Investment Risk. An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest.
Equity Risk. A principal risk of investing in the Fund is equity risk, which is the risk that the value of the securities held by the Fund will fall due to general market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate or factors relating to specific companies in which the Fund invests. For example, an adverse event, such as an unfavorable earnings report, may depress the value of equity securities of an issuer held by the Fund; the price of common stock of an issuer may be particularly sensitive to general movements in the stock market; or a drop in the stock market may depress the price of most or all of the common stocks and other equity securities held by the Fund. In addition, common stock of an issuer in the Fund’s portfolio may decline in price if the issuer fails to make anticipated dividend payments because, among other reasons, the issuer of the security experiences a decline in its financial condition. Common stock is subordinated to preferred stocks, bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure, in terms of priority to corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater dividend risk than preferred stocks or debt instruments of such issuers. In addition, while broad market measures of common stocks have historically generated higher average returns than fixed income securities, common stocks have also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns.
Foreign Investment Risk. The Fund’s investments in non-U.S. issuers may involve unique risks compared to investing in securities of U.S. issuers, including, among others, less liquidity generally, greater market volatility than U.S. securities and less complete financial information than for U.S. issuers. In addition, adverse political, economic or social developments could undermine the value of the Fund’s investments or prevent the Fund from realizing the full value of its investments. Financial reporting standards for companies based in foreign markets differ from those in the United States. Further, the value of the currency of the country in which the Fund has invested could decline relative to the value of the U.S. dollar, which may affect the value of the investment to U.S. investors. The Fund will not enter into transactions to hedge against declines in the value of the Fund’s assets that are denominated in a foreign currency.
Emerging Markets Risk. The Fund may invest in securities and instruments that are economically tied to emerging market countries. Emerging market countries are countries that major international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, generally consider to be less economically mature than developed nations. Emerging market countries can include every nation in the world except the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and most countries located in Western Europe. Investing in foreign countries, particularly emerging market countries, entails the risk that news and events unique to a country or region will affect those markets and their issuers. Countries with emerging markets may have relatively unstable governments, may present the risks of nationalization of businesses, restrictions on foreign ownership and prohibitions on the repatriation of assets. The economies of emerging markets countries also may be based on only a few industries, making them more vulnerable to changes in local or global trade conditions and more sensitive to debt burdens or inflation rates. Local securities markets may trade a small number of securities and may be unable to respond effectively to increases in trading volume, potentially making prompt liquidation of holdings difficult or impossible at times. To the extent a substantial portion of the Underlying Index consists of securities from underling issuers located in particular geographic areas, natural disasters, such as volcano eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, epidemics, or other such events, could have significant impact on the performance and/or risk of the Fund.
Small- and Mid- Capitalization Company Risk. Investments in securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies are subject to the risks of common stocks. Investments in smaller companies may involve greater risks because these companies generally have a limited track record. Smaller companies often have narrower markets, more limited managerial and financial resources and a less diversified product offering than larger, more established companies. As a result, their performance can be more volatile, which may increase the volatility of the Fund’s portfolio.
Large-Capitalization Company Risk. Large-capitalization companies may be unable to respond as quickly as smaller companies to competitive challenges. Larger companies also tend not to be able to maintain the high growth rates of well-managed smaller companies, especially during strong economic periods. Also, larger companies may fall out of favor with the investing public as a result of market, political and economic conditions, including for reasons unrelated to their businesses or economic fundamentals.
Concentration Risk. The Fund seeks to track the Underlying Index, which itself may have concentration in certain regions, economies, countries, markets, industries or sectors. To the extent that the Underlying Index concentrates in the securities of issuers in a particular region, economy, country, market, industry or sector, the Fund will also concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. By concentrating its investments in an industry or sector, the Fund faces more risks than if it were diversified broadly over numerous industries or sectors. In addition, at times, such region, economy, country, market, industry or sector may be out of favor and underperform other regions, economies, countries, markets, industries, sectors or the market as a whole.
Risks of Investing in the Water Industry. The Fund’s investments in the water industry may underperform relative to the general market, returns on investments in other sectors or fixed-income securities. The water industry can be significantly affected by the availability of water, the level of rainfall and the occurrence of other climactic and environmental events, changes in water consumption and water conservation. Furthermore, because the Fund will focus its investments in tracking just the water industry, economic downturns and global and domestic events affecting the water industry will have a greater impact on the Fund than would be the case if the Fund’s investments were more diversified. These events may include governmental regulation and institutional change, inflation, an increase in the cost of raw materials, an increase in interest rates, technological advances, changes in consumer sentiment and spending and changes in government spending.
Energy Sector Risk. To the extent that the Fund’s investments are exposed to issuers conducting business in the energy sector, the Fund is subject to legislative or regulatory changes, adverse market conditions and/or increased competition affecting the energy and energy commodities sectors. The prices of the securities of companies operating in the energy sector and energy sector commodities may fluctuate widely due to changes in value and dividend yield, which depend largely on the price and supply of energy fuels, international political events relating to oil producing countries, energy conservation, the success of exploration projects, and tax and other governmental regulatory policies.
Industrials Sector Risk. Stock prices for the types of companies included in the industrial sector are affected by supply and demand both for their specific product or service and for industrial sector products in general. Government regulation, world events and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities will likewise affect the performance of these companies.
Utilities Sector Risk. Stock prices for companies in the utilities sector are affected by supply and demand, operating costs, governmental regulation, environmental factors, liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities, and rate caps or rate changes. Utility companies also are vulnerable to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, government intervention or other factors may render a utility company’s equipment unusable or obsolete and negatively impact profitability. Among the risks that may affect utility companies are the following: risks of increases in fuel and other operating costs; the high cost of borrowing to finance capital construction during inflationary periods; restrictions on operations and increased costs and delays associated with compliance with federal and state safety regulations; and the effects of energy conservation and regulatory changes.
Non-Correlation Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Underlying Index for a number of reasons. Such divergence is often referred to as “tracking error.” Tracking error may occur because of differences between the securities or other instruments held in the Fund’s portfolio and those included in the Underlying Index, pricing differences, transaction costs, the Fund’s holding of uninvested cash, differences in timing of the accrual of dividends or interest, tax gains or losses, changes to the Underlying Index or the need to meet various new or existing regulatory requirements. Tracking error also may result because the Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the Underlying Index does not. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions.
Issuer Specific Risk. The value of an individual security or particular type of security can be more volatile than the market as a whole and can perform differently from the value of the market as a whole. The value of securities of smaller issues can be more volatile than that of larger issues.
Non-Diversified Fund Risk. The Fund is considered non-diversified and can invest a greater portion of assets in securities of individual issuers than a diversified fund. As a result, changes in the market value of a single investment could cause greater fluctuations in share price than would occur in a diversified fund.
Fluctuation of Net Asset Value. The net asset value (“NAV”) of the Fund’s Shares will generally fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings. The market prices of the Shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV as well as the relative supply of and demand for Shares on NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “NYSE Arca”). The Adviser cannot predict whether the Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for the Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the stocks of the Underlying Index trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time.
Passive Management Risk. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund is not “actively” managed. Therefore, it would not necessarily sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble unless that security is removed from the Underlying Index.