485APOS 1 jhit-html1218_485apos.htm 485APOS

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 10, 2019

 

1933 Act File No. 002-10156

1940 Act File No. 811-00560

 

 

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM N-1A

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 þ
PRE-EFFECTIVE AMENDMENT NO.  
  POST-EFFECTIVE AMENDMENT NO. 195  

 

and/or

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940 þ
AMENDMENT NO. 147  
(CHECK APPROPRIATE BOX OR BOXES)  

 

JOHN HANCOCK INVESTMENT TRUST

(EXACT NAME OF REGISTRANT AS SPECIFIED IN CHARTER)

 

200 BERKELEY STREET

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 02116

(ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL EXECUTIVE OFFICES) (ZIP CODE)

 

REGISTRANT'S TELEPHONE NUMBER, INCLUDING AREA CODE

(800) 225-5291

 

CHRISTOPHER SECHLER, ESQ.

200 BERKELEY STREET

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 02116

(NAME AND ADDRESS OF AGENT FOR SERVICE)

 

COPIES OF COMMUNICATIONS TO:

 

MARK P. GOSHKO, ESQ.

K&L GATES LLP

ONE LINCOLN STREET

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 02111-2950

 

TITLE OF SECURITIES BEING REGISTERED: Shares of beneficial interest ($0.00) par value of the Registrant.

 

APPROXIMATE DATE OF PROPOSED PUBLIC OFFERING: As soon as practicable after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

 

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

 

immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b) of Rule 485
on (date) pursuant to paragraph (b) of Rule 485
60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of Rule 485
on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of Rule 485
75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485
on July 24, 2019 pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485

 

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

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

 

This filing relates solely to Class A, Class C, Class I, Class R6, and Class NAV shares of John Hancock Diversified Macro Fund. No information contained herein is intended to amend or supersede any prior filing relating to any other series or classes of the Registrant.

 
 
 

John Hancock
Diversified Macro Fund

Prospectus [7/24/19]

Class A

[   ]

Class C

[   ]

Class I

[   ]

Class R6

[   ]





Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of the fund's shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from the fund or from your financial intermediary. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.

If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and do not need to take any action. You may elect to receive shareholder reports and other communications electronically by calling John Hancock Investment Management at 800-225-5291 (Class A and Class C) or 888-972-8696 (Class I and Class R6)  or by contacting your financial intermediary.

You may elect to receive all reports in paper free of charge at any time. You can inform the fund or your financial intermediary that you wish to continue receiving paper copies of your shareholder reports by following the instructions listed above. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds held with John Hancock Investment Management or your financial intermediary.

 

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

As with all mutual funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission have not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.


 


Fund summary
 
Fund details
 
Your account
The summary section is a concise look at the investment objective, fees and expenses, principal investment strategies, principal risks, past performance, and investment management.   More about topics covered in the summary section, including descriptions of the investment strategies and various risk factors that investors should understand before investing.   How to place an order to buy, sell, or exchange shares, as well as information about the business policies and any distributions that may be paid.
   
             
1
 
John Hancock Diversified Macro Fund   5
 
Principal investment strategies   15
 
Choosing an eligible share class  
  5
 
Principal risks of investing   16
 
Class cost structure  
  12
 
Who's who   17
 
How sales charges for Class A and Class C shares are calculated  
  14
 
Financial highlights   17
 
Sales charge reductions and waivers  
    19
 
Opening an account  
    21
 
Buying shares  
    24
 
Selling shares  
    30
 
Transaction policies  
    33
 
Dividends and account policies  
    33
 
Additional investor services  
    35
 
Appendix 1 - Intermediary sales charge waivers  
             
 
For more information  See back cover

 

Fund summary

John Hancock Diversified Macro Fund

Investment objective

To seek long-term capital appreciation.

Fees and expenses

This table describes the fees and expenses you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the fund. You may qualify for sales charge discounts on Class A shares if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $50,000 in the John Hancock family of funds. Intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of front-end sales charge waivers or contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC) waivers (See Appendix 1 - Intermediary sales charge waivers, which includes information about specific sales charge waivers applicable to the intermediaries identified therein). Although the fund does not impose any sales charges on Class I shares, you may pay commissions to your broker on your purchases and sales of Class I shares, which are not reflected in the table and example below. Although the fund does not impose any sales charges on Class I shares, you may pay commissions to your broker on your purchases and sales of Class I shares, which are not reflected in the table and example below. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial representative and on pages 17 to 19 of this prospectus under "Sales charge reductions and waivers" or pages 84 to 87 of the fund's Statement of Additional Information under "Sales Charges on Class A and Class C Shares."

Shareholder fees (%) (fees paid directly from your investment)

A

C

I

R6

Maximum front-end sales charge (load) on purchases, as a % of purchase price

5.00

None

None

None

Maximum deferred sales charge (load) as a % of purchase or sale price, whichever is less

1.00
(on certain purchases, including those of $1 million or more)

1.00

None

None

Small account fee (for fund account balances under $1,000) ($)

20

20

None

None

 

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

A

C

I

R6

Management fee

[1.20]

[1.20]

[1.20]

[1.20]

Distribution and service (Rule 12b-1) fees

[0.25]

[1.00]

[0.00]

[0.00]

Total other expenses‌1

[0.31]

[0.31]

[0.31]

[0.20]

Total annual fund operating expenses

[1.76]

[2.51]

[1.51]

[1.40]

Contractual expense reimbursement‌2

[-0.06]

[-0.06]

[-0.06]

[-0.06]

Total annual fund operating expenses after expense reimbursements

[1.70]

[2.45]

[1.45]

[1.34]

 

1 "Other expenses" have been estimated for the fund's first year of operations.

2 The advisor contractually agrees to reduce its management fee or, if necessary, make payment to the fund in an amount equal to the amount by which expenses of the fund exceed [1.33%] of average daily net assets of the fund. For purposes of this agreement, "expenses of the fund" means all fund expenses, excluding (a) taxes; (b) brokerage commissions; (c) interest expense; (d) litigation and indemnification expenses and other extraordinary expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of the fund's business; (e) class-specific expenses; (f) borrowing costs; (g) prime brokerage fees; (h) acquired fund fees and expenses paid indirectly; and (i) short dividend expense. This agreement expires on [February 28, 2021], unless renewed by mutual agreement of the fund and the advisor based upon a determination that this is appropriate under the circumstances at that time. The advisor also contractually agrees to waive a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse expenses for the fund and certain other John Hancock funds according to an asset level breakpoint schedule that is based on the aggregate net assets of all the funds participating in the waiver or reimbursement. This waiver is allocated proportionally among the participating funds. This agreement expires on [June 30, 2021], unless renewed by mutual agreement of the fund and the advisor based upon a determination that this is appropriate under the circumstances at that time.

Expense example

This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. Please see below a hypothetical example showing the expenses of a $10,000 investment for the time periods indicated and then, except as shown below, assuming you sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example assumes a 5% average annual return and that fund expenses will not change over the periods. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:

Expenses ($)

A

C

I

R6

Shares

Sold

Not Sold

1 year

[664]

[348]

[ 248]

[148]

[136]

3 years

[1,021]

[776]

[776]

[471]

[ 437]

Portfolio turnover

The fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or "turns over" its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the fund's performance. Because the fund had not commenced operations as of the date of the fund's prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover to report.

 

1


 

Table of Contents

Principal investment strategies

The fund pursues its investment objective by utilizing a multi-asset, quantitatively-driven investment strategy that seeks to provide exposure to diversified sources of return. The fund's investment strategy is a directional, long and short strategy that utilizes fundamental and price-based indicators to establish return forecasts across a broad range of asset classes globally. The investment strategy incorporates a variety of models that generate macro fundamental forecasts, assess yield and earnings differentials, compare current valuations relative to historic fair value, and analyze directional price trends across markets.

The manager will allocate the fund's assets across a range of asset classes comprising equities, fixed income, foreign currencies, and commodities. Exposure to these asset classes will be implemented by investing in derivative instruments, including futures (including equity index futures, interest rate futures, bond futures and commodity futures) and foreign currency futures and forward contracts.

Quantitative risk management and portfolio construction techniques will be employed to control exposure across individual markets and sectors in an effort to enhance returns as well as to maintain the fund's diversification and volatility objectives. The fund is actively managed and the fund's asset class exposures will vary over time based on the manager's proprietary investment models and, in part, on maintaining portfolio diversification. The fund expects to maintain exposure to all models at all times. The fund, on average, will target an annualized volatility of approximately 8%. Volatility is a statistical measurement of the dispersion of returns of a security or fund or index. The fund's actual or realized volatility level for longer or shorter periods of time may be materially higher or lower depending on market conditions.

The fund is generally intended to have a low correlation to the equity and bond markets. The fund is not designed to match the performance of any hedge fund index or benchmark and may be characterized as "macro" or "multi-asset" in nature.

The fund's use of derivatives will have the economic effect of financial leverage. Financial leverage magnifies exposure to the swings in prices of an asset class underlying an instrument and results in increased volatility, which means the fund will have the potential for greater gains as well as the potential for greater losses than if the fund does not use instruments that have a leveraging effect.

Due to the fund's use of derivative instruments such as futures, foreign currency futures and forward contracts, a significant portion of the fund's assets will be invested directly or indirectly in money market instruments, which may include U.S. Government securities, U.S. Government agency securities, overnight and/or fixed-term repurchase agreements, money market mutual fund shares and cash and cash equivalents for use as margin or collateral for these derivative instruments. Such investments may generate income for the fund.

Investment in the Subsidiary. The fund may gain exposure to the commodities markets by investing up to 25% of its total assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the fund organized as a company under the laws of the Cayman Islands: John Hancock Diversified Macro Offshore Subsidiary Fund Ltd. (the Subsidiary). The Subsidiary is advised by the subadvisor, under the supervision of the advisor, and seeks to gain commodities exposure.

The Subsidiary primarily obtains its commodity exposure by investing in commodity-linked derivative instruments, which may include but are not limited to total return swaps, commodity (U.S. or foreign) futures and commodity-linked notes. Neither the fund nor the Subsidiary intends to invest directly in physical commodities. The Subsidiary may also invest in other instruments, including fixed-income securities, either as investments or to serve as margin or collateral for its swap positions, and foreign currency transactions (including forward contracts).

Principal risks

An investment in the fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Many factors affect performance, and fund shares will fluctuate in price, meaning you could lose money. The fund's investment strategy may not produce the intended results.

During periods of heightened market volatility or reduced liquidity, governments, their agencies, or other regulatory bodies, both within the United States and abroad, may take steps to intervene. These actions, which could include legislative, regulatory, or economic initiatives, might have unforeseeable consequences and could adversely affect the fund's performance or otherwise constrain the fund's ability to achieve its investment objective.

The fund's main risks are listed below in alphabetical order. Before investing, be sure to read the additional descriptions of these risks beginning on page 5 of the prospectus.

Asset allocation risk. Although allocation among asset categories generally limits exposure to any one category, the management team may favor a category that performs poorly relative to the others.

Cash and cash equivalents risk. Under certain market conditions, such as during a rising stock market, rising interest rate or rising credit spread markets, the use of cash and/or cash equivalents, including money market instruments, could have a negative effect on the fund's ability to achieve its investment objective and may negatively impact the fund's performance.

Commodity risk. Commodity prices may be volatile due to fluctuating demand, supply disruption, speculation, and other factors. Certain commodity investments may have no active trading market at times.

 

2               


 

Table of Contents

Credit and counterparty risk. The issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income security, the counterparty to an over-the-counter derivatives contract, or a borrower of fund securities may not make timely payments or otherwise honor its obligations. U.S. government securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk depending upon the nature of their support. A downgrade or default affecting any of the fund's securities could affect the fund's performance.

Cybersecurity and operational risk. Cybersecurity breaches may allow an unauthorized party to gain access to fund assets, customer data, or proprietary information, or cause a fund or its service providers to suffer data corruption or lose operational functionality. Similar incidents affecting issuers of a fund's securities may negatively impact performance. Operational risk may arise from human error, error by third parties, communication errors, or technology failures, among other causes.

Economic and market events risk. Events in the U.S. and global financial markets, including actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve or foreign central banks to stimulate or stabilize economic growth, may at times result in unusually high market volatility, which could negatively impact performance. Reduced liquidity in credit and fixed-income markets could adversely affect issuers worldwide. Banks and financial services companies could suffer losses if interest rates rise or economic conditions deteriorate.

Equity securities risk. The price of equity securities may decline due to changes in a company's financial condition or overall market conditions. Securities the manager believes are undervalued may never realize their full potential value, and in certain markets value stocks may underperform the market as a whole.

Fixed-income securities risk. A rise in interest rates typically causes bond prices to fall. The longer the average maturity or duration of the bonds held by a fund, the more sensitive it will likely be to interest-rate fluctuations. An issuer may not make all interest payments or repay all or any of the principal borrowed. Changes in a security's credit quality may adversely affect fund performance.

Foreign securities risk. Less information may be publicly available regarding foreign issuers. Foreign securities may be subject to foreign taxes and may be more volatile than U.S. securities. Currency fluctuations and political and economic developments may adversely impact the value of foreign securities. The risks of investing in foreign securities are magnified in emerging markets.

Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions risk. Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions may increase a fund's volatility and could produce disproportionate losses, potentially more than the fund's principal investment. Risks of these transactions are different from and possibly greater than risks of investing directly in securities and other traditional instruments. Under certain market conditions, derivatives could become harder to value or sell and may become subject to liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions). Regulatory changes in derivative markets could impact the cost of or the fund's ability to engage in derivatives transactions. Derivatives and other strategic transactions that the fund intends to utilize include: foreign currency forward contracts, futures contracts, and total return swaps. Foreign currency forward contracts, futures contracts, and swaps generally are subject to counterparty risk. In addition, swaps may be subject to interest-rate and settlement risk, and the risk of default of the underlying reference obligation. Derivatives associated with foreign currency transactions are subject to currency risk.

High portfolio turnover risk. Trading securities actively and frequently can increase transaction costs (thus lowering performance) and taxable distributions.

Large company risk. Larger companies may grow more slowly than smaller companies or be slower to respond to business developments. Large-capitalization securities may underperform the market as a whole.

Leveraging risk. Using derivatives may result in a leveraged portfolio. Leveraging tends to magnify, sometimes significantly, the effect of any increase or decrease in the fund's exposure to an asset class and may cause the fund's net asset value per share (NAV) to experience greater volatility. Leverage increases a fund's losses when the value of its investments declines. Some derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment.

Liquidity risk. The extent (if at all) to which a security may be sold or a derivative position closed without negatively impacting its market value may be impaired by reduced market activity or participation, legal restrictions, or other economic and market impediments. Liquidity risk may be magnified in rising interest rate environments due to higher than normal redemption rates. Widespread selling of fixed-income securities to satisfy redemptions during periods of reduced demand may adversely impact the price or salability of such securities. Periods of heavy redemption could cause the fund to sell assets at a loss or depressed value, which could negatively affect performance. Redemption risk is heightened during periods of declining or illiquid markets.

Quantitative modeling risk. Quantitative models may not accurately predict future market movements or characteristics, which may negatively impact performance. Models also may perform differently than expected due to implementation problems, technological malfunction, or programming or data inaccuracies, among other possible issues.

Repurchase agreements risk. The risk of a repurchase agreement transaction is limited to the ability of the seller to pay the agreed-upon sum on the delivery date. In the event of bankruptcy or other default by the seller, the instrument purchased may decline in value, interest payable on the instrument may be lost and there may be possible difficulties and delays in obtaining collateral and delays and expense in liquidating the instrument.

Short sales risk. In a short sale, a fund pays interest on the borrowed security. The fund will lose money if the security price increases between the short sale and the replacement date.

Small and mid-sized company risk. Small and mid-sized companies are generally less established and may be more volatile than larger companies. Small and/or mid-capitalization securities may underperform the market as a whole.

 

3


 

Table of Contents

Subsidiary investment risk. By investing in the Subsidiary, the fund is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary's investments and operations. The Subsidiary is not subject to U.S. laws, including securities laws and their protections, or provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). Because the Subsidiary is not registered under U.S. law, it may not be able to negotiate terms with its counterparties equivalent to those negotiated by a registered fund. Changes in applicable law could result in the inability of the Subsidiary to operate as described, and could adversely affect the fund's investment approach.

Tax risk. The tax treatment of commodity-related investments and income from the Subsidiary may be adversely affected by future U.S. tax legislation, regulation, or guidance.

Past performance

This section normally shows how the fund's total returns have varied from year to year, along with a broad-based market index for reference. Because the fund had not commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus, there is no past performance to report.

Investment management

Investment advisor John Hancock Advisers, LLC
Subadvisor Graham Capital Management, L.P.

Portfolio management

 

Kenneth Tropin
Co-Portfolio Manager and Chairman
Managed the fund since inception

Pablo Calderini
Co-Portfolio Manager, President and Chief Investment Officer
Managed the fund since inception

Purchase and sale of fund shares

The minimum initial investment requirement for Class A and Class C shares is $1,000 ($250 for group investments), except that there is no minimum for certain group retirement plans, certain fee-based or wrap accounts, or certain other eligible investment product platforms. The minimum initial investment requirement for Class I shares is $250,000, except that the fund may waive the minimum for any category of investors at the fund's sole discretion. The minimum initial investment requirement for Class R6 shares is $1 million, except that there is no minimum for: qualified and nonqualified plan investors that do not require the fund or its affiliates to pay any type of administrative payment; certain eligible qualifying investment product platforms; Trustees; employees of the advisor or its affiliates; or members of the fund's portfolio management team. There are no subsequent minimum investment requirements for any of these share classes.

Shares may be redeemed on any business day by mail: John Hancock Signature Services, Inc., P.O. Box 55913, Boston, Massachusetts 02205-5913; or for most account types through our website: jhinvestments.com; or by telephone: 800-225-5291 (Class A and Class C); 888-972-8696 (Class I and Class R6).

Taxes

The fund's distributions are taxable, and will be taxed as ordinary income and/or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account. Withdrawals from such tax-deferred arrangements may be subject to tax at a later date.

Payments to broker-dealers and other financial intermediaries

If you purchase the fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank, registered investment advisor, financial planner, or retirement plan administrator), the fund and its related companies may pay the broker-dealer or other intermediary for the sale of fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the fund over another investment. These payments are not applicable to Class R6 shares. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary's website for more information.

 

4               


 

Table of Contents

Fund details

Principal investment strategies

The Board of Trustees can change the fund's investment objective and strategies without shareholder approval.

The fund pursues its investment objective by utilizing a multi-asset, quantitatively-driven investment strategy that seeks to provide exposure to diversified sources of return. The fund's investment strategy is a directional, long and short strategy that utilizes fundamental and price-based indicators to establish return forecasts across a broad range of asset classes globally. The investment strategy incorporates a variety of models that generate macro fundamental forecasts, assess yield and earnings differentials, compare current valuations relative to historic fair value, and analyze directional price trends across markets.

The manager will allocate the fund's assets across a range of asset classes comprising equities, fixed income, foreign currencies, and commodities. Exposure to these asset classes will be implemented by investing in derivative instruments, including futures (including equity index futures, interest rate futures, bond futures and commodity futures) and foreign currency futures and forward contracts. Given the dynamic nature of the fund's investment process and the underlying exposures within the fund, the fund's overall exposure to derivative instruments will vary over time.

Quantitative risk management and portfolio construction techniques will be employed to control exposure across individual markets and sectors in an effort to enhance returns as well as to maintain the fund's diversification and volatility objectives. The fund is actively managed and the fund's asset class exposures will vary over time based on the manager's proprietary investment models and, in part, on maintaining portfolio diversification. The fund's risk management and portfolio construction process is designed to diversify risk across markets and sectors.

The fund expects to maintain exposure to all models at all times. The fund, on average, will target an annualized volatility of approximately 8%. Volatility is a statistical measurement of the dispersion of returns of a security or fund or index. The fund's actual or realized volatility level for longer or shorter periods of time may be materially higher or lower depending on market conditions. Higher volatility generally indicates higher risk. Actual or realized volatility can and will differ from the target volatility described above.

The fund is generally intended to have a low correlation to the equity and bond markets. The fund is not designed to match the performance of any hedge fund index or benchmark and may be characterized as "macro" or "multi-asset" in nature. The manager will attempt to mitigate risk through diversification of holdings and through the active monitoring of volatility, counterparties and other risk factors.

The fund's use of derivatives will have the economic effect of financial leverage. Financial leverage magnifies exposure to the swings in prices of an asset class underlying an instrument and results in increased volatility, which means the fund will have the potential for greater gains as well as the potential for greater losses than if the fund does not use instruments that have a leveraging effect.

Due to the fund's use of derivative instruments such as futures, foreign currency futures and forward contracts, a significant portion of the fund's assets will be invested directly or indirectly in money market instruments, which may include U.S. Government securities, U.S. Government agency securities, overnight and/or fixed-term repurchase agreements, money market mutual fund shares and cash and cash equivalents for use as margin or collateral for these derivative instruments. Such investments may generate income for the fund. Under a repurchase agreement, the fund buys securities that the seller has agreed to buy back at a specified time and at a set price.

Investment in the Subsidiary. The fund may gain exposure to the commodities markets by investing up to 25% of its total assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the fund organized as a company under the laws of the Cayman Islands: John Hancock Diversified Macro Offshore Subsidiary Fund Ltd. (the Subsidiary). The Subsidiary is advised by the subadvisor, under the supervision of the advisor, and seeks to gain commodities exposure.

The Subsidiary primarily obtains its commodity exposure by investing in commodity-linked derivative instruments, which may include but are not limited to total return swaps, commodity (U.S. or foreign) futures and commodity-linked notes. Commodity-linked swaps are derivative instruments whereby the cash flows agreed upon between counterparties are dependent upon the price of the underlying commodity or commodity index over the life of the swap. Commodity futures contracts are standardized, exchange-traded contracts that provide for the sale or purchase of, or economic exposure to the price of, a commodity or a specified basket of commodities at a future time. The value of these commodity linked derivatives will rise and fall in response to changes in the underlying commodity or commodity index. Commodity-linked derivatives expose the Subsidiary and the fund economically to movements in commodity prices. Such instruments may be leveraged so that small changes in the underlying commodity prices would result in disproportionate changes in the value of the instrument. Neither the fund nor the Subsidiary intends to invest directly in physical commodities. The Subsidiary may also invest in other instruments, including fixed-income securities, either as investments or to serve as margin or collateral for its swap positions, and foreign currency transactions (including forward contracts).

Temporary defensive investing

The fund may invest up to 100% of its assets in cash, money market instruments, repurchase agreements, or other short-term instruments for the purpose of protecting the fund in the event the subadvisor determines that market, economic, political, or other conditions warrant a defensive posture.

To the extent that the fund is in a defensive position, its ability to achieve its investment objective will be limited.

Principal risks of investing

An investment in the fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The fund's shares will go up and down in price, meaning that you could lose money by investing in the fund. Many factors influence a mutual fund's performance. The fund's investment strategy may not produce the intended results.

Instability in the financial markets has led many governments, including the U.S. government, to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and segments of the financial markets that have experienced extreme volatility and, in some cases, a lack of liquidity. Federal, state, and other governments, and their regulatory agencies or self-regulatory organizations, may take actions that affect the regulation of the instruments in which the fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Legislation or regulation may also change the way in which the

 

5


 

Table of Contents

fund itself is regulated. Such legislation or regulation could limit or preclude the fund's ability to achieve its investment objective. In addition, political events within the United States and abroad could negatively impact financial markets and the fund's performance. Further, certain municipalities of the United States and its territories are financially strained and may face the possibility of default on their debt obligations, which could directly or indirectly detract from each fund's performance.

Governments or their agencies may also acquire distressed assets from financial institutions and acquire ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear, and such a program may have positive or negative effects on the liquidity, valuation, and performance of the fund's portfolio holdings. Furthermore, volatile financial markets can expose the fund to greater market and liquidity risk and potential difficulty in valuing portfolio instruments held by the fund.

Below are descriptions of the main factors that may play a role in shaping the fund's overall risk profile. The descriptions appear in alphabetical order, not in order of importance. For further details about fund risks, including additional risk factors that are not discussed in this prospectus because they are not considered primary factors, see the fund's Statement of Additional Information (SAI).

Asset allocation risk

Although asset allocation among different asset categories generally limits risk and exposure to any one category, the risk remains that the subadvisor may favor an asset category that performs poorly relative to the other asset categories. To the extent that alternative asset categories underperform the general stock market, the fund would perform poorly relative to a fund invested primarily in the general stock market.

Cash and cash equivalents risk

Under certain market conditions, such as during a rising stock market, rising interest rate or rising credit spread markets, the use of cash and/or cash equivalents, including money market instruments, could have a negative effect on the fund's ability to achieve its investment objective and may negatively impact the fund's performance. To the extent that the fund invests in a money market fund, the fund will indirectly bear a proportionate share of the money market fund's expenses, in addition to the operating expenses of the fund, which are borne directly by fund shareholders. In addition, while money market funds seek to maintain a stable net asset value, the value of a money market fund is not guaranteed and investors in money market funds can lose money, which could detract from the fund's performance.

Commodity risk

The market price of commodity investments may be volatile due to fluctuating demand, supply disruption, speculation, and other factors. Certain commodity investments may have no active trading market at times.

Credit and counterparty risk

This is the risk that the issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income security, the counterparty to an over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives contract (see "Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions risk"), or a borrower of a fund's securities will be unable or unwilling to make timely principal, interest, or settlement payments, or otherwise honor its obligations. Credit risk associated with investments in fixed-income securities relates to the ability of the issuer to make scheduled payments of principal and interest on an obligation. A fund that invests in fixed-income securities is subject to varying degrees of risk that the issuers of the securities will have their credit ratings downgraded or will default, potentially reducing the fund's share price and income level. Nearly all fixed-income securities are subject to some credit risk, which may vary depending upon whether the issuers of the securities are corporations, domestic or foreign governments, or their subdivisions or instrumentalities. U.S. government securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk depending upon whether the securities are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States; supported by the ability to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; supported only by the credit of the issuing U.S. government agency, instrumentality, or corporation; or otherwise supported by the United States. For example, issuers of many types of U.S. government securities (e.g., the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and Federal Home Loan Banks), although chartered or sponsored by Congress, are not funded by congressional appropriations, and their fixed-income securities, including asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities, are neither guaranteed nor insured by the U.S. government. An agency of the U.S. government has placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship, a statutory process with the objective of returning the entities to normal business operations. It is unclear what effect this conservatorship will have on the securities issued or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. As a result, these securities are subject to more credit risk than U.S. government securities that are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States (e.g., U.S. Treasury bonds). When a fixed-income security is not rated, a manager may have to assess the risk of the security itself. Asset-backed securities, whose principal and interest payments are supported by pools of other assets, such as credit card receivables and automobile loans, are subject to further risks, including the risk that the obligors of the underlying assets default on payment of those assets.

In addition, a fund is exposed to credit risk to the extent that it makes use of OTC derivatives (such as forward foreign currency contracts and/or swap contracts) and engages to a significant extent in the lending of fund securities or the use of repurchase agreements. OTC derivatives transactions can be closed out with the other party to the transaction. If the counterparty defaults, a fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that the counterparty will be able to meet its contractual obligations or that, in the event of default, a fund will succeed in enforcing them. A fund, therefore, assumes the risk that it may be unable to obtain payments owed to it under OTC derivatives contracts or that those payments may be delayed or made only after the fund has incurred the costs of litigation. While the manager intends to monitor the creditworthiness of contract counterparties, there can be no assurance that the counterparty will be in a position to meet its obligations, especially during unusually adverse market conditions.

Cybersecurity and operational risk

Intentional cybersecurity breaches include unauthorized access to systems, networks, or devices (such as through "hacking" activity); infection from computer viruses or other malicious software code; and attacks that shut down, disable, slow, or otherwise disrupt operations, business processes, or website access or functionality. In addition, unintentional incidents can occur, such as the inadvertent release of confidential information (possibly resulting in the violation of applicable privacy laws).

A cybersecurity breach could result in the loss or theft of customer data or funds, the inability to access electronic systems ("denial of services"), loss or

 

6               


 

Table of Contents

theft of proprietary information or corporate data, physical damage to a computer or network system, or costs associated with system repairs. Such incidents could cause a fund, the advisor, a manager, or other service providers to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs, litigation costs or financial loss. In addition, such incidents could affect issuers in which a fund invests, and thereby cause the fund's investments to lose value.

Cyber-events have the potential to materially affect the fund and the advisor's relationships with accounts, shareholders, clients, customers, employees, products, and service providers. The fund has established risk management systems reasonably designed to seek to reduce the risks associated with cyber-events. There is no guarantee that the fund will be able to prevent or mitigate the impact of any or all cyber-events.

The fund is exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the fund's service providers, counterparties, or other third parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or system failures.

Economic and market events risk

Events in certain sectors historically have resulted, and may in the future result, in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign. These events have included, but are not limited to: bankruptcies, corporate restructurings, and other events related to the sub-prime mortgage crisis in 2008; governmental efforts to limit short selling and high frequency trading; measures to address U.S. federal and state budget deficits; social, political, and economic instability in Europe; economic stimulus by the Japanese central bank; steep declines in oil prices; dramatic changes in currency exchange rates; and China's economic slowdown. Interconnected global economies and financial markets increase the possibility that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact issuers in a different country or region. Both domestic and foreign equity markets have experienced increased volatility and turmoil, with issuers that have exposure to the real estate, mortgage, and credit markets particularly affected. Banks and financial services companies could suffer losses if interest rates continue to rise or economic conditions deteriorate.

In addition, relatively high market volatility and reduced liquidity in credit and fixed-income markets may adversely affect many issuers worldwide. Actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) or foreign central banks to stimulate or stabilize economic growth, such as interventions in currency markets, could cause high volatility in the equity and fixed-income markets. Reduced liquidity may result in less money being available to purchase raw materials, goods, and services from emerging markets, which may, in turn, bring down the prices of these economic staples. It may also result in emerging-market issuers having more difficulty obtaining financing, which may, in turn, cause a decline in their securities prices.

In addition, while interest rates have been unusually low in recent years in the United States and abroad, any decision by the Fed to adjust the target fed funds rate, among other factors, could cause markets to experience continuing high volatility. A significant increase in interest rates may cause a decline in the market for equity securities. Also, regulators have expressed concern that rate increases may contribute to price volatility. These events and the possible resulting market volatility may have an adverse effect on the fund.

Political turmoil within the United States and abroad may also impact the fund. Although the U.S. government has honored its credit obligations, it remains possible that the United States could default on its obligations. While it is impossible to predict the consequences of such an unprecedented event, it is likely that a default by the United States would be highly disruptive to the U.S. and global securities markets and could significantly impair the value of the fund's investments. Similarly, political events within the United States at times have resulted, and may in the future result, in a shutdown of government services, which could negatively affect the U.S. economy, decrease the value of many fund investments, and increase uncertainty in or impair the operation of the U.S. or other securities markets. The U.S. is also considering significant new investments in infrastructure and national defense which, coupled with lower federal taxes, could lead to increased government borrowing and higher interest rates. While these proposed policies are going through the political process, the equity and debt markets may react strongly to expectations, which could increase volatility, especially if the market's expectations for changes in government policies are not borne out.

Uncertainties surrounding the sovereign debt of a number of European Union (EU) countries and the viability of the EU have disrupted and may in the future disrupt markets in the United States and around the world. If one or more countries leave the EU or the EU dissolves, the world's securities markets likely will be significantly disrupted. In June 2016, the United Kingdom approved a referendum to leave the EU, commonly referred to as "Brexit." There is significant market uncertainty regarding Brexit's ramifications, and the range and potential implications of possible political, regulatory, economic, and market outcomes are difficult to predict. Political and military events, including in North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, and other areas of the Middle East, and nationalist unrest in Europe, also may cause market disruptions.

In addition, there is a risk that the prices of goods and services in the United States and many foreign economies may decline over time, known as deflation. Deflation may have an adverse effect on stock prices and creditworthiness and may make defaults on debt more likely. If a country's economy slips into a deflationary pattern, it could last for a prolonged period and may be difficult to reverse.

Equity securities risk

Common and preferred stocks represent equity ownership in a company. Stock markets are volatile. The price of equity securities will fluctuate, and can decline and reduce the value of a fund investing in equities. The price of equity securities fluctuates based on changes in a company's financial condition and overall market and economic conditions. The value of equity securities purchased by a fund could decline if the financial condition of the companies in which the fund is invested declines, or if overall market and economic conditions deteriorate. An issuer's financial condition could decline as a result of poor management decisions, competitive pressures, technological obsolescence, undue reliance on suppliers, labor issues, shortages, corporate restructurings, fraudulent disclosures, or other factors. Changes in the financial condition of a single issuer can impact the market as a whole.

Even a fund that invests in high-quality, or blue chip, equity securities, or securities of established companies with large market capitalizations (which generally have strong financial characteristics), can be negatively impacted by poor overall market and economic conditions. Companies with large market capitalizations may also have less growth potential than smaller companies and may be less able to react quickly to changes in the marketplace.

 

7


 

Table of Contents

The fund may maintain substantial exposure to equities and generally does not attempt to time the market. Because of this exposure, the possibility that stock market prices in general will decline over short or extended periods subjects the fund to unpredictable declines in the value of its investments, as well as periods of poor performance.

Value investing risk. Certain equity securities (generally referred to as value securities) are purchased primarily because they are selling at prices below what the manager believes to be their fundamental value and not necessarily because the issuing companies are expected to experience significant earnings growth. The fund bears the risk that the companies that issued these securities may not overcome the adverse business developments or other factors causing their securities to be perceived by the manager to be underpriced or that the market may never come to recognize their fundamental value. A value stock may not increase in price, as anticipated by the manager investing in such securities, if other investors fail to recognize the company's value and bid up the price or invest in markets favoring faster growing companies. The fund's strategy of investing in value stocks also carries the risk that in certain markets, value stocks will underperform growth stocks. In addition, securities issued by U.S. entities with substantial foreign operations may involve risks relating to economic, political or regulatory conditions in foreign countries.

Fixed-income securities risk

Fixed-income securities are generally subject to two principal types of risk, as well as other risks described below: (1) interest-rate risk and (2) credit quality risk.

Interest-rate risk. Fixed-income securities are affected by changes in interest rates. When interest rates decline, the market value of fixed-income securities generally can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the market value of fixed-income securities generally can be expected to decline. The longer the duration or maturity of a fixed-income security, the more susceptible it is to interest-rate risk. Recent and potential future changes in government monetary policy may affect the level of interest rates.

Credit quality risk. Fixed-income securities are subject to the risk that the issuer of the security will not repay all or a portion of the principal borrowed and will not make all interest payments. If the credit quality of a fixed-income security deteriorates after a fund has purchased the security, the market value of the security may decrease and lead to a decrease in the value of the fund's investments. An issuer's credit quality could deteriorate as a result of poor management decisions, competitive pressures, technological obsolescence, undue reliance on suppliers, labor issues, shortages, corporate restructurings, fraudulent disclosures, or other factors. Funds that may invest in lower-rated fixed-income securities, commonly referred to as junk securities, are riskier than funds that may invest in higher-rated fixed-income securities. Additional information on the risks of investing in investment-grade fixed-income securities in the lowest rating category and lower-rated fixed-income securities is set forth below.

Investment-grade fixed-income securities in the lowest rating category risk. Investment-grade fixed-income securities in the lowest rating category (such as Baa by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. or BBB by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and comparable unrated securities) involve a higher degree of risk than fixed-income securities in the higher rating categories. While such securities are considered investment-grade quality and are deemed to have adequate capacity for payment of principal and interest, such securities lack outstanding investment characteristics and have speculative characteristics as well. For example, changes in economic conditions or other circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to make principal and interest payments than is the case with higher-grade securities.

