|Closing Market Price||$9.89|
|52-week Average Premium/Discount||-4.50%|
|Current Distribution Rate 1, 2||4.85%|
|Quarterly Distribution Per Share2||$0.12000|
|Common Shares Outstanding||48,390,478|
|52 Week High/Low Market Price||$10.24/$5.34|
|52 Week High/Low NAV||$9.14/$6.17|
|Intraday Trading Information||NYSE|
|Closing Market Price||$9.89|
|Total Managed Assets||$618,707,445|
|52-Week Average Premium/Discount||-4.50%|
|Investment Adviser||Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC|
|Portfolio Manager/Sub-Adviser||Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC|
|Expense Ratio (Common Shares)4||2.01%|
|Portfolio Turnover Rate||34%|
|Inception Market Price||$20.00|
|1940 Act Asset Coverage Ratio||327.36%|
|Since Inception (8/25/05)||6.44%||5.56%|
Performance data quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results, and current performance may be lower or higher than the figures shown. Since Inception returns assume a purchase of common shares at each Fund’s initial offering price for market price returns or the Fund’s initial net asset value (NAV) for NAV returns. Returns for periods of less than one year are not annualized. All distributions are assumed to be reinvested either in accordance with the dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) for market price returns or NAV for NAV returns. Until the DRIP price is available from the Plan Agent, the market price returns reflect the reinvestment at the closing market price on the last business day of the month. Once the DRIP is available around mid-month, the market price returns are updated to reflect reinvestment at the DRIP price. All returns include the deduction of management fees, operating expenses and all other fund expenses, and do not reflect the deduction of brokerage commissions or taxes that investors may pay on distributions or the sale of shares. Please refer to the most recent annual or semi-annual report for additional information.
Distributions are not guaranteed and are subject to change.
1 Latest declared distribution per share annualized and divided by the current share price.
2 Distributions may be paid from sources of income other than ordinary income, such as short term capital gains, long term capital gains or return of capital. If a distribution consists of something other than ordinary income, a 19(a) notice detailing the anticipated source(s) of the distribution will be made available. The 19(a) notice will be posted to the Fund’s website and to the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation so that brokers can distribute such notices to Shareholders of the Fund. Section 19(a) notices are provided for informational purposes only and not for tax reporting purposes. The final determination of the source and tax characteristics of all distributions in a particular year will be made after the end of the year. This information is not legal or tax advice. Consult a professional regarding your specific legal or tax matters.
3 Represents the amount of financial leverage the Fund currently employs as a percentage of total Fund assets.
4 Expense ratios are annualized and reflect the Fund’s operating expense, including interest expense, or in the case of a fund with a fee waiver, net operating expense, as of the most recent annual or semi-annual report. The expense ratio, based on common assets, excluding interest expense was 1.40%.
The Fund's investment objective is to seek a high level of current income and gains with a secondary objective of long-term capital appreciation. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in equity securities. GPIM will manage the Fund utilizing a covered call strategy developed by GPIM to seek to utilize efficiencies from the tax characteristics of the Fund's portfolio. GPIM's covered call strategy will seek to follow a dynamic rules-based methodology to obtain broadly diversified exposure to the equity markets, either through investments that replicate the economic characteristics of broadly diversified exposure to the equity markets, including exchange-traded funds or other investment funds that track equity market indices, or through investments in individual common stocks along with other securities and instruments. The Fund will have the ability to write call options on indices and/or securities which will typically be at- or out-of-the money. GPIM's strategy typically targets one-month options, although options of any strike price or maturity may be utilized.
The Fund will seek to earn income and gains through both dividends paid by on securities owned by the Fund and cash premiums received from selling options. Although the Fund will receive premiums from the options written, by writing a covered call option, the Fund forgoes any potential increase in value of the underlying securities above the strike price specified in an option contract through the expiration date of the option. To the extent GPIM's strategy seeks to achieve broad equity exposure through a portfolio of common stocks, the Fund would hold a diversified portfolio of stocks, whereas to the extent GPIM's equity exposure strategy is implemented through investment in broad-based equity exchange-traded funds and other investment funds or instruments, the Fund's portfolio may comprise fewer holdings.
