the meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities are present or represented by proxy; or (2) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.
Except with the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities, the Fund may not:
1.
Concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in any industry or group of related industries. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), securities of registered investment companies, repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, and securities of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.
2.
Borrow money or issue senior securities (as defined under the 1940 Act), except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.
3.
Make loans, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.
4.
Purchase or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. This shall not prevent the Fund from investing in securities or other instruments backed by real estate, real estate investment trusts or securities of companies engaged in the real estate business.
5.
Purchase or sell commodities unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. This shall not prevent the Fund from purchasing or selling options and futures contracts or from investing in securities or other instruments backed by physical commodities.
6.
Underwrite securities issued by other persons, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.
7.
With respect to 75% of its total assets, purchase the securities of any one issuer if, immediately after and as a result of such purchase, (a) the value of the Fund’s holdings in the securities of such issuer exceeds 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets, or (b) the Fund owns more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer (with the exception that this restriction does not apply to the Fund’s investments in the securities of the U.S. government, or its agencies or instrumentalities, or other investment companies).
In addition to the investment restrictions adopted as fundamental policies as set forth above, the Fund observes the following non-fundamental restriction, which may be changed without a shareholder vote.
1.
The Fund will not hold illiquid assets in excess of 15% of its net assets.
In determining its compliance with the fundamental investment restriction on concentration, the Fund will look through to the underlying holdings of any affiliated investment company and will consider its entire investment in any investment company with a policy to concentrate, or having otherwise disclosed that it is concentrated, in a particular industry or group of related industries as being invested in such industry or group of related industries. Additionally, in determining its compliance with the fundamental investment restriction on concentration, the Fund will look through to the user or use of private activity municipal bonds to determine their industry.
If a percentage limitation is adhered to at the time of investment or contract, a later increase or decrease in percentage resulting from any change in value or total or net assets will not result in a violation of such restriction, except that the percentage limitations with respect to the borrowing of money and illiquid securities will be observed continuously.
Exchange Listing and Trading
Shares are listed for trading and trade throughout the day on the Exchange.
There can be no assurance that the Fund will continue to meet the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares. The Exchange will consider the suspension of trading in, and will initiate delisting proceedings of, the Shares of the Fund under any of the following circumstances: (i) if any of the requirements set forth in the Exchange rules are not continuously maintained; (ii) if the Exchange files separate proposals under Section 19(b) of the 1940 Act and any of the statements regarding (a) the description of the Fund; (b) limitations on the Fund’s portfolio holdings or reference assets; (c) dissemination and availability of the intraday indicative values; or (d) the applicability of the Exchange listing rules specified in such proposals are not continuously maintained; (iii) if following the initial 12-month period beginning at the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of the Shares of the Fund; (iv) if the intraday indicative value is no longer disseminated at least every 15 seconds during the Exchange’s regular market session and the interruption to the dissemination persists past the trading day in which it occurred; or (v) such other event shall occur or condition shall exist that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will remove the Shares of the Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Fund.
The Trust reserves the right to adjust the price levels of Shares in the future to help maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of the Fund.
To provide additional information regarding the indicative value of Shares, the Exchange or a market data vendor disseminates information every 15 seconds through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association or other widely disseminated means an updated “intraday indicative value” (“IIV”) 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 IIVs and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IIVs.
Management of the Trust
Board Responsibilities. The management and affairs of the Trust and its series are overseen by the Board, which elects the officers of the Trust who are responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the Trust and the Fund. The Board has approved contracts, as described below, under which certain companies provide essential services to the Trust.
The day-to-day business of the Trust, including the management of risk, is performed by third-party service providers, such as the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, the Distributor (defined below), and the Administrator (defined below). The Board is responsible for overseeing the Trust’s service providers and, thus, has oversight responsibility with respect to risk management performed by those service providers. Risk management seeks to identify and address risks, i.e., events or circumstances that could have material adverse effects on the business, operations, shareholder services, investment performance or reputation of the Fund. The Fund and its service providers employ a variety of processes, procedures, and controls to identify various of those possible events or circumstances, to lessen the probability of their occurrence and/or to mitigate the effects of such events or circumstances if they do occur. Each service provider is responsible for one or more discrete aspects of the Trust’s business (e.g., the Sub-Adviser is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio investments) and, consequently, for managing the risks associated with that business. The Board has emphasized to the Fund’s service providers the importance of maintaining vigorous risk management.
The Board’s role in risk oversight begins before the inception of the Fund, at which time certain of the Fund’s service providers present the Board with information concerning the investment objective, strategies, and risks of the Fund as well as proposed investment limitations for the Fund. Additionally, the Adviser and Sub-Adviser provide the Board with an overview of, among other things, their investment philosophies, brokerage practices, and compliance infrastructures. Thereafter, the Board continues its oversight function as various personnel, including the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer and other service providers such as the Fund’s independent accountants, make periodic reports to the Audit Committee or to the Board with respect to various aspects of risk management. The Board and the Audit Committee oversee efforts by management and service providers to manage risks to which the Fund may be exposed.
The Board is responsible for overseeing the nature, extent, and quality of the services provided to the Fund by the Adviser and Sub-Adviser and receives information about those services at its regular meetings. In addition, on an annual basis (following the initial two-year period), in connection with its consideration of whether to renew the Investment Advisory Agreement with the Adviser and Sub-Advisory Agreement with the Sub-Adviser, the Board or its designee may meet with the Adviser or Sub-Adviser to review such services. Among other things, the Board regularly considers the Adviser’s and Sub-Adviser’s adherence to the Fund’s investment restrictions and compliance with various Fund policies and procedures and with applicable securities regulations. The Board also reviews information about the Fund’s performance and the nature of the Fund’s investments.
The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer reports regularly to the Board to review and discuss compliance issues and Fund, Adviser, and Sub-Adviser risk assessments. At least annually, the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer provides the Board with a report reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust’s policies and procedures and those of its service providers, including the Adviser and Sub-Adviser. The report addresses the operation of the policies and procedures of the Trust and each service provider since the date of the last report; any material changes to the policies and procedures since the date of the last report; any recommendations for material changes to the policies and procedures; and any material compliance matters since the date of the last report.
The Board receives reports from the Fund’s service providers regarding operational risks and risks related to the valuation and liquidity of portfolio securities. Annually, the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm reviews with the Audit Committee its audit of the Fund’s financial statements, focusing on major areas of risk encountered by the Fund and noting any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in the Fund’s internal controls. Additionally, in connection with its oversight function, the Board oversees Fund management’s implementation of disclosure controls and procedures, which are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Trust in its periodic reports with the SEC are recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the required time periods. The Board also oversees the Trust’s internal controls over financial reporting, which comprise policies and procedures designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of the Trust’s financial reporting and the preparation of the Trust’s financial statements.
From their review of these reports and discussions with the Adviser or Sub-Adviser, the Chief Compliance Officer, the independent registered public accounting firm, and other service providers, the Board and the Audit Committee learn in detail about the material risks of the Fund, thereby facilitating a dialogue about how management and service providers identify and mitigate those risks.
The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect the Fund can be identified and/or quantified, that it may not be practical or cost-effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, that it may be necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve the Fund’s goals, and that the processes, procedures, and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. Moreover, reports received by the Board as to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information. Most of the Fund’s investment management and business affairs are carried out by or through the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, and other service providers, each of which has an independent interest in risk management but whose policies and the methods by which one or more risk management functions are carried out may differ from the Fund’s and each other’s in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Board’s ability to monitor and manage risk, as a practical matter, is subject to limitations.
Members of the Board. There are five members of the Board, three of whom are not interested persons of the Trust, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (the “Independent Trustees”). Mr. Eric W. Falkeis serves as Chairman of the Board and is an interested person of the Trust.
The Board is comprised of a majority (60 percent) of Independent Trustees. There is an Audit Committee of the Board that is chaired by an Independent Trustee and comprised solely of Independent Trustees. The Audit Committee chair presides at the Audit Committee meetings, participates in formulating agendas for Audit Committee meetings, and coordinates with management to serve as a liaison between the Independent Trustees and management on matters within the scope of responsibilities of the Audit Committee as set forth in its Board-approved charter. The Trust has determined its leadership structure is appropriate given the specific characteristics and circumstances of the Trust, even though there is no Lead Independent Trustee. The Trust made this determination in consideration of, among other things, the fact that the Independent Trustees of the Trust constitute a super-majority of the Board, the number of Independent Trustees that constitute the Board, the amount of assets under management in the Trust, and the number of funds overseen by the Board. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Trustees from Fund management.
Additional information about each Trustee of the Trust is set forth below. The address of each Trustee of the Trust is c/o Tidal ETF Trust, 898 N. Broadway, Suite 2, Massapequa, New York 11758.

Name and
Year of Birth
Position Held
with the
 Trust
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios in
Fund Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
Other Directorships
Held by Trustee 
During Past 5 Years
Independent Trustees
Mark H.W. Baltimore
Born: 1967
Trustee
Indefinite
term; since
2018
Chief Executive Officer, Global Sight, LLC (asset management distribution consulting firm) (since 2016); Head of Global Distribution Services, Foreside Financial Group, LLC (broker-dealer) (2016); Managing Director, Head of Global Distribution Services, Beacon Hill Fund Services (broker-dealer) (2015–2016); Vice President, Head of International Sales & Business Development, Charles Schwab & Company (asset management firm) (2014–2015); Director, Business Development, Brookfield Investment Management (2012–2013).
1 None
Eduardo Mendoza
Born: 1966
Trustee
Indefinite
term; since
2018
Senior Strategic & Financial Advisor, Credijusto and Acrecent (financial technology companies) (since 2017); Founding Partner / Capital Markets & Head of Corporate Development, SQN Latina (specialty finance company) (2016–2017); Managing Director: Origination & Structuring, Securitization Group (2006–2015), BMO Capital Markets.
1
None
Dusko Culafic
Born: 1958
Trustee
Indefinite
term; since
2018
Senior Operational Due Diligence Analyst, Aurora Investment Management, LLC (2012–2018).
1
None
Interested Trustees
Eric W. Falkeis(1)
Born: 1973
Trustee,
Chairman, and
Secretary
Indefinite
term; since
2018
Chief Executive Officer, Tidal ETF Services LLC (since 2018); Chief Operating Officer (and other positions), Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (2013–2018) and Direxion Advisors, LLC (2017–2018); Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (and other positions), U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (1997–2013).
1
Trustee, Professionally Managed Portfolios (31 series) (since 2011); Interested Trustee, Direxion Funds, Direxion Shares ETF Trust, and Direxion Insurance Trust (2014–2018)
Ian C. Carroll, CFA(2)
Born: 1970
Trustee
Indefinite
term; since
2018
Head of Corporate Research, Aware Asset Management, Inc. (since 2018); Principal Corporate Credit Research Analyst, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (insurance company) (since 2017); Credit Research Analyst (2013–2017).
1
None
(1) Mr. Falkeis is considered an “interested person” of the Trust due to his positions as Chairman and Secretary of the Trust and Chief Executive Officer of Tidal ETF Services LLC, an affiliate of the Adviser.
(2) Mr. Carroll is considered an “interested person” of the Trust due to his position as Head of Corporate Research of Aware Asset Management, Inc., a sub-adviser to a series of the Trust.
Individual Trustee Qualifications. The Trust has concluded that each of the Trustees should serve on the Board because of their ability to review and understand information about the Fund provided to them by management, to identify and request other information they may deem relevant to the performance of their duties, to question management and other service providers regarding material factors bearing on the management and administration of the Fund, and to exercise their business judgment in a manner that serves the best interests of the Fund’s shareholders. The Trust has concluded that each of the Trustees should serve as a Trustee based on his or her own experience, qualifications, attributes, and skills as described below.
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Baltimore should serve as a Trustee because of his substantial experience with the distribution of investment company securities and his experience with regulatory matters through his position at Global Sight, LLC, an asset management distribution consulting firm and his past experience with distribution activities at the parent company of the Trust’s Distributor (defined below). The Board believes Mr. Baltimore’s experience, qualifications, attributes or skills, on an individual basis and in combination with those of the other Trustees, led to the conclusion that he possesses the requisite skills and attributes as a Trustee to carry out oversight responsibilities with respect to the Trust.
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Culafic should serve as a Trustee because of his substantial experience with investment management operations and his experience with financial, accounting, investment, and regulatory matters through his former position as Senior Operational Due Diligence Analyst of Aurora Investment Management, LLC, a fund-of-funds investment company.  The Board believes Mr. Culafic’s experience, qualifications, attributes or skills, on an individual basis and in combination with those of the other Trustees, led to the conclusion that he possesses the requisite skills and attributes as a Trustee to carry out oversight responsibilities with respect to the Trust.
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Mendoza should serve as a Trustee because of his substantial experience with credit markets and finance and his experience with financial, accounting, investment, and regulatory matters through his former positions as Managing Director (and other positions) of BMO Capital Markets, an investment bank.  The Board believes Mr. Mendoza’s experience, qualifications, attributes or skills, on an individual basis and in combination with those of the other Trustees, led to the conclusion that he possesses the requisite skills and attributes as a Trustee to carry out oversight responsibilities with respect to the Trust.
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Falkeis should serve as a Trustee because of his substantial investment company experience and his experience with financial, accounting, investment, and regulatory matters through his former position as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (and other positions) of U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, doing business as U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (“Fund Services” or the “Transfer Agent”), a full service provider to ETFs, mutual funds, and alternative investment products.  In addition, he has experience consulting with investment advisors regarding the legal structure of mutual funds, distribution channel analysis, and actual distribution of those funds. Mr. Falkeis also has substantial managerial, operational, technological, and risk oversight related experience through his former position as Chief Operating Officer of the advisers to the Direxion mutual fund and ETF complex. The Board believes Mr. Falkeis’ experience, qualifications, attributes or skills on an individual basis and in combination with those of the other Trustees led to the conclusion that he possesses the requisite skills and attributes as a Trustee to carry out oversight responsibilities with respect to the Trust.
 