Prepayment of principal risk. Many types of debt securities, including floating-rate loans, are subject to prepayment risk. Prepayment risk occurs when the issuer of a security can repay principal prior to the security's maturity. Securities subject to prepayment risk can offer less potential for gains when the credit quality of the issuer improves.

Foreign securities risk

Funds that invest in securities traded principally in securities markets outside the United States are subject to additional and more varied risks, as the value of foreign securities may change more rapidly and extremely than the value of U.S. securities. Less information may be publicly available regarding foreign issuers. Foreign securities may be subject to foreign taxes and may be more volatile than U.S. securities. Currency fluctuations and political and economic developments may adversely impact the value of foreign securities. The securities markets of many foreign countries are relatively small, with a limited number of companies representing a small number of industries. Additionally, issuers of foreign securities may not be subject to the same degree of regulation as U.S. issuers. Reporting, accounting, and auditing standards of foreign countries differ, in some cases significantly, from U.S. standards. There are generally higher commission rates on foreign portfolio transactions, transfer taxes, higher custodial costs, and the possibility that foreign taxes will be charged on dividends and interest payable on foreign securities, some or all of which may not be reclaimable. Also, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations (which may include suspension of the ability to transfer currency or assets from a country); political changes; or diplomatic developments could adversely affect a fund's investments. In the event of nationalization, expropriation, confiscatory taxation, or other confiscation, the fund could lose a substantial portion of, or its entire investment in, a foreign security. Some of the foreign securities risks are also applicable to funds that invest a material portion of their assets in securities of foreign issuers traded in the United States.

Emerging-market risk. Investments in the securities of issuers based in countries with emerging-market economies are subject to greater levels of foreign investment risk than investments in more-developed foreign markets, since emerging-market securities may present market, credit, currency, liquidity, legal, political, and other risks greater than, or in addition to, the risks of investing in developed foreign countries. These risks include high currency exchange-rate fluctuations; increased risk of default (including both government and private issuers); greater social, economic, and political uncertainty and instability (including the risk of war); more substantial governmental involvement in the economy; less governmental supervision and regulation of the securities markets and participants in those markets; controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital and on a fund's ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; unavailability of currency hedging techniques in certain emerging-market countries; the fact that companies in emerging-market countries may be newly organized, smaller, and less seasoned; the difference in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting standards, which may result in the unavailability of material information about issuers; different clearance and settlement procedures, which may be unable to keep pace with the volume of

 

8               


 

Table of Contents

 

securities transactions or otherwise make it difficult to engage in such transactions; difficulties in obtaining and/or enforcing legal judgments in foreign jurisdictions; and significantly smaller market capitalizations of emerging-market issuers.

Currency risk. Currency risk is the risk that fluctuations in exchange rates may adversely affect the U.S. dollar value of a fund's investments. Currency risk includes both the risk that currencies in which a fund's investments are traded, or currencies in which a fund has taken an active investment position, will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar and, in the case of hedging positions, that the U.S. dollar will decline in value relative to the currency being hedged. Currency rates in foreign countries may fluctuate significantly for a number of reasons, including the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets, actual or perceived changes in interest rates, intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks, or currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad. Certain funds may engage in proxy hedging of currencies by entering into derivative transactions with respect to a currency whose value is expected to correlate to the value of a currency the fund owns or wants to own. This presents the risk that the two currencies may not move in relation to one another as expected. In that case, the fund could lose money on its investment and also lose money on the position designed to act as a proxy hedge. Certain funds may also take active currency positions and may cross-hedge currency exposure represented by their securities into another foreign currency. This may result in a fund's currency exposure being substantially different than that suggested by its securities investments. All funds with foreign currency holdings and/or that invest or trade in securities denominated in foreign currencies or related derivative instruments may be adversely affected by changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Derivative foreign currency transactions (such as futures, forwards, and swaps) may also involve leveraging risk, in addition to currency risk. Leverage may disproportionately increase a fund's portfolio losses and reduce opportunities for gain when interest rates, stock prices, or currency rates are changing.

Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions risk

The ability of a fund to utilize hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions to benefit the fund will depend in part on its manager's ability to predict pertinent market movements and market risk, counterparty risk, credit risk, interest-rate risk, and other risk factors, none of which can be assured. The skills required to utilize hedging and other strategic transactions are different from those needed to select a fund's securities. Even if the manager only uses hedging and other strategic transactions in a fund primarily for hedging purposes or to gain exposure to a particular securities market, if the transaction does not have the desired outcome, it could result in a significant loss to a fund. The amount of loss could be more than the principal amount invested. These transactions may also increase the volatility of a fund and may involve a small investment of cash relative to the magnitude of the risks assumed, thereby magnifying the impact of any resulting gain or loss. For example, the potential loss from the use of futures can exceed a fund's initial investment in such contracts. In addition, these transactions could result in a loss to a fund if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised.

A fund may invest in derivatives, which are financial contracts with a value that depends on, or is derived from, the value of underlying assets, reference rates, or indexes. Derivatives may relate to stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies or currency exchange rates, and related indexes. A fund may use derivatives for many purposes, including for hedging and as a substitute for direct investment in securities or other assets. Derivatives may be used in a way to efficiently adjust the exposure of a fund to various securities, markets, and currencies without a fund actually having to sell existing investments and make new investments. This generally will be done when the adjustment is expected to be relatively temporary or in anticipation of effecting the sale of fund assets and making new investments over time. Further, since many derivatives have a leverage component, adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, reference rate, or index can result in a loss substantially greater than the amount invested in the derivative itself. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. When a fund uses derivatives for leverage, investments in that fund will tend to be more volatile, resulting in larger gains or losses in response to market changes. To limit leverage risk, a fund may segregate assets determined to be liquid or, as permitted by applicable regulation, enter into certain offsetting positions to cover its obligations under derivative instruments. For a description of the various derivative instruments the fund may utilize, refer to the SAI.

The regulation of the U.S. and non-U.S. derivatives markets has undergone substantial change in recent years and such change may continue. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and regulation proposed to be promulgated thereunder require many derivatives to be cleared and traded on an exchange, expand entity registration requirements, impose business conduct requirements on dealers that enter into swaps with a pension plan, endowment, retirement plan or government entity, and required banks to move some derivatives trading units to a non-guaranteed affiliate separate from the deposit-taking bank or divest them altogether. Although the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has released final rules relating to clearing, reporting, recordkeeping and registration requirements under the legislation, many of the provisions are subject to further final rule making, and thus its ultimate impact remains unclear. New regulations could, among other things, restrict the fund's ability to engage in derivatives transactions (for example, by making certain types of derivatives transactions no longer available to the fund) and/or increase the costs of such derivatives transactions (for example, by increasing margin or capital requirements), and the fund may be unable to fully execute its investment strategies as a result. Limits or restrictions applicable to the counterparties with which the fund engages in derivative transactions also could prevent the fund from using these instruments or affect the pricing or other factors relating to these instruments, or may change the availability of certain investments.

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

The use of derivative instruments may involve risks different from, or potentially greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other, more traditional assets. In particular, the use of derivative instruments exposes a fund to the risk that the counterparty to an OTC derivatives contract will be unable or unwilling to make timely settlement payments or otherwise honor its obligations. OTC derivatives transactions typically can only be closed out with the other party to the transaction, although either party may engage in an offsetting transaction that puts that party in the same economic position as if it had closed out the transaction with the counterparty or may obtain the other

 

9


 

Table of Contents

party's consent to assign the transaction to a third party. If the counterparty defaults, the fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that the counterparty will meet its contractual obligations or that, in the event of default, the fund will succeed in enforcing them. For example, because the contract for each OTC derivatives transaction is individually negotiated with a specific counterparty, a fund is subject to the risk that a counterparty may interpret contractual terms (e.g., the definition of default) differently than the fund when the fund seeks to enforce its contractual rights. If that occurs, the cost and unpredictability of the legal proceedings required for the fund to enforce its contractual rights may lead it to decide not to pursue its claims against the counterparty. The fund, therefore, assumes the risk that it may be unable to obtain payments owed to it under OTC derivatives contracts or that those payments may be delayed or made only after the fund has incurred the costs of litigation. While a manager intends to monitor the creditworthiness of counterparties, there can be no assurance that a counterparty will meet its obligations, especially during unusually adverse market conditions. To the extent a fund contracts with a limited number of counterparties, the fund's risk will be concentrated and events that affect the creditworthiness of any of those counterparties may have a pronounced effect on the fund. Derivatives are also subject to a number of other risks, including market risk and liquidity risk. Since the value of derivatives is calculated and derived from the value of other assets, instruments, or references, there is a risk that they will be improperly valued. Derivatives also involve the risk that changes in their value may not correlate perfectly with the assets, rates, or indexes they are designed to hedge or closely track. Suitable derivatives transactions may not be available in all circumstances. The fund is also subject to the risk that the counterparty closes out the derivatives transactions upon the occurrence of certain triggering events. In addition, a manager may determine not to use derivatives to hedge or otherwise reduce risk exposure. Government legislation or regulation could affect the use of derivatives transactions and could limit a fund's ability to pursue its investment strategies.

A detailed discussion of various hedging and other strategic transactions appears in the SAI. The following is a list of certain derivatives and other strategic transactions that the fund intends to utilize and the main risks associated with each of them:

Foreign currency forward contracts. Risks associated with foreign currency forward contracts include liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), risk of disproportionate loss, and counterparty and foreign currency risk.

Futures contracts. Risks associated with futures contracts include counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), and risk of disproportionate loss.

Total return swaps. Counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), market risk, interest-rate risk, settlement risk, risk of default of the underlying reference obligation, and risk of disproportionate loss are the principal risks of engaging in total return swaps.

High portfolio turnover risk

A high fund portfolio turnover rate (over 100%) generally involves correspondingly greater brokerage commission and tax expenses, which must be borne directly by a fund and its shareholders, respectively. The portfolio turnover rate of a fund may vary from year to year, as well as within a year.

Large company risk

Larger, more established companies may be unable to respond quickly to new competitive challenges such as changes in technology and consumer tastes. Many larger companies also may not be able to attain the high growth rate of successful smaller companies, especially during extended periods of economic expansion. For purposes of the fund's investment policies, the market capitalization of a company is based on its capitalization at the time the fund purchases the company's securities. Market capitalizations of companies change over time. The fund is not obligated to sell a company's security simply because, subsequent to its purchase, the company's market capitalization has changed to be outside the capitalization range, if any, in effect for the fund.

Leveraging risk

A fund's use of derivatives may cause its portfolio to be leveraged (i.e., the fund's exposure to underlying securities, assets or currencies exceeds its net asset value). Leveraging tends to magnify, sometimes significantly, the effect of any increase or decrease in the fund's exposure to an asset class and may cause the fund's net asset value per share (NAV) to experience greater volatility. For example, if the fund seeks to gain enhanced exposure to a specific asset class through an instrument providing leveraged exposure to the asset class and that instrument increases in value, the gain to the fund will be magnified; however, if that investment decreases in value, the loss to the fund will be magnified. A decline in the fund's assets due to losses magnified by these instruments providing leveraged exposure may require the fund to liquidate portfolio positions to satisfy its obligations, including to meet redemption requests, or to meet asset segregation requirements, when it likely will not be advantageous to do so.

Because many derivatives have a leverage component (i.e., a notional value in excess of the assets needed to establish and/or maintain the derivative position), adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, rate, or index may result in a loss substantially greater than the amount invested in the derivative itself. In the case of swaps, the risk of loss generally is related to a notional principal amount, even if the parties have not made any initial investment. Some derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment.

Liquidity risk

The extent (if at all) to which a security may be sold or a derivative position closed without negatively impacting its market value may be impaired by reduced market activity or participation, legal restrictions, or other economic and market impediments. Funds with principal investment strategies that involve investments in securities of companies with smaller market capitalizations, foreign securities, derivatives, or securities with substantial market and/or credit risk tend to have the greatest exposure to liquidity risk. Exposure to liquidity risk may be heightened for funds that invest in securities of emerging markets and related derivatives that are not widely traded, and that may be subject to purchase and sale restrictions.

The capacity of traditional dealers to engage in fixed-income trading has not kept pace with the bond market's growth. As a result, dealer inventories of corporate bonds, which indicate the ability to "make markets," i.e., buy or sell a security at the quoted bid and ask price, respectively, are at or near historic lows relative to market size. Because market makers provide stability to fixed-income markets, the significant reduction in dealer inventories could lead to

 

10               


 

Table of Contents

decreased liquidity and increased volatility, which may become exacerbated during periods of economic or political stress.

Quantitative modeling risk

Use of quantitative models carries the risk that the fund may underperform funds that do not utilize such models. The use of quantitative models may affect the fund's exposure to certain sectors or types of investments and may impact the fund's relative investment performance depending on whether such sectors or investments are in or out of favor in the market. Successful application of a quantitative model is dependent on the subadvisor's skill in building and implementing the model. For example, human judgment plays a role in building, utilizing, testing, modifying, and implementing the financial algorithms and formulas used in these models. Quantitative models are subject to technical issues including programming and data inaccuracies, are based on assumptions, and rely on data that is subject to limitations (e.g., inaccuracies, staleness), any of which could adversely affect their effectiveness or predictive value. Quantitative models may not accurately predict future market movements or characteristics due to the fact that market performance can be affected by non-quantitative factors that are not easily integrated into quantitative analysis, among other factors.

Repurchase agreement risk

The risk of a repurchase agreement transaction is limited to the ability of the seller to pay the agreed-upon sum on the delivery date. In the event of bankruptcy or other default by the seller, the instrument purchased may decline in value, interest payable on the instrument may be lost and there may be possible difficulties and delays in obtaining collateral and delays and expense in liquidating the instrument. If an issuer of a repurchase agreement fails to repurchase the underlying obligation, the loss, if any, would be the difference between the repurchase price and the underlying obligation's market value. The fund might also incur certain costs in liquidating the underlying obligation. Moreover, if bankruptcy or other insolvency proceedings are commenced with respect to the seller, realization upon the underlying obligation might be delayed or limited.

Short sales risk

The fund may make short sales of securities. This means the fund may sell a security that it does not own in anticipation of a decline in the market value of the security. The fund generally borrows the security to deliver to the buyer in a short sale. The fund must then buy the security at its market price when the borrowed security must be returned to the lender. Short sales involve costs and risk. The fund must pay the lender interest on the security it borrows, and the fund will lose money if the price of the security increases between the time of the short sale and the date when the fund replaces the borrowed security. The fund may also make short sales "against the box." In a short sale against the box, at the time of sale, the fund owns or has the right to acquire the identical security, or one equivalent in kind or amount, at no additional cost.

Until the fund closes its short position or replaces a borrowed security, the fund will (i) segregate with its custodian cash or other liquid assets at such a level that the amount segregated plus the amount deposited with the lender as collateral will equal the current market value of the security sold short or (ii) otherwise cover its short position. The need to maintain cash or other liquid assets in segregated accounts could limit the fund's ability to pursue other opportunities as they arise.

Small and mid-sized company risk

Market risk and liquidity risk may be pronounced for securities of companies with medium-sized market capitalizations and are particularly pronounced for securities of companies with smaller market capitalizations. These companies may have limited product lines, markets, or financial resources, or they may depend on a few key employees. The securities of companies with medium and smaller market capitalizations may trade less frequently and in lesser volume than more widely held securities, and their value may fluctuate more sharply than those securities. They may also trade in the OTC market or on a regional exchange, or may otherwise have limited liquidity. Investments in less-seasoned companies with medium and smaller market capitalizations may not only present greater opportunities for growth and capital appreciation, but also involve greater risks than are customarily associated with more established companies with larger market capitalizations. These risks apply to all funds that invest in the securities of companies with smaller- or medium-sized market capitalizations. For purposes of the fund's investment policies, the market capitalization of a company is based on its capitalization at the time the fund purchases the company's securities. Market capitalizations of companies change over time. The fund is not obligated to sell a company's security simply because, subsequent to its purchase, the company's market capitalization has changed to be outside the capitalization range, if any, in effect for the fund.

Subsidiary investment risk

By investing in the Subsidiary, the fund is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary's investments and operations. The commodity-linked derivative instruments and other investments held by the Subsidiary are similar to those that are permitted to be held by the fund and, therefore, present the same risks whether they are held by the fund or the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary is not subject to U.S. laws, including securities laws and their protections. The Subsidiary is subject to the laws of the Cayman Islands, which can be affected by developments in that country.

Because the Subsidiary is not registered under U.S. federal securities laws, it may not be able to negotiate terms with its counterparties that are equivalent to those a registered fund may negotiate. As a result, the Subsidiary may have greater exposure to those counterparties than a registered fund. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands could result in the inability of the Subsidiary to operate as described in this prospectus and the SAI, and could adversely affect the fund's investment approach.

Tax risk

In order for the fund to satisfy tax requirements applicable to regulated investment companies, the fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income each taxable year from certain qualifying sources of income. Commodity-related investments generally generate income that is not from a qualified source for purposes of meeting this 90% test. The rules regarding the extent to which income, if any, realized by a wholly owned non-U.S. subsidiary (such as the Subsidiary) of the fund and included in the fund's annual income for U.S. federal income purposes, but that is not timely and currently repatriated to the fund, will constitute qualifying income are unclear and currently under consideration. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued proposed regulations providing that income earned by non-U.S. wholly owned subsidiaries of a regulated investment company and included in such regulated investment company's gross income constitutes qualifying income only to the extent such income is timely and currently repatriated to the regulated investment company. If the

 

11


 

Table of Contents

proposed regulations were finalized in their current form, annual net profit, if any, realized by the Subsidiary and included in the income of the fund would constitute qualifying income only to the extent it is timely and currently repatriated to the fund. The Subsidiary intends to distribute its earnings and profits annually to the fund in a manner that complies with the requirements of these proposed regulations. Should the IRS make a determination, issue guidance, or take other action that adversely affects the tax treatment of investing in the Subsidiary, it could limit the fund's ability to invest in commodity-related investments, the fund may incur transaction and other costs to comply with any new or additional guidance from the IRS, and such action could bear adversely on the fund's ability to satisfy the requirements for qualification as a regulated investment company. The tax treatment of commodity-related investments and income from the Subsidiary may be adversely affected by future legislation, Treasury Regulations and/or guidance issued by the IRS that could affect the character, timing and/or amount of the fund's taxable income or any gains and distributions made by the fund.

Who's who

The following are the names of the various entities involved with the fund's investment and business operations, along with brief descriptions of the role each entity performs.

Board of Trustees

The Trustees oversee the fund's business activities and retain the services of the various firms that carry out the fund's operations.

Investment advisor

The investment advisor manages the fund's business and investment activities.

John Hancock Advisers, LLC
200 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116

Founded in 1968, the advisor is a wholly owned subsidiary of John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), which in turn is a subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation.

The advisor's parent company has been helping individuals and institutions work toward their financial goals since 1862. The advisor offers investment solutions managed by leading institutional money managers, taking a disciplined team approach to portfolio management and research, leveraging the expertise of seasoned investment professionals. As of March 31, 2019, the advisor had total assets under management of approximately $141.2 billion.

Subject to general oversight by the Board of Trustees, the advisor manages and supervises the investment operations and business affairs of the fund. The advisor selects, contracts with and compensates one or more subadvisors to manage all or a portion of the fund's portfolio assets, subject to oversight by the advisor. In this role, the advisor has supervisory responsibility for managing the investment and reinvestment of the fund's portfolio assets through proactive oversight and monitoring of the subadvisor and the fund, as described in further detail below. The advisor is responsible for developing overall investment strategies for the fund and overseeing and implementing the fund's continuous investment programs and provides a variety of advisory oversight and investment research services. The advisor also provides management and transition services associated with certain fund events (e.g., strategy, portfolio manager or subadvisor changes) and coordinates and oversees services provided under other agreements.

The advisor has ultimate responsibility to oversee a subadvisor and recommend to the Board of Trustees its hiring, termination, and replacement. In this capacity, the advisor, among other things: (i) monitors on a daily basis the compliance of the subadvisor with the investment objectives and related policies of the fund; (ii) monitors significant changes that may impact the subadvisor's overall business and regularly performs due diligence reviews of the subadvisor; (iii) reviews the performance of the subadvisor; and (iv) reports periodically on such performance to the Board of Trustees. The advisor employs a team of investment professionals who provide these ongoing research and monitoring services.

The fund relies on an order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permitting the advisor, subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, to appoint a subadvisor or change the terms of a subadvisory agreement without obtaining shareholder approval. The fund, therefore, is able to change subadvisors or the fees paid to a subadvisor, from time to time, without the expense and delays associated with obtaining shareholder approval of the change. This order does not, however, permit the advisor to appoint a subadvisor that is an affiliate of the advisor or the fund (other than by reason of serving as a subadvisor to the fund), or to increase the subadvisory fee of an affiliated subadvisor, without the approval of the shareholders.

Management fee

The fund pays the advisor a management fee for its services to the fund. The advisor in turn pays the fees of the subadvisor. The management fee is stated as an annual percentage of the aggregate net assets of the fund (together with the assets of any other applicable fund identified in the advisory agreement) determined in accordance with the following schedule, and that rate is applied to the average daily net assets of the fund.

Average daily net assets ($)

Annual rate (%)

First 1 billion

[1.200]

Excess over 1 billion

[1.150]

The basis for the Board of Trustees' approval of the advisory fees, and of the investment advisory agreement overall, including the subadvisory agreement, will be discussed in the fund's first shareholder report.

Additional information about fund expenses

The fund's annual operating expenses will likely vary throughout the period and from year to year. The fund's expenses for the current fiscal year may be higher than the expenses listed in the fund's Annual fund operating expenses table, for some of the following reasons: (i) a significant decrease in anticipated average net assets may result in an increase in the expense ratio because certain fund expenses do not decrease as asset levels decrease; or (ii) fees may be incurred for extraordinary events such as fund tax expenses.

As described in "Fund summary — Fees and expenses" on page 1 of this prospectus, the advisor has contractually agreed to waive a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse expenses for certain funds of the John Hancock funds complex, including the fund (the participating portfolios). The waiver equals, on an annualized basis, 0.0100% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $75 billion but is less than or equal to $125 billion; 0.0125% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $125 billion

 

12               


 

Table of Contents

but is less than or equal to $150 billion; 0.0150% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $150 billion but is less than or equal to $175 billion; 0.0175% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $175 billion but is less than or equal to $200 billion; 0.0200% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $200 billion but is less than or equal to $225 billion; and 0.0225% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $225 billion. The amount of the reimbursement is calculated daily and allocated among all the participating portfolios in proportion to the daily net assets of the fund. This agreement expires on [June 30, 2021], unless renewed by mutual agreement of the fund and the advisor based upon a determination that this is appropriate under the circumstances at that time.

Subadvisor

The subadvisor handles the fund's portfolio management activities, subject to oversight by the advisor. The subadvisor is also responsible for portfolio management for the Subsidiary, subject to the supervision of the advisor. 

Graham Capital Management, L.P.
40 Highland Avenue
Rowayton, CT 06853

Graham Capital Management, L.P. (Graham) is a limited partnership organized under the laws of Delaware in May 1994. The principal owners of Graham are KGT, Inc., a Delaware corporation which serves as the general partner of Graham and of which Kenneth G. Tropin is the president and ultimate sole shareholder, and KGT Investment Partners, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership in which Kenneth G. Tropin is a significant beneficial owner. As of December 31, 2018, Graham provided discretionary investment advisory services to certain private investment funds and managed futures accounts with aggregate net assets of approximately $13.1 billion.

The following are brief biographical profiles of the leaders of the fund's investment management team. These managers are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the fund's portfolio. These managers are also jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Subsidiary's portfolio. These managers are employed by Graham. For more details about these individuals, including information about their compensation, other accounts they manage, and any investments they may have in the fund, see the SAI.

Kenneth Tropin

Co-Portfolio Manager and Chairman

Managed the fund since inception

Founded Graham Capital Management, L.P. in 1994

Pablo Calderini

Co-Portfolio Manager, President and Chief Investment Officer

Managed the fund since inception

Joined subadvisor in 2010

Custodian

The custodian holds the fund's assets, settles all portfolio trades, and collects most of the valuation data required for calculating the fund's net asset value.

Citibank, N.A.
388 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013

Principal distributor

The principal distributor markets the fund and distributes shares through selling brokers, financial planners, and other financial representatives.

John Hancock Funds, LLC
200 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116

Transfer agent

The transfer agent handles shareholder services, including recordkeeping and statements, distribution of dividends, and processing of buy-and-sell requests.

John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

Additional information

The fund has entered into contractual arrangements with various parties that provide services to the fund, which may include, among others, the advisor, subadvisor, custodian, principal distributor, and transfer agent, as described above and in the SAI. Fund shareholders are not parties to, or intended or "third-party" beneficiaries of, any of these contractual arrangements. These contractual arrangements are not intended to, nor do they, create in any individual shareholder or group of shareholders any right, either directly or on behalf of the fund, to either: (a) enforce such contracts against the service providers; or (b) seek any remedy under such contracts against the service providers.

This prospectus provides information concerning the fund that you should consider in determining whether to purchase shares of the fund. Each of this prospectus, the SAI, or any contract that is an exhibit to the fund's registration statement, is not intended to, nor does it, give rise to an agreement or contract between the fund and any investor. Each such document also does not give rise to any contract or create rights in any individual shareholder, group of shareholders, or other person. The foregoing disclosure should not be read to suggest any waiver of any rights conferred by federal or state securities laws.

 

13


 

Table of Contents

Fund details

Financial highlights

This section normally details the financial performance of the fund. Because the fund had not yet commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus, there are no financial highlights to report.

 

14               


 

Table of Contents

Your account

Choosing an eligible share class

Class A and Class C shares have a Rule 12b-1 plan that allows the class to pay its fees for the sale, distribution, and service of its shares. Class I and Class R6 shares do not have a Rule 12b-1 plan.  Your financial representative can help you decide which share class you are eligible to buy and is best for you. Each class's eligibility guidelines are described below.

Class A shares

Class A shares are not available to group retirement plans that do not currently hold Class A shares of the fund and that are eligible to invest in Class I shares or any of the R share classes, except as provided below. Such group retirement plans include defined benefit plans, 401(k) plans, 457 plans, 403(b)(7) plans, pension and profit-sharing plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. Individual retirement accounts (IRAs), Roth IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, individual ("solo" or "single") 401(k) plans, individual profit sharing plans, individual 403(b) plans, individual defined benefit plans, simplified employee pensions (SEPs), SAR-SEPs, 529 tuition programs and Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts are not considered group retirement plans and are not subject to this restriction on the purchase of Class A shares.

Investment in Class A shares by such group retirement plans will be permitted in the following circumstances:

The plan currently holds assets in Class A shares of the fund or any John Hancock fund;

Class A shares of the fund or any other John Hancock fund were established as an investment option under the plan prior to January 1, 2013, and the fund's representatives have agreed that the plan may invest in Class A shares after that date;

Class A shares of the fund or any other John Hancock fund were established as a part of an investment model prior to January 1, 2013, and the fund's representatives have agreed that plans utilizing such model may invest in Class A shares after that date; and

Such group retirement plans offered through an intermediary brokerage platform that does not require payments relating to the provisions of services to the fund, such as providing omnibus account services, transaction-processing services, or effecting portfolio transactions for the fund, that are specific to assets held in such group retirement plans and vary from such payments otherwise made for such services with respect to assets held in non-group retirement plan accounts.

Class C shares

The maximum amount you may invest in Class C shares with any single purchase is $999,999.99. John Hancock Signature Services, Inc. (Signature Services), the transfer agent for the fund, may accept a purchase request for Class C shares for $1,000,000 or more when the purchase is pursuant to the reinstatement privilege (see "Sales charge reductions and waivers"). Class C shares automatically convert to Class A shares after ten years, provided that the fund or the financial intermediary through which a shareholder purchased or holds Class C shares has records verifying that the Class C shares have been held for at least ten years. Group retirement plan recordkeeping platforms of certain intermediaries that hold Class C shares with the fund in an omnibus account do not track participant level share lot aging and, as such, these Class C shares would not satisfy the conditions for the automatic Class C to Class A conversion.

Class I shares

Class I shares are offered without any sales charge to the following types of investors if they also meet the minimum initial investment requirement for purchases of Class I shares (see "Opening an account"):

Clients of financial intermediaries who: (i) charge such clients a fee for advisory, investment, consulting, or similar services; (ii) have entered into an agreement with the distributor to offer Class I shares through a no-load program or investment platform; or (iii) have entered into an agreement with the distributor to offer Class I shares to clients on certain brokerage platforms where the intermediary is acting solely as an agent for the investor who may be required to pay a commission and/or other forms of compensation to the intermediary. Other share classes of the fund have different fees and expenses.

Retirement and other benefit plans

Endowment funds and foundations

Any state, county, or city, or its instrumentality, department, authority, or agency

Accounts registered to insurance companies, trust companies, and bank trust departments

Any entity that is considered a corporation for tax purposes

Investment companies, both affiliated and not affiliated with the advisor

Fund Trustees and other individuals who are affiliated with the fund and other John Hancock funds

Class R6 shares

Class R6 shares are offered without any sales charge and are generally made available to the following types of investors if they also meet the minimum initial investment requirement for purchases of Class R6 shares. (See "Opening an account.")

Qualified 401(a) plans (including 401(k) plans, Keogh plans, profit-sharing pension plans, money purchase pension plans, target benefit plans, defined benefit pension plans, and Taft-Hartley multi-employer pension plans) (collectively, qualified plans)

Endowment funds and foundations

Any state, county, or city, or its instrumentality, department, authority, or agency

403(b) plans and 457 plans, including 457(a) governmental entity plans and tax-exempt plans

Accounts registered to insurance companies, trust companies, and bank trust departments

Investment companies, both affiliated and not affiliated with the advisor

Any entity that is considered a corporation for tax purposes, including corporate nonqualified deferred compensation plans of such corporations

Fund Trustees and other individuals who are affiliated with the fund and other John Hancock funds and the spouses and children (under age 21) of the aforementioned

Financial intermediaries utilizing fund shares in certain eligible qualifying investment product platforms under a signed agreement with the distributor

Class R6 shares may not be available through certain investment dealers.

 

15


 

Table of Contents

The availability of Class R6 shares for qualified plan investors will depend upon the policies of your financial intermediary and/or the recordkeeper for your qualified plan.

Class R6 shares also are generally available only to qualified plan investors where plan level or omnibus accounts are held on the books of the fund.

Class R6 shares are not available to retail non-retirement accounts, Traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs), Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, SEPs, SARSEPs, SIMPLE IRAs, and 529 college savings plans.

Class cost structure

Class A shares

A front-end sales charge, as described in the section "How sales charges for Class A and Class C shares are calculated"

Distribution and service (Rule 12b-1) fees of 0.25%

A 1.00% contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC) on certain shares sold within one year of purchase

Class C shares

No front-end sales charge; all your money goes to work for you right away

Rule 12b-1 fees of 1.00% 

A 1.00% CDSC on shares sold within one year of purchase

Automatic conversion to Class A shares after ten years, thus reducing future annual expenses (certain exclusions may apply)

Class I shares

No front-end or deferred sales charges; however, if you purchase Class I shares through a broker acting solely as an agent on behalf of its customers, you may be required to pay a commission to the broker

No Rule 12b-1 fees

Class R6 shares

No front-end or deferred sales charges; all your money goes to work for you right away 

No Rule 12b-1 fees

Rule 12b-1 fees

Rule 12b-1 fees will be paid to the fund's distributor, John Hancock Funds, LLC, and may be used by the distributor for expenses relating to the sale, distribution of, and shareholder or administrative services for holders of the shares of the class, and for the payment of service fees that come within Rule 2341 of the Conduct Rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Because Rule 12b-1 fees are paid out of the fund's assets on an ongoing basis, over time they will increase the cost of your investment and may cost shareholders more than other types of sales charges.

Your broker-dealer or agent may charge you a fee to effect transactions in fund shares. Other share classes of the fund, which have their own expense structure, may be offered in separate prospectuses.

Additional payments to financial intermediaries

Class A and Class C shares of the fund are primarily sold through financial intermediaries, such as brokers, banks, registered investment advisors, financial planners, and retirement plan administrators. These firms may be compensated for selling shares of the fund in two principal ways:

directly, by the payment of sales commissions, if any; and 

indirectly, as a result of the fund paying Rule 12b-1 fees.

Class I shares do not carry sales commissions or pay Rule 12b-1 fees. However, if you purchase Class I shares through a broker acting solely as an agent on behalf of its customers, you may be required to pay a commission to the broker.

No dealer compensation is paid from fund assets on sales of Class R6 shares. Class R6 shares do not carry sales commissions, pay Rule 12b-1 fees, or make payments to financial intermediaries to assist in the distributor's efforts to promote the sale of the fund's shares. Neither the fund nor its affiliates make any type of administrative or service payments in connection with investments in Class R6 shares.

Except with respect to Class R6 shares, certain firms may request, and the distributor may agree to make, payments in addition to sales commissions and Rule 12b-1 fees, if applicable, out of the distributor's own resources.

These additional payments are sometimes referred to as revenue sharing. These payments assist in the distributor's efforts to promote the sale of the fund's shares. The distributor agrees with the firm on the methods for calculating any additional compensation, which may include the level of sales or assets attributable to the firm. Not all firms receive additional compensation, and the amount of compensation varies. These payments could be significant to a firm. The distributor determines which firms to support and the extent of the payments it is willing to make. The distributor generally chooses to compensate firms that have a strong capability to distribute shares of the fund and that are willing to cooperate with the distributor's promotional efforts.

The distributor hopes to benefit from revenue sharing by increasing the fund's net assets, which, as well as benefiting the fund, would result in additional management and other fees for the advisor and its affiliates. In consideration for revenue sharing, a firm may feature the fund in its sales system or give preferential access to members of its sales force or management. In addition, the firm may agree to participate in the distributor's marketing efforts by allowing the distributor or its affiliates to participate in conferences, seminars, or other programs attended by the intermediary's sales force. Although an intermediary may seek revenue-sharing payments to offset costs incurred by the firm in servicing its clients who have invested in the fund, the intermediary may earn a profit on these payments. Revenue-sharing payments may provide your firm with an incentive to favor the fund.

The SAI discusses the distributor's revenue-sharing arrangements in more detail. Your intermediary may charge you additional fees other than those disclosed in this prospectus. You can ask your firm about any payments it receives from the distributor or the fund, as well as about fees and/or commissions it charges.

The distributor, advisor, and their affiliates may have other relationships with your firm relating to the provisions of services to the fund, such as providing omnibus account services, transaction-processing services, or effecting portfolio transactions for the fund. If your intermediary provides these services, the advisor or the fund may compensate the intermediary for these services. In addition, your intermediary may have other compensated relationships with the advisor or its affiliates that are not related to the fund.

 

16               


 

Table of Contents

Your account

How sales charges for Class A and Class C shares are calculated

Class A sales charges are as follows:

 

Your investment ($)

As a % of offering price*

As a % of your investment

Up to 49,999

5.00

5.26

50,000–99,999

4.50

4.71

100,000–249,999

3.50

3.63

250,000–499,999

2.50

2.56

500,000–999,999

2.00

2.04

1,000,000 and over

See below

* Offering price is the net asset value per share plus any initial sales charge.

