Table of Contents

1933 Act File No.: 333-104669

1940 Act File No.: 811-00266

 

 

 

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM N-2

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

  

SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

Pre-Effective Amendment No.

Post-Effective Amendment No. 20

  

x

¨

x

and/or

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

  

THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940

Amendment No. 54

  

x

x

 

 

Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter:

TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION

 

 

Address of Principal Executive Offices (Number, Street, City, State, Zip Code):

225 Franklin Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02110

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code:

(800) 345-6611

Name and Address (Number, Street, City, State, Zip Code) of Agent for Service:

Scott R. Plummer, 5228 Ameriprise Financial Center, Minneapolis, MN 55474

 

 

Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering:  As soon as practicable after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

If any securities being registered on this form will be offered on a delayed or continuous basis in reliance on Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered in connection with a dividend reinvestment plan, check the following box.   ¨

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

  x when declared effective pursuant to section 8(c)
  ¨ immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)
  ¨ on (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)
  ¨ 60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)
  ¨ on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a) of Rule 486.

If appropriate, check the following box:

  ¨ This Post-Effective Amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed Post-Effective Amendment or Registration Statement.
  ¨ This Post-Effective Amendment on Form N-2 is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b)(1) under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Act Registration Statement Number of the earlier effective Registration Statement for the same offering is:             

 

 

 


Table of Contents

LOGO

 

PROSPECTUS

May 1, 2016

 

LOGO

 

TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION

Tri-Continental Corporation seeks future growth of both capital and income while providing reasonable current income.

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission has neither approved nor disapproved these securities, and it has not determined this Prospectus to be accurate or adequate. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

Not FDIC Insured  ¡  May Lose Value  ¡  No Bank Guarantee



Table of Contents

 

LOGO

an investment you can live with

Prospectus

May 1, 2016

225 Franklin Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02110

Toll-Free Telephone (800) 345-6611, option 3

Tri-Continental Corporation (the “Fund”) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company — a publicly traded investment fund. The Fund’s shares of common stock (the “Common Stock”) are traded primarily on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “TY.” The closing market price of the Common Stock on February 29, 2016 was $18.77 per share.

The Fund invests primarily for the longer term, and the Fund’s objective is to produce future growth of both capital and income while providing reasonable current income. The Fund may invest in all types of securities. See “Investment Objective and Other Policies and Related Risks.” No assurance can be given that the Fund’s investment objective will be realized. The Fund’s investment manager is Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC (“Columbia Management” or the “Investment Manager”).

This Prospectus applies to all shares of Common Stock purchased under the Fund’s various investment plans and to all shares of Common Stock issued upon exercise of the Fund’s outstanding Warrants. See “Investment Plans and Other Services.” The shares of Common Stock covered by this Prospectus also may be issued from time to time by the Fund to acquire the assets of personal holding companies, private investment companies or publicly owned investment companies. See “Issuance of Shares in Connection with Acquisitions.”

This Prospectus sets forth the information that a prospective investor should know about the Fund before investing. Investors are advised to read this Prospectus carefully and to retain it for future reference. Additional information about the Fund, including a Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) dated May 1, 2016, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SAI, as well as the Fund’s most recent Annual and Semi-Annual Reports are also available upon request and without charge by writing to Columbia Management Investment Services Corp. (“CMISC” or the “Service Agent”), the Fund’s stockholder servicing, dividend paying and transfer agent, at P.O. Box 8099, Boston, Massachusetts 02266-8099 or calling the Service Agent at the telephone number listed above. Investors may also write or call the Service Agent in order to request other available information or to make stockholder inquiries. The SAI is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety and its table of contents appears on page 25 of this Prospectus. The 2015 Annual Report contains financial statements of the Fund for the year ended December 31, 2015, which are incorporated by reference into the SAI. The SAI, as well as the Fund’s most recent Annual and Semi-Annual Reports are also available at columbiathreadneedle.com/us. The website references in this Prospectus are inactive textual references and information contained in or otherwise accessible through the referenced websites does not form a part of this Prospectus. The Securities and Exchange Commission maintains a website (www.sec.gov) that contains the Prospectus, SAI, material incorporated by reference, and other information filed electronically by the Fund.

Common Stock

($0.50 par value)

 

TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION — 2016 PROSPECTUS     1p   


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Summary of Fund Expenses

    3p   

Prospectus Summary

    4p   

The Fund

    4p   

Financial Highlights

    5p   

Capitalization at February 29, 2016

    9p   

Trading and Net Asset Value Information

    9p   

Investment Objective and Other Policies and Related Risks

    10p   

Management of the Fund

    14p   

Description of Capital Stock

    17p   

Description of Warrants

    17p   

Computation of Net Asset Value

    18p   

Dividend Policy and Taxes

    18p   

Investment Plans and Other Services

    21p   

Issuance of Shares in Connection with Acquisitions

    24p   

Table of Contents of the Statement of Additional Information

    25p   

 

2p   TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION — 2016 PROSPECTUS


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Summary of Fund Expenses

The following table illustrates the expenses and fees that the Fund expects to incur and that you can expect to bear as a holder of the Fund’s Common Stock. The total annual expenses in the fee and expense table below are based on expenses incurred during the Fund’s most recently completed fiscal year and are expressed as a percentage (expense ratio) of the Fund’s average net assets during the period attributable to Common Stock. The expense ratio has been adjusted to reflect current fee arrangements, but has not been adjusted to reflect the Fund’s assets as of a different period or point in time, as asset levels will fluctuate. In general, the Fund’s annual operating expense ratio will increase as the Fund’s assets decrease, such that the Fund’s actual expense ratio may be higher than the expense ratio presented in the table.

Columbia Management provides management services, which include investment advisory services and administrative services, for a fee, as disclosed in the fee table below. Please see the “Management of the Fund” section of the prospectus for a description of such fees.

 

Stockholder Transaction Expenses      

Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Plan Fees

    $ 2.00 (a)

 

Annual Expenses (as a percentage of net assets attributable to Common Stock)      

Management fees (b)

      0.42%  

Other expenses (b)(c)

      0.08%  

Acquired fund fees and expenses

      0.06%  

Total Annual Expenses Before Impact of Dividends on Preferred Stock (d)

      0.56%  

Impact of Dividends on Preferred Stock

      0.13%  

Total Annual Expenses, including Impact of Dividends on Preferred Stock

      0.69%  

 

(a)  

Stockholders participating in the Fund’s Cash Purchase Plan pay a $2.00 fee per transaction. See “Investment Plans and Other Services — Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Plan” for a description of the investment plans and services.

(b)  

The Fund’s management fee is 0.415% of the Fund’s average daily net assets (which includes assets attributable the Fund’s common and preferred stock) and is borne by the Fund’s common stockholders. The management rate noted in the table reflects the rate paid by Common Stockholders as a percentage of the Fund’s net assets attributable to Common Stock. Management fees reflect the combination of advisory and administrative services fees under one agreement providing for a single management fee. As a result, other expenses do not include administrative services fees. Advisory fees and administrative services fees paid pursuant to separate prior agreements amounted to 0.355% and 0.06% of average daily net assets of the Fund, respectively.

(c)  

Other expenses have been restated to reflect current fees paid by the Fund.

(d)  

“Total Annual Expenses Before Impact of Dividends on Preferred Stock” include acquired fund fees and expenses (expenses the Fund incurs indirectly through its investments in other investment companies) and may be higher than expense ratio shown in the Financial Highlights section of this prospectus because the expense ratio does not include acquired fund fees and expenses.

 

The following example illustrates the costs you would pay on a $1,000 investment, assuming a 5% annual return (includes the impact of dividends on preferred stock):

 

     1 Year      3 Years      5 Years      10 Years  

Tri-Continental Corporation Common Stock

   $ 7       $ 22       $ 38       $ 86   

If dividends on the Fund’s Preferred Stock (as defined herein) were not included, the total expenses incurred for 1, 3, 5 and 10 years will be $6, $18, $31 and $70.

The purpose of the table above is to assist you in understanding the various costs and expenses you will bear directly or indirectly. For more complete descriptions of the various costs and expenses, see “Management of the Fund” and “Investment Plans and Other Services — Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Plan.”

The example does not represent actual costs, which may be more or less than those shown. Moreover, the Fund’s actual rate of return may be more or less than the hypothetical 5% return shown in the example.

 

TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION — 2016 PROSPECTUS     3p   


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Prospectus Summary

The following is qualified in its entirety by the more detailed information included elsewhere in this Prospectus.

This Prospectus applies to shares of Common Stock of the Fund. The Fund invests primarily for the longer term and has no charter restrictions with respect to such investments. The Fund’s objective is to produce future growth of both capital and income while providing reasonable current income. There can be no assurance that this objective will be achieved. With respect to the Fund’s investments, assets may be held in cash or invested in all types of securities in whatever amounts or proportions the Investment Manager believes is best suited to current and anticipated economic and market conditions. These may include preferred and common stocks, debt securities, repurchase agreements, derivatives (including futures contracts), illiquid securities and securities of foreign issuers (including emerging markets issuers), each of which could involve certain risks. The Fund also employs leverage through its outstanding shares of preferred stock. See “Investment Objective and Other Policies and Related Risks.”

Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (Ameriprise Financial), is the investment manager of the Fund. Columbia Management also serves as administrative services agent to the Fund and provides or compensates others to provide accounting, treasury and other services to the Fund and the other Columbia funds.

The advisory fee rate for the year ended December 31, 2015 was equivalent to 0.36% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. See “Management of the Fund” for more information.

Shares of Common Stock covered by this Prospectus may be purchased from time to time by the Service Agent, the Plan service agent for the Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Plans, Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRAs”) and Retirement Plans for Self-Employed Individuals, Partnerships and Corporations (collectively, the “Plans”), as directed by participants, and may be sold from time to time by the Service Agent for participants in Systematic Withdrawal Plans. See “Investment Plans and Other Services.” Shares will be purchased for the Plans on the New York Stock Exchange or elsewhere when the market price of the Common Stock is equal to or less than its net asset value, and any brokerage commissions applicable to such purchases will be charged pro rata to the Plan participants. Shares will be purchased for the Plans from the Fund at net asset value when the net asset value is lower than the market price, all as more fully described in this Prospectus.

The Board re-approved the Fund’s stock repurchase program for 2016. Identical to the Fund’s 2015 stock repurchase program, the Fund’s 2016 stock repurchase program allows the Fund to repurchase up to 5% of the Fund’s outstanding Common Stock during the year directly from Stockholders and in the open market, provided that, with respect to shares purchased in the open market, the excess of the net asset value of a share of Common Stock over its market price (the discount) is greater than 10%. During 2015, the Fund purchased 1,968,567 shares of Common Stock in the open market. The intent of the stock repurchase program is, among other things, to moderate the growth in the number of shares of Common Stock outstanding, increase the NAV of the Fund’s outstanding shares, reduce the dilutive impact on stockholders who do not take capital gains distributions in additional shares and increase the liquidity of the Fund’s Common Stock in the marketplace.

The Fund

The Fund is a Maryland corporation formed in 1929 by the consolidation of two predecessor corporations. It is registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), as a diversified management investment company of the closed-end type. The Fund’s Common Stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “TY.” The average weekly trading volume on that and other exchanges during 2015 was 343,976 shares. The Fund’s Common Stock has historically been traded on the market at less than net asset value. As of February 29, 2016, the Fund had 58,416,560 shares of Common Stock outstanding and net assets attributable to Common Stock of $1,304,250,465.

 

4p   TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION — 2016 PROSPECTUS


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Financial Highlights

The Fund’s financial highlights for the four most recent fiscal years presented on the following pages have been derived from the financial statements audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. Financial highlights for prior fiscal years were derived from the financial statements audited by other auditors. The information below, which is derived from the financial and accounting records of the Fund, should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and notes contained in the Fund’s 2015 Annual Report, which may be obtained from CMISC as provided in this Prospectus.

“Per Share Operating Performance” data is designed to allow you to trace the operating performance, on a per Common Stock share basis, from the beginning net asset value to the ending net asset value so that you can understand what effect the individual items have on your investment, assuming it was held throughout the year. Generally, the per share amounts are derived by converting the actual dollar amounts incurred for each item, as disclosed in the financial statements, to their equivalent per Common Stock share amounts, using average shares outstanding during the period.

The total investment return based on market value measures the Fund’s performance assuming you purchased shares of the Fund at the market value as of the beginning of the year, invested dividends and capital gains paid as provided for in the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Plan, and then sold your shares at the closing market value per share on the last day of the year. The computation does not reflect any sales commissions you may incur in purchasing or selling shares of the Fund. The total investment return based on net asset value is similarly computed except that the Fund’s net asset value is substituted for the corresponding market value.

The ratios of expenses and net investment income to average net assets for Common Stock for the periods presented do not reflect the effect of dividends paid to holders of the Fund’s $2.50 cumulative preferred stock (the “Preferred Stock”).

 

TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION — 2016 PROSPECTUS     5p   


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PER SHARE OPERATING PERFORMANCE, TOTAL INVESTMENT RETURN, RATIOS AND SUPPLEMENTAL DATA

(for a share of Common Stock outstanding throughout each year)

 

    Year ended December 31,  
    2015     2014     2013     2012  

Per share data

       

Net asset value, beginning of period

    $24.76        $23.11        $18.77        $16.77   

Income from investment operations:

       

Net investment income

    .81        .73        .69        .63   

Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)

    (1.37     1.70        4.36        2.00   

Increase from payments by affiliate

                           

Total from investment operations

    (.56     2.43        5.05        2.63   

Less distributions to Stockholders from:

       

Net investment income

       

Preferred stock

    (.03     (.03     (.03     (.03

Common stock

    (.81     (.75     (.68     (.60

Net realized gains

       

Common stock

                           

Tax return of capital

       

Common stock

                           

Total distributions to Stockholders

    (.84     (.78     (.71     (.63

Dilution in net asset value from dividend reinvestment

    (.05                     

Increase resulting from share repurchases

    .18                        

Capital stock transactions at market price

                           

Net asset value, end of period

    $23.49        $24.76        $23.11        $18.77   

Adjusted net asset value, end of period (b)

    $23.42        $24.68        $23.04        $18.71   

Market price, end of period

    $20.02        $21.41        $19.98        $16.00   

Total return

       

Based upon net asset value

    (1.36%     11.09%        27.76%        16.24%   

Based upon market price

    (2.78%     11.11%        29.58%        16.77%   

Ratios to average net assets (d)

       

Expenses to average net assets for Common Stock

    .50%        .49%        .50%        .52%   

Net investment income to average net assets for Common Stock

    3.16%        2.91%        3.12%        3.28%   

Supplemental data

       

Net assets, end of period (000’s):

       

Common stock

    $1,382,712        $1,511,285        $1,435,734        $1,183,285   

Preferred stock

    37,637        37,637        37,637        37,637   

Total net assets

    $1,420,349        $1,548,922        $1,473,371        $1,220,922   

Portfolio turnover

    76%        76%        62%        68%   

Notes to Financial Highlights

(a)  

Reflects the issuance of Common Stock in distributions.

(b)  

Assumes the exercise of outstanding warrants.

(c)  

During the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, the Corporation received a payment by affiliate. Had the Corporation not received this payment, the total return would have been lower by 0.47%.

(d)

In addition to the fees and expenses which the Corporation bears directly, the Corporation indirectly bears a pro rata share of the fees and expenses of the acquired funds in which it invests. Such indirect expenses are not included in the reported expense ratios.

 

6p   TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION — 2016 PROSPECTUS


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Year ended December 31,
2011   2010   2009   2008   2007   2006
                     
    $15.96         $13.73         $11.29         $23.03          $25.66         $22.16  
                     
    .33         .30         .20         .52          .84         .33  
    .79         2.28         2.42         (9.88)          (1.01 )       3.47  
                    .04                           
    1.12         2.58         2.66         (9.36)          (.17 )       3.80  
                     
                     
    (.03 )       (.03 )       (.03 )       (.02)          (.02 )       (.02 )
    (.28 )       (.25 )       (.17 )       (.50)          (.87 )       (.28 )
                     
                            (.39)          (1.57 )        
                     
                    (.02 )       (1.22)                   
    (.31 )       (.28 )       (.22 )       (2.13)          (2.46 )       (.30 )
                                              
                                             
            (.07 )               (.25 ) (a)                
    $16.77         $15.96         $13.73         $11.29          $23.03         $25.66  
    $16.72         $15.90         $13.69         $11.26          $22.98         $25.60  
    $14.23         $13.76         $11.52         $9.86          $20.90         $22.38  
                     
    7.15%         18.58%         24.11% (c)       (43.77%)          (.52% )       17.38%  
    5.46%         21.85%         19.24%         (45.89%)          3.51%         22.10%  
                     
    .59%         .60%         .98%         .73%          .66%         .80%  
    1.80%         1.84%         1.46%         2.96%          3.22%         1.40%  
                     
                     
    $1,078,160         $1,061,251         $946,344         $893,899          $2,373,429         $2,657,209  
    37,637         37,637         37,637         37,637          37,637         37,637  
    $1,115,797         $1,098,888         $983,981         $931,536          $2,411,066         $2,694,846  
    97%         86%         70%         111%          123%         122%  

 

TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION — 2016 PROSPECTUS     7p   


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SENIOR SECURITIES — $2.50 CUMULATIVE PREFERRED STOCK

The following information is being presented with respect to the Fund’s $2.50 cumulative Preferred Stock. The first column presents the number of shares of Preferred Stock outstanding at the end of each year presented. “Year-End Asset Coverage Per Share” represents the total amount of net assets of the Fund in relation to each share of Preferred Stock outstanding as of the end of the respective year. The “Involuntary Liquidation Preference Per Share” is the amount each share of Preferred Stock would be entitled to upon involuntary liquidation of these shares.

 

Year

  

Total Shares

Outstanding

    

Year-End

Asset Coverage

Per Share

    

Involuntary

Liquidation

Preference

Per Share

    

Average Daily

Market Value

Per Share

 
           
           
           

2015

     752,740       $ 1,887       $ 50       $ 49.92   

2014

     752,740         2,058         50         46.32   

2013

     752,740         1,957         50         48.50   

2012

     752,740         1,622         50         50.02   

2011

     752,740         1,482         50         46.33   

2010

     752,740         1,460         50         46.62   

2009

     752,740         1,307         50         42.31   

2008

     752,740         1,238         50         42.08   

2007

     752,740         3,203         50         43.77   

2006

     752,740         3,580         50         43.48   

 

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Capitalization at February 29, 2016

 

Title of Class     

Authorized

    

Outstanding

    

Amount Held

by Fund

or for its

Account

              
              
              

$2.50 Cumulative Preferred Stock, $50 par value

         1,000,000 shs.            752,740 shs.            0 shs.  

Common Stock, $0.50 par value

         159,000,000 shs. *          58,416,560 shs.            0 shs.  

Warrants to purchase Common Stock

         8,148 wts.            8,148 wts.            0 wts.  
* 197,100 shares of Common Stock were reserved for issuance upon the exercise of outstanding Warrants.

Trading and Net Asset Value Information

The following table shows the high and low closing prices of the Fund’s Common Stock on the composite tape for issues listed on the New York Stock Exchange for each calendar quarter since the beginning of 2014, as well as the net asset values and the range of the percentage discounts to net asset value per share that correspond to such prices.

 

     Market Price      Corresponding
Net Asset Value
     Corresponding
Discount to
Net Asset Value
 
     High      Low      High      Low      High      Low  

2014

                                                     

    1st Q

     20.11         18.93         23.49         22.11         (14.39      (14.38

    2nd Q

     20.99         19.68         24.41         22.90         (14.01      (14.06

    3rd Q

     21.47         20.49         24.97         23.91         (14.02      (14.30

    4th Q

     21.69         19.60         25.25         22.92         (14.10      (14.49

2015

                                                     

    1st Q

     22.15         20.81         25.74         24.27         (13.95      (14.26

    2nd Q

     22.07         21.07         25.69         24.83         (14.09      (15.14

    3rd Q

     21.59         19.22         25.38         22.63         (14.93      (15.07

    4th Q

     20.81         19.35         24.75         22.99         (15.92      (15.83

2016

                                                     

    1st Q

     20.03         17.63         23.55         21.08         (14.95      (16.37

The Fund’s Common Stock has historically been traded on the market at less than net asset value. The closing market price, net asset value and percentage discount to net asset value per share of the Fund’s Common Stock on March 31, 2016 were $19.96, $23.54 and 15.21%.

 

TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION — 2016 PROSPECTUS     9p   


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Investment Objective and Other Policies and Related Risks

The Fund is a Maryland corporation formed in 1929 by the consolidation of two predecessor corporations. It is registered under the 1940 Act as a diversified management investment company of the closed-end type.

The Fund invests primarily for the longer term and has no charter restrictions with respect to such investments. The Fund’s investment objective is to produce future growth of both capital and income while providing reasonable current income. There can be no assurance that this objective will be achieved. With respect to the Fund’s investments, assets may be held in cash or invested in all types of securities, that is, in common stocks, bonds, convertible bonds (including high yield instruments), debentures, notes, preferred and convertible preferred stocks, rights, derivatives (including futures contracts), and other securities, in whatever amounts or proportions the Investment Manager believes best suited to current and anticipated economic and market conditions. Derivatives may be used to produce incremental earnings, to hedge existing positions, to maintain investment efficiency, or to increase flexibility. Fixed income and convertible securities may be rated below investment grade or be deemed to have a comparable rating. The Fund may invest in fixed income securities of any maturity and does not seek to maintain a particular dollar-weighted average maturity. The Fund may invest up to 25% of its net assets in foreign investments, including those in emerging markets. The Fund also employs leverage through its outstanding shares of preferred stock.

As of March 31, 2016, the Fund had invested 70% of its net assets in equity securities, 13.35% of its net assets in fixed income instruments and 16.09% of its net assets in convertible securities.

The Fund’s present investment policies, in respect to which it has freedom of action, are:

(1) it keeps investments in individual issuers within the limits permitted diversified companies under the 1940 Act (i.e., 75% of its total assets must be represented by cash items, government securities, securities of other investment companies, and securities of other issuers which, at the time of investment, do not exceed 5% of the Fund’s total assets at market value in the securities of any issuer and do not exceed 10% of the voting securities of any issuer);

(2) it does not make investments with a view to exercising control or management except that, as of the date hereof, it has an investment in Seligman Data Corp., the former shareholder servicing agent for the Fund;

(3) it ordinarily does not invest in other investment companies, but it may purchase up to 3% of the voting securities of such investment companies, provided purchases of securities of a single investment company do not exceed in value 5% of the total assets of the Fund and all investments in investment company securities do not exceed 10% of total assets; and

(4) it has no fixed policy with respect to portfolio turnover and purchases and sales in the light of economic, market and investment considerations. The portfolio turnover rates for the ten fiscal years ended December 31, 2015 are shown under “Financial Highlights.”

The foregoing investment objective and policies may be changed by the Fund’s Board of Director’s (the “Board”) without stockholder approval, unless such a change would change the Fund’s status from a “diversified” to a “non-diversified” company under the 1940 Act.

The Fund has fundamental policies relating to the issuance of senior securities, the borrowing of money, the underwriting of securities of other issuers, the concentration of investments in a particular industry or groups of industries, the purchase or sale of real estate, the purchase or sale of commodities or commodity contracts, and the making of loans. These policies may not be changed without a vote of stockholders. A more detailed description of the Fund’s investment policies, including a list of those restrictions on the Fund’s investment activities which cannot be changed without such a vote, appears in the SAI. Within the limits of these fundamental policies, the Investment Manager has reserved freedom of action.

The Fund may not invest 25% or more of its total assets in securities of companies in any one industry. The Fund may, however, invest a substantial percentage of its assets in certain industries or economic sectors believed to offer good investment opportunities. If an industry or economic sector in which the Fund is invested falls out of favor, the Fund’s performance may be negatively affected.

Active Management Risk. The Fund is actively managed and its performance therefore will reflect, in part, the ability of the portfolio managers to make investment decisions that will achieve the Fund’s investment objective. Due to its active management, the Fund could underperform its benchmark index and/or other funds with a similar investment objective and/or strategies.

Convertible Securities Risk. Convertible securities are subject to the usual risks associated with debt instruments, such as interest rate risk (the risk of losses attributable to changes in interest rates) and credit risk (the risk that the issuer of a debt instrument will default or otherwise become unable, or be perceived to be unable or unwilling, to honor a financial obligation, such as making payments to the Fund when due). Convertible securities also react to changes in the value of the common stock into which they convert, and are thus subject to market risk (the risk that the market values of securities or other investments that the Fund holds will fall, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably, or fail to rise). Because the value of a convertible security can be influenced by both interest rates and the common stock’s market movements, a convertible security generally is not as sensitive to interest rates as a similar debt instrument, and generally will not vary in value in response to other factors to the same extent as the underlying common stock. In the event of a liquidation of the issuing company, holders of convertible securities would

 

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typically be paid before the company’s common stockholders but after holders of any senior debt obligations of the company. The Fund may be forced to convert a convertible security before it otherwise would choose to do so, which may decrease the Fund’s return.

Counterparty Risk. The risk exists that a counterparty to a financial instrument held by the Fund or by a special purpose or structured vehicle in which the Fund invests may become insolvent or otherwise fail to perform its obligations due to financial difficulties, including making payments to the Fund. The Fund may obtain no or limited recovery in a bankruptcy or other organizational proceedings, and any recovery may be significantly delayed. Transactions that the Fund enters into may involve counterparties in the financial services sector and, as a result, events affecting the financial services sector may cause the Fund’s share value to fluctuate.

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that the value of security or instrument may decline if the issuer thereof defaults or otherwise becomes unable or unwilling, or is perceived to be unable or unwilling, to honor its financial obligations, such as making payments to the Fund when due. Various factors could affect the actual or perceived willingness or ability of the issuer to make timely interest or principal payments, including changes in the financial condition of the issuer or in general economic conditions. Rating agencies assign credit ratings to certain fixed-income instruments to indicate their credit risk. Lower quality or unrated securities held by the Fund may present increased credit risk as compared to higher-rated securities. Non-investment grade fixed-income instruments (commonly called “high-yield” or “junk”) may be subject to greater price fluctuations and are more likely to experience a default than investment grade fixed-income instruments and therefore may expose the Fund to increased credit risk. If the Fund purchases unrated fixed-income securities, or if the ratings of such investments held by the Fund are lowered after purchase, the Fund will depend on analysis of credit risk more heavily than usual.

Derivatives Risk. Derivatives may involve significant risks. Derivatives are financial instruments, traded on an exchange or in the over-the-counter (OTC) markets, with a value in relation to, or derived from, the value of an underlying asset(s) (such as a security, commodity or currency) or other reference, such as an index, rate or other economic indicator (each an underlying reference). Derivatives may include those that are privately placed or otherwise exempt from SEC registration, including that certain Rule 144A eligible securities maybe derivatives. Derivatives could result in Fund losses if the underlying references do not perform as anticipated. Use of derivatives is a highly specialized activity that can involve investment techniques, risks, and tax planning different from those associated with more traditional investment instruments. A Fund’s derivatives strategy may not be successful and use of certain derivatives could result in substantial, potentially unlimited, losses to the Fund regardless of the Fund’s actual investment. A relatively small movement in the price, rate or other economic indicator associated with the underlying reference may result in substantial loss for the Fund. Derivatives may be more volatile than other types of investments. Derivatives can increase the Fund’s risk exposure to underlying references and their attendant risks, including the risk of an adverse credit event associated with the underlying reference (credit risk), the risk of adverse movement in the value, price or rate of the underlying reference (market risk), the risk of adverse movement in the value of underlying currencies (foreign currency risk) and the risk of adverse movement in underlying interest rates (interest rate risk). Derivatives may expose the Fund to additional risks, including the risk of loss because a derivative position is imperfectly correlated with the underlying reference it is intended to hedge or replicate (correlation risk), the risk that a counterparty will fail to perform as agreed (counterparty risk), the risk that a hedging strategy may fail to mitigate losses, and may offset gains (hedging risk), the risk that losses may be greater than the amount invested (leverage risk), the risk that the Fund may be unable to sell an investment at an advantageous time or price (liquidity risk), the risk that the investment may be difficult to value (pricing risk), and the risk that the price or value of the investment fluctuates significantly over short periods of time (volatility risk). The value of derivatives may be influenced by a variety of factors, including national and international political and economic developments. Potential changes to the regulation of the derivatives markets may make derivatives more costly, may limit the market for derivatives, or may otherwise adversely affect the value or performance of derivatives.

Derivatives Risk – Futures Contracts Risk. A futures contract is an exchange-traded derivative transaction between two parties in which a buyer (holding the “long” position) agrees to pay a fixed price (or rate) at a specified future date for delivery of an underlying reference from a seller (holding the “short” position). The seller hopes that the market price on the delivery date is less than the agreed upon price, while the buyer hopes for the contrary. Certain futures contract markets are highly volatile, and futures contracts may be illiquid. Futures exchanges may limit fluctuations in futures contract prices by imposing a maximum permissible daily price movement. The Fund may be disadvantaged if it is prohibited from executing a trade outside the daily permissible price movement. At or prior to maturity of a futures contract, the Fund may enter into an offsetting contract and may incur a loss to the extent there has been adverse movement in futures contract prices. The liquidity of the futures markets depends on participants entering into offsetting transactions rather than making or taking delivery. To the extent participants make or take delivery, liquidity in the futures market could be reduced. Positions in futures contracts may be closed out only on the exchange on which they were entered into or through a linked exchange, and no secondary market exists for such contracts. Futures positions are marked to market each day and variation margin payment must be paid to or by a Fund. Because of the low margin deposits normally required in futures trading, a high degree of leverage is typical of a futures trading account. As a result, a

 

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relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in substantial losses to the Fund, exceeding the amount of the margin paid. For certain types of futures contracts, losses are potentially unlimited. Futures markets are highly volatile and the use of futures may increase the volatility of the Fund’s net asset value. Futures contracts executed on foreign exchanges may not provide the same protection as U.S. exchanges. Futures contracts can increase the Fund’s risk exposure to underlying references and their attendant risks, such as credit risk, market risk, foreign currency risk and interest rate risk, while also exposing the Fund to correlation risk, counterparty risk, hedging risk, leverage risk, liquidity risk, pricing risk and volatility risk.

Emerging Market Securities Risk.  Securities issued by foreign governments or companies in emerging market countries are more likely to have greater exposure to the risks of investing in foreign securities that are described in Foreign Securities Risk. In addition, emerging market countries are more likely to experience instability resulting, for example, from rapid changes or developments in social, political, economic or other conditions. Their economies are usually less mature and their securities markets are typically less developed with more limited trading activity (i.e., lower trading volumes and less liquidity) than more developed countries. Emerging market securities tend to be more volatile than securities in more developed markets. Many emerging market countries are heavily dependent on international trade and have fewer trading partners, which makes them more sensitive to world commodity prices and economic downturns in other countries. Some emerging market countries have a higher risk of currency devaluations, and some of these countries may experience periods of high inflation or rapid changes in inflation rates and may have hostile relations with other countries.

Foreign Securities Risk. Investments in or exposure to foreign securities involve certain risks not associated with investments in or exposure to securities of U.S. companies. For example, foreign markets can be extremely volatile. Foreign securities may also be less liquid than securities of U.S. companies so that the Fund may, at times, be unable to sell foreign securities at desirable times or prices. Brokerage commissions, custodial costs and other fees are also generally higher for foreign securities. The Fund may have limited or no legal recourse in the event of default with respect to certain foreign securities, including those issued by foreign governments. In addition, foreign governments may impose withholding or other taxes on the Fund’s income, capital gains or proceeds from the disposition of foreign securities, which could reduce the Fund’s return on such securities. In some cases such withholding or other taxes could potentially be confiscatory. Other risks include: possible delays in the settlement of transactions or in the payment of income; generally less publicly available information about foreign companies; the impact of economic, political, social, diplomatic or other conditions or events; possible seizure, expropriation or nationalization of a company or its assets or the assets of a particular investor or category of investors; accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards that may be less comprehensive and stringent than those applicable to domestic companies; the imposition of economic and other sanctions against a particular foreign country, its nationals or industries or businesses within the country; and the generally less stringent standard of care to which local agents may be held in the local markets. In addition it may be difficult to obtain reliable information about the securities and business operations of certain foreign issuers. Governments or trade groups may compel local agents to hold securities in designated depositories that are not subject to independent evaluation. The less developed a country’s securities market is, the greater the level of risks. The risks posed by sanctions against a particular foreign country, its nationals or industries or businesses within the country may be heightened to the extent the Fund invests significantly in the affected country or region or in issuers from the affected country that depend on global markets.

Frequent Trading Risk. The Fund may actively and frequently trade investments in the Fund’s portfolio to carry out its investment strategies. Frequent trading can mean higher brokerage and other transaction costs, which could reduce the Fund’s return. The trading costs associated with portfolio turnover may adversely affect the Fund’s performance.

High-Yield Investments Risk. Securities and other debt instruments held by the Fund that are rated below investment grade (commonly called “high-yield” or “junk” bonds) and unrated debt instruments of comparable quality tend to be more sensitive to credit risk than higher-rated debt instruments and may experience greater price fluctuations in response to perceived changes in the ability of the issuing entity or obligor to pay interest and principal when due than to changes in interest rates. These investments are generally more likely to experience a default than higher-rated debt instruments. High-yield debt instruments are considered to be predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. These debt instruments typically pay a premium – a higher interest rate or yield – because of the increased risk of loss, including default. High-yield debt instruments may require a greater degree of judgment to establish a price, may be difficult to sell at the time and price the Fund desires, may carry high transaction costs, and also are generally less liquid than higher-rated debt instruments. The ratings provided by third party rating agencies are based on analyses by these ratings agencies of the credit quality of the debt instruments and may not take into account every risk related to whether interest or principal will be timely repaid. In adverse economic and other circumstances, issuers of lower-rated debt instruments are more likely to have difficulty making principal and interest payments than issuers of higher-rated debt instruments.