For periodic shareholder reports and recent fund-specific filings, please visit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) website via the following: GPM SEC Filings
Prior to market open on March 20th, 2017, the assets of Guggenheim Enhanced Equity Strategy Fund (GGE) and Guggenheim Equal Weight Enhanced Equity Income Fund (GEQ) were merged into the Guggenheim Enhanced Equity Income Fund (GPM). For details, please see the press release.
Historically, GGE, GEQ and GPM have declared and paid quarterly distributions on different schedules. After the completion of the mergers, GPM is expected to continue to declare and pay its quarterly dividend each March, June, September and December, until modified by the Fund’s Board of Trustees.
The mergers of GGE and GEQ into GPM were completed on March 20, 2017, after the ex-dividend and record dates of GPM’s first quarterly 2017 distribution (March 13 and March 15, respectively). Prior to the mergers, GEQ paid its first quarter distribution in January and GGE paid its first quarter distribution in February.
The overall effect of the mergers is that shareholders of GGE, GEQ and GPM, respectively, are expected to receive a total of four quarterly distributions in 2017, if they were shareholders of record throughout the year. Distributions are not guaranteed and are subject to change at the discretion of the Fund’s Board of Trustees.
An open-end fund may be purchased or sold at NAV, plus sales charge in some cases. An open-end fund will issue new shares when an investor wants to purchases shares in the fund and will sell assets to redeem shares when an investor wants to sell shares. When selling an open-end fund the price the seller receives is established at the close of the market when the NAV is calculated. Unlike the open-end fund, a closed-end fund has a limited number of shares outstanding and trades on an exchange at the market price based on supply and demand. An investor may purchase or sell shares at market price while the exchange is open. The common shares may trade at a discount or premium to the NAV.
Every quarter the Fund pays dividends and those investors who purchase the Fund before the ex-dividend date will receive the next dividend distribution. Investors who purchase on or after the ex-dividend date will not receive the next dividend distribution. The value of the dividend is subtracted from the Fund's NAV on the ex-dividend date each quarter. So when the NAV is reported with an "ex-div" behind it, this means that the amount of the dividend has already been taken out of the NAV.
DRIP is the Dividend Reinvestment Plan. The DRIP price is the cost per share for all participants in the reinvestment plan. The DRIP price is determined by one of two scenarios. One, if the Common Shares are trading at a discount, the DRIP price is the weighted average cost to purchase the Common Shares from the NYSE or elsewhere. Lastly, if the Common Shares are trading at a premium, the DRIP price is the determined either the higher of the NAV or approximately 95% of the Common Share price.
Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC
227 West Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60606
Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC
100 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 500
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Mr. Sharaff joined the Sub-Adviser in 2009 and is the Assistant Chief Investment Officer, Equities. Mr. Sharaff has more than 20 years of experience in investment research and investment management. Prior to joining the Sub-Adviser, he was a Partner and Chief Investment Officer at MJX Capital Advisors, a wealth management firm focused on providing advice and investment management for its clients, especially in the traditional and alternative asset classes. Prior to that, Mr. Sharaff served as the global Chief Investment Officer at CIGNA Corporation, Zurich Scudder Investments and Citigroup. In all of the above engagements, Mr. Sharaff was responsible for research, investment management, product development and investment risk management. He was also a member of the business management teams at Citigroup and Zurich Scudder. Mr. Sharaff has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Aston (U.K.) and an MBA in Finance from the Manchester Business School (U.K.). In addition, Mr. Sharaff sits on boards for CITIC Capital Asset Management, Clarfeld Financial Advisors, and Transparent Value Trust.
Mr. Yan joined the Sub-Adviser in 2005, and serves as Managing Director and Portfolio Manager in equity and equity derivative strategies. In addition to his portfolio management responsibilities, Mr. Yan works closely with institutional clients in developing and implementing customized risk management solutions. Mr. Yan earned his M.S. in Statistics from Yale University, and his B.S. in Mathematics from Cambridge University.