 

You may qualify for a reduced Class A sales charge if you own or are purchasing Class A, Class B, Class C, Class ADV, Class I, Class I2, Class R1, Class R2, Class R3, Class R4, Class R5, or Class R6 shares of a John Hancock open-end mutual fund. To receive the reduced sales charge, you must tell your broker or financial representative at the time you purchase the fund's Class A shares about any other John Hancock mutual funds held by you, your spouse, or your children under the age of 21. This includes investments held in an individual retirement account, in an employee benefit plan, or with a broker or financial representative other than the one handling your current purchase. John Hancock will credit the combined value, at the current offering price, of all eligible accounts to determine whether you qualify for a reduced sales charge on your current purchase. You may need to provide documentation for these accounts, such as an account statement. For more information about sales charges, reductions, and waivers, you may visit the fund's website at jhinvestments.com, which includes hyperlinks to facilitate access to this information. You may also consult your broker or financial advisor, or refer to the section entitled "Sales Charges on Class A and Class C Shares" in the fund's SAI. You may request an SAI from your broker or financial advisor by accessing the fund's website at jhinvestments.com or by calling Signature Services at 800-225-5291.

Investments of $1 million or more

Class A shares are available with no front-end sales charge on investments of $1 million or more. There is a contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC) on any Class A shares upon which a commission or finder's fee was paid that are sold within one year of purchase, as follows:

Class A deferred charges on investments of $1 million or more

 

Years after purchase

CDSC (%)

1‌st year

1.00

After 1‌st year

None

For purposes of this CDSC, all purchases made during a calendar month are counted as having been made on the first day of that month.

The CDSC is based on the lesser of the original purchase cost or the current market value of the shares being sold, and is not charged on shares you acquired by reinvesting your dividends. To keep your CDSC as low as possible, each time you place a request to sell shares, we will first sell any shares in your account that are not subject to a CDSC.

Class C shares

Shares are offered at their net asset value per share, without any initial sales charge.

A CDSC may be charged if a commission has been paid and you sell Class C shares within a certain time after you bought them, as described in the table below. There is no CDSC on shares acquired through reinvestment of dividends. The CDSC is based on the original purchase cost or the current market value of the shares being sold, whichever is less. The CDSC is as follows:

Class C deferred charges

 

Years after purchase

CDSC (%)

1‌st year

1.00

After 1‌st year

None

For purposes of this CDSC, all purchases made during a calendar month are counted as having been made on the first day of that month.

To keep your CDSC as low as possible, each time you place a request to sell shares, we will first sell any shares in your account that carry no CDSC.

Sales charge reductions and waivers

The availability of certain sales charge waivers and discounts will depend on whether you purchase your shares directly from the fund or through a financial intermediary. Intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of front-end sales charge waivers or CDSC waivers (See Appendix 1 - Intermediary sales charge waivers, which includes information about specific sales charge waivers applicable to the intermediaries identified therein).

Reducing your Class A sales charges

There are several ways you can combine multiple purchases of shares of John Hancock funds to take advantage of the breakpoints in the sales charge schedule. The first three ways can be combined in any manner.

Accumulation privilege—lets you add the value of any class of shares of any John Hancock open-end fund you already own to the amount of your next Class A investment for purposes of calculating the sales charge. However, Class A shares of money market funds will not qualify unless you have already paid a sales charge on those shares.

Letter of intention—lets you purchase Class A shares of a fund over a 13-month period and receive the same sales charge as if all shares had been purchased at once. You can use a letter of intention to qualify for reduced sales charges if you plan to invest at least to the first breakpoint level (generally $50,000 or $100,000 depending on the specific fund) in a John Hancock fund's Class A shares during the next 13 months. Completing a letter of intention does not obligate you to purchase additional shares. However, if you do not buy enough shares to qualify for the lower sales charges by the earlier of the end of the 13-month period or when you sell your shares, your sales charges will be recalculated to reflect your actual amount purchased. It is your responsibility to tell John Hancock Signature Services Inc. or your financial advisor when you believe you have purchased shares totaling an amount eligible for reduced sales charges, as stated in your letter of intention. Further information is provided in the SAI.

Combination privilege—lets you combine shares of all funds for purposes of calculating the Class A sales charge.

To utilize any reduction, you must complete the appropriate section of your application, or contact your financial representative or Signature Services. Consult the SAI for additional details (see the back cover of this prospectus).

 

17


 

Table of Contents

Group investment program

A group may be treated as a single purchaser under the accumulation and combination privileges. Each investor has an individual account, but the group's investments are lumped together for sales charge purposes, making the investors potentially eligible for reduced sales charges. There is no charge or obligation to invest (although initial investments per account opened must satisfy minimum initial investment requirements specified in the section entitled "Opening an account"), and individual investors may close their accounts at any time.

To utilize this program, you must contact your financial representative or Signature Services to find out how to qualify. Consult the SAI for additional details (see the back cover of this prospectus).

CDSC waivers

As long as Signature Services is notified at the time you sell, any CDSC for Class A or Class C shares will be waived in the following cases, as applicable:

to make payments through certain systematic withdrawal plans

certain retirement plans participating in PruSolutionsSM programs

redemptions pursuant to the fund's right to liquidate an account that is below the minimum account value stated below in "Dividends and account policies," under the subsection "Small accounts"

redemptions of Class A shares made after one year from the inception of a retirement plan at John Hancock

redemptions made under certain liquidation, merger or acquisition transactions involving other investment companies or personal holding companies

to make certain distributions from a retirement plan

because of shareholder death or disability

rollovers, contract exchanges, or transfers of John Hancock custodial 403(b)(7) account assets required by John Hancock as a result of its decision to discontinue maintaining and administering 403(b)(7) accounts

To utilize a waiver, you must contact your financial representative or Signature Services. Consult the SAI for additional details (see the back cover of this prospectus). Please note, these waivers are distinct from those described in Appendix 1, "Intermediary sales charge waivers."

Reinstatement privilege

If you sell shares of a John Hancock fund, you may reinvest some or all of the proceeds back into the same share class of the same fund and account from which it was removed, within 120 days without a sales charge, subject to fund minimums, as long as Signature Services or your financial representative is notified before you reinvest. If you paid a CDSC when you sold your shares, you will be credited with the amount of the CDSC. Consult the SAI for additional details.

To utilize this privilege, you must contact your financial representative or Signature Services. Consult the SAI for additional details (see the back cover of this prospectus).

Waivers for certain investors

Class A shares may be offered without front-end sales charges or CDSCs to the following individuals and institutions:

Selling brokers and their employees and sales representatives (and their Immediate Family, as defined in the SAI)

Financial representatives utilizing fund shares in eligible retirement platforms, fee-based, or wrap investment products

Financial intermediaries who offer shares to self-directed investment brokerage accounts that may or may not charge a transaction fee to their customers

Fund Trustees and other individuals who are affiliated with these or other John Hancock funds, including employees of John Hancock companies or Manulife Financial Corporation (and their Immediate Family, as defined in the SAI)

Individuals exchanging shares held in an eligible fee-based program for Class A shares, provided however, subsequent purchases in Class A shares will be subject to applicable sales charges

Individuals transferring assets held in a SIMPLE IRA, SEP, or SARSEP invested in John Hancock funds directly to an IRA

Individuals converting assets held in an IRA, SIMPLE IRA, SEP, or SARSEP invested in John Hancock funds directly to a Roth IRA

Individuals recharacterizing assets from an IRA, Roth IRA, SEP, SARSEP, or SIMPLE IRA invested in John Hancock funds back to the original account type from which they were converted

Participants in group retirement plans that are eligible and permitted to purchase Class A shares as described in the "Choosing an eligible share class" section above. This waiver is contingent upon the group retirement plan being in a recordkeeping arrangement and does not apply to group retirement plans transacting business with the fund through a brokerage relationship in which sales charges are customarily imposed, unless such brokerage relationship qualifies for a sales charge waiver as described. In addition, this waiver does not apply to a group retirement plan that leaves its current recordkeeping arrangement and subsequently transacts business with the fund through a brokerage relationship in which sales charges are customarily imposed. Whether a sales charge waiver is available to your group retirement plan through its record keeper depends upon the policies and procedures of your intermediary. Please consult your financial advisor for further information

Retirement plans participating in PruSolutionsSM programs

Terminating participants in a pension, profit-sharing, or other plan qualified under Section 401(a) of the Code, or described in Section 457(b) of the Code, (i) that is funded by certain John Hancock group annuity contracts, (ii) for which John Hancock Trust Company serves as trustee or custodian, or (iii) the trustee or custodian of which has retained John Hancock Retirement Plan Services ("RPS") as a service provider, rolling over assets (directly or within 60 days after distribution) from such a plan (or from a John Hancock Managed IRA into which such assets have already been rolled over) to a John Hancock custodial IRA or John Hancock custodial Roth IRA that invests in John Hancock funds, or the subsequent establishment of or any rollover into a new John Hancock fund account by such terminating participants and/or their Immediate Family (as defined in the SAI), including subsequent investments into such accounts, and that are held directly at John Hancock

 

18               


 

Table of Contents

funds or at the John Hancock Personal Financial Services ("PFS") Financial Center

Participants in a terminating pension, profit-sharing, or other plan qualified under Section 401(a) of the Code, or described in Section 457(b) of the Code (the assets of which, immediately prior to such plan's termination, were (a) held in certain John Hancock group annuity contracts, (b) in trust or custody by John Hancock Trust Company, or (c) by a trustee or custodian which has retained John Hancock RPS as a service provider, but have been transferred from such contracts or trust funds and are held either: (i) in trust by a distribution processing organization; or (ii) in a custodial IRA or custodial Roth IRA sponsored by an authorized third-party trust company and made available through John Hancock), rolling over assets (directly or within 60 days after distribution) from such a plan to a John Hancock custodial IRA or John Hancock custodial Roth IRA that invests in John Hancock funds, or the subsequent establishment of or any rollover into a new John Hancock fund account by such participants and/or their Immediate Family (as defined in the SAI), including subsequent investments into such accounts, and that are held directly at John Hancock funds or at the PFS Financial Center

Participants actively enrolled in a John Hancock RPS plan account (or an account the trustee of which has retained John Hancock RPS as a service provider) rolling over or transferring assets into a new John Hancock custodial IRA or John Hancock custodial Roth IRA that invests in John Hancock funds through John Hancock PFS (to the extent such assets are otherwise prohibited from rolling over or transferring into such participant's John Hancock RPS plan account), including subsequent investments into such accounts, and that are held directly at John Hancock funds or at the John Hancock PFS Financial Center

Individuals rolling over assets held in a John Hancock custodial 403(b)(7) account into a John Hancock custodial IRA account

Former employees/associates of John Hancock, its affiliates, or agencies rolling over (directly or indirectly within 60 days after distribution) to a new John Hancock custodial IRA or John Hancock custodial Roth IRA from the John Hancock Employee Investment-Incentive Plan (TIP), John Hancock Savings Investment Plan (SIP), or the John Hancock Pension Plan, and such participants and their Immediate Family (as defined in the SAI) subsequently establishing or rolling over assets into a new John Hancock account through the John Hancock PFS Group, including subsequent investments into such accounts, and that are held directly at John Hancock funds or at the John Hancock PFS Financial Center

A member of a class action lawsuit against insurance companies who is investing settlement proceeds

To utilize a waiver, you must contact your financial representative or Signature Services. Consult the SAI for additional details (see the back cover of this prospectus). Please note, these waivers are distinct from those described in Appendix 1, "Intermediary sales charge waivers," and are not intended to describe the sales load cost structure of, or be exclusive to, any particular intermediary.

Other waivers

Front-end sales charges and CDSCs are not imposed in connection with the following transactions:

Exchanges from one John Hancock fund to the same class of any other John Hancock fund (see "Transaction policies" in this prospectus for additional details)

Dividend reinvestments (see "Dividends and account policies" in this prospectus for additional details)

In addition, the availability of certain sales charge waivers and discounts will depend on whether you purchase your shares directly from the fund or through a financial intermediary. Intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of front-end sales charge waivers or CDSC waivers (See Appendix 1 - Intermediary sales charge waivers, which includes information about specific sales charge waivers applicable to the intermediaries identified therein). In all instances, it is the purchaser's responsibility to notify the fund or the purchaser's financial intermediary at the time of purchase of any relationship or other facts qualifying the purchaser for sales charge waivers or discounts. For waivers and discounts not available through a particular intermediary, shareholders will have to purchase fund shares directly from the fund or through another intermediary to receive these waivers or discounts.

Opening an account

1

Read this prospectus carefully. 

2

Determine if you are eligible by referring to "Choosing an eligible share class."

3

Determine how much you want to invest. The minimum initial investments for each share class are described below. There are no subsequent investment requirements for these share classes.

Share Class

Minimum initial investment

Class A and Class C

$1,000 ($250 for group investments). However, there is no minimum initial investment for certain group retirement plans using salary deduction or similar group methods of payment, for fee-based or wrap accounts of selling firms that have executed a fee-based or wrap agreement with the distributor, or for certain other eligible investment product platforms.

Class I

$250,000. However, the minimum initial investment requirement may be waived, at the fund's sole discretion, for investors in certain fee-based, wrap, or other investment platform programs, or in certain brokerage platforms where the intermediary is acting solely as an agent for the investor. The fund also may waive the minimum initial investment for other categories of investors at its discretion, including for: (i) Trustees, (ii) employees of the advisor or its affiliates, and (iii) members of the fund's portfolio management team.

Class R6

$1 million. However, there is no minimum initial investment requirement for: (i) qualified and nonqualified plan investors; (ii) certain eligible qualifying investment product platforms; or (iii) Trustees, employees of the advisor or its affiliates, and members of the fund's portfolio management team and the spouses and children (under age 21) of the aforementioned.

4

All shareholders must complete the account application, carefully following the instructions. If you have any questions, please contact your financial representative or call Signature Services at 800-225-5291 for Class A and Class C shares or 888-972-8696 for Class I and Class R6 shares.

5

For Class A and Class C shares, complete the appropriate parts of the account privileges application. By applying for privileges now, you can avoid the delay and inconvenience of having to file an additional application if you want to add privileges later. 

 

19


 

Table of Contents

 

6

Make your initial investment using the instructions under "Buying shares." You and your financial representative can initiate any purchase, exchange, or sale of shares.

Important information about opening a new account

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person or entity that opens an account.

For individual investors opening an account. When you open an account, you will be asked for your name, residential address, date of birth, and Social Security number.

For investors other than individuals. When you open an account, you will be asked for the name of the entity, its principal place of business, and taxpayer identification number (TIN), and you may be requested to provide information on persons with authority or control over the account, including, but not limited to, name, residential address, date of birth, and Social Security number. You may also be asked to provide documents, such as articles of incorporation, trust instruments, or partnership agreements, and other information that will help Signature Services identify the entity. Please see the mutual fund account application for more details.

 

20               


 

Table of Contents

Your account

Buying shares

Class A and Class C shares

 

Opening an account

Adding to an account

By check

Make out a check for the investment amount, payable to "John Hancock Signature Services, Inc."

Deliver the check and your completed application to your financial representative or mail them to Signature Services (address below).

Make out a check for the investment amount, payable to "John Hancock Signature Services, Inc."

Fill out the detachable investment slip from an account statement. If no slip is available, include a note specifying the fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered.

Deliver the check and your investment slip or note to your financial representative, or mail them to Signature Services (address below).

By exchange

Call your financial representative or Signature Services to request an exchange.

Log on to the website below to process exchanges between funds.

Call EASI-Line for automated service.

Call your financial representative or Signature Services to request an exchange.

By wire

Deliver your completed application to your financial representative or mail it to Signature Services.

Obtain your account number by calling your financial representative or Signature Services.

Obtain wiring instructions by calling Signature Services.

Instruct your bank to wire the amount of your investment. Specify the fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered. Your bank may charge a fee to wire funds.

Obtain wiring instructions by calling Signature Services.

Instruct your bank to wire the amount of your investment. Specify the fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered. Your bank may charge a fee to wire funds.

By Internet

See "By exchange" and "By wire."

Verify that your bank or credit union is a member of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system.

Complete the "Bank information" section on your account application.

Log on to the website below to initiate purchases using your authorized bank account.

By phone

See "By exchange" and "By wire."

Verify that your bank or credit union is a member of the ACH system.

Complete the "To purchase, exchange, or redeem shares via telephone" and "Bank information" sections on your account application.

Call EASI-Line for automated service.

Call your financial representative or call Signature Services between 8:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M., Monday–Thursday, and on Friday, between 8:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M., Eastern time.

To add to an account using the Monthly Automatic Accumulation Program, see "Additional investor services."

 

Regular mail
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

Express delivery
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
Suite 55913
30 Dan Road
Canton, MA 02021

Website
jhinvestments.com

EASI-Line
(24/7 automated service)
800-338-8080

Signature Services, Inc.
800-225-5291

 

21


 

Table of Contents

Buying shares

Class I shares

 

Opening an account

Adding to an account

By check

Make out a check for the investment amount, payable to "John Hancock Signature Services, Inc."

Deliver the check and your completed application to your financial representative or mail them to Signature Services (address below).

Make out a check for the investment amount, payable to "John Hancock Signature Services, Inc."

If your account statement has a detachable investment slip, please complete it in its entirety. If no slip is available, include a note specifying the fund name, your share class, your account number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered.

Deliver the check and your investment slip or note to your financial representative, or mail them to Signature Services (address below).

By exchange

Call your financial representative or Signature Services to request an exchange.

Log on to the website below to process exchanges between funds.

Call EASI-Line for account balance, fund inquiry, and transaction processing on some account types.

You may exchange Class I shares for other Class I shares or John Hancock Money Market Fund Class A shares.

Call your financial representative or Signature Services to request an exchange.

By wire

Deliver your completed application to your financial representative or mail it to Signature Services.

Obtain your account number by calling your financial representative or Signature Services.

Obtain wiring instructions by calling Signature Services.

Instruct your bank to wire the amount of your investment. Specify the fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered. Your bank may charge a fee to wire funds.

Obtain wiring instructions by calling Signature Services.

Instruct your bank to wire the amount of your investment. Specify the fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered. Your bank may charge a fee to wire funds.

By phone

See "By exchange" and "By wire."

Verify that your bank or credit union is a member of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system.

Complete the "To purchase, exchange, or redeem shares via telephone" and "Bank information" sections on your account application.

Call EASI-Line for account balance, fund inquiry, and transaction processing on some account types.

Call your financial representative or call Signature Services between 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Eastern time, on most business days.

 

Regular mail
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

Express delivery
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
Suite 55913
30 Dan Road
Canton, MA 02021

Website
jhinvestments.com

EASI-Line
(24/7 automated service)
800-597-1897

Signature Services, Inc.
888-972-8696

 

22               


 

Table of Contents

Buying shares

Class R6 shares

 

Opening an account

Adding to an account

By check

Make out a check for the investment amount, payable to "John Hancock Signature Services, Inc."

Deliver the check and your completed application to your financial representative or mail them to Signature Services (address below).

Make out a check for the investment amount, payable to "John Hancock Signature Services, Inc."

If your account statement has a detachable investment slip, please complete it in its entirety. If no slip is available, include a note specifying the fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered.

Deliver the check and your investment slip or note to your financial representative, or mail them to Signature Services (address below).

By exchange

Call your financial representative or Signature Services to request an exchange.

Log on to the website below to process exchanges between funds.

Call EASI-Line for account balance, fund inquiry, and transaction processing on some account types.

You may exchange Class R6 shares for other Class R6 shares or John Hancock Money Market Fund Class A shares.

Call your financial representative or Signature Services to request an exchange.

By wire

Deliver your completed application to your financial representative or mail it to Signature Services.

Obtain your account number by calling your financial representative or Signature Services.

Obtain wiring instructions by calling Signature Services.

Instruct your bank to wire the amount of your investment. Specify the fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered. Your bank may charge a fee to wire funds.

Obtain wiring instructions by calling Signature Services.

Instruct your bank to wire the amount of your investment. Specify the fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered. Your bank may charge a fee to wire funds.

By phone

See "By exchange" and "By wire."

Verify that your bank or credit union is a member of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system.

Complete the "To purchase, exchange, or redeem shares via telephone" and "Bank information" sections on your account application.

Call EASI-Line for account balance, fund inquiry, and transaction processing on some account types.

Call your financial representative or call Signature Services between 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Eastern time, on most business days.

 

Regular mail
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

Express delivery
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
Suite 55913
30 Dan Road
Canton, MA 02021

Website
jhinvestments.com

EASI-Line
(24/7 automated service)
800-597-1897

Signature Services, Inc.
888-972-8696

 

23


 

Table of Contents

Your account

Selling shares

Class A and Class C shares

 

To sell some or all of your shares

By letter

Accounts of any type

Sales of any amount

Write a letter of instruction or complete a stock power indicating the fund name, the share class, your account number, the name(s) in which the account is registered, and the dollar value or number of shares you wish to sell.

Include all signatures and any additional documents that may be required (see the next page).

Mail the materials to Signature Services (address below).

A check will be mailed to the name(s) and address in which the account is registered, or otherwise according to your letter of instruction.

By Internet

Most accounts

Sales of up to $100,000

Log on to the website below to initiate redemptions from your fund.

By phone

Most accounts

Sales of up to $100,000

Call EASI-Line for automated service.

Call your financial representative or call Signature Services between 8:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M., Monday–Thursday, and on Friday, between 8:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M., Eastern time.

By wire or electronic funds transfer (EFT)

Requests by letter to sell any amount

Requests by Internet or phone to sell up to $100,000

To verify that the Internet or telephone redemption privilege is in place on an account, or to request the form to add it to an existing account, call Signature Services.

A $4 fee will be deducted from your account. Your bank may also charge a fee for this service.

By exchange

Accounts of any type

Sales of any amount

Obtain a current prospectus for the fund into which you are exchanging by accessing the fund's website or by calling your financial representative or Signature Services.

Log on to the website below to process exchanges between your funds.

Call EASI-Line for automated service.

Call your financial representative or Signature Services to request an exchange.

To sell shares through a systematic withdrawal plan, see "Additional investor services."

 

Regular mail
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

Express delivery
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
Suite 55913
30 Dan Road
Canton, MA 02021

Website
jhinvestments.com

EASI-Line
(24/7 automated service)
800-338-8080

Signature Services, Inc.
800-225-5291

 

24               


 

Table of Contents

Class A and Class C shares

Selling shares in writing

In certain circumstances, you will need to make your request to sell shares in writing. You may need to include additional items with your request, unless they were previously provided to Signature Services and are still accurate. These items are shown in the table below. You may also need to include a signature guarantee, which protects you against fraudulent orders. You will need a signature guarantee if:

your address or bank of record has changed within the past 30 days,

you are selling more than $100,000 worth of shares (this requirement is waived for certain entities operating under a signed fax trading agreement with John Hancock), or

you are requesting payment other than by a check mailed to the address/bank of record and payable to the registered owner(s).

You will need to obtain your signature guarantee from a member of the Medallion Signature Guarantee Program. Most broker-dealers, banks, credit unions, and securities exchanges are members of this program. A notary public CANNOT provide a signature guarantee.

Seller

Requirements for written requests

Owners of individual, joint, or UGMA/UTMA accounts (custodial accounts for minors)

Letter of instruction

On the letter, the signatures and titles of all persons authorized to sign for the account, exactly as the account is registered

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Owners of corporate, sole proprietorship, general partner, or association accounts

Letter of instruction

Corporate business/organization resolution, certified within the past 12 months, or a John Hancock business/organization certification form

On the letter and the resolution, the signature of the person(s) authorized to sign for the account

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Owners or trustees of trust accounts

Letter of instruction

On the letter, the signature(s) of the trustee(s)

Copy of the trust document, certified within the past 12 months, or a John Hancock trust certification form

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Joint tenancy shareholders with rights of survivorship with deceased co-tenant(s)

Letter of instruction signed by surviving tenant(s)

Copy of the death certificate

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Inheritance tax waiver, if applicable

Executors of shareholder estates

Letter of instruction signed by the executor

Copy of the order appointing executor, certified within the past 12 months

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Inheritance tax waiver, if applicable

Administrators, conservators, guardians, and other sellers, or account types not listed above

Call Signature Services for instructions

 

Regular mail
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

Express delivery
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
Suite 55913
30 Dan Road
Canton, MA 02021

Website
jhinvestments.com

EASI-Line
(24/7 automated service)
800-338-8080

Signature Services, Inc.
800-225-5291

 

25


 

Table of Contents

Selling shares

Class I shares

 

To sell some or all of your shares

By letter

Sales of any amount

Write a letter of instruction or complete a stock power indicating the fund name, the share class, your account number, the name(s) in which the account is registered, and the dollar value or number of shares you wish to sell.

Include all signatures and any additional documents that may be required (see the next page).

Mail the materials to Signature Services (address below).

A check will be mailed to the name(s) and address in which the account is registered, or otherwise according to your letter of instruction.

Certain requests will require a Medallion signature guarantee. Please refer to "Selling shares in writing" on the next page.

By phone

Amounts up to $100,000:

Most accounts

Amounts up to $5 million:

Available to the following types of accounts: custodial accounts held by banks, trust companies, or broker-dealers; endowments and foundations; corporate accounts; group retirement plans; and pension accounts (excluding IRAs, 403(b) plans, and all John Hancock custodial retirement accounts)

Call EASI-Line for account balance, general fund inquiry, and transaction processing on some account types.

Redemption proceeds of up to $100,000 may be sent by wire or by check. A check will be mailed to the exact name(s) and address on the account.

To place your request with a representative at John Hancock, call Signature Services between 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Eastern time, on most business days, or contact your financial representative.

Redemption proceeds exceeding $100,000 will be wired to your designated bank account, unless a Medallion signature guaranteed letter is provided requesting payment by check. Please refer to "Selling shares in writing."

By wire or electronic funds transfer (EFT)

Requests by letter to sell any amount

Qualified requests by phone to sell to $5 million (accounts with telephone redemption privileges)

To verify that the telephone redemption privilege is in place on an account, or to request the form to add it to an existing account, call Signature Services.

Amounts up to $100,000 may be sent by EFT or by check. Your bank may charge a fee for this service.

Amounts of $5 million or more will be sent by wire.

By exchange

Sales of any amount

Obtain a current prospectus for the fund into which you are exchanging by accessing the fund's website, or by calling your financial representative or Signature Services.

Call EASI-Line for account balance, general fund inquiry, and transaction processing on some account types.

You may only exchange Class I shares for other Class I shares or John Hancock Money Market Fund Class A shares.

Call your financial representative or Signature Services to request an exchange.

 

Regular mail
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

Express delivery
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
Suite 55913
30 Dan Road
Canton, MA 02021

Website
jhinvestments.com

EASI-Line
(24/7 automated service)
800-597-1897

Signature Services, Inc.
888-972-8696

 

26               


 

Table of Contents

Class I shares

Selling shares in writing

In certain circumstances, you will need to make your request to sell shares in writing. You may need to include additional items with your request, unless they were previously provided to Signature Services and are still accurate. These items are shown in the table below. You may also need to include a signature guarantee, which protects you against fraudulent orders. You will need a signature guarantee if:

your address or bank of record has changed within the past 30 days;

you are selling more than $100,000 worth of shares and are requesting payment by check (this requirement is waived for certain entities operating under a signed fax trading agreement with John Hancock);

you are selling more than $5 million worth of shares from the following types of accounts: custodial accounts held by banks, trust companies, or broker-dealers; endowments and foundations; corporate accounts; group retirement plans; and pension accounts (excluding IRAs, 403(b) plans, and all John Hancock custodial retirement accounts); or

you are requesting payment other than by a check mailed to the address/bank of record and payable to the registered owner(s).

You will need to obtain your signature guarantee from a member of the Medallion Signature Guarantee Program. Most broker-dealers, banks, credit unions, and securities exchanges are members of this program. A notary public CANNOT provide a signature guarantee.

Seller

Requirements for written requests

Owners of individual, joint, or UGMA/UTMA accounts (custodial accounts for minors)

Letter of instruction

On the letter, the signatures and titles of all persons authorized to sign for the account, exactly as the account is registered

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Owners of corporate, sole proprietorship, general partner, or association accounts

Letter of instruction

Corporate business/organization resolution, certified within the past 12 months, or a John Hancock business/organization certification form

On the letter and the resolution, the signature of the person(s) authorized to sign for the account

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Owners or trustees of trust accounts

Letter of instruction

On the letter, the signature(s) of the trustee(s)

Copy of the trust document, certified within the past 12 months, or a John Hancock trust certification form

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Joint tenancy shareholders with rights of survivorship with deceased co-tenant(s)

Letter of instruction signed by surviving tenant(s)

Copy of the death certificate

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Inheritance tax waiver, if applicable

Executors of shareholder estates

Letter of instruction signed by the executor

Copy of the order appointing executor, certified within the past 12 months

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Inheritance tax waiver, if applicable

Administrators, conservators, guardians, and other sellers, or account types not listed above

Call Signature Services for instructions

 

Regular mail
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

Express delivery
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
Suite 55913
30 Dan Road
Canton, MA 02021

Website
jhinvestments.com

EASI-Line
(24/7 automated service)
800-597-1897

Signature Services, Inc.
888-972-8696

 

27


 

Table of Contents

Selling shares

Class R6 shares

 

To sell some or all of your shares

By letter

Sales of any amount

Write a letter of instruction or complete a stock power indicating the fund name, the share class, your account number, the name(s) in which the account is registered, and the dollar value or number of shares you wish to sell.

Include all signatures and any additional documents that may be required (see the next page).

Mail the materials to Signature Services (address below).

A check will be mailed to the name(s) and address in which the account is registered, or otherwise according to your letter of instruction.

Certain requests will require a Medallion signature guarantee. Please refer to "Selling shares in writing" on the next page.

By phone

Amounts up to $5 million:

Available to the following types of accounts: custodial accounts held by banks, trust companies, or broker-dealers; endowments and foundations; corporate accounts; and group retirement plans

Call EASI-Line for account balance, general fund inquiry, and transaction processing on some account types.

Redemption proceeds of up to $100,000 may be sent by wire or by check. A check will be mailed to the exact name(s) and address on the account.

To place your request with a representative at John Hancock, call Signature Services between 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Eastern time, on most business days, or your financial representative.

Redemption proceeds exceeding $100,000 will be wired to your designated bank account, unless a Medallion signature guaranteed letter is provided requesting payment by check. Please refer to "Selling shares in writing."

By wire or electronic funds transfer (EFT)

Requests by letter to sell any amount

Qualified requests by phone to sell to $5 million (accounts with telephone redemption privileges)

To verify that the telephone redemption privilege is in place on an account, or to request the form to add it to an existing account, call Signature Services.

Amounts of $5 million or more will be sent by wire.

Amounts up to $100,000 may be sent by EFT or by check. Your bank may charge a fee for this service.

By exchange

Sales of any amount

Obtain a current prospectus for the fund into which you are exchanging by accessing the fund's website, or by calling your financial representative or Signature Services.

Call EASI-Line for account balance, general fund inquiry, and transaction processing on some account types.

You may only exchange Class R6 shares for other Class R6 shares or John Hancock Money Market Fund Class A shares.

Call your financial representative or Signature Services to request an exchange.

 

Regular mail
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

Express delivery
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
Suite 55913
30 Dan Road
Canton, MA 02021

Website
jhinvestments.com

EASI-Line
(24/7 automated service)
800-597-1897

Signature Services, Inc.
888-972-8696

 

28               


 

Table of Contents

Class R6 shares

Selling shares in writing

In certain circumstances, you will need to make your request to sell shares in writing. You may need to include additional items with your request, unless they were previously provided to Signature Services and are still accurate. These items are shown in the table below. You may also need to include a signature guarantee, which protects you against fraudulent orders. You will need a signature guarantee if:

your address or bank of record has changed within the past 30 days;

you are selling more than $100,000 worth of shares and are requesting payment by check (this requirement is waived for certain entities operating under a signed fax trading agreement with John Hancock);

you are selling more than $5 million worth of shares from the following types of accounts: custodial accounts held by banks, trust companies, or broker-dealers; endowments and foundations; corporate accounts; and group retirement plans; or

you are requesting payment other than by a check mailed to the address/bank of record and payable to the registered owner(s).

You will need to obtain your signature guarantee from a member of the Medallion Signature Guarantee Program. Most broker-dealers, banks, credit unions, and securities exchanges are members of this program. A notary public CANNOT provide a signature guarantee.

Seller

Requirements for written requests

Owners of individual, joint, or UGMA/UTMA accounts (custodial accounts for minors)

Letter of instruction

On the letter, the signatures and titles of all persons authorized to sign for the account, exactly as the account is registered

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Owners of corporate, sole proprietorship, general partner, or association accounts

Letter of instruction

Corporate business/organization resolution, certified within the past 12 months, or a John Hancock business/organization certification form

On the letter and the resolution, the signature of the person(s) authorized to sign for the account

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Owners or trustees of trust accounts

Letter of instruction

On the letter, the signature(s) of the trustee(s)

Copy of the trust document, certified within the past 12 months, or a John Hancock trust certification form

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Joint tenancy shareholders with rights of survivorship with deceased co-tenant(s)

Letter of instruction signed by surviving tenant(s)

Copy of the death certificate

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Inheritance tax waiver, if applicable

Executors of shareholder estates

Letter of instruction signed by the executor

Copy of the order appointing executor, certified within the past 12 months

Medallion signature guarantee, if applicable (see above)

Inheritance tax waiver, if applicable

Administrators, conservators, guardians, and other sellers, or account types not listed above

Call Signature Services for instructions

 

Regular mail
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

Express delivery
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
Suite 55913
30 Dan Road
Canton, MA 02021

Website
jhinvestments.com

EASI-Line
(24/7 automated service)
800-597-1897

Signature Services, Inc.
888-972-8696

 

29


 

Table of Contents

Your account

Transaction policies

Valuation of shares

The net asset value (NAV) for each class of shares of the fund is normally determined once daily as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) (typically 4:00 P.M., Eastern time, on each business day that the NYSE is open). In case of emergency or other disruption resulting in the NYSE not opening for trading or the NYSE closing at a time other than the regularly scheduled close, the NAV may be determined as of the regularly scheduled close of the NYSE pursuant to the fund's Valuation Policies and Procedures. The time at which shares and transactions are priced and until which orders are accepted may vary to the extent permitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission and applicable regulations. On holidays or other days when the NYSE is closed, the NAV is not calculated and the fund does not transact purchase or redemption requests. Trading of securities that are primarily listed on foreign exchanges may take place on weekends and U.S. business holidays on which the fund's and Subsidiary's NAV is not calculated. Consequently, the fund's portfolio securities may trade and the NAV of the fund's and Subsidiary's shares may be significantly affected on days when a shareholder will not be able to purchase or redeem shares of the fund.

Each class of shares of the fund has its own NAV, which is computed by dividing the total assets, minus liabilities, allocated to each share class by the number of fund shares outstanding for that class. The current NAV of the fund is available on our website at jhinvestments.com.

Valuation of securities

Portfolio securities are valued by various methods that are generally described below. Portfolio securities also may be fair valued by the fund's Pricing Committee in certain instances pursuant to procedures established by the Trustees. Equity securities are generally valued at the last sale price or, for certain markets, the official closing price as of the close of the relevant exchange. Securities not traded on a particular day are valued using last available bid prices. A security that is listed or traded on more than one exchange is typically valued at the price on the exchange where the security was acquired or most likely will be sold. In certain instances, the Pricing Committee may determine to value equity securities using prices obtained from another exchange or market if trading on the exchange or market on which prices are typically obtained did not open for trading as scheduled, or if trading closed earlier than scheduled, and trading occurred as normal on another exchange or market. Debt obligations are typically valued based on evaluated prices provided by an independent pricing vendor. The value of securities denominated in foreign currencies is converted into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate supplied by an independent pricing vendor. Forward foreign currency contracts are valued at the prevailing forward rates which are based on foreign currency exchange spot rates and forward points supplied by an independent pricing vendor. Exchange-traded options are valued at the mid-price of the last quoted bid and ask prices. Futures contracts are typically valued at settlement prices. If settlement prices are not available, futures contracts may be valued using last traded prices. Swaps and unlisted options are generally valued using evaluated prices obtained from an independent pricing vendor. Shares of other open-end investment companies that are not exchange-traded funds (underlying funds) are valued based on the NAVs of such underlying funds. Shares of the Subsidiary will be valued at their NAV.