Interest Rate Risk. Interest rate risk is the risk of losses attributable to changes in interest rates. In general, if prevailing interest rates rise, the values of fixed-income instruments tend to fall, and if interest rates fall, the values of fixed-income instruments tend to rise. Changes in the value of a fixed-income instrument usually will not affect the amount of income the Fund receives from it but will generally affect the value of the Fund’s shares. In general, the longer the maturity or duration of a debt

 

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instrument, the greater its sensitivity to changes in interest rates. Interest rate declines also may increase prepayments of debt obligations, which, in turn, would increase prepayment risk. Similarly, a period of rising interest rates may negatively impact the Fund’s performance. Actions by governments and central banking authorities can result in increases in interest rates. Such actions may negatively affect the value of fixed-income instruments held by the Fund, resulting in a negative impact on the Fund’s performance and NAV. Any interest rate increases could cause the value of the Fund’s investments in fixed-income instruments to decrease. Rising interest rates may prompt redemptions from the Fund, which may force the Fund to sell investments at a time when it is not advantageous to do so, which could result in losses.

Issuer Risk. An issuer in which the Fund invests or to which it has exposure may perform poorly, and therefore, the value of its securities may decline, which would negatively affect the Fund’s performance. Poor performance may be caused by poor management decisions, competitive pressures, breakthroughs in technology, reliance on suppliers, labor problems or shortages, corporate restructurings, fraudulent disclosures, natural disasters or other events, conditions or factors.

Leverage and its Risks:  Senior securities issued or money borrowed to raise funds for investment have a prior fixed dollar claim on the Fund’s assets and income. Any gain in the value of securities purchased or income received in excess of the cost of the amount borrowed or interest or dividends payable causes the net asset value of the Fund’s Common Stock or the income available to it to increase more than otherwise would be the case. Conversely, any decline in the value of securities purchased or income received on them that is less than the asset or income claims of the senior securities or cost of borrowed money causes the net asset value of the Common Stock or income available to it to decline more sharply than would be the case if there were no prior claim. Funds obtained through senior securities or borrowings thus create investment opportunity, but they also increase exposure to risk. This influence ordinarily is called “leverage.” As of February 29, 2016, the only senior securities of the Fund outstanding were 752,140 shares of its $2.50 Cumulative Preferred Stock, $50 par value. The dividend rate as of February 29, 2016 on the Preferred Stock was $2.50 per annum payable quarterly. Based on the net asset value of the Fund’s Common Stock on February 29, 2016, the Fund’s portfolio requires an annual return of 0.13% in order to cover dividend payments on the Preferred Stock. For a description of such payments, see “Description of Capital Stock.” The following table illustrates the effect of leverage relating to presently outstanding Preferred Stock on the return available to a holder of the Fund’s Common Stock.

 

Assumed return on portfolio (net of expenses)

     -10%         -5%         0%         5%         10%   

Corresponding return to common stockholder

     -10.39%         -5.26%         -0.13%         5.00%         10.13%   

The purpose of the table above is to assist you in understanding the effects of leverage caused by the Fund’s Preferred Stock. The percentages appearing in the table are hypothetical. Actual returns may be greater or less than those shown above.

The use of leverage creates certain risks for the Fund’s Common Stockholders, including the greater likelihood of higher volatility of the Fund’s return, its net asset value and the market price of the Fund’s Common Stock. Changes in the value of the Fund’s total assets will have a disproportionate effect on the net asset value per share of Common Stock because of the Fund’s leveraged assets. For example, if the Fund was leveraged equal to 50% of the Fund’s Common Stock equity, it would show an approximately 1.5% increase or decline in net asset value for each 1% increase or decline in the value of its total assets. An additional risk of leverage is that the cost of the leverage plus applicable Fund expenses may exceed the return on the transactions undertaken with the proceeds of the leverage, thereby diminishing rather than enhancing the return to the Fund’s Common Stockholders. These risks generally would make the Fund’s return to Common Stockholders more volatile. The Fund also may be required to sell investments in order to make interest payments on borrowings used for leverage when it may be disadvantageous to do so. Because the fees received by the Investment Manager are based on the net assets of the Fund (including assets attributable to the Fund’s Preferred Stock and borrowings that may be outstanding), the Investment Manager has a financial incentive for the Fund to maintain the Preferred Stock or use borrowings, which may create a conflict of interest between the Investment Manager, on the one hand, and the Common Stockholders on the other hand.

Market Risk. Market risk refers to the possibility that the market values of securities or other investments that the Fund holds will fall, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably, or fail to rise. The value of Fund investments may fall or fail to rise because of a variety of actual or perceived factors affecting an issuer (e.g., an unfavorable earnings report), the industry or sector in which it operates, or the market as a whole, which may reduce the value of an investment in the Fund. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund could lose money over short or long periods. The market values of the securities the Fund holds can be affected by changes or perceived changes in U.S. or foreign economies and financial markets, and the liquidity of these securities, among other factors. In general, commodity investments tend to have greater price volatility than debt securities. In addition, commodity prices may be sensitive to rising interest rates, as the cost of capital rises and borrowing costs increase.

Preferred Stock Risk. Preferred stock is a type of stock that generally pays dividends at a specified rate and that has preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of assets. Preferred stock does not ordinarily carry voting rights. The price of a preferred stock is generally determined by earnings, type of products or services, projected growth rates, experience of management, liquidity, and general market conditions of the markets on which the stock trades. The most

 

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significant risks associated with investments in preferred stock include issuer risk, market risk and interest rate risk (i.e., the risk of losses attributable to changes in interest rates).

Quantitative Model Risk. The Fund may use quantitative methods to select investments. Securities or other investments selected using quantitative methods may perform differently from the market as a whole or from their expected performance for many reasons, including factors used in building the quantitative analytical framework, the weights placed on each factor, and changing sources of market returns, among others. Any errors or imperfections in the Fund portfolio manager’s quantitative analyses or models, or in the data on which they are based, could adversely affect the portfolio manager’s effective use of such analyses or models, which in turn could adversely affect the Fund’s performance. It is not possible or practicable for a manager to factor all relevant, available data into quantitative model forecasts and/or trading decisions. Quantitative managers will use their discretion to determine what data to gather with respect to an investment strategy and what data the models will take into account to produce forecasts that may have an impact on ultimate trading decisions. Shareholders should be aware that there is no guarantee that a quantitative manager will use any specific data or type of data in making trading decisions on behalf of the Fund, nor is there any guarantee that the data actually utilized in generating forecasts or making trading decisions on behalf of the Fund will be the most accurate data available or free from errors. There can be no assurance that these methodologies will enable the Fund to achieve its objective.

Management of the Fund

PRIMARY SERVICE PROVIDERS

The Fund enters into contractual arrangements with various parties, including, among others, the Investment Manager, the Service Agent and the Fund’s custodian, who provide services to the Fund. These contractual arrangements are between the Fund and the third-parties, including the service providers. Stockholders are not parties to, or intended to be third-party beneficiaries of, any of these contractual arrangements. The contractual arrangements are not intended to create in any individual stockholder or group of stockholders any right, including the right to enforce such arrangements against the service providers or to seek any remedy thereunder against the service providers, either directly or on behalf of the Fund.

This prospectus provides information concerning the Fund that you should consider in determining whether to purchase shares of the Fund. None of this prospectus, the SAI or any contract that is an exhibit to the Fund’s registration statement is intended to give rise to any agreement or contract between the Fund and any investor, or give rise to any contract or other rights in any individual stockholder, group of stockholders or other person. Nothing in the previous sentence should be read to suggest any waiver of any rights under federal or state securities laws.

The Investment Manager and the Service Agent are affiliates of Ameriprise Financial. They and their affiliates currently provide key services, including investment advisory, administration, stockholder servicing, transfer agency and dividend paying services, to the Fund and various other funds, including the Columbia Funds, and are paid for providing these services. These service relationships are described below.

THE INVESTMENT MANAGER

Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC is located at 225 Franklin Street, Boston, MA 02110 and serves as investment adviser and administrator to the Columbia Funds, which includes the Fund. The Investment Manager is a registered investment adviser and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ameriprise Financial. The Investment Manager’s management experience covers all major asset classes, including equity securities, fixed-income securities and money market instruments. In addition to serving as an investment adviser to traditional mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and another closed-end fund, the Investment Manager acts as an investment adviser for itself, its affiliates, individuals, corporations, retirement plans, private investment companies and financial intermediaries.

Subject to oversight by the Board, the Investment Manager manages the day-to-day operations of the Fund, determining what securities and other investments the Fund should buy or sell and executing portfolio transactions. The Investment Manager may use the research and other capabilities of its affiliates and third parties in managing the Fund’s investments. The Investment Manager is also responsible for overseeing the administrative operations of the Fund, including the general supervision of the Fund’s operations, the coordination of the Fund’s service providers and the provision of related clerical and administrative services.

Under a Management Agreement between Columbia Management and the Fund (the “Management Agreement”), the Fund pays the Investment Manager a fee for its management services, which include investment advisory services and administrative services. The fee is calculated as a percentage of the average daily net assets of the Fund and is paid monthly. The management fee is 0.415% of the Fund’s net assets (which includes assets attributable to the Fund’s Common Stock and Preferred Stock) on the first $500 million, gradually reducing to 0.385% as assets increase. Prior to the date of this prospectus, the Fund paid the Investment Manager an advisory fee under an investment management services agreement and a separate administrative fee under an administrative services agreement.

 

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For the year ended December 31, 2015, advisory fees paid to the Investment Manager by the Fund under the investment management services agreement (exclusive of the administrative services fee) amounted to 0.364% (expressed as a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets attributable to Common Stock). For the year ended December 31, 2015, administrative services fees paid to the Investment Manager by the Fund under the administrative services agreement (exclusive of the investment management services fee) amounted to 0.06% (expressed as a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets attributable to Common Stock).

The Management Agreement was originally entered into on May 1, 2016 and will continue in full force and effect and from year to year thereafter if such continuance is approved in the manner required by the 1940 Act (i.e., by a vote of a majority of the Board or of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund and by a vote of a majority of Fund’s directors who are not parties to the Management Agreement or “interested persons” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of any such party). The Management Agreement may be terminated by either the Fund or Columbia Management at any time by giving the other party 60 days’ written notice of such intention to terminate, provided that any termination shall be made without the payment of any penalty, and provided further that termination may be effected either by the Board or by a vote of the majority of the outstanding voting shares of the Fund. The Management Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment, as such term is defined in the 1940 Act.

Under the Management Agreement, the Fund also pays taxes, brokerage commissions and nonadvisory expenses, which include custodian fees and charges; fidelity bond premiums; certain legal fees; registration fees for shares, as necessary; consultants’ fees; compensation of Board members, officers and employees not employed by the Investment Manager or its affiliates; corporate filing fees; organizational expenses; expenses incurred in connection with lending securities; interest and fee expense related to the Fund’s participation in inverse floater structures; and expenses properly payable by the Fund, approved by the Board.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the investment management services agreement and the combination of the Fund’s investment management services agreement with the Fund’s administrative services agreement into the Fund’s Management Agreement, each with the Investment Manager, is available in the Fund’s Semi-Annual Report for the period ending June 30, 2015.

Portfolio Managers.  The portfolio managers responsible for the Fund’s day-to-day management are:

Brian M. Condon, Co-Portfolio Manager

   

Managed the Fund since May 2010.

   

Joined the investment manager in May 2010 when it acquired the long-term asset management business of Columbia Management Group, where he worked as an investment professional since 1999.

   

Began investment career in 1993.

   

BA from Bryant University and MS in finance from Bentley University.

Peter Albanese, Co-Portfolio Manager

   

Managed the Fund since August 2014.

   

Joined the investment manager in August 2014 as a Senior Portfolio Manager.

   

Previously, Mr. Albanese was employed by Robeco Investment Management from 2003 to 2013, where he was a managing director and senior portfolio manager.

   

Began investment career in 1991.

   

BS from Stony Brook University and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Yan Jin, Co-Portfolio Manager

   

Managed the Fund since March 2012.

   

Joined the investment manager in 2010 when it acquired the long-term asset management business of Columbia Management Group, where he worked as an investment professional since 2002.

   

Began investment career in 1998.

   

MA in economics from North Carolina State University.

David L. King, Co-Portfolio Manager

   

Managed the Fund since April 2011.

   

Joined the investment manager in May 2010 when it acquired the long-term asset management business of Columbia Management Group, where he worked as an investment professional since March 2010.

   

Previously, Mr. King was employed by Putnam Investments from 1983 to 2008, where he was a senior portfolio manager.

   

Began his investment career in 1983.

   

BS from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

The SAI provides additional information about portfolio manager compensation, management of other accounts and ownership of shares in the Fund.

Board Services Corporation.  The Fund has an agreement with Board Services Corporation (“Board Services”) located at 901 Marquette Avenue South, Suite 2810, Minneapolis, MN 55402. This agreement sets forth the terms of Board Services’

 

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responsibility to serve as an agent of the Columbia funds, which includes the Fund, for purposes of administering the payment of compensation to each independent Board member, to provide office space for use by the funds and their boards, and to provide any other services to the boards or the independent members, as may be reasonably requested.

Transfer, Stockholder Service and Dividend Paying Agent. Columbia Management Investment Services Corp. is the Fund’s transfer, stockholder service and dividend paying agent. CMISC is located at 225 Franklin Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02110.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm. Their address is 225 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Ameriprise Financial, the parent company of Columbia Management (the Fund’s investment adviser), and certain of its affiliates have historically been involved in a number of legal, arbitration and regulatory proceedings, including routine litigation, class actions, and governmental actions, concerning matters arising in connection with the conduct of their business activities. Ameriprise Financial believes that the Fund is not currently the subject of, and that neither Ameriprise Financial nor any of its affiliates are the subject of, any pending legal, arbitration or regulatory proceedings that are likely to have a material adverse effect on the Fund or the ability of Ameriprise Financial or its affiliates to perform under their contracts with the Fund. Information regarding certain pending and settled legal proceedings may be found in the Fund’s stockholder reports and in the SAI.

Additionally, Ameriprise Financial is required to make quarterly (10-Q), annual (10-K) and, as necessary, 8-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on legal and regulatory matters that relate to Ameriprise Financial and its affiliates. Copies of these filings may be obtained by accessing the SEC website at www.sec.gov.

 

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Description of Capital Stock

(a)  Dividend Rights: Holders of Common Stock (“Common Stockholders”) are entitled to receive dividends only if and to the extent declared by the Fund’s Board and only after (i) such provisions have been made for working capital and for reserves as the Board may deem advisable, (ii) full cumulative dividends at the rate of $0.625 per share per quarterly dividend period have been paid on the Preferred Stock for all past quarterly periods and have been provided for the current quarterly period, and (iii) such provisions have been made for the purchase or for the redemption (at a price of $55 per share) of the Preferred Stock as the Board may deem advisable. In any event, no dividend may be declared upon the Common Stock unless, at the time of such declaration, the net assets of the Fund, after deducting the amount of such dividend and the amount of all unpaid dividends declared on the Preferred Stock, shall be at least equal to $100 per outstanding share of Preferred Stock. The equivalent figure was $1,963.48 at February 29, 2016.

(b)  Voting Rights: The Preferred Stock is entitled to two votes and the Common Stock is entitled to one vote per share at all meetings of stockholders. In the event of a default in payments of dividends on the Preferred Stock equivalent to six quarterly dividends, the Preferred Stockholders are entitled, voting separately as a class to the exclusion of Common Stockholders, to elect two additional directors, such right to continue until all arrearages have been paid and current Preferred Stock dividends are provided for. Notwithstanding any provision of law requiring any action to be taken or authorized by the affirmative vote of the holders of a designated portion of all the shares or of the shares of each class, such action shall be effective if taken or authorized by the affirmative vote of a majority of the aggregate number of the votes entitled to vote thereon, except that a class vote of Preferred Stockholders is also required to approve certain actions adversely affecting their rights. Any change in the Fund’s fundamental policies may also be authorized by the vote of 67% of the votes present at a meeting if the holders of a majority of the aggregate number of votes entitled to vote are present or represented by proxy.

Consistent with the requirements of Maryland law, the Fund’s charter provides that the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the aggregate number of votes entitled to be cast thereon shall be necessary to authorize any of the following actions: (i) the dissolution of the Fund; (ii) a merger or consolidation of the Fund (in which the Fund is not the surviving corporation) with (a) an open-end investment company or (b) a closed-end investment company, unless such closed-end investment company’s articles of incorporation require a two-thirds or greater proportion of the votes entitled to be cast by such company’s stock to approve the types of transactions covered by clauses (i) through (iv) of this paragraph; (iii) the sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the Fund to any person (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act); or (iv) any amendment of the charter of this Fund which makes any class of the Fund’s stock a redeemable security (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) or reduces the two-thirds vote required to authorize the actions listed in this paragraph. This could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing changes in control of the Fund.

(c)  Liquidation Rights: In the event of any voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Fund, after payment to the holders of Preferred Stock (“Preferred Stockholders”) of an amount equal to $50 per share plus dividends accrued or in arrears, the Common Stockholders are entitled, to the exclusion of the Preferred Stockholders, to share ratably in all the remaining assets of the Fund available for distribution to stockholders.

(d)  Other Provisions: Common Stockholders do not have preemptive, subscription or conversion rights, and are not liable for further calls or assessments. The Fund’s Board (other than any directors who may be elected to represent Preferred Stockholders as described above) are classified as nearly as possible into three equal classes with a maximum three-year term so that the term of one class of directors expires annually. Such classification provides continuity of experience and stability of the Board while providing for the election of a portion of the Board each year. Such classification could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing changes in control of the Fund.

The Board may classify or reclassify any unissued stock of any class with or without par value (including Preferred Stock and Common Stock) into one or more classes of preference stock on a parity with, but not having preference or priority over, the Preferred Stock by fixing or altering before the issuance thereof the designations, preferences, voting powers, restrictions and qualifications of, the fixed annual dividends on, the times and prices of redemption, the terms of conversion, the number and/or par value of the shares and other provisions of such stock to the full extent permitted by the laws of Maryland and the Fund’s charter. Stockholder approval of such action is not required.

Description of Warrants

The Fund has issued and outstanding warrants (the “Warrants”). The Fund’s charter and Warrant certificates provide that each Warrant represents the right during an unlimited time to purchase one share of Common Stock at a price of $22.50 per share, subject to increase in the number of shares purchasable and adjustment of the price payable pursuant to provisions of the charter requiring such adjustments whenever the Fund issues any shares of Common Stock at a price less than the Warrant purchase price in effect immediately prior to issue. Each Warrant presently entitles the holder to purchase 24.19 shares of Common Stock at

 

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$0.93 per share. There were 8,148 Warrants outstanding at February 29, 2016. Fractional shares of Common Stock are not issued upon the exercise of Warrants. In lieu thereof, the Fund issues scrip certificates representing corresponding fractions of the right to receive a full share of Common Stock if exchanged by the end of the second calendar year following issuance or of the proceeds of the sale of a full share if surrendered during the next four years thereafter.

Computation of Net Asset Value

Net asset value of the Common Stock is determined daily, Monday through Friday, as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) each day the New York Stock Exchange is open for trading.

Net asset value per share of Common Stock is determined by dividing the current value of the assets of the Fund less its liabilities and the prior claim of the Preferred Stock by the total number of shares of Common Stock outstanding.

Equity securities are valued primarily on the basis of market quotations reported on stock exchanges and other securities markets around the world. If an equity security is listed on a national exchange, the security is valued at the closing price or, if the closing price is not readily available, the mean of the closing bid and asked prices. Certain equity securities, debt securities and other assets are valued differently. For instance, bank loans trading in the secondary market are valued primarily on the basis of indicative bids, fixed-income investments maturing in 60 days or less are valued primarily using the amortized cost method, unless this methodology results in a valuation that does not approximate the market value of these securities, and those maturing in excess of 60 days are valued primarily using a market-based price obtained from a pricing service, if available. Investments in open-end funds are valued at their latest NAVs. Both market quotations and indicative bids are obtained from outside pricing services approved and monitored pursuant to a policy approved by the Fund’s Board. For a money market fund, the Fund’s investments are generally valued at amortized cost, which approximates market value.

If a market price is not readily available or is deemed not to reflect market value, the Fund will determine the price of a portfolio security based on a determination of the security’s fair value pursuant to a policy approved by the Fund’s Board. In addition, the Fund may use fair valuation to price securities that trade on a foreign exchange when a significant event has occurred after the foreign exchange closes but before the time at which the Fund’s net asset value share price is calculated. Foreign exchanges typically close before the time at which Fund net asset value share prices are calculated, and may be closed altogether on some days when the Fund is open. Such significant events affecting a foreign security may include, but are not limited to: (1) corporate actions, earnings announcements, litigation or other events impacting a single issuer; (2) governmental action that affects securities in one sector or country; (3) natural disasters or armed conflicts affecting a country or region; or (4) significant domestic or foreign market fluctuations. The Fund uses various criteria, including an evaluation of U.S. market moves after the close of foreign markets, in determining whether a foreign security’s market price is readily available and reflective of market value and, if not, the fair value of the security. To the extent the Fund has significant holdings of small cap stocks, high-yield bonds, floating rate loans, or tax-exempt, foreign or other securities that may trade infrequently, fair valuation may be used more frequently than for other funds.

Fair valuation may have the effect of reducing stale pricing arbitrage opportunities presented by the pricing of Fund shares. However, when the Fund uses fair valuation to price securities, it may value those securities higher or lower than another fund would have priced the security. Also, the use of fair valuation may cause the Fund’s performance to diverge to a greater degree from the performance of various benchmarks used to compare the Fund’s performance because benchmarks generally do not use fair valuation techniques. Because of the judgment involved in fair valuation decisions, there can be no assurance that the value ascribed to a particular security is accurate. The Fund has retained one or more independent fair valuation pricing services to assist in the fair valuation process for foreign securities.

Dividend Policy and Taxes

Distributions:  Dividends are paid quarterly on the Preferred Stock and on the Common Stock in amounts representing substantially all of the net investment income earned each year by the Fund. Payments on the Preferred Stock are in a fixed amount, but payments on the Common Stock vary in amount, depending on investment income received and expenses of operation. In addition, substantially all of any taxable net gain realized on investments is paid to Common Stockholders at least annually.

For stockholder accounts established after June 1, 2007 directly with the Fund (which are serviced by the Service Agent), unless the Service Agent is otherwise instructed by you, distributions on the Common Stock are paid in book shares of Common Stock which are entered in your Fund account as “book credits.” You may also elect to receive distributions 75% in shares and 25% in cash, 50% in shares and 50% in cash, or 100% in cash. Any such election must be received by the Service Agent by the record date for a distribution. If you hold your shares of Common Stock through a financial intermediary (such as a broker), you should contact the financial intermediary to discuss your reinvestment and distribution options, as they may be different than as described above for accounts held directly with the Fund. A distribution is treated in the same manner for income tax purposes whether you receive it in cash or partly or entirely in shares. Elections received after a record date for a distribution will be

 

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effective in respect of the next distribution. Shares issued to you in respect of distributions will be at a price equal to the lower of: (i) the closing sale or bid price, plus applicable commission, of the Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange on the ex-dividend date or (ii) the greater of net asset value per share of the Common Stock and 95% of the closing price of the Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange on the ex-dividend date (without adjustment for the exercise of Warrants remaining outstanding). The issuance of Common Stock at less than net asset value per share will dilute the net asset value of all Common Stock outstanding at that time. Distributions received by you will have the effect of reducing the net asset value of the shares of the Fund by the amount of such distributions. If the net asset value of shares is reduced below your cost by a distribution, the distribution will be taxable as described below even though it is in effect a return of capital.

Distributions described above are subject to applicable law and the Board’s right to suspend, modify or terminate the distribution policy described below in the event the Board determines that such action would be in the best interests of the Fund. In addition, distributions will be made only when, as and if approved and declared and after paying dividends on the Preferred Stock and interest and required principal payments on borrowings, if any.

Pursuant to the Fund’s earned distribution policy, the Fund, subject to appropriate approval, intends to make quarterly distributions to Common Stockholders that are approximately equal to net investment income, less dividends payable on the Fund’s Preferred Stock. Capital gains, when available, are generally distributed to Common Stockholders along with the last income dividend of the calendar year. If capital gains are earned in November or December of a calendar year, they will be distributed in the following year. Dividends and other distributions to Stockholders are recorded on ex-dividend dates.

Taxes:  The Fund intends to continue to qualify and elect to be treated as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code. As a regulated investment company, the Fund will generally not be subject to federal income taxes on its investment company taxable income and net capital gains realized during the year, if any, which it distributes to stockholders, provided that at least 90% of its investment company taxable income (which includes net short-term capital gains) is distributed to stockholders each year, among other requirements.

Qualification as a registered investment company does not, of course, involve governmental supervision of management or investment practices or policies. Investors should consult their own advisors for a complete understanding of the requirements the Fund must meet to qualify for such treatment. The information set forth below relates solely to certain U.S. Federal tax matters applicable to the Fund and its U.S. stockholders, and assumes that the Fund qualifies as a regulated investment company.

If for any year the Fund does not qualify as a regulated investment company, all of its taxable income (including its net capital gain) will be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to stockholders. Such distributions will generally be taxable to the stockholders as qualified dividend income and generally will be eligible for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate stockholders.

Dividends on Common Stock from the Fund’s ordinary income and net short-term capital gains are taxable to stockholders as ordinary income, whether received in cash or invested in additional shares. Dividends on Common Stock that the Fund reports as qualified dividend income will be taxed at a reduced rate to individuals (0%, 15%, or 20%). Qualified dividend income is, in general, dividend income from taxable domestic corporations and certain foreign corporations (generally foreign corporations incorporated in a possession of the United States or eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive tax treaty with the United States that meets certain requirements, or if the stock with respect to which such dividend is paid is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States). The amount of dividends that may be designated as “qualified dividend income” by the Fund will generally be limited to the aggregate of the eligible dividends received by the Fund. In addition, the Fund must meet certain holding period requirements with respect to the shares on which the Fund received the eligible dividends, and the non-corporate U.S. stockholder must meet certain holding period requirements with respect to the Fund’s shares.

Distributions of net capital gains (i.e., the excess of net long-term capital gains over any net short-term capital losses) are taxable to stockholders as long-term capital gains, whether received in cash or invested in additional shares, regardless of how long you have held your shares. Individual stockholders will be subject to federal income tax on distributions report by the Fund as capital gains dividends at preferential rates (0%, 15%, or 20%). Net capital gain of a corporate shareholder is taxed at the same rate as ordinary income.

At December 31, 2015, the Fund had a capital loss carryforward for federal income purposes of $190,492,701, of which $190,492,701 expires in 2017. Provided no limitation on its utilization applies, such capital loss carryforward is available for offset against future taxable net gains.

Accordingly, no capital gain distributions are expected to be paid to stockholders until net capital gains have been realized in excess of the available capital loss carryforward. There is no assurance that the Fund will be able to utilize all of its capital loss carryforward before it expires.

Dividends declared in October, November or December of a calendar year, payable to stockholders of record on a specified date in such a month and paid in the following January will be treated as having been paid by the Fund and received by each

 

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stockholder on December 31 of such calendar year. Under this rule, therefore, stockholders may be taxed in one year on dividends actually received (or reinvested) in January of the following year.

Distributions of Common Stock will generally be treated as if the stockholder received cash in amount equal to the cash that could have been received instead of such Common Stock. A stockholder will have a tax basis in the distributed shares of Common Stock equal to such amount and a stockholder’s holding period with respect to such Common Stock will begin the day following the distribution date for the Common Stock.

Any gain or loss you realize upon a sale of Common Stock (provided you are not a dealer in securities and hold the Common Stock as a capital asset) will generally be treated as a long-term capital gain or loss if you held your shares for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if you held your shares for one year or less. Long-term capital gain of a non-corporate U.S. stockholder is generally taxed at preferential rates (0%, 15%, or 20%). Net capital gain of a corporate stockholder is taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. However, if shares on which a capital gain distribution has been received are subsequently sold and such shares have been held for six months or less (after taking into account certain transactions that may affect the holding period of the shares), any loss realized will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of the long-term capital gain distribution. No loss will be allowed on the sale or other disposition of shares of Common Stock if, within a period beginning 30 days before the date of such sale or disposition and ending 30 days after such date, you acquire (such as through the Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Plan), or enter into a contract or option to acquire, additional shares of the Fund or securities that are substantially identical to the Common Stock.

The repurchase of shares of Common Stock by the Fund generally will be a taxable transaction for federal income tax purposes, either as a sale as described above or, under certain circumstances, as a dividend. A repurchase of shares of Common Stock generally will be treated as a sale if the receipt of cash by the stockholder results in a “complete redemption” of the stockholder’s interest in the Fund or is “substantially disproportionate” or “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” with respect to the stockholder. In determining whether any of these tests have been met, shares actually owned and shares considered to be owned by the stockholder by reason of certain constructive ownership rules generally must be taken into account.

If none of the tests for sale treatment is met, the amount received by a stockholder on a repurchase of shares of Common Stock will be taxable to the stockholder as a dividend to the extent of such stockholder’s allocable share of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. The excess of such amount received over the portion that is taxable as a dividend would constitute a nontaxable return of capital (to the extent of the stockholder’s adjusted tax basis in the shares of Common Stock repurchased), and any amount in excess of the stockholder’s adjusted tax basis would constitute taxable gain. Any remaining tax basis in the shares of Common Stock repurchased by the Fund will be transferred to any remaining shares of Common Stock held by such stockholder.

Certain high-income individuals (as well as estates and trusts) are subject to a 3.8% tax on net investment income. For individuals, the 3.8% tax applies to the lesser of (1) the amount (if any) by which the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income exceeds certain threshold amounts or (2) the taxpayer’s “net investment income.” Net investment income generally includes for this purpose dividends, including any capital gain dividends, paid by the Fund, and net capital grains recognized on the sale or disposition of Common Stock.

The Fund is required by federal law to withhold tax at the rate of 28% of taxable distributions and repurchase proceeds paid to you (including amounts paid to you in additional shares of Common Stock) if: you have not provided a correct taxpayer identification number (TIN) or have not certified to the Fund that withholding does not apply; the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has notified the Fund that the TIN provided is incorrect according to its records; or the IRS informs the Fund that you are otherwise subject to backup withholding. Any amounts withheld may be refunded or credited against your U.S. federal income tax liability, if any, provided the required information is furnished to the IRS on a timely basis.

The Fund is subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on amounts required to be paid but not distributed under a prescribed formula. The formula requires payment to stockholders during a calendar year of distributions representing at least 98% of the Fund’s ordinary income for the calendar year, at least 98.2% of its net capital gain income realized during the one-year period ending on October 31 during such year, and all ordinary income and net capital gain income for prior years that was not previously distributed. The Fund intends to make sufficient distributions or deemed distributions of its ordinary income and net capital gain income prior to the end of each calendar year to avoid liability for the excise tax, but there is no assurance that the Fund will be able to do so.

The information provided above is only a summary of certain U.S. federal tax matters that may affect your investment in Common Stock. It is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. Your investment in Common Stock may have other tax implications. The information above does not apply to certain types of investors who may be subject to special rules, including foreign or tax-exempt investors or those holding Common Stock through a tax-advantaged account, such as a 401(k) plan or IRA. You should consult with your own tax advisor about the particular tax consequences to you of an investment in Common Stock, including the effect of any foreign, state and local taxes, and the effect of possible changes in applicable tax laws.

 

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Investment Plans and Other Services

AUTOMATIC DIVIDEND INVESTMENT AND CASH PURCHASE PLAN

The Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Plan is available for any Common Stockholder who wishes to purchase additional shares of the Fund’s Common Stock with dividends or other cash payments on shares owned, with cash dividends paid by other corporations in which stock is owned or with cash funds. The tax treatment of dividends and capital gain distributions is the same whether you take them in cash or reinvest them to buy additional shares of the Fund’s Common Stock. Details of the services offered under the Plan are given in the Authorization Form for Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Plan available at columbiathreadneedle.com/us. Under the Plan, you appoint the Fund as your purchase agent to receive or invest such dividends and cash funds forwarded by you for your accounts in additional shares of the Fund’s Common Stock (after deducting a service charge), as described under “Method of Purchase” below. Purchase orders received in connection with the Automatic Dividend and Cash Purchase Plan are generally priced one time per week, typically each Wednesday, subject to the potential for the suspension of such purchases as described below under “Method of Purchase.” Funds forwarded by you under the Plan should be made payable to Tri-Continental Corporation and mailed (if regular mail) to Tri-Continental Corporation, P.O. Box 8099, Boston, MA 02266-8099, and (if express mail) to Tri-Continental Corporation, c/o Boston Financial Data Services, Inc., 30 Dan Road, Suite 8099 Canton, MA 02021-2809. Checks for investment must be in U.S. dollars drawn on a domestic bank. You will be assessed a $15 fee for any checks rejected by your financial institution due to insufficient funds or other reasons. The Fund does not accept cash, credit card convenience checks, money orders, traveler’s checks, starter checks, third or fourth party checks, or other cash equivalents. You should direct all correspondence concerning the Plan to Tri-Continental Corporation, P.O. Box 8099, Boston, MA 02266-8099. At present, stockholders participating in the Fund’s Cash Purchase Plan will pay a service fee of $2.00 for each cash purchase transaction. There is no charge for Automatic Dividend Investment Plan. As of February 29, 2016, 12,409 stockholders, owning approximately 19,535,645 shares of Common Stock, were using the Plan. You may choose one or more of the services under the Plan and you may change your choices (or terminate participation) at any time by notifying CMISC in writing. The Plan may be amended or terminated by written notice to Planholders.