Mr. Cheeseman joined the Sub-Adviser in 2011 as a Senior Research Analyst covering Equity Derivatives and Liquid Alternatives. Through the lens of derivatives, he researches and implements the firm’s macroeconomic views in the derivative markets; designing new systematic, absolute return strategies; and covering cross asset derivative trends. For six years prior to joining Guggenheim Partners, he was a research analyst covering equity and volatility derivatives at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Mr. Cheeseman holds an MS in Mathematical Finance from the Courant Institute at NYU and BAs in Mathematics and Economics from the University of California, San Diego.
Mr. Hollowell is a Portfolio Manager of Enhanced Equity Strategies at Guggenheim Partners. Mr. Hollowell joined Guggenheim in 2013 as the Senior Research Analyst on the Investment Research Team. Prior to joining Guggenheim, Mr. Hollowell worked at Goldman Sachs for six years as a Macro Portfolio Manager in the internal hedge fund – Principal Strategies. Mr. Hollowell holds a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Georgetown University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Mr. Hollowell is also a charter holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Market Technician (CMT), and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations.
Investors should consider the following risk factors and special considerations associated with investing in the Fund. Investors should be aware that in light of the current uncertainty, volatility and distress in economies, financial markets, and labor and public health conditions over the world, the risks below are heightened significantly compared to normal conditions and therefore subject the Fund’s investments and a shareholder’s investment in the Fund to elevated investment risk, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount invested.
Not a Complete Investment Program
The Fund is intended for investors seeking a high level of after-tax total return, with an emphasis on current distributions paid to shareholders, over the long term. The Fund is not meant to provide a vehicle for those who wish to play short-term swings in the stock market. An investment in the Common Shares of the Fund should not be considered a complete investment program. Each Common Shareholder should take into account the Fund’s investment objective as well as the Common Shareholder’s other investments when considering an investment in the Fund.
Investment and Market Risk
An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk, particularly under current economic, financial, labor and public health conditions, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest. An investment in the Common Shares of the Fund represents an indirect investment in the securities owned by the Fund. The value of, or income generated by, the investments held by the Fund are subject to the possibility of rapid and unpredictable fluctuation. These movements may result from factors affecting individual companies, or from broader influences, including real or perceived changes in prevailing interest rates, changes in inflation or expectations about inflation, investor confidence or economic, political, social or financial market conditions, natural/environmental disasters, cyber attacks, terrorism, governmental or quasi-governmental actions, public health emergencies (such as the spread of infectious diseases, pandemics and epidemics) and other similar events, that each of which may be temporary or last for extended periods. For example, interest rates and bond yields may fall as a result of types of events, including responses by governmental entities to such events, which would magnify the Fund’s fixed-income instruments’ susceptibility to interest rate risk and diminish their yield and performance, and equity securities may be particularly vulnerable to volatility and other adverse developments.
Different sectors, industries and security types may react differently to such developments and, when the market performs well, there is no assurance that the Fund’s investments will increase in value along with the broader markets. Volatility of financial markets, including potentially extreme volatility caused by the events described above, can expose the Fund to greater market risk than normal, possibly resulting in greatly reduced liquidity. Moreover, changing economic, political, social or financial market conditions in one country or geographic region could adversely affect the value, yield and return of the investments held by the Fund in a different country or geographic region because of the increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets. The Adviser and Sub-Adviser potentially could be prevented from considering, managing and executing investment decisions at an advantageous time or price or at all as a result of any domestic or global market or other disruptions, particularly disruptions causing heightened market volatility and reduced market liquidity, such as the current conditions, which have also resulted in impediments to the normal functioning of workforces, including personnel and systems of the Fund’s service providers and market intermediaries.
At any point in time, your Common Shares may be worth less than your original investment, including the reinvestment of Fund dividends and distributions.
The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. In acting as the Fund's sub-adviser, responsible for management of the Fund's portfolio securities, the Sub-Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results.
Equity Securities Risk
Common equity securities prices fluctuate for a number of reasons, including changes in investors’ perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer, the general condition of the relevant stock market and broader domestic and international political and economic events. The prices of common equity securities are also sensitive to general movements in the stock market, so a drop in the stock market may depress the prices of common equity securities to which the Fund has exposure. While broad market measures of common stocks have historically generated higher average returns than debt securities, common stocks have also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns. Equity securities have experienced heightened volatility over recent periods and therefore, the Fund’s investments in equity securities are subject to heightened risks related to volatility. Common equity securities in which the Fund may invest are structurally subordinated to preferred stock, bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure in terms of priority to corporate income and are therefore inherently more risky than preferred stock or debt instruments of such issuers. Dividends on common equity securities which the Fund may hold are not fixed but are declared at the discretion of an issuer’s board of directors. There is no guarantee that the issuers of the common equity securities in which the Fund invests will declare dividends in the future or that, if declared, they will remain at current levels or increase over time.