Pricing vendors may use matrix pricing or valuation models that utilize certain inputs and assumptions to derive values, including transaction data, broker-dealer quotations, credit quality information, general market conditions, news, and other factors and assumptions. Special valuation considerations may apply with respect to a fund's "odd-lot" positions, as the fund may receive different prices when it sells such positions than it would receive for sales of institutional round lot positions. Pricing vendors generally value securities assuming orderly transactions of institutional round lot sizes, but a fund may hold or transact in such securities in smaller, odd lot sizes.

The Pricing Committee engages in oversight activities with respect to the fund's pricing vendors, which includes, among other things, monitoring significant or unusual price fluctuations above predetermined tolerance levels from the prior day, back-testing of pricing vendor prices against actual trades, conducting periodic due diligence meetings and reviews, and periodically reviewing the inputs, assumptions and methodologies used by these vendors.

If market quotations, official closing prices, or information furnished by a pricing vendor are not readily available or are otherwise deemed unreliable or not representative of the fair value of such security because of market- or issuer-specific events, a security will be valued at its fair value as determined in good faith by the Trustees. The Trustees are assisted in their responsibility to fair value securities by the fund's Pricing Committee, and the actual calculation of a security's fair value may be made by the Pricing Committee acting pursuant to the procedures established by the Trustees. In certain instances, therefore, the Pricing Committee may determine that a reported valuation does not reflect fair value, based on additional information available or other factors, and may accordingly determine in good faith the fair value of the assets, which may differ from the reported valuation.

Fair value pricing of securities is intended to help ensure that a fund's NAV reflects the fair market value of the fund's portfolio securities as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE (as opposed to a value that no longer reflects market value as of such close), thus limiting the opportunity for aggressive traders or market timers to purchase shares of the fund at deflated prices reflecting stale security valuations and promptly sell such shares at a gain, thereby diluting the interests of long-term shareholders. However, a security's valuation may differ depending on the method used for determining value, and no assurance can be given that fair value pricing of securities will successfully eliminate all potential opportunities for such trading gains.

The use of fair value pricing has the effect of valuing a security based upon the price the fund might reasonably expect to receive if it sold that security in an orderly transaction between market participants, but does not guarantee that the security can be sold at the fair value price. Further, because of the inherent uncertainty and subjective nature of fair valuation, a fair valuation price may differ significantly from the value that would have been used had a readily available market price for the investment existed and these differences could be material.

Regarding the fund's investment in an underlying fund that is not an ETF, which (as noted above) is valued at such underlying fund's NAV, the prospectus for such underlying fund explains the circumstances and effects of fair value pricing for that underlying fund.

Buy and sell prices

When you buy shares, you pay the NAV, plus any applicable sales charges, as described earlier. When you sell shares, you receive the NAV, minus any applicable deferred sales charges.

 

30               


 

Table of Contents

Execution of requests

The fund is open on those days when the NYSE is open, typically Monday through Friday. Buy and sell requests are executed at the next NAV to be calculated after Signature Services receives your request in good order. At times of peak activity, it may be difficult to place requests by telephone, if available for your share class. During these times, consider using EASI-Line, accessing jhinvestments.com, or sending your request in writing.

The fund typically expects to mail or wire redemption proceeds between 1 and 3 business days following the receipt of the shareholder's redemption request. Processing time is not dependent on the chosen delivery method. In unusual circumstances, the fund may temporarily suspend the processing of sell requests or may postpone payment of proceeds for up to three business days or longer, as allowed by federal securities laws.

Under normal market conditions, the fund typically expects to meet redemption requests through holdings of cash or cash equivalents or through sales of portfolio securities, and may access other available liquidity facilities. In unusual or stressed market conditions, in addition to the methods used in normal market conditions, the fund may meet redemption requests through the use of its line of credit, interfund lending facility, redemptions in kind, or such other liquidity means or facilities as the fund may have in place from time to time.

Telephone transactions

For your protection, telephone requests, if available for your share class, may be recorded in order to verify their accuracy. Also for your protection, telephone redemption transactions are not permitted on accounts in which names or mailing addresses have changed within the past 30 days. Proceeds from telephone transactions can only be mailed to the address of record.

Exchanges and conversions

You may exchange Class A and Class C shares of one John Hancock fund for shares of the same class of any other John Hancock fund that is then offering that class, generally without paying any sales charges, if applicable.

You may exchange Class I and Class R6 shares, respectively, of one John Hancock fund for Class I and Class R6 shares of any other John Hancock fund or for John Hancock Money Market Fund Class A shares.

For all share classes, the registration for both accounts involved in an exchange must be identical.

Note: Once exchanged into John Hancock Money Market Fund Class A shares, shares may only be exchanged back into the original class from which the shares were exchanged. As applicable, shares acquired in an exchange will be subject to the CDSC rate and holding schedule of the fund in which such shares were originally purchased if and when such shares are redeemed. For purposes of determining the holding period for calculating the CDSC, shares will continue to age from their original purchase date.

Provided the fund's eligibility requirements are met, and to the extent the referenced share class is offered by the fund, an investor in the fund pursuant to a fee-based, wrap, or other investment platform program of certain firms, as determined by the fund, may be afforded an opportunity to make a conversion of (i) Class A shares and/or Class C shares (not subject to a CDSC) also owned by the investor in the same fund to Class I shares or Class R6 shares of that fund; or (ii) Class I shares also owned by the investor to Class R6 shares of the same fund. Investors that no longer participate in a fee-based, wrap, or other investment platform program of certain firms may be afforded an opportunity to make a conversion to Class A shares of the same fund. The fund may in its sole discretion permit a conversion of one share class to another share class of the same fund in certain circumstances other than those described above.

In addition, (i) Trustees, (ii) employees of the advisor or its affiliates, and (iii) members of the fund's portfolio management team, may make a conversion of Class A shares also owned by the investor in the same fund to Class R6 shares or, if Class R6 shares are unavailable, Class I shares of that fund.

Conversion of Class A shares and/or Class C shares to Class I shares or Class R6 shares of the same fund in these particular circumstances should not cause the investor to realize taxable gain or loss. For further details, see "Additional information concerning taxes" in the SAI for information regarding taxation upon the redemption or exchange of shares of the fund (see the back cover of this prospectus).

The fund may change or cancel its exchange policies at any time, upon 60 days' written notice to its shareholders. For further details, see "Additional services and programs" in the SAI (see the back cover of this prospectus).

Excessive trading

The fund is intended for long-term investment purposes only and does not knowingly accept shareholders who engage in market timing or other types of excessive short-term trading. Short-term trading into and out of the fund can disrupt portfolio investment strategies and may increase fund expenses for all shareholders, including long-term shareholders who do not generate these costs.

Right to reject or restrict purchase and exchange orders

Purchases and exchanges should be made primarily for investment purposes. The fund reserves the right to restrict, reject, or cancel (with respect to cancellations within one day of the order), for any reason and without any prior notice, any purchase or exchange order, including transactions representing excessive trading and transactions accepted by any shareholder's financial intermediary. For example, the fund may, in its discretion, restrict, reject, or cancel a purchase or exchange order even if the transaction is not subject to a specific limitation on exchange activity, as described below, if the fund or its agent determines that accepting the order could interfere with the efficient management of the fund's portfolio, or otherwise not be in the fund's best interest in light of unusual trading activity related to your account. In the event that the fund rejects or cancels an exchange request, neither the redemption nor the purchase side of the exchange will be processed. If you would like the redemption request to be processed even if the purchase order is rejected, you should submit separate redemption and purchase orders rather than placing an exchange order. The fund reserves the right to delay for up to one business day, consistent with applicable law, the processing of exchange requests in the event that, in the fund's judgment, such delay would be in the fund's best interest, in which case both the redemption and purchase side of the exchange will receive the fund's NAV at the conclusion of the delay period. The fund, through its agents in their sole discretion, may impose these remedial actions at the account holder level or the underlying shareholder level.

Exchange limitation policies

The Board of Trustees has adopted the following policies and procedures by which the fund, subject to the limitations described below, takes steps reasonably designed to curtail excessive trading practices.

 

31


 

Table of Contents

Limitation on exchange activity

The fund or its agent may reject or cancel a purchase order, suspend or terminate the exchange privilege, or terminate the ability of an investor to invest in John Hancock funds if the fund or its agent determines that a proposed transaction involves market timing or disruptive trading that it believes is likely to be detrimental to the fund. The fund or its agent cannot ensure that it will be able to identify all cases of market timing or disruptive trading, although it attempts to have adequate procedures in place to do so. The fund or its agent may also reject or cancel any purchase order (including an exchange) from an investor or group of investors for any other reason. Decisions to reject or cancel purchase orders (including exchanges) in the fund are inherently subjective and will be made in a manner believed to be in the best interest of the fund's shareholders. The fund does not have any arrangement to permit market timing or disruptive trading.

Exchanges made on the same day in the same account are aggregated for purposes of counting the number and dollar amount of exchanges made by the account holder. The exchange limits referenced above will not be imposed or may be modified under certain circumstances. For example, these exchange limits may be modified for accounts held by certain retirement plans to conform to plan exchange limits, ERISA considerations, or U.S. Department of Labor regulations. Certain automated or preestablished exchange, asset allocation, and dollar-cost-averaging programs are not subject to these exchange limits. These programs are excluded from the exchange limitation since the fund believes that they are advantageous to shareholders and do not offer an effective means for market timing or excessive trading strategies. These investment tools involve regular and predetermined purchase or redemption requests made well in advance of any knowledge of events affecting the market on the date of the purchase or redemption.

These exchange limits are subject to the fund's ability to monitor exchange activity, as discussed under "Limitation on the ability to detect and curtail excessive trading practices" below. Depending upon the composition of the fund's shareholder accounts, and in light of the limitations on the ability of the fund to detect and curtail excessive trading practices, a significant percentage of the fund's shareholders may not be subject to the exchange limitation policy described above. In applying the exchange limitation policy, the fund considers information available to it at the time and reserves the right to consider trading activity in a single account or multiple accounts under common ownership, control, or influence.

Limitation on the ability to detect and curtail excessive trading practices

Shareholders seeking to engage in excessive trading practices sometimes deploy a variety of strategies to avoid detection and, despite the efforts of the fund to prevent excessive trading, there is no guarantee that the fund or its agent will be able to identify such shareholders or curtail their trading practices. The ability of the fund and its agent to detect and curtail excessive trading practices may also be limited by operational systems and technological limitations. Because the fund will not always be able to detect frequent trading activity, investors should not assume that the fund will be able to detect or prevent all frequent trading or other practices that disadvantage the fund. For example, the ability of the fund to monitor trades that are placed by omnibus or other nominee accounts is severely limited in those instances in which the financial intermediary, including a financial advisor, broker, retirement plan administrator, or fee-based program sponsor, maintains the records of the fund's underlying beneficial owners. Omnibus or other nominee account arrangements are common forms of holding shares of the fund, particularly among certain financial intermediaries, such as financial advisors, brokers, retirement plan administrators, or fee-based program sponsors. These arrangements often permit the financial intermediary to aggregate its clients' transactions and ownership positions and do not identify the particular underlying shareholder(s) to the fund. However, the fund will work with financial intermediaries as necessary to discourage shareholders from engaging in abusive trading practices and to impose restrictions on excessive trades. In this regard, the fund has entered into information-sharing agreements with financial intermediaries pursuant to which these intermediaries are required to provide to the fund, at the fund's request, certain information relating to their customers investing in the fund through omnibus or other nominee accounts. The fund will use this information to attempt to identify excessive trading practices. Financial intermediaries are contractually required to follow any instructions from the fund to restrict or prohibit future purchases from shareholders that are found to have engaged in excessive trading in violation of the fund's policies. The fund cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided to it from financial intermediaries and so cannot ensure that it will be able to detect abusive trading practices that occur through omnibus or other nominee accounts. As a consequence, the fund's ability to monitor and discourage excessive trading practices in these types of accounts may be limited.

Excessive trading risk

To the extent that the fund or its agent is unable to curtail excessive trading practices in the fund, these practices may interfere with the efficient management of the fund's portfolio and may result in the fund engaging in certain activities to a greater extent than it otherwise would, such as maintaining higher cash balances, using its line of credit, and engaging in increased portfolio transactions. Increased portfolio transactions and use of the line of credit would correspondingly increase the fund's operating costs and decrease the fund's investment performance. Maintenance of higher levels of cash balances would likewise result in lower fund investment performance during periods of rising markets.

While excessive trading can potentially occur in the fund, certain types of funds are more likely than others to be targets of excessive trading. For example:

A fund that invests a significant portion of its assets in small- or mid-capitalization stocks or securities in particular industries that may trade infrequently or are fair valued as discussed under "Valuation of securities" entails a greater risk of excessive trading, as investors may seek to trade fund shares in an effort to benefit from their understanding of the value of those types of securities (referred to as price arbitrage).

A fund that invests a material portion of its assets in securities of foreign issuers may be a potential target for excessive trading if investors seek to engage in price arbitrage based upon general trends in the securities markets that occur subsequent to the close of the primary market for such securities.

A fund that invests a significant portion of its assets in below-investment-grade (junk) bonds that may trade infrequently or are fair valued as discussed under "Valuation of securities" incurs a greater risk of excessive trading, as investors may seek to trade fund shares in an effort to benefit from their understanding of the value of those types of securities (referred to as price arbitrage).

Any frequent trading strategies may interfere with efficient management of a fund's portfolio and raise costs. A fund that invests in the types of securities discussed above may be exposed to this risk to a greater degree than a fund

 

32               


 

Table of Contents

that invests in highly liquid securities. These risks would be less significant, for example, in a fund that primarily invests in U.S. government securities, money market instruments, investment-grade corporate issuers, or large-capitalization U.S. equity securities. Any successful price arbitrage may cause dilution in the value of the fund shares held by other shareholders.

Account information

The fund is required by law to obtain information for verifying an account holder's identity. For example, an individual will be required to supply his or her name, residential address, date of birth, and Social Security number. If you do not provide the required information, we may not be able to open your account. If verification is unsuccessful, the fund may close your account, redeem your shares at the next NAV, minus any applicable sales charges, and take any other steps that it deems reasonable.

Certificated shares

The fund does not issue share certificates. Shares are electronically recorded.

Sales in advance of purchase payments

When you place a request to sell shares for which the purchase money has not yet been collected, the request will be executed in a timely fashion, but the fund will not release the proceeds to you until your purchase payment clears. This may take up to 10 business days after the purchase.

Dividends and account policies

Account statements

For Class A and Class C shares, in general, you will receive account statements as follows:

after every transaction (except a dividend reinvestment, automatic investment, or systematic withdrawal) that affects your account balance

after any changes of name or address of the registered owner(s)

in all other circumstances, every quarter

For Class I and Class R6 shares, in general, you will receive account statements as follows:

after every transaction (except a dividend reinvestment) that affects your account balance

after any changes of name or address of the registered owner(s)

in all other circumstances, every quarter

Every year you should also receive, if applicable, a Form 1099 tax information statement, mailed by February 15.

Dividends

The fund typically declares and pays income dividends and capital gains, if any, at least annually.

Dividend reinvestments

Most investors have their dividends reinvested in additional shares of the same class of the same fund. If you choose this option, or if you do not indicate any choice, your dividends will be reinvested. Alternatively, you may choose to have your dividends and capital gains sent directly to your bank account or a check may be mailed if your combined dividend and capital gains amount is $10 or more. However, if the check is not deliverable or the combined dividend and capital gains amount is less than $10, your proceeds will be reinvested. If five or more of your dividend or capital gains checks remain uncashed after 180 days, all subsequent dividends and capital gains will be reinvested. No front-end sales charge or CDSC will be imposed on shares derived from reinvestment of dividends or capital gains distributions.

Taxability of dividends

For investors who are not exempt from federal income taxes, dividends you receive from the fund, whether reinvested or taken as cash, are generally considered taxable. Dividends from the fund's short-term capital gains are taxable as ordinary income. Dividends from the fund's long-term capital gains are taxable at a lower rate. Whether gains are short term or long term depends on the fund's holding period. Some dividends paid in January may be taxable as if they had been paid the previous December.

The Form 1099 that is mailed to you every February, if applicable, details your dividends and their federal tax category, although you should verify your tax liability with your tax professional.

Returns of capital

If the fund's distributions exceed its taxable income and capital gains realized during a taxable year, all or a portion of the distributions made in the same 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 reported capital gain or lower reported capital loss when those shares on which the distribution was received are sold.

Taxability of transactions

Any time you sell or exchange shares, it is considered a taxable event for you if you are not exempt from federal income taxes. Depending on the purchase price and the sale price of the shares you sell or exchange, you may have a gain or a loss on the transaction. You are responsible for any tax liabilities generated by your transactions.

Small accounts

If the value of your account of Class A or Class C shares is less than $1,000, you may be asked to purchase more shares within 30 days. If you do not take action, the fund may close out your account and mail you the proceeds. Alternatively, the fund may charge you $20 a year to maintain your account. You will not be charged a CDSC if your account is closed for this reason.

Additional investor services

Monthly Automatic Accumulation Program (MAAP)

MAAP lets you set up regular investments from paychecks or bank accounts to the John Hancock fund(s) to purchase Class A and Class C shares. Investors determine the frequency and amount of investments ($25 minimum per month), and they can terminate the program at any time. To establish, you must satisfy the minimum initial investment requirements specified in the section "Opening an account" and complete the appropriate parts of the account application.

Systematic withdrawal plan

This plan may be used for routine bill payments or periodic withdrawals from your account of Class A and Class C shares. To establish:

Make sure you have at least $5,000 worth of shares in your account.

 

33


 

Table of Contents

 

Make sure you are not planning to invest more money in this account (buying shares during a period when you are also selling shares of the same fund is not advantageous to you because of sales charges).

Specify the payee(s). The payee may be yourself or any other party, and there is no limit to the number of payees you may have, as long as they are all on the same payment schedule.

Determine the schedule: monthly, quarterly, semiannually, annually, or in certain selected months.

Fill out the relevant part of the account application. To add a systematic withdrawal plan to an existing account, contact your financial representative or Signature Services.

Retirement plans

John Hancock funds offer a range of retirement plans, including Traditional and Roth IRAs, Coverdell ESAs, SIMPLE plans, and SEPs. Using these plans, you can invest in any John Hancock fund (except tax-free income funds). To find out more, call Signature Services at 800-225-5291.

John Hancock does not accept requests to establish new John Hancock custodial 403(b)(7) accounts, does not accept requests for exchanges or transfers into your existing John Hancock custodial 403(b)(7) accounts, and requires additional disclosure documentation if you direct John Hancock to exchange or transfer some or all of your John Hancock custodial 403(b)(7) account assets to another 403(b)(7) contract or account. In addition, the fund no longer accepts salary deferrals into 403(b)(7) accounts. Please refer to the SAI for more information regarding these restrictions.

Disclosure of fund holdings

The following information for the fund is posted on the website, jhinvestments.com, generally on the fifth business day after month end: top 10 holdings; top 10 sector analysis; total return/yield; top 10 countries; average quality/maturity; beta/alpha; and top 10 portfolio composition. All of the holdings of the fund will be posted to the website no earlier than 15 days after each calendar month end, and will remain posted on the website for six months. All of the fund's holdings as of the end of the third month of every fiscal quarter will be disclosed on Form N-PORT within 60 days of the end of the fiscal quarter. All of the fund's holdings as of the end of the second and fourth fiscal quarters will be disclosed on form N-CSR within 70 days of the end of such fiscal quarters. A description of the fund's policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of its portfolio securities is available in the SAI.

 

34               


 

Table of Contents

Your account

Appendix 1 - Intermediary sales charge waivers

Intermediary sales charge waivers

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Merrill Lynch)

Effective April 10, 2017, shareholders purchasing fund shares through a Merrill Lynch platform or account are eligible only for the following load waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and contingent deferred, or back-end, sales charge waivers) and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this fund's prospectus or SAI:

Front-end Sales Load Waivers on Class A Shares available at Merrill Lynch

Employer-sponsored retirement, deferred compensation and employee benefit plans (including health savings accounts) and trusts used to fund those plans, provided that the shares are not held in a commission-based brokerage account and shares are held for the benefit of the plan

Shares purchased by or through a 529 Plan

Shares purchased through a Merrill Lynch affiliated investment advisory program

Shares purchased by third party investment advisors on behalf of their advisory clients through Merrill Lynch's platform

Shares of funds purchased through the Merrill Edge Self-Directed platform (if applicable)

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within the fund family)

Shares exchanged from Class C (i.e. level-load) shares of the same fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date

Employees and registered representatives of Merrill Lynch or its affiliates and their family members

Directors or Trustees of the fund, and employees of the fund's investment adviser or any of its affiliates, as described in the prospectus

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (known as Rights of Reinstatement)

CDSC Waivers on Class A and Class C Shares available at Merrill Lynch

Death or disability of the shareholder

Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the fund's prospectus

Return of excess contributions from an IRA Account

Shares sold as part of a required minimum distribution for IRA and retirement accounts due to the shareholder reaching age 70½

Shares sold to pay Merrill Lynch fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Merrill Lynch

Shares acquired through a Right of Reinstatement

Shares held in retirement brokerage accounts, that are exchanged for a lower cost share class due to transfer to certain fee based accounts or platforms. The CDSC applicable to shares exchanged for another class of shares through a fee-based individual retirement account on the Merrill Lynch platform will be waived and Merrill Lynch will remit the portion of the payment to be made to the principal distributor equal to the number of months remaining on the CDSC period divided by the total number of months of the CDSC period

Front-end Load Discounts Available at Merrill Lynch; Breakpoints, Rights of Accumulation & Letters of Intent

Breakpoints as described in this prospectus

Rights of Accumulation (ROA) which entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of fund family assets held by accounts within the purchaser's household at Merrill Lynch. Eligible fund family assets not held at Merrill Lynch may be included in the ROA calculation only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets

Letters of Intent (LOI) which allow for breakpoint discounts based on anticipated purchases within a fund family, through Merrill Lynch, over a 13-month period of time (if applicable)

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise Financial)

Effective June 1, 2018, shareholders purchasing fund shares through an Ameriprise Financial platform or account which is not held directly at the fund are eligible for the following front-end sales charge waivers and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this fund's prospectus or SAI:

Class A Shares Front-End Sales Charge Waivers Available at Ameriprise Financial

Employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit sharing and money purchase pension plans and defined benefit plans). For purposes of this provision, employer-sponsored retirement plans do not include SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs or SAR-SEPs

Shares purchased through an Ameriprise Financial investment advisory program (if an Advisory or similar share class for such investment advisory program is not available)

Shares purchased by third party investment advisors on behalf of their advisory clients through Ameriprise Financial's platform (if an Advisory or similar share class for such investment advisory program is not available)

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within the same fund family)

Shares exchanged from Class C shares of the same fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date. To the extent that this prospectus elsewhere provides for a waiver with respect to such shares following a shorter holding period, that waiver will apply to exchanges following such shorter period. To the extent that this prospectus elsewhere provides for a waiver with respect to exchanges of Class C shares for load waived shares, that waiver will also apply to such exchanges

Employees and registered representatives of Ameriprise Financial or its affiliates and their immediate family members

Shares purchased by or through qualified accounts (including IRAs, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, 401(k) s, 403(b) TSCAs subject to ERISA and defined benefit plans) that are held by a covered family member, defined as an Ameriprise financial advisor and/or the advisor's spouse, advisor's lineal ascendant (mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great grandmother,

 

35


 

Table of Contents

great grandfather), advisor's lineal descendant (son, step-son, daughter, step-daughter, grandson, granddaughter, great grandson, great granddaughter) or any spouse of a covered family member who is a lineal descendant

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (i.e. Rights of Reinstatement)

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Morgan Stanley)

Effective July 1, 2018, shareholders purchasing fund shares through a Morgan Stanley Wealth Management transactional brokerage account which is not held directly at the fund are eligible only for the following front-end sales charge waivers with respect to Class A shares, which may differ from and may be more limited than those disclosed elsewhere in this fund's Prospectus or SAI:

Front-end Sales Charge Waivers on Class A Shares available at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit sharing and money purchase pension plans and defined benefit plans). For purposes of this provision, employer-sponsored retirement plans do not include SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs, SAR-SEPs or Keogh plans

Morgan Stanley employee and employee-related accounts according to Morgan Stanley's account linking rules

Shares purchased through reinvestment of dividends and capital gains distributions when purchasing shares of the same fund

Shares purchased through a Morgan Stanley self-directed brokerage account

Class C (i.e., level-load) shares that are no longer subject to a contingent deferred sales charge and are converted to Class A shares of the same fund by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management pursuant to its share class conversion program

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (i) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (ii) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (iii) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales charge

Raymond James Financial, Inc. (Raymond James)

Effective March 1, 2019, shareholders purchasing fund shares through a Raymond James transactional brokerage account which is not held directly at the fund are eligible only for the following front-end sales charge waivers with respect to Class A shares, which may differ from and may be more limited than those disclosed elsewhere in this fund's Prospectus or SAI:

Front-end sales load waivers on Class A shares available at Raymond James

Shares purchased in an investment advisory program

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within the fund family)

Employees and registered representatives of Raymond James or its affiliates and their family members as designated by Raymond James

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (known as Rights of Reinstatement)

A shareholder in the fund's Class C shares will have their shares converted at net asset value to Class A shares (or the appropriate share class) of the fund if the shares are no longer subject to a CDSC and the conversion is in line with the policies and procedures of Raymond James

Effective March 1, 2019, shareholders purchasing fund shares through a Raymond James transactional brokerage account which is not held directly at the fund are eligible only for the following front-end sales charge waivers, which may differ from and may be more limited than those disclosed elsewhere in this fund's Prospectus or SAI:

Front-end load discounts available at Raymond James: breakpoints, and/or rights of accumulation

Breakpoints as described in this prospectus

Rights of accumulation which entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of fund family assets held by accounts within the purchaser's household at Raymond James. Eligible fund family assets not held at Raymond James may be included in the rights of accumulation calculation only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets

Effective March 1, 2019, shareholders purchasing fund shares through a Raymond James transactional brokerage account which is not held directly at the fund are eligible only for the following contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC) waivers, which may differ from and may be more limited than those disclosed elsewhere in this fund's Prospectus or SAI:

CDSC Waivers on Class A and Class C shares available at Raymond James

Death or disability of the shareholder

Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the fund's prospectus

Return of excess contributions from an IRA Account

Shares sold as part of a required minimum distribution for IRA and retirement accounts due to the shareholder reaching age 70½

Shares sold to pay Raymond James fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Raymond James

Shares acquired through a right of reinstatement

 

36               


 

Table of Contents

For more information

Two documents are available that offer further information on the fund:

Annual/semiannual reports to shareholders

Additional information about the fund's investments is available in the fund's annual and semiannual reports (if applicable) to shareholders. In the fund's annual report (if applicable), you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the fund's performance during its last fiscal year.

Statement of Additional Information (SAI)

The SAI contains more detailed information on all aspects of the fund and includes a summary of the fund's policy regarding disclosure of its portfolio holdings, as well as legal and regulatory matters. A current SAI has been filed with the SEC and is incorporated by reference into (and is legally a part of) this prospectus.

To obtain a free copy of these documents or request other information

There are several ways you can get a current annual/semiannual report, prospectus, or SAI from John Hancock, request other information, or make inquiries:

Online: jhinvestments.com

By mail:
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 55913
Boston, MA 02205-5913

By EASI-Line: 800-338-8080 for Class A and Class C shares; 800-597-1897 for Class I and Class R6 shares

By phone: 800-225-5291 for Class A and Class C shares; 888-972-8696 for Class I and Class R6 shares

By TTY: 800-231-5469 for Class A, Class C, Class I, and Class R6 shares

You can also view or obtain copies of these documents through the SEC:

Online: sec.gov  

By email (duplicating fee required): publicinfo@sec.gov

© 2019 JOHN HANCOCK FUNDS, LLC 4730PN [7/24/19]
SEC file number:
811-00560



 
 

John Hancock
Diversified Macro Fund

Prospectus [7/24/19]

Class NAV

[   ]





Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of the fund's shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from the fund or from your financial intermediary. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.

If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and do not need to take any action. You may elect to receive shareholder reports and other communications electronically by calling John Hancock Investment Management or by contacting your financial intermediary.

You may elect to receive all reports in paper free of charge at any time. You can inform the fund or your financial intermediary that you wish to continue receiving paper copies of your shareholder reports by following the instructions listed above. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds held with John Hancock Investment Management or your financial intermediary.

 

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

As with all mutual funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission have not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.


 


Fund summary
 
Fund details
 
Your account
The summary section is a concise look at the investment objective, fees and expenses, principal investment strategies, principal risks, past performance, and investment management.   More about topics covered in the summary section, including descriptions of the investment strategies and various risk factors that investors should understand before investing.   How to place an order to buy, sell, or exchange shares, as well as information about the business policies and any distributions that may be paid.
   
             
1
 
John Hancock Diversified Macro Fund   5
 
Principal investment strategies   15
 
Who can buy shares  
  5
 
Principal risks of investing   15
 
Class cost structure  
  12
 
Who's who   15
 
Opening an account  
  14
 
Financial highlights   15
 
Transaction policies  
    18
 
Dividends and account policies  
    18
 
Additional investor services  
             
 
For more information  See back cover

 

Fund summary

John Hancock Diversified Macro Fund

Investment objective

To seek long-term capital appreciation.

Fees and expenses

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

Shareholder fees (%) (fees paid directly from your investment)

NAV

Maximum front-end sales charge (load)

None

Maximum deferred sales charge (load)

None

 

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

NAV

Management fee

[1.20]

Other expenses‌1

[0.19]

Total annual fund operating expenses

[1.39]

Contractual expense reimbursement‌2

[-0.06]

Total annual fund operating expenses after expense reimbursements

[1.33]

 

1 "Other expenses" have been estimated for the fund's first year of operations.

2 The advisor contractually agrees to reduce its management fee or, if necessary, make payment to the fund in an amount equal to the amount by which expenses of the fund exceed [1.33%] of average daily net assets of the fund. For purposes of this agreement, "expenses of the fund" means all fund expenses, excluding (a) taxes, (b) brokerage commissions, (c) interest expense, (d) litigation and indemnification expenses and other extraordinary expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of the fund's business, (e) class-specific expenses, (f) acquired fund fees and expenses paid indirectly, (g) borrowing costs, (h) prime brokerage fees, and (i) short dividend expense. This agreement expires on [February 28, 2021], unless renewed by mutual agreement of the fund and the advisor based upon a determination that this is appropriate under the circumstances at that time. The advisor also contractually agrees to waive a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse expenses for the fund and certain other John Hancock funds according to an asset level breakpoint schedule that is based on the aggregate net assets of all the funds participating in the waiver or reimbursement. This waiver is allocated proportionally among the participating funds. This agreement expires on [June 30, 2021], unless renewed by mutual agreement of the fund and the advisor based upon a determination that this is appropriate under the circumstances at that time.

Expense example

This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. Please see below a hypothetical example showing the expenses of a $10,000 investment for the time periods indicated and then assuming you sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example assumes a 5% average annual return and that fund expenses will not change over the periods. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:

Expenses ($)

NAV

1 year

[1.35]

3 years

[4.34]

Portfolio turnover

The fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or "turns over" its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the fund's performance. Because the fund had not commenced operations as of the date of the fund's prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover to report.

Principal investment strategies

The fund pursues its investment objective by utilizing a multi-asset, quantitatively-driven investment strategy that seeks to provide exposure to diversified sources of return. The fund's investment strategy is a directional, long and short strategy that utilizes fundamental and price-based indicators to establish return forecasts across a broad range of asset classes globally. The investment strategy incorporates a variety of models that generate macro fundamental forecasts, assess yield and earnings differentials, compare current valuations relative to historic fair value, and analyze directional price trends across markets.

The manager will allocate the fund's assets across a range of asset classes comprising equities, fixed income, foreign currencies, and commodities. Exposure to these asset classes will be implemented by investing in derivative instruments, including futures (including equity index futures, interest rate futures, bond futures and commodity futures) and foreign currency futures and forward contracts.

Quantitative risk management and portfolio construction techniques will be employed to control exposure across individual markets and sectors in an effort to enhance returns as well as to maintain the fund's diversification and volatility objectives. The fund is actively managed and the fund's asset class exposures will vary over time based on the manager's proprietary investment models and, in part, on maintaining portfolio diversification. The fund expects to maintain exposure to all models at all times. The fund, on average, will target an annualized volatility of approximately 8%. Volatility is a statistical measurement of the dispersion of returns

 

1


 

Table of Contents

of a security or fund or index. The fund's actual or realized volatility level for longer or shorter periods of time may be materially higher or lower depending on market conditions.

The fund is generally intended to have a low correlation to the equity and bond markets. The fund is not designed to match the performance of any hedge fund index or benchmark and may be characterized as "macro" or "multi-asset" in nature.

The fund's use of derivatives will have the economic effect of financial leverage. Financial leverage magnifies exposure to the swings in prices of an asset class underlying an instrument and results in increased volatility, which means the fund will have the potential for greater gains as well as the potential for greater losses than if the fund does not use instruments that have a leveraging effect.

Due to the fund's use of derivative instruments such as futures, foreign currency futures and forward contracts, a significant portion of the fund's assets will be invested directly or indirectly in money market instruments, which may include U.S. Government securities, U.S. Government agency securities, overnight and/or fixed-term repurchase agreements, money market mutual fund shares and cash and cash equivalents for use as margin or collateral for these derivative instruments. Such investments may generate income for the fund.

Investment in the Subsidiary. The fund may gain exposure to the commodities markets by investing up to 25% of its total assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the fund organized as a company under the laws of the Cayman Islands: John Hancock Diversified Macro Offshore Subsidiary Fund Ltd. (the Subsidiary). The Subsidiary is advised by the subadvisor, under the supervision of the advisor, and seeks to gain commodities exposure.

The Subsidiary primarily obtains its commodity exposure by investing in commodity-linked derivative instruments, which may include but are not limited to total return swaps, commodity (U.S. or foreign) futures and commodity-linked notes. Neither the fund nor the Subsidiary intends to invest directly in physical commodities. The Subsidiary may also invest in other instruments, including fixed-income securities, either as investments or to serve as margin or collateral for its swap positions, and foreign currency transactions (including forward contracts).

Principal risks

An investment in the fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Many factors affect performance, and fund shares will fluctuate in price, meaning you could lose money. The fund's investment strategy may not produce the intended results.

During periods of heightened market volatility or reduced liquidity, governments, their agencies, or other regulatory bodies, both within the United States and abroad, may take steps to intervene. These actions, which could include legislative, regulatory, or economic initiatives, might have unforeseeable consequences and could adversely affect the fund's performance or otherwise constrain the fund's ability to achieve its investment objective.

The fund's main risks are listed below in alphabetical order. Before investing, be sure to read the additional descriptions of these risks beginning on page 5 of the prospectus.

Asset allocation risk. Although allocation among asset categories generally limits exposure to any one category, the management team may favor a category that performs poorly relative to the others.

Cash and cash equivalents risk. Under certain market conditions, such as during a rising stock market, rising interest rate or rising credit spread markets, the use of cash and/or cash equivalents, including money market instruments, could have a negative effect on the fund's ability to achieve its investment objective and may negatively impact the fund's performance.

