The Workplace Equality Portfolio
Principal Investment Risks
Investors should consider the following risk factors and special considerations associated with investing in the Fund, which may cause you to lose money.
Investment Risk. An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest.
Equity Risk. A principal risk of investing in the Fund is equity risk, which is the risk that the value of the securities held by the Fund will fall due to general market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate or factors relating to specific companies in which the Fund invests. For example, an adverse event, such as an unfavorable earnings report, may depress the value of equity securities of an issuer held by the Fund; the price of common stock of an issuer may be particularly sensitive to general movements in the stock market; or a drop in the stock market may depress the price of most or all of the common stocks and other equity securities held by the Fund. In addition, common stock of an issuer in the Fund's portfolio may decline in price if the issuer fails to make anticipated dividend payments because, among other reasons, the issuer of the security experiences a decline in its financial condition. Common stock is subordinated to preferred stocks, bonds and other debt instruments in a company's capital structure, in terms of priority to corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater dividend risk than preferred stocks or debt instruments of such issuers. In addition, while broad market measures of common stocks have historically generated higher average returns than fixed income securities, common stocks have also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns.
Foreign Investment Risk. The Fund's investments in non-U.S. issuers may involve unique risks compared to investing in securities of U.S. issuers, including, among others, greater market volatility than U.S. securities and less complete financial information than for U.S. issuers. In addition, adverse political, economic or social developments could undermine the value of the Fund's investments or prevent the Fund from realizing the full value of its investments. Financial reporting standards for companies based in foreign markets differ from those in the United States. Finally, the value of the currency of the country in which the Fund has invested could decline relative to the value of the U.S. dollar, which may affect the value of the investment to U.S. investors.
Foreign Currency Transaction Risk. Foreign exchange transactions involve a significant degree of risk and the markets in which foreign exchange transactions are effected are highly volatile, highly specialized and highly technical. Significant changes, including changes in liquidity prices, can occur in such markets within very short periods of time, often within minutes. Foreign exchange trading risks include, but are not limited to, exchange rate risk, maturity gap, interest rate risk, and potential interference by foreign governments through regulation of local exchange markets, foreign investment or particular transactions in foreign currency. If the Fund utilizes foreign exchange transactions at an inappropriate time or judges market conditions, trends or correlations incorrectly, foreign exchange transactions may not serve their intended purpose of improving the correlation of the Fund's return with the performance of its Index and may lower the Fund's return. In addition, the Fund could incur transaction costs, including trading commissions, in connection with certain foreign currency transactions.
Strategy Risk. The Fund invests in stocks of companies which meet the Index's criteria for supporting workplace equality for LGBT employees. The trend of companies supporting workplace equality in this fashion is relatively recent, and there may be a limited number of companies which meet the Index's criteria. The Fund may thus have limited exposure to various industries, sectors, regions, and countries and there can be no assurance that the stocks of the companies which meet the Index's criteria will be in favor as compared to the stocks of other companies. In addition, political trends towards increasing legal equality for LGBT persons could stall or reverse: whether as a result or separately, the number of companies supporting workplace equality for LGBT employees could stop increasing or even decrease.
Consumer Discretionary Sector Risk. As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in securities issued by companies in the consumer discretionary sector in order to track the Underlying Index's allocation to that sector. Companies engaged in the consumer discretionary sector are subject to fluctuations in supply and demand. These companies may also be adversely affected by changes in consumer spending as a result of world events, political and economic conditions, commodity price volatility, changes in exchange rates, imposition of import controls, increased competition, depletion of resources and labor relations.
Financial Services Sector Risk. As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in securities of issuers in the financial services sector in order to track the Underlying Index's allocation to that sector. The financial services sector is subject to extensive government regulation, can be subject to relatively rapid change due to increasingly blurred distinctions between service segments, and can be significantly affected by availability and cost of capital funds, changes in interest rates, the rate of corporate and consumer debt defaults, and price competition. In addition, the deterioration of the credit markets since late 2007 generally has caused an adverse impact in a broad range of markets, including U.S. and international credit and interbank money markets generally, thereby affecting a wide range of financial institutions and markets. In particular, events in the financial sector since late 2008 have resulted, and may continue to result, in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign. This situation has created instability in the financial markets and caused certain financial services companies to incur large losses. Numerous financial services companies have experienced substantial declines in the valuations of their assets, taken action to raise capital (such as the issuance of debt or equity securities), or even ceased operations. These actions have caused the securities of many financial services companies to experience a dramatic decline in value. Moreover, certain financial companies have avoided collapse due to intervention by the U.S. or foreign regulatory authorities, but such interventions have often not averted a substantial decline in the value of such companies' common stock.
Issuers that have exposure to the real estate, mortgage and credit markets have been particularly affected by the foregoing events and the general market turmoil, and it is uncertain whether or for how long these conditions will continue.
Small- and Medium-Sized Company Risk. Investing in securities of small and medium-sized companies involves greater risk than is customarily associated with investing in more established companies. These companies' stocks may be more volatile and less liquid than those of more established companies. These stocks may have returns that vary, sometimes significantly, from the overall stock market.
Non-Correlation Risk. The Fund's return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs a number of operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing the Fund's securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Index. In addition, the performance of the Fund and the Index may vary due to asset valuation differences and differences between the Fund's portfolio and the Index resulting from legal restrictions. Tax withholdings imposed by foreign countries may also contribute to differences between the Fund's return and the return of the Index.
Due to legal and regulatory rules and limitations imposed domestically or by certain countries in which securities in the Index trade, the Fund may not be able to invest in all securities included in the Index. The Fund may exclude certain securities included in the Index that are traded in certain countries due to issues such as trading restrictions, cost or liquidity constraints. For tax efficiency purposes, the Fund may sell certain securities to realize losses, causing it to deviate from the Index. The Fund may not be fully invested at times, either as a result of cash flows into the Fund or reserves of cash held by the Fund to meet redemptions and expenses. If the Fund utilizes a sampling approach or otherwise does not hold all of the securities in the Index, its return may not correlate as well with the return on the Index, as would be the case if it purchased all of the securities in the Index with the same weightings as the Index.
To the extent the Fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices and the value of the Index is based on securities closing prices on local foreign markets, (i.e. the value of the Index is not based on fair value prices) or the Fund otherwise calculates its NAV based on prices that differ from those used in calculating the Index, the Fund's ability to track the Index may be adversely affected.
Issuer Specific Changes. The value of an individual security or particular type of security can be more volatile than the market as a whole and can perform differently from the value of the market as a whole. The value of securities of smaller issues can be more volatile than that of larger issues.
Concentration Risk. If the Index concentrates in an industry or group of industries the Fund's investments will be concentrated accordingly. In such event, the value of the Fund's Shares may rise and fall more than the value of shares of a fund that invests in securities of companies in a broader range of industries.
Fluctuation of Net Asset Value. The NAV of the Fund's Shares will generally fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund's holdings. The market prices of the Shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV as well as the relative supply of and demand for Shares on the NYSE Arca. The Adviser cannot predict whether the Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for the Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the stocks of the Index trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time.
Replication Management Risk. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund is not "actively" managed. Therefore, it would not necessarily sell a security because the security's issuer was in financial trouble unless that security is removed from the Index.