Investment Funds Risk
As an alternative to holding investments directly, the Fund may also obtain investment exposure to credit securities and common equity securities by investing in other investment companies (“Investment Funds”). Investments in Investment Funds present certain special considerations and risks not present in making direct investments in credit securities and common equity securities. Investments in Investment Funds involve operating expenses and fees that are in addition to the expenses and fees borne by the Fund. Such expenses and fees attributable to the Fund’s investment in another Investment Fund are borne indirectly by Common Shareholders. Accordingly, investment in such entities involves expense and fee layering. Fees charged by other Investment Funds in which the Fund invests may be similar to the fees charged by the Fund and can include asset-based management fees and administrative fees payable to such entities’ advisers and managers, thus resulting in duplicative fees. To the extent management fees of Investment Funds are based on total gross assets, it may create an incentive for such entities’ managers to employ financial leverage, thereby adding additional expense and increasing volatility and risk. Fees payable to advisers and managers of Investment Funds may include performance-based incentive fees calculated as a percentage of profits. Such incentive fees directly reduce the return that otherwise would have been earned by investors over the applicable period. A performance-based fee arrangement may create incentives for an adviser or manager to take greater investment risks in the hope of earning a higher profit participation. Investments in Investment Funds frequently expose the Fund to an additional layer of financial leverage. Investments in Investment Funds expose the Fund to additional management risk. The success of the Fund’s investments in Investment Funds will depend in large part on the investment skills and implementation abilities of the advisers or managers of such entities. Decisions made by the advisers or managers of such entities may cause the Fund to incur losses or to miss profit opportunities. While the Sub-Adviser will seek to evaluate managers of Investment Funds and where possible independently evaluate the underlying assets, a substantial degree of reliance on such entities’ managers is nevertheless present with such investments.
The Fund may invest in unregistered securities, restricted securities and securities for which there is no readily available trading market or which are otherwise illiquid. The Fund may not be able to readily dispose of illiquid securities and obligations at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell such securities and obligations if they were more widely traded and, as a result of such illiquidity, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations. In addition, market, credit and other events may affect the prices of securities with limited liquidity held by the Fund to a greater extent than such events affect more liquid securities, thereby adversely affecting the Fund’s net asset value and ability to make distributions. Dislocations in certain parts of markets are resulting in reduced liquidity for certain investments. It is uncertain when financial markets will improve. Liquidity of financial markets may also be affected by government intervention.
When Issued, Forward Commitment and Delayed-Delivery Transactions Risk
When-issued, forward-commitment and delayed-delivery transactions involve a commitment to purchase or sell specific securities at a predetermined price or yield in which payment and delivery take place after the customary settlement period for that type of security. When purchasing securities pursuant to one of these transactions, payment for the securities is not required until the delivery date. However, the purchaser assumes the rights and risks of ownership, including the risks of price and yield fluctuations and the risk that the security will not be issued as anticipated. When-issued transactions, delayed delivery purchases and forward commitments involve a risk of loss if the value of the securities declines prior to the settlement date. This risk is in addition to the risk that the Fund’s other assets will decline in value. Therefore, these transactions may result in a form of financial leverage and increase the Fund’s overall investment exposure.
Repurchase Agreements and Reverse Repurchase Agreements Risk
In the event of the insolvency of the counterparty to a repurchase agreement or reverse repurchase agreement, recovery of the repurchase price owed to the Fund or, in the case of a reverse repurchase agreement, the securities or other assets sold by the Fund, may be delayed. Because reverse repurchase agreements may be considered to be the practical equivalent of borrowing funds, they constitute a form of leverage. If the Fund reinvests the proceeds of a reverse repurchase agreement at a rate lower than the cost of the agreement, entering into the agreement will lower the Fund’s yield.