Commodity risk. Commodity prices may be volatile due to fluctuating demand, supply disruption, speculation, and other factors. Certain commodity investments may have no active trading market at times.

Credit and counterparty risk. The issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income security, the counterparty to an over-the-counter derivatives contract, or a borrower of fund securities may not make timely payments or otherwise honor its obligations. U.S. government securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk depending upon the nature of their support. A downgrade or default affecting any of the fund's securities could affect the fund's performance.

Cybersecurity and operational risk. Cybersecurity breaches may allow an unauthorized party to gain access to fund assets, customer data, or proprietary information, or cause a fund or its service providers to suffer data corruption or lose operational functionality. Similar incidents affecting issuers of a fund's securities may negatively impact performance. Operational risk may arise from human error, error by third parties, communication errors, or technology failures, among other causes.

Economic and market events risk. Events in the U.S. and global financial markets, including actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve or foreign central banks to stimulate or stabilize economic growth, may at times result in unusually high market volatility, which could negatively impact performance. Reduced liquidity in credit and fixed-income markets could adversely affect issuers worldwide. Banks and financial services companies could suffer losses if interest rates rise or economic conditions deteriorate.

Equity securities risk. The price of equity securities may decline due to changes in a company's financial condition or overall market conditions. Securities the manager believes are undervalued may never realize their full potential value, and in certain markets value stocks may underperform the market as a whole.

 

2               


 

Table of Contents

Fixed-income securities risk. A rise in interest rates typically causes bond prices to fall. The longer the average maturity or duration of the bonds held by a fund, the more sensitive it will likely be to interest-rate fluctuations. An issuer may not make all interest payments or repay all or any of the principal borrowed. Changes in a security's credit quality may adversely affect fund performance.

Foreign securities risk. Less information may be publicly available regarding foreign issuers. Foreign securities may be subject to foreign taxes and may be more volatile than U.S. securities. Currency fluctuations and political and economic developments may adversely impact the value of foreign securities. The risks of investing in foreign securities are magnified in emerging markets.

Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions risk. Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions may increase a fund's volatility and could produce disproportionate losses, potentially more than the fund's principal investment. Risks of these transactions are different from and possibly greater than risks of investing directly in securities and other traditional instruments. Under certain market conditions, derivatives could become harder to value or sell and may become subject to liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions). Regulatory changes in derivative markets could impact the cost of or the fund's ability to engage in derivatives transactions. Derivatives and other strategic transactions that the fund intends to utilize include: foreign currency forward contracts, futures contracts, and total return swaps. Foreign currency forward contracts, futures contracts, and swaps generally are subject to counterparty risk. In addition, swaps may be subject to interest-rate and settlement risk, and the risk of default of the underlying reference obligation. Derivatives associated with foreign currency transactions are subject to currency risk.

High portfolio turnover risk. Trading securities actively and frequently can increase transaction costs (thus lowering performance) and taxable distributions.

Large company risk. Larger companies may grow more slowly than smaller companies or be slower to respond to business developments. Large-capitalization securities may underperform the market as a whole.

Leveraging risk. Using derivatives may result in a leveraged portfolio. Leveraging tends to magnify, sometimes significantly, the effect of any increase or decrease in the fund's exposure to an asset class and may cause the fund's net asset value per share (NAV) to experience greater volatility. Leverage increases a fund's losses when the value of its investments declines. Some derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment.

Liquidity risk. The extent (if at all) to which a security may be sold or a derivative position closed without negatively impacting its market value may be impaired by reduced market activity or participation, legal restrictions, or other economic and market impediments. Liquidity risk may be magnified in rising interest rate environments due to higher than normal redemption rates. Widespread selling of fixed-income securities to satisfy redemptions during periods of reduced demand may adversely impact the price or salability of such securities. Periods of heavy redemption could cause the fund to sell assets at a loss or depressed value, which could negatively affect performance. Redemption risk is heightened during periods of declining or illiquid markets.

Quantitative modeling risk. Quantitative models may not accurately predict future market movements or characteristics, which may negatively impact performance. Models also may perform differently than expected due to implementation problems, technological malfunction, or programming or data inaccuracies, among other possible issues.

Repurchase agreements risk. The risk of a repurchase agreement transaction is limited to the ability of the seller to pay the agreed-upon sum on the delivery date. In the event of bankruptcy or other default by the seller, the instrument purchased may decline in value, interest payable on the instrument may be lost and there may be possible difficulties and delays in obtaining collateral and delays and expense in liquidating the instrument.

Short sales risk. In a short sale, a fund pays interest on the borrowed security. The fund will lose money if the security price increases between the short sale and the replacement date.

Small and mid-sized company risk. Small and mid-sized companies are generally less established and may be more volatile than larger companies. Small and/or mid-capitalization securities may underperform the market as a whole.

Subsidiary investment risk. By investing in the Subsidiary, the fund is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary's investments and operations. The Subsidiary is not subject to U.S. laws, including securities laws and their protections, or provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). Because the Subsidiary is not registered under U.S. law, it may not be able to negotiate terms with its counterparties equivalent to those negotiated by a registered fund. Changes in applicable law could result in the inability of the Subsidiary to operate as described, and could adversely affect the fund's investment approach.

Tax risk. The tax treatment of commodity-related investments and income from the Subsidiary may be adversely affected by future U.S. tax legislation, regulation, or guidance.

Past performance

This section normally shows how the fund's total returns have varied from year to year, along with a broad-based market index for reference. Because the fund had not commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus, there is no past performance to report.

Investment management

Investment advisor John Hancock Advisers, LLC
Subadvisor Graham Capital Management, L.P.

 

3


 

Table of Contents

Portfolio management

 

Kenneth Tropin
Co-Portfolio Manager and Chairman
Managed the fund since inception

Pablo Calderini
Co-Portfolio Manager, President and Chief Investment Officer
Managed the fund since inception

Purchase and sale of fund shares

There are no minimum initial or subsequent investment requirements for Class NAV shares. Shares may be redeemed on any business day on instruction to the fund.

Taxes

The fund's distributions are taxable, and will be taxed as ordinary income and/or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account. Withdrawals from such tax-deferred arrangements may be subject to tax at a later date.

Payments to broker-dealers and other financial intermediaries

If you purchase the fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank, registered investment advisor, financial planner, or retirement plan administrator), the fund and its related companies may pay the broker-dealer or other intermediary for the sale of fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary's website for more information.

 

4               


 

Table of Contents

Fund details

Principal investment strategies

The Board of Trustees can change the fund's investment objective and strategies without shareholder approval.

The fund pursues its investment objective by utilizing a multi-asset, quantitatively-driven investment strategy that seeks to provide exposure to diversified sources of return. The fund's investment strategy is a directional, long and short strategy that utilizes fundamental and price-based indicators to establish return forecasts across a broad range of asset classes globally. The investment strategy incorporates a variety of models that generate macro fundamental forecasts, assess yield and earnings differentials, compare current valuations relative to historic fair value, and analyze directional price trends across markets.

The manager will allocate the fund's assets across a range of asset classes comprising equities, fixed income, foreign currencies, and commodities. Exposure to these asset classes will be implemented by investing in derivative instruments, including futures (including equity index futures, interest rate futures, bond futures and commodity futures) and foreign currency futures and forward contracts. Given the dynamic nature of the fund's investment process and the underlying exposures within the fund, the fund's overall exposure to derivative instruments will vary over time.

Quantitative risk management and portfolio construction techniques will be employed to control exposure across individual markets and sectors in an effort to enhance returns as well as to maintain the fund's diversification and volatility objectives. The fund is actively managed and the fund's asset class exposures will vary over time based on the manager's proprietary investment models and, in part, on maintaining portfolio diversification. The fund's risk management and portfolio construction process is designed to diversify risk across markets and sectors.

The fund expects to maintain exposure to all models at all times. The fund, on average, will target an annualized volatility of approximately 8%. Volatility is a statistical measurement of the dispersion of returns of a security or fund or index. The fund's actual or realized volatility level for longer or shorter periods of time may be materially higher or lower depending on market conditions. Higher volatility generally indicates higher risk. Actual or realized volatility can and will differ from the target volatility described above.

The fund is generally intended to have a low correlation to the equity and bond markets. The fund is not designed to match the performance of any hedge fund index or benchmark and may be characterized as "macro" or "multi-asset" in nature. The manager will attempt to mitigate risk through diversification of holdings and through the active monitoring of volatility, counterparties and other risk factors.

The fund's use of derivatives will have the economic effect of financial leverage. Financial leverage magnifies exposure to the swings in prices of an asset class underlying an instrument and results in increased volatility, which means the fund will have the potential for greater gains as well as the potential for greater losses than if the fund does not use instruments that have a leveraging effect.

Due to the fund's use of derivative instruments such as futures, foreign currency futures and forward contracts, a significant portion of the fund's assets will be invested directly or indirectly in money market instruments, which may include U.S. Government securities, U.S. Government agency securities, overnight and/or fixed-term repurchase agreements, money market mutual fund shares and cash and cash equivalents for use as margin or collateral for these derivative instruments. Such investments may generate income for the fund. Under a repurchase agreement, the fund buys securities that the seller has agreed to buy back at a specified time and at a set price.

Investment in the Subsidiary. The fund may gain exposure to the commodities markets by investing up to 25% of its total assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the fund organized as a company under the laws of the Cayman Islands: John Hancock Diversified Macro Offshore Subsidiary Fund Ltd. (the Subsidiary). The Subsidiary is advised by the subadvisor, under the supervision of the advisor, and seeks to gain commodities exposure.

The Subsidiary primarily obtains its commodity exposure by investing in commodity-linked derivative instruments, which may include but are not limited to total return swaps, commodity (U.S. or foreign) futures and commodity-linked notes. Commodity-linked swaps are derivative instruments whereby the cash flows agreed upon between counterparties are dependent upon the price of the underlying commodity or commodity index over the life of the swap. Commodity futures contracts are standardized, exchange-traded contracts that provide for the sale or purchase of, or economic exposure to the price of, a commodity or a specified basket of commodities at a future time. The value of these commodity linked derivatives will rise and fall in response to changes in the underlying commodity or commodity index. Commodity-linked derivatives expose the Subsidiary and the fund economically to movements in commodity prices. Such instruments may be leveraged so that small changes in the underlying commodity prices would result in disproportionate changes in the value of the instrument. Neither the fund nor the Subsidiary intends to invest directly in physical commodities. The Subsidiary may also invest in other instruments, including fixed-income securities, either as investments or to serve as margin or collateral for its swap positions, and foreign currency transactions (including forward contracts).

Temporary defensive investing

The fund may invest up to 100% of its assets in cash, money market instruments, repurchase agreements, or other short-term instruments for the purpose of protecting the fund in the event the subadvisor determines that market, economic, political, or other conditions warrant a defensive posture.

To the extent that the fund is in a defensive position, its ability to achieve its investment objective will be limited.

Principal risks of investing

An investment in the fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The fund's shares will go up and down in price, meaning that you could lose money by investing in the fund. Many factors influence a mutual fund's performance. The fund's investment strategy may not produce the intended results.

Instability in the financial markets has led many governments, including the U.S. government, to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and segments of the financial markets that have experienced extreme volatility and, in some cases, a lack of liquidity. Federal, state, and other governments, and their regulatory agencies or self-regulatory organizations, may take actions that affect the regulation of the instruments in which the fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Legislation or regulation may also change the way in which the

 

5


 

Table of Contents

fund itself is regulated. Such legislation or regulation could limit or preclude the fund's ability to achieve its investment objective. In addition, political events within the United States and abroad could negatively impact financial markets and the fund's performance. Further, certain municipalities of the United States and its territories are financially strained and may face the possibility of default on their debt obligations, which could directly or indirectly detract from each fund's performance.

Governments or their agencies may also acquire distressed assets from financial institutions and acquire ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear, and such a program may have positive or negative effects on the liquidity, valuation, and performance of the fund's portfolio holdings. Furthermore, volatile financial markets can expose the fund to greater market and liquidity risk and potential difficulty in valuing portfolio instruments held by the fund.

Below are descriptions of the main factors that may play a role in shaping the fund's overall risk profile. The descriptions appear in alphabetical order, not in order of importance. For further details about fund risks, including additional risk factors that are not discussed in this prospectus because they are not considered primary factors, see the fund's Statement of Additional Information (SAI).

Asset allocation risk

Although asset allocation among different asset categories generally limits risk and exposure to any one category, the risk remains that the subadvisor may favor an asset category that performs poorly relative to the other asset categories. To the extent that alternative asset categories underperform the general stock market, the fund would perform poorly relative to a fund invested primarily in the general stock market.

Cash and cash equivalents risk

Under certain market conditions, such as during a rising stock market, rising interest rate or rising credit spread markets, the use of cash and/or cash equivalents, including money market instruments, could have a negative effect on the fund's ability to achieve its investment objective and may negatively impact the fund's performance. To the extent that the fund invests in a money market fund, the fund will indirectly bear a proportionate share of the money market fund's expenses, in addition to the operating expenses of the fund, which are borne directly by fund shareholders. In addition, while money market funds seek to maintain a stable net asset value, the value of a money market fund is not guaranteed and investors in money market funds can lose money, which could detract from the fund's performance.

Commodity risk

The market price of commodity investments may be volatile due to fluctuating demand, supply disruption, speculation, and other factors. Certain commodity investments may have no active trading market at times.

Credit and counterparty risk

This is the risk that the issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income security, the counterparty to an over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives contract (see "Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions risk"), or a borrower of a fund's securities will be unable or unwilling to make timely principal, interest, or settlement payments, or otherwise honor its obligations. Credit risk associated with investments in fixed-income securities relates to the ability of the issuer to make scheduled payments of principal and interest on an obligation. A fund that invests in fixed-income securities is subject to varying degrees of risk that the issuers of the securities will have their credit ratings downgraded or will default, potentially reducing the fund's share price and income level. Nearly all fixed-income securities are subject to some credit risk, which may vary depending upon whether the issuers of the securities are corporations, domestic or foreign governments, or their subdivisions or instrumentalities. U.S. government securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk depending upon whether the securities are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States; supported by the ability to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; supported only by the credit of the issuing U.S. government agency, instrumentality, or corporation; or otherwise supported by the United States. For example, issuers of many types of U.S. government securities (e.g., the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and Federal Home Loan Banks), although chartered or sponsored by Congress, are not funded by congressional appropriations, and their fixed-income securities, including asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities, are neither guaranteed nor insured by the U.S. government. An agency of the U.S. government has placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship, a statutory process with the objective of returning the entities to normal business operations. It is unclear what effect this conservatorship will have on the securities issued or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. As a result, these securities are subject to more credit risk than U.S. government securities that are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States (e.g., U.S. Treasury bonds). When a fixed-income security is not rated, a manager may have to assess the risk of the security itself. Asset-backed securities, whose principal and interest payments are supported by pools of other assets, such as credit card receivables and automobile loans, are subject to further risks, including the risk that the obligors of the underlying assets default on payment of those assets.

In addition, a fund is exposed to credit risk to the extent that it makes use of OTC derivatives (such as forward foreign currency contracts and/or swap contracts) and engages to a significant extent in the lending of fund securities or the use of repurchase agreements. OTC derivatives transactions can be closed out with the other party to the transaction. If the counterparty defaults, a fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that the counterparty will be able to meet its contractual obligations or that, in the event of default, a fund will succeed in enforcing them. A fund, therefore, assumes the risk that it may be unable to obtain payments owed to it under OTC derivatives contracts or that those payments may be delayed or made only after the fund has incurred the costs of litigation. While the manager intends to monitor the creditworthiness of contract counterparties, there can be no assurance that the counterparty will be in a position to meet its obligations, especially during unusually adverse market conditions.

Cybersecurity and operational risk

Intentional cybersecurity breaches include unauthorized access to systems, networks, or devices (such as through "hacking" activity); infection from computer viruses or other malicious software code; and attacks that shut down, disable, slow, or otherwise disrupt operations, business processes, or website access or functionality. In addition, unintentional incidents can occur, such as the inadvertent release of confidential information (possibly resulting in the violation of applicable privacy laws).

A cybersecurity breach could result in the loss or theft of customer data or funds, the inability to access electronic systems ("denial of services"), loss or

 

6               


 

Table of Contents

theft of proprietary information or corporate data, physical damage to a computer or network system, or costs associated with system repairs. Such incidents could cause a fund, the advisor, a manager, or other service providers to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs, litigation costs or financial loss. In addition, such incidents could affect issuers in which a fund invests, and thereby cause the fund's investments to lose value.

Cyber-events have the potential to materially affect the fund and the advisor's relationships with accounts, shareholders, clients, customers, employees, products, and service providers. The fund has established risk management systems reasonably designed to seek to reduce the risks associated with cyber-events. There is no guarantee that the fund will be able to prevent or mitigate the impact of any or all cyber-events.

The fund is exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the fund's service providers, counterparties, or other third parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or system failures.

Economic and market events risk

Events in certain sectors historically have resulted, and may in the future result, in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign. These events have included, but are not limited to: bankruptcies, corporate restructurings, and other events related to the sub-prime mortgage crisis in 2008; governmental efforts to limit short selling and high frequency trading; measures to address U.S. federal and state budget deficits; social, political, and economic instability in Europe; economic stimulus by the Japanese central bank; steep declines in oil prices; dramatic changes in currency exchange rates; and China's economic slowdown. Interconnected global economies and financial markets increase the possibility that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact issuers in a different country or region. Both domestic and foreign equity markets have experienced increased volatility and turmoil, with issuers that have exposure to the real estate, mortgage, and credit markets particularly affected. Banks and financial services companies could suffer losses if interest rates continue to rise or economic conditions deteriorate.

In addition, relatively high market volatility and reduced liquidity in credit and fixed-income markets may adversely affect many issuers worldwide. Actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) or foreign central banks to stimulate or stabilize economic growth, such as interventions in currency markets, could cause high volatility in the equity and fixed-income markets. Reduced liquidity may result in less money being available to purchase raw materials, goods, and services from emerging markets, which may, in turn, bring down the prices of these economic staples. It may also result in emerging-market issuers having more difficulty obtaining financing, which may, in turn, cause a decline in their securities prices.

In addition, while interest rates have been unusually low in recent years in the United States and abroad, any decision by the Fed to adjust the target fed funds rate, among other factors, could cause markets to experience continuing high volatility. A significant increase in interest rates may cause a decline in the market for equity securities. Also, regulators have expressed concern that rate increases may contribute to price volatility. These events and the possible resulting market volatility may have an adverse effect on the fund.

Political turmoil within the United States and abroad may also impact the fund. Although the U.S. government has honored its credit obligations, it remains possible that the United States could default on its obligations. While it is impossible to predict the consequences of such an unprecedented event, it is likely that a default by the United States would be highly disruptive to the U.S. and global securities markets and could significantly impair the value of the fund's investments. Similarly, political events within the United States at times have resulted, and may in the future result, in a shutdown of government services, which could negatively affect the U.S. economy, decrease the value of many fund investments, and increase uncertainty in or impair the operation of the U.S. or other securities markets. The U.S. is also considering significant new investments in infrastructure and national defense which, coupled with lower federal taxes, could lead to increased government borrowing and higher interest rates. While these proposed policies are going through the political process, the equity and debt markets may react strongly to expectations, which could increase volatility, especially if the market's expectations for changes in government policies are not borne out.

Uncertainties surrounding the sovereign debt of a number of European Union (EU) countries and the viability of the EU have disrupted and may in the future disrupt markets in the United States and around the world. If one or more countries leave the EU or the EU dissolves, the world's securities markets likely will be significantly disrupted. In June 2016, the United Kingdom approved a referendum to leave the EU, commonly referred to as "Brexit." There is significant market uncertainty regarding Brexit's ramifications, and the range and potential implications of possible political, regulatory, economic, and market outcomes are difficult to predict. Political and military events, including in North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, and other areas of the Middle East, and nationalist unrest in Europe, also may cause market disruptions.

In addition, there is a risk that the prices of goods and services in the United States and many foreign economies may decline over time, known as deflation. Deflation may have an adverse effect on stock prices and creditworthiness and may make defaults on debt more likely. If a country's economy slips into a deflationary pattern, it could last for a prolonged period and may be difficult to reverse.

Equity securities risk

Common and preferred stocks represent equity ownership in a company. Stock markets are volatile. The price of equity securities will fluctuate, and can decline and reduce the value of a fund investing in equities. The price of equity securities fluctuates based on changes in a company's financial condition and overall market and economic conditions. The value of equity securities purchased by a fund could decline if the financial condition of the companies in which the fund is invested declines, or if overall market and economic conditions deteriorate. An issuer's financial condition could decline as a result of poor management decisions, competitive pressures, technological obsolescence, undue reliance on suppliers, labor issues, shortages, corporate restructurings, fraudulent disclosures, or other factors. Changes in the financial condition of a single issuer can impact the market as a whole.

Even a fund that invests in high-quality, or blue chip, equity securities, or securities of established companies with large market capitalizations (which generally have strong financial characteristics), can be negatively impacted by poor overall market and economic conditions. Companies with large market capitalizations may also have less growth potential than smaller companies and may be less able to react quickly to changes in the marketplace.

 

7


 

Table of Contents

The fund may maintain substantial exposure to equities and generally does not attempt to time the market. Because of this exposure, the possibility that stock market prices in general will decline over short or extended periods subjects the fund to unpredictable declines in the value of its investments, as well as periods of poor performance.

Value investing risk. Certain equity securities (generally referred to as value securities) are purchased primarily because they are selling at prices below what the manager believes to be their fundamental value and not necessarily because the issuing companies are expected to experience significant earnings growth. The fund bears the risk that the companies that issued these securities may not overcome the adverse business developments or other factors causing their securities to be perceived by the manager to be underpriced or that the market may never come to recognize their fundamental value. A value stock may not increase in price, as anticipated by the manager investing in such securities, if other investors fail to recognize the company's value and bid up the price or invest in markets favoring faster growing companies. The fund's strategy of investing in value stocks also carries the risk that in certain markets, value stocks will underperform growth stocks. In addition, securities issued by U.S. entities with substantial foreign operations may involve risks relating to economic, political or regulatory conditions in foreign countries.

Fixed-income securities risk

Fixed-income securities are generally subject to two principal types of risk, as well as other risks described below: (1) interest-rate risk and (2) credit quality risk.

Credit quality risk. Fixed-income securities are subject to the risk that the issuer of the security will not repay all or a portion of the principal borrowed and will not make all interest payments. If the credit quality of a fixed-income security deteriorates after a fund has purchased the security, the market value of the security may decrease and lead to a decrease in the value of the fund's investments. An issuer's credit quality could deteriorate as a result of poor management decisions, competitive pressures, technological obsolescence, undue reliance on suppliers, labor issues, shortages, corporate restructurings, fraudulent disclosures, or other factors. Funds that may invest in lower-rated fixed-income securities, commonly referred to as junk securities, are riskier than funds that may invest in higher-rated fixed-income securities. Additional information on the risks of investing in investment-grade fixed-income securities in the lowest rating category and lower-rated fixed-income securities is set forth below.

Interest-rate risk. Fixed-income securities are affected by changes in interest rates. When interest rates decline, the market value of fixed-income securities generally can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the market value of fixed-income securities generally can be expected to decline. The longer the duration or maturity of a fixed-income security, the more susceptible it is to interest-rate risk. Recent and potential future changes in government monetary policy may affect the level of interest rates.

Investment-grade fixed-income securities in the lowest rating category risk. Investment-grade fixed-income securities in the lowest rating category (such as Baa by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. or BBB by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and comparable unrated securities) involve a higher degree of risk than fixed-income securities in the higher rating categories. While such securities are considered investment-grade quality and are deemed to have adequate capacity for payment of principal and interest, such securities lack outstanding investment characteristics and have speculative characteristics as well. For example, changes in economic conditions or other circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to make principal and interest payments than is the case with higher-grade securities.

Prepayment of principal risk. Many types of debt securities, including floating-rate loans, are subject to prepayment risk. Prepayment risk occurs when the issuer of a security can repay principal prior to the security's maturity. Securities subject to prepayment risk can offer less potential for gains when the credit quality of the issuer improves.

Foreign securities risk

Funds that invest in securities traded principally in securities markets outside the United States are subject to additional and more varied risks, as the value of foreign securities may change more rapidly and extremely than the value of U.S. securities. Less information may be publicly available regarding foreign issuers. Foreign securities may be subject to foreign taxes and may be more volatile than U.S. securities. Currency fluctuations and political and economic developments may adversely impact the value of foreign securities. The securities markets of many foreign countries are relatively small, with a limited number of companies representing a small number of industries. Additionally, issuers of foreign securities may not be subject to the same degree of regulation as U.S. issuers. Reporting, accounting, and auditing standards of foreign countries differ, in some cases significantly, from U.S. standards. There are generally higher commission rates on foreign portfolio transactions, transfer taxes, higher custodial costs, and the possibility that foreign taxes will be charged on dividends and interest payable on foreign securities, some or all of which may not be reclaimable. Also, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations (which may include suspension of the ability to transfer currency or assets from a country); political changes; or diplomatic developments could adversely affect a fund's investments. In the event of nationalization, expropriation, confiscatory taxation, or other confiscation, the fund could lose a substantial portion of, or its entire investment in, a foreign security. Some of the foreign securities risks are also applicable to funds that invest a material portion of their assets in securities of foreign issuers traded in the United States.

Emerging-market risk. Investments in the securities of issuers based in countries with emerging-market economies are subject to greater levels of foreign investment risk than investments in more-developed foreign markets, since emerging-market securities may present market, credit, currency, liquidity, legal, political, and other risks greater than, or in addition to, the risks of investing in developed foreign countries. These risks include high currency exchange-rate fluctuations; increased risk of default (including both government and private issuers); greater social, economic, and political uncertainty and instability (including the risk of war); more substantial governmental involvement in the economy; less governmental supervision and regulation of the securities markets and participants in those markets; controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital and on a fund's ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; unavailability of currency hedging techniques in certain emerging-market countries; the fact that companies in emerging-market countries may be newly organized, smaller, and less seasoned; the difference in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting standards, which may result in the unavailability of material information about issuers; different clearance and settlement procedures, which may be unable to keep pace with the volume of

 

8               


 

Table of Contents

 

securities transactions or otherwise make it difficult to engage in such transactions; difficulties in obtaining and/or enforcing legal judgments in foreign jurisdictions; and significantly smaller market capitalizations of emerging-market issuers.

Currency risk. Currency risk is the risk that fluctuations in exchange rates may adversely affect the U.S. dollar value of a fund's investments. Currency risk includes both the risk that currencies in which a fund's investments are traded, or currencies in which a fund has taken an active investment position, will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar and, in the case of hedging positions, that the U.S. dollar will decline in value relative to the currency being hedged. Currency rates in foreign countries may fluctuate significantly for a number of reasons, including the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets, actual or perceived changes in interest rates, intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks, or currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad. Certain funds may engage in proxy hedging of currencies by entering into derivative transactions with respect to a currency whose value is expected to correlate to the value of a currency the fund owns or wants to own. This presents the risk that the two currencies may not move in relation to one another as expected. In that case, the fund could lose money on its investment and also lose money on the position designed to act as a proxy hedge. Certain funds may also take active currency positions and may cross-hedge currency exposure represented by their securities into another foreign currency. This may result in a fund's currency exposure being substantially different than that suggested by its securities investments. All funds with foreign currency holdings and/or that invest or trade in securities denominated in foreign currencies or related derivative instruments may be adversely affected by changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Derivative foreign currency transactions (such as futures, forwards, and swaps) may also involve leveraging risk, in addition to currency risk. Leverage may disproportionately increase a fund's portfolio losses and reduce opportunities for gain when interest rates, stock prices, or currency rates are changing.

Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions risk

The ability of a fund to utilize hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions to benefit the fund will depend in part on its manager's ability to predict pertinent market movements and market risk, counterparty risk, credit risk, interest-rate risk, and other risk factors, none of which can be assured. The skills required to utilize hedging and other strategic transactions are different from those needed to select a fund's securities. Even if the manager only uses hedging and other strategic transactions in a fund primarily for hedging purposes or to gain exposure to a particular securities market, if the transaction does not have the desired outcome, it could result in a significant loss to a fund. The amount of loss could be more than the principal amount invested. These transactions may also increase the volatility of a fund and may involve a small investment of cash relative to the magnitude of the risks assumed, thereby magnifying the impact of any resulting gain or loss. For example, the potential loss from the use of futures can exceed a fund's initial investment in such contracts. In addition, these transactions could result in a loss to a fund if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised.

A fund may invest in derivatives, which are financial contracts with a value that depends on, or is derived from, the value of underlying assets, reference rates, or indexes. Derivatives may relate to stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies or currency exchange rates, and related indexes. A fund may use derivatives for many purposes, including for hedging and as a substitute for direct investment in securities or other assets. Derivatives may be used in a way to efficiently adjust the exposure of a fund to various securities, markets, and currencies without a fund actually having to sell existing investments and make new investments. This generally will be done when the adjustment is expected to be relatively temporary or in anticipation of effecting the sale of fund assets and making new investments over time. Further, since many derivatives have a leverage component, adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, reference rate, or index can result in a loss substantially greater than the amount invested in the derivative itself. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. When a fund uses derivatives for leverage, investments in that fund will tend to be more volatile, resulting in larger gains or losses in response to market changes. To limit leverage risk, a fund may segregate assets determined to be liquid or, as permitted by applicable regulation, enter into certain offsetting positions to cover its obligations under derivative instruments. For a description of the various derivative instruments the fund may utilize, refer to the SAI.

The regulation of the U.S. and non-U.S. derivatives markets has undergone substantial change in recent years and such change may continue. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and regulation proposed to be promulgated thereunder require many derivatives to be cleared and traded on an exchange, expand entity registration requirements, impose business conduct requirements on dealers that enter into swaps with a pension plan, endowment, retirement plan or government entity, and required banks to move some derivatives trading units to a non-guaranteed affiliate separate from the deposit-taking bank or divest them altogether. Although the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has released final rules relating to clearing, reporting, recordkeeping and registration requirements under the legislation, many of the provisions are subject to further final rule making, and thus its ultimate impact remains unclear. New regulations could, among other things, restrict the fund's ability to engage in derivatives transactions (for example, by making certain types of derivatives transactions no longer available to the fund) and/or increase the costs of such derivatives transactions (for example, by increasing margin or capital requirements), and the fund may be unable to fully execute its investment strategies as a result. Limits or restrictions applicable to the counterparties with which the fund engages in derivative transactions also could prevent the fund from using these instruments or affect the pricing or other factors relating to these instruments, or may change the availability of certain investments.

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

The use of derivative instruments may involve risks different from, or potentially greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other, more traditional assets. In particular, the use of derivative instruments exposes a fund to the risk that the counterparty to an OTC derivatives contract will be unable or unwilling to make timely settlement payments or otherwise honor its obligations. OTC derivatives transactions typically can only be closed out with the other party to the transaction, although either party may engage in an offsetting transaction that puts that party in the same economic position as if it had closed out the transaction with the counterparty or may obtain the other

 

9


 

Table of Contents

party's consent to assign the transaction to a third party. If the counterparty defaults, the fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that the counterparty will meet its contractual obligations or that, in the event of default, the fund will succeed in enforcing them. For example, because the contract for each OTC derivatives transaction is individually negotiated with a specific counterparty, a fund is subject to the risk that a counterparty may interpret contractual terms (e.g., the definition of default) differently than the fund when the fund seeks to enforce its contractual rights. If that occurs, the cost and unpredictability of the legal proceedings required for the fund to enforce its contractual rights may lead it to decide not to pursue its claims against the counterparty. The fund, therefore, assumes the risk that it may be unable to obtain payments owed to it under OTC derivatives contracts or that those payments may be delayed or made only after the fund has incurred the costs of litigation. While a manager intends to monitor the creditworthiness of counterparties, there can be no assurance that a counterparty will meet its obligations, especially during unusually adverse market conditions. To the extent a fund contracts with a limited number of counterparties, the fund's risk will be concentrated and events that affect the creditworthiness of any of those counterparties may have a pronounced effect on the fund. Derivatives are also subject to a number of other risks, including market risk and liquidity risk. Since the value of derivatives is calculated and derived from the value of other assets, instruments, or references, there is a risk that they will be improperly valued. Derivatives also involve the risk that changes in their value may not correlate perfectly with the assets, rates, or indexes they are designed to hedge or closely track. Suitable derivatives transactions may not be available in all circumstances. The fund is also subject to the risk that the counterparty closes out the derivatives transactions upon the occurrence of certain triggering events. In addition, a manager may determine not to use derivatives to hedge or otherwise reduce risk exposure. Government legislation or regulation could affect the use of derivatives transactions and could limit a fund's ability to pursue its investment strategies.

A detailed discussion of various hedging and other strategic transactions appears in the SAI. The following is a list of certain derivatives and other strategic transactions that the fund intends to utilize and the main risks associated with each of them:

Foreign currency forward contracts. Risks associated with foreign currency forward contracts include liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), risk of disproportionate loss, and counterparty and foreign currency risk.

Futures contracts. Risks associated with futures contracts include counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), and risk of disproportionate loss.

Total return swaps. Counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), market risk, interest-rate risk, settlement risk, risk of default of the underlying reference obligation, and risk of disproportionate loss are the principal risks of engaging in total return swaps.

High portfolio turnover risk

A high fund portfolio turnover rate (over 100%) generally involves correspondingly greater brokerage commission and tax expenses, which must be borne directly by a fund and its shareholders, respectively. The portfolio turnover rate of a fund may vary from year to year, as well as within a year.

Large company risk

Larger, more established companies may be unable to respond quickly to new competitive challenges such as changes in technology and consumer tastes. Many larger companies also may not be able to attain the high growth rate of successful smaller companies, especially during extended periods of economic expansion. For purposes of the fund's investment policies, the market capitalization of a company is based on its capitalization at the time the fund purchases the company's securities. Market capitalizations of companies change over time. The fund is not obligated to sell a company's security simply because, subsequent to its purchase, the company's market capitalization has changed to be outside the capitalization range, if any, in effect for the fund.

Leveraging risk

A fund's use of derivatives may cause its portfolio to be leveraged (i.e., the fund's exposure to underlying securities, assets or currencies exceeds its net asset value). Leveraging tends to magnify, sometimes significantly, the effect of any increase or decrease in the fund's exposure to an asset class and may cause the fund's net asset value per share (NAV) to experience greater volatility. For example, if the fund seeks to gain enhanced exposure to a specific asset class through an instrument providing leveraged exposure to the asset class and that instrument increases in value, the gain to the fund will be magnified; however, if that investment decreases in value, the loss to the fund will be magnified. A decline in the fund's assets due to losses magnified by these instruments providing leveraged exposure may require the fund to liquidate portfolio positions to satisfy its obligations, including to meet redemption requests, or to meet asset segregation requirements, when it likely will not be advantageous to do so.

Because many derivatives have a leverage component (i.e., a notional value in excess of the assets needed to establish and/or maintain the derivative position), adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, rate, or index may result in a loss substantially greater than the amount invested in the derivative itself. In the case of swaps, the risk of loss generally is related to a notional principal amount, even if the parties have not made any initial investment. Some derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment.

Liquidity risk

The extent (if at all) to which a security may be sold or a derivative position closed without negatively impacting its market value may be impaired by reduced market activity or participation, legal restrictions, or other economic and market impediments. Funds with principal investment strategies that involve investments in securities of companies with smaller market capitalizations, foreign securities, derivatives, or securities with substantial market and/or credit risk tend to have the greatest exposure to liquidity risk. Exposure to liquidity risk may be heightened for funds that invest in securities of emerging markets and related derivatives that are not widely traded, and that may be subject to purchase and sale restrictions.