AUTOMATED CLEARING HOUSE SERVICE

The Automated Clearing House Service (“ACH”) enables you, if you are an Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Planholder, to establish the ACH privilege that allows you to transfer money directly from your bank account by electronic funds transfer to be invested in additional shares of Common Stock for your account. ACH is a payment transfer system that connects US financial institutions. The ACH network acts as a central clearing facility for all electronic fund transfers transactions that occur nationwide. Important: Payments sent by electronic funds transfer, a bank authorization, or check that are not guaranteed may take up to 10 days or more to clear. If you request to sell shares before the purchase funds clear, this may cause your request to sell shares to fail to process if the requested amount includes unguaranteed funds. If you purchased your shares by check or from your bank account as an ACH transaction, the Fund may hold the proceeds of the sale when you sell those shares for a period of time after the receipt date of the funds.

SHARE KEEPING SERVICE

You may send certificates for shares of the Fund’s Common Stock to Tri-Continental Corporation to be placed in your account. Certificates should be sent to Tri-Continental Corporation, P.O. Box 8099, Boston, MA 02266-8099, in each case with a letter requesting that they be placed in your account. You should not sign the certificates and they should be sent by certified or registered mail. Return receipt is advisable; however, this may increase mailing time. When your certificates are received by the Service Agent, the shares will be entered in your Fund account as “book credits” and shown on the account statement received from the Service Agent. If you use the Share Keeping Service, you should keep in mind that you may need a stock certificate for delivery to a broker if you wish to sell shares. A certificate will be issued and sent to you on your written or telephone request to the Service Agent, usually within two business days of the receipt of your request. You should consider the time it takes for a letter to arrive at the Service Agent and for a certificate to be delivered to you by mail before you choose to use this service. During such time the market price of the Common Stock may fluctuate.

TAX-DEFERRED RETIREMENT PLANS

Shares of the Fund may be purchased for:

— Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) (available to current stockholders only);

— Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees (SIMPLE IRAs);

— Simplified Employee Pension Plans (SEPs).

These types of plans may be established only upon receipt of a written application form. The Fund may register an IRA investment for which an account application has not been received as an ordinary taxable account.

 

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For more information, write Tri-Continental Corporation, P.O. Box 8099, Boston, MA 02266-8099. You may also telephone toll free by dialing (800) 345-6611 option 3 in the United States, (except holidays) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.

METHOD OF PURCHASE

Purchases will be made by the Fund from time to time on the New York Stock Exchange or elsewhere to satisfy cash purchase investments under the Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Plan, tax-deferred retirement plans, and the investment plans noted above. Purchases will be suspended on any day when the closing price (or closing bid price if there were no sales) of the Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange on the preceding trading day was higher than the net asset value per share (without adjustment for the exercise of Warrants remaining outstanding). If on the date shares are issuable to stockholders making Cash Purchase investments under the Plan (the “Issuance Date”), shares previously purchased by the Fund are insufficient to satisfy Cash Purchase investments and on the last trading day immediately preceding the Issuance Date the closing sale or bid price of the Common Stock is lower than or the same as the net asset value per share, the Fund will continue to purchase shares until a number of shares sufficient to cover all investments by stockholders has been purchased or the closing sale or bid price of the Common Stock becomes higher than the net asset value, in which case the Fund will issue the necessary additional shares. If on the last trading date immediately preceding the Issuance Date, the closing sale or bid price of the Common Stock was higher than the net asset value per share, and if shares of the Common Stock previously purchased on the New York Stock Exchange or elsewhere are insufficient to satisfy Cash Purchase investments, the Fund will issue the necessary additional shares from authorized but unissued shares of the Common Stock.

Shares will be issued on the dividend payable date or the Issuance Date at a price equal to the lower of (1) the closing sale or bid price, plus applicable commission, of the Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange on the ex-dividend date or Issuance Date or (2) the greater of the net asset value per share of the Common Stock on such trading day (without adjustment for the exercise of Warrants remaining outstanding) and 95% of the closing sale or bid price of the Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange on such trading day. The issuance of Common Stock at less than net asset value per share will dilute the net asset value of all Common Stock outstanding at that time. The Common Stock has historically been priced in the market at less than its net asset value per share (i.e. at a discount).

The net proceeds to the Fund from the sale of any shares of Common Stock to the Plans will be added to its general funds and will be available for investment. The Investment Manager anticipates that investment of any proceeds, in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, will take up to thirty days from their receipt by the Fund, depending on market conditions and the availability of appropriate securities, but in no event will such investment take longer than six months. Pending such investment in accordance with the Fund’s objective and policies, the proceeds will be held in U.S. Government Securities (which term includes obligations of the United States Government, its agencies or instrumentalities) and other short-term money market instruments as well as affiliated money market funds.

If you are participating in the Automatic Dividend Investment and Cash Purchase Plan and your shares are held under the Plan in book credit form, you may terminate your participation in the Plan and receive a certificate for all or a part of your shares or have all or a part of your shares sold for you by the Fund and retain unsold shares in book credit form or receive a certificate for any shares not sold. Instructions must be signed by all registered stockholders and should be sent to Tri-Continental Corporation, P.O. Box 8099, Boston, MA 02266-8099. If you elect to have shares sold, you will receive the proceeds from the sale. Only participants whose shares are held in book credit form may elect upon termination of their participation in the Plan to have shares sold in the above manner. This will not affect the date on which your instruction to sell shares is actually processed.

HOW TO SELL SHARES

Accounts Held at a Broker-Dealer. If you hold shares through a broker-dealer and you wish to sell these shares, you must do so through such broker-dealer. If you have outstanding stock certificates, you must send your stock certificates to your broker-dealer in order to sell these shares. Please contact your broker-dealer directly for details on how to sell your shares.

Accounts Held Directly with the Fund . If your account is held directly with the Fund (direct accounts), you may sell your shares through the Service Agent. Orders to sell direct account shares may be placed with the Service Agent via mail or telephone, each as described below. Note that direct account sell orders received in “good form” (as described below) by and processed through the Service Agent are generally priced one time per week, typically each Wednesday. As such, for example, a sell order received in “good form” on a Thursday will not be processed (and your shares not sold) until the following Wednesday, provided that the New York Stock Exchange is open for business on such day. If you have outstanding stock certificates, you must send your stock certificates to the Service Agent (this is one of the requirements for your sell order to be considered received in “good form”). We recommend using registered mail when returning outstanding certificates for 2% of the current market value of the shares. The recommended insurance amount is based on the premium for a lost certificate bond in the event the certificate is lost in transit.

A sell order is in “good form” if the Service Agent has all of the information and documentation it deems necessary to effect your order. Certain sell orders processed through the Service Agent must be submitted in writing via letter of instructions signed by all

 

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registered stockholders with Medallion Signature Guarantee and any other required documents completed and attached. Please refer to Medallion Signature Guarantees for those circumstances when the request must be in writing. For the documents required for sell orders by corporations, agents, fiduciaries, surviving joint owners and other legal entities, call 800.345.6611. Written instructions to sell your direct account shares and any stock certificates should be sent to Tri-Continental Corporation, P. O. Box 8099, Boston, MA 02266-8099 or, for overnight delivery, to Tri-Continental Corporation, c/o Boston Financial Data Services, Inc. 30 Dan Road, Suite 8099, Canton, MA 02021-2809.

For direct account sell orders not required to be submitted in writing, you may call the Service Agent at (800) 345-6611, option 3 and speak to a stockholder service representative about selling your shares. Telephone orders may not be as secure as written orders. The Fund and its Service Agent will take reasonable steps to confirm that telephone instructions are genuine. For example, the Service Agent requires proof of your identification before acting on instructions received by telephone and may record telephone conversations. However, the Fund and its agents will not be responsible for any losses, costs or expenses resulting from an unauthorized telephone instruction when reasonable steps have been taken to confirm that telephone instructions are genuine. Telephone orders may be difficult to complete during periods of significant economic or market change or business interruption.

Proceeds from the sale of shares from your account in the Fund’s Common Stock may be sent to you by electronic funds transfer or by check to the address of record subject to certain limitations. See Limitations on Purchases and Sales under the Plans section above. Proceeds may be sent to your bank account by Federal Fund Wire (Fedwire) or via Automated Clearing House (ACH). If you wish to have your proceeds sent via Fedwire or ACH you must set up this feature prior to your request unless you are submitting your request in writing with a Medallion Signature Guarantee. The minimum amount that may be sent by Fedwire is $500. The Service Agent charges a fee for proceeds sent by Fedwire and may waive the fee for certain accounts. The receiving bank may charge an additional fee.

MEDALLION SIGNATURE GUARANTEE

The signatures of all stockholders must be guaranteed by an eligible guarantor institution including, but not limited to, the following: banks, credit unions, savings associations, brokers or dealers, provided that the institution participates in the Securities Transfer Association Medallion Program (STAMP), the Stock Exchange Medallion Program (SEMP) or the New York Stock Exchange Medallion Signature Program (MSP). A Medallion Signature Guarantee helps assure that a signature is genuine and not a forgery. The institution providing the Medallion Signature Guarantee is financially liable for the transaction if the signature is a forgery. Notarization by a notary public is not an acceptable signature guarantee. The Fund reserves the right to reject a signature guarantee in accordance with its standards and procedures.

A Medallion Signature Guarantee is required if:

1. Amount is over $100,000.

2. You want your check made payable to someone other than yourself.

3. Your address has changed within the last 30 days.

4. You want the check mailed to an address other than the address of record.

5. You want proceeds to be sent according to existing bank instructions not coded for outgoing ACH or wire, or to a bank account not on file.

6. You are the beneficiary of the account and the stockholder is deceased.*

7. You are changing legal ownership of your account (i.e., you are changing who is/are the legal owner(s) of your account).

* Other documentation may also be required. Please contact a representative.

CMISC reserves the right to require a Medallion Signature Guarantee and additional documentation in circumstances not listed above.

SYSTEMATIC WITHDRAWAL PLAN

This Plan is available if you wish to receive fixed payments from your investment in the Fund’s Common Stock in any amount at specified regular intervals. You may start a Systematic Withdrawal Plan if your shares of the Fund’s Common Stock have a market value of $5,000 or more. Shares must be held in your account as book credits. The Service Agent will act for you, make payments to you in specified amounts on either the 1st or 15th day of each month, as designated by you, and maintain your account.

Payments under the Systematic Withdrawal Plan will be made by selling exactly enough full and fractional shares of Common Stock to cover the amount of the designated withdrawal. Sales may be made on the New York Stock Exchange, to the agent or a trustee for one of the other Plans, or elsewhere. Payments from sales of shares will reduce the amount of capital at work and dividend earning ability, and ultimately may liquidate the investment. You can cancel the plan by giving the Fund 30 days notice in writing or by calling the Service Agent at (800) 345-6611, option 3. Sales of shares under this plan may result in gain or loss to you for income tax purposes. Withdrawals under this Plan or any similar withdrawal plan of any other investment company, concurrent with purchases of shares of the Common Stock or of shares of any other investment company, will ordinarily be disadvantageous to the Planholder because of the payment of duplicative commissions.

 

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LIMITATIONS ON PURCHASES AND SALES UNDER PLANS

Purchases and sales of shares of the Fund’s Common Stock through the foregoing plans (other than retirement plans) are limited to a total of 12,500 shares transacted per calendar quarter, subject to a maximum 40,000 shares per calendar year, per account (including any related accounts, e.g., those under the same social security number or tax identification number or otherwise under common control).

Additionally, the Fund’s stock repurchase program allows the Fund to repurchase up to 5% of the Fund’s outstanding Common Stock during the year directly from Stockholders and in the open market, provided that, with respect to shares purchased in the open market, the discount is greater than 10%. See “Prospectus Summary” for more information.

STOCKHOLDER INFORMATION

The Service Agent maintains books and records for all of the Plans, and confirms transactions to stockholders. To insure prompt delivery of checks, account statements and other information, you should notify the Service Agent immediately, in writing or over the phone, of any address changes. If mail sent by the Fund or its agent, including confirmations, statements or tax forms, is returned as undeliverable by the U.S. Postal Service, the Fund or its agent will stop all mailings to your address of record and any subsequent systematic purchases to your account will not be permitted until you provide a valid mailing address. If you elect to receive income dividend distribution or capital gains distributions by check and your check is returned as undeliverable by the U.S. Postal Service, the Fund or its agent will automatically reinvest the distribution and all future distributions in additional shares of the Fund until you provide a valid mailing address. Reinvestments will receive the market offering price calculated on the date of the reinvestment. Purchase orders, including distribution reinvestments, are generally priced one time per week, typically each Wednesday. You will not receive interest on amounts represented by uncashed distribution checks.

If you close your account, it is important that you notify the Service Agent of any subsequent address changes to ensure that you receive a year-end statement and tax information for that year. You will be sent reports quarterly regarding the Fund.

For information about your account held directly with the Fund you can write to Tri-Continental Corporation, P. O. Box 8099, Boston, MA 02266-8099 or the Service Agent may be telephoned Monday through Friday at (800) 345-6611, option 3 (within the United States) (except holidays) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern time. Your call will be answered by a service representative.

24-hour automated telephone access is available by dialing (800) 345-6611 (within the United States) on a touchtone telephone, which provides instant access to price, account balance, most recent transaction and other information. In addition, you may request Account Statements and Form 1099-DIV.

Issuance of Shares in Connection with Acquisitions

The Fund may issue shares of its Common Stock in exchange for the assets of another investment company in transactions in which the number of shares of Common Stock of the Fund to be delivered will be generally determined by dividing the current value of the seller’s assets by the current per share net asset value or market price on the New York Stock Exchange of the Common Stock of the Fund, or by an intermediate amount. In such acquisitions, the number of shares of the Fund’s Common Stock to be issued will not be determined on the basis of the market price of such Common Stock if such price is lower than its net asset value per share, except pursuant to an appropriate order of the Securities and Exchange Commission or approval by stockholders of the Fund, as required by law.

Some or all of the stock so issued may be sold from time to time by the recipients or their stockholders through brokers in ordinary transactions on stock exchanges at current market prices. The Fund has been advised that such sellers may be deemed to be underwriters as that term is defined in the 1933 Act.

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS OF THE STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

SAI PRIMER

     2   

ABOUT THE FUND

     4   

ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT POLICIES

     5   

ABOUT FUND INVESTMENTS

     7   

Types of Investments

     7   

Information Regarding Risks

     43   

Lending of Portfolio Securities

     65   

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT AND OTHER SERVICES

     67   

The Investment Manager

     67   

Potential Conflicts of Interest

     68   

Structure of Compensation

     70   

The Administrator

     70   

Other Services Provided

     71   

Other Roles and Relationships of Ameriprise Financial and Its Affiliates — Certain Conflicts of Interest

     71   

Codes of Ethics

     74   

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

     75   

FUND GOVERNANCE

     77   

Board of Directors and Officers

     77   

Compensation

     86   

BROKERAGE ALLOCATION AND RELATED PRACTICES

     88   

General Brokerage Policy, Brokerage Transactions and Broker Selection

     88   

Brokerage Commissions

     91   

Directed Brokerage

     92   

Securities of Regular Broker-Dealers

     92   

TAXATION

     93   

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

     104   

INFORMATION REGARDING PENDING AND SETTLED LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

     105   

OTHER INFORMATION

     106   

Conduct of the Fund’s Business

     106   

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM ON FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULE

     107   

APPENDIX A — DESCRIPTION OF RATINGS

     A-1   

APPENDIX B — PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES

     B-1   

 

TRI-CONTINENTAL CORPORATION — 2016 PROSPECTUS     25p   


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LOGO

 

 

 

 

 

Additional information about the Fund and its investments is available in the Fund’s SAI, and annual and semiannual reports to stockholders. In the Fund’s annual report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during its last fiscal year. The SAI is incorporated by reference in this prospectus. For a free copy of the SAI, the annual report or the semiannual report, contact the Fund directly or your financial intermediary. To make a stockholder inquiry, contact the financial intermediary through whom you purchased the Fund’s securities.

Tri-Continental Corporation

P.O. Box 8099

Boston, MA 02266-8099

Information is also available at columbiathreadneedle.com/us

Information about the Fund, including the SAI, can be viewed at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (Commission) Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. (for information about the public reference room call 1-202-551-8090). Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR Database on the Commission’s Internet site at www.sec.gov. Copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following E-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing to the Commission’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-1520.

Investment Company Act File #811-00266

TICKER SYMBOL: TY

 

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STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
May 1, 2016
Tri-Continental Corporation
(the “Fund”)
225 Franklin Street
Boston, MA 02110
Toll-Free Telephone: (800) 345-6611, option 3
Unless the context indicates otherwise, references herein to “each Fund,” “the Fund,” “a Fund,” “the Funds” or “Funds” refers to the Fund listed above.
This Statement of Additional Information (SAI) is not a prospectus, is not a substitute for reading any prospectus and is intended to be read in conjunction with the Fund’s current prospectus dated the same date as this SAI. The most recent annual report for the Fund, which includes the Fund’s audited financial statements for the period ended December 31, 2015, is incorporated by reference into this SAI.
Copies of the Fund's current prospectus and annual and semiannual reports may be obtained without charge by writing or calling the Fund at the Fund’s stockholder servicing agent, Columbia Management Investment Services Corp. (“CMISC” or the “Service Agent”) at P.O. Box 8099, Boston, Massachusetts 02266-8099 or at the telephone number above. The SAI, as well as the Fund’s most recent annual and semiannual reports are also available at www.columbiathreadneedle.com/us.
A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

 

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2

4

5

7

7

43

65

67

67

68

70

70

71

71

74

75

77

77

86

88

88

91

92

92

93

104

105

106

106

107

A-1

B-1
Statement of Additional Information – May 1, 2016 1

 

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SAI PRIMER
The SAI is a part of the Fund's registration statement that is filed with the SEC. The registration statement includes the Fund's prospectus, the SAI and certain exhibits. The SAI, and any supplements to it, can be found online at www.columbiathreadneedle.com/us and/or by accessing the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
For purposes of any electronic version of this SAI, all references to websites, or universal resource locators (URLs), are intended to be inactive and are not meant to incorporate the contents of any such website or URL into this SAI.
The SAI generally provides additional information about the Fund that is not required to be in the Fund's prospectus. The SAI expands discussions of certain matters described in the Fund's prospectus and provides certain additional information about the Fund that may be of interest to some investors. Among other things, the SAI provides information about:
the Fund's investments;
the Fund's investment adviser, investment subadviser(s) (if any) and other service providers, including roles and relationships of Ameriprise Financial and its affiliates, and conflicts of interest;
the governance of the Fund;
the Fund's brokerage practices; and
the application of U.S. federal income tax laws.
Investors may find this information important and helpful. If you have any questions about the Fund, please call Columbia Funds at 800.345.6611, option 3 or contact your financial advisor.
Before reading the SAI, you should consult the Glossary below, which defines certain of the terms used in the SAI.
Glossary
1933 Act Securities Act of 1933, as amended
1934 Act Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
1940 Act Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended
Administrative Services Agreement The Administrative Services Agreement, as amended, if applicable, between the Fund and the Investment Manager
Ameriprise Financial Ameriprise Financial, Inc.
Board The Board of Directors
Board Services Board Services Corporation
Business Day Any day on which the NYSE is open for business
CEA Commodity Exchange Act
CFTC The United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission
CMOs Collateralized mortgage obligations
Code Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended
Codes of Ethics The codes of ethics adopted by the Fund, the Investment Manager, Columbia Management Investment Distributors, Inc. (the distributor of the open-end funds (other than the Columbia ETFs) in the Columbia Fund Family) and/or any sub-adviser, as applicable, pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act
Columbia Funds Complex The fund complex that is comprised of the registered investment companies advised by the Investment Manager or its affiliates
Columbia Funds or Columbia Fund Family The open-end and closed-end investment management companies, including the Fund, advised by the Investment Manager or its affiliates or principally underwritten by Columbia Management Investment Distributors, Inc.
Columbia Management Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC
Custodian JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Director(s) One or more of the Board’s Directors
FDIC Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
FHLMC The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation
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Fitch Fitch, Inc.
FNMA Federal National Mortgage Association
GNMA Government National Mortgage Association
Independent Directors The Directors of the Board who are not “interested persons” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund
Interested Directors The Directors of the Board who are currently deemed to be “interested persons” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund
Investment Management Services Agreement The Investment Management Services Agreement, as amended, between the Fund and the Investment Manager
Investment Manager Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC
IRS United States Internal Revenue Service
JPMorgan JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., the Fund's custodian
LIBOR London Interbank Offered Rate
Management Agreement The Management Agreement, as amended, between the Fund and the Investment Manager
Moody’s Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.
NRSRO Nationally recognized statistical ratings organization (for example, Moody’s, Fitch or S&P)
NYSE New York Stock Exchange
Previous Adviser Columbia Management Advisors, LLC, the investment adviser of certain Columbia Funds prior to May 1, 2010 when Ameriprise Financial acquired the long-term asset management business of the Previous Adviser, which is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of America.
REIT Real estate investment trust
REMIC Real estate mortgage investment conduit
S&P Standard & Poor’s, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“Standard & Poor’s” and “S&P” are trademarks of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. and have been licensed for use by the Investment Manager. The Columbia Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Standard & Poor’s and Standard & Poor’s makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Columbia Funds)
SAI This Statement of Additional Information, as amended and supplemented from time-to-time
SEC United States Securities and Exchange Commission
Service Agent Columbia Management Investment Services Corp.
Shares Shares of the Fund
Stockholder Service Agent Agreement The Stockholder Service Agent Agreement, as amended, between the Fund and the Service Agent
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ABOUT THE FUND
The Fund is a closed-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act and located at 225 Franklin Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02110.
The Fund was organized as a Maryland corporation in 1929 by the consolidation of two predecessor corporations. The Fund’s Common Stock is listed primarily on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “TY.”
Fund Fiscal Year End Prospectus Date Diversified*
Tri-Continental Corporation December 31 5/1/2016 Yes
* A “diversified” Fund may not, with respect to 75% of its total assets, invest more than 5% of its total assets in securities of any one issuer or purchase more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer, except obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities and except securities of other investment companies. A “non-diversified” Fund may invest a greater percentage of its total assets in the securities of fewer issuers than a “diversified” fund, which increases the risk that a change in the value of any one investment held by the Fund could affect the overall value of the Fund more than it would affect that of a “diversified” fund holding a greater number of investments. Accordingly, a “non-diversified” Fund’s value will likely be more volatile than the value of a more diversified fund. The Fund does not consider futures or swaps central counterparties where the Fund has exposure to such central counterparties in the course of making investments in futures and securities, to be issuers.
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ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT POLICIES
The investment objectives and policies of the Fund are set forth in the Prospectus. Certain additional investment information is set forth below. Defined terms used herein and not otherwise defined shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the Prospectus.
Unless otherwise noted in a Fund’s prospectus or this SAI, whenever an investment policy or limitation states a maximum percentage of a Fund’s assets that may be invested in any security or other asset, or sets forth a policy regarding an investment standard, compliance with such percentage limitation or standard will be determined solely at the time of the Fund’s acquisition of such security or asset (Time of Purchase Standard). Thus, a Fund may continue to hold a security even though it causes the Fund to exceed a percentage limitation because of fluctuation in the value of the Fund’s assets.
Notwithstanding any of a Fund’s other investment policies, the Fund, subject to certain limitations, may invest its assets in another investment company. These underlying funds have adopted their own investment policies that may be more or less restrictive than those of the Fund.
Fundamental Policies
The Fund’s stated fundamental policies, which may not be changed without a vote of stockholders, are listed below. Within the limits of these fundamental policies, the Manager has reserved freedom of action. The Fund:
(1) may issue senior securities such as bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness if immediately after issuance the net assets of the Fund provide 300% coverage of the aggregate principal amount of all bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness and that amount does not exceed 150% of the capital and surplus of the Fund;
(2) may issue senior equity securities on a parity with, but not having preference or priority over, the Preferred Stock if immediately after issuance its net assets are equal to at least 200% of the aggregate amount (exclusive of any dividends accrued or in arrears) to which all shares of the Preferred Stock, then outstanding, shall be entitled as a preference over the Common Stock in the event of voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Fund;
(3) may borrow money for substantially the same purposes as it may issue senior debt securities, subject to the same restrictions and to any applicable limitations prescribed by law;
(4) may engage in the business of underwriting securities either directly or through majority-owned subsidiaries subject to any applicable restrictions and limitations prescribed by law;
(5) does not intend to concentrate its assets in any one industry although it may from time to time invest up to 25% of the value of its assets, taken at market value, in a single industry;
(6) may not, with limited exceptions, purchase and sell real estate directly but may do so through majority-owned subsidiaries, so long as its real estate investments do not exceed 10% of the value of the Fund’s total assets;
(7) may not purchase or sell commodities or commodity contracts; and
(8) may make money loans (subject to restrictions imposed by law and by charter) (a) only to its subsidiaries, (b) as incidents to its business transactions or (c) for other purposes. The Fund will not lend securities if the total of all such loans would exceed 33  1 3 % of the Fund’s total assets, except this fundamental investment policy shall not prohibit the Fund from purchasing money market securities, loans, loan participation or other debt securities, or from entering into repurchase agreements, and it may make loans represented by repurchase agreements, so long as such loans do not exceed 10% of the value of total assets.
If the Fund issues senior securities, the Fund may not, to the extent required by the 1940 Act, declare dividends (except dividends payable in stock of the Fund) or other distributions on stock or purchase its stock (including through tender offers) if, immediately after doing so, it will have an asset coverage ratio of less than 300% or 200%, as applicable.
During its last three fiscal years, the Fund did not: (a) issue senior securities; (b) borrow any money; (c) underwrite securities; (d) concentrate investments in particular industries or groups of industries; (e) purchase or sell real estate, commodities, or commodity contracts; or (f) make money loans.
Non-fundamental Policies
The following non-fundamental policies may be changed by the Board at any time and may be in addition to those described in the Fund's prospectus.
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Investment in Illiquid Securities
No more than 15% of the net assets of any Fund will be held in securities and other instruments that are illiquid. “Illiquid Securities” are defined in accordance with the SEC staff’s current guidance and interpretations which provide that an illiquid security is a security which may not be sold or disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value at which the Fund has valued the security. Compliance with this limitation is not measured under the Time of Purchase Standard.
Investment in Other Investment Companies
The Funds may not purchase securities of other investment companies except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.
Summary of 1940 Act Restrictions on Certain Activities
Certain of the Fund’s fundamental and, if any, non-fundamental policies set forth above prohibit transactions “except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.” The following discussion summarizes the flexibility that the Fund currently gains from these exceptions. To the extent the 1940 Act or the rules and regulations thereunder may, in the future, be amended to provide greater flexibility, or to the extent the SEC may in the future grant exemptive relief providing greater flexibility, the Fund will be able to use that flexibility without seeking shareholder approval of its fundamental policies.
Investing in other investment companies – The 1940 Act, in summary, provides that a fund generally may not: (i) purchase more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of another investment company; (ii) purchase securities issued by another registered investment company representing more than 5% of the investing fund’s total assets; and (iii) purchase securities issued by investment companies that in the aggregate represent more than 10% of the acquiring fund’s total assets (the “3, 5 and 10 Rule”). Affiliated funds-of-funds (i.e., those funds that invest in other funds within the same fund family), with respect to investments in such affiliated underlying funds, are not subject to the 3, 5 and 10 Rule and, therefore, may invest in affiliated underlying funds without restriction. A fund-of-funds may also invest its assets in unaffiliated funds, but the fund-of-funds generally may not purchase more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of any one unaffiliated fund. Additionally, certain exceptions to these limitations apply to investments in money market mutual funds. If shares of the Fund are purchased by an affiliated fund beyond the 3, 5 and 10 Rule in reliance on Section 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act, for so long as shares of the Fund are held by such other affiliated fund, the Fund will not purchase securities of a registered open-end investment company or registered unit investment trust in reliance on Section 12(d)(1)(F) or Section 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act.
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ABOUT FUND INVESTMENTS
The Fund’s investment objective, principal investment strategies and related principal risks are discussed in the Fund’s prospectus. The Fund’s prospectus identifies the types of securities in which the Fund invests principally and summarizes the principal risks to the Fund’s portfolio as a whole associated with such investments. Unless otherwise indicated in the prospectus or this SAI, the investment objective and policies of a Fund may be changed without shareholder approval.
To the extent that a type of security identified in the table below for a Fund is not described in the Fund’s prospectus (or as a sub-category of such security type in this SAI), the Fund generally invests in such security type, if at all, as part of its non-principal investment strategies.
Information about individual types of securities (including certain of their associated risks) in which some or all of the Funds may invest is set forth below. The Fund may invest in these types of securities, subject to its investment objective and fundamental and non-fundamental investment policies. A Fund is not required to invest in any or all of the types of securities listed below.
Certain Investment Activity Limits. The overall investment and other activities of the Investment Manager and its affiliates may limit the investment opportunities for the Fund in certain markets, industries or transactions or in individual issuers where limitations are imposed upon the aggregate amount of investment by the Fund and other accounts managed by the Investment Manager and accounts of its affiliates (collectively, affiliated investors). From time to time, the Fund’s activities also may be restricted because of regulatory restrictions applicable to the Investment Manager and its affiliates and/or because of their internal policies. See Investment Management and Other Services – Other Roles and Relationships of Ameriprise Financial and its Affiliates – Certain Conflicts of Interest .
Temporary Defensive Positions. Each Fund may from time to time take temporary defensive investment positions that may be inconsistent with the Fund’s principal investment strategies in attempting to respond to adverse market, economic, political, social or other conditions, including, without limitation investing some or all of its assets in money market instruments or shares of affiliated or unaffiliated money market funds or holding some or all of its assets in cash or cash equivalents. The Fund may take such defensive investment positions for as long a period as deemed necessary.
Other Strategic and Investment Measures. A Fund may also from time to time take temporary portfolio positions that may or may not be consistent with the Fund’s principal investment strategies in attempting to respond to adverse market, economic, political, social or other conditions, including, without limitation, investing in derivatives, such as futures ( e.g. , index futures) or options on futures, for various purposes, including among others, investing in particular derivatives to achieve indirect investment exposure to a sector, country or region where the Investment Manager (or Fund subadviser, if applicable) believes such defensive positioning is appropriate. Each Fund may do so without limit and for as long a period as deemed necessary, when the Investment Manager or the Fund’s subadviser, if applicable: (i) believes that market conditions are not favorable for profitable investing or to avoid losses, (ii) is unable to locate favorable investment opportunities; or (iii) determines that a temporary defensive position is advisable or necessary in order to meet anticipated redemption requests, or for other reasons. While the Fund is so positioned, derivatives could comprise a substantial portion of the Fund’s investments and the Fund may not achieve its investment objective. Investing in this manner may adversely affect Fund performance. During these times, the portfolio managers may make frequent portfolio holding changes, which could result in increased trading expenses and taxes and decreased Fund performance.
Types of Investments
Type of Investment Tri-Continental Corporation
Asset-Backed Securities Yes
Bank Obligations (Domestic and Foreign) Yes
Collateralized Bond Obligations Yes
Commercial Paper Yes
Common Stock Yes
Convertible Securities Yes
Corporate Debt Securities Yes
Custody Receipts and Trust Certificates Yes
Debt Obligations Yes
Depositary Receipts Yes
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Type of Investment Tri-Continental Corporation
Derivatives Yes
Dollar Rolls Yes
Equity-Linked Notes Yes
Eurodollar and Yankee Dollar and Related Derivative Instruments Yes
Event-Linked Instruments/Catastrophe Bonds Yes
Exchange-Traded Notes Yes
Foreign Currency Transactions Yes
Foreign Securities Yes
Guaranteed Investment Contracts (Funding Agreements) Yes
High-Yield Securities Yes
Illiquid Securities Yes
Inflation Protected Securities Yes
Initial Public Offerings Yes
Inverse Floaters Yes
Investment in Other Investment Companies (Including ETFs) Yes
Listed Private Equity Funds Yes
Money Market Instruments Yes
Mortgage-Backed Securities Yes
Municipal Securities Yes
Participation Interests Yes
Partnership Securities Yes
Preferred Stock Yes
Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities Yes
Real Estate Investment Trusts Yes
Repurchase Agreements Yes
Reverse Repurchase Agreements Yes
Short Sales Yes
Sovereign Debt Yes
Standby Commitments Yes
Stripped Securities Yes
Trust-Preferred Securities Yes
U.S. Government and Related Obligations Yes
Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations Yes
Warrants and Rights Yes
When-Issued, Delayed Delivery and Forward Commitment Transactions Yes
Zero-Coupon, Pay-in-Kind and Step-Coupon Securities Yes
Asset-Backed Securities
Asset-backed securities represent interests in, or debt instruments that are backed by, pools of various types of assets that generate cash payments generally over fixed periods of time, such as, among others, motor vehicle installment sales, contracts, installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, and receivables from revolving (credit card) agreements. Such securities entitle the security holders to receive distributions ( i.e. , principal and interest) that are tied to the payments made by the borrower on the underlying assets (less fees paid to the originator, servicer, or other parties, and fees paid for credit enhancement), so that the payments made on the underlying assets effectively pass through to such security holders. Asset-backed securities typically are created by an originator of loans or owner of accounts receivable that sells such underlying assets to a special purpose entity in a process called a securitization. The special purpose entity issues securities that are backed
Statement of Additional Information – May 1, 2016 8