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Carroll should serve as a Trustee because of his substantial experience with financial and investment matters through his position at Aware Asset Management, Inc., and his past experience with credit investment at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. The Board believes Mr. Carroll’s experience, qualifications, attributes or skills, on an individual basis and in combination with those of the other Trustees, led to the conclusion that he possesses the requisite skills and attributes as a Trustee to carry out oversight responsibilities with respect to the Trust.
In its periodic assessment of the effectiveness of the Board, the Board considers the complementary individual skills and experience of the individual Trustees primarily in the broader context of the Board’s overall composition so that the Board, as a body, possesses the appropriate (and appropriately diverse) skills and experience to oversee the business of the Fund.
Board Committees. The Board has established the following standing committees of the Board:
Audit Committee. The Board has a standing Audit Committee that is composed of each of the Independent Trustees of the Trust. The Audit Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibilities of the Audit Committee include: overseeing the Trust’s accounting and financial reporting policies and practices and its internal controls; overseeing the quality, objectivity and integrity of the Trust’s financial statements and the independent audits thereof; monitoring the independent auditor’s qualifications, independence and performance; acting as a liaison between the Trust’s independent auditors and the full Board; pre-approving all auditing services to be performed for the Trust; reviewing the compensation and overseeing the work of the independent auditor (including resolution of disagreements between management and the independent auditor regarding financial reporting) for the purpose of preparing or issuing an audit report or related work; pre-approving all permitted non-audit services (including the fees and terms thereof) to be performed for the Trust; pre-approving all permitted non-audit services to be performed for any investment adviser or sub-adviser to the Trust by any of the Trust’s independent auditors if the engagement relates directly to the operations and financial reporting of the Trust; meeting with the Trust’s independent auditors as necessary to (i) review the arrangement for and scope of the annual audits and any special audits, (ii) discuss any matters of concern relating to the Fund’s financial statements, (iii) consider the independent auditors’ comments with respect to the Trust’s financial policies, procedures and internal accounting controls and Trust management’s responses thereto, and (iv) review the form of opinion the independent auditors propose to render to the Board and the Fund’s shareholders; discussing with management and the independent auditor significant financial reporting issues and judgments made in connection with the preparation of the Fund’s financial statements; and reviewing and discussing reports from the independent auditors on (i) all critical accounting policies and practices to be used, (ii) all alternative treatments within generally accepted accounting principles for policies and practices related to material items that have been discussed with management, (iii) other material written communications between the independent auditor and management, including any management letter, schedule of unadjusted differences, or management representation letter, and (iv) all non-audit services provided to any entity in the Trust that were not pre-approved by the Committee; and reviewing disclosures made to the Committee by the Trust’s principal executive officer and principal accounting officer during their certification process for the Fund’s Form N-CSR. Each Independent Trustee currently serves as a member of the Audit Committee. As of the date of this SAI, the Audit Committee met two times with respect to the Fund.
The Audit Committee also serves as the Qualified Legal Compliance Committee (“QLCC”) for the Trust for the purpose of compliance with Rules 205.2(k) and 205.3(c) of the Code of Federal Regulations, regarding alternative reporting procedures for attorneys retained or employed by an issuer who appear and practice before the SEC on behalf of the issuer (the “issuer attorneys”). An issuer attorney who becomes aware of evidence of a material violation by the Trust, or by any officer, director, employee, or agent of the Trust, may report evidence of such material violation to the QLCC as an alternative to the reporting requirements of Rule 205.3(b) (which requires reporting to the chief legal officer and potentially “up the ladder” to other entities).
Nominating Committee. The Board has a standing Nominating Committee that is composed of each of the Independent Trustees of the Trust. The Nominating Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibility of the Nominating Committee is to identify, evaluate, and recommend candidates to fill vacancies on the Trust’s Board, if any. The Nominating Committee generally will not consider nominees recommended by shareholders. The Nominating Committee meets periodically, as necessary, but at least annually. The Nominating Committee met one time prior to the commencement of operations of the Fund.
Valuation Committee. The Board has delegated day-to-day valuation issues to a Valuation Committee that is comprised of certain officers of the Trust. Although the Valuation Committee is not a committee of the Board (i.e., committee members need not be a Trustee), the Valuation Committee’s membership is appointed by the Board and its charter and applicable procedures are approved by the Board. The function of the Valuation Committee is to value securities held by any series of the Trust for which current and reliable market quotations are not readily available. Such securities are valued at their respective fair values as determined in good faith by the Valuation Committee and the actions of the Valuation Committee are subsequently reviewed and ratified by the Board. The Valuation Committee meets as necessary.
Principal Officers of the Trust
The officers of the Trust conduct and supervise its daily business. The address of each officer of the Trust is c/o Tidal ETF Trust, 898 N. Broadway, Suite 2, Massapequa, New York 11758, unless otherwise indicated. Additional information about the Trust’s officers is as follows:
Name and
Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Eric W. Falkeis
Born: 1973
Interested
Trustee,
Chairman, and
Secretary
Indefinite term;
since 2018
Chief Executive Officer, Tidal ETF Services LLC (since 2018); Chief Operating Officer (and other positions), Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (2013–2018) and Direxion Advisors, LLC (2017–2018); Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (and other positions), U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (1997–2013).
Guillermo Trias
Born:1976
President
Indefinite term;
since 2018
Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Toroso Investments, LLC (since 2015); Founder and President, GT Capital Advisors LLC (since 2015); Head of Strategy and Business Development, Global X Funds LLC (2012–2015).
Daniel H. Carlson
Born: 1955
Treasurer
Indefinite term;
since 2018
Chief Financial Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and Managing Member, Toroso Investments, LLC (since 2012).
Bridget P. Garcia, Esq.
c/o Cipperman Compliance
Services, LLC
480 E. Swedesford Road, Suite 220
Wayne, PA 19087
Born: 1985
Chief Compliance
Officer
Indefinite term;
since 2018
Compliance Manager, Cipperman Compliance Services, LLC (since 2017); Senior Associate, Central Compliance - Risk Management Group (2016-2017), Client Services Associate (2014-2016), Corporate Operations Group - Business Services Admin (2010-2014), Macquarie Group (global financial services firm).
 
Trustee Ownership of Shares. The Fund is required to show the dollar amount ranges of each Trustee’s “beneficial ownership” of Shares and each other series of the Trust as of the end of the most recently completed calendar year. Dollar amount ranges disclosed are established by the SEC. “Beneficial ownership” is determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”).
As of the date of this SAI, the Fund has not commenced operations and, therefore, no Trustee or officer of the Trust owned Shares.
Board Compensation. The Independent Trustees each receive $2,500 for each meeting attended, as well as reimbursement for travel and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with serving as a Trustee. The Trust has no pension or retirement plan.
The following table shows the compensation estimated to be earned by each Trustee for the Fund’s current fiscal year ending November 30, 2019. Independent Trustee fees are paid by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser to each series of the Trust and not by the Fund. Trustee compensation shown below does not include reimbursed out-of-pocket expenses in connection with attendance at meetings.
 
 Name
Aggregate Compensation
From Fund
Total Compensation From Fund Complex
Paid to Trustees
Interested Trustee
Eric W. Falkeis
$0
$0
Ian C. Carroll
$0
$0
Independent Trustees
Mark H.W. Baltimore
$0
$12,500
Dusko Culafic
$0
$12,500
Eduardo Mendoza
$0
$12,500
Principal Shareholders, Control Persons, and Management Ownership
A principal shareholder is any person who owns of record or beneficially 5% or more of the outstanding Shares. A control person is a shareholder that owns beneficially or through controlled companies more than 25% of the voting securities of a company or acknowledges the existence of control. Shareholders owning voting securities in excess of 25% may determine the outcome of any matter affecting and voted on by shareholders of the Fund. As of the date of this SAI, Tidal ETF Services LLC was a controlling shareholder of the Fund by virtue of its ownership of the initial shares of the Fund. Such interest is expected to be promptly diluted upon the commencement of the public offering of Shares.
Codes of Ethics
The Trust, the Adviser, and the Sub-Adviser have each adopted codes of ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act. These codes of ethics are designed to prevent affiliated persons of the Trust, the Adviser, and the Sub-Adviser from engaging in deceptive, manipulative or fraudulent activities in connection with securities held or to be acquired by the Fund (which may also be held by persons subject to the codes of ethics). Each code of ethics permits personnel subject to that code of ethics to invest in securities for their personal investment accounts, subject to certain limitations, including limitations related to securities that may be purchased or held by the Fund. The Distributor (as defined below) relies on the principal underwriters exception under Rule 17j-1(c)(3), specifically where the Distributor is not affiliated with the Trust, the Adviser, or the Sub-Adviser, and no officer, director, or general partner of the Distributor serves as an officer, director, or general partner of the Trust, the Adviser, or the Sub-Adviser.
There can be no assurance that the codes of ethics will be effective in preventing such activities. Each code of ethics may be examined at the office of the SEC in Washington, D.C. or on the Internet at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.
Proxy Voting Policies
The Fund has delegated proxy voting responsibilities to the Adviser, subject to the Board’s oversight. In delegating proxy responsibilities, the Board has directed that proxies be voted consistent with the Fund’s and its shareholders’ best interests and in compliance with all applicable proxy voting rules and regulations. The Adviser has further delegated such responsibility to the Sub-Adviser. The Sub-Adviser has adopted proxy voting policies and guidelines for this purpose (“Proxy Voting Policies”), which have been adopted by the Trust as the policies and procedures that the Sub-Adviser will use when voting proxies on behalf of the Fund.
Under the Proxy Voting Policies, the Sub-Adviser intends to vote corporate proxies and other corporate actions on behalf of the Fund. The Sub-Adviser will generally vote proxies relating to routine matters consistent with the recommendations of the company’s management unless the Sub-Adviser determines that it is in the best interest of the Fund to do otherwise. Routine matters include, without limitation, routine election of directors (where no corporate governance issues are implicated), the selection of auditors, and increases of common stock. For all non-routine matters, the Sub-Adviser will consider the proxy proposal on a case-by-case basis taking into account various factors, including the analysis, research, and recommendation provided by a third-party proxy service, whether the proposal was recommended by management, and other factors it deems relevant. The Sub-Adviser may abstain from voting if, based on factors such as the expense or difficulty of voting, the Sub-Adviser determines that the Fund’s interests are better served by not voting. In the event that a conflict of interest is identified in connection with voting a particular proxy, a special committee will be assembled and determine the appropriate actions with respect to voting the proxy.
The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the Proxy Voting Policies.
When available, information on how the Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 will be available (1) without charge, upon request, by calling (866) 539‑9530 and (2) on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
Investment Adviser
Toroso Investments, LLC, 898 N. Broadway, Suite 2, Massapequa, New York 11758, serves as investment adviser to the Fund and has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Fund.
Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”), the Adviser provides investment advice to the Fund and oversees the day-to-day operations of the Fund, subject to the direction and control of the Board. Under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser is also responsible for arranging sub-advisory, transfer agency, custody, fund administration and accounting, and other related services necessary for the Fund to operate. The Adviser administers the Fund’s business affairs, provides office facilities and equipment and certain clerical, bookkeeping, and administrative services. Under the Advisory Agreement, in exchange for a single unitary management fee, the Adviser has agreed to pay all expenses incurred by the Fund except for the Excluded Expenses, as defined in the Prospectus. For services provided to the Fund, the Fund pays the Adviser a unified management fee of 0.23% at an annual rate based on the Fund’s average daily net assets.
The Advisory Agreement with respect to the Fund will continue in force for an initial period of two years. Thereafter, the Advisory Agreement will be renewable from year to year with respect to the Fund, so long as its continuance is approved at least annually (1) by the vote, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose, of a majority of those Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Adviser or the Trust; and (2) by the majority vote of either the full Board or the vote of a majority of the outstanding Shares. The Advisory Agreement automatically terminates on assignment and is terminable on a 60-day written notice either by the Trust or the Adviser.
The Adviser shall not be liable to the Trust or any shareholder for anything done or omitted by it, except acts or omissions involving willful misfeasance, bad faith, negligence or reckless disregard of the duties imposed upon it by its agreement with the Trust or for any losses that may be sustained in the purchase, holding, or sale of any security.
Investment Sub-Adviser
Aware Asset Management, Inc., 3535 Blue Cross Road, Eagan, Minnesota 55122, serves as investment sub-adviser to the Fund and is responsible for trading portfolio securities for the Fund, including selecting broker-dealers to execute purchase and sale transactions, subject to the supervision of the Adviser and the Board. Aware is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aware Integrated, Inc. and provides investment advice to insurance companies and other corporations. As of September 30, 2018, Aware had approximately $1.billion in assets under management.

Pursuant to a Sub-Advisory Agreement between the Adviser and the Sub-Adviser (the “Sub-Advisory Agreement”), the Sub-Adviser is responsible for trading portfolio securities on behalf of the Fund, including selecting broker-dealers to execute purchase and sale transactions as instructed by the Adviser, subject to the supervision of the Adviser and the Board. For its services, the Sub-Adviser is paid a fee by the Adviser, which fee is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of the Fund’s average daily net assets of the Fund of 0.21%.
The Sub-Advisory Agreement with respect to the Fund will continue in force for an initial period of two years after the date of its approval. Thereafter, the Sub-Advisory Agreement will be renewable from year to year with respect to the Fund, so long as its continuance is approved at least annually (1) by the vote, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose, of a majority of those Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust; and (2) by the majority vote of either the full Board or the vote of a majority of the outstanding Shares. The Sub-Advisory Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment, and is terminable at any time, without penalty, by the Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, or by the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, on 60 days’ written notice to the Adviser and the Sub-Adviser, or by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser on 60 days’ written notice to the Trust and the other party. The Sub-Advisory Agreement provides that the Sub-Adviser shall not be protected against any liability to the Trust or its shareholders by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on its part in the performance of its duties or from reckless disregard of its obligations or duties thereunder.
The Fund is new, and the Adviser has not paid fees to the Sub-Adviser as of the date of this SAI.
Portfolio Managers
John E. Kaprich, CFA, Investment Director of Aware; Andrea M. Roemhildt, CPA, Investment Manager of Aware; Stephen J. Smitley, Head of Structured Products of Aware; and Ian C. Carroll, CFA, Head of Corporate Research of Aware, are the Portfolio Managers of the Fund. As of September 30, 2018, the Portfolio Managers were responsible for managing the following types of accounts for the Sub-Adviser, other than the Fund:
John E. Kaprich, CFA
Number and Assets of Other Accounts
Number and Assets of Accounts for which
Advisory Fee is Performance Based
Registered
Investment
Companies
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Other
Accounts
Registered
Investment
Companies
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Other
Accounts
0
$0
0
$0
2
$812,222,800
0
$0
0
$0
2
$812,222,800
Andrea M. Roemhildt, CPA
Number and Assets of Other Accounts
Number and Assets of Accounts for which
Advisory Fee is Performance Based
Registered
Investment
Companies
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Other
Accounts
Registered
Investment
Companies
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Other
Accounts
0
$0
0
$0
3
$709,203,450
0
$0
0
$0
3
$709,203,450
Stephen J. Smitley
Number and Assets of Other Accounts
Number and Assets of Accounts for which
Advisory Fee is Performance Based
Registered
Investment
Companies
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Other
Accounts
Registered
Investment
Companies
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Other
Accounts
0
$0
0
$0
3
$174,098,090
0
$0
0
$0
3
$174,098,090
Ian C. Carroll, CFA
Number and Assets of Other Accounts
Number and Assets of Accounts for which
Advisory Fee is Performance Based
Registered
Investment
Companies
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Other
Accounts
Registered
Investment
Companies
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Other
Accounts
0
$0
0
$0
3
$709,203,450
0
$0
0
$0
3
$709,203,450
Compensation
The Fund’s portfolio managers each receive a fixed base salary and a discretionary bonus that is based in part on the Fund’s pre-tax performance and the profitability of the Sub-Adviser. Each portfolio manager’s discretionary bonus is based in part on the pre-tax performance over the 1-, 3-, and 5-year and since inception periods (as applicable based on the life of the account, including the Fund) of a composite of accounts managed by the portfolio manager with the same strategy (the “Composite Accounts”) relative to (i) the applicable benchmark for the Composite Accounts (in the case of the Fund’s strategy, the ICE BofAML US 3-Month Treasury Bill Index), (ii) the performance of a peer group of funds with a strategy similar to that of the Composite Accounts, and (iii) the risk-adjusted performance of the Composite Accounts relative to the risk-adjusted performance of a peer group of funds with a strategy similar to that of the Composite Accounts.
Share Ownership
The Fund is required to show the dollar range of each portfolio manager’s “beneficial ownership” of Shares as of the end of the most recently completed fiscal year. Dollar amount ranges disclosed are established by the SEC. “Beneficial ownership” is determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the 1934 Act. No portfolio manager owned any shares of the Fund as of the date of this SAI.
Conflicts of Interest
Actual or apparent conflicts of interest may arise when a portfolio manager has day-to-day management responsibilities with respect to more than one fund or other account. More specifically, portfolio managers who manage multiple funds and/or other accounts may experience the following potential conflicts: The management of multiple accounts may result in a portfolio manager devoting unequal time and attention to the management of each account. Investment decisions for client accounts are also made consistent with a client’s individual investment objective and needs. Accordingly, there may be circumstances when purchases or sales of securities for one or more client accounts will have an adverse effect on other clients. The Sub-Adviser may seek to manage such competing interests by: (1) having a portfolio manager focus on a particular investment discipline; (2) utilizing a quantitative model in managing accounts; and/or (3) reviewing performance differences between similarly managed accounts on a periodic basis to ensure that any such differences are attributable by differences in investment guidelines and timing of cash flows. The Sub-Adviser also maintains a Code of Ethics to establish standards and procedures for the detection and prevention of activities by which persons having knowledge of the investments and investment intentions of the Fund may abuse their fiduciary duties to the Fund.
With respect to securities transactions for clients, the Sub-Adviser determines which broker to use to execute each order. The Sub-Adviser does not participate in soft dollar arrangements and has adopted procedures to help ensure that the Sub-Adviser is seeking best execution of all client transactions.
Finally, the appearance of a conflict of interest may arise where the Sub-Adviser has an incentive, such as a performance-based management fee, which relates to the management of one but not all accounts for which a portfolio manager has day-to-day management responsibilities.
The Distributor
The Trust and Foreside Fund Services, LLC (the “Distributor”) are parties to a distribution agreement (“Distribution Agreement”), whereby the Distributor acts as principal underwriter for the Trust and distributes Shares on a best efforts basis. Shares are continuously offered for sale by the Distributor only in Creation Units. The Distributor will not distribute Shares in amounts less than a Creation Unit and does not maintain a secondary market in Shares. The principal business address of the Distributor is Three Canal Plaza, Suite 100, Portland, Maine 04101.
Under the Distribution Agreement, the Distributor, as agent for the Trust, will review orders for the purchase and redemption of Creation Units, provided that any subscriptions and orders will not be binding on the Trust until accepted by the Trust. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the 1934 Act and a member of FINRA.
The Distributor may also enter into agreements with securities dealers (“Soliciting Dealers”) who will solicit purchases of Creation Units of Shares. Such Soliciting Dealers may also be Authorized Participants (as discussed in “Procedures for Purchase of Creation Units” below) or DTC participants (as defined below).
The Distribution Agreement will continue for two years from its effective date and is renewable annually thereafter. The continuance of the Distribution Agreement must be specifically approved at least annually (i) by the vote of the Trustees or by a vote of the shareholders of the Fund and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operations of the Distribution Agreement or any related agreement, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Distribution Agreement is terminable without penalty by the Trust on 60 days’ written notice when authorized either by majority vote of its outstanding voting Shares or by a vote of a majority of its Board (including a majority of the Independent Trustees), or by the Distributor on 60 days’ written notice, and will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment. The Distribution Agreement provides that in the absence of willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Distributor, or reckless disregard by it of its obligations thereunder, the Distributor shall not be liable for any action or failure to act in accordance with its duties thereunder.
Intermediary Compensation. The Adviser, the Sub-Adviser or their affiliates, out of their own resources and not out of Fund assets (i.e., without additional cost to the Fund or its shareholders), may pay certain broker dealers, banks and other financial intermediaries (“Intermediaries”) for certain activities related to the Fund, including participation in activities that are designed to make Intermediaries more knowledgeable about exchange traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities, such as marketing and educational training or support. These arrangements are not financed by the Fund and, thus, do not result in increased Fund expenses. They are not reflected in the fees and expenses listed in the fees and expenses sections of the Fund’s Prospectus and they do not change the price paid by investors for the purchase of Shares or the amount received by a shareholder as proceeds from the redemption of Shares.
Such compensation may be paid to Intermediaries that provide services to the Fund, including marketing and education support (such as through conferences, webinars and printed communications). The Adviser and Sub-Adviser will periodically assess the advisability of continuing to make these payments. Payments to an Intermediary may be significant to the Intermediary, and amounts that Intermediaries pay to your adviser, broker or other investment professional, if any, may also be significant to such adviser, broker or investment professional. Because an Intermediary may make decisions about what investment options it will make available or recommend, and what services to provide in connection with various products, based on payments it receives or is eligible to receive, such payments create conflicts of interest between the Intermediary and its clients. For example, these financial incentives may cause the Intermediary to recommend the Fund over other investments. The same conflict of interest exists with respect to your financial adviser, broker or investment professional if he or she receives similar payments from his or her Intermediary firm.
Intermediary information is current only as of the date of this SAI. Please contact your adviser, broker or other investment professional for more information regarding any payments his or her Intermediary firm may receive. Any payments made by the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, or their affiliates to an Intermediary may create the incentive for an Intermediary to encourage customers to buy Shares.
If you have any additional questions, please call (866) 539‑9530.
 