Short Sale Risk
Short selling a security involves selling a borrowed security with the expectation that the value of that security will decline so that the security may be purchased at a lower price when returning the borrowed security. A short exposure through a derivative exposes the Fund to counterparty credit and leverage risks. The risk for loss on a short sale or other short exposure, which, in some cases, may be theoretically unlimited, is greater than a direct investment in the security itself because the price of the borrowed security may rise, thereby increasing the price at which the security must be purchased. Government actions also may affect the Fund’s ability to engage in short selling. Short sales expose the Fund to the risk that it will be required to cover its short position at a time when the securities have appreciated in value, thus resulting in a loss to the Fund. The Fund will ordinarily engage in short sales where it does not own or have the immediate right to acquire the security sold short at no additional cost. The Fund’s loss on a short sale could theoretically be unlimited in a case where the Fund is unable, for whatever reason, to close out its short position. GPIM’s use of short sales in combination with long positions in the Fund’s portfolio in an attempt to improve performance or reduce overall portfolio risk may not be successful and may result in greater losses or lower positive returns than if the Fund held only long positions. It is possible that the Fund’s long equity positions will decline in value at the same time that the value of its short equity positions increase, thereby increasing potential losses to the Fund. In addition, the Fund’s short selling strategies will limit its ability to fully benefit from increases in the equity markets.
In addition to the risks pertaining to real estate investments more generally, REITs are subject to additional risks. The value of a REIT can depend on the structure of and cash flow generated by the REIT. REITs whose investments are concentrated in a limited number or type of properties, investments or narrow geographic area are subject to the risks affecting those properties or areas to a greater extent than a REIT with less concentrated investments. REITs are also subject to certain provisions under federal tax law. In addition, REITs may have expenses, including advisory and administration expenses, and a fund and its shareholders will incur its pro rata share of the underlying expenses.
Securities Lending Risk
The Fund may lend its portfolio securities to banks or dealers which meet the creditworthiness standards established by the Board of Trustees. Securities lending is subject to the risk that loaned securities may not be available to the Fund on a timely basis and the Fund may therefore lose the opportunity to sell the securities at a desirable price. Any loss in the market price of securities loaned by the Fund that occurs during the term of the loan would be borne by the Fund and would adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Also, there may be delays in recovery, or no recovery, of securities loaned or even a loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially while the loan is outstanding.
The Fund could lose money if the issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income or other debt instrument or a counterparty to a derivatives transaction or other transaction is unable or unwilling, or perceived to be unable or unwilling, to pay interest or repay principal on time, defaults or otherwise fails to meet its obligations. Actual or perceived changes in economic, social, public health, financial or political conditions in general or that affect a particular type of instrument, issuer, guarantor or counterparty can reduce the ability of the party to meet its obligations, which can affect the credit quality, liquidity and/or value of an instrument. The value of an instrument also may decline for reasons that relate directly to the issuer, guarantor or counterparty, such as management performance, financial leverage and reduced demand for goods and services. The issuer, guarantor or counterparty could also suffer a rapid decline in credit rating, which would adversely affect the volatility of the value and liquidity of the instrument. Credit ratings may not be an accurate assessment of liquidity or credit risk.