The capacity of traditional dealers to engage in fixed-income trading has not kept pace with the bond market's growth. As a result, dealer inventories of corporate bonds, which indicate the ability to "make markets," i.e., buy or sell a security at the quoted bid and ask price, respectively, are at or near historic lows relative to market size. Because market makers provide stability to fixed-income markets, the significant reduction in dealer inventories could lead to

 

10               


 

Table of Contents

decreased liquidity and increased volatility, which may become exacerbated during periods of economic or political stress.

Quantitative modeling risk

Use of quantitative models carries the risk that the fund may underperform funds that do not utilize such models. The use of quantitative models may affect the fund's exposure to certain sectors or types of investments and may impact the fund's relative investment performance depending on whether such sectors or investments are in or out of favor in the market. Successful application of a quantitative model is dependent on the subadvisor's skill in building and implementing the model. For example, human judgment plays a role in building, utilizing, testing, modifying, and implementing the financial algorithms and formulas used in these models. Quantitative models are subject to technical issues including programming and data inaccuracies, are based on assumptions, and rely on data that is subject to limitations (e.g., inaccuracies, staleness), any of which could adversely affect their effectiveness or predictive value. Quantitative models may not accurately predict future market movements or characteristics due to the fact that market performance can be affected by non-quantitative factors that are not easily integrated into quantitative analysis, among other factors.

Repurchase agreement risk

The risk of a repurchase agreement transaction is limited to the ability of the seller to pay the agreed-upon sum on the delivery date. In the event of bankruptcy or other default by the seller, the instrument purchased may decline in value, interest payable on the instrument may be lost and there may be possible difficulties and delays in obtaining collateral and delays and expense in liquidating the instrument. If an issuer of a repurchase agreement fails to repurchase the underlying obligation, the loss, if any, would be the difference between the repurchase price and the underlying obligation's market value. The fund might also incur certain costs in liquidating the underlying obligation. Moreover, if bankruptcy or other insolvency proceedings are commenced with respect to the seller, realization upon the underlying obligation might be delayed or limited.

Short sales risk

The fund may make short sales of securities. This means the fund may sell a security that it does not own in anticipation of a decline in the market value of the security. The fund generally borrows the security to deliver to the buyer in a short sale. The fund must then buy the security at its market price when the borrowed security must be returned to the lender. Short sales involve costs and risk. The fund must pay the lender interest on the security it borrows, and the fund will lose money if the price of the security increases between the time of the short sale and the date when the fund replaces the borrowed security. The fund may also make short sales "against the box." In a short sale against the box, at the time of sale, the fund owns or has the right to acquire the identical security, or one equivalent in kind or amount, at no additional cost.

Until the fund closes its short position or replaces a borrowed security, the fund will (i) segregate with its custodian cash or other liquid assets at such a level that the amount segregated plus the amount deposited with the lender as collateral will equal the current market value of the security sold short or (ii) otherwise cover its short position. The need to maintain cash or other liquid assets in segregated accounts could limit the fund's ability to pursue other opportunities as they arise.

Small and mid-sized company risk

Market risk and liquidity risk may be pronounced for securities of companies with medium-sized market capitalizations and are particularly pronounced for securities of companies with smaller market capitalizations. These companies may have limited product lines, markets, or financial resources, or they may depend on a few key employees. The securities of companies with medium and smaller market capitalizations may trade less frequently and in lesser volume than more widely held securities, and their value may fluctuate more sharply than those securities. They may also trade in the OTC market or on a regional exchange, or may otherwise have limited liquidity. Investments in less-seasoned companies with medium and smaller market capitalizations may not only present greater opportunities for growth and capital appreciation, but also involve greater risks than are customarily associated with more established companies with larger market capitalizations. These risks apply to all funds that invest in the securities of companies with smaller- or medium-sized market capitalizations. For purposes of the fund's investment policies, the market capitalization of a company is based on its capitalization at the time the fund purchases the company's securities. Market capitalizations of companies change over time. The fund is not obligated to sell a company's security simply because, subsequent to its purchase, the company's market capitalization has changed to be outside the capitalization range, if any, in effect for the fund.

Subsidiary investment risk

By investing in the Subsidiary, the fund is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary's investments and operations. The commodity-linked derivative instruments and other investments held by the Subsidiary are similar to those that are permitted to be held by the fund and, therefore, present the same risks whether they are held by the fund or the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary is not subject to U.S. laws, including securities laws and their protections. The Subsidiary is subject to the laws of the Cayman Islands, which can be affected by developments in that country.

Because the Subsidiary is not registered under U.S. federal securities laws, it may not be able to negotiate terms with its counterparties that are equivalent to those a registered fund may negotiate. As a result, the Subsidiary may have greater exposure to those counterparties than a registered fund. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands could result in the inability of the Subsidiary to operate as described in this prospectus and the SAI, and could adversely affect the fund's investment approach.

Tax risk

In order for the fund to satisfy tax requirements applicable to regulated investment companies, the fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income each taxable year from certain qualifying sources of income. Commodity-related investments generally generate income that is not from a qualified source for purposes of meeting this 90% test. The rules regarding the extent to which income, if any, realized by a wholly owned non-U.S. subsidiary (such as the Subsidiary) of the fund and included in the fund's annual income for U.S. federal income purposes, but that is not timely and currently repatriated to the fund, will constitute qualifying income are unclear and currently under consideration. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued proposed regulations providing that income earned by non-U.S. wholly owned subsidiaries of a regulated investment company and included in such regulated investment company's gross income constitutes qualifying income only to the extent such income is timely and currently repatriated to the regulated investment company. If the

 

11


 

Table of Contents

proposed regulations were finalized in their current form, annual net profit, if any, realized by the Subsidiary and included in the income of the fund would constitute qualifying income only to the extent it is timely and currently repatriated to the fund. The Subsidiary intends to distribute its earnings and profits annually to the fund in a manner that complies with the requirements of these proposed regulations. Should the IRS make a determination, issue guidance, or take other action that adversely affects the tax treatment of investing in the Subsidiary, it could limit the fund's ability to invest in commodity-related investments, the fund may incur transaction and other costs to comply with any new or additional guidance from the IRS, and such action could bear adversely on the fund's ability to satisfy the requirements for qualification as a regulated investment company. The tax treatment of commodity-related investments and income from the Subsidiary may be adversely affected by future legislation, Treasury Regulations and/or guidance issued by the IRS that could affect the character, timing and/or amount of the fund's taxable income or any gains and distributions made by the fund.

Who's who

The following are the names of the various entities involved with the fund's investment and business operations, along with brief descriptions of the role each entity performs.

Board of Trustees

The Trustees oversee the fund's business activities and retain the services of the various firms that carry out the fund's operations.

Investment advisor

The investment advisor manages the fund's business and investment activities.

John Hancock Advisers, LLC
200 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116

Founded in 1968, the advisor is a wholly owned subsidiary of John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), which in turn is a subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation.

The advisor's parent company has been helping individuals and institutions work toward their financial goals since 1862. The advisor offers investment solutions managed by leading institutional money managers, taking a disciplined team approach to portfolio management and research, leveraging the expertise of seasoned investment professionals. As of March 31, 2019, the advisor had total assets under management of approximately $141.2 billion.

Subject to general oversight by the Board of Trustees, the advisor manages and supervises the investment operations and business affairs of the fund. The advisor selects, contracts with and compensates one or more subadvisors to manage all or a portion of the fund's portfolio assets, subject to oversight by the advisor. In this role, the advisor has supervisory responsibility for managing the investment and reinvestment of the fund's portfolio assets through proactive oversight and monitoring of the subadvisor and the fund, as described in further detail below. The advisor is responsible for developing overall investment strategies for the fund and overseeing and implementing the fund's continuous investment programs and provides a variety of advisory oversight and investment research services. The advisor also provides management and transition services associated with certain fund events (e.g., strategy, portfolio manager or subadvisor changes) and coordinates and oversees services provided under other agreements.

The advisor has ultimate responsibility to oversee a subadvisor and recommend to the Board of Trustees its hiring, termination, and replacement. In this capacity, the advisor, among other things: (i) monitors on a daily basis the compliance of the subadvisor with the investment objectives and related policies of the fund; (ii) monitors significant changes that may impact the subadvisor's overall business and regularly performs due diligence reviews of the subadvisor; (iii) reviews the performance of the subadvisor; and (iv) reports periodically on such performance to the Board of Trustees. The advisor employs a team of investment professionals who provide these ongoing research and monitoring services.

The fund relies on an order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permitting the advisor, subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, to appoint a subadvisor or change the terms of a subadvisory agreement without obtaining shareholder approval. The fund, therefore, is able to change subadvisors or the fees paid to a subadvisor, from time to time, without the expense and delays associated with obtaining shareholder approval of the change. This order does not, however, permit the advisor to appoint a subadvisor that is an affiliate of the advisor or the fund (other than by reason of serving as a subadvisor to the fund), or to increase the subadvisory fee of an affiliated subadvisor, without the approval of the shareholders.

Management fee

The fund pays the advisor a management fee for its services to the fund. The advisor in turn pays the fees of the subadvisor. The management fee is stated as an annual percentage of the aggregate net assets of the fund (together with the assets of any other applicable fund identified in the advisory agreement) determined in accordance with the following schedule, and that rate is applied to the average daily net assets of the fund.

Average daily net assets ($)

Annual rate (%)

First 1 billion

[1.200]

Excess over 1 billion

[1.150]

The basis for the Board of Trustees' approval of the advisory fees, and of the investment advisory agreement overall, including the subadvisory agreement, will be discussed in the fund's first shareholder report.

Additional information about fund expenses

The fund's annual operating expenses will likely vary throughout the period and from year to year. The fund's expenses for the current fiscal year may be higher than the expenses listed in the fund's Annual fund operating expenses table, for some of the following reasons: (i) a significant decrease in anticipated average net assets may result in an increase in the expense ratio because certain fund expenses do not decrease as asset levels decrease; or (ii) fees may be incurred for extraordinary events such as fund tax expenses.

As described in "Fund summary — Fees and expenses" on page 1 of this prospectus, the advisor has contractually agreed to waive a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse expenses for certain funds of the John Hancock funds complex, including the fund (the participating portfolios). The waiver equals, on an annualized basis, 0.0100% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $75 billion but is less than or equal to $125 billion; 0.0125% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $125 billion

 

12               


 

Table of Contents

but is less than or equal to $150 billion; 0.0150% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $150 billion but is less than or equal to $175 billion; 0.0175% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $175 billion but is less than or equal to $200 billion; 0.0200% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $200 billion but is less than or equal to $225 billion; and 0.0225% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $225 billion. The amount of the reimbursement is calculated daily and allocated among all the participating portfolios in proportion to the daily net assets of the fund. This agreement expires on [June 30, 2021], unless renewed by mutual agreement of the fund and the advisor based upon a determination that this is appropriate under the circumstances at that time.

Subadvisor

The subadvisor handles the fund's portfolio management activities, subject to oversight by the advisor. The subadvisor is also responsible for portfolio management for the Subsidiary, subject to the supervision of the advisor. 

Graham Capital Management, L.P.
40 Highland Avenue
Rowayton, CT 06853

Graham Capital Management, L.P. (Graham) is a limited partnership organized under the laws of Delaware in May 1994. The principal owners of Graham are KGT, Inc., a Delaware corporation which serves as the general partner of Graham and of which Kenneth G. Tropin is the president and ultimate sole shareholder, and KGT Investment Partners, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership in which Kenneth G. Tropin is a significant beneficial owner. As of December 31, 2018, Graham provided discretionary investment advisory services to certain private investment funds and managed futures accounts with aggregate net assets of approximately $13.1 billion.

The following are brief biographical profiles of the leaders of the fund's investment management team. These managers are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the fund's portfolio. These managers are also jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Subsidiary's portfolio. These managers are employed by Graham. For more details about these individuals, including information about their compensation, other accounts they manage, and any investments they may have in the fund, see the SAI.

Kenneth Tropin

Co-Portfolio Manager and Chairman

Managed the fund since inception

Founded Graham Capital Management, L.P. in 1994

Pablo Calderini

Co-Portfolio Manager, President and Chief Investment Officer

Managed the fund since inception

Joined subadvisor in 2010

Custodian

The custodian holds the fund's assets, settles all portfolio trades, and collects most of the valuation data required for calculating the fund's net asset value.

Citibank, N.A.
388 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013

Principal distributor

The principal distributor markets the fund and distributes shares through selling brokers, financial planners, and other financial representatives.

John Hancock Funds, LLC
200 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116

Additional information

The fund has entered into contractual arrangements with various parties that provide services to the fund, which may include, among others, the advisor, subadvisor, custodian, principal distributor, and transfer agent, as described above and in the SAI. Fund shareholders are not parties to, or intended or "third-party" beneficiaries of, any of these contractual arrangements. These contractual arrangements are not intended to, nor do they, create in any individual shareholder or group of shareholders any right, either directly or on behalf of the fund, to either: (a) enforce such contracts against the service providers; or (b) seek any remedy under such contracts against the service providers.

This prospectus provides information concerning the fund that you should consider in determining whether to purchase shares of the fund. Each of this prospectus, the SAI, or any contract that is an exhibit to the fund's registration statement, is not intended to, nor does it, give rise to an agreement or contract between the fund and any investor. Each such document also does not give rise to any contract or create rights in any individual shareholder, group of shareholders, or other person. The foregoing disclosure should not be read to suggest any waiver of any rights conferred by federal or state securities laws.

 

13


 

Table of Contents

Fund details

Financial highlights

This section normally details the financial performance of the fund. Because the fund had not yet commenced operations as of the date of this prospectus, there are no financial highlights to report.

 

14               


 

Table of Contents

Your account

Who can buy shares

Class NAV shares are sold to certain affiliated funds, each of which is a fund of funds that invests in various other funds. Class NAV shares may also be sold to retirement plans for employees of John Hancock-and/or Manulife Financial Corporation-affiliated companies only, including John Hancock qualified plans and nonqualified deferred compensation plans and separate investment accounts of John Hancock and its insurance affiliates, and to the issuers of interests in the John Hancock Freedom 529 Plan, including the Education Trust of Alaska. 

Class cost structure

No sales charges

No distribution and service (Rule 12b-1) fees

Other share classes of the fund, which have their own expense structures, may be offered in separate prospectuses. Your broker-dealer or agent may charge you a fee to effect transactions in fund shares.

Payments to financial intermediaries

Class NAV shares do not carry sales commissions or pay Rule 12b-1 fees. However, certain financial intermediaries may request, and the distributor may agree to make, payments out of the distributor's own resources. These payments are sometimes referred to as revenue sharing. These payments assist in the distributor's efforts to promote the sale of the fund's shares. The distributor agrees with the firm on the methods for calculating any compensation, which may include the level of sales or assets attributable to the firm. Not all firms receive such compensation and the amount of compensation varies. These payments could be significant to a firm. The distributor determines which firms to support and the extent of the payments it is willing to make. The distributor generally chooses to compensate firms that have a strong capability to distribute shares of the fund and that are willing to cooperate with the distributor's promotional efforts.

The distributor hopes to benefit from revenue sharing by increasing the fund's net assets, which, as well as benefiting the fund, would result in additional management and other fees for the advisor and its affiliates. In consideration for revenue sharing, a firm may feature the fund in its sales system or give preferential access to members of its sales force or management. In addition, the firm may agree to participate in the distributor's marketing efforts by allowing the distributor or its affiliates to participate in conferences, seminars, or other programs attended by the intermediary's sales force. Although an intermediary may seek revenue-sharing payments to offset costs incurred by the firm in servicing its clients who have invested in the fund, the intermediary may earn a profit on these payments. Revenue-sharing payments may provide your firm with an incentive to favor the fund.

The SAI discusses the distributor's revenue-sharing arrangements in more detail. Your intermediary may charge you additional fees other than those disclosed in this prospectus. You can ask your firm about any payments it receives from the distributor or the fund, as well as about fees and/or commissions it charges.

The distributor, advisor, and their affiliates may have other relationships with your firm relating to the provisions of services to the fund, such as providing omnibus account services, transaction-processing services, or effecting portfolio transactions for the fund. If your intermediary provides these services, the advisor or the fund may compensate the intermediary for these services. In addition, your intermediary may have other compensated relationships with the advisor or its affiliates that are not related to the fund.

Opening an account

1

Read this prospectus carefully.

2

Determine if you are eligible by referring to "Who can buy shares."

3

Permitted entities generally may open an account and purchase Class NAV shares by contacting any broker-dealer or other financial service firm authorized to sell Class NAV shares of the fund. There is no minimum initial investment for Class NAV shares.

Transaction policies

Valuation of shares

The net asset value (NAV) for each class of shares of the fund is normally determined once daily as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) (typically 4:00 P.M., Eastern time, on each business day that the NYSE is open). In case of emergency or other disruption resulting in the NYSE not opening for trading or the NYSE closing at a time other than the regularly scheduled close, the NAV may be determined as of the regularly scheduled close of the NYSE pursuant to the fund's Valuation Policies and Procedures. The time at which shares and transactions are priced and until which orders are accepted may vary to the extent permitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission and applicable regulations. On holidays or other days when the NYSE is closed, the NAV is not calculated and the fund does not transact purchase or redemption requests. Trading of securities that are primarily listed on foreign exchanges may take place on weekends and U.S. business holidays on which the fund's and Subsidiary's NAV is not calculated. Consequently, the fund's portfolio securities may trade and the NAV of the fund's and Subsidiary's shares may be significantly affected on days when a shareholder will not be able to purchase or redeem shares of the fund.

Each class of shares of the fund has its own NAV, which is computed by dividing the total assets, minus liabilities, allocated to each share class by the number of fund shares outstanding for that class. The current NAV of the fund is available on our website at jhinvestments.com.

Valuation of securities

Portfolio securities are valued by various methods that are generally described below. Portfolio securities also may be fair valued by the fund's Pricing Committee in certain instances pursuant to procedures established by the Trustees. Equity securities are generally valued at the last sale price or, for certain markets, the official closing price as of the close of the relevant exchange. Securities not traded on a particular day are valued using last available bid prices. A security that is listed or traded on more than one exchange is typically valued at the price on the exchange where the security was acquired or most likely will be sold. In certain instances, the Pricing Committee may determine to value equity securities using prices obtained from another exchange or market if trading on the exchange or market on which prices are typically obtained did not open for trading as scheduled, or if trading closed earlier than scheduled, and trading occurred as normal on another exchange or market. Debt obligations are typically valued based on evaluated prices provided by an independent pricing vendor. The value of securities denominated in foreign currencies is converted into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate supplied by an independent pricing vendor. Forward foreign currency

 

15


 

Table of Contents

Your account

contracts are valued at the prevailing forward rates which are based on foreign currency exchange spot rates and forward points supplied by an independent pricing vendor. Exchange-traded options are valued at the mid-price of the last quoted bid and ask prices. Futures contracts are typically valued at settlement prices. If settlement prices are not available, futures contracts may be valued using last traded prices. Swaps and unlisted options are generally valued using evaluated prices obtained from an independent pricing vendor. Shares of other open-end investment companies that are not exchange-traded funds (underlying funds) are valued based on the NAVs of such underlying funds. Shares of the Subsidiary will be valued at their NAV.

Pricing vendors may use matrix pricing or valuation models that utilize certain inputs and assumptions to derive values, including transaction data, broker-dealer quotations, credit quality information, general market conditions, news, and other factors and assumptions. Special valuation considerations may apply with respect to a fund's "odd-lot" positions, as the fund may receive different prices when it sells such positions than it would receive for sales of institutional round lot positions. Pricing vendors generally value securities assuming orderly transactions of institutional round lot sizes, but a fund may hold or transact in such securities in smaller, odd lot sizes.

The Pricing Committee engages in oversight activities with respect to the fund's pricing vendors, which includes, among other things, monitoring significant or unusual price fluctuations above predetermined tolerance levels from the prior day, back-testing of pricing vendor prices against actual trades, conducting periodic due diligence meetings and reviews, and periodically reviewing the inputs, assumptions and methodologies used by these vendors.

If market quotations, official closing prices, or information furnished by a pricing vendor are not readily available or are otherwise deemed unreliable or not representative of the fair value of such security because of market- or issuer-specific events, a security will be valued at its fair value as determined in good faith by the Trustees. The Trustees are assisted in their responsibility to fair value securities by the fund's Pricing Committee, and the actual calculation of a security's fair value may be made by the Pricing Committee acting pursuant to the procedures established by the Trustees. In certain instances, therefore, the Pricing Committee may determine that a reported valuation does not reflect fair value, based on additional information available or other factors, and may accordingly determine in good faith the fair value of the assets, which may differ from the reported valuation.

Fair value pricing of securities is intended to help ensure that a fund's NAV reflects the fair market value of the fund's portfolio securities as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE (as opposed to a value that no longer reflects market value as of such close), thus limiting the opportunity for aggressive traders or market timers to purchase shares of the fund at deflated prices reflecting stale security valuations and promptly sell such shares at a gain, thereby diluting the interests of long-term shareholders. However, a security's valuation may differ depending on the method used for determining value, and no assurance can be given that fair value pricing of securities will successfully eliminate all potential opportunities for such trading gains.

The use of fair value pricing has the effect of valuing a security based upon the price the fund might reasonably expect to receive if it sold that security in an orderly transaction between market participants, but does not guarantee that the security can be sold at the fair value price. Further, because of the inherent uncertainty and subjective nature of fair valuation, a fair valuation price may differ significantly from the value that would have been used had a readily available market price for the investment existed and these differences could be material.

Regarding the fund's investment in an underlying fund that is not an ETF, which (as noted above) is valued at such underlying fund's NAV, the prospectus for such underlying fund explains the circumstances and effects of fair value pricing for that underlying fund.

Buy and sell prices

When you buy shares, you pay the NAV. When you sell shares, you receive the NAV.

Execution of requests

The fund is open on those days when the NYSE is open, typically Monday through Friday. Buy and sell requests are executed at the next NAV to be calculated after receipt of your request in good order.

The fund typically expects to mail or wire redemption proceeds between 1 and 3 business days following the receipt of the shareholder's redemption request. Processing time is not dependent on chosen delivery method. In unusual circumstances, the fund may temporarily suspend the processing of sell requests or may postpone payment of proceeds for up to three business days or longer, as allowed by federal securities laws.

Under normal market conditions, the fund typically expects to meet redemption requests through holdings of cash or cash equivalents or through sales of portfolio securities, and may access other available liquidity facilities. In unusual or stressed market conditions, in addition to the methods used in normal market conditions, the fund may meet redemption requests through the use of its line of credit, interfund lending facility, redemptions in kind, or such other liquidity means or facilities as the fund may have in place from time to time.

Excessive trading

The fund is intended for long-term investment purposes only and does not knowingly accept shareholders who engage in market timing or other types of excessive short-term trading. Short-term trading into and out of the fund can disrupt portfolio investment strategies and may increase fund expenses for all shareholders, including long-term shareholders who do not generate these costs.

Right to reject or restrict purchase and exchange orders

Purchases and exchanges should be made primarily for investment purposes. The fund reserves the right to restrict, reject, or cancel (with respect to cancellations within one day of the order), for any reason and without any prior notice, any purchase or exchange order, including transactions representing excessive trading and transactions accepted by any shareholder's financial intermediary. For example, the fund may, in its discretion, restrict, reject, or cancel a purchase or exchange order even if the transaction is not subject to a specific limitation on exchange activity, as described below, if the fund or its agent determines that accepting the order could interfere with the efficient management of the fund's portfolio, or otherwise not be in the fund's best interest in light of unusual trading activity related to your account. In the event that the fund rejects or cancels an exchange request, neither the redemption nor the purchase side of the exchange will be processed. If you would like the redemption request to be processed even if the purchase order is rejected, you should submit separate redemption and purchase orders rather than placing an exchange order. The fund reserves the right to delay for up to one business day,

 

16               


 

Table of Contents

consistent with applicable law, the processing of exchange requests in the event that, in the fund's judgment, such delay would be in the fund's best interest, in which case both the redemption and purchase side of the exchange will receive the fund's NAV at the conclusion of the delay period. The fund, through its agents in their sole discretion, may impose these remedial actions at the account holder level or the underlying shareholder level.

Exchange limitation policies

The Board of Trustees has adopted the following policies and procedures by which the fund, subject to the limitations described below, takes steps reasonably designed to curtail excessive trading practices.

Limitation on exchange activity

The fund or its agent may reject or cancel a purchase order, suspend or terminate the exchange privilege, or terminate the ability of an investor to invest in John Hancock funds if the fund or its agent determines that a proposed transaction involves market timing or disruptive trading that it believes is likely to be detrimental to the fund. The fund or its agent cannot ensure that it will be able to identify all cases of market timing or disruptive trading, although it attempts to have adequate procedures in place to do so. The fund or its agent may also reject or cancel any purchase order (including an exchange) from an investor or group of investors for any other reason. Decisions to reject or cancel purchase orders (including exchanges) in the fund are inherently subjective and will be made in a manner believed to be in the best interest of the fund's shareholders. The fund does not have any arrangement to permit market timing or disruptive trading.

Exchanges made on the same day in the same account are aggregated for purposes of counting the number and dollar amount of exchanges made by the account holder. The exchange limits referenced above will not be imposed or may be modified under certain circumstances. For example, these exchange limits may be modified for accounts held by certain retirement plans to conform to plan exchange limits, ERISA considerations, or U.S. Department of Labor regulations. Certain automated or preestablished exchange, asset allocation, and dollar-cost-averaging programs are not subject to these exchange limits. These programs are excluded from the exchange limitation since the fund believes that they are advantageous to shareholders and do not offer an effective means for market timing or excessive trading strategies. These investment tools involve regular and predetermined purchase or redemption requests made well in advance of any knowledge of events affecting the market on the date of the purchase or redemption.

These exchange limits are subject to the fund's ability to monitor exchange activity, as discussed under "Limitation on the ability to detect and curtail excessive trading practices" below. Depending upon the composition of the fund's shareholder accounts, and in light of the limitations on the ability of the fund to detect and curtail excessive trading practices, a significant percentage of the fund's shareholders may not be subject to the exchange limitation policy described above. In applying the exchange limitation policy, the fund considers information available to it at the time and reserves the right to consider trading activity in a single account or multiple accounts under common ownership, control, or influence.

Limitation on the ability to detect and curtail excessive trading practices

Shareholders seeking to engage in excessive trading practices sometimes deploy a variety of strategies to avoid detection and, despite the efforts of the fund to prevent excessive trading, there is no guarantee that the fund or its agent will be able to identify such shareholders or curtail their trading practices. The ability of the fund and its agent to detect and curtail excessive trading practices may also be limited by operational systems and technological limitations. Because the fund will not always be able to detect frequent trading activity, investors should not assume that the fund will be able to detect or prevent all frequent trading or other practices that disadvantage the fund. For example, the ability of the fund to monitor trades that are placed by omnibus or other nominee accounts is severely limited in those instances in which the financial intermediary, including a financial advisor, broker, retirement plan administrator, or fee-based program sponsor, maintains the records of the fund's underlying beneficial owners. Omnibus or other nominee account arrangements are common forms of holding shares of the fund, particularly among certain financial intermediaries, such as financial advisors, brokers, retirement plan administrators, or fee-based program sponsors. These arrangements often permit the financial intermediary to aggregate its clients' transactions and ownership positions and do not identify the particular underlying shareholder(s) to the fund. However, the fund will work with financial intermediaries as necessary to discourage shareholders from engaging in abusive trading practices and to impose restrictions on excessive trades. In this regard, the fund has entered into information-sharing agreements with financial intermediaries pursuant to which these intermediaries are required to provide to the fund, at the fund's request, certain information relating to their customers investing in the fund through omnibus or other nominee accounts. The fund will use this information to attempt to identify excessive trading practices. Financial intermediaries are contractually required to follow any instructions from the fund to restrict or prohibit future purchases from shareholders that are found to have engaged in excessive trading in violation of the fund's policies. The fund cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided to it from financial intermediaries and so cannot ensure that it will be able to detect abusive trading practices that occur through omnibus or other nominee accounts. As a consequence, the fund's ability to monitor and discourage excessive trading practices in these types of accounts may be limited.

Excessive trading risk

To the extent that the fund or its agent is unable to curtail excessive trading practices in the fund, these practices may interfere with the efficient management of the fund's portfolio and may result in the fund engaging in certain activities to a greater extent than it otherwise would, such as maintaining higher cash balances, using its line of credit, and engaging in increased portfolio transactions. Increased portfolio transactions and use of the line of credit would correspondingly increase the fund's operating costs and decrease the fund's investment performance. Maintenance of higher levels of cash balances would likewise result in lower fund investment performance during periods of rising markets.

While excessive trading can potentially occur in the fund, certain types of funds are more likely than others to be targets of excessive trading. For example:

A fund that invests a significant portion of its assets in small- or mid-capitalization stocks or securities in particular industries that may trade infrequently or are fair valued as discussed under "Valuation of securities" entails a greater risk of excessive trading, as investors may seek to trade fund

 

17


 

Table of Contents

shares in an effort to benefit from their understanding of the value of those types of securities (referred to as price arbitrage).

A fund that invests a material portion of its assets in securities of foreign issuers may be a potential target for excessive trading if investors seek to engage in price arbitrage based upon general trends in the securities markets that occur subsequent to the close of the primary market for such securities.

A fund that invests a significant portion of its assets in below-investment-grade (junk) bonds that may trade infrequently or are fair valued as discussed under "Valuation of securities" incurs a greater risk of excessive trading, as investors may seek to trade fund shares in an effort to benefit from their understanding of the value of those types of securities (referred to as price arbitrage).

Any frequent trading strategies may interfere with efficient management of a fund's portfolio and raise costs. A fund that invests in the types of securities discussed above may be exposed to this risk to a greater degree than a fund that invests in highly liquid securities. These risks would be less significant, for example, in a fund that primarily invests in U.S. government securities, money market instruments, investment-grade corporate issuers, or large-capitalization U.S. equity securities. Any successful price arbitrage may cause dilution in the value of the fund shares held by other shareholders.

Dividends and account policies

Account statements

In general, you will receive account statements from your plan's recordkeeper. Every year you should also receive, if applicable, a Form 1099 tax information statement mailed by February 15 by your plan's recordkeeper.

Dividends

The fund typically declares and pays income dividends and capital gains, if any, at least annually.

Dividend reinvestments

Most investors have their dividends reinvested in additional shares of the same class of the same fund. If you choose this option, or if you do not indicate any choice, your dividends will be reinvested. Alternatively, you may choose to have your dividends and capital gains sent directly to your bank account or a check may be mailed if your combined dividend and capital gains amount is $10 or more. However, if the check is not deliverable or the combined dividend and capital gains amount is less than $10, your proceeds will be reinvested. If five or more of your dividend or capital gains checks remain uncashed after 180 days, all subsequent dividends and capital gains will be reinvested.

Taxability of dividends

For investors who are not exempt from federal income taxes, dividends you receive from the fund, whether reinvested or taken as cash, are generally considered taxable. Dividends from the fund's short-term capital gains are taxable as ordinary income. Dividends from the fund's long-term capital gains are taxable at a lower rate. Whether gains are short term or long term depends on the fund's holding period. Some dividends paid in January may be taxable as if they had been paid the previous December.

The Form 1099 that is mailed to you every February, if applicable, details your dividends and their federal tax category, although you should verify your tax liability with your tax professional.

Returns of capital

If the fund's distributions exceed its taxable income and capital gains realized during a taxable year, all or a portion of the distributions made in the same 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 reported capital gain or lower reported capital loss when those shares on which the distribution was received are sold.

Taxability of transactions

Any time you sell or exchange shares, it is considered a taxable event for you if you are not exempt from federal income taxes. Depending on the purchase price and the sale price of the shares you sell or exchange, you may have a gain or a loss on the transaction. You are responsible for any tax liabilities generated by your transactions.

Additional investor services

Disclosure of fund holdings

The following information for the fund is posted on the website, jhinvestments.com, generally on the fifth business day after month end: top 10 holdings; top 10 sector analysis; total return/yield; top 10 countries; average quality/maturity; beta/alpha; and top 10 portfolio composition. All of the holdings of the fund will be posted to the website no earlier than 15 days after each calendar month end, and will remain posted on the website for six months. All of the fund's holdings as of the end of the third month of every fiscal quarter will be disclosed on Form N-PORT within 60 days of the end of the fiscal quarter. All of the fund's holdings as of the end of the second and fourth fiscal quarters will be disclosed on form N-CSR within 70 days of the end of such fiscal quarters. A description of the fund's policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of its portfolio securities is available in the SAI.

 

18               


 

Table of Contents

For more information

Two documents are available that offer further information on the fund:

Annual/semiannual reports to shareholders

Additional information about the fund's investments is available in the fund's annual and semiannual reports (if applicable) to shareholders. In the fund's annual report (if applicable), you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the fund's performance during its last fiscal year.

Statement of Additional Information (SAI)

The SAI contains more detailed information on all aspects of the fund and includes a summary of the fund's policy regarding disclosure of its portfolio holdings, as well as legal and regulatory matters. A current SAI has been filed with the SEC and is incorporated by reference into (and is legally a part of) this prospectus.

To obtain a free copy of these documents or request other information

There are several ways you can get a current annual/semiannual report, prospectus, or SAI from John Hancock, request other information, or make inquiries:

Online: jhinvestments.com

By mail:
John Hancock Funds
200 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116

By phone: 800-344-1029

You can also view or obtain copies of these documents through the SEC:

Online: sec.gov  

By email (duplicating fee required): publicinfo@sec.gov

© 2019 JOHN HANCOCK FUNDS, LLC 473NPN [7/24/19]
SEC file number:
811-00560



 
 

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

 

JOHN HANCOCK INVESTMENT TRUST

 

Statement of Additional Information

July [24], 2019

 

Fund A C I R6 NAV
John Hancock Diversified Macro Fund [     ] [     ] [     ] [     ] [     ]

 

This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) provides information about John Hancock Diversified Macro Fund (the “Fund”), a series of John Hancock Investment Trust (the “Trust”). The information in this SAI is in addition to the information that is contained in the Fund’s current prospectuses dated July [24], 2019 (each a “Prospectus” and collectively, the “Prospectuses”).

 

This SAI is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses. Copies of the Fund’s Prospectuses and the Fund’s shareholder reports, including financial statements (when they become available), can be obtained free of charge by contacting:

 

John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.

P. O. Box 55913

Boston, Massachusetts 02205-5913

800-225-5291

jhinvestments.com

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  Page
ORGANIZATION OF THE TRUST 1
INVESTMENT POLICIES 1
OTHER INSTRUMENTS 6
ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT POLICIES 18
RISK FACTORS 25
REGULATION OF COMMODITY INTERESTS 43
HEDGING AND OTHER STRATEGIC TRANSACTIONS 44
INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS 57
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER 60
THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANAGEMENT 60
SHAREHOLDERS OF THE FUND 71
INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS AND OTHER SERVICES 71
DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENTS 75
SALES COMPENSATION 76
NET ASSET VALUE 80
POLICY REGARDING DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS 81
SALES CHARGES ON CLASS A AND CLASS C SHARES 84
DEFERRED SALES CHARGE ON CLASS A AND CLASS C SHARES 87
SPECIAL REDEMPTIONS 90
ADDITIONAL SERVICES AND PROGRAMS 91
PURCHASES AND REDEMPTIONS THROUGH THIRD PARTIES 93
DESCRIPTION OF THE FUND’S SHARES 93
SAMPLE CALCULATION OF MAXIMUM OFFERING PRICE 95
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING TAXES 95
PORTFOLIO BROKERAGE 103
TRANSFER AGENT SERVICES 106
LEGAL AND REGULATORY MATTERS 107
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM 107
CUSTODY OF PORTFOLIO SECURITIES 107
CODES OF ETHICS 107
   
APPENDIX A – Descriptions of Credit Rating Symbols and Definitions A-1
APPENDIX B – Portfolio Manager Information B-1
APPENDIX C – Proxy Voting Policies of the Advisor, Fund, and Subadvisor C-1
 

 

ORGANIZATION OF THE TRUST

 

The Fund is a diversified series of the Trust as that term is used in the 1940 Act, as interpreted or modified by regulatory authority having jurisdiction, from time to time. The Trust was organized on December 21, 1984 as a Massachusetts business trust under the laws of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is an open-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Fund is expected to commence operations on or about July [ ], 2019.