Distribution (Rule 12b-1) Plan. The Trust has adopted a Distribution (Rule 12b-1)Plan (the “Plan”) in accordance with the provisions of Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act, which regulates circumstances under which an investment company may directly or indirectly bear expenses relating to the distribution of its shares. No payments pursuant to the Plan are expected to be made during the twelve (12) month period from the date of this SAI. Rule 12b-1 fees to be paid by the Fund under the Plan may only be imposed after approval by the Board.
Continuance of the Plan must be approved annually by a majority of the Trustees of the Trust and by a majority of the Trustees who are not interested persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plan or in any agreements related to the Plan (“Disinterested Trustees”). The Plan requires that quarterly written reports of amounts spent under the Plan and the purposes of such expenditures be furnished to and reviewed by the Trustees. The Plan may not be amended to increase materially the amount that may be spent thereunder without approval by a majority of the outstanding shares of the Fund. All material amendments of the Plan will require approval by a majority of the Trustees of the Trust and of the Disinterested Trustees.
The Plan provides that the Fund pays the Distributor an annual fee of up to a maximum of 0.25% of the average daily net assets of the Shares. Under the Plan, the Distributor may make payments pursuant to written agreements to financial institutions and intermediaries such as banks, savings and loan associations and insurance companies including, without limit, investment counselors, broker-dealers and the Distributor’s affiliates and subsidiaries (collectively, “Agents”) as compensation for services and reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with distribution assistance. The Plan is characterized as a compensation plan since the distribution fee will be paid to the Distributor without regard to the distribution expenses incurred by the Distributor or the amount of payments made to other financial institutions and intermediaries. The Trust intends to operate the Plan in accordance with its terms and with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) rules concerning sales charges.
Under the Plan, subject to the limitations of applicable law and regulations, the Fund is authorized to compensate the Distributor up to the maximum amount to finance any activity primarily intended to result in the sale of Creation Units of the Fund or for providing or arranging for others to provide shareholder services and for the maintenance of shareholder accounts. Such activities may include, but are not limited to: (i) delivering copies of the Fund’s then current reports, prospectuses, notices, and similar materials, to prospective purchasers of Creation Units; (ii) marketing and promotional services, including advertising; (iii) paying the costs of and compensating others, including Authorized Participants with whom the Distributor has entered into written Authorized Participant Agreements, for performing shareholder servicing on behalf of the Fund; (iv) compensating certain Authorized Participants for providing assistance in distributing the Creation Units of the Fund, including the travel and communication expenses and salaries and/or commissions of sales personnel in connection with the distribution of the Creation Units of the Fund; (v) payments to financial institutions and intermediaries such as banks, savings and loan associations, insurance companies and investment counselors, broker-dealers, mutual fund supermarkets and the affiliates and subsidiaries of the Trust’s service providers as compensation for services or reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with distribution assistance; (vi) facilitating communications with beneficial owners of Shares, including the cost of providing (or paying others to provide) services to beneficial owners of Shares, including, but not limited to, assistance in answering inquiries related to Shareholder accounts; and (vi) such other services and obligations as are set forth in the Distribution Agreement.
Administrator
Tidal ETF Services LLC (“Tidal”), an affiliate of the Adviser, serves as the Fund’s administrator. Tidal is located at 898 N. Broadway, Suite 2, Massapequa, New York 11758. Pursuant to a Fund Administration Servicing Agreement between the Trust and Tidal, Tidal provides the Trust with, or arranges for, administrative and management services (other than investment advisory services) to be provided to the Trust and the Board. Pursuant to the Fund Administration Servicing Agreement, officers or employees of Tidal serve as the Trust’s principal executive officer and principal financial officer, Tidal coordinates the payment of Fund-related expenses, and Tidal manages the Trust’s relationships with its various service providers. As compensation for the services it provides, Tidal receives a fee based on the Fund’s average daily net assets, subject to a minimum annual fee. Tidal also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses for the services mentioned above.