Interest Rate Risk
Fixed-income and other debt instruments are subject to the possibility that interest rates could change. Changes in interest rates may adversely affect the Fund’s investments in these instruments, such as the value or liquidity of, and income generated by, the investments. Interest rates may change as a result of a variety of factors, and the change may be sudden and significant, with unpredictable impacts on the financial markets and the Fund’s investments. Fixed-income and other debt instruments with longer durations are more sensitive to changes in interest rates and, thus, subject to more volatility than similar instruments with shorter durations. Fixed-income and debt market conditions are highly unpredictable and some parts of the market are subject to dislocations. In response to the economic crisis initially caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, as with other serious economic disruptions, governmental authorities and regulators have enacted and are enacting significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including providing direct capital infusions into companies, creating new monetary programs and lowering interest rates considerably. These actions present heightened risks, particularly to fixed-income and debt instruments, and such risks could be even further heightened if these actions are unexpectedly or suddenly discontinued, disrupted, reversed or are ineffective in achieving their desired outcomes or lead to increases in inflation. Generally, when interest rates increase, the values of fixed-income and other debt instruments decline and when interest rates decrease, the values of fixed-income and other debt instruments rise. During periods of rising interest rates, because changes in interest rates on adjustable rate securities may lag behind changes in market rates, the value of such securities may decline until their interest rates reset to market rates. During periods of declining interest rates, because the interest rates on adjustable rate securities generally reset downward, their market value is unlikely to rise to the same extent as the value of comparable fixed rate securities. Changes in fixed-income or related market conditions, including the potential for changes to interest rates and negative interest rates, may expose fixed-income or related markets to heightened volatility and reduced liquidity for Fund investments, which may be difficult to sell at favorable times or prices, causing the value of a Fund’s investments to decline. During periods when interest rates are low or negative, the Fund’s yield and performance may be adversely affected and the Fund may be unable to maintain positive returns or minimize the volatility of the Fund’s net asset value per share. The risks associated with rising interest rates are heightened given the current low interest rate environment.
Risks Associated with the Fund’s Covered Call Option Strategy
The ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective is partially dependent on the successful implementation of its covered call option strategy. There are significant differences between the securities and options markets that could result in an imperfect correlation between these markets, causing a given transaction not to achieve its objectives. A decision as to whether, when and how to use options involves the exercise of skill and judgment, and even a well-conceived transaction may be unsuccessful to some degree because of market behavior or unexpected events.
The Fund may write call options on individual securities, securities indices, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and baskets of securities as a means of increasing the yield on its assets and as a means of providing limited protection against decreases in the securities’ market value. A call option on a security gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy, and the writer of the option the obligation to sell, the underlying security or instrument at any time during the option period or on expiration, depending on the terms. The premium paid to the writer is the consideration for undertaking the obligations under the option contract. A written call option is “covered” if the Fund owns the security underlying the call or has an absolute right to acquire the security without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required under current regulatory requirements, cash or cash equivalents in such amount are segregated by the Fund’s custodian). As a seller of covered call options, the Fund faces the risk that it will forgo the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the security covering the call option during an option’s life. As the Fund writes covered calls over more of its portfolio, its ability to benefit from capital appreciation becomes more limited. For certain types of options, the writer of the option will have no control over the time when it may be required to fulfill its obligation under the option. There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist if and when the Fund seeks to close out an option position. Once an option writer has received an exercise notice, it cannot effect a closing purchase transaction in order to terminate its obligation under the option and must deliver the underlying security at the exercise price.
The Fund may write exchange-listed and over-the-counter (“OTC”) options. Options written by the Fund with respect to non-U.S. securities, indices or sectors generally will be OTC options. OTC options differ from exchange-listed options in several respects. They are transacted directly with dealers and not with a clearing corporation, and therefore entail the risk of non-performance by the dealer. OTC options are available for a greater variety of securities and for a wider range of expiration dates and exercise prices than are available for exchange-traded options. Because OTC options are not traded on an exchange, pricing is done normally by reference to information from a market maker. OTC options are subject to heightened counterparty, credit, liquidity and valuation risks.
Derivatives Transactions Risk
In addition to the covered call option strategy described above, the Fund may, but is not required to, utilize other derivatives, including futures contracts and other derivative transactions, to seek to earn income, facilitate portfolio management and mitigate risks. Participation in derivatives markets transactions involves investment risks and transaction costs to which the Fund would not be subject absent the use of these strategies (other than its covered call writing strategy). If the Sub-Adviser is incorrect about its expectations of market conditions, the use of derivatives could also result in a loss, which in some cases may be unlimited. Risks inherent in the use of derivatives include: dependence on the Sub-Adviser’s ability to predict correctly movements in the direction of interest rates and securities prices; imperfect correlation between the price of derivatives and movements in the prices of the securities being hedged; the fact that skills needed to use these strategies are different from those needed to select portfolio securities; the possible absence of a liquid secondary market for any particular instrument at any time; the possible need to defer closing out certain hedged positions to avoid adverse tax consequences; the possible inability of the Fund to purchase or sell a security at a time that otherwise would be favorable for it to do so, or the possible need for the Fund to sell a security at a disadvantageous time due to a need under current regulatory requirements for the Fund to maintain “cover” or to segregate securities in connection with the hedging techniques; and the creditworthiness of counterparties.