 

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by the payments on the underlying assets, and have a minimum denomination and specific term. Asset-backed securities may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations or as zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and step-coupon securities and may be privately placed or publicly offered. Collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) are but one example of an asset-backed security. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations, Types of Investments – Zero-Coupon, Pay-in-Kind and Step-Coupon Securities and Types of Investments – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities for more information.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with asset-backed securities include: Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Liquidity Risk and Prepayment and Extension Risk.
Bank Obligations (Domestic and Foreign)
Bank obligations include certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, time deposits and promissory notes that earn a specified rate of return and may be issued by (i) a domestic branch of a domestic bank, (ii) a foreign branch of a domestic bank, (iii) a domestic branch of a foreign bank or (iv) a foreign branch of a foreign bank. Bank obligations may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations for more information.
Certificates of deposit, or so-called CDs, typically are interest-bearing debt instruments issued by banks and have maturities ranging from a few weeks to several years. Yankee dollar certificates of deposit are negotiable CDs issued in the United States by branches and agencies of foreign banks. Eurodollar certificates of deposit are CDs issued by foreign banks with interest and principal paid in U.S. dollars. Eurodollar and Yankee Dollar CDs typically have maturities of less than two years and have interest rates that typically are pegged to the London Interbank Offered Rate or LIBOR. See Types of Investments – Eurodollar and Yankee Dollar and Related Derivative Instruments . Bankers’ acceptances are time drafts drawn on and accepted by banks, are a customary means of effecting payment for merchandise sold in import-export transactions and are a general source of financing. A time deposit can be either a savings account or CD that is an obligation of a financial institution for a fixed term. Typically, there are penalties for early withdrawals of time deposits. Promissory notes are written commitments of the maker to pay the payee a specified sum of money either on demand or at a fixed or determinable future date, with or without interest.
Bank investment contracts are issued by banks. Pursuant to such contracts, a Fund may make cash contributions to a deposit fund of a bank. The bank then credits to the Fund payments at floating or fixed interest rates. A Fund also may hold funds on deposit with its custodian for temporary purposes.
Certain bank obligations, such as some CDs, are insured by the FDIC up to certain specified limits. Many other bank obligations, however, are neither guaranteed nor insured by the FDIC or the U.S. Government. These bank obligations are “backed” only by the creditworthiness of the issuing bank or parent financial institution. Domestic and foreign banks are subject to different governmental regulation. Accordingly, certain obligations of foreign banks, including Eurodollar and Yankee dollar obligations, involve different and/or heightened investment risks than those affecting obligations of domestic banks, including, among others, the possibilities that: (i) their liquidity could be impaired because of political or economic developments; (ii) the obligations may be less marketable than comparable obligations of domestic banks; (iii) a foreign jurisdiction might impose withholding and other taxes at high levels on interest income; (iv) foreign deposits may be seized or nationalized; (v) foreign governmental restrictions such as exchange controls may be imposed, which could adversely affect the payment of principal and/or interest on those obligations; (vi) there may be less publicly available information concerning foreign banks issuing the obligations; and (vii) the reserve requirements and accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements applicable to foreign banks may differ (including, less stringent) from those applicable to domestic banks. Foreign banks generally are not subject to examination by any U.S. Government agency or instrumentality. See Types of Investments – Foreign Securities .
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with bank obligations include: Counterparty Risk, Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Issuer Risk, Liquidity Risk, and Prepayment and Extension Risk.
Collateralized Bond Obligations
Collateralized bond obligations (CBOs) are investment grade bonds backed by a pool of bonds, which may include junk bonds (which are considered speculative investments). CBOs are similar in concept to collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs), but differ in that CBOs represent different degrees of credit quality rather than different maturities. (See Types of Investments – Mortgage-Backed Securities and – Asset-Backed Securities . ) CBOs are often privately offered and sold, and thus not registered under the federal securities laws.
Underwriters of CBOs package a large and diversified pool of high-risk, high-yield junk bonds, which is then structured into “tranches.” Typically, the first tranche represents a senior claim on collateral and pays the lowest interest rate; the second tranche is junior to the first tranche and therefore subject to greater risk and pays a higher rate; the third tranche is junior to both the first and second tranche, represents the lowest credit quality and instead of receiving a fixed interest rate receives the residual interest payments — money that is left over after the higher tranches have been paid. CBOs, like CMOs, are substantially
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overcollateralized and this, plus the diversification of the pool backing them, may earn certain of the tranches investment-grade bond ratings. Holders of third-tranche CBOs stand to earn higher or lower yields depending on the rate of defaults in the collateral pool. See Types of Investments – High-Yield Securities .
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with CBOs include: Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Liquidity Risk, High-Yield Securities Risk and Prepayment and Extension Risk.
Commercial Paper
Commercial paper is a short-term debt obligation, usually sold on a discount basis, with a maturity ranging from 2 to 270 days issued by banks, corporations and other borrowers. It is sold to investors with temporary idle cash as a way to increase returns on a short-term basis. These instruments are generally unsecured, which increases the credit risk associated with this type of investment. See Types of Investments — Debt Obligations and Types of Investments — Illiquid Securities. See Appendix A for a discussion of securities ratings.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with commercial paper include: Credit Risk and Liquidity Risk.
Common Stock
Common stock represents a unit of equity ownership of a corporation. Owners typically are entitled to vote on the selection of directors and other important corporate governance matters, and to receive dividend payments, if any, on their holdings. However, ownership of common stock does not entitle owners to participate in the day-to-day operations of the corporation. Common stocks of domestic and foreign public corporations can be listed, and their shares traded, on domestic stock exchanges, such as the NYSE or the NASDAQ Stock Market. Domestic and foreign corporations also may have their shares traded on foreign exchanges, such as the London Stock Exchange or Tokyo Stock Exchange. See Types of Investments – Foreign Securities . Common stock may be privately placed or publicly offered. The price of common stock is generally determined by corporate earnings, type of products or services offered, projected growth rates, experience of management, liquidity, and market conditions generally. In the event that a corporation declares bankruptcy or is liquidated, the claims of secured and unsecured creditors and owners of bonds and preferred stock take precedence over the claims of those who own common stock. See Types of Investments – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities – Preferred Stock and – Convertible Securities for more information.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with common stock include: Issuer Risk and Market Risk.
Convertible Securities
Convertible securities include bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities that may be converted or exchanged (by the holder or by the issuer) into shares of the underlying common stock (or cash or securities of equivalent value) at a stated exchange ratio or predetermined price (the conversion price). As such, convertible securities combine the investment characteristics of debt securities and equity securities. A holder of convertible securities is entitled to receive the income of a bond, debenture or note or the dividend of a preferred stock until the conversion privilege is exercised. The market value of convertible securities generally is a function of, among other factors, interest rates, the rates of return of similar nonconvertible securities and the financial strength of the issuer. The market value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates rise and, conversely, to rise as interest rates decline. However, a convertible security’s market value tends to reflect the market price of the common stock of the issuing company when that stock price approaches or is greater than its conversion price. As the market price of the underlying common stock declines, the price of the convertible security tends to be influenced more by the rate of return of the convertible security. Because both interest rate and common stock’s market movements can influence their value, convertible securities generally are not as sensitive to changes in interest rates as similar non-convertible debt securities nor generally as sensitive to changes in share price as the underlying common stock. Convertible securities may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations or as zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and step-coupon securities and may be privately placed or publicly offered. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations, – Zero-Coupon, Pay-in-Kind and Step-Coupon Securities, – Common Stock, – Corporate Debt Securities and – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities for more information.
Certain convertible securities may have a mandatory conversion feature, pursuant to which the securities convert automatically into common stock or other equity securities (of the same or a different issuer) at a specified date and at a specified exchange ratio. Certain convertible securities may be convertible at the option of the issuer, which may require a holder to convert the security into the underlying common stock, even at times when the value of the underlying common stock or other equity security has declined substantially. In addition, some convertible securities may be rated below investment grade or may not be rated and, therefore, may be considered speculative investments. Companies that issue convertible securities frequently are small- and mid-capitalization companies and, accordingly, carry the risks associated with such companies. In addition, the credit
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rating of a company’s convertible securities generally is lower than that of its conventional debt securities. Convertible securities are senior to equity securities and have a claim to the assets of an issuer prior to the holders of the issuer’s common stock in the event of liquidation but generally are subordinate to similar non-convertible debt securities of the same issuer. Some convertible securities are particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates when their predetermined conversion price is much higher than the price for the issuing company’s common stock.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with convertible securities include: Convertible Securities Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Issuer Risk, Market Risk, Prepayment and Extension Risk, and Reinvestment Risk.
Corporate Debt Securities
Corporate debt securities are long and short term fixed income securities typically issued by businesses to finance their operations. Corporate debt securities are issued by public or private companies, as distinct from debt securities issued by a government or its agencies. The issuer of a corporate debt security often has a contractual obligation to pay interest at a stated rate on specific dates and to repay principal periodically or on a specified maturity date. Corporate debt securities typically have four distinguishing features: (1) they are taxable; (2) they have a par value of $1,000; (3) they have a term maturity, which means they come due at a specified time period; and (4) many are traded on major securities exchanges. Notes, bonds, debentures and commercial paper are the most common types of corporate debt securities, with the primary difference being their interest rates, maturity dates and secured or unsecured status. Commercial paper has the shortest term and usually is unsecured, as are debentures. The broad category of corporate debt securities includes debt issued by domestic or foreign companies of all kinds, including those with small-, mid- and large-capitalizations. The category also includes bank loans, as well as assignments, participations and other interests in bank loans. Corporate debt securities may be rated investment grade or below investment grade and may be structured as fixed-, variable or floating-rate obligations or as zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and step-coupon securities and may be privately placed or publicly offered. They may also be senior or subordinated obligations. See Appendix A for a discussion of securities ratings. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations, Types of Investments – Zero-Coupon, Pay-in-Kind and Step-Coupon Securities, Types of Investments – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities, Types of Investments – Debt Obligations, Types of Investments – Commercial Paper and Types of Investments – High-Yield Securities for more information.
Extendible commercial notes (ECNs) are very similar to commercial paper except that, with ECNs, the issuer has the option to extend the notes’ maturity. ECNs are issued at a discount rate, with an initial redemption of not more than 90 days from the date of issue. If ECNs are not redeemed by the issuer on the initial redemption date, the issuer will pay a premium (step-up) rate based on the ECN’s credit rating at the time.
Because of the wide range of types and maturities of corporate debt securities, as well as the range of creditworthiness of issuers, corporate debt securities can have widely varying risk/return profiles. For example, commercial paper issued by a large established domestic corporation that is rated by an NRSRO as investment grade may have a relatively modest return on principal but present relatively limited risk. On the other hand, a long-term corporate note issued, for example, by a small foreign corporation from an emerging market country that has not been rated by an NRSRO may have the potential for relatively large returns on principal but carries a relatively high degree of risk.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with corporate debt securities include: Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Issuer Risk, High-Yield Securities Risk, Prepayment and Extension Risk and Reinvestment Risk.
Custody Receipts and Trust Certificates
Custody receipts and trust certificates are derivative products that evidence direct ownership in a pool of securities. Typically, a sponsor will deposit a pool of securities with a custodian in exchange for custody receipts evidencing interests in those securities. The sponsor generally then will sell the custody receipts or trust certificates in negotiated transactions at varying prices. Each custody receipt or trust certificate evidences the individual securities in the pool and the holder of a custody receipt or trust certificate generally will have all the rights and privileges of owners of those securities.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with custody receipts and trust certificates include: Liquidity Risk and Counterparty Risk. In addition, custody receipts and trust certificates generally are subject to the same risks as the securities evidenced by the receipts or certificates.
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Debt Obligations
Many different types of debt obligations exist (for example, bills, bonds, and notes). Issuers of debt obligations have a contractual obligation to pay interest at a fixed, variable or floating rate on specified dates and to repay principal by a specified maturity date. Certain debt obligations (usually intermediate and long-term bonds) have provisions that allow the issuer to redeem or “call” a bond before its maturity. Issuers are most likely to call these securities during periods of falling interest rates. When this happens, an investor may have to replace these securities with lower yielding securities, which could result in a lower return.
The market value of debt obligations is affected primarily by changes in prevailing interest rates and the issuer’s perceived ability to repay the debt. The market value of a debt obligation generally reacts inversely to interest rate changes. When prevailing interest rates decline, the market value of the bond usually rises, and when prevailing interest rates rise, the market value of the bond usually declines.
In general, the longer the maturity of a debt obligation, the higher its yield and the greater the sensitivity to changes in interest rates. Conversely, the shorter the maturity, the lower the yield and the lower the sensitivity to changes in interest rates.
As noted, the values of debt obligations also may be affected by changes in the credit rating or financial condition of their issuers. Generally, the lower the quality rating of a security, the higher the degree of risk as to the payment of interest and return of principal. To compensate investors for taking on such increased risk, those issuers deemed to be less creditworthy generally must offer their investors higher interest rates than do issuers with better credit ratings. See Types of Investments – Corporate Debt Securities, Types of Investments – High-Yield Securities. See Types of Investments – Trust-Preferred Securities for information with respect to the trust-preferred or trust-issued securities.
Determining Investment Grade for Purposes of Investment Policies. Unless otherwise stated in the Fund’s prospectus, when determining, under a Fund’s investment policies, whether a debt instrument is investment grade or below investment grade for purposes of purchase by the Fund, the Fund will apply a particular credit quality rating methodology, as described within the Fund’s shareholder reports, when available. These methodologies typically make use of credit quality ratings assigned by a third-party rating agency or agencies, when available. Credit quality ratings assigned by a rating agency are subjective opinions, not statements of fact, and are subject to change, including daily. Credit quality ratings apply to the Fund’s debt instrument investments and not the Fund itself.
Ratings limitations under a Fund’s investment policies are applied at the time of purchase by a Fund. Subsequent to purchase, a debt instrument may cease to be rated by a rating agency or its rating may be reduced by a rating agency(ies) below the minimum required for purchase by a Fund. Neither event will require the sale of such debt instrument, but it may be a factor in considering whether to continue to hold the instrument. Unless otherwise stated in a Fund’s prospectus or in this SAI, a Fund may invest in debt instruments that are not rated by a rating agency. When a debt instrument is not rated by a rating agency, the Investment Manager or, as applicable, a Fund subadviser determines, at the time of purchase, whether such debt instrument is of investment grade or below investment grade (e.g., junk bond) quality. A Fund’s debt instrument holdings that are not rated by a rating agency are typically referred to as “Not Rated” within the Fund’s shareholder reports.
See Appendix A for a discussion of securities ratings.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with debt obligations include: Confidential Information Access Risk, Credit Risk, Highly Leveraged Transactions Risk, Impairment of Collateral Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Issuer Risk, Liquidity Risk, Prepayment and Extension Risk and Reinvestment Risk.
Determining Average Maturity. When determining the average maturity of a Fund's portfolio, the Fund may use the effective maturity of a portfolio security by, among other things, adjusting for interest rate reset dates, call dates or “put” dates.
Depositary Receipts
See Types of Investments – Foreign Securities below.
Derivatives
General
Derivatives are financial instruments whose values are based on (or “derived” from) traditional securities (such as a stock or a bond), assets (such as a commodity, like gold), reference rates (such as LIBOR), market indices (such as the S& P 500 ® Index) or customized baskets of securities or instruments. Some forms of derivatives, such as exchange-traded futures and options on securities, commodities, or indices, are traded on regulated exchanges. These types of derivatives are standardized contracts that can easily be bought and sold, and whose market values are determined and published daily. Non-standardized derivatives, on the other hand, tend to be more specialized or complex, and may be harder to value. Many derivative instruments often require little or no initial payment and therefore often create inherent economic leverage. Derivatives, when used properly, can enhance
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returns and be useful in hedging portfolios and managing risk. Some common types of derivatives include futures; options; options on futures; forward foreign currency exchange contracts; forward contracts on securities and securities indices; linked securities and structured products; CMOs; swap agreements and swaptions.
A Fund may use derivatives for a variety of reasons, including, for example: (i) to enhance its return; (ii) to attempt to protect against possible unfavorable changes in the market value of securities held in or to be purchased for its portfolio resulting from securities markets or currency exchange rate fluctuations ( i.e. , to hedge); (iii) to protect its unrealized gains reflected in the value of its portfolio securities; (iv) to facilitate the sale of such securities for investment purposes; (v) to reduce transaction costs; (vi) to manage the effective maturity or duration of its portfolio; and/or (vii) to maintain cash reserves while remaining fully invested.
A Fund may use any or all of the above investment techniques and may purchase different types of derivative instruments at any time and in any combination. The use of derivatives is a function of numerous variables, including market conditions. See also Types of Investments – Warrants and Rights and When Issued, Delayed Delivery and Forward Commitment Transactions .
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with transactions in derivatives (including the derivatives instruments discussed below) include: Counterparty Risk, Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Leverage Risk, Liquidity Risk, Market Risk, Derivatives Risk, Derivatives Risk – Forward Contracts Risk, Derivatives Risk – Futures Contracts Risk, Derivatives Risk – Inverse Floaters Risk, Derivatives Risk – Options Risk, Derivatives Risk – Structured Investments Risk and/or Derivatives Risk – Swaps Risk.
Indexed or Linked Securities (Structured Products)
General . Indexed or linked securities, also often referred to as “structured products,” are instruments that may have varying combinations of equity and debt characteristics. These instruments are structured to recast the investment characteristics of the underlying security or reference asset. If the issuer is a unit investment trust or other special purpose vehicle, the structuring will typically involve the deposit with or purchase by such issuer of specified instruments (such as commercial bank loans or securities) and/or the execution of various derivative transactions, and the issuance by that entity of one or more classes of securities (structured 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 securities to create securities with different investment characteristics, such as varying maturities, payment priorities and interest rate provisions, and the extent of such payments made with respect to structured securities is dependent on the extent of the cash flow on the underlying instruments.
Indexed and Inverse Floating Rate Securities. A Fund may invest in securities that provide a potential return based on a particular index or interest rates. For example, a Fund may invest in debt securities that pay interest based on an index of interest rates. The principal amount payable upon maturity of certain securities also may be based on the value of the index. To the extent a Fund invests in these types of securities, a Fund’s return on such securities will rise and fall with the value of the particular index: that is, if the value of the index falls, the value of the indexed securities owned by a Fund will fall. Interest and principal payable on certain securities may also be based on relative changes among particular indices.
A Fund may also invest in so-called “inverse floaters” or “residual interest bonds” on which the interest rates vary inversely with a floating rate (which may be reset periodically by a dutch auction, a remarketing agent, or by reference to a short-term tax-exempt interest rate index). A Fund may purchase synthetically-created inverse floating rate bonds evidenced by custodial or trust receipts. A trust funds the purchase of a bond by issuing two classes of certificates: short-term floating rate notes (typically sold to third parties) and the inverse floaters (also known as residual certificates). No additional income beyond that provided by the trust’s underlying bond is created; rather, that income is merely divided-up between the two classes of certificates. Generally, income on inverse floating rate bonds will decrease when interest rates increase, and will increase when interest rates decrease. Such securities can have the effect of providing a degree of investment leverage, since they may increase or decrease in value in response to changes in market interest rates at a rate that is a multiple of the actual rate at which fixed-rate securities increase or decrease in response to such changes. As a result, the market values of such securities will generally be more volatile than the market values of fixed-rate securities. To seek to limit the volatility of these securities, a Fund may purchase inverse floating obligations that have shorter-term maturities or that contain limitations on the extent to which the interest rate may vary. Certain investments in such obligations may be illiquid. Furthermore, where such a security includes a contingent liability, in the event of an adverse movement in the underlying index or interest rate, a Fund may be required to pay substantial additional margin to maintain the position.
Credit-Linked Securities. Among the income-producing securities in which a Fund may invest are credit linked securities. The issuers of these securities frequently are limited purpose trusts or other special purpose vehicles that, in turn, invest in a derivative instrument or basket of derivative instruments, such as credit default swaps, interest rate swaps and other securities, in order to provide exposure to certain fixed income markets. For instance, a Fund may invest in credit-linked securities as a cash management tool in order to gain exposure to a certain market and/or to remain fully invested when more traditional income-producing securities are not available. Like an investment in a bond, investments in these credit linked securities represent the
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right to receive periodic income payments (in the form of distributions) and payment of principal at the end of the term of the security. However, these payments are conditioned on or linked to the issuer’s receipt of payments from, and the issuer’s potential obligations to, the counterparties to the derivative instruments and other securities in which the issuer invests. For instance, the issuer may sell one or more credit default swaps, under which the issuer would receive a stream of payments over the term of the swap agreements provided that no event of default has occurred with respect to the referenced debt obligation upon which the swap is based. If a default occurs, the stream of payments may stop and the issuer would be obligated to pay the counterparty the par (or other agreed upon value) of the referenced debt obligation. This, in turn, would reduce the amount of income and/or principal that a Fund would receive. A Fund’s investments in these securities are indirectly subject to the risks associated with derivative instruments. These securities generally are exempt from registration under the 1933 Act. Accordingly, there may be no established trading market for the securities and they may constitute illiquid investments.
Index-, Commodity- and Currency-Linked Securities. “Index-linked” or “commodity-linked” notes are debt securities of companies that call for interest payments and/or payment at maturity in different terms than the typical note where the borrower agrees to make fixed interest payments and to pay a fixed sum at maturity. Principal and/or interest payments on an index-linked or commodity-linked note depend on the performance of one or more market indices, such as the S&P 500 ® Index, a weighted index of commodity futures such as crude oil, gasoline and natural gas or the market prices of a particular commodity or basket of commodities or securities. Currency-linked debt securities are short-term or intermediate-term instruments having a value at maturity, and/or an interest rate, determined by reference to one or more foreign currencies. Payment of principal or periodic interest may be calculated as a multiple of the movement of one currency against another currency, or against an index.
Index-, commodity- and currency-linked securities may entail substantial risks. Such instruments may be subject to significant price volatility. The company issuing the instrument may fail to pay the amount due on maturity. The underlying investment may not perform as expected by a Fund’s portfolio manager. Markets and underlying investments and indexes may move in a direction that was not anticipated by a Fund’s portfolio manager. Performance of the derivatives may be influenced by interest rate and other market changes in the United States and abroad, and certain derivative instruments may be illiquid.
Linked securities are often issued by unit investment trusts. Examples of this include such index-linked securities as S&P Depositary Receipts (SPDRs), which is an interest in a unit investment trust holding a portfolio of securities linked to the S&P 500 ® Index, and a type of exchange-traded fund (ETF). Because a unit investment trust is an investment company under the 1940 Act, a Fund’s investments in SPDRs are subject to the limitations set forth in Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act, although the SEC has issued exemptive relief permitting investment companies such as the Funds to invest beyond the limits of Section 12(d)(1)(A) subject to certain conditions. SPDRs generally closely track the underlying portfolio of securities, trade like a share of common stock and pay periodic dividends proportionate to those paid by the portfolio of stocks that comprise the S&P 500 ® Index. As a holder of interests in a unit investment trust, a Fund would indirectly bear its ratable share of that unit investment trust’s expenses. At the same time, a Fund would continue to pay its own management and advisory fees and other expenses, as a result of which a Fund and its shareholders in effect would be absorbing levels of fees with respect to investments in such unit investment trusts.
Because linked securities typically involve no credit enhancement, their credit risk generally will be equivalent to that of the underlying instruments. Investments in structured products may be structured as a class that is either subordinated or unsubordinated to the right of payment of another class. Subordinated linked securities typically have higher rates of return and present greater risks than unsubordinated structured products. Structured products sometimes are sold in private placement transactions and often have a limited trading market.
Investments in linked securities have the potential to lead to significant losses because of unexpected movements in the underlying financial asset, index, currency or other investment. The ability of a Fund to utilize linked securities successfully will depend on its ability correctly to predict pertinent market movements, which cannot be assured. Because currency-linked securities usually relate to foreign currencies, some of which may be currencies from emerging market countries, there are certain additional risks associated with such investments.
Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts
Futures Contracts. A futures contract sale creates an obligation by the seller to deliver the type of security or other asset called for in the contract at a specified delivery time for a stated price. A futures contract purchase creates an obligation by the purchaser to take delivery of the type of security or other asset called for in the contract at a specified delivery time for a stated price. The specific security or other asset delivered or taken at the settlement date is not determined until on or near that date. The determination is made in accordance with the rules of the exchange on which the futures contract was made. A Fund may enter into futures contracts which are traded on national or foreign futures exchanges and are standardized as to maturity date and underlying security or other asset. Futures exchanges and trading in the United States are regulated under the CEA by the CFTC, a U.S. Government agency. See CFTC Regulation below for information on CFTC regulation.
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Traders in futures contracts may be broadly classified as either “hedgers” or “speculators.” Hedgers use the futures markets primarily to offset unfavorable changes (anticipated or potential) in the value of securities or other assets currently owned or expected to be acquired by them. Speculators less often own the securities or other assets underlying the futures contracts which they trade, and generally use futures contracts with the expectation of realizing profits from fluctuations in the value of the underlying securities or other assets.
Upon entering into futures contracts, in compliance with regulatory requirements, cash or liquid securities, at least equal in value to the amount of a Fund’s obligation under the contract (less any applicable margin deposits and any assets that constitute “cover” for such obligation), will be designated in a Fund’s books and records.
Unlike when a Fund purchases or sells a security, no price is paid or received by a Fund upon the purchase or sale of a futures contract, although a Fund is required to deposit with its custodian in a segregated account in the name of the futures broker an amount of cash and/or U.S. Government securities in order to initiate and maintain open positions in futures contracts. This amount is known as “initial margin.” The nature of initial margin in futures transactions is different from that of margin in security transactions, in that futures contract margin does not involve the borrowing of funds by a Fund to finance the transactions. Rather, initial margin is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit intended to assure completion of the contract (delivery or acceptance of the underlying security or other asset) that is returned to a Fund upon termination of the futures contract, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Minimum initial margin requirements are established by the relevant futures exchange and may be changed. Brokers may establish deposit requirements which are higher than the exchange minimums. Futures contracts are customarily purchased and sold on margin which may range upward from less than 5% of the value of the contract being traded. Subsequent payments, called “variation margin,” to and from the broker (or the custodian) are made on a daily basis as the price of the underlying security or other asset fluctuates, a process known as “marking to market.” If the futures contract price changes to the extent that the margin on deposit does not satisfy margin requirements, payment of additional variation margin will be required. Conversely, a change in the contract value may reduce the required margin, resulting in a repayment of excess margin to the contract holder. Variation margin payments are made for as long as the contract remains open. A Fund expects to earn interest income on its margin deposits.
Although futures contracts by their terms call for actual delivery or acceptance of securities or other assets (stock index futures contracts or futures contracts that reference other intangible assets do not permit delivery of the referenced assets), the contracts usually are closed out before the settlement date without the making or taking of delivery. A Fund may elect to close some or all of its futures positions at any time prior to their expiration. The purpose of taking such action would be to reduce or eliminate the position then currently held by a Fund. Closing out an open futures position is done by taking an opposite position (“buying” a contract which has previously been “sold,” “selling” a contract previously “purchased”) in an identical contract ( i.e. , the same aggregate amount of the specific type of security or other asset with the same delivery date) to terminate the position. Final determinations are made as to whether the price of the initial sale of the futures contract exceeds or is below the price of the offsetting purchase, or whether the purchase price exceeds or is below the offsetting sale price. Final determinations of variation margin are then made, additional cash is required to be paid by or released to a Fund, and a Fund realizes a loss or a gain. Brokerage commissions are incurred when a futures contract is bought or sold.
Successful use of futures contracts by a Fund is subject to its portfolio manager’s ability to predict correctly movements in the direction of interest rates and other factors affecting securities and commodities markets. This requires different skills and techniques than those required to predict changes in the prices of individual securities. A Fund, therefore, bears the risk that future market trends will be incorrectly predicted.
The risk of loss in trading futures contracts in some strategies can be substantial, due both to the relatively low margin deposits required and the potential for an extremely high degree of leverage involved in futures contracts. As a result, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in an immediate and substantial loss to the investor. For example, if at the time of purchase, 10% of the value of the futures contract is deposited as margin, a subsequent 10% decrease in the value of the futures contract would result in a total loss of the margin deposit, before any deduction for the transaction costs, if the account were then closed out. A 15% decrease would result in a loss equal to 150% of the original margin deposit if the contract were closed out. Thus, a purchase or sale of a futures contract may result in losses in excess of the amount posted as initial margin for the contract.
In the event of adverse price movements, a Fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments in order to maintain its required margin. In such a situation, if a Fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell portfolio securities in order to meet daily margin requirements at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. The inability to close the futures position also could have an adverse impact on the ability to hedge effectively.
To reduce or eliminate a hedge position held by a Fund, a Fund may seek to close out a position. The ability to establish and close out positions will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid secondary market. It is not certain that this market will develop or continue to exist for a particular futures contract, which may limit a Fund’s ability to realize its profits or limit its losses. Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market on an exchange include the following: (i) there may be
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insufficient trading interest in certain contracts; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening transactions, closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of contracts, or underlying securities; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances, such as volume in excess of trading or clearing capability, may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the facilities of an exchange or a clearing corporation may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of contracts (or a particular class or series of contracts), in which event the secondary market on that exchange (or in the class or series of contracts) would cease to exist, although outstanding contracts on the exchange that had been issued by a clearing corporation as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.
Interest Rate Futures Contracts. Bond prices are established in both the cash market and the futures market. In the cash market, bonds are purchased and sold with payment for the full purchase price of the bond being made in cash, generally within five business days after the trade. In the futures market, a contract is made to purchase or sell a bond in the future for a set price on a certain date. Historically, the prices for bonds established in the futures markets have tended to move generally in the aggregate in concert with the cash market prices and have maintained fairly predictable relationships. Accordingly, a Fund may use interest rate futures contracts as a defense, or hedge, against anticipated interest rate changes. A Fund presently could accomplish a similar result to that which it hopes to achieve through the use of interest rate futures contracts by selling bonds with long maturities and investing in bonds with short maturities when interest rates are expected to increase, or conversely, selling bonds with short maturities and investing in bonds with long maturities when interest rates are expected to decline. However, because of the liquidity that is often available in the futures market, the protection is more likely to be achieved, perhaps at a lower cost and without changing the rate of interest being earned by a Fund, through using futures contracts.
Interest rate futures contracts are traded in an auction environment on the floors of several exchanges — principally, the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the New York Futures Exchange. Each exchange guarantees performance under contract provisions through a clearing corporation, a nonprofit organization managed by the exchange membership. A public market exists in futures contracts covering various financial instruments including long-term U.S. Treasury Bonds and Notes; GNMA modified pass-through mortgage backed securities; three-month U.S. Treasury Bills; and ninety-day commercial paper. A Fund may also invest in exchange-traded Eurodollar contracts, which are interest rate futures on the forward level of LIBOR. These contracts are generally considered liquid securities and trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Such Eurodollar contracts are generally used to “lock-in” or hedge the future level of short-term rates. A Fund may trade in any interest rate futures contracts for which there exists a public market, including, without limitation, the foregoing instruments.
Index Futures Contracts. An index futures contract is a contract to buy or sell units of an index at a specified future date at a price agreed upon when the contract is made. Entering into a contract to buy units of an index is commonly referred to as buying or purchasing a contract or holding a long position in the index. Entering into a contract to sell units of an index is commonly referred to as selling a contract or holding a short position in the index. A unit is the current value of the index. A Fund may enter into stock index futures contracts, debt index futures contracts, or other index futures contracts appropriate to its objective(s).
Municipal Bond Index Futures Contracts. Municipal bond index futures contracts may act as a hedge against changes in market conditions. A municipal bond index assigns values daily to the municipal bonds included in the index based on the independent assessment of dealer-to-dealer municipal bond brokers. A municipal bond index futures contract represents a firm commitment by which two parties agree to take or make delivery of an amount equal to a specified dollar amount multiplied by the difference between the municipal bond index value on the last trading date of the contract and the price at which the futures contract is originally struck. No physical delivery of the underlying securities in the index is made.
Commodity-Linked Futures Contracts. Commodity-linked futures contracts are traded on futures exchanges. These futures exchanges offer a central marketplace in which to transact in futures contracts, a clearing corporation to process trades, and standardization of expiration dates and contract sizes. Futures markets also specify the terms and conditions of delivery as well as the maximum permissible price movement during a trading session. Additionally, the commodity futures exchanges may have position limit rules that limit the amount of futures contracts that any one party may hold in a particular commodity at any point in time. These position limit rules are designed to prevent any one participant from controlling a significant portion of the market.
Commodity-linked futures contracts are generally based upon commodities within six main commodity groups: (1) energy, which includes, among others, crude oil, brent crude oil, gas oil, natural gas, gasoline and heating oil; (2) livestock, which includes, among others, feeder cattle, live cattle and hogs; (3) agriculture, which includes, among others, wheat (Kansas wheat and Chicago wheat), corn and soybeans; (4) industrial metals, which includes, among others, aluminum, copper, lead, nickel and zinc; (5) precious metals, which includes, among others, gold and silver; and (6) softs, which includes cotton, coffee, sugar and
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cocoa. A Fund may purchase commodity futures contracts, swaps on commodity futures contracts, options on futures contracts and options and futures on commodity indices with respect to these six main commodity groups and the individual commodities within each group, as well as other types of commodities.
The price of a commodity futures contract will reflect the storage costs of purchasing the physical commodity. These storage costs include the time value of money invested in the physical commodity plus the actual costs of storing the commodity less any benefits from ownership of the physical commodity that are not obtained by the holder of a futures contract (this is sometimes referred to as the “convenience yield”). To the extent that these storage costs change for an underlying commodity while a Fund is long futures contracts on that commodity, the value of the futures contract may change proportionately.