The Fund is new, and Tidal has not received any fees for administrative services to the Fund as of the date of this SAI.
Sub-Administrator and Transfer Agent
U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, located at 615 East Michigan Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, serves as the Fund’s sub-administrator and transfer agent.
Pursuant to a Fund Sub-Administration Servicing Agreement and a Fund Accounting Servicing Agreement between the Trust and Fund Services, Fund Services provides the Trust with administrative and management services (other than investment advisory services) and accounting services, including portfolio accounting services, tax accounting services and furnishing financial reports. In this capacity, Fund Services does not have any responsibility or authority for the management of the Fund, the determination of investment policy, or for any matter pertaining to the distribution of Shares. As compensation for the administration, accounting and management services, the Adviser pays Fund Services a fee based on the Fund’s average daily net assets, subject to a minimum annual fee. Fund Services also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses for the services mentioned above, including pricing expenses.
The Fund is new, and Fund Services has not received any fees for administrative services to the Fund as of the date of this SAI.
Custodian
Pursuant to a Custody Agreement, U.S. Bank National Association (“U.S. Bank”), 1555 North Rivercenter Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212, serves as the custodian (the “Custodian”) of the Fund’s assets. U.S. Bank is the parent company of Fund Services. The Custodian holds and administers the assets in the Fund’s portfolios. Pursuant to the Custody Agreement, the Custodian receives an annual fee from the Adviser based on the Trust’s total average daily net assets, subject to a minimum annual fee, and certain settlement charges. The Custodian also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses.
Compliance Services Administrator
The Trust has entered into a compliance services arrangement with Cipperman Compliance Services, LLC (“Cipperman”), located at 480 E. Swedesford Road, Suite 300, Wayne, Pennsylvania 19087, pursuant to which Bridget P. Garcia, an employee of Cipperman, serves as the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer. The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer will prepare and update the Trust’s compliance policies and procedures and monitor and test compliance with such policies and procedures.
Legal Counsel
Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., located at 833 East Michigan Street, Suite 1800, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, serves as legal counsel for the Trust and the Independent Trustees.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
Tait, Weller & Baker LLP, located at Two Liberty Place 50 S 16th Street Philadelphia, PA 19102, serves as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Trust.
Portfolio Holdings Disclosure Policies and Procedures
The Board has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Fund’s security holdings. The Fund’s entire portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the Fund is open for business and through financial reporting and news services including publicly available internet web sites. In addition, the composition of the Deposit Securities is publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the Exchange via the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”).
Description of Shares
The Declaration of Trust authorizes the issuance of an unlimited number of funds and Shares. Each Share represents an equal proportionate interest in the Fund with each other Share. Shares are entitled upon liquidation to a pro rata share in the net assets of the Fund. Shareholders have no preemptive rights. The Declaration of Trust provides that the Trustees may create additional series or classes of shares. All consideration received by the Trust for Shares of any additional funds and all assets in which such consideration is invested would belong to that fund and would be subject to the liabilities related thereto. Share certificates representing Shares will not be issued. Shares, when issued, are fully paid and non-assessable.
Each Share has one vote with respect to matters upon which a shareholder vote is required, consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. Shares of all funds of the Trust vote together as a single class, except that if the matter being voted on affects only a particular fund it will be voted on only by that fund and if a matter affects a particular fund differently from other funds, that fund will vote separately on such matter. As a Delaware statutory trust, the Trust is not required, and does not intend, to hold annual meetings of shareholders. Approval of shareholders will be sought, however, for certain changes in the operation of the Trust and for the election of Trustees under certain circumstances. The Trust will call for a meeting of shareholders to consider the removal of one or more Trustees and other certain matters upon the written request of shareholders holding at least a majority of the outstanding shares of the Trust entitled to vote at such meeting. In the event that such a meeting is requested, the Trust will provide appropriate assistance and information to the shareholders requesting the meeting.
Under the Declaration of Trust, the Trustees have the power to liquidate the Fund without shareholder approval. While the Trustees have no present intention of exercising this power, they may do so if the Fund fails to reach a viable size within a reasonable amount of time or for such other reasons as may be determined by the Board.
Limitation of Trustees’ Liability
The Declaration of Trust provides that a Trustee shall be liable only for his or her own willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of the office of Trustee, and shall not be liable for errors of judgment or mistakes of fact or law. The Declaration of Trust also provides that the Trust shall indemnify each person who is, or has been, a Trustee, officer, employee or agent of the Trust, and, upon due approval of the Trustees, any person who is serving or has served at the Trust’s request as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee, agent or fiduciary of another organization with respect to any alleged acts or omissions while acting within the scope of his or her service in such a position. However, nothing in the Declaration of Trust shall protect or indemnify a Trustee against any liability for his or her willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of the office of Trustee. Nothing contained in this section attempts to disclaim a Trustee’s individual liability in any manner inconsistent with the federal securities laws.
Brokerage Transactions
The policy of the Trust regarding purchases and sales of securities for the Fund is that primary consideration will be given to obtaining the most favorable prices and efficient executions of transactions. Consistent with this policy, when securities transactions are effected on a stock exchange, the Trust’s policy is to pay commissions which are considered fair and reasonable without necessarily determining that the lowest possible commissions are paid in all circumstances. The Trust believes that a requirement always to seek the lowest possible commission cost could impede effective portfolio management and preclude the Fund and the Sub-Adviser from obtaining a high quality of brokerage and research services. In seeking to determine the reasonableness of brokerage commissions paid in any transaction, the Sub-Adviser will rely upon its experience and knowledge regarding commissions generally charged by various brokers and on its judgment in evaluating the brokerage services received from the broker effecting the transaction. Such determinations are necessarily subjective and imprecise, as in most cases, an exact dollar value for those services is not ascertainable. The Trust has adopted policies and procedures that prohibit the consideration of sales of Shares as a factor in the selection of a broker or dealer to execute its portfolio transactions.
The Sub-Adviser owes a fiduciary duty to its clients to seek to provide best execution on trades effected. In selecting a broker/dealer for each specific transaction, the Sub-Adviser chooses the broker/dealer deemed most capable of providing the services necessary to obtain the most favorable execution. “Best execution” is generally understood to mean the most favorable cost or net proceeds reasonably obtainable under the circumstances. The full range of brokerage services applicable to a particular transaction may be considered when making this judgment, which may include, but is not limited to: liquidity, price, commission, timing, aggregated trades, capable floor brokers or traders, competent block trading coverage, ability to position, capital strength and stability, reliable and accurate communications and settlement processing, use of automation, knowledge of other buyers or sellers, arbitrage skills, administrative ability, underwriting and provision of information on a particular security or market in which the transaction is to occur. The specific criteria will vary depending upon the nature of the transaction, the market in which it is executed, and the extent to which it is possible to select from among multiple broker/dealers. The Sub-Adviser will also use electronic crossing networks (“ECNs”) when appropriate.
Subject to the foregoing policies, brokers or dealers selected to execute the Fund’s portfolio transactions may include a Fund’s Authorized Participants (as discussed in “Procedures for Purchase of Creation Units” below) or their affiliates. An Authorized Participant or its affiliates may be selected to execute the Fund’s portfolio transactions in conjunction with an all-cash Creation Unit order or an order including “cash-in-lieu” (as described below under “Purchase and Redemption of Shares in Creation Units”), so long as such selection is in keeping with the foregoing policies. As described below under “Purchase and Redemption of Shares in Creation Units—Creation Transaction Fee” and “—Redemption Transaction Fee”, the Fund may determine to not charge a variable fee on Creation Unit orders when the Adviser has determined that doing so is in the best interests of Fund shareholders, e.g., for creation orders that facilitate the rebalance of a Fund’s portfolio in a more tax efficient manner than could be achieved without such order, even if the decision to not charge a variable fee could be viewed as benefiting the Authorized Participant or its affiliate selected to executed the Fund’s portfolio transactions in connection with such orders.
The Sub-Adviser is responsible, subject to oversight by the Board, for placing orders on behalf of the Fund for the purchase or sale of portfolio securities. If purchases or sales of portfolio securities of the Fund and one or more other investment companies or clients supervised by the Sub-Adviser are considered at or about the same time, transactions in such securities are allocated among the several investment companies and clients in a manner deemed equitable and consistent with its fiduciary obligations to all by the Sub-Adviser. In some cases, this procedure could have a detrimental effect on the price or volume of the security so far as the Fund is concerned. However, in other cases, it is possible that the ability to participate in volume transactions and to negotiate lower brokerage commissions will be beneficial to the Fund. The primary consideration is prompt execution of orders at the most favorable net price.
The Fund may deal with affiliates in principal transactions to the extent permitted by exemptive order or applicable rule or regulation.
The Fund is new and had not paid any brokerage commissions as of the date of this SAI.
Brokerage with Fund Affiliates. The Fund may execute brokerage or other agency transactions through registered broker-dealer affiliates of the Fund, the Adviser, the Sub-Adviser, or the Distributor for a commission in conformity with the 1940 Act, the 1934 Act and rules promulgated by the SEC. These rules require that commissions paid to the affiliate by the Fund for exchange transactions not exceed “usual and customary” brokerage commissions. The rules define “usual and customary” commissions to include amounts which are “reasonable and fair compared to the commission, fee or other remuneration received or to be received by other brokers in connection with comparable transactions involving similar securities being purchased or sold on a securities exchange during a comparable period of time.” The Trustees, including those who are not “interested persons” of the Fund, have adopted procedures for evaluating the reasonableness of commissions paid to affiliates and review these procedures periodically.
Securities of “Regular Broker-Dealers.” The Fund is required to identify any securities of its “regular brokers and dealers” (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) that it may hold at the close of its most recent fiscal year. “Regular brokers or dealers” of the Fund are the ten brokers or dealers that, during the most recent fiscal year: (i) received the greatest dollar amounts of brokerage commissions from the Fund’s portfolio transactions; (ii) engaged as principal in the largest dollar amounts of portfolio transactions of the Fund; or (iii) sold the largest dollar amounts of Shares. Because the Fund is new, as of the date of this SAI, the Fund does not hold any securities of “regular broker dealers.”
Portfolio Turnover Rate
A portfolio turnover rate is, in summary, the percentage computed by dividing the lesser of the Fund’s purchases or sales of securities (excluding short-term securities and securities transferred in-kind) by the average market value of the Fund. A rate of 100% indicates that the equivalent of all of the Fund’s assets have been sold and reinvested in a year. High portfolio turnover may affect the amount, timing and character of distributions, and, as a result, may increase the amount of taxes payable by shareholders. Higher portfolio turnover also results in higher transaction costs. To the extent that net short-term capital gains are realized by the Fund, any distributions resulting from such gains are considered ordinary income for federal income tax purposes. The Fund has not commenced operations as of the date of this SAI. Therefore, there is no portfolio turnover rate for the Fund to report at this time.
Book Entry Only System
The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) acts as securities depositary for Shares. Shares are represented by securities registered in the name of DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC. Except in limited circumstances set forth below, certificates will not be issued for Shares.
DTC is a limited-purpose trust company that was created to hold securities of its participants (the “DTC Participants”) and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and FINRA. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers, and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (the “Indirect Participants”).
Beneficial ownership of Shares is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants, and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in Shares (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to herein as “Beneficial Owners”) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase of Shares. The Trust recognizes DTC or its nominee as the record owner of all Shares for all purposes. Beneficial Owners of Shares are not entitled to have Shares registered in their names, and will not receive or be entitled to physical delivery of Share certificates. Each Beneficial Owner must rely on the procedures of DTC and any DTC Participant and/or Indirect Participant through which such Beneficial Owner holds its interests, to exercise any rights of a holder of Shares.
Conveyance of all notices, statements, and other communications to Beneficial Owners is effected as follows. DTC will make available to the Trust upon request and for a fee a listing of Shares held by each DTC Participant. The Trust shall obtain from each such DTC Participant the number of Beneficial Owners holding Shares, directly or indirectly, through such DTC Participant. The Trust shall provide each such DTC Participant with copies of such notice, statement, or other communication, in such form, number and at such place as such DTC Participant may reasonably request, in order that such notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC Participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial Owners. In addition, the Trust shall pay to each such DTC Participant a fair and reasonable amount as reimbursement for the expenses attendant to such transmittal, all subject to applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
Share distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all Shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in the Fund as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners of Shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants.
The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial Owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in Shares, or for maintaining, supervising, or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests, or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC Participants.
DTC may determine to discontinue providing its service with respect to the Fund at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Fund and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Fund shall take action either to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost or, if such replacement is unavailable, to issue and deliver printed certificates representing ownership of Shares, unless the Trust makes other arrangements with respect thereto satisfactory to the Exchange.
Purchase and Redemption of Shares in Creation Units
The Trust issues and redeems Shares only in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Transfer Agent, without a sales load (but subject to transaction fees, if applicable), at their NAV per share next determined after receipt of an order, on any Business Day, in proper form pursuant to the terms of the Authorized Participant Agreement (“Participant Agreement”). The NAV of Shares is calculated each business day as of the scheduled close of regular trading on the NYSE, generally 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The Fund will not issue fractional Creation Units. A “Business Day” is any day on which the NYSE is open for business.
Fund Deposit. The consideration for purchase of a Creation Unit of the Fund generally consists of the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (the “Deposit Securities”) per each Creation Unit, constituting a substantial replication of the securities included in the Fund’s portfolio and the Cash Component (defined below), computed as described below. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of a “cash in lieu” amount (“Deposit Cash”) to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security. When accepting purchases of Creation Units for all or a portion of Deposit Cash, the Fund may incur additional costs associated with the acquisition of Deposit Securities that would otherwise be provided by an in-kind purchaser.
Together, the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, and the Cash Component constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit of the Fund. The “Cash Component” is an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of Shares (per Creation Unit) and the value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable. If the Cash Component is a positive number (i.e., the NAV per Creation Unit exceeds the value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable), the Cash Component shall be such positive amount. If the Cash Component is a negative number (i.e., the NAV per Creation Unit is less than the value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable), the Cash Component shall be such negative amount and the creator will be entitled to receive cash in an amount equal to the Cash Component. The Cash Component serves the function of compensating for any differences between the NAV per Creation Unit and the value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable. Computation of the Cash Component excludes any stamp duty or other similar fees and expenses payable upon transfer of beneficial ownership of the Deposit Securities, if applicable, which shall be the sole responsibility of the Authorized Participant.
The Fund, through NSCC, makes available on each Business Day, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern Time), the list of the names and the required number of shares of each Deposit Security or the required amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for the Fund. Such Fund Deposit is subject to any applicable adjustments as described below, to effect purchases of Creation Units of the Fund until such time as the next-announced composition of the Deposit Securities or the required amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, is made available.
The identity and number of Shares of the Deposit Securities or the amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, required for a Fund Deposit for the Fund changes as corporate action events are reflected from time to time by the Sub-Adviser with a view to the investment objective of the Fund.
The Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of Deposit Cash to replace any Deposit Security, which shall be added to the Cash Component, including, without limitation, in situations where the Deposit Security: (i) may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery; (ii) may not be eligible for transfer through the systems of DTC for corporate securities and municipal securities; (iii) may not be eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant or the investor for which it is acting; (iv) would be restricted under the securities laws or where the delivery of the Deposit Security to the Authorized Participant would result in the disposition of the Deposit Security by the Authorized Participant becoming restricted under the securities laws; or (v) in certain other situations (collectively, “custom orders”). The adjustments described above will reflect changes, known to the Sub-Adviser on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Fund Deposit, resulting from certain corporate actions.
Procedures for Purchase of Creation Units. To be eligible to place orders with the Transfer Agent to purchase a Creation Unit of the Fund, an entity must be (i) a “Participating Party”, i.e., a broker-dealer or other participant in the clearing process through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC (the “Clearing Process”), a clearing agency that is registered with the SEC; or (ii) a DTC Participant (see “Book Entry Only System”). In addition, each Participating Party or DTC Participant (each, an “Authorized Participant”) must execute a Participant Agreement that has been agreed to by the Distributor, and that has been accepted by the Transfer Agent, with respect to purchases and redemptions of Creation Units. Each Authorized Participant will agree, pursuant to the terms of a Participant Agreement, on behalf of itself or any investor on whose behalf it will act, to certain conditions, including that it will pay to the Trust, an amount of cash sufficient to pay the Cash Component together with the creation transaction fee (described below), if applicable, and any other applicable fees and taxes.
All orders to purchase Shares directly from the Fund must be placed for one or more Creation Units and in the manner and by the time set forth in the Participant Agreement and/or applicable order form. The order cut-off time for the Fund for orders to purchase Creation Units is expected to be 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, which time may be modified by the Fund from time-to-time by amendment to the Participant Agreement and/or applicable order form. The date on which an order to purchase Creation Units (or an order to redeem Creation Units, as set forth below) is received and accepted is referred to as the “Order Placement Date.”
An Authorized Participant may require an investor to make certain representations or enter into agreements with respect to the order (e.g., to provide for payments of cash, when required). Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed a Participant Agreement and that, therefore, orders to purchase Shares directly from the Fund in Creation Units have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement. In such cases there may be additional charges to such investor. At any given time, there may be only a limited number of broker-dealers that have executed a Participant Agreement and only a small number of such Authorized Participants may have international capabilities.
On days when the Exchange closes earlier than normal, the Fund may require orders to create Creation Units to be placed earlier in the day. In addition, if a market or markets on which the Fund’s investments are primarily traded is closed, the Fund will also generally not accept orders on such day(s). Orders must be transmitted by an Authorized Participant by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to the Transfer Agent pursuant to procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement and in accordance with the applicable order form. On behalf of the Fund, the Transfer Agent will notify the Custodian of such order. The Custodian will then provide such information to the appropriate local sub-custodian(s). Those placing orders through an Authorized Participant should allow sufficient time to permit proper submission of the purchase order to the Transfer Agent by the cut-off time on such Business Day. Economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communication failure may impede the ability to reach the Transfer Agent or an Authorized Participant.
Fund Deposits must be delivered by an Authorized Participant through the Federal Reserve System (for cash) or through DTC (for corporate securities), through a subcustody agent (for foreign securities) and/or through such other arrangements allowed by the Trust or its agents. With respect to foreign Deposit Securities, the Custodian shall cause the sub-custodian of the Fund to maintain an account into which the Authorized Participant shall deliver, on behalf of itself or the party on whose behalf it is acting, such Deposit Securities (or Deposit Cash for all or a part of such securities, as permitted or required), with any appropriate adjustments as advised by the Trust. Foreign Deposit Securities must be delivered to an account maintained at the applicable local sub-custodian. The Fund Deposit transfer must be ordered by the Authorized Participant in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number of Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, to the account of the Fund or its agents by no later than 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (or such other time as specified by the Trust) on the Settlement Date. If the Fund or its agents do not receive all of the Deposit Securities, or the required Deposit Cash in lieu thereof, by such time, then the order may be deemed rejected and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to the Fund for losses, if any, resulting therefrom. The “Settlement Date” for the Fund is generally the second Business Day after the Order Placement Date. All questions as to the number of Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash to be delivered, as applicable, and the validity, form and eligibility (including time of receipt) for the deposit of any tendered securities or cash, as applicable, will be determined by the Trust, whose determination shall be final and binding. The amount of cash represented by the Cash Component must be transferred directly to the Custodian through the Federal Reserve Bank wire transfer system in a timely manner so as to be received by the Custodian no later than the Settlement Date. If the Cash Component and the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, are not received by the Custodian in a timely manner by the Settlement Date, the creation order may be cancelled. Upon written notice to the Distributor, such canceled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day using a Fund Deposit as newly constituted to reflect the then current NAV of the Fund.
The order shall be deemed to be received on the Business Day on which the order is placed provided that the order is placed in proper form prior to the applicable cut-off time and the federal funds in the appropriate amount are deposited by 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m., Eastern Time (as set forth on the applicable order form), with the Custodian on the Settlement Date. If the order is not placed in proper form as required, or federal funds in the appropriate amount are not received by 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m., Eastern Time (as set forth on the applicable order form) on the Settlement Date, then the order may be deemed to be rejected and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to the Fund for losses, if any, resulting therefrom. A creation request is considered to be in “proper form” if all procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement, order form and this SAI are properly followed.
Issuance of a Creation Unit. Except as provided in this SAI, Creation Units will not be issued until the transfer of good title to the Trust of the Deposit Securities or payment of Deposit Cash, as applicable, and the payment of the Cash Component have been completed. When the sub-custodian has confirmed to the Custodian that the required Deposit Securities (or the cash value thereof) have been delivered to the account of the relevant sub-custodian or sub-custodians, the Transfer Agent and the Sub-Adviser shall be notified of such delivery, and the Trust will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Units. The delivery of Creation Units so created generally will occur no later than the second Business Day following the day on which the purchase order is deemed received by the Transfer Agent. The Authorized Participant shall be liable to the Fund for losses, if any, resulting from unsettled orders.
 
Creation Units may be purchased in advance of receipt by the Trust of all or a portion of the applicable Deposit Securities as described below. In these circumstances, the initial deposit will have a value greater than the NAV of Shares on the date the order is placed in proper form since, in addition to available Deposit Securities, cash must be deposited in an amount equal to the sum of (i) the Cash Component, plus (ii) an additional amount of cash equal to a percentage of the value as set forth in the Participant Agreement, of the undelivered Deposit Securities (the “Additional Cash Deposit”), which shall be maintained in a separate non-interest bearing collateral account. The Authorized Participant must deposit with the Custodian the Additional Cash Deposit, as applicable, by 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (or such other time as specified by the Trust) on the Settlement Date. If the Fund or its agents do not receive the Additional Cash Deposit in the appropriate amount, by such time, then the order may be deemed rejected and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to the Fund for losses, if any, resulting therefrom. An additional amount of cash shall be required to be deposited with the Trust, pending delivery of the missing Deposit Securities to the extent necessary to maintain the Additional Cash Deposit with the Trust in an amount at least equal to the applicable percentage, as set forth in the Participant Agreement, of the daily market value of the missing Deposit Securities. The Participant Agreement will permit the Trust to buy the missing Deposit Securities at any time. Authorized Participants will be liable to the Trust for the costs incurred by the Trust in connection with any such purchases. These costs will be deemed to include the amount by which the actual purchase price of the Deposit Securities exceeds the value of such Deposit Securities on the day the purchase order was deemed received by the Transfer Agent plus the brokerage and related transaction costs associated with such purchases. The Trust will return any unused portion of the Additional Cash Deposit once all of the missing Deposit Securities have been properly received by the Custodian or purchased by the Trust and deposited into the Trust. In addition, a transaction fee, as described below under “Creation Transaction Fee” may be charged. The delivery of Creation Units so created generally will occur no later than the Settlement Date.
Acceptance of Orders of Creation Units. The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject an order for Creation Units transmitted to it by the Transfer Agent with respect to the Fund including, without limitation, if (a) the order is not in proper form; (b) the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, delivered by the Participant are not as disseminated through the facilities of the NSCC for that date by the Custodian; (c) the investor(s), upon obtaining Shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares; (d) acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to the Fund; (e) the acceptance of the Fund Deposit would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (f) the acceptance of the Fund Deposit would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or the Sub-Adviser, have an adverse effect on the Trust or the rights of beneficial owners; (g) the acceptance or receipt of the order for a Creation Unit would, in the opinion of counsel to the Trust, be unlawful; or (h) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Custodian, the Transfer Agent and/or the Sub-Adviser make it for all practical purposes not feasible to process orders for Creation Units.
Examples of such circumstances include acts of God or public service or utility problems such as fires, floods, extreme weather conditions and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Trust, the Distributor, the Custodian, a sub-custodian, the Transfer Agent, DTC, NSCC, Federal Reserve System, or any other participant in the creation process, and other extraordinary events. The Transfer Agent shall notify a prospective creator of a Creation Unit and/or the Authorized Participant acting on behalf of the creator of a Creation Unit of its rejection of the order of such person. The Trust, the Transfer Agent, the Custodian, any sub-custodian and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of Fund Deposits nor shall either of them incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification. The Trust, the Transfer Agent, the Custodian and the Distributor shall not be liable for the rejection of any purchase order for Creation Units.
 