 

John Hancock Advisers, LLC (the “Advisor”) serves as the investment advisor to the Trust and the Fund. The Advisor is a Delaware limited liability company whose principal offices are located at 200 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116. The Advisor is registered as an investment advisor under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”), and as a commodity pool operator (“CPO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended (the “CEA”). The Advisor is an indirect principally owned subsidiary of John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.). John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) and its subsidiaries today offer a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found on the Internet at johnhancock.com. The ultimate controlling parent of the Advisor is Manulife Financial Corporation (“Manulife Financial” or “MFC”), a publicly traded company based in Toronto, Canada. MFC is the holding company of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, collectively known as Manulife Financial.

 

The Advisor has retained Graham Capital Management, L.P. (the “Subadvisor”) as the subadvisor for the Fund. The Subadvisor is responsible for providing investment advice to the Fund subject to the review of the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”) and the overall supervision of the Advisor.

 

The Fund presently has a single wholly-owned subsidiary, John Hancock Diversified Macro Offshore Subsidiary Fund, Ltd. (the “Subsidiary”). The Subsidiary is organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands as an “exempt company,” which is a corporation that is exempt from taxation in the Cayman Islands but may not trade in the Cayman Islands with any person, firm or corporation except in furtherance of business carried on outside the Cayman Islands. The Fund is the sole owner of the Subsidiary.

 

Manulife Financial is a leading international financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere, it provides financial protection products and advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management services through its extensive network of solutions for individuals, groups, and institutions. As of March 31, 2019, it had over CAD $1.1 trillion (US $849 billion) in assets under management and administration. Its global headquarters are in Toronto, Canada, and it trades as “MFC” on the Toronto Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and Philippine Stock Exchange, and under “945” on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

 

INVESTMENT POLICIES

 

The principal strategies and risks of investing in the Fund are described in the Prospectuses. Unless otherwise stated in the Prospectuses or this SAI, the investment objective and policies of the Fund may be changed without shareholder approval. The Fund may invest in the types of instruments described below, or have indirect exposure to investment in these instruments through derivative contracts, unless otherwise stated in the Prospectuses or this SAI, and then only if and to the extent that such investment is consistent with and permitted by the Fund’s investment objective and policies.

 

Conversion of Debt Securities

 

In the event debt securities held by the Fund are converted to or exchanged for equity securities, the Fund may continue to hold such equity securities but only if and to the extent consistent with and permitted by its investment objective and policies.

1 

 

Money Market Instruments

 

Money market instruments (and other securities as noted under the Fund description) may be purchased for temporary defensive purposes or for short-term investment purposes.

 

U.S. Government and Government Agency Obligations

 

U.S. Government Obligations. U.S. government obligations are debt securities issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Treasury. These securities include treasury bills, notes and bonds.

 

GNMA Obligations. GNMA obligations are mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”), which guarantee is supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

 

U.S. Agency Obligations. U.S. government agency obligations are debt securities issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by an agency or instrumentality of the U.S. government pursuant to authority granted by Congress. U.S. government agency obligations include, but are not limited to:

 

Student Loan Marketing Association (“SLMA”);
Federal Home Loan Banks (“FHLBs”);
Federal Intermediate Credit Banks (“FICBs”); and
Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”).

 

U.S. Instrumentality Obligations. U.S. instrumentality obligations include, but are not limited to, those issued by the Export-Import Bank and Farmers Home Administration.

 

Some obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury or the Federal Reserve Banks, such as those issued by FICBs. Others, such as those issued by Fannie Mae, FHLBs and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), are supported by discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the agency or instrumentality. In addition, other obligations such as those issued by SLMA are supported only by the credit of the agency or instrumentality. There also are separately traded interest components of securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury.

 

No assurance can be given that the U.S. government will provide financial support for the obligations of such U.S. government-sponsored agencies or instrumentalities in the future, since it is not obligated to do so by law. In this SAI, “U.S. government securities” refers not only to securities issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Treasury but also to securities that are backed only by their own credit and not the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

 

It is possible that the availability and the marketability (i.e., liquidity) of the securities discussed in this section could be adversely affected by actions of the U.S. government to tighten the availability of its credit. In 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (the “FHFA”), an agency of the U.S. government, placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship, a statutory process with the objective of returning the entities to normal business operations. The FHFA will act as the conservator to operate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until they are stabilized. It is unclear what effect this conservatorship will have on the securities issued or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

 

Municipal Obligations

 

The two principal classifications of municipal obligations are general obligations and revenue obligations. General obligations are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its full faith, credit and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. Revenue obligations are payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or in some cases from the proceeds of a special excise or other tax. For example, industrial development and pollution control bonds are in most cases revenue obligations since payment of principal and interest is dependent solely on the ability of the user of the facilities financed or the guarantor to meet its financial obligations, and in certain cases, the pledge of real and personal property as security for payment.

 

Issuers of municipal obligations are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors, such as the Federal Bankruptcy Act, and laws, if any, that may be enacted by Congress or state legislatures extending the time for payment of principal or interest or both, or imposing other constraints upon

2 

 

enforcement of such obligations. There also is the possibility that as a result of litigation or other conditions, the power or ability of any one or more issuers to pay when due the principal of and interest on their municipal obligations may be affected.

 

Municipal Bonds. Municipal bonds are issued to obtain funding for various public purposes, including the construction of a wide range of public facilities such as airports, highways, bridges, schools, hospitals, housing, mass transportation, streets and water and sewer works. Other public purposes for which municipal bonds may be issued include refunding outstanding obligations, obtaining funds for general operating expenses and obtaining funds to lend to other public institutions and facilities. In addition, certain types of industrial development bonds are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to obtain funds for many types of local, privately operated facilities. Such debt instruments are considered municipal obligations if the interest paid on them is exempt from federal income tax. The payment of principal and interest by issuers of certain obligations purchased may be guaranteed by a letter of credit, note repurchase agreement, insurance or other credit facility agreement offered by a bank or other financial institution. Such guarantees and the creditworthiness of guarantors will be considered by a subadvisor in determining whether a municipal obligation meets investment quality requirements. No assurance can be given that a municipality or guarantor will be able to satisfy the payment of principal or interest on a municipal obligation.

 

The yields or returns of municipal bonds depend on a variety of factors, including general market conditions, effective marginal tax rates, the financial condition of the issuer, general conditions of the municipal bond market, the size of a particular offering, the maturity of the obligation, and the rating (if any) of the issue. The ratings of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”), Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), and Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”) represent their opinions as to the quality of various municipal bonds that they undertake to rate. It should be emphasized, however, that ratings are not absolute standards of quality. For example, depending on market conditions, municipal bonds with the same maturity and stated interest rate, but with different ratings, may nevertheless have the same yield. See Appendix A for a description of ratings. Many issuers of securities choose not to have their obligations rated. Although unrated securities eligible for purchase must be determined to be comparable in quality to securities having certain specified ratings, the market for unrated securities may not be as broad as for rated securities since many investors rely on rating organizations for credit appraisal. Yield disparities may occur for reasons not directly related to the investment quality of particular issues or the general movement of interest rates, due to such factors as changes in the overall demand or supply of various types of municipal bonds.

 

Municipal Bonds Issued by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Municipal obligations issued by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and its agencies, or other U.S. territories generally are tax-exempt.

 

Adverse economic, market, political, or other conditions within Puerto Rico may negatively affect the value of the Fund’s holdings in municipal obligations issued by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and its agencies. The Puerto Rican economy is reliant on manufacturing, services, and tourism, and its economy and financial operations generally parallel the economic cycles of those in the United States. As a result, economic difficulties in the United States are likely to have an adverse impact on the overall economy of Puerto Rico. Moreover, like many other U.S. states and municipalities, Puerto Rico experienced a significant downturn during the most recent recession. Puerto Rico continues to face significant fiscal challenges, including persistent government budget deficits, underfunded public pension benefit obligations, underfunded government retirement systems, sizable debt service obligations and a high unemployment rate. Several rating organizations have downgraded a number of securities issued in Puerto Rico to below investment-grade or placed them on “negative watch.” Any further downgrades could place additional strain on the Puerto Rican economy. On June 30, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (“PROMESA”), a law creating a federal oversight board that would negotiate the restructuring of Puerto Rico’s debt. Shortly after PROMESA took effect, Puerto Rico’s governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, issued an executive order suspending payments on its general obligation debt. As of May 2017, Puerto Rico began seeking the protection of U.S. courts to reduce its debt burden in an action under Title III of PROMESA, which is analogous to a bankruptcy proceeding. As a result of those proceedings, greater uncertainty has been created for the holders of Puerto Rico-issued bonds. Such bondholders are likely to experience a reduction in the value of their holdings. Further, Puerto Rico has faced significant out-migration relating to its economic difficulties, eroding Puerto Rico’s population, economic base and ultimate ability to support its current debt burden, creating further long-term uncertainty. Future defaults may occur in the event that Puerto Rico does not have the ability to meet its upcoming obligations. Puerto Rican financial difficulties potentially could lead to less liquidity, wider yield spreads over benchmark U.S. government securities, and greater risk of default for Puerto Rican municipal securities, and consequently may increase the volatility of the Fund’s share price, and adversely affect the value of the Fund’s investments and its investment performance.

3 

 

The Puerto Rican constitution prioritizes general obligation bonds over revenue bonds, so that all tax revenues, even those pledged to revenue bondholders, can be applied first to general obligation bonds and other Commonwealth-guaranteed debt if other revenues are insufficient to satisfy such obligations.

 

Municipal Notes. Municipal notes are short-term obligations of municipalities, generally with a maturity ranging from six months to three years. The principal types of such notes include tax, bond and revenue anticipation notes, project notes, and construction loan notes.

 

Municipal Commercial Paper. Municipal commercial paper is a short-term obligation of a municipality, generally issued at a discount with a maturity of less than one year. Such paper is likely to be issued to meet seasonal working capital needs of a municipality or interim construction financing. Municipal commercial paper is backed in many cases by letters of credit, lending agreements, note repurchase agreements or other credit facility agreements offered by banks and other institutions.

 

Canadian and Provincial Government and Crown Agency Obligations

 

Canadian Government Obligations. Canadian government obligations are debt securities issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the government of Canada pursuant to authority granted by the Parliament of Canada and approved by the Governor in Council, where necessary. These securities include treasury bills, notes, bonds, debentures and marketable government of Canada loans.

 

Canadian Crown Obligations. Canadian Crown agency obligations are debt securities issued or guaranteed by a Crown corporation, company or agency (“Crown Agencies”) pursuant to authority granted by the Parliament of Canada and approved by the Governor in Council, where necessary. Certain Crown Agencies are by statute agents of Her Majesty in right of Canada, and their obligations, when properly authorized, constitute direct obligations of the government of Canada. These obligations include, but are not limited to, those issued or guaranteed by the:

 

Export Development Corporation;
Farm Credit Corporation;
Federal Business Development Bank; and
Canada Post Corporation.

 

In addition, certain Crown Agencies that are not, by law, agents of Her Majesty may issue obligations that, by statute, the Governor in Council may authorize the Minister of Finance to guarantee on behalf of the government of Canada. Other Crown Agencies that are not, by law, agents of Her Majesty may issue or guarantee obligations not entitled to be guaranteed by the government of Canada. No assurance can be given that the government of Canada will support the obligations of Crown Agencies that are not agents of Her Majesty, which it has not guaranteed, since it is not obligated to do so by law.

 

Provincial Government Obligations. Provincial Government obligations are debt securities issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the government of any province of Canada pursuant to authority granted by the provincial Legislature and approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of such province, where necessary. These securities include treasury bills, notes, bonds, and debentures.

 

Provincial Crown Agency Obligations. Provincial Crown Agency obligations are debt securities issued or guaranteed by a provincial Crown corporation, company or agency (“Provincial Crown Agencies”) pursuant to authority granted by the provincial Legislature and approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of such province, where necessary. Certain Provincial Crown Agencies are by statute agents of Her Majesty in right of a particular province of Canada, and their obligations, when properly authorized, constitute direct obligations of such province. Other Provincial Crown Agencies that are not, by law, agents of Her Majesty in right of a particular province of Canada may issue obligations that, by statute, the Lieutenant Governor in Council of such province may guarantee, or may authorize the Treasurer thereof to guarantee, on behalf of the government of such province. Finally, other Provincial Crown Agencies that are not, by law, agencies of Her Majesty may issue or guarantee obligations not entitled to be guaranteed by a provincial government. No assurance can be given that the government of any province of Canada will support the obligations of Provincial Crown Agencies that are not agents of Her Majesty and that it has not guaranteed, as it is not obligated to do so by law. Provincial Crown Agency obligations described above include, but are not limited to, those issued or guaranteed by a:

 

provincial railway corporation;
4 

 

provincial hydroelectric or power commission or authority;
provincial municipal financing corporation or agency; and
provincial telephone commission or authority.

 

Certificates of Deposit, Time Deposits and Bankers’ Acceptances

 

Certificates of Deposit. Certificates of deposit are certificates issued against funds deposited in a bank or a savings and loan. They are issued for a definite period of time and earn a specified rate of return.

 

Time Deposits. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banking institutions for specified periods of time at stated interest rates.

 

Bankers’ Acceptances. Bankers’ acceptances are short-term credit instruments evidencing the obligation of a bank to pay a draft which has been drawn on it by a customer. These instruments reflect the obligations both of the bank and of the drawer to pay the face amount of the instrument upon maturity. They are primarily used to finance the import, export, transfer or storage of goods. They are “accepted” when a bank guarantees their payment at maturity.

 

These obligations are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

 

Commercial Paper

 

Commercial paper consists of unsecured promissory notes issued by corporations to finance short-term credit needs. Commercial paper is issued in bearer form with maturities generally not exceeding nine months.

 

Variable Amount Master Demand Notes. Commercial paper obligations may include variable amount master demand notes. Variable amount master demand notes are obligations that permit the investment of fluctuating amounts at varying rates of interest pursuant to direct arrangements between the Fund, as lender, and the borrower. These notes permit daily changes in the amounts borrowed. The investing (i.e., “lending”) Fund has the right to increase the amount under the note at any time up to the full amount provided by the note agreement, or to decrease the amount, and the borrower may prepay up to the full amount of the note without penalty. Because variable amount master demand notes are direct lending arrangements between the lender and borrower, it is not generally contemplated that such instruments will be traded. There is no secondary market for these notes, although they are redeemable (and thus immediately repayable by the borrower) at face value, plus accrued interest, at any time.

 

The subadvisor will only invest in variable amount master demand notes issued by companies that, at the date of investment, have an outstanding debt issue rated “Aaa” or “Aa” by Moody’s or “AAA” or “AA” by S&P or Fitch and that the subadvisor has determined present minimal risk of loss. The subadvisor will look generally at the financial strength of the issuing company as “backing” for the note and not to any security interest or supplemental source, such as a bank letter of credit. A variable amount master demand note will be valued on each day a net asset value (“NAV”) is determined. The NAV generally will be equal to the face value of the note plus accrued interest unless the financial position of the issuer is such that its ability to repay the note when due is in question.

 

Corporate Obligations

 

Corporate obligations are bonds and notes issued by corporations to finance long-term credit needs.

 

Repurchase Agreements

 

Repurchase agreements are arrangements involving the purchase of an obligation and the simultaneous agreement to resell the same obligation on demand or at a specified future date and at an agreed-upon price. A repurchase agreement can be viewed as a loan made by the Fund to the seller of the obligation with such obligation serving as collateral for the seller’s agreement to repay the amount borrowed with interest. Repurchase agreements provide the opportunity to earn a return on cash that is only temporarily available. Repurchase agreements may be entered with banks, brokers or dealers. However, a repurchase agreement will only be entered with a broker or dealer if the broker or dealer agrees to deposit additional collateral should the value of the obligation purchased decrease below the resale price.

 

Generally, repurchase agreements are of a short duration, often less than one week but on occasion for longer periods. Securities subject to repurchase agreements will be valued every business day and additional collateral will be

5 

 

requested if necessary so that the value of the collateral is at least equal to the value of the repurchase obligation, including the interest accrued thereon.

 

A subadvisor shall engage in a repurchase agreement transaction only with those banks or broker-dealers who meet the subadvisor’s quantitative and qualitative criteria regarding creditworthiness, asset size and collateralization requirements. The Advisor also may engage in repurchase agreement transactions on behalf of the Fund. The counterparties to a repurchase agreement transaction are limited to a:

 

Federal Reserve System member bank;
primary government securities dealer reporting to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Market Reports Division; or
broker-dealer that reports U.S. government securities positions to the Federal Reserve Board.

 

The Fund also may participate in repurchase agreement transactions utilizing the settlement services of clearing firms that meet the Subadvisor’s creditworthiness requirements.

 

The Advisor and the Subadvisor will continuously monitor repurchase agreement transactions to ensure that the collateral held with respect to a repurchase agreement equals or exceeds the amount of the obligation.

 

The risk of a repurchase agreement transaction is limited to the ability of the seller to pay the agreed-upon sum on the delivery date. In the event of bankruptcy or other default by the seller, the instrument purchased may decline in value, interest payable on the instrument may be lost and there may be possible difficulties and delays in obtaining collateral and delays and expense in liquidating the instrument. If an issuer of a repurchase agreement fails to repurchase the underlying obligation, the loss, if any, would be the difference between the repurchase price and the underlying obligation’s market value. The Fund also might incur certain costs in liquidating the underlying obligation. Moreover, if bankruptcy or other insolvency proceedings are commenced with respect to the seller, realization upon the underlying obligation might be delayed or limited.

 

Foreign Repurchase Agreements

 

Foreign repurchase agreements involve an agreement to purchase a foreign security and to sell that security back to the original seller at an agreed-upon price in either U.S. dollars or foreign currency. Unlike typical U.S. repurchase agreements, foreign repurchase agreements may not be fully collateralized at all times. The value of a security purchased may be more or less than the price at which the counterparty has agreed to repurchase the security. In the event of default by the counterparty, the Fund may suffer a loss if the value of the security purchased is less than the agreed-upon repurchase price, or if it is unable to successfully assert a claim to the collateral under foreign laws. As a result, foreign repurchase agreements may involve higher credit risks than repurchase agreements in U.S. markets, as well as risks associated with currency fluctuations. In addition, as with other emerging market investments, repurchase agreements with counterparties located in emerging markets, or relating to emerging markets, may involve issuers or counterparties with lower credit ratings than typical U.S. repurchase agreements.

 

Organization and Management of Subsidiary

 

The Subsidiary invests in commodity-linked swap agreements and other commodity-linked derivative instruments, but may also invest in the securities and other instruments in which the Fund is permitted to invest. The Subsidiary is an exempted company organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands, whose registered office is located at the offices of Maples Corporate Services Limited, PO Box 309, Ugland House, Grand Cayman, KY1-1104, Cayman Islands. The Subsidiary’s custodian is Citibank, N.A. (“Citibank”). The Subsidiary’s affairs are overseen by a board currently consisting of three Directors: Andrew G. Arnott, Leo Zerilli, and Charles A. Rizzo. Each of the Directors is an employee of the Advisor.

 

The Subsidiary has entered into a separate contract with the Advisor whereby the Advisor provides investment advisory services to the Subsidiary (the “Subsidiary Advisory Agreement”). In turn, the Advisor has entered into a separate contract with the Subadvisor whereby the Subadvisor provides day-to-day management of the Subsidiary’s investments, subject to the supervision of the Advisor (the “Subsidiary Subadvisory Agreement”). The Subsidiary Advisory Agreement continues in effect for so long as the Fund’s advisory agreement is effective, and will terminate automatically upon the termination of the Fund’s advisory agreement or in the event that the Advisor no longer serves as investment advisor to the Fund. Similarly, the Subsidiary Subadvisory Agreement continues in effect for so long as the Fund’s subadvisory agreement is effective, and will terminate automatically upon the termination of the Fund’s

6 

 

subadvisory agreement or in the event that the Subadvisor no longer serves as investment subadvisor to the Fund. The Directors of the Subsidiary may terminate either Agreement at any time, without the payment of any penalty. Either Agreement will automatically terminate, without payment of any penalty, in the event of its “assignment” (as defined in the 1940 Act).

 

The Subsidiary will bear the fees and expenses incurred in connection with the custody, transfer agency, and audit services that it receives. The Fund expects that the expenses borne by the Subsidiary will not be material in relation to the value of its assets.

 

The Subsidiary has adopted compliance policies and procedures that are substantially similar to the policies and procedures adopted by the Fund. The Subsidiary is operated in accordance with the 1940 Act investment restrictions that apply to the Fund (including provisions related to affiliated transactions and custody), but is not subject to provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), although, pursuant to the Subsidiary Subadvisory Agreement, the Subadvisor agrees to work collaboratively with the Advisor to cause the Fund to comply with the requirements of Subchapter M of the Code for qualification as a regulated investment company (a “RIC”). The Fund will comply with provisions of the 1940 Act governing investment policies and capital structure and leverage on an aggregate basis with the Subsidiary. The Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer oversees implementation of the Subsidiary’s policies and procedures, and makes periodic reports to the Board regarding the Subsidiary’s compliance with its policies and procedures. In testing compliance of the Fund and the Subsidiary with applicable investment restrictions, the assets of the Fund are aggregated with those of the Subsidiary, except with respect to borrowings. The Subsidiary is subject to asset segregation requirements to the same extent as the Fund, which are tested for compliance on a consolidated basis as noted in the preceding sentence.

 

OTHER INSTRUMENTS

 

The following discussion provides an explanation of some of the other instruments in which the Fund may invest, but only if and to the extent that such investment is consistent with and permitted by its investment objective and policies.

 

Preferred Stocks

 

Preferred stock generally has a preference to dividends and, upon liquidation, over an issuer’s common stock but ranks junior to debt securities in an issuer’s capital structure. Preferred stock generally pays dividends in cash (or additional shares of preferred stock) at a defined rate but, unlike interest payments on debt securities, preferred stock dividends are payable only if declared by the issuer’s board of directors. Dividends on preferred stock may be cumulative, meaning that, in the event the issuer fails to make one or more dividend payments on the preferred stock, no dividends may be paid on the issuer’s common stock until all unpaid preferred stock dividends have been paid. Preferred stock also may be subject to optional or mandatory redemption provisions.

 

Warrants

 

Warrants may trade independently of the underlying securities. Warrants are rights to purchase securities at specific prices and are valid for a specific period of time. Warrant prices do not necessarily move parallel to the prices of the underlying securities, and warrant holders receive no dividends and have no voting rights or rights with respect to the assets of an issuer. The price of a warrant may be more volatile than the price of its underlying security, and a warrant may offer greater potential for capital appreciation as well as capital loss. Warrants cease to have value if not exercised prior to the expiration date. These factors can make warrants more speculative than other types of investments.

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

 

Under a reverse repurchase agreement, the Fund sells a debt security and agrees to repurchase it at an agreed-upon time and at an agreed-upon price. The Fund retains record ownership of the security and the right to receive interest and principal payments thereon. At an agreed-upon future date, the Fund repurchases the security by remitting the proceeds previously received, plus interest. The difference between the amount the Fund receives for the security and the amount it pays on repurchase is payment of interest. In certain types of agreements, there is no agreed-upon repurchase date and interest payments are calculated daily, often based on the prevailing overnight repurchase rate. A reverse repurchase agreement may be considered a form of leveraging and may, therefore, increase fluctuations in the Fund’s NAV per share. The Fund will cover its repurchase agreement transactions by maintaining in a segregated custodial account cash, Treasury bills or other U.S. government securities having an aggregate value at least equal to the amount of such commitment to repurchase including accrued interest, until payment is made.

7 

 

Sale-Buybacks

 

The Fund may effect simultaneous purchase and sale transactions that are known as “sale-buybacks.” A sale-buyback is similar to a reverse repurchase agreement, except that in a sale-buyback, the counterparty that purchases the security is entitled to receive any principal or interest payments made on the underlying security pending settlement of the Fund’s repurchase of the underlying security. The Fund’s obligations under a sale-buyback typically would be offset by liquid assets equal in value to the amount of the Fund’s forward commitment to repurchase the subject security.

 

Investments in Creditors’ Claims

 

Creditors’ claims in bankruptcy (“Creditors’ Claims”) are rights to payment from a debtor under the U.S. bankruptcy laws. Creditors’ Claims may be secured or unsecured. A secured claim generally receives priority in payment over unsecured claims.

 

Sellers of Creditors’ Claims can either be: (i) creditors that have extended unsecured credit to the debtor company (most commonly trade suppliers of materials or services); or (ii) secured creditors (most commonly financial institutions) that have obtained collateral to secure an advance of credit to the debtor. Selling a Creditors’ Claim offers the creditor an opportunity to turn a claim that otherwise might not be satisfied for many years into liquid assets.

 

A Creditors’ Claim may be purchased directly from a creditor although most are purchased through brokers. A Creditors’ Claim can be sold as a single claim or as part of a package of claims from several different bankruptcy filings. Purchasers of Creditors’ Claims may take an active role in the reorganization process of the bankrupt company and, in certain situations in which a Creditors’ Claim is not paid in full, the claim may be converted into stock of the reorganized debtor.

 

Although Creditors’ Claims can be sold to other investors, the market for Creditors’ Claims is not liquid and, as a result, a purchaser of a Creditors’ Claim may be unable to sell the claim or may have to sell it at a drastically reduced price. There is no guarantee that any payment will be received from a Creditors’ Claim, especially in the case of unsecured claims.

 

Convertible Securities

 

Convertible securities may include corporate notes or preferred securities. Investments in convertible securities are not subject to the rating criteria with respect to non-convertible debt obligations. As with all debt securities, the market value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates increase and, conversely, to increase as interest rates decline. The market value of convertible securities can also be heavily dependent upon the changing value of the equity securities into which such securities are convertible, depending on whether the market price of the underlying security exceeds the conversion price. Convertible securities generally rank senior to common stocks in an issuer’s capital structure and consequently entail less risk than the issuer’s common stock. However, the extent to which such risk is reduced depends upon the degree to which the convertible security sells above its value as a fixed-income security.

 

Mortgage Securities

 

Prepayment of Mortgages. Mortgage securities differ from conventional bonds in that principal is paid over the life of the securities rather than at maturity. As a result, when the Fund invests in mortgage securities, it receives monthly scheduled payments of principal and interest, and may receive unscheduled principal payments representing prepayments on the underlying mortgages. When the Fund reinvests the payments and any unscheduled prepayments of principal it receives, it may receive a rate of interest that is higher or lower than the rate on the existing mortgage securities. For this reason, mortgage securities may be less effective than other types of debt securities as a means of locking in long term interest rates.

 

In addition, because the underlying mortgage loans and assets may be prepaid at any time, if the Fund purchases mortgage securities at a premium, a prepayment rate that is faster than expected will reduce yield to maturity, while a prepayment rate that is slower than expected will increase yield to maturity. Conversely, if the Fund purchases these securities at a discount, faster than expected prepayments will increase yield to maturity, while slower than expected payments will reduce yield to maturity.

 

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Securities. Adjustable rate mortgage securities are similar to the fixed rate mortgage securities discussed above, except that unlike fixed rate mortgage securities, adjustable rate mortgage securities are

8 

 

collateralized by or represent interests in mortgage loans with variable rates of interest. These variable rates of interest reset periodically to align themselves with market rates. Most adjustable rate mortgage securities provide for an initial mortgage rate that is in effect for a fixed period, typically ranging from three to twelve months. Thereafter, the mortgage interest rate will reset periodically in accordance with movements in a specified published interest rate index. The amount of interest due to an adjustable rate mortgage holder is determined in accordance with movements in a specified published interest rate index by adding a pre-determined increment or “margin” to the specified interest rate index. Many adjustable rate mortgage securities reset their interest rates based on changes in:

 

one-year, three-year and five-year constant maturity Treasury Bill rates;
three-month or six-month Treasury Bill rates;
11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds;
National Median Cost of Funds; or
one-month, three-month, six-month or one-year London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and other market rates.

 

During periods of increasing rates, the Fund will not benefit from such increase to the extent that interest rates rise to the point where they cause the current coupon of adjustable rate mortgages held as investments to exceed any maximum allowable annual or lifetime reset limits or “cap rates” for a particular mortgage. In this event, the value of the mortgage securities held by the Fund would likely decrease. During periods of declining interest rates, income to the Fund derived from adjustable rate mortgages that remain in a mortgage pool may decrease in contrast to the income on fixed rate mortgages, which will remain constant. Adjustable rate mortgages also have less potential for appreciation in value as interest rates decline than do fixed rate investments. Also, the Fund’s NAV could vary to the extent that current yields on adjustable rate mortgage securities held as investments are different than market yields during interim periods between coupon reset dates.

 

Privately Issued Mortgage Securities. Privately issued mortgage securities provide for the monthly principal and interest payments made by individual borrowers to pass through to investors on a corporate basis, and in privately issued collateralized mortgage obligations, as further described below. Privately issued mortgage securities are issued by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including:

 

mortgage bankers;
commercial banks;
investment banks;
savings and loan associations; and
special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing.

 

Since privately issued mortgage certificates are not guaranteed by an entity having the credit status of GNMA or Freddie Mac, such securities generally are structured with one or more types of credit enhancement. For a description of the types of credit enhancements that may accompany privately issued mortgage securities, see “Types of Credit Support” below. To the extent that the Fund invests in mortgage securities, it will not limit its investments in mortgage securities to those with credit enhancements.

 

Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”). CMOs generally are bonds or certificates issued in multiple classes that are collateralized by or represent an interest in mortgages. CMOs may be issued by single-purpose, stand-alone finance subsidiaries or trusts of financial institutions, government agencies, investment banks or other similar institutions. Each class of CMOs, often referred to as a “tranche,” may be issued with a specific fixed coupon rate (which may be zero) or a floating coupon rate. Each class of CMOs also has a stated maturity or final distribution date. Principal prepayments on the underlying mortgages may cause the CMOs to be retired substantially earlier than their stated maturities or final distribution dates. Interest is paid or accrued on CMOs on a monthly, quarterly or semiannual basis.

 

The principal of and interest on the underlying mortgages may be allocated among the several classes of a series of a CMO in many ways. The general goal sought to be achieved in allocating cash flows on the underlying mortgages to the various classes of a series of CMOs is to create tranches on which the expected cash flows have a higher degree of predictability than the underlying mortgages. In creating such tranches, other tranches may be subordinated to the interests of these tranches and receive payments only after the obligations of the more senior tranches have been satisfied. As a general matter, the more predictable the cash flow is on a CMO tranche, the lower the anticipated yield will be on that tranche at the time of issuance. As part of the process of creating more predictable cash flows on most of the tranches in a series of CMOs, one or more tranches generally must be created that absorb most of the volatility

9 

 

in the cash flows on the underlying mortgages. The yields on these tranches are relatively higher than on tranches with more predictable cash flows. Because of the uncertainty of the cash flows on these tranches, and the sensitivity of these transactions to changes in prepayment rates on the underlying mortgages, the market prices of and yields on these tranches tend to be highly volatile. The market prices of and yields on tranches with longer terms to maturity also tend to be more volatile than tranches with shorter terms to maturity due to these same factors. To the extent the mortgages underlying a series of a CMO are so-called “subprime mortgages” (mortgages granted to borrowers whose credit history is not sufficient to obtain a conventional mortgage), the risk of default is higher, which increases the risk that one or more tranches of a CMO will not receive its predicted cash flows.

 

CMOs purchased by the Fund may be:

 

(1)collateralized by pools of mortgages in which each mortgage is guaranteed as to payment of principal and interest by an agency or instrumentality of the U.S. government;

 

(2)collateralized by pools of mortgages in which payment of principal and interest is guaranteed by the issuer and the guarantee is collateralized by U.S. government securities; or

 

(3)securities for which the proceeds of the issuance are invested in mortgage securities and payment of the principal and interest is supported by the credit of an agency or instrumentality of the U.S. government.

 

Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities (“STRIPS”). Separately traded interest components of securities may be issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury. The interest components of selected securities are traded independently under the STRIPS program. Under the STRIPS program, the interest components are individually numbered and separately issued by the U.S. Treasury at the request of depository financial institutions, which then trade the component parts independently.

 

Stripped Mortgage Securities. Stripped mortgage securities are derivative multi-class mortgage securities. Stripped mortgage securities may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government, or by private issuers, including savings and loan associations, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. Stripped mortgage securities have greater volatility than other types of mortgage securities in which the Fund invests. Although stripped mortgage securities are purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers, the market for such securities has not yet been fully developed. Accordingly, stripped mortgage securities may be illiquid and, together with any other illiquid investments, will not exceed the Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities.

 

Stripped mortgage securities are usually structured with two classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. A common type of stripped mortgage security will have one class receiving some of the interest and most of the principal from the mortgage assets, while the other class will receive most of the interest and the remainder of the principal. In the most extreme case, one class will receive all of the interest (the interest only or “IO” class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (the principal only or “PO” class). The yield to maturity on an IO class is extremely sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates and the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the related underlying mortgage assets. A rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on an investing Fund’s yield to maturity. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, an investor may fail to fully recoup its initial investment in these securities, even if the securities are rated highly.

 

As interest rates rise and fall, the value of IOs tends to move in the same direction as interest rates. The value of the other mortgage securities described in the Prospectuses and this SAI, like other debt instruments, will tend to move in the opposite direction to interest rates. Accordingly, investing in IOs, in conjunction with the other mortgage securities described in the Prospectuses and this SAI, is expected to contribute to the relative stability of the Fund’s NAV.

 

Similar securities such as Super Principal Only (“SPO”) and Levered Interest Only (“LIO”) are more volatile than POs and IOs. Risks associated with instruments such as SPOs are similar in nature to those risks related to investments in POs. Risks associated with LIOs and IOettes (a.k.a. “high coupon bonds”) are similar in nature to those associated with IOs. Other similar instruments may develop in the future.

 

Under the Code, POs may generate taxable income from the current accrual of original issue discount, without a corresponding distribution of cash to the Fund.

10 

 

Inverse Floaters. Inverse floaters may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government, or by private issuers, including savings and loan associations, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. Inverse floaters have greater volatility than other types of mortgage securities in which the Fund invests (with the exception of stripped mortgage securities and there is a risk that the market value will vary from the amortized cost). Although inverse floaters are purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers, the market for such securities has not yet been fully developed. Accordingly, inverse floaters may be illiquid. Any illiquid inverse floaters, together with any other illiquid investments, will not exceed the Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities.

 

Inverse floaters are derivative mortgage securities that are structured as a class of security that receives distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. Yields on inverse floaters move in the opposite direction of short-term interest rates and at an accelerated rate.

 

Types of Credit Support. Mortgage securities are often backed by a pool of assets representing the obligations of a number of different parties. To lessen the impact of an obligor’s failure to make payments on underlying assets, mortgage securities may contain elements of credit support. A discussion of credit support is described below in “Asset-Backed Securities.”