In the commodity futures markets, if producers of the underlying commodity wish to hedge the price risk of selling the commodity, they will sell futures contracts today to lock in the price of the commodity at delivery tomorrow. In order to induce speculators to take the corresponding long side of the same futures contract, the commodity producer must be willing to sell the futures contract at a price that is below the expected future spot price. Conversely, if the predominant hedgers in the futures market are the purchasers of the underlying commodity who purchase futures contracts to hedge against a rise in prices, then speculators will only take the short side of the futures contract if the futures price is greater than the expected future spot price of the commodity.
The changing nature of the hedgers and speculators in the commodity markets will influence whether futures contract prices are above or below the expected future spot price. This can have significant implications for a Fund when it is time to replace an existing contract with a new contract. If the nature of hedgers and speculators in futures markets has shifted such that commodity purchasers are the predominant hedgers in the market, a Fund might open the new futures position at a higher price or choose other related commodity-linked investments.
The values of commodities which underlie commodity futures contracts are subject to additional variables which may be less significant to the values of traditional securities such as stocks and bonds. Variables such as drought, floods, weather, livestock disease, embargoes and tariffs may have a larger impact on commodity prices and commodity-linked investments, including futures contracts, commodity-linked structured notes, commodity-linked options and commodity-linked swaps, than on traditional securities. These additional variables may create additional investment risks which subject a Fund’s commodity-linked investments to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities.
Options on Futures Contracts. A Fund may purchase and write call and put options on those futures contracts that it is permitted to buy or sell. A Fund may use such options on futures contracts in lieu of writing options directly on the underlying securities or other assets or purchasing and selling the underlying futures contracts. Such options generally operate in the same manner as options purchased or written directly on the underlying investments. A futures option gives the holder, in return for the premium paid, the right, but not the obligation, to buy from (call) or sell to (put) the writer of the option a futures contract at a specified price at any time during the period of the option. Upon exercise, the writer of the option is obligated to pay the difference between the cash value of the futures contract and the exercise price. Like the buyer or seller of a futures contract, the holder or writer of an option has the right to terminate its position prior to the scheduled expiration of the option by selling or purchasing an option of the same series, at which time the person entering into the closing purchase transaction will realize a gain or loss. There is no guarantee that such closing purchase transactions can be effected.
A Fund will enter into written options on futures contracts only when, in compliance with regulatory requirements, it has designated cash or liquid securities at least equal in value to the underlying security’s or other asset’s value (less any applicable margin deposits). A Fund will be required to deposit initial margin and maintenance margin with respect to put and call options on futures contracts written by it pursuant to brokers’ requirements similar to those described above.
Options on Index Futures Contracts. A Fund may also purchase and sell options on index futures contracts. Options on index futures give the purchaser the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a position in an index futures contract (a long position if the option is a call and a short position if the option is a put), at a specified exercise price at any time during the period of the option. Upon exercise of the option, the delivery of the futures position by the writer of the option to the holder of the option will be accompanied by delivery of the accumulated balance in the writer’s futures margin account, which represents the amount by which the market price of the index futures contract, at exercise, exceeds (in the case of a call) or is less than (in the case of a put) the exercise price of the option on the index future. If an option is exercised on the last trading day prior to the expiration date of the option, the settlement will be made entirely in cash equal to the difference between the exercise price of the option and the closing level of the index on which the future is based on the expiration date. Purchasers of options who fail to exercise their options prior to the exercise date suffer a loss of the premium paid.
Options on Stocks, Stock Indices and Other Indices. A Fund may purchase and write ( i.e. , sell) put and call options. Such options may relate to particular stocks or stock indices, and may or may not be listed on a domestic or foreign securities exchange and may or may not be issued by the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC). Stock index options are put options and call options on various stock indices. In most respects, they are identical to listed options on common stocks.
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There is a key difference between stock options and index options in connection with their exercise. In the case of stock options, the underlying security, common stock, is delivered. However, upon the exercise of an index option, settlement does not occur by delivery of the securities comprising the index. The option holder who exercises the index option receives an amount of cash if the closing level of the stock index upon which the option is based is greater than (in the case of a call) or less than (in the case of a put) the exercise price of the option. This amount of cash is equal to the difference between the closing price of the stock index and the exercise price of the option expressed in dollars times a specified multiple. A stock index fluctuates with changes in the market value of the securities included in the index. For example, some stock index options are based on a broad market index, such as the S&P 500 ® Index or a narrower market index, such as the S&P 100 ® Index. Indices may also be based on an industry or market segment.
A Fund may, for the purpose of hedging its portfolio, subject to applicable securities regulations, purchase and write put and call options on foreign stock indices listed on foreign and domestic stock exchanges.
As an alternative to purchasing call and put options on index futures, a Fund may purchase call and put options on the underlying indices themselves. Such options could be used in a manner identical to the use of options on index futures. Options involving securities indices provide the holder with the right to make or receive a cash settlement upon exercise of the option based on movements in the relevant index. Such options must be listed on a national securities exchange and issued by the OCC. Such options may relate to particular securities or to various stock indices, except that a Fund may not write covered options on an index.
Writing Covered Options. A Fund may write covered call options and covered put options on securities held in its portfolio. Call options written by a Fund give the purchaser the right to buy the underlying securities from a Fund at the stated exercise price at any time prior to the expiration date of the option, regardless of the security’s market price; put options give the purchaser the right to sell the underlying securities to a Fund at the stated exercise price at any time prior to the expiration date of the option, regardless of the security’s market price.
A Fund may write covered options, which means that, so long as a Fund is obligated as the writer of a call option, it will own the underlying securities subject to the option (or comparable securities satisfying the cover requirements of securities exchanges). In the case of put options, a Fund will hold liquid assets equal to the price to be paid if the option is exercised. In addition, a Fund will be considered to have covered a put or call option if and to the extent that it holds an option that offsets some or all of the risk of the option it has written. A Fund may write combinations of covered puts and calls (straddles) on the same underlying security.
A Fund will receive a premium from writing a put or call option, which increases a Fund’s return on the underlying security if the option expires unexercised or is closed out at a profit. The amount of the premium reflects, among other things, the relationship between the exercise price and the current market value of the underlying security, the volatility of the underlying security, the amount of time remaining until expiration, current interest rates, and the effect of supply and demand in the options market and in the market for the underlying security. By writing a call option, a Fund limits its opportunity to profit from any increase in the market value of the underlying security above the exercise price of the option but continues to bear the risk of a decline in the value of the underlying security. By writing a put option, a Fund assumes the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying security for an exercise price higher than the security’s then-current market value, resulting in a potential capital loss unless the security subsequently appreciates in value.
A Fund’s obligation to sell an instrument subject to a call option written by it, or to purchase an instrument subject to a put option written by it, may be terminated prior to the expiration date of the option by a Fund’s execution of a closing purchase transaction, which is effected by purchasing on an exchange an offsetting option of the same series ( i.e. , same underlying instrument, exercise price and expiration date) as the option previously written. A closing purchase transaction will ordinarily be effected in order to realize a profit on an outstanding option, to prevent an underlying instrument from being called, to permit the sale of the underlying instrument or to permit the writing of a new option containing different terms on such underlying instrument. A Fund realizes a profit or loss from a closing purchase transaction if the cost of the transaction (option premium plus transaction costs) is less or more than the premium received from writing the option. Because increases in the market price of a call option generally reflect increases in the market price of the security underlying the option, any loss resulting from a closing purchase transaction may be offset in whole or in part by unrealized appreciation of the underlying security.
If a Fund writes a call option but does not own the underlying security, and when it writes a put option, a Fund may be required to deposit cash or securities with its broker as “margin” or collateral for its obligation to buy or sell the underlying security. As the value of the underlying security varies, a Fund may also have to deposit additional margin with the broker. Margin requirements are complex and are fixed by individual brokers, subject to minimum requirements currently imposed by the Federal Reserve Board and by stock exchanges and other self-regulatory organizations.
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Purchasing Put Options. A Fund may purchase put options to protect its portfolio holdings in an underlying security against a decline in market value. Such hedge protection is provided during the life of the put option since a Fund, as holder of the put option, is able to sell the underlying security at the put exercise price regardless of any decline in the underlying security’s market price. For a put option to be profitable, the market price of the underlying security must decline sufficiently below the exercise price to cover the premium and transaction costs. By using put options in this manner, a Fund will reduce any profit it might otherwise have realized from appreciation of the underlying security by the premium paid for the put option and by transaction costs.
Purchasing Call Options. A Fund may purchase call options, including call options to hedge against an increase in the price of securities that a Fund wants ultimately to buy. Such hedge protection is provided during the life of the call option since a Fund, as holder of the call option, is able to buy the underlying security at the exercise price regardless of any increase in the underlying security’s market price. In order for a call option to be profitable, the market price of the underlying security must rise sufficiently above the exercise price to cover the premium and transaction costs. These costs will reduce any profit a Fund might have realized had it bought the underlying security at the time it purchased the call option.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Options. OTC options (options not traded on exchanges) are generally established through negotiation with the other party to the options contract. A Fund will enter into OTC options transactions only with primary dealers in U.S. Government securities and, in the case of OTC options written by a Fund, only pursuant to agreements that will assure that a Fund will at all times have the right to repurchase the option written by it from the dealer at a specified formula price. A Fund will treat the amount by which such formula price exceeds the amount, if any, by which the option may be “in-the-money” as an illiquid investment. It is the present policy of a Fund not to enter into any OTC option transaction if, as a result, more than 15% (10% in some cases; refer to your Fund’s prospectuses) of a Fund’s net assets would be invested in (i) illiquid investments (determined under the foregoing formula) relating to OTC options written by a Fund, (ii) OTC options purchased by a Fund, (iii) securities which are not readily marketable, and (iv) repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven days.
Swap Agreements
Swap agreements are derivative instruments that can be individually negotiated and structured to include exposure to a variety of different types of investments or market factors. Depending on their structure, swap agreements may increase or decrease a Fund’s exposure to long- or short-term interest rates, foreign currency values, mortgage securities, corporate borrowing rates, or other factors such as security prices or inflation rates. A Fund may enter into a variety of swap agreements, including interest rate, index, commodity, commodity futures, equity, equity index, credit default, bond futures, total return, portfolio and currency exchange rate swap agreements, and other types of swap agreements such as caps, collars and floors. A Fund also may enter into swaptions, which are options to enter into a swap agreement.
Swap agreements are usually entered into without an upfront payment because the value of each party’s position is the same. The market values of the underlying commitments will change over time, resulting in one of the commitments being worth more than the other and the net market value creating a risk exposure for one party or the other.
In a typical interest rate swap, one party agrees to make regular payments equal to a floating interest rate times a “notional principal amount,” in return for payments equal to a fixed rate times the same amount, for a specified period of time. If a swap agreement provides for payments in different currencies, the parties might agree to exchange notional principal amounts as well. In a total return swap agreement, the non-floating rate side of the swap is based on the total return of an individual security, a basket of securities, an index or another reference asset. Swaps may also depend on other prices or rates, such as the value of an index or mortgage prepayment rates.
In a typical cap or floor agreement, one party agrees to make payments only under specified circumstances, usually in return for payment of a fee by the other party. For example, the buyer of an interest rate cap obtains the right to receive payments to the extent that a specified interest rate exceeds an agreed-upon level, while the seller of an interest rate floor is obligated to make payments to the extent that a specified interest rate falls below an agreed-upon level. Caps and floors have an effect similar to buying or writing options. A collar combines elements of buying a cap and selling a floor. In interest rate collar transactions, one party sells a cap and purchases a floor, or vice versa, in an attempt to protect itself against interest rate movements exceeding given minimum or maximum levels or collar amounts.
Swap agreements will tend to shift a Fund’s investment exposure from one type of investment to another. For example, if a Fund agreed to pay fixed rates in exchange for floating rates while holding fixed-rate bonds, the swap would tend to decrease a Fund’s exposure to long-term interest rates. Another example is if a Fund agreed to exchange payments in dollars for payments in foreign currency. In that case, the swap agreement would tend to decrease a Fund’s exposure to U.S. interest rates and increase its exposure to foreign currency and interest rates.
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Because swaps are two-party contracts that may be subject to contractual restrictions on transferability and termination and because they may have terms of greater than seven days, swap agreements may be considered to be illiquid. If a swap is not liquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.
Moreover, a Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap agreement counterparty. When a counterparty’s obligations are not fully secured by collateral, then the Fund is essentially an unsecured creditor of the counterparty. If the counterparty defaults, the Fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that a counterparty will be able to meet its obligations pursuant to such contracts or that, in the event of default, the Fund will succeed in enforcing contractual remedies. Counterparty risk still exists even if a counterparty’s obligations are secured by collateral because the Fund’s interest in collateral may not be perfected or additional collateral may not be promptly posted as required. Counterparty risk also may be more pronounced if a counterparty’s obligations exceed the amount of collateral held by the Fund (if any), the Fund is unable to exercise its interest in collateral upon default by the counterparty, or the termination value of the instrument varies significantly from the marked-to-market value of the instrument.
Counterparty risk with respect to derivatives will be affected by new rules and regulations affecting the derivatives market. Some derivatives transactions are required to be centrally cleared, and a party to a cleared derivatives transaction is subject to the credit risk of the clearing house and the clearing member through which it holds its cleared position, rather than the credit risk of its original counterparty to the derivative transaction. Credit risk of market participants with respect to derivatives that are centrally cleared is concentrated in a few clearing houses, and it is not clear how an insolvency proceeding of a clearing house would be conducted and what impact an insolvency of a clearing house would have on the financial system. A clearing member is obligated by contract and by applicable regulation to segregate all funds received from customers with respect to cleared derivatives transactions from the clearing member’s proprietary assets. However, all funds and other property received by a clearing broker from its customers are generally held by the clearing broker on a commingled basis in an omnibus account, and the clearing member may invest those funds in certain instruments permitted under the applicable regulations. The assets of a Fund might not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of a Fund’s clearing member, because the Fund would be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds segregated on behalf of the clearing broker’s customers for a relevant account class. Also, the clearing member is required to transfer to the clearing organization the amount of margin required by the clearing organization for cleared derivatives, which amounts are generally held in an omnibus account at the clearing organization for all customers of the clearing member. Regulations promulgated by the CFTC require that the clearing member notify the clearing house of the amount of initial margin provided by the clearing member to the clearing organization that is attributable to each customer. However, if the clearing member does not provide accurate reporting, the Funds are subject to the risk that a clearing organization will use a Fund’s assets held in an omnibus account at the clearing organization to satisfy payment obligations of a defaulting customer of the clearing member to the clearing organization. In addition, clearing members generally provide to the clearing organization the net amount of variation margin required for cleared swaps for all of its customers in the aggregate, rather than the gross amount of each customer. The Funds are therefore subject to the risk that a clearing organization will not make variation margin payments owed to a Fund if another customer of the clearing member has suffered a loss and is in default, and the risk that a Fund will be required to provide additional variation margin to the clearing house before the clearing house will move the Fund’s cleared derivatives transactions to another clearing member. In addition, if a clearing member does not comply with the applicable regulations or its agreement with the Funds, or in the event of fraud or misappropriation of customer assets by a clearing member, a Fund could have only an unsecured creditor claim in an insolvency of the clearing member with respect to the margin held by the clearing member.
Interest Rate Swaps. Interest rate swap agreements are often used to obtain or preserve a desired return or spread at a lower cost than through a direct investment in an instrument that yields the desired return or spread. They are financial instruments that involve the exchange of one type of interest rate cash flow for another type of interest rate cash flow on specified dates in the future. In a standard interest rate swap transaction, two parties agree to exchange their respective commitments to pay fixed or floating interest rates on a predetermined specified (notional) amount. The swap agreement’s notional amount is the predetermined basis for calculating the obligations that the swap counterparties have agreed to exchange. Under most swap agreements, the obligations of the parties are exchanged on a net basis. The two payment streams are netted out, with each party receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. Interest rate swaps can be based on various measures of interest rates, including LIBOR, swap rates, Treasury rates and foreign interest rates.
Credit Default Swap Agreements. A Fund may enter into credit default swap agreements, which may have as reference obligations one or more securities or a basket of securities that are or are not currently held by a Fund. The protection “buyer” in a credit default contract is generally obligated to pay the protection “seller” an upfront or a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no credit event, such as a default, on a reference obligation has occurred. If a credit event occurs, the seller generally must pay the buyer the “par value” (full notional value) of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity described in the swap, or the seller may be required to deliver the
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related net cash amount, if the swap is cash settled. A Fund may be either the buyer or seller in a credit default swap. If a Fund is a buyer and no credit event occurs, a Fund may recover nothing if the swap is held through its termination date. However, if a credit event occurs, the buyer generally may elect to receive the full notional value of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity whose value may have significantly decreased. As a seller, a Fund generally receives an upfront payment or a fixed rate of income throughout the term of the swap provided that there is no credit event. As the seller, a Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total net assets, a Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap.
Credit default swap agreements may involve greater risks than if a Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly since, in addition to risks relating to the reference obligation, credit default swaps are subject to illiquidity risk, counterparty risk and credit risk. A Fund will enter into credit default swap agreements generally with counterparties that meet certain standards of creditworthiness. A buyer generally will lose its investment and recover nothing if no credit event occurs and the swap is held to its termination date. If a credit event were to occur, the value of any deliverable obligation received by the seller, coupled with the upfront or periodic payments previously received, may be less than the full notional value it pays to the buyer, resulting in a loss of value to the seller.
A Fund’s obligations under a credit default swap agreement will be accrued daily (offset against any amounts owing to the Fund). In connection with credit default swaps in which a Fund is the buyer, the Fund will segregate or designate cash or other liquid assets or enter into certain offsetting positions, with a value at least equal to the Fund’s exposure (any accrued but unpaid net amounts owed by the Fund to any counterparty), on a mark-to-market basis. In connection with credit default swaps in which a Fund is the seller, the Fund will segregate or designate cash or other liquid assets or enter into offsetting positions, with a value at least equal to the full notional amount of the swap (minus any amounts owed to the Fund). Such segregation or designation will ensure that a Fund has assets available to satisfy its obligations with respect to the transaction. Such segregation or designation will not limit a Fund’s exposure to loss.
Equity Swaps. A Fund may engage in equity swaps. Equity swaps allow the parties to the swap agreement to exchange components of return on one equity investment ( e.g. , a basket of equity securities or an index) for a component of return on another non-equity or equity investment, including an exchange of differential rates of return. Equity swaps may be used to invest in a market without owning or taking physical custody of securities in circumstances where direct investment may be restricted for legal reasons or is otherwise impractical. Equity swaps also may be used for other purposes, such as hedging or seeking to increase total return.
Total Return Swap Agreements. Total return swap agreements are contracts in which one party agrees to make periodic payments to another party based on the change in market value of the assets underlying the contract, which may include a specified security, basket of securities or securities indices during the specified period, in return for periodic payments based on a fixed or variable interest rate or the total return from other underlying assets. Total return swap agreements may be used to obtain exposure to a security or market without owning or taking physical custody of such security or investing directly in such market. Total return swap agreements may effectively add leverage to a Fund’s portfolio because, in addition to its total net assets, a Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap.
Total return swap agreements are subject to the risk that a counterparty will default on its payment obligations to a Fund thereunder, and conversely, that a Fund will not be able to meet its obligation to the counterparty. Generally, a Fund will enter into total return swaps on a net basis ( i.e. , the two payment streams are netted against one another with a Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments). The net amount of the excess, if any, of a Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each total return swap will be accrued on a daily basis, and an amount of liquid assets having an aggregate net asset value at least equal to the accrued excess will be designated by a Fund in its books and records. If the total return swap transaction is entered into on other than a net basis, the full amount of a Fund’s obligations will be accrued on a daily basis, and the full amount of a Fund’s obligations will be designated by a Fund in an amount equal to or greater than the market value of the liabilities under the total return swap agreement or the amount it would have cost a Fund initially to make an equivalent direct investment, plus or minus any amount a Fund is obligated to pay or is to receive under the total return swap agreement.
Variance, Volatility and Correlation Swap Agreements. Variance and volatility swaps are contracts that provide exposure to increases or decreases in the volatility of certain referenced assets. Correlation swaps are contracts that provide exposure to increases or decreases in the correlation between the prices of different assets or different market rates.
Commodity-Linked Swaps. Commodity-linked swaps are two-party contracts in which the parties agree to exchange the return or interest rate on one instrument for the return of a particular commodity, commodity index or commodities futures or options contract. The payment streams are calculated by reference to an agreed upon notional amount. A one-period swap contract operates in a manner similar to a forward or futures contract because there is an agreement to swap a commodity for cash at only one forward date. A Fund may engage in swap transactions that have more than one period and therefore more than one exchange of commodities.
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A Fund may invest in total return commodity swaps to gain exposure to the overall commodity markets. In a total return commodity swap, a Fund will receive the price appreciation of a commodity index, a portion of the index, or a single commodity in exchange for paying an agreed-upon fee. If the commodity swap is for one period, the Fund will pay a fixed fee, established at the outset of the swap. However, if the term of the commodity swap is more than one period, with interim swap payments, the Fund will pay an adjustable or floating fee. With a “floating” rate, the fee is pegged to a base rate such as LIBOR, and is adjusted each period. Therefore, if interest rates increase over the term of the swap contract, a Fund may be required to pay a higher fee at each swap reset date.
Cross Currency Swaps. Cross currency swaps are similar to interest rate swaps, except that they involve multiple currencies. A Fund may enter into a cross currency swap when it has exposure to one currency and desires exposure to a different currency. Typically, the interest rates that determine the currency swap payments are fixed, although occasionally one or both parties may pay a floating rate of interest. Unlike an interest rate swap, however, the principal amounts are exchanged at the beginning of the contract and returned at the end of the contract. In addition to paying and receiving amounts at the beginning and termination of the agreements, both sides will have to pay in full periodically based upon the currency they have borrowed. Changes in foreign exchange currency rates and changes in interest rates, as described above, may negatively affect currency swaps.
Contracts for Differences. Contracts for differences are swap arrangements in which the parties agree that their return (or loss) will be based on the relative performance of two different groups or baskets of securities. Often, one or both baskets will be an established securities index. A Fund’s return will be based on changes in value of theoretical long futures positions in the securities comprising one basket (with an aggregate face value equal to the notional amount of the contract for differences) and theoretical short futures positions in the securities comprising the other basket. A Fund also may use actual long and short futures positions and achieve similar market exposure by netting the payment obligations of the two contracts. A Fund typically enters into contracts for differences (and analogous futures positions) when its portfolio manager believes that the basket of securities constituting the long position will outperform the basket constituting the short position. If the short basket outperforms the long basket, a Fund will realize a loss — even in circumstances when the securities in both the long and short baskets appreciate in value.
Swaptions. A swaption is an options contract on a swap agreement. These transactions give a party the right (but not the obligation) to enter into new swap agreements or to shorten, extend, cancel or otherwise modify an existing swap agreement (which are described herein) at some designated future time on specified terms, in return for payment of the purchase price (the “premium”) of the option. A Fund may write (sell) and purchase put and call swaptions to the same extent it may make use of standard options on securities or other instruments. The writer of the contract receives the premium and bears the risk of unfavorable changes in the market value on the underlying swap agreement. Swaptions can be bundled and sold as a package. These are commonly called interest rate caps, floors and collars (which are described herein).
Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively. Many over-the-counter derivatives are complex and their valuation often requires modeling and judgment, which increases the risk of mispricing or incorrect valuation. The pricing models used may not produce valuations that are consistent with the values the Fund realizes when it closes or sells an over-the-counter derivative. Valuation risk is more pronounced when the Fund enters into over-the-counter derivatives with specialized terms because the market value of those derivatives in some cases is determined in part by reference to similar derivatives with more standardized terms. Incorrect valuations may result in increased cash payment requirements to counterparties, undercollateralization and/or errors in calculation of the Fund’s net asset value.
Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) established a framework for the regulation of OTC swap markets; the framework outlined the joint responsibility of the CFTC and the SEC in regulating swaps. The CFTC is responsible for the regulation of swaps, the SEC is responsible for the regulation of security-based swaps and they are both jointly responsible for the regulation of mixed swaps.
Risk of Potential Governmental Regulation of Derivatives
It is possible that government regulation of various types of derivative instruments, including futures and swap agreements, may limit or prevent the Funds from using such instruments as a part of their investment strategy, and could ultimately prevent the Funds from being able to achieve their investment objectives. The effects of present or future legislation and regulation in this area are not known, but the effects could be substantial and adverse.
The futures markets are subject to comprehensive statutes, regulations, and margin requirements. In addition, the SEC, CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the implementation or reduction of speculative position limits, the implementation of higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading.
The regulation of swaps and futures transactions in the U.S. is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. There is a possibility of future regulatory changes altering, perhaps to a material extent, the nature of an investment in a Fund or the ability of a Fund to continue to implement its investment strategies. In particular, the
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Dodd-Frank Act, which was signed into law in July 2010, has changed the way in which the U.S. financial system is supervised and regulated. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act sets forth a new legislative framework for OTC derivatives, such as swaps, in which the Funds may invest. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act makes broad changes to the OTC derivatives market, grants significant new authority to the SEC and the CFTC to regulate OTC derivatives and market participants, and will require clearing of many OTC derivatives transactions.
Recent U.S. and non-U.S. legislative and regulatory reforms, including those related to the Dodd-Frank Act, have resulted in, and may in the future result in, new regulation of derivative instruments and the Fund's use of such instruments. New regulations could, among other things, restrict the Fund's ability to engage in derivative transactions (for example, by making certain types of derivative instruments or transactions no longer available to the Fund) and/or increase the costs of such transactions, and the Fund may as a result be unable to execute its investment strategies in a manner the Investment Manager might otherwise choose.
Additional Risk Factors in Cleared Derivatives Transactions
Under recently adopted rules and regulations, transactions in some types of swaps (including interest rate swaps and credit default swaps on North American and European indices) are required to be centrally cleared. In a transaction involving those swaps (“cleared derivatives”), a Fund’s counterparty is a clearing house, rather than a bank or broker. Since the Funds are not members of clearing houses and only members of a clearing house (“clearing members”) can participate directly in the clearing house, the Funds will hold cleared derivatives through accounts at clearing members. In a cleared derivatives transaction, the Funds will make payments (including margin payments) to and receive payments from a clearing house through their accounts at clearing members. Clearing members guarantee performance of their clients’ obligations to the clearing house.
In many ways, centrally cleared derivative arrangements are less favorable to open-end funds than bilateral arrangements. For example, the Funds may be required to provide greater amounts of margin for cleared derivatives positions than for bilateral derivatives transactions. Also, in contrast to a bilateral derivatives position, following a period of notice to a Fund, a clearing member generally can require termination of an existing cleared derivatives position at any time or increases in margin requirements above the margin that the clearing member required at the beginning of a transaction. Clearing houses also have broad rights to increase margin requirements for existing positions or to terminate those positions at any time. Any increase in margin requirements or termination of existing cleared derivatives positions by the clearing member or the clearing house could interfere with the ability of a Fund to pursue its investment strategy. Further, any increase in margin requirements by a clearing member could also expose a Fund to greater credit risk to its clearing member, because margin for cleared derivatives transactions in excess of clearing house’s margin requirements typically is held by the clearing member. Also, a Fund is subject to risk if it enters into a derivatives transaction that is required to be cleared (or that the Investment Manager expects to be cleared), and no clearing member is willing or able to clear the transaction on the Fund’s behalf. While the documentation in place between the Funds and their clearing members generally provides that the clearing members will accept for clearing all transactions submitted for clearing that are within credit limits (specified in advance) for each Fund, the Funds are still subject to the risk that no clearing member will be willing or able to clear a transaction. In those cases, the position might have to be terminated, and the Fund could lose some or all of the benefit of the position, including loss of an increase in the value of the position and/or loss of hedging protection. In addition, the documentation governing the relationship between the Funds and clearing members is developed by the clearing members and generally is less favorable to the Funds than typical bilateral derivatives documentation. For example, documentation relating to cleared derivatives generally includes a one-way indemnity by the Funds in favor of the clearing member for losses the clearing member incurs as the Funds’ clearing member and typically does not provide the Funds any remedies if the clearing member defaults or becomes insolvent. While futures contracts entail similar risks, the risks likely are more pronounced for cleared swaps due to their more limited liquidity and market history.
Some types of cleared derivatives are required to be executed on an exchange or on a swap execution facility. A swap execution facility is a trading platform where multiple market participants can execute derivatives by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants in the platform. While this execution requirement is designed to increase transparency and liquidity in the cleared derivatives market, trading on a swap execution facility can create additional costs and risks for the Funds. For example, swap execution facilities typically charge fees, and if a Fund executes derivatives on a swap execution facility through a broker intermediary, the intermediary may impose fees as well. Also, a Fund may indemnify a swap execution facility, or a broker intermediary who executes cleared derivatives on a swap execution facility on the Fund’s behalf, against any losses or costs that may be incurred as a result of the Fund’s transactions on the swap execution facility.
These and other new rules and regulations could, among other things, further restrict a Fund’s ability to engage in, or increase the cost to the Fund of, derivatives transactions, for example, by making some types of derivatives no longer available to the Fund, increasing margin or capital requirements, or otherwise limiting liquidity or increasing transaction costs. These regulations are new and evolving, so their potential impact on the Funds and the financial system are not yet known. While the new regulations and the central clearing of some derivatives transactions are designed to reduce systemic risk ( i.e. , the risk that the
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interdependence of large derivatives dealers could cause a number of those dealers to suffer liquidity, solvency or other challenges simultaneously), there is no assurance that the new clearing mechanisms will achieve that result, and in the meantime, as noted above, central clearing and related requirements expose the Funds to new kinds of risks and costs.
CFTC Regulation
Each of the Funds listed on the cover of this SAI qualifies for an exclusion from the definition of a commodity pool under the CEA and has on file a notice of exclusion under CFTC Rule 4.5. Accordingly, the Investment Manager is not subject to registration or regulation as a “commodity pool operator” under the CEA with respect to these Funds, although the Investment Manager is a registered “commodity pool operator” and “commodity trading advisor”. To remain eligible for the exclusion, each of these Funds is limited in its ability to use certain financial instruments regulated under the CEA (“commodity interests”), including futures and options on futures and certain swaps transactions. In the event that a Fund’s investments in commodity interests are not within the thresholds set forth in the exclusion, one or more Funds not currently registered as a “commodity pool” may be required to register as such, which could increase Fund expenses, adversely affecting the Fund’s total return.
Dollar Rolls
Dollar rolls involve selling securities ( e.g. , mortgage-backed securities or U.S. Treasury securities) and simultaneously entering into a commitment to purchase those or similar securities on a specified future date and price from the same party. Mortgage dollar rolls and U.S. Treasury rolls are types of dollar rolls. A Fund foregoes principal and interest paid on the securities during the “roll” period. A Fund is compensated by the difference between the current sales price and the lower forward price for the future purchase of the securities, as well as the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale. The investor also could be compensated through the receipt of fee income equivalent to a lower forward price. Dollar roll transactions may result in higher transaction costs for a Fund.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with mortgage dollar rolls include: Counterparty Risk, Credit Risk and Interest Rate Risk.
Equity-Linked Notes
An equity-linked note (ELN) is a debt instrument whose value is based on the value of a single equity security, basket of equity securities or an index of equity securities (each, an Underlying Equity). An ELN typically provides interest income, thereby offering a yield advantage over investing directly in an Underlying Equity. The Fund may purchase ELNs that trade on a securities exchange or those that trade on the over-the-counter markets, including Rule 144A securities. The Fund may also purchase ELNs in a privately negotiated transaction with the issuer of the ELNs (or its broker-dealer affiliate). The Fund may or may not hold an ELN until its maturity.
Equity-linked securities also include issues such as Structured Yield Product Exchangeable for Stock (STRYPES), Trust Automatic Common Exchange Securities (TRACES), Trust Issued Mandatory Exchange Securities (TIMES) and Trust Enhanced Dividend Securities (TRENDS). The issuers of these equity-linked securities generally purchase and hold a portfolio of stripped U.S. Treasury securities maturing on a quarterly basis through the conversion date, and a forward purchase contract with an existing shareholder of the company relating to the common stock. Quarterly distributions on such equity-linked securities generally consist of the cash received from the U.S. Treasury securities and such equity-linked securities generally are not entitled to any dividends that may be declared on the common stock.
ELNs also include participation notes issued by a bank or broker-dealer that entitles the Fund to a return measured by the change in value of an Underlying Equity. Participation notes are typically used when a direct investment in the Underlying Equity is restricted due to country-specific regulations. Investment in a participation note is not the same as investment in the constituent shares of the company (or other issuer type) to which the Underlying Equity is economically tied. A participation note represents only an obligation of the company or other issuer type to provide the Fund the economic performance equivalent to holding shares of the Underlying Equity. A participation note does not provide any beneficial or equitable entitlement or interest in the relevant Underlying Equity. In other words, shares of the Underlying Equity are not in any way owned by the Fund.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with equity-linked notes include: Counterparty Risk, Credit Risk, Liquidity Risk and Market Risk.
Eurodollar and Yankee Dollar and Related Derivative Instruments
Eurodollar instruments are bonds that pay interest and principal in U.S. dollars held in banks outside the United States, primarily in Europe. Eurodollar instruments are usually issued on behalf of multinational companies and foreign governments by large underwriting groups composed of banks and issuing houses from many countries. Yankee Dollar instruments are U.S. dollar-denominated bonds issued in the United States by foreign banks and corporations. These investments involve risks that are different from investments in securities issued by U.S. issuers.