All questions as to the number of shares of each security in the Deposit Securities and the validity, form, eligibility and acceptance for deposit of any securities to be delivered shall be determined by the Trust, and the Trust’s determination shall be final and binding.
Creation Transaction Fee. A fixed purchase (i.e., creation) transaction fee, payable to the Custodian, may be imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the purchase of Creation Units (“Creation Order Costs”). The standard fixed creation transaction fee for the Fund is $250, regardless of the number of Creation Units created in the transaction. The Fund may adjust the standard fixed creation transaction fee from time to time.  The fixed creation fee may be waived on certain orders if the Custodian has determined to waive some or all of the Creation Order Costs associated with the order or another party, such as the Sub-Adviser, has agreed to pay such fee.
In addition, a variable fee, payable to the Fund, of up to a maximum of 2% of the value of the Creation Units subject to the transaction may be imposed for cash purchases, non-standard orders, or partial cash purchases of Creation Units. The variable charge is primarily designed to cover additional costs (e.g., brokerage, taxes) involved with buying the securities with cash. The Fund may determine to not charge a variable fee on certain orders when the Adviser has determined that doing so is in the best interests of Fund shareholders. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services. Investors are responsible for the fixed costs of transferring the Fund Securities (defined below) from the Fund to their account or on their order.
Risks of Purchasing Creation Units. There are certain legal risks unique to investors purchasing Creation Units directly from the Fund. Because Shares may be issued on an ongoing basis, a “distribution” of Shares could be occurring at any time. Certain activities that a shareholder performs as a dealer could, depending on the circumstances, result in the shareholder being deemed a participant in the distribution in a manner that could render the shareholder a statutory underwriter and subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act. For example, a shareholder could be deemed a statutory underwriter if it purchases Creation Units from the Fund, breaks them down into the constituent Shares, and sells those Shares directly to customers, or if a shareholder chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary-market demand for Shares. Whether a person is an underwriter depends upon all of the facts and circumstances pertaining to that person’s activities, and the examples mentioned here should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could cause you to be deemed an underwriter.
Dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as opposed to engaging in ordinary secondary-market transactions), and thus dealing with Shares as part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act, will be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act.
Redemption. Shares may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Fund through the Transfer Agent and only on a Business Day. EXCEPT UPON LIQUIDATION OF THE FUND, THE TRUST WILL NOT REDEEM SHARES IN AMOUNTS LESS THAN CREATION UNITS. Investors must accumulate enough Shares in the secondary market to constitute a Creation Unit to have such Shares redeemed by the Trust. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the public trading market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit. Investors should expect to incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of Shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit.
With respect to the Fund, the Custodian, through the NSCC, makes available prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern Time) on each Business Day, the list of the names and share quantities of the Fund’s portfolio securities that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) on that day (“Fund Securities”). Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities.
Redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit are paid either in-kind or in cash, or combination thereof, as determined by the Trust. With respect to in-kind redemptions of the Fund, redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit will consist of Fund Securities—as announced by the Custodian on the Business Day of the request for redemption received in proper form plus cash in an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of Shares being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of the Fund Securities (the “Cash Redemption Amount”), less a fixed redemption transaction fee, as applicable, as set forth below. In the event that the Fund Securities have a value greater than the NAV of Shares, a compensating cash payment equal to the differential is required to be made by or through an Authorized Participant by the redeeming shareholder. Notwithstanding the foregoing, at the Trust’s discretion, an Authorized Participant may receive the corresponding cash value of the securities in lieu of the in-kind securities value representing one or more Fund Securities.
Redemption Transaction Fee. A fixed redemption transaction fee, payable to the Custodian, may be imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the redemption of Creation Units (“Redemption Order Costs”). The standard fixed redemption transaction fee for the Fund is $250 regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed in the transaction. The Fund may adjust the redemption transaction fee from time to time. The fixed redemption fee may be waived on certain orders if the Custodian has determined to waive some or all of the Redemption Order Costs associated with the order or another party, such as the Sub-Adviser, has agreed to pay such fee.
In addition, a variable fee, payable to the Fund, of up to a maximum of 2% of the value of the Creation Units subject to the transaction may be imposed for cash redemptions, non-standard orders, or partial cash redemptions (when cash redemptions are available) of Creation Units. The variable charge is primarily designed to cover additional costs (e.g., brokerage, taxes) involved with selling portfolio securities to satisfy a cash redemption. The Fund may determine to not charge a variable fee on certain orders when the Adviser has determined that doing so is in the best interests of Fund shareholders.
Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services. Investors are responsible for the fixed costs of transferring the Fund Securities from the Fund to their account or on their order.
Procedures for Redemption of Creation Units. Orders to redeem Creation Units must be submitted in proper form to the Transfer Agent prior to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. A redemption request is considered to be in “proper form” if (i) an Authorized Participant has transferred or caused to be transferred to the Trust’s Transfer Agent the Creation Unit(s) being redeemed through the book-entry system of DTC so as to be effective by the time as set forth in the Participant Agreement and (ii) a request in form satisfactory to the Trust is received by the Transfer Agent from the Authorized Participant on behalf of itself or another redeeming investor within the time periods specified in the Participant Agreement. If the Transfer Agent does not receive the investor’s Shares through DTC’s facilities by the times and pursuant to the other terms and conditions set forth in the Participant Agreement, the redemption request shall be rejected.
The Authorized Participant must transmit the request for redemption, in the form required by the Trust, to the Transfer Agent in accordance with procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed an Authorized Participant Agreement, and that, therefore, requests to redeem Creation Units may have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an Authorized Participant who has executed an Authorized Participant Agreement. Investors making a redemption request should be aware that such request must be in the form specified by such Authorized Participant. Investors making a request to redeem Creation Units should allow sufficient time to permit proper submission of the request by an Authorized Participant and transfer of Shares to the Transfer Agent; such investors should allow for the additional time that may be required to effect redemptions through their banks, brokers or other financial intermediaries if such intermediaries are not Authorized Participants.
Additional Redemption Procedures. In connection with taking delivery of shares of Fund Securities upon redemption of Creation Units, a redeeming shareholder or Authorized Participant acting on behalf of such shareholder must maintain appropriate custody arrangements with a qualified broker-dealer, bank or other custody providers in each jurisdiction in which any of the Fund Securities are customarily traded, to which account such Fund Securities will be delivered. Deliveries of redemption proceeds generally will be made within three business days of the trade date.
The Trust may, in its discretion, exercise its option to redeem such Shares in cash, and the redeeming investor will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash. In addition, an investor may request a redemption in cash that the Fund may, in its sole discretion, permit. In either case, the investor will receive a cash payment equal to the NAV of its Shares based on the NAV of Shares next determined after the redemption request is received in proper form (minus a redemption transaction fee, if applicable, and additional charge for requested cash redemptions specified above, to offset the Trust’s brokerage and other transaction costs associated with the disposition of Fund Securities). The Fund may also, in its sole discretion, upon request of a shareholder, provide such redeemer a portfolio of securities that differs from the exact composition of the Fund Securities but does not differ in NAV.
Redemptions of Shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable federal and state securities laws and the Fund (whether or not it otherwise permits cash redemptions) reserves the right to redeem Creation Units for cash to the extent that the Trust could not lawfully deliver specific Fund Securities upon redemptions or could not do so without first registering the Fund Securities under such laws. An Authorized Participant or an investor for which it is acting subject to a legal restriction with respect to a particular security included in the Fund Securities applicable to the redemption of Creation Units may be paid an equivalent amount of cash. The Authorized Participant may request the redeeming investor of Shares to complete an order form or to enter into agreements with respect to such matters as compensating cash payment. Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” (“QIB”) as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the Securities Act, will not be able to receive Fund Securities that are restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A. An Authorized Participant may be required by the Trust to provide a written confirmation with respect to QIB status to receive Fund Securities.
Because the portfolio securities of the Fund may trade on other exchanges on days that the Exchange is closed or are otherwise not Business Days for the Fund, shareholders may not be able to redeem their Shares, or to purchase or sell Shares on the Exchange, on days when the NAV of the Fund could be significantly affected by events in the relevant foreign markets.
The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed with respect to the Fund (1) for any period during which the Exchange is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (2) for any period during which trading on the Exchange is suspended or restricted; (3) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of Shares or determination of the NAV of Shares is not reasonably practicable; or (4) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.
Determination of NAV
NAV per Share for the Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of Shares outstanding, rounded to the nearest cent. Expenses and fees, including the management fees, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV of the Fund is calculated by the Custodian and determined at the scheduled close of the regular trading session on the NYSE (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time) on each day that the NYSE is open, provided that fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments on any day that the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“SIFMA”) announces an early closing time.
In calculating the Fund’s NAV per Share, the Fund’s investments are generally valued using market valuations. A market valuation generally means a valuation (i) obtained from an exchange, a pricing service, or a major market maker (or dealer), (ii) based on a price quotation or other equivalent indication of value supplied by an exchange, a pricing service, or a major market maker (or dealer) or (iii) based on amortized cost. In the case of shares of other funds that are not traded on an exchange, a market valuation means such fund’s published NAV per share. The Fund may use various pricing services, or discontinue the use of any pricing service, as approved by the Board from time to time. A price obtained from a pricing service based on such pricing service’s valuation matrix may be considered a market valuation. Any assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are converted into U.S. dollars at the current market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more sources.
Dividends and Distributions
The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled “Dividends, Distributions, and Taxes.”
General Policies. Dividends and interest income, if any, are generally declared and paid monthly by the Fund. Distributions of net realized capital gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Fund may make distributions on a more frequent basis to comply with the distribution requirements of the Code, in all events in a manner consistent with the provisions of the 1940 Act.
Dividends and other distributions on Shares are distributed, as described below, on a pro rata basis to Beneficial Owners of such Shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners then of record with proceeds received from the Trust.
The Fund makes additional distributions to the extent necessary (i) to distribute the entire annual taxable income of the Fund, plus any net capital gains and (ii) to avoid imposition of the excise tax imposed by Section 4982 of the Code. Management of the Trust reserves the right to declare special dividends if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve the Fund’s eligibility for treatment as a RIC or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income.
Dividend Reinvestment Service. The Trust will not make the DTC book-entry dividend reinvestment service available for use by Beneficial Owners for reinvestment of their cash proceeds, but certain individual broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by Beneficial Owners of the Fund through DTC Participants for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Investors should contact their brokers to ascertain the availability and description of these services. Beneficial Owners should be aware that each broker may require investors to adhere to specific procedures and timetables to participate in the dividend reinvestment service and investors should ascertain from their brokers such necessary details. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole Shares issued by the Trust of the Fund at NAV per Share. Distributions reinvested in additional Shares will nevertheless be taxable to Beneficial Owners acquiring such additional Shares to the same extent as if such distributions had been received in cash.
Federal Income Taxes
The following is only a summary of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations generally affecting the Fund and its shareholders that supplements the discussion in the Prospectus. No attempt is made to present a comprehensive explanation of the federal, state, local or foreign tax treatment of the Fund or its shareholders, and the discussion here and in the Prospectus is not intended to be a substitute for careful tax planning.
The following general discussion of certain U.S. federal income tax consequences is based on provisions of the Code and the regulations issued thereunder as in effect on the date of this SAI. New legislation, as well as administrative changes or court decisions, may significantly change the conclusions expressed herein, and may have a retroactive effect with respect to the transactions contemplated herein.
The recently enacted tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) made significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax rules for taxation of individuals and corporations, generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017.  Many of the changes applicable to individuals are temporary and would apply only to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026.  There are only minor changes with respect to the specific rules applicable to a RIC, such as the Fund.  The Tax Act, however, made numerous other changes to the tax rules that may affect shareholders and the Fund. You are urged to consult with your own tax advisor regarding how the Tax Act affects your investment in the Fund.
Shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisers regarding the application of the provisions of tax law described in this SAI in light of the particular tax situations of the shareholders and regarding specific questions as to federal, state, local, or foreign taxes.
Taxation of the Fund. The Fund will elect and intends to qualify each year to be treated as a RIC under the Code. As such, the Fund should not be subject to federal income taxes on its net investment income and capital gains, if any, to the extent that it timely distributes such income and capital gains to its shareholders. Generally, to be taxed as a RIC, the Fund must distribute in each taxable year at least 90% of its “investment company taxable income” for the taxable year, which includes, among other items, dividends, interest, net short-term capital gain and net foreign currency gain, less expenses, as well as 90% of its net tax-exempt interest income, if any (the “Distribution Requirement”) and also must meet several additional requirements. Among these requirements are the following: (i) at least 90% of the Fund’s gross income each taxable year must be derived from dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans, gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or foreign currencies and net income derived from interests in qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Qualifying Income Requirement”); and (ii) at the end of each quarter of the Fund’s taxable year, the Fund’s assets must be diversified so that (a) at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s total assets is represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs, and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect to any one issuer, to an amount not greater in value than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and to not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs) of any one issuer, the securities (other than securities of other RICs) of two or more issuers which the Fund controls and which are engaged in the same, similar, or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Diversification Requirement”).
To the extent the Fund makes investments that may generate income that is not qualifying income, including certain derivatives, the Fund will seek to restrict the resulting income from such investments so that the Fund’s non-qualifying income does not exceed 10% of its gross income.
Although the Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its net investment income and may distribute its capital gains for any taxable year, the Fund will be subject to federal income taxation to the extent any such income or gains are not distributed. The Fund is treated as a separate corporation for federal income tax purposes. The Fund therefore is considered to be a separate entity in determining its treatment under the rules for RICs described herein. The requirements (other than certain organizational requirements) for qualifying RIC status are determined at the Fund level rather than at the Trust level.
If the Fund fails to satisfy the Qualifying Income Requirement or the Diversification Requirement in any taxable year, the Fund may be eligible for relief provisions if the failures are due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect and if a penalty tax is paid with respect to each failure to satisfy the applicable requirements. Additionally, relief is provided for certain de minimis failures of the Diversification Requirement where the Fund corrects the failure within a specified period of time. To be eligible for the relief provisions with respect to a failure to meet the Diversification Requirement, the Fund may be required to dispose of certain assets. If these relief provisions were not available to the Fund and it were to fail to qualify for treatment as a RIC for a taxable year, all of its taxable income would be subject to tax at regular corporate rates (which the Tax Act reduced to 21%) without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and its distributions (including capital gains distributions) generally would be taxable to the shareholders of the Fund as ordinary income dividends, subject to the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders and the lower tax rates on qualified dividend income received by noncorporate shareholders, subject to certain limitations. To requalify for treatment as a RIC in a subsequent taxable year, the Fund would be required to satisfy the RIC qualification requirements for that year and to distribute any earnings and profits from any year in which the Fund failed to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC. If the Fund failed to qualify as a RIC for a period greater than two taxable years, it would generally be required to pay a fund-level tax on certain net built in gains recognized with respect to certain of its assets upon disposition of such assets within five years of qualifying as a RIC in a subsequent year. The Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of the Fund for treatment as a RIC if it determines such course of action to be beneficial to shareholders. If the Fund determines that it will not qualify as a RIC, the Fund will establish procedures to reflect the anticipated tax liability in the Fund’s NAV.
The Fund may elect to treat part or all of any “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in determining the Fund’s taxable income, net capital gain, net short-term capital gain, and earnings and profits. The effect of this election is to treat any such “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in characterizing Fund distributions for any calendar year. A “qualified late year loss” generally includes net capital loss, net long-term capital loss, or net short-term capital loss incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year (commonly referred to as “post-October losses”) and certain other late-year losses.
Capital losses in excess of capital gains (“net capital losses”) are not permitted to be deducted against a RIC’s net investment income. Instead, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, potentially subject to certain limitations, the Fund may carry a net capital loss from any taxable year forward indefinitely to offset its capital gains, if any, in years following the year of the loss. To the extent subsequent capital gains are offset by such losses, they will not result in U.S. federal income tax liability to the Fund and may not be distributed as capital gains to its shareholders. Generally, the Fund may not carry forward any losses other than net capital losses. The carryover of capital losses may be limited under the general loss limitation rules if the Fund experiences an ownership change as defined in the Code.
The Fund will be subject to a nondeductible 4% federal excise tax on certain undistributed income if it does not distribute to its shareholders in each calendar year an amount at least equal to 98% of its ordinary income for the calendar year plus 98.2% of its capital gain net income for the one-year period ending on October 31 of that year, subject to an increase for any shortfall in the prior year’s distribution. The Fund intends to declare and distribute dividends and distributions in the amounts and at the times necessary to avoid the application of the excise tax, but can make no assurances that all such tax liability will be eliminated.
The Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its net investment income to shareholders for each taxable year. If the Fund meets the Distribution Requirement but retains some or all of its income or gains, it will be subject to federal income tax to the extent any such income or gains are not distributed. The Fund may designate certain amounts retained as undistributed net capital gain in a notice to its shareholders, who (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their proportionate shares of the undistributed amount so designated, (ii) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the income tax paid by the Fund on that undistributed amount against their federal income tax liabilities and to claim refunds to the extent such credits exceed their tax liabilities, and (iii) will be entitled to increase their tax basis, for federal income tax purposes, in their Shares by an amount equal to the excess of the amount of undistributed net capital gain included in their respective income over their respective income tax credits.
Taxation of Shareholders – Distributions. The Fund intends to distribute annually to its shareholders substantially all of its investment company taxable income (computed without regard to the deduction for dividends paid), its net tax-exempt income, if any, and any net capital gain (net recognized long-term capital gains in excess of net recognized short-term capital losses, taking into account any capital loss carryforwards). The distribution of investment company taxable income (as so computed) and net capital gain will be taxable to Fund shareholders regardless of whether the shareholder receives these distributions in cash or reinvests them in additional Shares.
The Fund (or your broker) will report to shareholders annually the amounts of dividends paid from ordinary income, the amount of distributions of net capital gain, the portion of dividends which may qualify for the dividends received deduction for corporations, and the portion of dividends which may qualify for treatment as qualified dividend income, which is taxable to non-corporate shareholders at rates of up to 20%.
Distributions from the Fund’s net capital gain will be taxable to shareholders at long-term capital gains rates, regardless of how long shareholders have held their Shares. Distributions may be subject to state and local taxes.
Qualified dividend income includes, in general, subject to certain holding period and other requirements, dividend income from taxable domestic corporations and certain foreign corporations. Subject to certain limitations, eligible foreign corporations include those incorporated in possessions of the United States, those incorporated in certain countries with comprehensive tax treaties with the United States, and other foreign corporations if the stock with respect to which the dividends are paid is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States. Dividends received by the Fund from an ETF or an underlying fund taxable as a RIC or a REIT may be treated as qualified dividend income generally only to the extent so reported by such ETF, underlying fund or REIT. If 95% or more of the Fund’s gross income (calculated without taking into account net capital gain derived from sales or other dispositions of stock or securities) consists of qualified dividend income, the Fund may report all distributions of such income as qualified dividend income.
Fund dividends will not be treated as qualified dividend income if the Fund does not meet certain holding period and other requirements with respect to dividend paying stocks in its portfolio, and the shareholder does not meet certain holding period and other requirements with respect to the Shares on which the dividends were paid. Distributions by the Fund of its net short-term capital gains will be taxable as ordinary income. Distributions from the Fund’s net capital gain will be taxable to shareholders at long-term capital gains rates, regardless of how long shareholders have held their Shares. Distributions may be subject to state and local taxes.
In the case of corporate shareholders, certain dividends received by the Fund from U.S. corporations (generally, dividends received by the Fund in respect of any share of stock (1) with a tax holding period of at least 46 days during the 91-day period beginning on the date that is 45 days before the date on which the stock becomes ex-dividend as to that dividend and (2) that is held in an unleveraged position) and distributed and appropriately so reported by the Fund may be eligible for the 50% dividends-received deduction. Certain preferred stock must have a holding period of at least 91 days during the 181-day period beginning on the date that is 90 days before the date on which the stock becomes ex-dividend as to that dividend to be eligible. Capital gain dividends distributed to the Fund from other RICs are not eligible for the dividends-received deduction. To qualify for the deduction, corporate shareholders must meet the minimum holding period requirement stated above with respect to their Shares, taking into account any holding period reductions from certain hedging or other transactions or positions that diminish their risk of loss with respect to their Shares, and, if they borrow to acquire or otherwise incur debt attributable to Shares, they may be denied a portion of the dividends-received deduction with respect to those Shares.
Although dividends generally will be treated as distributed when paid, any dividend declared by the Fund in October, November or December and payable to shareholders of record in such a month that is paid during the following January will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as received by shareholders on December 31 of the calendar year in which it was declared.
In addition to the federal income tax, certain individuals, trusts and estates may be subject to a net investment income (“NII”) tax of 3.8%.  The NII tax is imposed on the lesser of: (i) a taxpayer’s investment income, net of deductions properly allocable to such income; or (ii) the amount by which such taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income exceeds certain thresholds ($250,000 for married individuals filing jointly, $200,000 for unmarried individuals and $125,000 for married individuals filing separately).  The Fund’s distributions are includable in a shareholder’s investment income for purposes of this NII tax.  In addition, any capital gain realized by a shareholder upon a sale, exchange or redemption of Fund shares is includable in such shareholder’s investment income for purposes of this NII tax.
Shareholders who have not held Shares for a full year should be aware that the Fund may report and distribute, as ordinary dividends or capital gain dividends, a percentage of income that is not equal to the percentage of the Fund’s ordinary income or net capital gain, respectively, actually earned during the applicable shareholder’s period of investment in the Fund. A taxable shareholder may wish to avoid investing in the Fund shortly before a dividend or other distribution, because the distribution will generally be taxable even though it may economically represent a return of a portion of the shareholder’s investment.
To the extent that the Fund makes a distribution of income received by the Fund in lieu of dividends (a “substitute payment”) with respect to securities on loan pursuant to a securities lending transaction, such income will not constitute qualified dividend income to individual shareholders and will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders
If the Fund’s distributions exceed its earnings and profits, all or a portion of the distributions made for a taxable year may be recharacterized as a return of capital to shareholders. A return of capital distribution will generally not be taxable, but will reduce each shareholder’s cost basis in the Fund and result in a higher capital gain or lower capital loss when the Shares on which the distribution was received are sold. After a shareholder’s basis in the Shares has been reduced to zero, distributions in excess of earnings and profits will be treated as gain from the sale of the shareholder’s Shares.
Taxation of Shareholders – Sale of Shares. A sale redemption, or exchange of Shares may give rise to a gain or loss. In general, any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Shares will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for more than 12 months. Otherwise, the gain or loss on the taxable disposition of Shares will generally be treated as short-term capital gain or loss. Any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss, rather than short-term capital loss, to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions to the shareholder of long-term capital gain (including any amounts credited to the shareholder as undistributed capital gains). All or a portion of any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Shares may be disallowed if substantially identical Shares are acquired (through the reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the disposition. In such a case, the basis of the newly acquired Shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.
The cost basis of Shares acquired by purchase will generally be based on the amount paid for Shares and then may be subsequently adjusted for other applicable transactions as required by the Code. The difference between the selling price and the cost basis of Shares generally determines the amount of the capital gain or loss realized on the sale or exchange of Shares. Contact the broker through whom you purchased your Shares to obtain information with respect to the available cost basis reporting methods and elections for your account.
An Authorized Participant who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus the amount of cash paid for such Creation Units. A person who redeems Creation Units will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the sum of the aggregate market value of any securities received plus the amount of any cash received for such Creation Units. The IRS, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units cannot currently be deducted under the rules governing “wash sales” (for a person who does not mark-to-market its portfolio) or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.
Any capital gain or loss realized upon the creation of Creation Units will generally be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the securities exchanged for such Creation Units have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon the redemption of Creation Units will generally be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares comprising the Creation Units have been held for more than one year. Otherwise, such capital gains or losses will generally be treated as short-term capital gains or losses. Any loss upon a redemption of Creation Units held for six months or less may be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions to the applicable Authorized Participant of long-term capital gain with respect to the Creation Units (including any amounts credited to the Authorized Participant as undistributed capital gains).
The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has the right to reject an order for Creation Units if the purchaser (or a group of purchasers) would, upon obtaining the Creation Units so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding Shares and if, pursuant to Section 351 of the Code, the Fund would have a basis in the deposit securities different from the market value of such securities on the date of deposit. The Trust also has the right to require the provision of information necessary to determine beneficial Share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination. If the Fund does issue Creation Units to a purchaser (or a group of purchasers) that would, upon obtaining the Creation Units so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding Shares, the purchaser (or a group of purchasers) will not recognize gain or loss upon the exchange of securities for Creation Units.
Persons purchasing or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax advisers with respect to the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction and whether the wash sales rule applies and when a loss may be deductible.
Taxation of Fund Investments. Certain of the Fund’s investments may be subject to complex provisions of the Code (including provisions relating to hedging transactions, straddles, integrated transactions, foreign currency contracts, forward foreign currency contracts, and notional principal contracts) that, among other things, may affect the Fund’s ability to qualify as a RIC, affect the character of gains and losses realized by the Fund (e.g., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital), accelerate recognition of income to the Fund and defer losses. These rules could therefore affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions also may require the Fund to mark to market certain types of positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out) which may cause the Fund to recognize income without the Fund receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts sufficient to enable the Fund to satisfy the RIC distribution requirements for avoiding income and excise taxes. The Fund intends to monitor its transactions, intends to make appropriate tax elections, and intends to make appropriate entries in its books and records to mitigate the effect of these rules and preserve the Fund’s qualification for treatment as a RIC. To the extent the Fund invests in an underlying fund that is taxable as a RIC, the rules applicable to the tax treatment of complex securities will also apply to the underlying funds that also invest in such complex securities and investments.
Backup Withholding. The Fund will be required in certain cases to withhold (as “backup withholding”) on amounts payable to any shareholder who (1) fails to provide a correct taxpayer identification number certified under penalty of perjury; (2) is subject to backup withholding by the IRS for failure to properly report all payments of interest or dividends; (3) fails to provide a certified statement that he or she is not subject to “backup withholding;” or (4) fails to provide a certified statement that he or she is a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien). The backup withholding rate is currently 24%. Backup withholding is not an additional tax and any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder’s ultimate U.S. tax liability. Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that have been subject to the 30% withholding tax on shareholders who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the United States.
Foreign Shareholders. Any non-U.S. investors in the Fund may be subject to U.S. withholding and estate tax and are encouraged to consult their tax advisors prior to investing in the Fund. Foreign shareholders (i.e., nonresident alien individuals and foreign corporations, partnerships, trusts and estates) are generally subject to U.S. withholding tax at the rate of 30% (or a lower tax treaty rate) on distributions derived from taxable ordinary income. The Fund may, under certain circumstances, report all or a portion of a dividend as an “interest-related dividend” or a “short-term capital gain dividend,” which would generally be exempt from this 30% U.S. withholding tax, provided certain other requirements are met. Short-term capital gain dividends received by a nonresident alien individual who is present in the U.S. for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the taxable year are not exempt from this 30% withholding tax.  Gains realized by foreign shareholders from the sale or other disposition of Shares generally are not subject to U.S. taxation, unless the recipient is an individual who is physically present in the U.S. for 183 days or more per year. Foreign shareholders who fail to provide an applicable IRS form may be subject to backup withholding on certain payments from the Fund. Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that are subject to the 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate) withholding tax described in this paragraph. Different tax consequences may result if the foreign shareholder is engaged in a trade or business within the United States. In addition, the tax consequences to a foreign shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of a tax treaty may be different than those described above.
Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”), the Fund may be required to withhold a generally nonrefundable 30% tax on (i) distributions of investment company taxable income, and (ii) distributions of net capital gain and the gross proceeds of a sale, exchange, or redemption of Fund shares paid after December 31, 2018 to (A) certain “foreign financial institutions” (each an “FFI”) unless such FFI agrees to verify, monitor, and report to the IRS the identity of certain of its accountholders, among other items (unless the FFI is otherwise deemed compliant under the terms of an intergovernmental agreement with the United States and the FFI’s country of residence), and (B) certain “non-financial foreign entities” unless such entity certifies to the Fund that it does not have any substantial U.S. owners or provides the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each substantial U.S. owner, among other items. In December 2018, the IRS and Treasury Department released proposed Treasury Regulations that would eliminate FATCA withholding on Fund distributions of net capital gain and the gross proceeds from a sale or redemption of Fund shares.  Although taxpayers are entitled to rely on these proposed Treasury Regulations until final Treasury Regulations are issued, these proposed Treasury Regulations have not been finalized, may not be finalized in their proposed form, and are potentially subject to change. This FATCA withholding tax could also affect the Fund’s return on its investments in foreign securities or affect a shareholder’s return if the shareholder holds its Fund shares through a foreign intermediary.  You are urged to consult your tax adviser regarding the application of this FATCA withholding tax to your investment in the Fund and the potential certification, compliance, due diligence, reporting, and withholding obligations to which you may become subject in order to avoid this withholding tax.
For foreign shareholders to qualify for an exemption from backup withholding, described above, the foreign shareholder must comply with special certification and filing requirements. Foreign shareholders in the Fund should consult their tax advisors in this regard.
Tax-Exempt Shareholders. Certain tax-exempt shareholders, including qualified pension plans, individual retirement accounts, salary deferral arrangements, 401(k) plans, and other tax-exempt entities, generally are exempt from federal income taxation, except with respect to their unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”). Under the Tax Act, tax-exempt entities are not permitted to offset losses from one unrelated trade or business against the income or gain of another unrelated trade or business. Certain net losses incurred prior to January 1, 2018 are permitted to offset gain and income created by an unrelated trade or business, if otherwise available. Under current law, the Fund generally serves to block UBTI from being realized by its tax-exempt shareholders with respect to their shares of Fund income. However, notwithstanding the foregoing, tax-exempt shareholders could realize UBTI by virtue of their investment in the Fund if, for example, (i) the Fund invests in residual interests of Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (“REMICs”), (ii) the Fund invests in a REIT that is a taxable mortgage pool (“TMP”) or that has a subsidiary that is a TMP or that invests in the residual interest of a REMIC, or (iii) Shares in the Fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholders within the meaning of section 514(b) of the Code. Charitable remainder trusts are subject to special rules and should consult their tax advisers. The IRS has issued guidance with respect to these issues and prospective shareholders, especially charitable remainder trusts, are strongly encouraged to consult with their tax advisers regarding these issues.
Certain Potential Tax Reporting Requirements. Under U.S. Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss on disposition of the Shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years), the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on IRS Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases excepted from this reporting requirement, but under current guidance, shareholders of a RIC are not excepted. Significant penalties may be imposed for the failure to comply with the reporting requirements. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.
Other Issues. In those states which have income tax laws, the tax treatment of the Fund and of Fund shareholders with respect to distributions by the Fund may differ from federal tax treatment.
 
