The Fund generally invests in companies that are within the same market capitalization range at the time of investment as those included in the Russell 2000® Growth Index.
All investments, including those in mutual funds, have risks. No investment is suitable for all investors. The Fund is intended for long-term investors who can accept the risks involved in investing in small cap companies. Of course, there can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its objective. You may lose money by investing in the Fund. Below are the main risks of investing in the Fund:
The Fund is subject to market risk, which is the possibility that stock prices overall will decline over short or long periods. Stock markets tend to move in cycles, with periods of rising prices and periods of falling prices. These fluctuations are expected to have a substantial influence on the value of the Fund’s shares.
Growth stocks are typically priced higher than other stocks, in relation to earnings and other measures, because investors believe they have more growth potential. This potential may or may not be realized and, if it is not realized, may result in a loss to the Fund. Growth stock prices also tend to be more volatile than the overall market.
The Fund invests in companies that are smaller, less established, with limited operating histories and less liquid markets for their stock, and therefore may be riskier investments. While small-sized companies generally have the potential for rapid growth, the securities of these companies often involve greater risks than investments in larger, more established companies because small-sized companies may lack the management experience, financial resources, product diversification and competitive strengths of larger companies. In addition, in many instances the securities of small companies are traded only over-the-counter or on a regional securities exchange, and the frequency and volume of their trading is substantially less than is typical of larger companies. The value of securities of smaller, less well known issuers can be more volatile than that of larger issuers.
The Fund may also invest in the securities of micro-cap companies, which may be more volatile in price, have wider spreads between their bid and ask prices, and have significantly lower trading volumes than the securities of larger capitalization companies. As a result, the purchase or sale of more than a limited number of shares of the securities of a smaller company may affect its market price. The Fund may need a considerable amount of time to purchase or sell its positions in these securities. Some U.S. micro-cap companies are followed by few, if any, securities analysts, and there tends to be less publicly available information about such companies. Their securities generally have even more limited trading volumes and are subject to even more abrupt or erratic market price movements than are small-cap and mid-cap securities, and the Fund may be able to deal with only a few market-makers when purchasing and selling micro-cap securities. Such companies also may have limited markets, financial resources or product lines, may lack management depth, and may be more vulnerable to adverse business or market developments. These conditions, which create greater opportunities to find securities trading well below the investment adviser’s estimate of the company’s current worth, also involve increased risk.
The Fund’s overall risk level will depend on the market sectors in which the Fund is invested. Because the Fund may have significant weightings in a particular company, industry or market sector, the value of Fund shares may be affected by events that adversely affect that company, industry or market sector and may fluctuate more than that of a less focused fund.
To the extent the Fund invests more heavily in particular sectors of the economy, its performance will be especially sensitive to developments that significantly affect those sectors.
Because the Fund has a significant allocation to the consumer discretionary sector, it may be vulnerable to setbacks in the industries in that sector. The success of consumer product manufacturers and retailers is tied closely to the performance of domestic and international economies, interest rates, exchange rates, competition, consumer confidence, changes in demographics and consumer preferences. Companies in the consumer discretionary sector depend heavily on disposable household income and consumer spending, and may be strongly affected by social trends and marketing campaigns. These companies may be subject to severe competition, which may have an adverse impact on their profitability.
Because the Fund has a significant allocation to the health care sector, it may be vulnerable to setbacks in the industries in that sector. Health care companies may be negatively affected by scientific or technological developments, research and development costs, increased competition within the health care sector, rapid product obsolescence and patent expirations. The price of securities of health care companies may fluctuate widely due to changes in legislation or other government regulations, including uncertainty regarding health care reform and its long term impact, reductions in government funding and the unpredictability of winning government approvals.
Because the Fund has a significant allocation to the information technology sector, it may be vulnerable to setbacks in the industries in that sector. Generally, the companies in this sector develop, produce or distribute products or services related to computer hardware, software, semi-conductors and electronics. Technology companies may be vulnerable to market saturation and rapid product obsolescence. Many technology companies operate in a constantly changing environment and have limited business lines and limited financial resources, making them highly vulnerable to business and economic risks. In addition, technology company securities may be subject to abrupt or erratic market movements, management that is dependent on a limited number of people, short product cycles, changing consumer preferences, aggressive pricing of products and services, new market entrants and dependency on patent protection.
It is anticipated that the Fund will experience high rates of portfolio turnover, which may result in payment by the Fund of above-average transaction costs and could result in the payment by shareholders of taxes on aboveaverage amounts of realized investment gains, including net short-term capital gains, which are taxed as ordinary income for federal income tax purposes.
How the Fund’s investment adviser manages the Fund will impact the Fund’s performance. The Fund may lose money if the investment adviser’s investment strategy does not achieve the Fund’s objective or the investment adviser does not implement the strategy successfully.
The performance data shown represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. Principal value and investment returns will fluctuate so that investors' shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Performance data represents the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions). Average annual total return reflects annualized change. Since Fund performance is subject to change after the month-end, please call (800) 560-6111 or view our daily NAVs for more current performance information.
Please consider the investment objectives, risks, fees and expenses of the Fund carefully prior to investing. The prospectus and summary prospectus contain this and other important information about the Fund. To obtain a copy of the prospectus/summary prospectus, please call (800) 560-6111. Please read the prospectus and summary prospectus carefully before investing.
Foreside Financial Services, LLC, Distributor
† Represents the Annual Fund Operating Expenses as disclosed in the current prospectus dated April 30, 2023. It is important to understand that a decline in the Fund’s average net assets due to unprecedented market volatility or other factors could cause the Fund’s expense ratio for the current fiscal year to be higher than the expense information presented. A shareholder may be required to pay a commission to their financial intermediary.
* To view the Index definitions, see the Index Definitions.