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Eurodollar futures contracts enable purchasers to obtain a fixed rate for the lending of funds and sellers to obtain a fixed rate for borrowings. A Fund may use Eurodollar futures contracts and options thereon to hedge against changes in the LIBOR, to which many interest rate swaps and fixed income instruments are linked.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with Eurodollar and Yankee Dollar instruments include: Credit Risk, Foreign Securities Risk, Interest Rate Risk and Issuer Risk.
Event-Linked Instruments/Catastrophe Bonds
A Fund may obtain event-linked exposure by investing in “event-linked bonds” or “event-linked swaps” or by implementing “event-linked strategies.” Event-linked exposure results in gains or losses that typically are contingent on, or formulaically related to, defined trigger events. Examples of trigger events include hurricanes, earthquakes, weather-related phenomena or statistics relating to such events. Some event-linked bonds are commonly referred to as “catastrophe bonds.” If a trigger event occurs, the principal amount of the bond is reduced (potentially to zero), and a Fund may lose all or a portion of its entire principal invested in the bond or the entire notional amount on a swap.
Exchange-traded notes (ETNs)
ETNs are instruments that combine aspects of bonds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and are designed to provide investors with access to the returns, less investor fees and expenses, of various market benchmarks or strategies to which they are usually linked. When an investor buys an ETN, the issuer, typically an underwriting bank, promises to pay upon maturity the amount reflected in the benchmark or strategy (minus fees and expenses). Some ETNs make periodic coupon payments. Like ETFs, ETNs are traded on an exchange, but ETNs have additional risks compared to ETFs, including the risk that if the credit of the ETN issuer becomes suspect, the investment might lose some or all of its value. Though linked to the performance, for example, of a market benchmark, ETNs are not equities or index funds, but they do share several characteristics. Similar to equities, ETNs are traded on an exchange and can be sold short. Similar to index funds, ETNs may be linked to the return of a benchmark or strategy, but ETNs don't have an ownership interest in the instruments underlying the benchmark or strategy the ETN is tracking.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with exchange-traded notes include: Counterparty Risk, Credit Risk and Market Risk.
Foreign Currency Transactions
Because investments in foreign securities usually involve currencies of foreign countries and because a Fund may hold cash and cash equivalent investments in foreign currencies, the value of a Fund’s assets as measured in U.S. dollars may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency exchange rates and exchange control regulations. Also, a Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time, causing a Fund’s NAV to fluctuate. Currency exchange rates are generally determined by the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets, actual or anticipated changes in interest rates, and other complex factors. Currency exchange rates also can be affected by the intervention of U.S. or foreign governments or central banks, or the failure to intervene, or by currency controls or political developments.
Spot Rates and Derivative Instruments . A Fund may conduct its foreign currency exchange transactions either at the spot (cash) rate prevailing in the foreign currency exchange market or by entering into forward foreign currency exchange contracts (forward contracts). (See Types of Investments – Derivatives .) These contracts are traded in the interbank market conducted directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. Because foreign currency transactions occurring in the interbank market might involve substantially larger amounts than those involved in the use of such derivative instruments, a Fund could be disadvantaged by having to deal in the odd lot market for the underlying foreign currencies at prices that are less favorable than for round lots.
A Fund may enter into forward contracts for a variety of reasons, including for risk management (hedging) or for investment purposes.
When a Fund enters into a contract for the purchase or sale of a security denominated in a foreign currency or has been notified of a dividend or interest payment, it may desire to lock in the price of the security or the amount of the payment, usually in U.S. dollars, although it could desire to lock in the price of the security in another currency. By entering into a forward contract, a Fund would be able to protect itself against a possible loss resulting from an adverse change in the relationship between different currencies from the date the security is purchased or sold to the date on which payment is made or received or when the dividend or interest is actually received.
A Fund may enter into forward contracts when management of the Fund believes the currency of a particular foreign country may decline in value relative to another currency. When selling currencies forward in this fashion, a Fund may seek to hedge the value of foreign securities it holds against an adverse move in exchange rates. The precise matching of forward contract amounts
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and the value of securities involved generally will not be possible since the future value of securities in foreign currencies more than likely will change between the date the forward contract is entered into and the date it matures. The projection of short-term currency market movements is extremely difficult and successful execution of a short-term hedging strategy is highly uncertain.
This method of protecting the value of a Fund’s securities against a decline in the value of a currency does not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities. It simply establishes a rate of exchange that can be achieved at some point in time. Although forward contracts can be used to minimize the risk of loss due to a decline in value of hedged currency, they will also limit any potential gain that might result should the value of such currency increase.
A Fund may also enter into forward contracts when the Fund’s portfolio manager believes the currency of a particular country will increase in value relative to another currency. A Fund may buy currencies forward to gain exposure to a currency without incurring the additional costs of purchasing securities denominated in that currency.
For example, the combination of U.S. dollar-denominated instruments with long forward currency exchange contracts creates a position economically equivalent to a position in the foreign currency, in anticipation of an increase in the value of the foreign currency against the U.S. dollar. Conversely, the combination of U.S. dollar-denominated instruments with short forward currency exchange contracts is economically equivalent to borrowing the foreign currency for delivery at a specified date in the future, in anticipation of a decrease in the value of the foreign currency against the U.S. dollar.
Unanticipated changes in the currency exchange results could result in poorer performance for Funds that enter into these types of transactions.
A Fund may designate cash or securities in an amount equal to the value of the Fund’s total assets committed to consummating forward contracts entered into under the circumstance set forth above. If the value of the securities declines, additional cash or securities will be designated on a daily basis so that the value of the cash or securities will equal the amount of the Fund’s commitments on such contracts.
At maturity of a forward contract, a Fund may either deliver (if a contract to sell) or take delivery of (if a contract to buy) the foreign currency or terminate its contractual obligation by entering into an offsetting contract with the same currency trader, having the same maturity date, and covering the same amount of foreign currency.
If a Fund engages in an offsetting transaction, it will incur a gain or loss to the extent there has been movement in forward contract prices. If a Fund engages in an offsetting transaction, it may subsequently enter into a new forward contract to buy or sell the foreign currency.
Although a Fund values its assets each business day in terms of U.S. dollars, it may not intend to convert its foreign currencies into U.S. dollars on a daily basis. However, it will do so from time to time, and such conversions involve certain currency conversion costs. Although foreign exchange dealers do not charge a fee for conversion, they do realize a profit based on the difference (spread) between the prices at which they buy and sell various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency to a Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should a Fund desire to resell that currency to the dealer.
It is possible, under certain circumstances, including entering into forward currency contracts for investment purposes, that a Fund will be required to limit or restructure its forward contract currency transactions to qualify as a “regulated investment company” under the Internal Revenue Code.
Options on Foreign Currencies. A Fund may buy put and call options and write covered call and cash-secured put options on foreign currencies for hedging purposes and to gain exposure to foreign currencies. For example, a decline in the dollar value of a foreign currency in which securities are denominated will reduce the dollar value of such securities, even if their value in the foreign currency remains constant. In order to protect against the diminutions in the value of securities, a Fund may buy put options on the foreign currency. If the value of the currency does decline, a Fund would have the right to sell the currency for a fixed amount in dollars and would thereby offset, in whole or in part, the adverse effect on its portfolio that otherwise would have resulted.
Conversely, where a change in the dollar value of a currency would increase the cost of securities a Fund plans to buy, or where a Fund would benefit from increased exposure to the currency, a Fund may buy call options on the foreign currency, giving it the right to purchase the currency for a fixed amount in dollars. The purchase of the options could offset, at least partially, the changes in exchange rates.
As in the case of other types of options, however, the benefit to a Fund derived from purchases of foreign currency options would be reduced by the amount of the premium and related transaction costs. In addition, where currency exchange rates do not move in the direction or to the extent anticipated, a Fund could sustain losses on transactions in foreign currency options that would require it to forego a portion or all of the benefits of advantageous changes in rates.
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A Fund may write options on foreign currencies for similar purposes. For example, when a Fund anticipates a decline in the dollar value of foreign-denominated securities due to adverse fluctuations in exchange rates, it could, instead of purchasing a put option, write a call option on the relevant currency, giving the option holder the right to purchase that currency from the Fund for a fixed amount in dollars. If the expected decline occurs, the option would most likely not be exercised and the diminution in value of securities would be offset, at least partially, by the amount of the premium received.
Similarly, instead of purchasing a call option when a foreign currency is expected to appreciate, a Fund could write a put option on the relevant currency, giving the option holder the right to that currency from the Fund for a fixed amount in dollars. If rates move in the manner projected, the put option would expire unexercised and allow the Fund to hedge increased cost up to the amount of the premium.
As in the case of other types of options, however, the writing of a foreign currency option will constitute only a partial hedge up to the amount of the premium, and only if rates move in the expected direction. If this does not occur, the option may be exercised and the Fund would be required to buy or sell the underlying currency at a loss that may not be offset by the amount of the premium. Through the writing of options on foreign currencies, the Fund also may be required to forego all or a portion of the benefits that might otherwise have been obtained from favorable movements on exchange rates.
An option written on foreign currencies is covered if a Fund holds currency sufficient to cover the option or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that currency without additional cash consideration upon conversion of assets denominated in that currency or exchange of other currency held in its portfolio. An option writer could lose amounts substantially in excess of its initial investments, due to the margin and collateral requirements associated with such positions.
Options on foreign currencies are traded through financial institutions acting as market-makers, although foreign currency options also are traded on certain national securities exchanges, such as the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, subject to SEC regulation. In an over-the-counter trading environment, many of the protections afforded to exchange participants will not be available. For example, there are no daily price fluctuation limits, and adverse market movements could therefore continue to an unlimited extent over a period of time. Although the purchaser of an option cannot lose more than the amount of the premium plus related transaction costs, this entire amount could be lost.
Foreign currency option positions entered into on a national securities exchange are cleared and guaranteed by the OCC, thereby reducing the risk of counterparty default. Further, a liquid secondary market in options traded on a national securities exchange may be more readily available than in the over-the-counter market, potentially permitting a Fund to liquidate open positions at a profit prior to exercise or expiration, or to limit losses in the event of adverse market movements.
Foreign Currency Futures and Related Options. A Fund may enter into currency futures contracts to buy or sell currencies. It also may buy put and call options and write covered call and cash-secured put options on currency futures. Currency futures contracts are similar to currency forward contracts, except that they are traded on exchanges (and have margin requirements) and are standardized as to contract size and delivery date. Most currency futures call for payment of delivery in U.S. dollars. A Fund may use currency futures for the same purposes as currency forward contracts, subject to CFTC limitations.
Currency futures and options on futures values can be expected to correlate with exchange rates, but will not reflect other factors that may affect the value of the Fund’s investments. A currency hedge, for example, should protect a Yen-denominated bond against a decline in the Yen, but will not protect a Fund against price decline if the issuer’s creditworthiness deteriorates. Because the value of a Fund’s investments denominated in foreign currency will change in response to many factors other than exchange rates, it may not be possible to match the amount of a forward contract to the value of a Fund’s investments denominated in that currency over time.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with foreign currency transactions include: Foreign Currency Risk, Derivatives Risk, Interest Rate Risk, and Liquidity Risk.
Foreign Securities
Unless otherwise stated in a Fund’s prospectus, stocks, bonds and other securities or investments are deemed to be “foreign” based primarily on the issuer’s place of organization/incorporation, but the Fund may also consider, under circumstances the Fund’s portfolio manager deems relevant, the issuer’s domicile, its principal place of business, its primary stock exchange listing, the source of its revenue or other factors. A Fund’s investments in foreign markets, may include issuers in emerging markets, as well as frontier markets, each of which carry heightened risks as compared with investments in other typical foreign markets. Unless otherwise stated in a Fund’s prospectus, emerging market countries are generally those either defined by World Bank-defined per capita income brackets or determined to be an emerging market based on the Fund portfolio manager’s qualitative judgments about a country’s level of economic and institutional development, among other factors. Frontier market countries generally have smaller economies and even less developed capital markets than typical emerging market countries (which themselves have increased investment risk relative to investing in more developed markets) and, as a result, the risks of investing
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in emerging market countries are magnified in frontier market countries. Foreign securities may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations or as zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and step-coupon securities and may be privately placed or publicly offered. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations, Types of Investments – Zero-Coupon, Pay-in-Kind and Step-Coupon Securities and Types of Investments – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities for more information.
Due to the potential for foreign withholding taxes, MSCI publishes two versions of its indices reflecting the reinvestment of dividends using two different methodologies: gross dividends and net dividends. While both versions reflect reinvested dividends, they differ with respect to the manner in which taxes associated with dividend payments are treated. In calculating the net dividends version, MSCI incorporates reinvested dividends applying the withholding tax rate applicable to foreign non-resident institutional investors that do not benefit from double taxation treaties. The Investment Manager believes that the net dividends version of MSCI indices better reflects the returns U.S. investors might expect were they to invest directly in the component securities of an MSCI index.
There is a practice in certain foreign markets under which an issuer’s securities are blocked from trading at the custodian or sub-custodian level for a specified number of days before and, in certain instances, after a shareholder meeting where such shares are voted. This is referred to as “share blocking”. The blocking period can last up to several weeks. Share blocking may prevent a Fund from buying or selling securities during this period, because during the time shares are blocked, trades in such securities will not settle. It may be difficult or impossible to lift blocking restrictions, with the particular requirements varying widely by country. As a consequence of these restrictions, the Investment Manager, on behalf of a Fund, may abstain from voting proxies in markets that require share blocking.
Foreign securities may include depositary receipts, such as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), European Depositary Receipts (EDRs) and Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs). ADRs are U.S. dollar-denominated receipts issued in registered form by a domestic bank or trust company that evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign issuer. EDRs are foreign currency-denominated receipts issued in Europe, typically by foreign banks or trust companies and foreign branches of domestic banks, that evidence ownership of foreign or domestic securities. GDRs are receipts structured similarly to ADRs and EDRs and are marketed globally. Depositary receipts will not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as their underlying securities. In general, ADRs, in registered form, are designed for use in the U.S. securities markets, and EDRs, in bearer form, are designed for use in European securities markets. GDRs are tradable both in the United States and in Europe and are designed for use throughout the world. A Fund may invest in depositary receipts through “sponsored” or “unsponsored” facilities. A sponsored facility is established jointly by the issuer of the underlying security and a depositary, whereas a depositary may establish an unsponsored facility without participation by the issuer of the deposited security. Holders of unsponsored depositary receipts generally bear all the costs of such facilities and the depositary of an unsponsored facility frequently is under no obligation to distribute interest holder communications received from the issuer of the deposited security or to pass through voting rights to the holders of such receipts in respect of the deposited securities. The issuers of unsponsored depositary receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States, and, therefore, there may be limited information available regarding such issuers and/or limited correlation between available information and the market value of the depositary receipts.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with foreign securities include: Emerging Markets Securities Risk, Foreign Currency Risk, Foreign Securities Risk, Frontier Market Risk, Geographic Focus Risk, Issuer Risk and Market Risk.
Guaranteed Investment Contracts (Funding Agreements)
Guaranteed investment contracts, or funding agreements, are short-term, privately placed debt instruments issued by insurance companies. Pursuant to such contracts, a Fund may make cash contributions to a deposit fund of the insurance company’s general account. The insurance company then credits to a Fund payments at negotiated, floating or fixed interest rates. A Fund will purchase guaranteed investment contracts only from issuers that, at the time of purchase, meet certain credit and quality standards. In general, guaranteed investment contracts are not assignable or transferable without the permission of the issuing insurance companies, and an active secondary market does not exist for these investments. In addition, the issuer may not be able to pay the principal amount to a Fund on seven days’ notice or less, at which time the investment may be considered illiquid under applicable SEC regulatory guidance and subject to certain restrictions. See Types of Investments – Illiquid Securities .
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with guaranteed investment contracts (funding agreements) include: Credit Risk and Liquidity Risk.
High-Yield Securities
High-yield, or low and below investment grade securities (below investment grade securities are also known as “junk bonds”) are debt securities with the lowest investment grade rating ( e.g. , BBB by S&P and Fitch or Baa by Moody’s), that are below investment grade ( e.g. , lower than BBB by S&P and Fitch or Baa by Moody’s) or that are unrated but determined by a Fund’s
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portfolio manager to be of comparable quality. These types of securities may be issued to fund corporate transactions or restructurings, such as leveraged buyouts, mergers, acquisitions, debt reclassifications or similar events, are more speculative in nature than securities with higher ratings and tend to be more sensitive to credit risk, particularly during a downturn in the economy. These types of securities generally are issued by unseasoned companies without long track records of sales and earnings, or by companies or municipalities that have questionable credit strength. High-yield securities and comparable unrated securities: (i) likely will have some quality and protective characteristics that, in the judgment of one or more NRSROs, are outweighed by large uncertainties or major risk exposures to adverse conditions; (ii) are speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal in accordance with the terms of the obligation; and (iii) may have a less liquid secondary market, potentially making it difficult to value or sell such securities. Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies are designed to evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market value risk of lower-quality securities and, therefore, may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the condition of the issuer that affect the market value of the securities. Consequently, credit ratings are used only as a preliminary indicator of investment quality. High-yield securities may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations or as zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and step-coupon securities and may be privately placed or publicly offered. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations, Types of Investments – Zero-Coupon, Pay-in-Kind and Step-Coupon Securities and Types of Investments – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities for more information.
The rates of return on these types of securities generally are higher than the rates of return available on more highly rated securities, but generally involve greater volatility of price and risk of loss of principal and income, including the possibility of default by or insolvency of the issuers of such securities. Accordingly, a Fund may be more dependent on the Investment Manager’s (or, if applicable, a subadviser’s) credit analysis with respect to these types of securities than is the case for more highly rated securities.
The market values of certain high-yield securities and comparable unrated securities tend to be more sensitive to individual corporate developments and changes in economic conditions than are the market values of more highly rated securities. In addition, issuers of high-yield and comparable unrated securities often are highly leveraged and may not have more traditional methods of financing available to them, so that their ability to service their debt obligations during an economic downturn or during sustained periods of rising interest rates may be impaired.
The risk of loss due to default is greater for high-yield and comparable unrated securities than it is for higher rated securities because high-yield securities and comparable unrated securities generally are unsecured and frequently are subordinated to more senior indebtedness. A Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent that it is required to seek recovery upon a default in the payment of principal or interest on its holdings of such securities. The existence of limited markets for lower-rated debt securities may diminish a Fund’s ability to: (i) obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing such securities and calculating portfolio net asset value; and (ii) sell the securities at fair market value either to meet redemption requests or to respond to changes in the economy or in financial markets.
Many lower-rated securities are not registered for offer and sale to the public under the 1933 Act. Investments in these restricted securities may be determined to be liquid (able to be sold within seven days at approximately the price at which they are valued by a Fund) pursuant to policies approved by the Fund’s Directors. Investments in illiquid securities, including restricted securities that have not been determined to be liquid, may not exceed 15% of a Fund’s net assets. A Fund is not otherwise subject to any limitation on its ability to invest in restricted securities. Restricted securities may be less liquid than other lower-rated securities, potentially making it difficult to value or sell such securities.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with high-yield securities include: Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, High-Yield Securities Risk and Prepayment and Extension Risk.
Illiquid Securities
Illiquid securities are defined by a Fund consistent with the SEC staff’s current guidance and interpretations which provide that an illiquid security is an asset which may not be sold or disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value at which a Fund has valued the investment on its books. Some securities, such as those not registered under U.S. securities laws, cannot be sold in public transactions. Some securities are deemed to be illiquid because they are subject to contractual or legal restrictions on resale. Subject to its investment policies, a Fund may invest in illiquid investments and may invest in certain restricted securities that are deemed to be illiquid securities at the time of purchase.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risk typically associated with illiquid securities include: Liquidity Risk.
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Inflation-Protected Securities
Inflation is a general rise in prices of goods and services. Inflation erodes the purchasing power of an investor’s assets. For example, if an investment provides a total return of 7% in a given year and inflation is 3% during that period, the inflation-adjusted, or real, return is 4%. Inflation-protected securities are debt securities whose principal and/or interest payments are adjusted for inflation, unlike debt securities that make fixed principal and interest payments. One type of inflation-protected debt security is issued by the U.S. Treasury. The principal of these securities is adjusted for inflation as indicated by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for urban consumers and interest is paid on the adjusted amount. The CPI is a measurement of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation and energy.
If the CPI falls, the principal value of inflation-protected securities will be adjusted downward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities (calculated with respect to a smaller principal amount) will be reduced. Conversely, if the CPI rises, the principal value of inflation-protected securities will be adjusted upward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities will be increased. Repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity is guaranteed in the case of U.S. Treasury inflation-protected securities, even during a period of deflation. However, the current market value of the inflation-protected securities is not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Other inflation-indexed securities include inflation-related bonds, which may or may not provide a similar guarantee. If a guarantee of principal is not provided, the adjusted principal value of the bond repaid at maturity may be less than the original principal.
Other issuers of inflation-protected debt securities include other U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities, corporations and foreign governments. There can be no assurance that the CPI or any foreign inflation index will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services. Moreover, there can be no assurance that the rate of inflation in a foreign country will be correlated to the rate of inflation in the United States. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in currency exchange rates), investors in these securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bond’s inflation measure.
Any increase in principal for an inflation-protected security resulting from inflation adjustments is considered by IRS regulations to be taxable income in the year it occurs. For direct holders of an inflation-protected security, this means that taxes must be paid on principal adjustments even though these amounts are not received until the bond matures. Similarly, a Fund treated as a regulated investment company (RIC) under the Code that holds these securities distributes both interest income and the income attributable to principal adjustments in the form of cash or reinvested shares, which are taxable to shareholders.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with inflation-protected securities include: Inflation-Protected Securities Risk, Interest Rate Risk and Market Risk. In addition, inflation-protected securities issued by non-U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities are subject to Credit Risk.
Initial Public Offerings
A Fund may invest in initial public offerings (IPOs) of common stock or other primary or secondary syndicated offerings of equity or debt securities issued by a corporate issuer. Fixed income funds frequently invest in these types of offerings of debt securities. A purchase of IPO securities often involves higher transaction costs than those associated with the purchase of securities already traded on exchanges or markets. A Fund may hold IPO securities for a period of time, or may sell them soon after the purchase. Investments in IPOs could have a magnified impact — either positive or negative — on a Fund’s performance while the Fund’s assets are relatively small. The impact of an IPO on a Fund’s performance may tend to diminish as the Fund’s assets grow. In circumstances when investments in IPOs make a significant contribution to a Fund’s performance, there can be no assurance that similar contributions from IPOs will continue in the future.
Although one or more risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with IPOs include: IPO Risk, Issuer Risk, Liquidity Risk, Market Risk and Small Company Securities Risk.
Inverse Floaters
See Types of Investments – Derivatives – Indexed or Linked Securities (Structured Products) above.
Investments in Other Investment Companies (Including ETFs)
Investing in other investment companies may be a means by which a Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective. A Fund may invest in securities issued by other investment companies within the limits prescribed by the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any exemptive relief currently or in the future available to a Fund. These securities include shares of other open-end investment companies ( i.e. , mutual funds), closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), UCITS funds (pooled investment vehicles established in accordance with the Undertaking for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities adopted by European Union member states) and business development companies.
Except with respect to funds structured as funds-of-funds or so-called master/feeder funds or other funds whose strategies otherwise allow such investments, the 1940 Act generally requires that a fund limit its investments in another investment company or series thereof so that, as determined at the time a securities purchase is made: (i) no more than 5% of the value of its
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total assets will be invested in the securities of any one investment company; (ii) no more than 10% of the value of its total assets will be invested in the aggregate in securities of other investment companies; and (iii) no more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of any one investment company or series thereof will be owned by a fund or by companies controlled by a fund. Such other investment companies may include ETFs, which are shares of publicly traded unit investment trusts, open-end funds or depositary receipts that may be passively managed ( e.g. , they seek to track the performance of specific indexes or companies in related industries) or they may be actively managed. The SEC has granted orders for exemptive relief to certain ETFs that permit investments in those ETFs by certain other registered investment companies in excess of these limits.
ETFs are listed on an exchange and trade in the secondary market on a per-share basis, which allows investors to purchase and sell ETF shares at their market price throughout the day. Certain ETFs, such as passively managed ETFs, hold portfolios of securities that are designed to replicate, as closely as possible before expenses, the price and yield of a specified market index. The performance results of these ETFs will not replicate exactly the performance of the pertinent index due to transaction and other expenses, including fees to service providers borne by ETFs. ETF shares are sold and redeemed at net asset value only in large blocks called creation units. The Funds’ ability to redeem creation units may be limited by the 1940 Act, which provides that ETFs will not be obligated to redeem shares held by the Funds in an amount exceeding one percent of their total outstanding securities during any period of less than 30 days.
Although a Fund may derive certain advantages from being able to invest in shares of other investment companies, such as to be fully invested, there may be potential disadvantages. Investing in other investment companies may result in higher fees and expenses for a Fund and its shareholders. A shareholder may be charged fees not only on Fund shares held directly but also on the investment company shares that a Fund purchases. Because these investment companies may invest in other securities, they are also subject to the risks associated with a variety of investment instruments as described in this SAI.
Under the 1940 Act and rules and regulations thereunder, a Fund may purchase shares of affiliated funds, subject to certain conditions. Investing in affiliated funds may present certain actual or potential conflicts of interest. For more information about such actual and potential conflicts of interest, see Investment Management and Other Services – Other Roles and Relationships of Ameriprise Financial and its Affiliates – Certain Conflicts of Interest .
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with the securities of other investment companies include: Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) Risk, Investing in Other Funds Risk, Issuer Risk and Market Risk.
Listed Private Equity Funds
A Fund may invest directly in listed private equity funds, which may include, among others, business development companies, investment holding companies, publicly traded limited partnership interests (common units), publicly traded venture capital funds, publicly traded venture capital trusts, publicly traded private equity funds, publicly traded private equity investment trusts, publicly traded closed-end funds, publicly traded financial institutions that lend to or invest in privately held companies and any other publicly traded vehicle whose purpose is to invest in privately held companies.
A Fund may invest in listed private equity funds that hold investments in a wide array of businesses and industries at various stages of development, from early stage to later stage to fully mature businesses. A Fund may invest in listed private equity funds that emphasize making equity and equity-like (preferred stock, convertible stock and warrants) investments in later stage to mature businesses, or may invest in listed private equity funds making debt investments or investments in companies at other stages of development. In addition, a Fund may invest in the common stock of closed-end management investment companies, including business development companies that invest in securities of listed private equity companies.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with investment in listed private equity funds include: Credit Risk, Liquidity Risk, Market Risk, Sector Risk, and Valuation Risk.
Money Market Instruments
Money market instruments include cash equivalents and short-term debt obligations which include: (i) bank obligations, including certificates of deposit (CDs), time deposits and bankers’ acceptances, and letters of credit of banks or savings and loan associations having capital surplus and undivided profits (as of the date of its most recently published annual financial statements) in excess of $100 million (or the equivalent in the instance of a foreign branch of a U.S. bank) at the date of investment; (ii) funding agreements; (iii) repurchase agreements; (iv) obligations of the United States, foreign countries and supranational entities, and each of their subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities; (v) certain corporate debt securities, such as commercial paper, short-term corporate obligations and extendible commercial notes; (vi) participation interests; and (vii) municipal securities. Money market instruments may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations and may be privately placed or publicly offered. A Fund may also invest in affiliated and unaffiliated money market mutual funds, which invest primarily in money market instruments. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations and Types of Investments – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities for more information.
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With respect to money market securities, certain U.S. Government obligations are backed or insured by the U.S. Government, its agencies or its instrumentalities. Other money market securities are backed only by the claims paying ability or creditworthiness of the issuer.
Bankers’ acceptances are marketable short-term credit instruments used to finance the import, export, transfer or storage of goods. They are termed “accepted” when a bank unconditionally guarantees their payment at maturity.
A Fund may invest its daily cash balance in Columbia Short-Term Cash Fund, a money market fund established for the exclusive use of the funds in the Columbia Fund Complex and other institutional clients of the Investment Manager.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with money market instruments include: Credit Risk, Inflation Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Issuer Risk and Money Market Fund Risk.
Mortgage-Backed Securities
Mortgage-backed securities are a type of asset-backed security that represent interests in, or debt instruments backed by, pools of underlying mortgages. In some cases, these underlying mortgages may be insured or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies. Mortgage-backed securities entitle the security holders to receive distributions that are tied to the payments made on the underlying mortgage collateral (less fees paid to the originator, servicer, or other parties, and fees paid for credit enhancement), so that the payments made on the underlying mortgage collateral effectively pass through to such security holders. Mortgage-backed securities are created when mortgage originators (or mortgage loan sellers who have purchased mortgage loans from mortgage loan originators) sell the underlying mortgages to a special purpose entity in a process called a securitization. The special purpose entity issues securities that are backed by the payments on the underlying mortgage loans, and have a minimum denomination and specific term. Mortgage-backed securities may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations or as zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and step-coupon securities and may be privately placed or publicly offered. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations, Types of Investments – Zero-Coupon, Pay-in-Kind and Step-Coupon Securities and Types of Investments – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities for more information.
Mortgage-backed securities may be issued or guaranteed by GNMA (also known as Ginnie Mae), FNMA (also known as Fannie Mae), or FHLMC (also known as Freddie Mac), but also may be issued or guaranteed by other issuers, including private companies. GNMA is a government-owned corporation that is an agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It guarantees, with the full faith and credit of the United States, full and timely payment of all monthly principal and interest on its mortgage-backed securities. Until recently, FNMA and FHLMC were government-sponsored corporations owned entirely by private stockholders. Both issue mortgage-related securities that contain guarantees as to timely payment of interest and principal but that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. The value of the companies’ securities fell sharply in 2008 due to concerns that the firms did not have sufficient capital to offset losses. The U.S. Treasury has historically had the authority to purchase obligations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In addition, in 2008, due to capitalization concerns, Congress provided the U.S. Treasury with additional authority to lend Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac emergency funds and to purchase the companies’ stock, as described below. In September 2008, the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had been placed in conservatorship.
In the past Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have received significant capital support through U.S. Treasury preferred stock purchases and Federal Reserve purchases of their mortgage-backed securities. There can be no assurance that these or other agencies of the government will provide such support in the future. The future status of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac could be impacted by, among other things, the actions taken and restrictions placed on Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by the FHFA in its role as conservator, the restrictions placed on Fannie Mae’s or Freddie Mac’s operations and activities under the senior stock purchase agreements, market responses to developments at Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and future legislative and regulatory action that alters the operations, ownership structure and/or mission of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, each of which may, in turn, impact the value of, and cash flows on, any securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Stripped mortgage-backed securities are a type of mortgage-backed security that receives differing proportions of the interest and principal payments from the underlying assets. Generally, there are two classes of stripped mortgage-backed securities: Interest Only (IO) and Principal Only (PO). IOs entitle the holder to receive distributions consisting of all or a portion of the interest on the underlying pool of mortgage loans or mortgage-backed securities. POs entitle the holder to receive distributions consisting of all or a portion of the principal of the underlying pool of mortgage loans or mortgage-backed securities. See Types of Investments – Stripped Securities for more information.
Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (CMOs) are hybrid mortgage-related instruments issued by special purpose entities secured by pools of mortgage loans or other mortgage-related securities, such as mortgage pass-through securities or stripped mortgage-backed securities. CMOs may be structured into multiple classes, often referred to as “tranches,” with each class bearing a different stated maturity and entitled to a different schedule for payments of principal and interest, including prepayments. Principal prepayments on collateral underlying a CMO may cause it to be retired substantially earlier than its stated maturity or
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final distribution dates, resulting in a loss of all or part of the premium if any has been paid. The yield characteristics of mortgage-backed securities differ from those of other debt securities. Among the differences are that interest and principal payments are made more frequently on mortgage-backed securities, usually monthly, and principal may be repaid at any time. These factors may reduce the expected yield. Interest is paid or accrues on all classes of the CMOs on a periodic basis. The principal and interest payments on the underlying mortgage assets may be allocated among the various classes of CMOs in several ways. Typically, payments of principal, including any prepayments, on the underlying mortgage assets are applied to the classes in the order of their respective stated maturities or final distribution dates, so that no payment of principal is made on CMOs of a class until all CMOs of other classes having earlier stated maturities or final distribution dates have been paid in full.
Commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) are a specific type of mortgage-backed security collateralized by a pool of mortgages on commercial real estate.