Financial Statements
Tidal ETF Trust
Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF
(AWTM)


Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Shareholders of Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF and the Board of Trustees of Tidal ETF Trust

Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying statement of assets and liabilities of Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF (the “Fund”), a series of Tidal ETF Trust as of November 8, 2018, and the related statement of changes for the period then ended and the notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statement”). In our opinion, the financial statement presents fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Fund as of November 8, 2018, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
Basis for Opinion
This financial statement is the responsibility of the Fund’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Fund’s financial statement based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”) and are required to be independent with respect to the Fund in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB. We have served as the Fund’s auditor since 2018.
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Fund is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audit we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Fund’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.
Our audit included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statement, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statement. Our audit also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statement. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.


/s/ TAIT, WELLER & BAKER LLP


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 12, 2018
Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF
     
STATEMENT OF ASSETS AND LIABILITIES
 
November 8, 2018
 
       
ASSETS
     
             Cash
 
$
100,000
 
TOTAL ASSETS
   
100,000
 
         
NET ASSETS
 
$
100,000
 
         
NET ASSETS CONSIST OF
       
             Portfolio capital
 
$
100,000
 
         
TOTAL NET ASSETS
 
$
100,000
 
         
Fund shares issued and outstanding
       
(par value $0.00 per share; unlimited number of shares authorized)
   
2,000
 
         
Net asset value per share
 
$
50.00
 
         
See accompanying Notes to Financial Statements.
       
 
Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF
 
STATEMENT OF CHANGES
 
     
         
       
Period Ended
November 8, 2018
 
         
CAPITAL SHARE TRANSACTIONS
       
             Net proceeds from shares sold 1
 
$
100,000
 
           
TOTAL INCREASE IN NET ASSETS
     
100,000
 
           
           
NET ASSETS
         
Beginning of period
     
-
 
End of period
    
$
100,000
 
           
           
1 Summary of capital share transactions is as follows:
       
 
Period Ended November 8, 2018
 
Shares  
Value
 
           
Shares sold
                        2,000
 
$
100,000
 
Net increase
                        2,000
 
$
100,000
 
           
See accompanying Notes to Financial Statements.
       
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
November 8, 2018
 
Note 1 – Organization and Significant Accounting Policies

Tidal ETF Trust (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company consisting of a single series, the Aware Ultra-Short Duration Enhanced Income ETF (the “Fund”). This SAI relates to the Fund. The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on June 4, 2018. The Trust is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (together with the rules and regulations adopted thereunder, as amended, the “1940 Act”), as an open-end management investment company.

The Fund seeks to maximize current income targeting a yield of 0.75% to 1.00% over the yield of the most recently issued 3-month U.S. Treasury bill while maintaining a portfolio consistent with the preservation of capital and daily liquidity designed to meet the requirements of the relevant standard-setting and regulatory support organization applicable to U.S. insurance companies for treatment equivalent to that of investment grade securities held by a U.S. insurance company, while striving to achieve the status denoting the highest available credit quality category for such investments held by U.S. insurance companies.

As of November 8, 2018, the Trust has had no operations other than the sale and issuance of 2,000 shares of the Fund to Tidal ETF Services LLC (the “Administrator”) in the amount of $100,000.  The Fund currently offers one class of shares that has no front-end sales load, no deferred sales charge, and no redemption fee.  The Fund may issue an unlimited number of shares (“Shares”) of beneficial interest, with no par value.  All shares of the Fund have equal rights and privileges.

Significant accounting policies of the Fund are as follows:

Use of Estimates
The preparation of the financial statement in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of this financial statement. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Indemnifications
In the normal course of business the Fund enters into contracts that contain a variety of representations which provide general indemnifications. The Fund’s maximum exposure under these arrangements cannot be known; however, the Fund expects any risk of loss to be remote.

Cash
Cash includes non-interest bearing non-restricted cash with one institution.

Income Taxes
The Fund intends to elect to qualify to be taxed as a “regulated investment company” as defined in Subtitle A, Chapter 1, Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended (the “Code”).  No provision has been made for federal income taxes as it is the intention of the Fund to comply with the provisions of the Code applicable to regulated investment companies and to make distributions of income and realized gains sufficient to relieve it from all or substantially all excise and income taxes.

Basis of Presentation
The preparation of these financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amount of net assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the balance sheet date. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Organizational and Offering Costs
All organizational and offering costs for the Trust and the Fund will be borne by the Adviser (defined below). The Trust and the Fund do not have an obligation to reimburse the Adviser for organization and offering costs paid on their behalf.
Note 2 – Agreements

Investment Advisory and Other Agreements
Toroso Investments, LLC (the “Adviser”), serves as investment adviser to the Fund and has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Fund. The Adviser also arranges for sub-advisory, transfer agency, custody, fund administration, and all other related services necessary for the Fund to operate. For the services it provides to the Fund, the Fund pays the Adviser a unified management fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of 0.23% of the Fund’s average daily net assets.
 

