Equity Risk. A principal risk of investing in the Fund is associated with its common stock investments. In general, stock values fluctuate in response to activities specific to the company as well as general market, economic and political conditions. Stock prices can fluctuate widely in response to these factors.
Index Risk. The Fund is operated as a passively managed index fund. As such, the adverse performance of a particular stock ordinarily will not result in the elimination of the stock from the Fund's portfolio. The Fund will remain invested in common stocks even when stock prices are generally falling. Ordinarily, the Adviser will not sell the Fund's portfolio securities except to reflect additions or deletions of the stocks that comprise the S&P 500 Index, or as may be necessary to raise cash to pay Fund shareholders who sell Fund shares. The Fund's ability to correlate its performance, before expenses, with the S&P 500 Index may be affected by, among other things, changes in securities markets, the manner in which the S&P 500 Index is calculated and the timing of purchases and sales, and also depends to some extent on the size of the Fund's portfolio, the size of cash flows into and out of the Fund and differences between how and when the Fund and the Index are valued.
Management Risk. The investment techniques and risk analysis used by the Fund's portfolio managers may not produce the desired results.
Futures Risk. A decision as to whether, when and how to use futures involves the exercise of skill and judgment and even a well conceived futures transaction may be unsuccessful because of market behavior or unexpected events.
Swaps Risk. A swap contract is an agreement between two parties pursuant to which the parties exchange payments at specified dates on the basis of a specified notional amount, with the payments calculated by reference to specified securities, indexes, reference rates, currencies or other instruments. Swaps are subject to credit risk and counterparty risk.
SPDRs Risk. SPDRs have many of the same risks as direct investments in common stocks. The market value of SPDRs is expected to rise and fall as the S&P 500 Index rises and falls. If the Fund invests in SPDRs, it would, in addition to its own expenses, indirectly bear its ratable share of the SPDR's expenses.
Derivatives Risk. Derivatives may be more difficult to purchase, sell or value than other investments and may be subject to market, interest rate, credit, leverage, counterparty and management risks. A fund investing in a derivative could lose more than the cash amount invested or incur higher taxes. Over-the-counter derivatives are also subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the other party to the contract will not fulfill its contractual obligation to complete the transaction with the Fund.
Credit Risk. The issuer of instruments in which the Fund invests may be unable to meet interest and/or principal payments, thereby causing its instruments to decrease in value and lowering the issuer's credit rating.
Interest Rate Risk. Interest rate risk refers to the risk that bond prices generally fall as interest rates rise; conversely, bond prices generally rise as interest rates fall. Specific bonds differ in their sensitivity to changes in interest rates depending on their individual characteristics, including duration.
Liquidity Risk. The Fund may hold illiquid securities that it is unable to sell at the preferred time or price and could lose its entire investment in such securities.
U.S. Government Obligations Risk. Obligations issued by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities may receive varying levels of support from the government, which could affect the Fund's ability to recover should they default.