CMO residuals are mortgage securities issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, homebuilders, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose entities of the foregoing. The cash flow generated by the mortgage assets underlying a series of CMOs is applied first to make required payments of principal and interest on the CMOs and second to pay the related administrative expenses and any management fee of the issuer. The residual in a CMO structure generally represents the interest in any excess cash flow remaining after making the foregoing payments. Each payment of such excess cash flow to a holder of the related CMO residual represents income and/or a return of capital. The amount of residual cash flow resulting from a CMO will depend on, among other things, the characteristics of the mortgage assets, the coupon rate of each class of CMO, prevailing interest rates, the amount of administrative expenses and the pre-payment experience on the mortgage assets. In particular, the yield to maturity on CMO residuals is extremely sensitive to pre-payments on the related underlying mortgage assets, in the same manner as an interest-only (“IO”) class of stripped mortgage-backed securities. In addition, if a series of a CMO includes a class that bears interest at an adjustable rate, the yield to maturity on the related CMO residual will also be extremely sensitive to changes in the level of the index upon which interest rate adjustments are based. As described below with respect to stripped mortgage-backed securities, in certain circumstances an ETF may fail to recoup fully its initial investment in a CMO residual. CMO residuals are generally purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers. Transactions in CMO residuals are generally completed only after careful review of the characteristics of the securities in question. In addition, CMO residuals may, or pursuant to an exemption therefrom, may not have been registered under the 1933 Act. CMO residuals, whether or not registered under the 1933 Act, may be subject to certain restrictions on transferability, and may be deemed “illiquid” and subject to a Fund’s limitations on investment in illiquid securities.
Mortgage pass-through securities are interests in pools of mortgage-related securities that differ from other forms of debt securities, which normally provide for periodic payment of interest in fixed amounts with principal payments at maturity or specified call dates. Instead, these securities provide a monthly payment which consists of both interest and principal payments. In effect, these payments are a “pass-through” of the monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on their residential or commercial mortgage loans, net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of such securities. Additional payments are caused by repayments of principal resulting from the sale of the underlying property, refinancing or foreclosure, net of fees or costs which may be incurred. Some mortgage-related securities (such as securities issued by the GNMA) are described as “modified pass-through.” These securities entitle the holder to receive all interest and principal payments owed on the mortgage pool, net of certain fees, at the scheduled payment dates regardless of whether or not the mortgagor actually makes the payment.
REMICs are entities that own mortgages and elect REMIC status under the Code and, like CMOs, issue debt obligations collateralized by underlying mortgage assets that have characteristics similar to those issued by CMOs.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with mortgage- and asset-backed securities include: Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Issuer Risk, Liquidity Risk, Mortgage- and Other Asset-Backed Securities Risk, Prepayment and Extension Risk and Reinvestment Risk.
Municipal Securities
Municipal securities include debt obligations issued by governmental entities, including states, political subdivisions, agencies, instrumentalities, and authorities, as well as U.S. territories (such as Guam and Puerto Rico) and their political subdivisions, agencies, instrumentalities, and authorities, to obtain funds for various public purposes, including the construction of a wide range of public facilities, the refunding of outstanding obligations, the payment of general operating expenses, and the extension of loans to public institutions and facilities.
Municipal securities may include municipal bonds, municipal notes and municipal leases, which are described below. Municipal bonds are debt obligations of a governmental entity that obligate the municipality to pay the holder a specified sum of money at specified intervals and to repay the principal amount of the loan at maturity. Municipal securities can be classified into two principal categories, including “general obligation” bonds and other securities and “revenue” bonds and other securities. General obligation bonds are secured by the issuer’s full faith, credit and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. Revenue
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securities 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 tax or other specific revenue source, such as the user of the facility being financed. Municipal securities also may include “moral obligation” securities, which normally are issued by special purpose public authorities. If the issuer of moral obligation securities is unable to meet its debt service obligations from current revenues, it may draw on a reserve fund, the restoration of which is a moral commitment but not a legal obligation of the governmental entity that created the special purpose public authority. Municipal securities may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations or as zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and step-coupon securities and may be privately placed or publicly offered. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations, Types of Investments – Zero-Coupon, Pay-in-Kind and Step-Coupon Securities and Types of Investments – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities for more information.
Municipal notes may be issued by governmental entities and other tax-exempt issuers in order to finance short-term cash needs or, occasionally, to finance construction. Most municipal notes are general obligations of the issuing entity payable from taxes or designated revenues expected to be received within the relevant fiscal period. Municipal notes generally have maturities of one year or less. Municipal notes can be subdivided into two sub-categories: (i) municipal commercial paper and (ii) municipal demand obligations.
Municipal commercial paper typically consists of very short-term unsecured negotiable promissory notes that are sold, for example, to meet seasonal working capital or interim construction financing needs of a governmental entity or agency. While these obligations are intended to be paid from general revenues or refinanced with long-term debt, they frequently are backed by letters of credit, lending agreements, note repurchase agreements or other credit facility agreements offered by banks or institutions. See Types of Investments – Commercial Paper for more information.
Municipal demand obligations can be subdivided into two general types: variable rate demand notes and master demand obligations. Variable rate demand notes are tax-exempt municipal obligations or participation interests that provide for a periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the notes. They permit the holder to demand payment of the notes, or to demand purchase of the notes at a purchase price equal to the unpaid principal balance, plus accrued interest either directly by the issuer or by drawing on a bank letter of credit or guaranty issued with respect to such note. The issuer of the municipal obligation may have a corresponding right to prepay at its discretion the outstanding principal of the note plus accrued interest upon notice comparable to that required for the holder to demand payment. The variable rate demand notes in which a Fund may invest are payable, or are subject to purchase, on demand, usually on notice of seven calendar days or less. The terms of the notes generally provide that interest rates are adjustable at intervals ranging from daily to six months.
Master demand obligations are tax-exempt municipal obligations that provide for a periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid and permit daily changes in the amount borrowed. The interest on such obligations is, in the opinion of counsel for the borrower, excluded from gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes (but not necessarily for alternative minimum tax purposes). Although there is no secondary market for master demand obligations, such obligations are considered by a Fund to be liquid because they are payable upon demand.
Municipal lease obligations are participations in privately arranged loans to state or local government borrowers and may take the form of a lease, an installment purchase, or a conditional sales contract. They are issued by state and local governments and authorities to acquire land, equipment, and facilities. An investor may purchase these obligations directly, or it may purchase participation interests in such obligations. In general, municipal lease obligations are unrated, in which case they will be determined by a Fund’s portfolio manager to be of comparable quality at the time of purchase to rated instruments that may be acquired by a Fund. Frequently, privately arranged loans have variable interest rates and may be backed by a bank letter of credit. In other cases, they may be unsecured or may be secured by assets not easily liquidated.
Moreover, such loans in most cases are not backed by the taxing authority of the issuers and may have limited marketability or may be marketable only by virtue of a provision requiring repayment following demand by the lender.
Municipal leases may be subject to greater risks than general obligation or revenue bonds. State constitutions and statutes set forth requirements that states or municipalities must meet in order to issue municipal obligations. Municipal leases may contain a covenant by the state or municipality to budget for and make payments due under the obligation. Certain municipal leases may, however, provide that the issuer is not obligated to make payments on the obligation in future years unless funds have been appropriated for this purpose each year.
Although lease obligations do not constitute general obligations of the municipal issuer to which the government’s taxing power is pledged, a lease obligation ordinarily is backed by the government’s covenant to budget for, appropriate, and make the payments due under the lease obligation. However, certain lease obligations contain “non-appropriation” clauses that provide that the government has no obligation to make lease or installment purchase payments in future years unless money is appropriated for such purpose on a periodic basis. In the case of a “non-appropriation” lease, a Fund’s ability to recover under the lease in the event of non-appropriation or default likely will be limited to the repossession of the leased property in the event that foreclosure proves difficult.
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Tender option bonds are municipal securities having relatively long maturities and bearing interest at a fixed interest rate substantially higher than prevailing short-term tax-exempt rates that is coupled with the agreement of a third party, such as a bank, broker-dealer or other financial institution, to grant the security holders the option, at periodic intervals, to tender their securities to the institution and receive the face value thereof. The financial institution receives periodic fees equal to the difference between the municipal security’s coupon rate and the rate that would cause the security to trade at face value on the date of determination.
There are variations in the quality of municipal securities, both within a particular classification and between classifications, and the rates of return on municipal securities can depend on a variety of factors, including general money market conditions, 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 of the issue. The ratings of NRSROs represent their opinions as to the quality of municipal securities. It should be emphasized, however, that these ratings are general and are not absolute standards of quality, and municipal securities with the same maturity, interest rate, and rating may have different rates of return while municipal securities of the same maturity and interest rate with different ratings may have the same rate of return. The municipal bond market is characterized by a large number of different issuers, many having smaller sized bond issues, and a wide choice of different maturities within each issue. For these reasons, most municipal bonds do not trade on a daily basis and many trade only rarely. Because many of these bonds trade infrequently, the spread between the bid and offer may be wider and the time needed to develop a bid or an offer may be longer than for other security markets. See Appendix A for a discussion of securities ratings. (See Types of Investments – Debt Obligations .)
Standby Commitments. Standby commitments are securities under which a purchaser, usually a bank or broker-dealer, agrees to purchase, for a fee, an amount of a Fund’s municipal obligations. The amount payable by a bank or broker-dealer to purchase securities subject to a standby commitment typically will be substantially the same as the value of the underlying municipal securities. A Fund may pay for standby commitments either separately in cash or by paying a higher price for portfolio securities that are acquired subject to such a commitment.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with standby commitments include: Counterparty Risk, Market Risk and Municipal Securities Risk.
Taxable Municipal Obligations. Interest or other investment return is subject to federal income tax for certain types of municipal obligations for a variety of reasons. These municipal obligations do not qualify for the federal income tax exemption because (a) they did not receive necessary authorization for tax-exempt treatment from state or local government authorities, (b) they exceed certain regulatory limitations on the cost of issuance for tax-exempt financing or (c) they finance public or private activities that do not qualify for the federal income tax exemption. These non-qualifying activities might include, for example, certain types of multi-family housing, certain professional and local sports facilities, refinancing of certain municipal debt, and borrowing to replenish a municipality’s underfunded pension plan.
See Appendix A for a discussion of securities ratings. (See Types of Investments – Debt Obligations .)
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with municipal securities include: Credit Risk, Inflation Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Market Risk and Municipal Securities Risk.
Participation Interests
Participation interests (also called pass-through certificates or securities) represent an interest in a pool of debt obligations, such as municipal bonds or notes that have been “packaged” by an intermediary, such as a bank or broker-dealer. Participation interests typically are issued by partnerships or trusts through which a Fund receives principal and interest payments that are passed through to the holder of the participation interest from the payments made on the underlying debt obligations. The purchaser of a participation interest receives an undivided interest in the underlying debt obligations. The issuers of the underlying debt obligations make interest and principal payments to the intermediary, as an initial purchaser, which are passed through to purchasers in the secondary market, such as a Fund. Mortgage-backed securities are a common type of participation interest. Participation interests may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations or as zero-coupon, pay-in- kind and step-coupon securities and may be privately placed or publicly offered. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations, Types of Investments – Zero-Coupon, Pay-in-Kind and Step-Coupon Securities and Types of Investments – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities for more information.
Loan participations also are a type of participation interest. Loans, loan participations, and interests in securitized loan pools are interests in amounts owed by a corporate, governmental, or other borrower to a lender or consortium of lenders (typically banks, insurance companies, investment banks, government agencies, or international agencies).
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with loan participations include: Confidential Information Access Risk, Credit Risk and Interest Rate Risk.
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Partnership Securities
The Fund may invest in securities issued by publicly traded partnerships or master limited partnerships or limited liability companies (together referred to as “PTPs/MLPs”). These entities are limited partnerships or limited liability companies that may be publicly traded on stock exchanges or markets such as the NYSE, the NYSE Alternext US LLC (“NYSE Alternext”) (formerly the American Stock Exchange) and NASDAQ. PTPs/MLPs often own businesses or properties relating to energy, natural resources or real estate, or may be involved in the film industry or research and development activities. Generally PTPs/MLPs are operated under the supervision of one or more managing partners or members. Limited partners, unit holders, or members (such as a fund that invests in a partnership) are not involved in the day-to-day management of the company. Limited partners, unit holders, or members are allocated income and capital gains associated with the partnership project in accordance with the terms of the partnership or limited liability company agreement.
At times PTPs/MLPs may potentially offer relatively high yields compared to common stocks. Because PTPs/MLPs are generally treated as partnerships or similar limited liability “pass-through” entities for tax purposes, they do not ordinarily pay income taxes, but pass their earnings on to unit holders (except in the case of some publicly traded firms that may be taxed as corporations). For tax purposes, unit holders may initially be deemed to receive only a portion of the distributions attributed to them because certain other portions may be attributed to the repayment of initial investments and may thereby lower the cost basis of the units or shares owned by unit holders. As a result, unit holders may effectively defer taxation on the receipt of some distributions until they sell their units. These tax consequences may differ for different types of entities.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with partnership securities include: Interest Rate Risk, Issuer Risk, Liquidity Risk and Market Risk.
Preferred Stock
Preferred stock represents units of ownership of a corporation that frequently have dividends that are set at a specified rate. Preferred stock has preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of assets. Preferred stock shares some of the characteristics of both debt and equity. Preferred stock ordinarily does not carry voting rights. Most preferred stock is cumulative; if dividends are passed ( i.e. , not paid for any reason), they accumulate and must be paid before common stock dividends. Participating preferred stock entitles its holders to share in profits above and beyond the declared dividend, along with common shareholders, as distinguished from nonparticipating preferred stock, which is limited to the stipulated dividend. Convertible preferred stock is exchangeable for a given number of shares of common stock and thus tends to be more volatile than nonconvertible preferred stock, which generally behaves more like a fixed income bond. Preferred stock may be privately placed or publicly offered. The price of a preferred stock is generally determined by earnings, type of products or services, projected growth rates, experience of management, liquidity, and general market conditions of the markets on which the stock trades. See Types of Investments – Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities for more information.
Auction preferred stock (APS) is a type of adjustable-rate preferred stock with a dividend determined periodically in a Dutch auction process by corporate bidders. An APS is distinguished from standard preferred stock because its dividends change from time to time. Shares typically are bought and sold at face values generally ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 per share. Holders of APS may not be able to sell their shares if an auction fails, such as when there are more shares of APS for sale at an auction than there are purchase bids.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with preferred stock include: Convertible Securities Risk, Issuer Risk, Liquidity Risk and Market Risk.
Private Placement and Other Restricted Securities
Private placement securities are securities that have been privately placed and are not registered under the 1933 Act. They are generally eligible for sale only to certain eligible investors. Private placements often may offer attractive opportunities for investment not otherwise available on the open market. Private placement and other “restricted” securities often cannot be sold to the public without registration under the 1933 Act or the availability of an exemption from registration (such as Rules 144 or 144A), or they are “not readily marketable” because they are subject to other legal or contractual delays in or restrictions on resale. Asset-backed securities, common stock, convertible securities, corporate debt securities, foreign securities, high-yield securities, money market instruments, mortgage-backed securities, municipal securities, participation interests, preferred stock and other types of equity and debt instruments may be privately placed or restricted securities.
Private placements typically may be sold only to qualified institutional buyers or, in the case of the initial sale of certain securities, such as those issued in collateralized debt obligations or collateralized loan obligations, to accredited investors (as defined in Rule 501(a) under the 1933 Act), or in a privately negotiated transaction or to a limited number of qualified purchasers, or in limited quantities after they have been held for a specified period of time and other conditions are met pursuant to an exemption from registration.
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Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with private placement and other restricted securities include: Issuer Risk, Liquidity Risk, Market Risk and Confidential Information Access Risk.
Real Estate Investment Trusts
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are pooled investment vehicles that manage a portfolio of real estate or real estate related loans to earn profits for their shareholders. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or a combination of equity and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property, such as shopping centers, nursing homes, office buildings, apartment complexes, and hotels, and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments. REITs can be subject to extreme volatility due to fluctuations in the demand for real estate, changes in interest rates, and adverse economic conditions.
Partnership units of real estate and other types of companies sometimes are organized as master limited partnerships in which ownership interests are publicly traded.
Similar to regulated investment companies, REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with certain requirements under the Code. The failure of a REIT to continue to qualify as a REIT for tax purposes can materially affect its value. A Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any expenses paid by a REIT in which it invests. REITs often do not provide complete tax information until after the calendar year-end. Consequently, because of the delay, it may be necessary for a Fund investing in REITs to request permission to extend the deadline for issuance of Forms 1099-DIV beyond January 31. In the alternative, amended Forms 1099-DIV may be sent.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with REITs include: Interest Rate Risk, Issuer Risk, Market Risk and Real Estate-Related Investment Risk.
Repurchase Agreements
Repurchase agreements are agreements under which a Fund acquires a security for a relatively short period of time (usually within seven days) subject to the obligation of a seller to repurchase and a Fund to resell such security at a fixed time and price (representing the Fund’s cost plus interest). The repurchase agreement specifies the yield during the purchaser’s holding period. Repurchase agreements also may be viewed as loans made by a Fund that are collateralized by the securities subject to repurchase, which may consist of a variety of security types. A Fund typically will enter into repurchase agreements only with commercial banks, registered broker-dealers and the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation. Such transactions are monitored to ensure that the value of the underlying securities will be at least equal at all times to the total amount of the repurchase obligation, including any accrued interest.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with repurchase agreements include: Counterparty Risk, Credit Risk, Issuer Risk, Market Risk and Repurchase Agreements Risk.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements
Reverse repurchase agreements are agreements under which a Fund temporarily transfers possession of a portfolio instrument to another party, such as a bank or broker-dealer, in return for cash. At the same time, the Fund agrees to repurchase the instrument at an agreed-upon time (normally within 7 days) and price which reflects an interest payment. A Fund generally retains the right to interest and principal payments on the security. Reverse repurchase agreements also may be viewed as borrowings made by a Fund.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with reverse repurchase agreements include: Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Issuer Risk, Leverage Risk, Market Risk and Reverse Repurchase Agreements Risk.
Short Sales
A Fund may sometimes sell securities short when it owns an equal amount of the securities sold short. This is a technique known as selling short “against the box.” If a Fund makes a short sale “against the box,” it would not immediately deliver the securities sold and would not receive the proceeds from the sale. The seller is said to have a short position in the securities sold until it delivers the securities sold, at which time it receives the proceeds of the sale. To secure its obligation to deliver securities sold short, a Fund will deposit in escrow in a separate account with the custodian an equal amount of the securities sold short or securities convertible into or exchangeable for such securities. A Fund can close out its short position by purchasing and delivering an equal amount of the securities sold short, rather than by delivering securities already held by a Fund, because a Fund might want to continue to receive interest and dividend payments on securities in its portfolio that are convertible into the securities sold short.
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Short sales “against the box” entail many of the same risks and considerations described below regarding short sales not “against the box.” However, when a Fund sells short “against the box” it typically limits the amount of its effective leverage. A Fund’s decision to make a short sale “against the box” may be a technique to hedge against market risks when a Fund’s portfolio manager believes that the price of a security may decline, causing a decline in the value of a security owned by a Fund or a security convertible into or exchangeable for such security. In such case, any future losses in a Fund’s long position would be reduced by a gain in the short position. The extent to which such gains or losses in the long position are reduced will depend upon the amount of securities sold short relative to the amount of the securities a Fund owns, either directly or indirectly, and, in the case where a Fund owns convertible securities, changes in the investment values or conversion premiums of such securities. Short sales may have adverse tax consequences to a Fund and its shareholders.
Subject to its fundamental and non-fundamental investment policies, a Fund may engage in short sales that are not “against the box,” which are sales by a Fund of securities, contracts or instruments that it does not own in hopes of purchasing the same security, contract or instrument at a later date at a lower price. The technique is also used to protect a profit in a long-term position in a security, commodity futures contract or other instrument. To make delivery to the buyer, a Fund must borrow or purchase the security. If borrowed, a Fund is then obligated to replace the security borrowed from the third party, so a Fund must purchase the security at the market price at a later time. If the price of the security has increased during this time, then a Fund will incur a loss equal to the increase in price of the security from the time of the short sale plus any premiums and interest paid to the third party. (Until the security is replaced, a Fund is required to pay to the lender amounts equal to any dividends or interest which accrue during the period of the loan. To borrow the security, a Fund also may be required to pay a premium, which would increase the cost of the security sold. The proceeds of the short sale will be retained by the broker, to the extent necessary to meet the margin requirements, until the short position is closed out.) Short sales of forward commitments and derivatives do not involve borrowing a security. These types of short sales may include futures, options, contracts for differences, forward contracts on financial instruments and options such as contracts, credit-linked instruments, and swap contracts.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with short sales include: Leverage Risk, Market Risk and Short Positions Risk.
Sovereign Debt
Sovereign debt obligations are issued or guaranteed by foreign governments or their agencies. It may be in the form of conventional securities or other types of debt instruments such as loans or loan participations. A sovereign debtor’s willingness or ability to repay principal and pay interest in a timely manner may be affected by a variety of factors, including its cash flow situation, the extent of its reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy toward international lenders, and the political constraints to which a sovereign debtor may be subject. (See also Types of Investments – Foreign Securities .) In addition, there may be no legal recourse against a sovereign debtor in the event of a default.
Sovereign debt includes Brady Bonds, which are 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.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with sovereign debt include: Credit Risk, Emerging Markets Securities Risk, Foreign Securities Risk, Issuer Risk and Market Risk.
Standby Commitments
See Types of Investments – Municipal Securities above.
Stripped Securities
Stripped securities are the separate income or principal payments of a debt security and evidence ownership in either the future interest or principal payments on an instrument. There are many different types and variations of stripped securities. For example, Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal Securities (STRIPS) can be component parts of a U.S. Treasury security where the principal and interest components are traded independently through DTC, a clearing agency registered pursuant to Section 17A of the 1934 Act and created to hold securities for its participants, and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions between participants through electronic computerized book-entries, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of certificates. Treasury Investor Growth Receipts (TIGERs) are U.S. Treasury securities stripped by brokers. Stripped mortgage-backed securities, (SMBS) also can be issued by the U.S. Government or its agencies. Stripped securities may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations for more information.
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SMBS usually are structured with two or more classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions from a pool of mortgage-backed assets. Common types of SMBS will be structured so that one class receives some of the interest and most of the principal from the mortgage-backed assets, while another class receives most of the interest and the remainder of the principal.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with stripped securities include: Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Liquidity Risk, Prepayment and Extension Risk and Stripped Securities Risk
Trust-Preferred Securities
Trust-preferred securities, also known as trust-issued securities, are securities that have characteristics of both debt and equity instruments and are typically treated by the Funds as debt investments.
Generally, trust-preferred securities are cumulative preferred stocks issued by a trust that is created by a financial institution, such as a bank holding company. The financial institution typically creates the trust with the objective of increasing its capital by issuing subordinated debt to the trust in return for cash proceeds that are reflected on the financial institutions balance sheet.
The primary asset owned by the trust is the subordinated debt issued to the trust by the financial institution. The financial institution makes periodic interest payments on the debt as discussed further below. The financial institution will subsequently own the trust’s common securities, which may typically represent a small percentage of the trust’s capital structure. The remainder of the trust’s capital structure typically consists of trust-preferred securities which are sold to investors. The trust uses the sales proceeds to purchase the subordinated debt issued by the financial institution. The financial institution uses the proceeds from the subordinated debt sale to increase its capital while the trust receives periodic interest payments from the financial institution for holding the subordinated debt.
The trust uses the interest received to make dividend payments to the holders of the trust-preferred securities. The dividends are generally paid on a quarterly basis and are often higher than other dividends potentially available on the financial institution’s common stocks. The interests of the holders of the trust-preferred securities are senior to those of common stockholders in the event that the financial institution is liquidated, although their interests are typically subordinated to those of other holders of other debt issued by the institution.
The primary benefit for the financial institution in using this particular structure is that the trust-preferred securities issued by the trust are treated by the financial institution as debt securities for tax purposes (as a consequence of which the expense of paying interest on the securities is tax deductible), but are treated as more desirable equity securities for purposes of the calculation of capital requirements.
In certain instances, the structure involves more than one financial institution and thus, more than one trust. In such a pooled offering, an additional separate trust may be created. This trust will issue securities to investors and use the proceeds to purchase the trust-preferred securities issued by other trust subsidiaries of the participating financial institutions. In such a structure, the trust-preferred securities held by the investors are backed by other trust-preferred securities issued by the trust subsidiaries.
If a financial institution is financially unsound and defaults on interest payments to the trust, the trust will not be able to make dividend payments to holders of the trust-preferred securities such as the Fund, as the trust typically has no business operations other than holding the subordinated debt issued by the financial institution(s) and issuing the trust-preferred securities and common stock backed by the subordinated debt.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with trust-preferred securities include: Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Liquidity Risk and Prepayment and Extension Risk.
U.S. Government and Related Obligations
U.S. Government obligations include U.S. Treasury obligations and securities issued or guaranteed by various agencies of the U.S. Government or by various agencies or instrumentalities established or sponsored by the U.S. Government. U.S. Treasury obligations and securities issued or guaranteed by various agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government differ in their interest rates, maturities and time of issuance, as well as with respect to whether they are guaranteed by the U.S. Government. U.S. Government and related obligations may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations. See Types of Investments – Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations for more information.
Investing in U.S. Government and related obligations is subject to certain risks. While U.S. Treasury obligations are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. Government, such securities are nonetheless subject to credit risk ( i.e. , the risk that the U.S. Government may be, or be perceived to be, unable or unwilling to honor its financial obligations, such as making payments). Securities issued or guaranteed by federal agencies and U.S. Government-sponsored instrumentalities may or may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. These securities may be supported by the ability to borrow from the U.S. Treasury or only by the credit of the issuing agency or instrumentality and, as a result, may be subject to greater credit risk than
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securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury. Obligations of U.S. Government agencies, authorities, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises historically have involved limited risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, no assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to any of these entities if it is not obligated to do so by law.
Government-sponsored entities issuing securities include privately owned, publicly chartered entities created to reduce borrowing costs for certain sectors of the economy, such as farmers, homeowners, and students. They include the Federal Farm Credit Bank System, Farm Credit Financial Assistance Corporation, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA), and Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC). Government-sponsored entities may issue discount notes (with maturities ranging from overnight to 360 days) and bonds. On September 7, 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (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. FHFA will act as the conservator to operate the enterprises until they are stabilized.
On August 5, 2011, S& P lowered its long-term sovereign credit rating for the United States of America to “AA+” from “AAA”. Because a Fund may invest in U.S. Government obligations, the value of its shares may be adversely affected by S&P’s downgrade or any future downgrades of the U.S. Government’s credit rating. The long-term impact of the downgrade is uncertain. See Appendix A for a description of securities ratings.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with U.S. Government and related obligations include: Credit Risk, Inflation Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Prepayment and Extension Risk, Reinvestment Risk and U.S. Government Obligations Risk.
Variable- and Floating-Rate Obligations
Variable- and floating-rate obligations are debt instruments that provide for periodic adjustments in the interest rate and, under certain circumstances, varying principal amounts. Unlike a fixed interest rate, a variable, or floating, rate is one that rises and declines based on the movement of an underlying index of interest rates and may pay interest at rates that are adjusted periodically according to a specified formula. Variable- or floating-rate securities frequently include a demand feature enabling the holder to sell the securities to the issuer at par. In many cases, the demand feature can be exercised at any time. Some securities that do not have variable or floating interest rates may be accompanied by puts producing similar results and price characteristics. Variable-rate demand notes include master demand notes that are obligations that permit the investor to invest fluctuating amounts, which may change daily without penalty, pursuant to direct arrangements between the investor (as lender), and the borrower. The interest rates on these notes fluctuate. The issuer of such obligations normally has a corresponding right, after a given period, to prepay in its discretion the outstanding principal amount of the obligations plus accrued interest upon a specified number of days’ notice to the holders of such obligations. Because these obligations are direct lending arrangements between the lender and borrower, it is not contemplated that such instruments generally will be traded. There generally is not an established secondary market for these obligations. Accordingly, where these obligations are not secured by letters of credit or other credit support arrangements, the lender’s right to redeem is dependent on the ability of the borrower to pay principal and interest on demand. Such obligations frequently are not rated by credit rating agencies and may involve heightened risk of default by the issuer. Asset-backed securities, bank obligations, convertible securities, corporate debt securities, foreign securities, high-yield securities, money market instruments, mortgage-backed securities, municipal securities, participation interests, stripped securities, U.S. Government and related obligations and other types of debt instruments may be structured as variable- and floating-rate obligations.
Most floating rate loans are acquired directly from the agent bank or from another holder of the loan by assignment. Most such loans are secured, and most impose restrictive covenants on the borrower. These loans are typically made by a syndicate of banks and institutional investors, represented by an agent bank which has negotiated and structured the loan and which is responsible generally for collecting interest, principal, and other amounts from the borrower on its own behalf and on behalf of the other lending institutions in the syndicate, and for enforcing its rights and the rights of the syndicate against the borrower. Each of the lending institutions, including the agent bank, lends to the borrower a portion of the total amount of the loan, and retains the corresponding interest in the loan. Floating rate loans may include delayed draw term loans and prefunded or synthetic letters of credit.
A Fund’s ability to receive payments of principal and interest and other amounts in connection with loans held by it will depend primarily on the financial condition of the borrower. The failure by the Fund to receive scheduled interest or principal payments on a loan would adversely affect the income of the Fund and would likely reduce the value of its assets, which would be reflected in a reduction in the Fund’s NAV. Banks and other lending institutions generally perform a credit analysis of the borrower before originating a loan or purchasing an assignment in a loan. In selecting the loans in which the Fund will invest, however, the Investment Manager will not rely on that credit analysis of the agent bank, but will perform its own investment analysis of the borrowers. The Investment Manager’s analysis may include consideration of the borrower’s financial strength and managerial
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experience, debt coverage, additional borrowing requirements or debt maturity schedules, changing financial conditions, and responsiveness to changes in business conditions and interest rates. Investments in loans may be of any quality, including “distressed” loans, and will be subject to the Fund’s credit quality policy.
Loans may be structured in different forms, including assignments and participations. In an assignment, a Fund purchases an assignment of a portion of a lender’s interest in a loan. In this case, the Fund may be required generally to rely upon the assigning bank to demand payment and enforce its rights against the borrower, but would otherwise be entitled to all of such bank’s rights in the loan.
The borrower of a loan may, either at its own election or pursuant to terms of the loan documentation, prepay amounts of the loan from time to time. There is no assurance that a Fund will be able to reinvest the proceeds of any loan prepayment at the same interest rate or on the same terms as those of the original loan.
Corporate loans in which a Fund may purchase a loan assignment are made generally to finance internal growth, mergers, acquisitions, recapitalizations, stock repurchases, leveraged buy-outs, dividend payments to sponsors and other corporate activities. The highly leveraged capital structure of certain borrowers may make such loans especially vulnerable to adverse changes in economic or market conditions. The Fund may hold investments in loans for a very short period of time when opportunities to resell the investments that a Fund’s Portfolio Manager believes are attractive arise.
Certain of the loans acquired by a Fund may involve revolving credit facilities under which a borrower may from time to time borrow and repay amounts up to the maximum amount of the facility. In such cases, the Fund would have an obligation to advance its portion of such additional borrowings upon the terms specified in the loan assignment. To the extent that the Fund is committed to make additional loans under such an assignment, it will at all times designate cash or securities in an amount sufficient to meet such commitments.
Notwithstanding its intention in certain situations to not receive material, non-public information with respect to its management of investments in floating rate loans, the Investment Manager may from time to time come into possession of material, non-public information about the issuers of loans that may be held in a Fund’s portfolio. Possession of such information may in some instances occur despite the Investment Manager’s efforts to avoid such possession, but in other instances the Investment Manager may choose to receive such information (for example, in connection with participation in a creditors’ committee with respect to a financially distressed issuer). As, and to the extent, required by applicable law, the Investment Manager’s ability to trade in these loans for the account of the Fund could potentially be limited by its possession of such information. Such limitations on the Investment Manager’s ability to trade could have an adverse effect on the Fund by, for example, preventing the Fund from selling a loan that is experiencing a material decline in value. In some instances, these trading restrictions could continue in effect for a substantial period of time.
In some instances, other accounts managed by the Investment Manager may hold other securities issued by borrowers whose floating rate loans may be held in a Fund’s portfolio. These other securities may include, for example, debt securities that are subordinate to the floating rate loans held in the Fund’s portfolio, convertible debt or common or preferred equity securities.
In certain circumstances, such as if the credit quality of the issuer deteriorates, the interests of holders of these other securities may conflict with the interests of the holders of the issuer’s floating rate loans. In such cases, the Investment Manager may owe conflicting fiduciary duties to the Fund and other client accounts. The Investment Manager will endeavor to carry out its obligations to all of its clients to the fullest extent possible, recognizing that in some cases certain clients may achieve a lower economic return, as a result of these conflicting client interests, than if the Investment Manager’s client accounts collectively held only a single category of the issuer’s securities.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with variable- or floating-rate obligations include: Counterparty Risk, Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Liquidity Risk and Prepayment and Extension Risk.