Under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Adviser has agreed to pay all expenses incurred by the Fund except for interest charges on any borrowings, dividends and other expenses on securities sold short, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses incurred in placing orders for the purchase and sale of securities and other investment instruments, acquired fund fees and expenses, accrued deferred tax liability, extraordinary expenses, distribution fees and expenses paid by the Fund under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act, and the unified management fee payable to the Adviser.

Aware Asset Management, Inc. serves as investment sub-adviser to the Fund and is compensated by the Adviser for such services.
 
Pursuant to a Custody Agreement, U.S. Bank National Association (“U.S. Bank”) serves as the custodian (the “Custodian”) of the Fund’s assets. U.S. Bank is the parent company of U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, the Fund’s transfer agent. The Custodian holds and administers the assets in the Fund’s portfolios. Pursuant to the Custody Agreement, the Custodian receives an annual fee from the Adviser based on the Trust’s total average daily net assets, subject to a minimum annual fee, and certain settlement charges. The Custodian also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses.

Note 3 – Transactions with Affiliates

Certain officers and a trustee of the Trust are affiliated with the Adviser.  None of the affiliated trustee or the Trust’s officers receive compensation from the Fund.

Note 4 – Subsequent Events

Management has evaluated subsequent events through November 12, 2018, the date the financial statements were available for issuance. Based on this evaluation, no adjustments to the financial statements were required.
 
APPENDIX A –RATINGS DEFINITIONS
 S&P Global Ratings Issue Credit Rating Definitions
An S&P Global Ratings issue credit rating is a forward-looking opinion about the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to a specific financial obligation, a specific class of financial obligations, or a specific financial program (including ratings on medium-term note programs and commercial paper programs). It takes into consideration the creditworthiness of guarantors, insurers, or other forms of credit enhancement on the obligation and takes into account the currency in which the obligation is denominated. The opinion reflects S&P Global Ratings’ view of the obligor’s capacity and willingness to meet its financial commitments as they come due, and this opinion may assess terms, such as collateral security and subordination, which could affect ultimate payment in the event of default.
Issue credit ratings can be either long-term or short-term. Short-term ratings are generally assigned to those obligations considered short-term in the relevant market. Short-term ratings are also used to indicate the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to put features on long-term obligations. Medium-term notes are assigned long-term ratings.
Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings
A-1
A short-term obligation rated ‘A-1’ is rated in the highest category by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on these obligations is extremely strong
A-2
A short-term obligation rated ‘A-2’ is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is satisfactory.
A-3
A short-term obligation rated ‘A-3’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken an obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
B
A short-term obligation rated ‘B’ is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties that could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.
C
A short-term obligation rated ‘C’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
D
A short-term obligation rated ‘D’ is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the ‘D’ rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation’s rating is lowered to ‘D’ if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
SPUR (S&P Underlying Rating)
A SPUR is an opinion about the stand-alone capacity of an obligor to pay debt service on a credit-enhanced debt issue, without giving effect to the enhancement that applies to it. These ratings are published only at the request of the debt issuer or obligor with the designation SPUR to distinguish them from the credit-enhanced rating that applies to the debt issue. S&P Global Ratings maintains surveillance of an issue with a published SPUR.
Dual Ratings
Dual ratings may be assigned to debt issues that have a put option or demand feature. The first component of the rating addresses the likelihood of repayment of principal and interest as due, and the second component of the rating addresses only the demand feature. The first component of the rating can relate to either a short-term or long-term transaction and accordingly use either short-term or long-term rating symbols. The second component of the rating relates to the put option and is assigned a short-term rating symbol (for example, ‘AAA/A-1+’ or ‘A-1+/A-1’). With U.S. municipal short-term demand debt, the U.S. municipal short-term note rating symbols are used for the first component of the rating (for example, ‘SP-1+/A-1+’).
The analyses, including ratings, of S&P Global Ratings and its affiliates (together, S&P Global Ratings) are statements of opinion as of the date they are expressed and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, hold, or sell any securities or make any investment decisions. S&P Global Ratings assumes no obligation to update any information following publication. Users of ratings or other analyses should not rely on them in making any investment decision. S&P Global Ratings’ opinions and analyses do not address the suitability of any security. S&P Global Ratings does not act as a fiduciary or an investment advisor except where registered as such. While S&P Global Ratings has obtained information from sources it believes to be reliable, it does not perform an audit and undertakes no duty of due diligence or independent verification of any information it receives. Ratings and other opinions may be changed, suspended, or withdrawn at any time.
Active Qualifiers
S&P Global Ratings uses the following qualifiers that limit the scope of a rating. The structure of the transaction can require the use of a qualifier such as a ‘p’ qualifier, which indicates the rating addresses the principal portion of the obligation only. A qualifier appears as a suffix and is part of the rating.
1.  Federal deposit insurance limit: ‘L’ qualifier
Ratings qualified with ‘L’ apply only to amounts invested up to federal deposit insurance limits.

2.  Principal: ‘p’ qualifier
This suffix is used for issues in which the credit factors, the terms, or both that determine the likelihood of receipt of payment of principal are different from the credit factors, terms, or both that determine the likelihood of receipt of interest on the obligation. The ‘p’ suffix indicates that the rating addresses the principal portion of the obligation only and that the interest is not rated.

3.  Preliminary ratings: ‘prelim’ qualifier
Preliminary ratings, with the ‘prelim’ suffix, may be assigned to obligors or obligations, including financial programs, in the circumstances described below. Assignment of a final rating is conditional on the receipt by S&P Global Ratings of appropriate documentation. S&P Global Ratings reserves the right not to issue a final rating. Moreover, if a final rating is issued, it may differ from the preliminary rating.
·
Preliminary ratings may be assigned to obligations, most commonly structured and project finance issues, pending receipt of final documentation and legal opinions.
·
Preliminary ratings may be assigned to obligations that will likely be issued upon the obligor’s emergence from bankruptcy or similar reorganization, based on late-stage reorganization plans, documentation, and discussions with the obligor. Preliminary ratings may also be assigned to the obligors. These ratings consider the anticipated general credit quality of the reorganized or post-bankruptcy issuer as well as attributes of the anticipated obligation(s).
·
Preliminary ratings may be assigned to entities that are being formed or that are in the process of being independently established when, in S&P Global Ratings’ opinion, documentation is close to final. Preliminary ratings may also be assigned to the obligations of these entities.
·
Preliminary ratings may be assigned when a previously unrated entity is undergoing a well-formulated restructuring, recapitalization, significant financing, or other transformative event, generally at the point that investor or lender commitments are invited. The preliminary rating may be assigned to the entity and to its proposed obligation(s). These preliminary ratings consider the anticipated general credit quality of the obligor, as well as attributes of the anticipated obligation(s), assuming successful completion of the transformative event. Should the transformative event not occur, S&P Global Ratings would likely withdraw these preliminary ratings.
·
A preliminary recovery rating may be assigned to an obligation that has a preliminary issue credit rating.
4.  Termination structures: ‘t’ qualifier
This symbol indicates termination structures that are designed to honor their contracts to full maturity or, should certain events occur, to terminate and cash settle all their contracts before their final maturity date.

5.  Counterparty instrument rating: ‘cir’ qualifier
This symbol indicates a counterparty instrument rating (CIR), which is a forward-looking opinion about the creditworthiness of an issuer in a securitization structure with respect to a specific financial obligation to a counterparty (including interest rate swaps, currency swaps, and liquidity facilities). The CIR is determined on an ultimate payment basis; these opinions do not take into account timeliness of payment.

Inactive Qualifiers
Inactive qualifiers are no longer applied or outstanding.
1.  Contingent upon final documentation: ‘*’ inactive qualifier
This symbol indicated that the rating was contingent upon S&P Global Ratings’ receipt of an executed copy of the escrow agreement or closing documentation confirming investments and cash flows. Discontinued use in August 1998.

2.  Termination of obligation to tender: ‘c’ inactive qualifier
This qualifier was used to provide additional information to investors that the bank may terminate its obligation to purchase tendered bonds if the long-term credit rating of the issuer was lowered to below an investment-grade level and/or the issuer’s bonds were deemed taxable. Discontinued use in January 2001.

3.  U.S. direct government securities: ‘G’ inactive qualifier
The letter ‘G’ followed the rating symbol when a fund’s portfolio consisted primarily of direct U.S. government securities.

4.  Public information ratings: ‘pi’ qualifier
This qualifier was used to indicate ratings that were based on an analysis of an issuer’s published financial information, as well as additional information in the public domain. Such ratings did not, however, reflect in-depth meetings with an issuer’s management and therefore could have been based on less comprehensive information than ratings without a ‘pi’ suffix. Discontinued use as of December 2014 and as of August 2015 for Lloyd’s Syndicate Assessments.

5.  Provisional ratings: ‘pr’ inactive qualifier
The letters ‘pr’ indicate that the rating was provisional. A provisional rating assumed the successful completion of a project financed by the debt being rated and indicates that payment of debt service requirements was largely or entirely dependent upon the successful, timely completion of the project. This rating, however, while addressing credit quality subsequent to completion of the project, made no comment on the likelihood of or the risk of default upon failure of such completion.

6.  Quantitative analysis of public information: ‘q’ inactive qualifier
A ‘q’ subscript indicates that the rating is based solely on quantitative analysis of publicly available information. Discontinued use in April 2001.

7.  Extraordinary risks: ‘r’ inactive qualifier
The ‘r’ modifier was assigned to securities containing extraordinary risks, particularly market risks, that are not covered in the credit rating. The absence of an ‘r’ modifier should not be taken as an indication that an obligation would not exhibit extraordinary noncredit-related risks. S&P Global Ratings discontinued the use of the ‘r’ modifier for most obligations in June 2000 and for the balance of obligations (mainly structured finance transactions) in November 2002.

Active Identifiers
1.  Unsolicited: ‘unsolicited’ and ‘u’ identifier
The ‘u’ identifier and ‘unsolicited’ designation are assigned to credit ratings initiated by parties other than the issuer or its agents, including those initiated by S&P Global Ratings.

2.  Structured finance: ‘sf’ identifier
The ‘sf’ identifier shall be assigned to ratings on “structured finance instruments” when required to comply with applicable law or regulatory requirement or when S&P Global Ratings believes it appropriate. The addition of the ‘sf’ identifier to a rating does not change that rating’s definition or our opinion about the issue’s creditworthiness. For detailed information on the instruments assigned the ‘sf’ identifier, please see “S&P Announces Changes To The List of Instruments Carrying The Structured Finance Identifier” in Section VIII, under “Related Research.”

Local Currency and Foreign Currency Ratings
S&P Global Ratings’ issuer credit ratings make a distinction between foreign currency ratings and local currency ratings. An issuer’s foreign currency rating will differ from its local currency rating when the obligor has a different capacity to meet its obligations denominated in its local currency, vs. obligations denominated in a foreign currency.

Moody’s Credit Rating Definitions
Purpose
The system of rating securities was originated by John Moody in 1909. The purpose of Moody’s ratings is to provide investors with a simple system of gradation by which future relative creditworthiness of securities may be gauged.

Rating Symbols
Gradations of creditworthiness are indicated by rating symbols, with each symbol representing a group in which the credit characteristics are broadly the same. There are nine symbols as shown below, from that used to designate least credit risk to that denoting greatest credit risk:

Aaa Aa A Baa Ba B Caa Ca C
Moody’s appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa.
Absence of a Rating
Where no rating has been assigned or where a rating has been withdrawn, it may be for reasons unrelated to the creditworthiness of the issue.
 
Should no rating be assigned, the reason may be one of the following:
 
1.  An application was not received or accepted.
 
2.  The issue or issuer belongs to a group of securities or entities that are not rated as a matter of policy.
 
3.  There is a lack of essential data pertaining to the issue or issuer.
 
4.  The issue was privately placed, in which case the rating is not published in Moody’s publications.
 
Withdrawal may occur if new and material circumstances arise, the effects of which preclude satisfactory analysis; if there is no longer available reasonable up-to-date data to permit a judgment to be formed; if a bond is called for redemption; or for other reasons.

Changes in Rating
The credit quality of most issuers and their obligations is not fixed and steady over a period of time, but tends to undergo change. For this reason changes in ratings occur so as to reflect variations in the intrinsic relative position of issuers and their obligations.
 
A change in rating may thus occur at any time in the case of an individual issue. Such rating change should serve notice that Moody’s observes some alteration in creditworthiness, or that the previous rating did not fully reflect the quality of the bond as now seen. While because of their very nature, changes are to be expected more frequently among bonds of lower ratings than among bonds of higher ratings. Nevertheless, the user of bond ratings should keep close and constant check on all ratings — both high and low — to be able to note promptly any signs of change in status that may occur.
Limitations to Uses of Ratings*
Obligations carrying the same rating are not claimed to be of absolutely equal credit quality. In a broad sense, they are alike in position, but since there are a limited number of rating classes used in grading thousands of bonds, the symbols cannot reflect the same shadings of risk which actually exist.
 
As ratings are designed exclusively for the purpose of grading obligations according to their credit quality, they should not be used alone as a basis for investment operations. For example, they have no value in forecasting the direction of future trends of market price. Market price movements in bonds are influenced not only by the credit quality of individual issues but also by changes in money rates and general economic trends, as well as by the length of maturity, etc. During its life even the highest rated bond may have wide price movements, while its high rating status remains unchanged.
 
The matter of market price has no bearing whatsoever on the determination of ratings, which are not to be construed as recommendations with respect to “attractiveness”. The attractiveness of a given bond may depend on its yield, its maturity date or other factors for which the investor may search, as well as on its credit quality, the only characteristic to which the rating refers.
 
Since ratings involve judgements about the future, on the one hand, and since they are used by investors as a means of protection, on the other, the effort is made when assigning ratings to look at “worst” possibilities in the “visible” future, rather than solely at the past record and the status of the present. Therefore, investors using the rating should not expect to find in them a reflection of statistical factors alone, since they are an appraisal of long-term risks, including the recognition of many non-statistical factors.
 
Though ratings may be used by the banking authorities to classify bonds in their bank examination procedure, Moody’s ratings are not made with these bank regulations in mind. Moody’s Investors Service’s own judgement as to the desirability or non-desirability of a bond for bank investment purposes is not indicated by Moody’s ratings.
 
Moody’s ratings represent the opinion of Moody’s Investors Service as to the relative creditworthiness of securities. As such, they should be used in conjunction with the descriptions and statistics appearing in Moody’s publications. Reference should be made to these statements for information regarding the issuer. Moody’s ratings are not commercial credit ratings. In no case is default or receivership to be imputed unless expressly stated.
 
*As set forth more fully on the copyright, credit ratings are, and must be construed solely as, statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, sell or hold any securities. Each rating or other opinion must be weighed solely as one factor in any investment decision made by or on behalf of any user of the information, and each such user must accordingly make its own study and evaluation of each security and of each issuer and guarantor of, and each provider of credit support for, each security that it may consider purchasing, selling or holding.

Short-Term Obligation Ratings
Ratings assigned on Moody’s global long-term and short-term rating scales are forward-looking opinions of the relative credit risks of financial obligations issues by non-financial corporates, financial institutions, structured finance vehicles, project finance vehicles, and public sector entities.  Long-term ratings are assigned to issuers or obligations with an original maturity of one year or more and reflect both on the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default.  Short-term ratings are assigned to obligations with an original maturity of thirteen months or less and reflect the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default.
Moody’s employs the following designations to indicate the relative repayment ability of rated issuers:
P-1
Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-1 have a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
P-2
Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-2 have a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
P-3
Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-3 have an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.
NP
Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.
The following table indicates the long-term ratings consistent with different short-term ratings when such long-term ratings exist.
SHORT-TERM VS. LONG-TERM RATINGS
 
Fitch’s National Credit Ratings
 
National scale ratings are an opinion of creditworthiness relative to the universe of issuers and issues within a single country. They are most commonly used in emerging market countries with sub- or low investment grade sovereign ratings on the international scale.

As creditworthiness can be expressed across the full range of the scale, a national scale can enable greater rating differentiation within a market than the international scale, particularity in highly speculative grade countries where ratings tend to cluster around the often low sovereign rating due to higher risks associated with a more volatile operating environment.