 

Asset-Backed Securities

 

The securitization techniques used to develop mortgage securities also are being applied to a broad range of other assets. Through the use of trusts and special purpose corporations, automobile and credit card receivables are being securitized in pass-through structures similar to mortgage pass-through structures or in a pay-through structure similar to the CMO structure.

 

Generally, the issuers of asset-backed bonds, notes or pass-through certificates are special purpose entities and do not have any significant assets other than the receivables securing such obligations. In general, the collateral supporting asset-backed securities is of a shorter maturity than that of mortgage loans. As a result, investment in these securities should be subject to less volatility than mortgage securities. Instruments backed by pools of receivables are similar to mortgage-backed securities in that they are subject to unscheduled prepayments of principal prior to maturity. When the obligations are prepaid, the Fund must reinvest the prepaid amounts in securities with the prevailing interest rates at the time. Therefore, the Fund’s ability to maintain an investment including high-yielding asset-backed securities will be affected adversely to the extent that prepayments of principal must be reinvested in securities that have lower yields than the prepaid obligations. Moreover, prepayments of securities purchased at a premium could result in a realized loss. Unless otherwise stated in its Prospectuses, the Fund will only invest in asset-backed securities rated, at the time of purchase, “AA” or better by S&P or “AA” or better by Moody’s.

 

As with mortgage securities, asset-backed securities are often backed by a pool of assets representing the obligation of a number of different parties and use similar credit enhancement techniques. For a description of the types of credit enhancement that may accompany asset-backed securities, see “Types of Credit Support” below. When the Fund invests in asset-backed securities, it will not limit its investments in asset-backed securities to those with credit enhancements. Although asset-backed securities are not generally traded on a national securities exchange, such securities are widely traded by brokers and dealers, and will not be considered illiquid securities for the purposes of the Fund’s investment restriction on illiquid securities under “Additional Investment Policies.”

 

Types of Credit Support. To lessen the impact of an obligor’s failure to make payments on underlying assets, mortgage securities and asset-backed securities may contain elements of credit support. Such credit support falls into two categories:

 

liquidity protection; and
default protection.

 

Liquidity protection refers to the provision of advances, generally by the entity administering the pool of assets, to ensure that the pass-through of payments due on the underlying pool of assets occurs in a timely fashion. Default protection provides protection against losses resulting from ultimate default and enhances the likelihood of ultimate payment of the obligations on at least a portion of the assets in the pool. This protection may be provided through guarantees, insurance policies or letters of credit obtained by the issuer or sponsor from third parties, through various means of structuring the transaction or through a combination of such approaches. The Fund will not pay any additional fees for such credit support, although the existence of credit support may increase the price of a security.

11 

 

Some examples of credit support include:

 

“senior-subordinated securities” (multiple class securities with one or more classes subordinate to other classes as to the payment of principal thereof and interest thereon, with the result that defaults on the underlying assets are borne first by the holders of the subordinated class);

 

creation of “reserve funds” (where cash or investments, sometimes funded from a portion of the payments on the underlying assets, are held in reserve against future losses); and

 

“over-collateralization” (where the scheduled payments on, or the principal amount of, the underlying assets exceed those required to make payment on the securities and pay any servicing or other fees).

 

The ratings of mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities for which third-party credit enhancement provides liquidity protection or default protection are generally dependent upon the continued creditworthiness of the provider of the credit enhancement. The ratings of these securities could be reduced in the event of deterioration in the creditworthiness of the credit enhancement provider even in cases where the delinquency and loss experienced on the underlying pool of assets is better than expected.

 

The degree of credit support provided for each issue is generally based on historical information concerning the level of credit risk associated with the underlying assets. Delinquency or loss greater than anticipated could adversely affect the return on an investment in mortgage securities or asset-backed securities.

 

Collateralized Debt Obligations. Collateralized bond obligations (“CBOs”), collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), other collateralized debt obligations, and other similarly structured securities (collectively, “CDOs”) are types of asset-backed securities. A CBO is a trust that is often backed by a diversified pool of high risk, below investment grade fixed-income securities. The collateral can be from many different types of fixed-income securities such as high yield debt, residential privately issued mortgage-related securities, commercial privately issued mortgage-related securities, trust preferred securities and emerging market debt. A CLO is a trust typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. Other CDOs are trusts backed by other types of assets representing obligations of various parties. CDOs may charge management fees and administrative expenses.

 

In a CDO structure, the cash flows from the trust are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche, which bears the bulk of defaults from the bonds or loans in the trust and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances. Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CDO trust typically has a higher rating and lower yield than its underlying securities, and can be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, CDO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as aversion to CDO securities as a class. In the case of all CDO tranches, the market prices of and yields on tranches with longer terms to maturity tend to be more volatile than those of tranches with shorter terms to maturity due to the greater volatility and uncertainty of cash flows.

 

The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CDO in which a fund invests. Normally, CDOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CDOs may be characterized by a fund as illiquid; however an active dealer market may exist for CDOs, allowing a CDO to qualify for treatment as liquid under Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). In addition to the normal risks associated with fixed-income securities discussed elsewhere in the SAI and the Prospectus (e.g., interest rate risk and default risk), CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to the possibility that: (i) distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default; (iii) the Fund may invest in CDOs that are subordinate to other classes; and (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results.

 

Zero Coupon Securities, Deferred Interest Bonds and Pay-In-Kind Bonds

 

Zero coupon securities, deferred interest bonds and pay-in-kind bonds involve special risk considerations. Zero coupon securities and deferred interest bonds are debt securities that pay no cash income but are sold at substantial discounts from their value at maturity. While zero coupon bonds do not require the periodic payment of interest, deferred interest bonds provide for a period of delay before the regular payment of interest begins. When a zero coupon security or a

12 

 

deferred interest bond is held to maturity, its entire return, which consists of the amortization of discount, comes from the difference between its purchase price and its maturity value. This difference is known at the time of purchase, so that investors holding these securities until maturity know at the time of their investment what the return on their investment will be. Pay-in-kind bonds are bonds that pay all or a portion of their interest in the form of debt or equity securities.

 

Zero coupon securities, deferred interest bonds and pay-in-kind bonds are subject to greater price fluctuations in response to changes in interest rates than ordinary interest-paying debt securities with similar maturities. The value of zero coupon securities and deferred interest bonds usually appreciates during periods of declining interest rates and usually depreciates during periods of rising interest rates.

 

Issuers of Zero Coupon Securities and Pay-In-Kind Bonds. Zero coupon securities and pay-in-kind bonds may be issued by a wide variety of corporate and governmental issuers. Although zero coupon securities and pay-in-kind bonds are generally not traded on a national securities exchange, these securities are widely traded by brokers and dealers and, to the extent they are widely traded, will not be considered illiquid for the purposes of the investment restriction under “Additional Investment Policies.”

 

Tax Considerations. Current federal income tax law requires the holder of a zero coupon security or certain pay-in-kind bonds to accrue income with respect to these securities prior to the receipt of cash payments. To maintain its qualification as a RIC under the Code and avoid liability for federal income and excise taxes, the Fund may be required to distribute income accrued with respect to these securities and may have to dispose of portfolio securities under disadvantageous circumstances in order to generate cash to satisfy these distribution requirements.

 

Loans and Other Direct Debt Instruments

 

Direct debt instruments are interests in amounts owed by a corporate, governmental, or other borrower to lenders or lending syndicates (loans and loan participations), to suppliers of goods or services (trade claims or other receivables), or to other parties. Direct debt instruments involve a risk of loss in case of default or insolvency of the borrower and may offer less legal protection to the purchaser in the event of fraud or misrepresentation, or there may be a requirement that the Fund supply additional cash to a borrower on demand. U.S. federal securities laws afford certain protections against fraud and misrepresentation in connection with the offering or sale of a security, as well as against manipulation of trading markets for securities. It is unclear whether these protections are available to investments in loans and other forms of direct indebtedness under certain circumstances, in which case such risks may be increased.

 

The Fund also may be in possession of material non-public information about a borrower as a result of owning a floating rate instrument issued by such borrower. Because of prohibitions on trading in securities of issuers while in possession of such information, a fund might be unable to enter into a transaction in a publicly traded security issued by that borrower when it would otherwise be advantageous to do so.

 

High Yield (High Risk) Domestic Corporate Debt Securities

 

High yield corporate debt securities (also known as “junk bonds”) include bonds, debentures, notes, bank loans, credit-linked notes and commercial paper. Most of these debt securities will bear interest at fixed rates, except bank loans, which usually have floating rates. Bonds also may have variable rates of interest, and debt securities may involve equity features, such as equity warrants or convertible outright and participation features (i.e., interest or other payments, often in addition to a fixed rate of return, that are based on the borrower’s attainment of specified levels of revenues, sales or profits and thus enable the holder of the security to share in the potential success of the venture). Today, much high yield debt is used for general corporate purposes, such as financing capital needs or consolidating and paying down bank lines of credit.

 

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

13 

 

market also may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain precise valuations of the high yield securities in its portfolio.

 

The Fund is not obligated to dispose of securities whose issuers subsequently are in default or that are downgraded below the rating requirements that the Fund imposes at the time of purchase.

 

Brady Bonds

 

Brady Bonds are debt securities issued under the framework of the “Brady Plan,” an initiative announced by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady in 1989 as a mechanism for debtor nations to restructure their outstanding external commercial bank indebtedness. The Brady Plan framework, as it has developed, involves the exchange of external commercial bank debt for newly issued bonds (“Brady Bonds”). Brady Bonds also may be issued in respect of new money being advanced by existing lenders in connection with the debt restructuring. Brady Bonds issued to date generally have maturities between 15 and 30 years from the date of issuance and have traded at a deep discount from their face value. In addition to Brady Bonds, investments in emerging market governmental obligations issued as a result of debt restructuring agreements outside of the scope of the Brady Plan are available.

 

Agreements implemented under the Brady Plan to date are designed to achieve debt and debt-service reduction through specific options negotiated by a debtor nation with its creditors. As a result, the financial packages offered by each country differ. The types of options have included:

 

the exchange of outstanding commercial bank debt for bonds issued at 100% of face value that carry a below-market stated rate of interest (generally known as par bonds);
bonds issued at a discount from face value (generally known as discount bonds);
bonds bearing an interest rate which increases over time; and
bonds issued in exchange for the advancement of new money by existing lenders.

 

Discount bonds issued to date under the framework of the Brady Plan have generally borne interest computed semi-annually at a rate equal to 13/16th of one percent above current six-month LIBOR. Regardless of the stated face amount and interest rate of the various types of Brady Bonds, when investing in Brady Bonds, the Fund will purchase Brady Bonds in secondary markets in which the price and yield to the investor reflect market conditions at the time of purchase.

 

Certain sovereign bonds are entitled to “value recovery payments” in certain circumstances, which in effect constitute supplemental interest payments but generally are not collateralized. Certain Brady Bonds have been collateralized as to principal due at maturity (typically 15 to 30 years from the date of issuance) by U.S. Treasury zero coupon bonds with a maturity equal to the final maturity of such Brady Bonds, although the collateral is not available to investors until the final maturity of the Brady Bonds. Collateral purchases are financed by the International Monetary Fund (the “IMF”), the World Bank and the debtor nations’ reserves. In addition, interest payments on certain types of Brady Bonds may be collateralized by cash or high-grade securities in amounts that typically represent between 12 and 18 months of interest accruals on these instruments, with the balance of the interest accruals being uncollateralized.

 

The Fund may purchase Brady Bonds with no or limited collateralization, and must rely for payment of interest and (except in the case of principal collateralized Brady Bonds) principal primarily on the willingness and ability of the foreign government to make payment in accordance with the terms of the Brady Bonds.

 

Brady Bonds issued to date are purchased and sold in secondary markets through U.S. securities dealers and other financial institutions and are generally maintained through European transactional securities depositories. A substantial portion of the Brady Bonds and other sovereign debt securities in which the Fund invests are likely to be acquired at a discount.

 

Inflation-Indexed Bonds

 

Inflation-indexed bonds are debt instruments whose principal and/or interest value are adjusted periodically according to a rate of inflation (usually a consumer price index). Two structures are most 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 inflation accruals as part of a semiannual coupon.

14 

 

U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (“TIPS”) currently are issued with maturities of five, ten, or thirty years, although it is possible that securities with other maturities will be issued in the future. The principal amount of TIPS adjusts for inflation, although the inflation-adjusted principal is not paid until maturity. Semiannual coupon payments are determined as a fixed percentage of the inflation-adjusted principal at the time the payment is made.

 

If the 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. At maturity, TIPS are redeemed at the greater of their inflation-adjusted principal or at the par amount at original issue. If an inflation-indexed bond does not provide a guarantee of principal at maturity, 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. For example, if inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates would likely decline, leading to an increase in value of inflation-indexed bonds. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates would likely rise, leading to a decrease in value of inflation-indexed bonds.

 

While these securities, if held to maturity, are expected to be protected from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may lead to a decline in value. If nominal interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to an expansion of non-inflationary economic activity), investors in these securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase in rates is not reflected in the bond’s inflation measure.

 

The inflation adjustment of TIPS 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 price changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation, and energy. There can be no assurance that the CPI-U will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services.

 

Sovereign Debt Obligations

 

Sovereign debt obligations are issued or guaranteed by foreign governments or their agencies. Sovereign debt may be in the form of conventional securities or other types of debt instruments such as loan or loan participations. Typically, sovereign debt of developing countries may involve a high degree of risk and may be in default or present the risk of default, however, sovereign debt of developed countries also may involve a high degree of risk and may be in default or present the risk of default. Governments rely on taxes and other revenue sources to pay interest and principal on their debt obligations, and governmental entities responsible for repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal and pay interest when due and may require renegotiation or rescheduling of debt payments. The payment of principal and interest on these obligations may be adversely affected by a variety of factors, including economic results, changes in interest and exchange rates, changes in debt ratings, a limited tax base or limited revenue sources, natural disasters, or other economic or credit problems. In addition, prospects for repayment and payment of interest may depend on political as well as economic factors. Defaults in sovereign debt obligations, or the perceived risk of default, also may impair the market for other securities and debt instruments, including securities issued by banks and other entities holding such sovereign debt, and negatively impact the Fund.

 

Yield Curve Notes

 

Inverse floating rate securities include, but are not limited to, an inverse floating rate class of a government agency-issued yield curve note. A yield curve note is a fixed-income security that bears interest at a floating rate that is reset periodically based on an interest rate benchmark. The interest rate resets on a yield curve note in the opposite direction from the interest rate benchmark.

 

Indexed Securities

 

Indexed securities are instruments whose prices are indexed to the prices of other securities, securities indices, currencies, or other financial indicators. Indexed securities typically, but not always, are debt securities or deposits whose value at maturity or coupon rate is determined by reference to a specific instrument or statistic.

 

Currency-indexed securities typically are short-term to intermediate-term debt securities whose maturity values or interest rates are determined by reference to the values of one or more specified foreign currencies, and may offer higher yields than U.S. dollar-denominated securities. Currency-indexed securities may be positively or negatively

15 

 

indexed; that is, their maturity value may increase when the specified currency value increases, resulting in a security that performs similarly to a foreign denominated instrument, or their maturity value may decline when foreign currencies increase, resulting in a security whose price characteristics are similar to a put on the underlying currency. Currency-indexed securities also may have prices that depend on the values of a number of different foreign currencies relative to each other.

 

The performance of indexed securities depends to a great extent on the performance of the security, currency, or other instrument to which they are indexed, and also may be influenced by interest rate changes in the United States and abroad. Indexed securities may be more volatile than the underlying instruments. Indexed securities also are subject to the credit risks associated with the issuer of the security, and their values may decline substantially if the issuer’s creditworthiness deteriorates. Issuers of indexed securities have included banks, corporations, and certain U.S. government agencies. An indexed security may be leveraged to the extent that the magnitude of any change in the interest rate or principal payable on an indexed security is a multiple of the change in the reference price.

 

Hybrid Instruments

 

Hybrid instruments (a type of potentially high-risk derivative) combine the elements of futures contracts or options with those of debt, preferred equity or a depository instrument.

 

Characteristics of Hybrid Instruments. Generally, a hybrid instrument is a debt security, preferred stock, depository share, trust certificate, certificate of deposit or other evidence of indebtedness on which a portion of or all interest payments, and/or the principal or stated amount payable at maturity, redemption or retirement, is determined by reference to the following:

 

prices, changes in prices, or differences between prices of securities, currencies, intangibles, goods, articles or commodities (collectively, “underlying assets”); or
an objective index, economic factor or other measure, such as interest rates, currency exchange rates, commodity indices, and securities indices (collectively, “benchmarks”).

 

Hybrid instruments may take a variety of forms, including, but not limited to:

 

debt instruments with interest or principal payments or redemption terms determined by reference to the value of a currency or commodity or securities index at a future point in time;
preferred stock with dividend rates determined by reference to the value of a currency; or
convertible securities with the conversion terms related to a particular commodity.

 

Uses of Hybrid Instruments. Hybrid instruments provide an efficient means of creating exposure to a particular market, or segment of a market, with the objective of enhancing total return. For example, the Fund may wish to take advantage of expected declines in interest rates in several European countries, but avoid the transaction costs associated with buying and currency-hedging the foreign bond positions.

 

One approach is to purchase a U.S. dollar-denominated hybrid instrument whose redemption price is linked to the average three-year interest rate in a designated group of countries. The redemption price formula would provide for payoffs of greater than par if the average interest rate was lower than a specified level, and payoffs of less than par if rates were above the specified level. Furthermore, the investing fund could limit the downside risk of the security by establishing a minimum redemption price so that the principal paid at maturity could not be below a predetermined minimum level if interest rates were to rise significantly.

 

The purpose of this type of arrangement, known as a structured security with an embedded put option, is to give the Fund the desired European bond exposure while avoiding currency risk, limiting downside market risk, and lowering transactions costs. Of course, there is no guarantee that such a strategy will be successful and the value of the Fund may decline if, for example, interest rates do not move as anticipated or credit problems develop with the issuer of the hybrid instrument.

 

Structured Notes. Structured notes include investments in an entity, such as a trust, organized and operated solely for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of various securities. This type of restructuring involves the deposit or purchase of specified instruments and the issuance of one or more classes of securities backed by, or representing interests in the underlying instruments. The cash flow on the underlying instruments may be apportioned among the newly issued structured notes to create securities with different investment characteristics, such as varying

16 

 

maturities, payment priorities or interest rate provisions. The extent of the income paid by the structured notes is dependent on the cash flow of the underlying instruments.

 

Commodity-Linked Notes. Certain structured products may provide exposure to the commodities markets. These are derivative securities with one or more commodity-linked components that have payment features similar to commodity futures contracts, commodity options, or similar instruments. Commodity-linked structured products may be either equity or debt securities, leveraged or unleveraged, and have both security and commodity-like characteristics. A portion of the value of these instruments may be derived from the value of a commodity, futures contract, index or other economic variable.

 

Depositary Receipts

 

Securities of foreign issuers may include American Depositary Receipts, European Depositary Receipts, Global Depositary Receipts, International Depositary Receipts, and Non-Voting Depositary Receipts (“ADRs,” “EDRs,” “GDRs,” “IDRs,” and “NVDRs,” respectively, and collectively, “Depositary Receipts”). Depositary Receipts are certificates typically issued by a bank or trust company that give their holders the right to receive securities issued by a foreign or domestic corporation.

 

ADRs are U.S. dollar-denominated securities backed by foreign securities deposited in a U.S. securities depository. ADRs are created for trading in the U.S. markets. The value of an ADR will fluctuate with the value of the underlying security and will reflect any changes in exchange rates. An investment in ADRs involves risks associated with investing in foreign securities. Issuers of unsponsored ADRs are not contractually obligated to disclose material information in the United States, and, therefore, there may not be a correlation between that information and the market value of an unsponsored ADR.

 

EDRs, GDRs, IDRs, and NVDRs are receipts evidencing an arrangement with a foreign bank or exchange affiliate similar to that for ADRs and are designed for use in foreign securities markets. EDRs, GDRs, IDRs, and NVDRs are not necessarily quoted in the same currency as the underlying security. NVDRs do not have voting rights.

 

Variable and Floating Rate Obligations

 

Investments in floating or variable rate securities normally will involve industrial development or revenue bonds, which provide that the rate of interest is set as a specific percentage of a designated base rate, such as rates of Treasury Bonds or Bills or the prime rate at a major commercial bank. In addition, a bondholder can demand payment of the obligations on behalf of the investing fund on short notice at par plus accrued interest, which amount may be more or less than the amount the bondholder paid for them. The maturity of floating or variable rate obligations (including participation interests therein) is deemed to be the longer of: (i) the notice period required before the Fund is entitled to receive payment of the obligation upon demand or: (ii) the period remaining until the obligation’s next interest rate adjustment. If not redeemed by the investor through the demand feature, the obligations mature on a specified date, which may range up to thirty years from the date of issuance.

 

Exchange-Traded Funds (“ETFs”)

 

An ETF is a type of investment company shares of which are bought and sold on a securities exchange. An ETF generally represents a fixed portfolio of securities designed to track a particular market index or basket of securities. The Fund could purchase shares of an ETF to temporarily gain exposure to a portion of the U.S. or a foreign market while awaiting purchase of underlying securities. The risks of owning an ETF include the risks of owning the underlying securities it is designed to track. In addition, the lack of liquidity in an ETF could result in it being more volatile than the underlying securities and ETFs have management fees which increase their costs. Also, there is a risk that an ETF may fail to closely track the index or basket of securities that it is designed to replicate.

 

Exchange-Traded Notes (“ETNs”)

 

ETNs are senior, unsecured, unsubordinated debt securities the returns of which are linked to the performance of a particular market benchmark or strategy, minus applicable fees. ETNs are traded on an exchange (e.g., the NYSE) during normal trading hours; however, investors also can hold ETNs until they mature. At maturity, the issuer pays to the investor a cash amount equal to the principal amount, subject to the day’s market benchmark or strategy factor. ETNs do not make periodic coupon payments or provide principal protection. ETNs are subject to credit risk, including the credit risk of the issuer, and the value of the ETN may drop due to a downgrade in the issuer’s credit rating, despite

17 

 

the underlying market benchmark or strategy remaining unchanged. The value of an ETN also may 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. A decision by the Fund to sell 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 also are subject to tax risk. No assurance can be given that the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) will accept, or a court will uphold, how the Fund characterizes and treats ETNs for tax purposes.

 

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 ETNs 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 ETNs 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 trades at a premium or discount to its market benchmark or strategy.

 

ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT POLICIES

 

The following provides a more detailed explanation of some investment policies of the Fund but only if and to the extent that such policies are consistent with and permitted by the Fund’s investment objective and policies.

 

Lending of Securities

 

The Fund may lend its securities so long as such loans do not represent more than 33⅓% of its total assets. As collateral for the loaned securities, the borrower gives the lending portfolio collateral equal to at least 100% of the value of the loaned securities. The collateral will consist of cash (including U.S. dollars and foreign currency), cash equivalents or securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities. The borrower also must agree to increase the collateral if the value of the loaned securities increases. If the market value of the loaned securities declines, the borrower may request that some collateral be returned.

 

During the existence of the loan, the Fund will receive from the borrower amounts equivalent to any dividends, interest or other distributions on the loaned securities, as well as interest on such amounts. If the Fund receives a payment in lieu of dividends (a “substitute payment”) with respect to securities on loan pursuant to a securities lending transaction, such income will not be eligible for the dividends-received deduction (the “DRD”) for corporate shareholders. The DRD is discussed more fully in this SAI under “Additional Information Concerning Taxes.”

 

As with other extensions of credit, there are risks that collateral could be inadequate in the event of the borrower failing financially, which could result in actual financial loss, and risks that recovery of loaned securities could be delayed, which could result in interference with portfolio management decisions or exercise of ownership rights. The collateral is managed by an affiliate of the Advisor. The Fund will be responsible for the risks associated with the investment of cash collateral, including the risk that the Fund may lose money on the investment or may fail to earn sufficient income to meet its obligations to the borrower. In addition, the Fund may lose its right to vote its shares of the loaned securities at a shareholders meeting if a subadvisor does not recall or does not timely recall the loaned securities, or if the borrower fails to return the recalled securities in advance of the record date for the meeting.

 

The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has entered into an agency agreement for securities lending transactions (“Securities Lending Agreement”) with Citibank and, separately, with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (“Brown Brothers Harriman”) (each, a “Securities Lending Agent”). Pursuant to each Securities Lending Agreement, Citibank or Brown Brothers Harriman acts as securities lending agent for the Fund and administers the Fund’s securities lending program. During the fiscal year, each Securities Lending Agent is expected to perform various services for the Fund, including the following: (i) lending portfolio securities, previously identified by the Fund as available for loan, and held by the Fund’s custodian (“Custodian”) on behalf of the Fund, to borrowers identified by the Fund in the Securities Lending Agreement; (ii) instructing the Custodian to receive and deliver securities, as applicable, to effect such loans; (iii) locating borrowers; (iv) monitoring daily the market value of loaned securities; (v) ensuring daily movement of

18 

 

collateral associated with loan transactions; (vi) marking to market loaned securities and non-cash collateral; (vii) monitoring dividend activity with respect to loaned securities; (viii) negotiating loan terms with the borrowers; (ix) recordkeeping and account servicing related to securities lending activities; and (x) arranging for the return of loaned securities at the termination of the loan. Under each Securities Lending Agreement, Citibank or Brown Brothers Harriman, as applicable, generally will bear the risk that a borrower may default on its obligation to return loaned securities.

 

Securities lending involves counterparty risk, including the risk that the loaned securities may not be returned or returned in a timely manner and/or a loss of rights in the collateral if the borrower or the lending agent defaults or fails financially. This risk is increased when the Fund’s loans are concentrated with a single or limited number of borrowers. There are no limits on the number of borrowers to which the Fund may lend securities and the Fund may lend securities to only one or a small group of borrowers. In addition, under the Securities Lending Agreement, loans may be made to affiliates of Citibank or Brown Brothers Harriman, as applicable, as identified in the Securities Lending Agreement.

 

Cash collateral may be invested by the Fund in a privately offered registered investment company advised by Manulife Investment Management (US) LLC that is part of the same group of investment companies as the Fund and that is offered exclusively to funds in the same group of investment companies. Investment of cash collateral offers the opportunity for the Fund to profit from income earned by this collateral pool, but also the risk of loss, should the value of the Fund’s shares in the collateral pool decrease below their initial value.

 

Interfund Lending

 

Pursuant to an exemptive order issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the Fund may lend money to, and borrow money from, other funds advised by the Advisor or any other investment advisor under common control with the Advisor, subject to the fundamental restrictions on borrowing and lending applicable to the Fund. The Fund is authorized to participate fully in this program.

 

The Fund will borrow through the program only when the costs are equal to or lower than the cost of bank loans, and the Fund will lend through the program only when the returns are higher than those available from an investment in overnight repurchase agreements. Interfund loans and borrowings normally extend overnight, but can have a maximum duration of seven days. Loans may be called on one day’s notice. The Fund may have to borrow from a bank at a higher interest rate if an interfund loan is called or not renewed. Any delay in repayment to a lending fund or from a borrowing fund could result in a lost investment opportunity or additional borrowing costs.

 

When-Issued/Delayed Delivery/Forward Commitment Securities

 

When-issued, delayed-delivery or forward-commitment transactions involve a commitment to purchase or sell securities at a predetermined price or yield in which payment and delivery take place after the customary settlement for such securities (which is typically one month or more after trade date). When purchasing securities in one of these types of transactions, payment for the securities is not required until the delivery date, however, the purchaser assumes the rights and risks of ownership, including the risks of price and yield fluctuations and the risk that the security will not be delivered. When the Fund has sold securities pursuant to one of these transactions, it will not participate in further gains or losses with respect to that security. At the time of delivery, the value of when-issued, delayed-delivery or forward commitment securities may be more or less than the transaction price, and the yields then available in the market may be higher or lower than those obtained in the transaction.

 

Under normal circumstances, when the Fund purchases securities on a when-issued or forward commitment basis it will take delivery of the securities, but the Fund may, if deemed advisable, sell the securities before the settlement date. Forward contracts may settle in cash between the counterparty and the Fund or by physical settlement of the underlying securities, and the Fund may renegotiate or roll over a forward commitment transaction. In general, the Fund does not pay for the securities, or start earning interest on them, or deliver or take possession of securities until the obligations are scheduled to be settled. In such transactions, no cash changes hands on the trade date, however, if the transaction is collateralized, the exchange of margin may take place between the Fund and the counterparty according to an agreed-upon schedule. The Fund does, however, record the transaction and reflect the value each day of the securities in determining its NAV.

 

While awaiting settlement of the obligations purchased or sold on such basis, the Fund will maintain on its records liquid assets consisting of cash, liquid high quality debt obligations or other assets equal to the amount of the commitments to purchase or sell when-issued, delayed-delivery or forward commitment securities. The availability of

19 

 

liquid assets for this purpose and the effect of asset segregation on the Fund’s ability to meet its current obligations, to honor requests for redemption, and to otherwise manage its investment portfolio will limit the extent to which the Fund may purchase when-issued or forward commitment securities.

 

Mortgage Dollar Rolls

 

Under a mortgage dollar roll, the Fund sells mortgage-backed securities for delivery in the future (generally within 30 days) and simultaneously contracts to repurchase substantially similar securities (of the same type, coupon and maturity) on a specified future date. During the roll period, the Fund forgoes principal and interest paid on the mortgage-backed securities. The Fund is compensated by the difference between the current sale price and the lower forward price for the future purchase (often referred to as the “drop”), as well as by the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale. The Fund also may be compensated by receipt of a commitment fee. The Fund may only enter into “covered rolls.” A covered roll is a specific type of dollar roll for which there is an offsetting cash or cash equivalent security position that matures on or before the forward settlement date of the dollar roll transaction or for which the Fund maintains on its records liquid assets having an aggregate value at least equal to the amount of such commitment to repurchase. Dollar roll transactions involve the risk that the market value of the securities sold by the Fund may decline below the repurchase price of those securities. A mortgage dollar roll may be considered a form of leveraging, and may, therefore, increase fluctuations in the Fund’s NAV per share. Covered rolls are not treated as a borrowing or other senior security and will be excluded from the calculation of the Fund’s borrowing and other senior securities. For financial reporting and tax purposes, the Fund treats mortgage dollar rolls as two separate transactions; one involving the purchase of a security and a separate transaction involving a sale.

 

Illiquid Securities

 

The Fund may not invest more than 15% of its net assets in securities that cannot be sold or disposed of in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment (“illiquid securities”). Investment in illiquid securities involves the risk that, because of the lack of consistent market demand for such securities, the Fund may be forced to sell them at a discount from the last offer price. To the extent that an investment is deemed to be an illiquid investment or a less liquid investment, the Fund can expect to be exposed to greater liquidity risk.

 

Illiquid securities may include, but are not limited to: (a) securities (except for Section 4(a)(2) Commercial Paper, discussed below) that are not eligible for resale pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act; (b) repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven days (except for those that can be terminated after a notice period of seven days or less); (c) IOs and POs of non-governmental issuers; (d) time deposits maturing in more than seven days (except for those that can be terminated after a notice period of seven days or less); (e) federal fund loans maturing in more than seven days; (f) bank loan participation interests; (g) foreign government loan participations; (h) municipal leases and participations therein; and (i) any other securities or other investments for which a liquid secondary market does not exist.

 

The Trust has implemented a written liquidity risk management program (the “LRM Program”) and related procedures to manage the liquidity risk of the Fund in accordance with Rule 22e-4. Rule 22e-4 defines “liquidity risk” as the risk that the Fund could not meet requests to redeem shares issued by the Fund without significant dilution of the remaining investors’ interests in the Fund. The Board has designated the Advisor to serve as the administrator of the LRM Program and the related procedures. As a part of the LRM Program, the Advisor is responsible to identify illiquid investments and categorize the relative liquidity of the Fund’s investments in accordance with Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act. Under the LRM Program, the Advisor assesses, manages, and periodically reviews the Fund’s liquidity risk, and is responsible to make periodic reports to the Board and the SEC regarding the liquidity of the Fund’s investments, and to notify the Board and the SEC of certain liquidity events specified in Rule 22e-4. The liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio investments is determined based on relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations under the LRM Program.

 

Commercial paper issued in reliance on Section 4(a)(2) of the 1933 Act (“Section 4(a)(2) Commercial Paper”) is restricted as to its disposition under federal securities law, and generally is sold to institutional investors, such as the Fund, who agree that they are purchasing the paper for investment purposes and not with a view to public distribution. Any resale by the purchaser must be made in an exempt transaction. Section 4(a)(2) Commercial Paper normally is resold to other institutional investors, like the Fund, through or with the assistance of the issuer or investment dealers who make a market in Section 4(a)(2) Commercial Paper, thus providing liquidity.

20 

 

If the Advisor determines, pursuant to the LRM Program and related procedures, that specific Section 4(a)(2) Commercial Paper or securities that are restricted as to resale but for which a ready market is available pursuant to an exemption provided by Rule 144A under the 1933 Act or other exemptions from the registration requirements of the 1933 Act are liquid, they will not be subject to the Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. Investing in Section 4(a)(2) Commercial Paper could have the effect of increasing the level of illiquidity in the Fund if qualified institutional buyers become for a time uninterested in purchasing these restricted securities.

 

Short Sales

 

The Fund may make short sales of securities or maintain a short position in anticipation of the decline in the market value of that security (a “short sale”). The Fund may make short sales when the Fund owns an equal amount of such securities or securities convertible into or exchangeable, without payment of any further consideration, for an equal amount of the securities of the same issuer as the securities sold short (often referred to as a short sale “against-the-box”).

 

In addition, the Fund may make short sales of securities that the Fund does not own. To complete such a transaction, the Fund must borrow the security to make delivery to the buyer. The Fund is then obligated to replace the security borrowed by purchasing it at market price at the time of replacement. The price at such time may be more or less than the price at which the security was sold by the Fund. Until the security is replaced, the Fund is required to pay the lender any dividends or interest which accrues during the period of the loan. To borrow the security, the Fund also may be required to pay a premium, which would increase the cost of the security sold. The proceeds of the short sale are typically retained by the broker to meet margin requirements, until the short position is closed out. Until the Fund replaces a borrowed security, it will segregate with its custodian cash or other liquid assets at such a level that the amount segregated plus the amount deposited with the broker as collateral (not including proceeds from the short sale) will equal the current value of the security sold short. Except for short sales against-the-box, the amount of the Fund’s net assets that may be committed to short sales is limited and the securities in which short sales are made must be listed on a national securities exchange.

 

The Fund will incur a loss as a result of the short sale if the price of the security increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which the Fund replaced the borrowed security and theoretically the Fund’s loss could be unlimited. The Fund will realize a gain if the security declines in price between those dates. This result is the opposite of what one would expect from a cash purchase of a long position in a security. The amount of any gain will be decreased, and the amount of any loss increased, by the amount of any premium, dividends or interest the Fund may be required to pay in connection with a short sale. Short selling may amplify changes in the Fund’s NAV. Short selling also may produce higher than normal portfolio turnover, which may result in increased transaction costs to the Fund. The Fund may make short sales of securities or maintain a short position, provided that at all times when a short position is open, the Fund owns an equal amount of such securities or securities convertible into or exchangeable, without payment of any further consideration, for an equal amount of the securities of the same issuer as the securities sold short (often referred to as a short sale “against-the-box”).

 

Investment in Other Investment Companies

 

The Fund may invest in other investment companies (including closed-end investment companies, unit investment trusts, open-end investment companies, investment companies exempted from registration under the 1940 Act pursuant to the Rules thereunder and other pooled vehicles) to the extent permitted by federal securities laws (including the rules, regulations and interpretations thereunder) and to the extent permitted by exemp