Warrants and Rights
Warrants and rights are types of securities that give a holder a right to purchase shares of common stock. Warrants usually are issued together with a bond or preferred stock and entitle a holder to purchase a specified amount of common stock at a specified price typically for a period of years. Rights usually have a specified purchase price that is lower than the current market price and entitle a holder to purchase a specified amount of common stock typically for a period of only weeks. Warrants may be used to enhance the marketability of a bond or preferred stock. Warrants do not carry with them the right to dividends or voting rights and they do not represent any rights in the assets of the issuer. Warrants may be considered to have more speculative characteristics than certain other types of investments. In addition, the value of a warrant does not necessarily change with the value of the underlying securities, and a warrant ceases to have value if it is not exercised prior to its expiration date, if any.
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The potential exercise price of warrants or rights may exceed their market price, such as when there is no movement in the market price or the market price of the common stock declines.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with warrants and rights include: Convertible Securities Risk, Counterparty Risk, Credit Risk, Issuer Risk and Market Risk.
When-Issued, Delayed Delivery and Forward Commitment Transactions
When-issued, delayed delivery and forward commitment transactions involve the purchase or sale of securities by a Fund, with payment and delivery taking place in the future after the customary settlement period for that type of security. Normally, the settlement date occurs within 45 days of the purchase although in some cases settlement may take longer. The investor does not pay for the securities or receive dividends or interest on them until the contractual settlement date. When engaging in when-issued, delayed delivery and forward commitment transactions, a Fund typically will designate liquid assets in an amount equal to or greater than the purchase price. The payment obligation and, if applicable, the interest rate that will be received on the securities, are fixed at the time that a Fund agrees to purchase the securities. A Fund generally will enter into when-issued, delayed delivery and forward commitment transactions only with the intention of completing such transactions.
However, a Fund’s portfolio manager may determine not to complete a transaction if he or she deems it appropriate to close out the transaction prior to its completion. In such cases, a Fund may realize short-term gains or losses.
To Be Announced Securities (“TBAs”). As with other delayed delivery transactions, a seller agrees to issue a TBA security at a future date. However, the seller does not specify the particular securities to be delivered. Instead, the Fund agrees to accept any security that meets specified terms. For example, in a TBA mortgage-backed security transaction, the Fund and the seller would agree upon the issuer, interest rate and terms of the underlying mortgages. The seller would not identify the specific underlying mortgages until it issues the security. TBA mortgage-backed securities increase market risks because the underlying mortgages may be less favorable than anticipated by the Fund. See Types of Investments – Mortgage-Backed Securities and Types of Investments – Asset-Backed Securities for more information.
Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with when-issued, delayed delivery and forward commitment transactions include: Counterparty Risk, Credit Risk and Market Risk.
Zero-Coupon, Pay-in-Kind and Step-Coupon Securities
Zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and step-coupon securities are types of debt instruments that do not necessarily make payments of interest in fixed amounts or at fixed intervals. Asset-backed securities, convertible securities, corporate debt securities, foreign securities, high-yield securities, mortgage-backed securities, municipal securities, participation interests, stripped securities, U.S. Government and related obligations and other types of debt instruments may be structured as zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and step-coupon securities.
Zero-coupon securities do not pay interest on a current basis but instead accrue interest over the life of the security. These securities include, among others, zero-coupon bonds, which either may be issued at a discount by a corporation or government entity or may be created by a brokerage firm when it strips the coupons from a bond or note and then sells the bond or note and the coupon separately. This technique is used frequently with U.S. Treasury bonds, and zero-coupon securities are marketed under such names as CATS (Certificate of Accrual on Treasury Securities), TIGERs or STRIPS. Zero-coupon bonds also are issued by municipalities. Buying a municipal zero-coupon bond frees its purchaser of the obligation to pay regular federal income tax on imputed interest, since the interest is exempt for regular federal income tax purposes. Zero-coupon certificates of deposit and zero-coupon mortgages are generally structured in the same fashion as zero-coupon bonds; the certificate of deposit holder or mortgage holder receives face value at maturity and no payments until then.
Pay-in-kind securities normally give the issuer an option to pay cash at a coupon payment date or to give the holder of the security a similar security with the same coupon rate and a face value equal to the amount of the coupon payment that would have been made.
Step-coupon securities trade at a discount from their face value and pay coupon interest that gradually increases over time. The coupon rate is paid according to a schedule for a series of periods, typically lower for an initial period and then increasing to a higher coupon rate thereafter. The discount from the face amount or par value depends on the time remaining until cash payments begin, prevailing interest rates, liquidity of the security and the perceived credit quality of the issue.
Zero-coupon, step-coupon and pay-in-kind securities holders generally have substantially all the rights and privileges of holders of the underlying coupon obligations or principal obligations. Holders of these securities typically have the right upon default on the underlying coupon obligations or principal obligations to proceed directly and individually against the issuer and are not required to act in concert with other holders of such securities.
See Appendix A for a discussion of securities ratings.
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Although one or more of the other risks described in this SAI may also apply, the risks typically associated with zero-coupon, step-coupon, and pay-in-kind securities include: Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk and Zero-Coupon Bonds Risk.
Information Regarding Risks
The following is a summary of risks of investing in the Funds and the risk characteristics associated with the various investment instruments available to the Funds for investment. A Fund’s risk profile is largely defined by the Fund’s primary portfolio holdings and principal investment strategies (for the description of a Fund’s principal investment strategies and principal risks, please see that Fund’s prospectus). However, the Funds are allowed to use securities, instruments, other assets and investments, strategies and techniques other than those described in the Fund’s principal investment strategies, subjecting the Fund to the risks associated with these securities, instruments, other assets and investments, strategies and techniques. One or more of the following risks may be associated with investment in a Fund at any time:
Active Management Risk. The Fund is actively managed and its performance therefore will reflect, in part, the ability of the portfolio managers to make investment decisions that will achieve the Fund’s investment objective. Due to its active management, the Fund could underperform its benchmark index and/or other funds with similar investment objectives and/or strategies.
Activist Strategies Risk. The Fund may purchase securities of a company that is the subject of a proxy contest or which activist investors are attempting to influence, in the expectation that new management or a change in business strategies will cause the price of the company’s securities to increase. If the proxy contest, or the new management, is not successful, the market price of the company’s securities will typically fall.
In addition, where an acquisition or restructuring transaction or proxy fight is opposed by the subject company’s management, the transaction often becomes the subject of litigation. Such litigation involves substantial uncertainties and may impose substantial cost and expense on the Fund.
Allocation Risk. For any Fund that uses an asset allocation strategy in pursuit of its investment objective, there is a risk that the Fund's allocation among asset classes, investments, managers, strategies and/or investment styles will cause the Fund's shares to lose value or cause the Fund to underperform other funds with a similar investment objective and/or strategies, or that the investments themselves will not produce the returns expected.
Alternative Strategies Investment Risk. An investment in alternative investment strategies (Alternative Strategies), whether through direct investment or through one or more underlying funds, involves risks, which may be significant. Alternative Strategies may include strategies, instruments or other assets, such as derivatives, that seek investment returns uncorrelated with the broad equity and fixed income/debt markets, as well as those providing exposure to other markets (such as commodity markets), including but not limited to absolute (positive) return strategies. Alternative Strategies may fail to achieve their desired performance, market or other exposure, or their returns (or lack thereof) may be more correlated with the broad equity and/or fixed income/debt markets than was anticipated, and the Fund may lose money. Some Alternative Strategies may be considered speculative.
Arbitrage Strategies Risk. The Fund may purchase securities at prices only slightly below the anticipated value to be paid or exchanged for such securities in a merger, exchange offer or cash tender offer, and substantially above the prices at which such securities traded immediately prior to announcement of the transaction. If there is a perception that the proposed transaction will not be consummated or will be delayed, the market price of the security may decline sharply, which would result in a loss to the Fund. In addition, if the manager determines that the offer is likely to be increased, either by the original bidder or by another party, the Fund may purchase securities above the offer price; such purchases are subject to a high degree of risk.
The consummation of mergers and tender and exchange offers can be prevented or delayed by a variety of factors, including opposition by the management or shareholders of the target company, private litigation or litigation involving regulatory agencies, and approval or non-action of regulatory agencies. The likelihood of occurrence of these and other factors, and their impact on an investment, can be very difficult to evaluate.
Bankruptcy Process and Trade Claims Risk. The Fund may purchase bankruptcy claims. There are a number of significant risks inherent in the bankruptcy process. The effect of a bankruptcy filing on a company may adversely and permanently affect the company and cause it to be incapable of restoring itself as a viable business. Many events in a bankruptcy are the product of contested matters and adversarial proceedings. The duration of a bankruptcy proceeding is difficult to predict and a creditor’s return on investment can be adversely affected by delays while the plan of reorganization is being finalized. The administrative costs in connection with a bankruptcy proceeding are frequently high and are paid out of the debtor’s estate before any return to creditors. The Fund may also purchase trade claims against companies, including companies in bankruptcy or reorganization proceedings, which include claims of suppliers for unpaid goods delivered, claims for unpaid services rendered, claims for contract rejection damages and claims related to litigation. An investment in trade claims is very speculative, illiquid, and carries a high degree of risk. The markets in trade claims are not regulated by U.S. federal securities laws or the SEC.
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Changing Distribution Level Risk. The amount of the distributions paid by the Fund will vary and generally depends on the amount of interest income and/or dividends received (less expenses) by the Fund on the loans and securities it holds. If the Fund does not receive any such income and/or dividends, the Fund may not be in a position to make distributions to shareholders. If the interest income and/or dividends the Fund receives from its investments declines, the Fund may have to reduce its distribution level.
Commodity-related Investment Risk. The value of commodities investments will generally be affected by overall market movements and factors specific to a particular industry or commodity, which may include demand for the commodity, weather, embargoes, tariffs, and economic health, political, international, regulatory and other developments. Economic and other events (whether real or perceived) can reduce the demand for commodities, which may, in turn, reduce market prices and cause the value of Fund shares to fall. The frequency and magnitude of such changes cannot be predicted. Exposure to commodities and commodities markets may subject the value of the Fund's investments to greater volatility than other types of investments. No, or limited, active trading market may exist for certain commodities investments, which may impair the ability to sell or to realize the full value of such investments in the event of the need to liquidate such investments. In addition, adverse market conditions may impair the liquidity of actively traded commodities investments. Certain types of commodities instruments are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the instrument may not perform or be unable to perform in accordance with the terms of the instrument. The Fund may make commodity-related investments through, and may invest in one or more underlying funds that make commodity-related investments through, one or more wholly-owned subsidiaries organized outside the U.S. that are generally not subject to U.S. laws (including securities laws) and their protections. However, any such subsidiary is wholly owned and controlled by the Fund and any underlying fund subsidiary is wholly-owned and controlled by the underlying fund, making it unlikely that the subsidiary will take action contrary to the interests of the Fund or the underlying fund and their shareholders. Further, any such subsidiaries will be subject to the laws of a foreign jurisdiction, and can be adversely affected by developments in that jurisdiction.
Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Fund concentrates its investment in particular issuers, countries, geographic regions, industries or sectors, the Fund may be subject to greater risks of adverse developments in such areas of focus than a fund that invests in a wider variety of issuers, countries, geographic regions, industries, sectors or investments.
Confidential Information Access Risk. In many instances, issuers of floating rate loans offer to furnish material, non-public information (Confidential Information) to prospective purchasers or holders of the issuer’s floating rate loans to help potential investors assess the value of the loan. Portfolio managers may avoid the receipt of Confidential Information about the issuers of floating rate loans being considered for acquisition by the Fund, or held in the Fund. A decision not to receive Confidential Information from these issuers may disadvantage the Fund as compared to other floating rate loan investors, and may adversely affect the price the Fund pays for the loans it purchases, or the price at which the Fund sells the loans. Further, in situations when holders of floating rate loans are asked, for example, to grant consents, waivers or amendments, the ability to assess the desirability of such consents, waivers or amendments may be compromised. For these and other reasons, it is possible that the decision not to receive Confidential Information could adversely affect the Fund’s performance.
Convertible Securities Risk. Convertible securities are subject to the usual risks associated with debt instruments, such as interest rate risk (the risk of losses attributable to changes in interest rates) and credit risk (the risk that the issuer of a debt instrument will default or otherwise become unable, or be perceived to be unable or unwilling, to honor a financial obligation, such as making payments to the Fund when due). Convertible securities also react to changes in the value of the common stock into which they convert, and are thus subject to market risk (the risk that the market values of securities or other investments that the Fund holds will fall, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably, or fail to rise). Because the value of a convertible security can be influenced by both interest rates and the common stock's market movements, a convertible security generally is not as sensitive to interest rates as a similar debt instrument, and generally will not vary in value in response to other factors to the same extent as the underlying common stock. In the event of a liquidation of the issuing company, holders of convertible securities would typically be paid before the company's common stockholders but after holders of any senior debt obligations of the company. The Fund may be forced to convert a convertible security before it otherwise would choose to do so, which may decrease the Fund's return.
Counterparty Risk. The risk exists that a counterparty to a financial instrument held by the Fund or by a special purpose or structured vehicle in which the Fund invests may become insolvent or otherwise fail to perform its obligations due to financial difficulties, including making payments to the Fund. The Fund may obtain no or limited recovery in a bankruptcy or other organizational proceedings, and any recovery may be significantly delayed. Transactions that the Fund enters into may involve counterparties in the financial services sector and, as a result, events affecting the financial services sector may cause the Fund’s share value to fluctuate.
Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that the value of loans or other debt instruments may decline if the borrower or the issuer thereof defaults or otherwise becomes unable or unwilling, or is perceived to be unable or unwilling, to honor its financial obligations, such as making payments to the Fund when due. Various factors could affect the actual or perceived willingness or
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ability of the borrower or the issuer to make timely interest or principal payments, including changes in the financial condition of the borrower or the issuer or in general economic conditions. Fixed-income securities backed by an issuer's taxing authority may be subject to legal limits on the issuer's power to increase taxes or otherwise to raise revenue, or may be dependent on legislative appropriation or government aid. Certain fixed-income securities are backed only by revenues derived from a particular project or source, rather than by an issuer's taxing authority, and thus may have a greater risk of default. Rating agencies assign credit ratings to certain loans and fixed-income instruments to indicate their credit risk. Lower quality or unrated loans or securities held by the Fund may present increased credit risk as compared to higher-rated loans or securities. Non-investment grade loans or fixed-income instruments (commonly called “high-yield” or “junk”) may be subject to greater price fluctuations and are more likely to experience a default than investment grade loans or fixed-income instruments and therefore may expose the Fund to increased credit risk. If the Fund purchases unrated loans or fixed-income securities, or if the ratings of such investments held by the Fund are lowered after purchase, the Fund will depend on analysis of credit risk more heavily than usual. If the issuer of a loan declares bankruptcy or is declared bankrupt, there may be a delay before the Fund can act on the collateral securing the loan, which may adversely affect the Fund. Further, there is a risk that a court could take action with respect to a loan that is adverse to the holders of the loan. Such actions may include invalidating the loan, the lien on the collateral, the priority status of the loan, or ordering the refund of interest previously paid by the borrower. Any such actions by a court could adversely affect the Fund’s performance. A default or expected default of a loan could also make it difficult for the Fund to sell the loan at a price approximating the value previously placed on it. In order to enforce its rights in the event of a default, bankruptcy or similar situation, the Fund may be required to retain legal or similar counsel. This may increase the Fund’s operating expenses and adversely affect its NAV. Loans that have a lower priority for repayment in an issuer’s capital structure may involve a higher degree of overall risk than more senior loans of the same borrower.
Cybersecurity Breaches and Technology and Related Systems Failure Risk. The Funds and their service providers, including but not limited to the Investment Manager (in its role as investment adviser and/or administrator to the Funds), Ameriprise Financial (the Investment Manager’s parent company), any investment subadvisers, the Service Agent, the Custodian, and other service providers, as well as their underlying service providers (collectively, the Service Providers), are heavily dependent on proprietary and third-party technology and infrastructure and related operational and information systems, networks, computers, devices, programs, applications, data and functions (collectively, Systems) to perform necessary business activities. The Systems that the Funds and the Service Providers (referred to herein as we, us and our) rely upon may be vulnerable to many threats, breaches and failures, some of which may be outside of our control, including significant damage and disruption arising from Systems failures or cybersecurity breaches. Systems failures include malfunctions, user error, conduct (or misconduct) of or arising from employees and agents, and failures arising from cybersecurity breaches, natural disasters, or other actions or events (whether foreseeable or unforeseeable). Cybersecurity breaches include intentional (e.g., cyber-attacks, hacking, phishing scams, unauthorized payment requests) and unintentional events or activity (e.g., user errors arising from or caused by us or our agents). Systems failures and cybersecurity breaches may result in (i) proprietary or confidential information or data being lost, misused, destroyed, stolen, released, corrupted or rendered unavailable, including personal investor information (and that of beneficial owners of investors), (ii) unauthorized access to Systems and loss of operational capacity, including from, for example, denial-of-service attacks (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users), and (iii) the misappropriation of Fund or investor assets or sensitive information. Any such events could negatively impact our Systems and may have significant adverse impacts on the Funds and their shareholders.
Systems failures and cybersecurity breaches may cause delays or mistakes in materials provided to shareholders and may also interfere with or negatively impact the processing of Fund investor transactions, pricing of Fund investments, calculating Fund NAVs, and trading within a Fund’s portfolio, while causing or subjecting us to reputational damage, violations of law, legal claims, regulatory fines, penalties, financial losses and reimbursement, expenses or other compensation and remediation costs, as well as additional compliance, legal, and operational costs. Such events could negatively impact the Fund, its shareholders and affect our business, financial condition and performance or results of operations.
The trend toward broad consumer and general public notification of Systems failures and cybersecurity breaches could exacerbate the harm to the Fund, its shareholders and our business, financial condition and performance or results of operations. Even if we successfully protect our Systems from failures or cybersecurity breaches, we may incur significant expenses in connection with our responses to any such events, as well as the need for adoption, implementation and maintenance of appropriate security measures. We could also suffer harm to our business and reputation if attempted or actual cybersecurity breaches are publicized. We cannot be certain that evolving threats from cyber-criminals and other cyber-threat actors, exploitation of new vulnerabilities in our Systems, or other developments, or data thefts, System break-ins or inappropriate access will not compromise or breach the technology or other security measures protecting our Systems.
To date, we have not experienced any material Systems failures or cybersecurity breaches, however, we routinely encounter and address such threats. For example, in 2015 the then-available Columbia ETFs were for a period unable to price their portfolios due to a technology issue impacting the ETFs’ third-party administrator. In another case, in 2014, Ameriprise Financial and other financial institutions experienced distributed denial-of-service attacks intended to disrupt clients’ online access. While
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Ameriprise Financial was able to detect and respond to this incident without loss of client assets or information, Ameriprise Financial has since enhanced its security capabilities and will continue to assess its ability to monitor and respond to such threats. In addition to the foregoing, the experiences of Ameriprise Financial and its affiliates with Systems failures, cybersecurity breaches and technology threats have included, as examples, phishing scams, introductions of malware, attempts at electronic break-ins, and unauthorized payment requests. Systems failures and cybersecurity breaches may be difficult to detect, may go undetected for long periods or may never be detected. The impact of such events may be compounded over time. Although the Funds and the Service Providers evaluate the materiality of Systems failures and cybersecurity breaches that it detects, the Funds and the Service Providers may conclude that some such events are not material and may choose not to address them. Such conclusions may not prove to be correct.
Although we have established business continuity/disaster recovery plans and systems (Continuity and Recovery Plans) designed to prevent or mitigate the effects of Systems failures and cybersecurity breaches, there are inherent limitations in Continuity and Recovery Plans. These limitations include the possibility that certain risks have not been identified or that Continuity and Recovery Plans might not – despite testing and monitoring – operate as designed, be sufficient to stop or mitigate losses or otherwise be unable to achieve their objectives. The Funds and their shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result. In addition, the Fund cannot control the Continuity and Recovery Plans of the Service Providers. As a result, there can be no assurance that the Funds will not suffer losses relating to Systems failures or cybersecurity breaches affecting us in the future, particularly third-party service providers, as the Funds cannot control any Continuity and Recovery Plans or cybersecurity defenses implemented by such parties.
System failures and cybersecurity breaches may necessitate significant investment to repair or replace impacted Systems. In addition, we, including the Funds, may incur substantial costs for Systems failure risk management and cybersecurity risk management in order to attempt to prevent any such events or incidents in the future.
Insurance and other traditional risk-shifting tools may be held by or available to us in order to manage or mitigate the risks associated with Systems failures and cybersecurity breaches, but they are subject to terms and limitations such as deductibles, coinsurance, limits and policy exclusions, as well as risk of counterparty denial of coverage, default or insolvency. While Ameriprise Financial and its affiliates maintain cyber liability insurance that provides both third-party liability and first-party liability coverages, this insurance does not cover the Funds and, with regard to covered entities, may not be sufficient to protect us against all losses. In addition, contractual remedies may not be available with respect to Service Providers or may prove inadequate if available (e.g., because of limits on the liability of the Service Providers) to protect the Funds against all losses.
Selling Agents, other financial intermediaries, and issuers of, and counterparties to, the Funds’ investments also may be adversely impacted by Systems failures and cybersecurity breaches in their own businesses, subjecting them to the risks described herein, as well as other additional or enhanced risks particular to their businesses, which could result in losses to the Funds and their shareholders. Issuers of securities or other instruments in which the Funds invest may also experience System failures or cybersecurity breaches, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause the Funds’ investment in such issuers to lose money.
Depositary Receipts Risk. Depositary receipts are receipts issued by a bank or trust company reflecting ownership of underlying securities issued by foreign companies. Some foreign securities are traded in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Depositary receipts involve risks similar to the risks associated with investments in foreign securities, including those associated with investing in the particular country of an issuer, which may be related to the particular political, regulatory, economic, social and other conditions or events occurring in the country and fluctuations in its currency, as well as market risk tied to the underlying foreign company. In addition, ADR holders may have limited voting rights, may not have the same rights afforded typical company stockholders in the event of a corporate action such as an acquisition, merger or rights offering and may experience difficulty in receiving company stockholder communications. A potential conflict of interest exists to the extent that the Fund invests in ADRs for which the Fund's custodian serves as depository bank.
Derivatives Risk. Derivatives may involve significant risks. Derivatives are financial instruments, traded on an exchange or in the over-the-counter (OTC) markets, with a value in relation to, or derived from, the value of an underlying asset(s) (such as a security, commodity or currency) or other reference, such as an index, rate or other economic indicator (each an underlying reference). Derivatives may include those that are privately placed or otherwise exempt from SEC registration, including that certain Rule 144A eligible securities may be derivatives. Derivatives could result in Fund losses if the underlying references do not perform as anticipated. Use of derivatives is a highly specialized activity that can involve investment techniques, risks, and tax planning different from those associated with more traditional investment instruments. A Fund’s derivatives strategy may not be successful and use of certain derivatives could result in substantial, potentially unlimited, losses to the Fund regardless of the Fund’s actual investment. A relatively small movement in the price, rate or other economic indicator associated with the underlying reference may result in substantial loss for the Fund. Derivatives may be more volatile than other types of investments. Derivatives can increase the Fund’s risk exposure to underlying references and their attendant risks, including the risk of an adverse credit event associated with the underlying reference (credit risk), the risk of adverse movement in the value,
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price or rate of the underlying reference (market risk), the risk of adverse movement in the value of underlying currencies (foreign currency risk) and the risk of adverse movement in underlying interest rates (interest rate risk). Derivatives may expose the Fund to additional risks, including the risk of loss because a derivative position is imperfectly correlated with the underlying reference it is intended to hedge or replicate (correlation risk), the risk that a counterparty will fail to perform as agreed (counterparty risk), the risk that a hedging strategy may fail to mitigate losses, and may offset gains (hedging risk), the risk that losses may be greater than the amount invested (leverage risk), the risk that the Fund may be unable to sell an investment at an advantageous time or price (liquidity risk), the risk that the investment may be difficult to value (pricing risk), and the risk that the price or value of the investment fluctuates significantly over short periods of time (volatility risk). The value of derivatives may be influenced by a variety of factors, including national and international political and economic developments. Potential changes to the regulation of the derivatives markets may make derivatives more costly, may limit the market for derivatives, or may otherwise adversely affect the value or performance of derivatives.
Derivatives Risk – Forward Contracts Risk. A forward contract is an over-the-counter derivative transaction between two parties to buy or sell a specified amount of an underlying reference at a specified price (or rate) on a specified date in the future. Forward contracts are negotiated on an individual basis and are not standardized or traded on exchanges. The market for forward contracts is substantially unregulated (there is no limit on daily price movements and speculative position limits are not applicable). The principals who deal in certain forward contract markets are not required to continue to make markets in the underlying references in which they trade and these markets can experience periods of illiquidity, sometimes of significant duration. There have been periods during which certain participants in forward contract markets have refused to quote prices for certain underlying references or have quoted prices with an unusually wide spread between the price at which they were prepared to buy and that at which they were prepared to sell. At or prior to maturity of a forward contract, the Fund may enter into an offsetting contract and may incur a loss to the extent there has been adverse movement in forward contract prices. The liquidity of the markets for forward contracts depends on participants entering into offsetting transactions rather than making or taking delivery. To the extent participants make or take delivery, liquidity in the market for forwards could be reduced. A relatively small price movement in a forward contract may result in substantial losses to the Fund, exceeding the amount of the margin paid. Forward contracts can increase the Fund’s risk exposure to underlying references and their attendant risks, such as credit risk, market risk, foreign currency risk and interest rate risk, while also exposing the Fund to correlation risk, counterparty risk, hedging risk, leverage risk, liquidity risk, pricing risk and volatility risk.
A forward foreign currency contract is a derivative (forward contract) in which the underlying reference is a country's or region’s currency. The Fund may agree to buy or sell a country's or region’s currency at a specific price on a specific date in the future. These instruments may fall in value (sometimes dramatically) due to foreign market downswings or foreign currency value fluctuations, subjecting the Fund to foreign currency risk (the risk that Fund performance may be negatively impacted by foreign currency strength or weakness relative to the U.S. dollar, particularly if the Fund exposes a significant percentage of its assets to currencies other than the U.S. dollar). The effectiveness of any currency hedging strategy by a Fund may be reduced by the Fund’s inability to precisely match forward contract amounts and the value of securities involved. Forward foreign currency contracts used for hedging may also limit any potential gain that might result from an increase or decrease in the value of the currency. The Fund may use these instruments to gain leveraged exposure to currencies, which is a speculative investment practice that increases the Fund's risk exposure and the possibility of losses. Unanticipated changes in the currency markets could result in reduced performance for the Fund. When the Fund converts its foreign currencies into U.S. dollars, it may incur currency conversion costs due to the spread between the prices at which it may buy and sell various currencies in the market.
A forward interest rate agreement is a derivative whereby the buyer locks in an interest rate at a future settlement date. If the interest rate on the settlement date exceeds the lock rate, the buyer pays the seller the difference between the two rates (based on the notional value of the agreement). If the lock rate exceeds the interest rate on the settlement date, the seller pays the buyer the difference between the two rates (based on the notional value of the agreement). The Fund may act as a buyer or a seller.
Derivatives Risk – Futures Contracts Risk. A futures contract is an exchange-traded derivative transaction between two parties in which a buyer (holding the “long” position) agrees to pay a fixed price (or rate) at a specified future date for delivery of an underlying reference from a seller (holding the “short” position). The seller hopes that the market price on the delivery date is less than the agreed upon price, while the buyer hopes for the contrary. Certain futures contract markets are highly volatile, and futures contracts may be illiquid. Futures exchanges may limit fluctuations in futures contract prices by imposing a maximum permissible daily price movement. The Fund may be disadvantaged if it is prohibited from executing a trade outside the daily permissible price movement. At or prior to maturity of a futures contract, the Fund may enter into an offsetting contract and may incur a loss to the extent there has been adverse movement in futures contract prices. The liquidity of the futures markets depends on participants entering into offsetting transactions rather than making or taking delivery. To the extent participants make or take delivery, liquidity in the futures market could be reduced. Positions in futures contracts may be closed out only on the exchange on which they were entered into or through a linked exchange, and no secondary market exists for such contracts. Futures positions are marked to market each day and variation margin payment must be paid to or by the Fund. Because of the low margin deposits normally required in futures trading, a high degree of leverage is typical of a futures trading account. As a
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result, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in substantial losses to the Fund, exceeding the amount of the margin paid. For certain types of futures contracts, losses are potentially unlimited. Futures markets are highly volatile and the use of futures may increase the volatility of the Fund’s net asset value. Futures contracts executed on foreign exchanges may not provide the same protection as U.S. exchanges. Futures contracts can increase the Fund’s risk exposure to underlying references and their attendant risks, such as credit risk, market risk, foreign currency risk and interest rate risk, while also exposing the Fund to correlation risk, counterparty risk, hedging risk, leverage risk, liquidity risk, pricing risk and volatility risk.
A bond (or debt instrument) future is a derivative that is an agreement for the contract holder to buy or sell a bond or other debt instrument, a basket of bonds or other debt instrument, or the bonds or other debt instruments in an index on a specified date at a predetermined price. The buyer (long position) of a bond future is obliged to buy the underlying reference at the agreed price on expiry of the future.
A commodity-linked future is a derivative that is an agreement to buy or sell one or more commodities (such as crude oil, gasoline and natural gas), basket of commodities or indices of commodity futures at a specific date in the future at a specific price.
A currency future , also an FX future or foreign exchange future, is a derivative that is an agreement to exchange one currency for another at a specified date in the future at a price (exchange rate) that is fixed on the purchase date.
An equity future is a derivative that is an agreement for the contract holder to buy or sell a specified amount of an individual equity, a basket of equities or the securities in an equity index on a specified date at a predetermined price.
An interest rate future is a derivative that is an agreement whereby the buyer and seller agree to the future delivery of an interest-bearing instrument on a specific date at a pre-determined price. Examples include Treasury-bill futures, Treasury-bond futures and Eurodollar futures.
Derivatives Risk – Inverse Floaters Risk. Inverse variable or floating rate obligations, sometimes referred to as inverse floaters, are a type of over-the-counter derivative debt instrument with a variable or floating coupon rate that moves in the opposite direction of an underlying reference, typically short-term interest rates. As short-term interest rates go down, the holders of the inverse floaters receive more income and, as short-term interest rates go up, the holders of the inverse floaters receive less income. Variable rate securities provide for a specified periodic adjustment in the coupon rate, while floating rate securities have a coupon rate that changes whenever there is a change in a designated benchmark index or the issuer’s credit rating. While inverse floaters tend to provide more income than similar term and credit quality fixed-rate bonds, they also exhibit greater volatility in price movement, which could result in significant losses for the Fund. An inverse floater may have the effect of investment leverage to the extent that its coupon rate varies by a magnitude that exceeds the magnitude of the change in the index or reference rate of interest, which could result in increased losses for the Fund. There is a risk that the current interest rate on variable and floating rate instruments may not accurately reflect current market interest rates or adequately compensate the holder for the current creditworthiness of the issuer. Some inverse floaters are structured with liquidity features and may include market-dependent liquidity features that may expose the Fund to greater liquidity risk. Inverse floaters can increase the Fund’s risk exposure to underlying references and their attendant risks, such as credit risk, market risk, foreign currency risk and interest rate risk, while also exposing the Fund to correlation risk, counterparty risk, hedging risk, leverage risk, liquidity risk, pricing risk and volatility risk.
Derivatives Risk – Options Risk. Options are derivatives that give the purchaser the option to buy (call) or sell (put) an underlying asset to a counterparty at a specified price (the strike price) on or before an expiration date. The Fund may purchase or write (i.e., sell) put and call options on an underlying reference it is otherwise permitted to invest in. By investing in options, the Fund is exposed to the risk that it may be required to buy or sell the underlying reference at a disadvantageous price on or before the expiration date. If the Fund sells a put option, the Fund may be required to buy the underlying reference at a strike price that is above market price, resulting in a loss. If the Fund sells a call option, the Fund may be required to sell the underlying reference at a strike price that is below market price, resulting in a loss. If the Fund sells a call option that is not covered (it does not own the underlying reference), the Fund's losses are potentially unlimited. Options may involve economic leverage, which could result in greater volatility in price movement. Options may be traded on a securities exchange or in the over-the-counter market. At or prior to maturity of an options contract, the Fund may enter into an offsetting contract and may incur a loss to the extent there has been adverse movement in options prices. Options can increase the Fund’s risk exposure to underlying references and their attendant risks such as credit risk, market risk, foreign currency risk and interest rate risk, while also exposing the Fund to correlation risk, counterparty risk, hedging risk, leverage risk, liquidity risk, pricing risk and volatility risk.
Derivatives Risk – Structured Investments Risk. Structured investments are over-the-counter derivatives that provide principal and/or interest payments based on the value of an underlying reference(s). Structured investments typically provide interest income, thereby offering a potential yield advantage over investing directly in an underlying reference. Structured investments may lack a liquid secondary market and their prices or value can be volatile which could result in significant losses for the Fund.
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In some cases, depending on its terms, a structured investment may provide that principal and/or interest payments may be adjusted below zero resulting in a potential loss of principal and/or interest payments. Additionally, the particular terms of a structured investment may create economic leverage by requiring payment by the issuer of an amount that is a multiple of the price change of the underlying reference. Economic leverage will increase the volatility of structured investment prices, and could result in increased losses for the Fund. The Fund’s use of structured instruments may not work as intended. If structured investments are used to reduce the duration of the Fund’s portfolio, this may limit the Fund’s return when having a longer duration would be beneficial (for instance, when interest rates decline). Structured investments can increase the Fund’s risk exposure to underlying references and their attendant risks, such as credit risk, market risk, foreign currency risk and interest rate risk, while also exposing the Fund to correlation risk, counterparty risk, hedging risk, leverage risk, liquidity risk, pricing risk and volatility risk.
Structured investments include collateralized debt obligations which are debt instruments that are collateralized by the underlying cash flows of a pool of financial assets or receivables.
A commodity-linked structured note is a derivative (structured investment) that has principal and/or interest payments based on the market price of one or more particular commodities (such as crude oil, gasoline and natural gas), a basket of commodities, indices of commodity futures or other economic variable. If payment of interest on a commodity-linked structured note is linked to the value of a particular commodity, basket of commodities, commodity index or other economic variable, the Fund might receive lower interest payments (or not receive any of the interest due) on its investments if there is a loss of value of the underlying reference. Further, to the extent that the amount of principal to be repaid upon maturity is linked to the value of a particular commodity, basket of commodities, commodity index or other economic variable, the Fund might not receive a portion (or any) of the principal at maturity of the investmen