A “+” or “-” may be appended to a National Rating to denote relative status within a major rating category. Such suffixes are not added to the ‘AAA(xxx)’ National Rating category, to categories below ‘CCC(xxx)’, or to Short-Term National Ratings other than ‘F1(xxx)’.

National scale ratings are assigned on the basis that the “best credits or issuers” in the country are rated ‘AAA’ on the national scale. National Ratings are then assessed using the full range of the national scale based on a comparative analysis of issuers rated under the same national scale to establish a relative ranking of credit worthiness.

At any given point in time, there is a certain relationship between National and International Ratings but there is not a precise translation between the scales. Fitch monitors the ratings relationship of issuers rated on both the international and national scales to ensure the consistency of rating relativities across scales. In other words, if issuer “X” is rated higher than issuer “Y” on one scale, issuer “X” cannot be rated lower than issuer “Y” on the other scale.

National Ratings for local issuers exclude the effects of sovereign and transfer risk and exclude the possibility that investors may be unable to repatriate any due interest and principal repayments. Comparisons between different national scales or between an individual national scale and the international rating scale are therefore inappropriate and potentially misleading.

In certain countries, regulators have established credit rating scales to be used within their domestic markets using specific nomenclature. In these countries, the agency’s National Rating definitions may be substituted by the regulatory scales. For instance Fitch’s National Short Term Ratings of ‘F1+(xxx)’, ‘F1(xxx)’, ‘F2(xxx)’ and ‘F3(xxx)’ may be substituted by the regulatory scales, e.g. ‘A1+’, ‘A1’, ‘A2’ and ‘A3’. The below definitions thus serve as a template, but users should consult the individual scales for each country listed on Fitch’s regional websites to determine if any additional or alternative category definitions apply.

Fitch maintains internal mapping tables that document the current relationship between the National and International Local Currency Ratings in each jurisdiction where we maintain a National Rating scale in order to serve as a tool for analysts. Where our National rating coverage exceeds a minimum threshold and there is external demand, these mappings will be published on this site. Presently, publicly available mappings can be accessed here. Fitch currently publishes the mapping tables for Brazil, South Africa and Chile.

Limitations of the National Rating Scale
Specific limitations relevant to National Rating scale include:
·
National scale ratings are only available in selected countries.
·
National scale ratings are only directly comparable with other national ratings in the same country.  There is a certain correlation between national and global ratings but there is not a precise translation between the scales.  The implied vulnerability to default of a given national scale rating will vary over time.
·
The value of default studies for National Ratings is limited. Due to the relative nature of national scales, a given national scale rating is not intended to represent a fixed amount of default risk over time. As a result, a default study using only National Ratings may not give an accurate picture of the historical relationship between ratings and default risk. Users should exercise caution in making inferences relating to the relative vulnerability to default of national scale ratings using the historical default experience with International Ratings and mapping tables to link the National and International ratings. As with ratings on any scale, the future will not necessarily follow the past.

National Short-Term Credit Ratings
F1(xxx)
Indicates the strongest capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.  Under the agency’s National Rating scale, this rating is assigned to the lowest default risk relative to others in the same country.  Where the liquidity profile is particularly strong, a “+” is added to the assigned rating.
F2(xxx)
Indicates a good capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.  However, the margin of safety is not as great as in the case of the higher ratings.
F3(xxx)
Indicates an adequate capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.  However, such capacity is more susceptible to near-term adverse changes than for financial commitments in higher rated categories.
B(xxx)
Indicates an uncertain capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.  Such capacity is highly susceptible to near-term adverse changes in financial and economic conditions.
C(xxx)
Indicates a highly uncertain capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.  Capacity for meeting financial commitments is solely reliant upon a sustained, favorable business and economic environment.
RD(xxx):  Restricted default
Indicates an entity that has defaulted on one or more of its financial commitments, although it continues to meet other financial obligations.  Applicable to entity ratings only.
D(xxx)
Indicates actual or imminent payment default.
Notes to Long-Term and Short-Term National Ratings:
The ISO international country code is placed in parentheses immediately following the rating letters to indicate the identity of the National market within which the rating applies.  For illustrative purposes, (xxx) has been used.
“+” or “-” may be appended to a National Rating to denote relative status within a major rating category.  Such suffixes are not added to the ‘AAA(xxx)’ Long-Term National Rating category, to categories below ‘CCC(xxx)’, or to Short-Term National Ratings other than ‘F1(xxx).’
LONG-TERM RATINGS
S&P Global Ratings Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings
Issue credit ratings are based, in varying degrees, on S&P Global Ratings analysis of the following considerations:
Likelihood of payment—capacity and willingness of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on an obligation in accordance with the terms of the obligation;
Nature of and provisions of the obligation and the promise we impute.
Protection afforded by, and relative position of, the obligation in the event of bankruptcy, reorganization, or other arrangement under the laws of bankruptcy and other laws affecting creditors’ rights.
Issue ratings are an assessment of default risk, but may incorporate an assessment of relative seniority or ultimate recovery in the event of default.  Junior obligations are typically rated lower than senior obligations, to reflect the lower priority in bankruptcy, as noted above.  (Such differentiation may apply when an entity has both senior and subordinated obligations, secured and unsecured obligations, or operating company and holding company obligations.)
Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings
AAA
An obligation rated ‘AAA’ has the highest rating assigned by S&P Global Ratings.  The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is extremely strong.
AA
An obligation rated ‘AA’ differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree.  The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is very strong.
A
An obligation rated ‘A’ is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories.  However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is still strong.
BBB
An obligation rated ‘BBB’ exhibits adequate protection parameters.  However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
BB; B; CCC; CC; and C
Obligations rated ‘BB’, ‘B’, ‘CCC’, ‘CC’, and ‘C’ are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics.  ‘BB’ indicates the least degree of speculation and ‘C’ the highest.  While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposures to adverse conditions.
BB
An obligation rated ‘BB’ is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative issues.  However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions which could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
B
An obligation rated ‘B’ is more vulnerable to nonpayment than obligations rated ‘BB’, but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.  Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor’s capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
CCC
An obligation rated ‘CCC’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.  In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
CC
An obligation rated ‘CC’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment.  The ‘CC’ rating is used when a default has not yet occurred, but S&P Global Ratings expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.
R
An obligor rated ‘R’ is under regulatory supervision owing to its financial condition. During the pendency of the regulatory supervision, the regulators may have the power to favor one class of obligations over others or pay some obligations and not others.
SD and D
An obligor rated ‘SD’ (selective default) or ‘D’ is in default on one or more of its financial obligations including rated and unrated obligations but excluding hybrid instruments classified as regulatory capital or in nonpayment according to terms. An obligor is considered in default unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within five business days of the due date in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. A ‘D’ rating is assigned when S&P Global Ratings believes that the default will be a general default and that the obligor will fail to pay all or substantially all of its obligations as they come due. An ‘SD’ rating is assigned when S&P Global Ratings believes that the obligor has selectively defaulted on a specific issue or class of obligations but it will continue to meet its payment obligations on other issues or classes of obligations in a timely manner. An obligor’s rating is lowered to ‘D’ or ‘SD’ if it is conducting a distressed exchange offer.
Plus (+) or minus (-)
The ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.
See active and inactive qualifiers following S&P Global Ratings Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings beginning on page B-1.
Moody’s Long-Term Obligation Ratings
Long-Term Obligation Ratings
Ratings assigned on Moody’s global long-term and short-term rating scales are forward-looking opinions of the relative credit risks of financial obligations issues by non-financial corporates, financial institutions, structured finance vehicles, project finance vehicles, and public sector entities.  Long-term ratings are assigned to issuers or obligations with an original maturity of one year or more and reflect both on the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default.  Short-term ratings are assigned to obligations with an original maturity of thirteen months or less and reflect the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default.
Moody’s Long-Term Rating Definitions:
Aaa
Obligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.
Aa
Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.
A
Obligations rated A are considered upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.
Baa
Obligations rated Baa are judged to be medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.
Ba
Obligations rated Ba are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk.
B
Obligations rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.
Caa
Obligations rated Caa are judged to be speculative of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.
Ca
Obligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.
C
Obligations rated C are the lowest rated and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.
Note: Moody’s appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aaa through Caa.  The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category.  Additionally, a “(hyb)” indicator is appended to all ratings of hybrid securities issued by banks, insurers, finance companies, and securities firms.*
* By their terms, hybrid securities allow for the omission of scheduled dividends, interest, or principal payments, which can potentially result in impairment if such an omission occurs.  Hybrid securities may also be subject to contractually allowable write-downs of principal that could result in impairment.  Together with the hybrid indicator, the long-term obligation rating assigned to a hybrid security is an expression of the relative credit risk associated with that security.
Fitch’s National Long-Term Credit Ratings
AAA(xxx)
’AAA’ National Ratings denote the highest rating assigned by the agency in its National Rating scale for that country.  This rating is assigned to issuers or obligations with the lowest expectation of default risk relative to all other issuers or obligations in the same country.
AA(xxx)
‘AA’ National Ratings denote expectations of very low default risk relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.  The default risk inherent differs only slightly from that of the country’s highest rated issuers or obligations.
A(xxx)
‘A’ National Ratings denote expectations of low default risk relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.  However, changes in circumstances or economic conditions may affect the capacity for timely repayment to a greater degree than is the case for financial commitments denoted by a higher rated category.
BBB(xxx)
‘BBB’ National Ratings denote a moderate default risk relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.  However, changes in circumstances or economic conditions are more likely to affect the capacity for timely repayment than is the case for financial commitments denoted by a higher rated category.
BB(xxx)
‘BB’ National Ratings denote an elevated default risk relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.  Within the context of the country, payment is uncertain to some degree and capacity for timely repayment remains more vulnerable to adverse economic change over time.
B(xxx)
‘B’ National Ratings denote a significantly elevated default risk relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.  Financial commitments are currently being met but a limited margin of safety remains and capacity for continued timely payments is contingent upon a sustained, favorable business and economic environment.
CCC(xxx) ‘CCC’ National Ratings denote very high default risk relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.

CC(xxx) ‘CC’ National Ratings denote default risk is among the highest relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.

C(xxx) A default or default-like process has begun, or the issuer is in standstill, or for a closed funding vehicle, payment capacity is irrevocably impaired. Conditions that are indicative of a ‘C’ category rating for an issuer include:

a.
the issuer has entered into a grace or cure period following non-payment of a material financial obligation;
b.
the issuer has entered into a temporary negotiated waiver or standstill agreement following a payment default on a material financial obligation;
 
c.
the formal announcement by the issuer or their agent of a distressed debt exchange; and
d.
a closed financing vehicle where payment capacity is irrevocably impaired such that it is not expected to pay interest and/or principal in full during the life of the transaction, but where no payment default is imminent

RD(xxx):  Restricted default.
“RD” ratings indicated that an issuer that in Fitch Ratings’ opinion has experienced an uncured payment default on a bond, loan or other material financial obligation but which has not entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure, and which has not otherwise ceased business.  This would include:
a.
the selective payment default on a specific class or currency of debt;
b.
the uncured expiry of any applicable grace period, cure period or default forbearance period following a payment default on a bank loan, capital markets security or other material financial obligation;
c.
the extension of multiple waivers or forbearance periods upon a payment default on one or more material financial obligations either in series or in parallel; or
d.
execution of a distressed debt exchange on one or more material financial obligations.
D(xxx)
‘D’ National Ratings denote an issuer or instrument that is currently in default.
Notes to Long-Term and Short-Term National Ratings:
The ISO International country code is placed in parentheses immediately following the rating letters to indicate the identity of the National market within which the rating applies.  For illustrative purposes, (xxx) has been used.
“+” or “-” may be appended to a National Rating to denote relative status within a major rating category.  Such suffixes are not added to the ‘AAA(xxx)’ Long-Term National Rating category, to categories below ‘CCC(xxx)’, or to Short-Term National Ratings other than ‘F1(xxx).’
MUNICIPAL NOTE RATINGS
S&P Global Ratings Municipal Short-Term Note Ratings Definitions
An S&P Global Ratings U.S. municipal note rating reflects S&P Global Ratings opinion about the liquidity factors and market access risks unique to the notes.  Notes due in three years or less will likely receive a note rating.  Notes with an original maturity of more than three years will most likely receive a long-term debt rating.  In determining which type of rating, if any, to assign, S&P Global Ratings analysis will review the following considerations:
Amortization schedule—the larger the final maturity relative to other maturities, the more likely it will be treated as a note; and
Source of payment—the more dependent the issue is on the market for its refinancing, the more likely it will be treated as a note.
Note rating symbols are as follows:
SP-1
Strong capacity to pay principal and interest.  An issue determined to possess a very strong capacity to pay debt service is given a plus (+) designation.
SP-2
Satisfactory capacity to pay principal and interest, with some vulnerability to adverse financial and economic changes over the term of the notes.
SP-3
Speculative capacity to pay principal and interest.
D
‘D’ is assigned upon failure to pay the note when due, completion of a distressed exchange offer, or the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions
See active and inactive qualifiers following S&P Global Ratings Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings  beginning on page B-1.
Moody’s US Municipal Short-Term Debt And Demand Obligation Ratings
Short-Term Obligation Ratings
While the global short-term ‘prime’ rating scale is applied to US municipal tax-exempt commercial paper, these programs are typically backed by external letters of credit or liquidity facilities and their short-term prime ratings usually map to the long-term rating of the enhancing bank or financial institution and not to the municipality’s rating.  Other short-term municipal obligations, which generally have different funding sources for repayment, are rated using two additional short-term rating scales (i.e., the MIG and VMIG scales discussed below).
The Municipal Investment Grade (MIG) scale is used to rate US municipal bond anticipation notes of up to three years maturity.  Municipal notes rated on the MIG scale may be secured by either pledged revenues or proceeds of a take-out financing received prior to note maturity.  MIG ratings expire at the maturity of the obligation, and the issuer’s long-term rating is only one consideration in assigning the MIG rating.  MIG ratings are divided into three levels—MIG 1 through MIG 3—while speculative grade short-term obligations are designated SG.
MIG 1
This designation denotes superior credit quality.  Excellent protection is afforded by established cash flows, highly reliable liquidity support, or demonstrated broad-based access to the market for refinancing.
MIG 2
This designation denotes strong credit quality.  Margins of protection are ample, although not as large as in the preceding group.
MIG 3
This designation denotes acceptable credit quality.  Liquidity and cash-flow protection may be narrow, and market access for refinancing is likely to be less well-established.
SG
This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality.  Debt instruments in this category may lack sufficient margins of protection.
Demand Obligation Ratings
In the case of variable rate demand obligations (VRDOs), a two-component rating is assigned: a long or short-term debt rating and a demand obligation rating. The first element represents Moody’s evaluation of risk associated with scheduled principal and interest payments. The second element represents Moody’s evaluation of risk associated with the ability to receive purchase price upon demand (“demand feature”). The second element uses a rating from a variation of the MIG scale called the Variable Municipal Investment Grade (VMIG) scale. VMIG ratings of demand obligations with unconditional liquidity support are mapped from the short-term debt rating (or counterparty assessment) of the support provider, or the underlying obligor in the absence of third party liquidity support, with VMIG 1 corresponding to P-1, VMIG 2 to P-2, VMIG 3 to P-3 and SG to not prime. For example, the VMIG rating for an industrial revenue bond with Company XYZ as the underlying obligor would normally have the same numerical modifier as Company XYZ’s prime rating. Transitions of VMIG ratings of demand obligations with conditional liquidity support, as shown in the diagram below, differ from transitions on the Prime scale to reflect the risk that external liquidity support will terminate if the issuer’s long-term rating drops below investment grade.
VMIG 1
This designation denotes superior credit quality.  Excellent protection is afforded by the superior short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
VMIG 2
This designation denotes strong credit quality.  Good protection is afforded by the strong short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
VMIG 3
This designation denotes acceptable credit quality.  Adequate protection is afforded by the satisfactory short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
SG
This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality.  Demand features rated in this category may be supported by a liquidity provider that does not have an investment grade short-term rating or may lack the structural and/or legal protections necessary to ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
US MUNICIPAL SHORT-TERM VS. LONG-TERM RATINGS
 
 
* For VRDBs supported with conditional liquidity support, short-term ratings transition down at higher long-term ratings to reflect the risk of termination of liquidity support as a result of a downgrade below investment grade.
 
VMIG ratings of VRDBs with unconditional liquidity support reflect the short-term debt rating (or counterparty assessment) of the liquidity support provider with VMIG 1 corresponding to P-1, VMIG 2 to P-2, VMIG 3 to P-3 and SG to not prime.