Swap Agreements Risk
The Fund may enter into swap transactions, including credit default swaps, total return swaps, index swaps, currency swaps, commodity swaps and interest rate swaps, as well as options thereon, and may purchase or sell interest rate caps, floors and collars. Swap transactions are subject to market risk, counterparty credit, correlation, valuation, liquidity and leveraging risks and could result in substantial losses to the Fund. Swaps generally do not involve the delivery of securities, other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to swaps generally is limited to the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually obligated to make, or in the case of the other party to a swap defaulting, the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive. Total return swaps may effectively add leverage to the Fund’s portfolio because the Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the full notional amount of the swap. Total return swaps are subject to the risk that a counterparty will default on its payment obligations to the Fund thereunder.
Futures Contracts Risk
The Fund may invest in futures contracts. Futures contracts are exchange-traded contracts that call for the future delivery of an asset at a certain price and date, or cash settlement (i.e., payment of the gain or loss on the contract). Futures are often used to manage or hedge risk because they enable an investor to buy or sell an asset in the future at an agreed-upon price. Futures also are used for other reasons, such as to manage exposure to changes in interest rates and bond prices; as an efficient means of adjusting overall exposure to certain markets; in an effort to enhance income; to protect the value of portfolio securities or other instruments; and to adjust portfolio duration. Futures are subject to correlation risk. In addition, there is the risk that the Fund may not be able to enter into a closing transaction because of an illiquid market. Futures markets can be highly volatile, and the use of futures may increase the volatility of the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”). Exchanges can limit the number of futures and options that can be held or controlled by the Fund or its Adviser or Sub-Adviser, thus limiting the ability to implement the Fund’s strategies. Futures are also subject to leveraging risk and can be subject to liquidity risk.
There are a number of risks associated with the use of futures contracts. A purchase or sale of a futures contract may result in losses in excess of the amount invested in the futures contract. If futures are used for hedging, there can be no guarantee that there will be a correlation between price movements in the hedging vehicle and in the Fund’s portfolio securities being hedged. In addition, there are significant differences between the securities and futures markets that could result in an imperfect correlation between the markets, causing a given hedge not to achieve its objective. The degree of imperfection of correlation depends on circumstances such as variations in speculative market demand for futures, including technical influences in futures trading and differences between the financial instruments being hedged and the instruments underlying the standard futures contracts available for trading (which may be influenced by a variety of factors, such as interest rate levels, maturities, and creditworthiness of issuers). Thus, even a well-conceived futures contract hedge may be unsuccessful to some degree because of market behavior or unexpected economic trends.
Futures exchanges may limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in certain futures contract prices during a single trading day. The daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price at the end of the current trading session. Once the daily limit has been reached in a futures contract subject to the limit, no more trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movements during a particular trading day and therefore does not limit potential losses because the limit may work to prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. For example, futures prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of positions and subjecting some holders of futures contracts to substantial losses. There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist at a time when the Fund seeks to close out a futures contract, and the Fund would remain obligated to meet margin requirements until the position is closed.
In addition, futures contracts used by the Fund may be traded on foreign exchanges or may be denominated in or pay revenues in foreign currencies. These transactions may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States, may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees, and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the prices of, foreign securities and currencies. Some foreign exchanges may be principal markets so that no common clearing facility exists, and a trader may look only to the broker for performance of the contract. The value of these positions may be adversely affected by other factors and conditions applicable foreign investments and currencies generally.
Synthetic Investment Risk
As an alternative to holding investments directly, the Fund may also obtain investment exposure to income securities and common equity securities through the use of customized derivative instruments (including swaps, options, forwards, notional principal contracts or other financial instruments) to replicate, modify or replace the economic attributes associated with an investment in income securities and common equity securities (including interests in Investment Funds). The Fund may be exposed to certain additional risks to the extent the Sub-Adviser uses derivatives as a means to synthetically implement the Fund’s investment strategies. If the Fund enters into a derivative instrument whereby it agrees to receive the return of a security or financial instrument or a basket of securities or financial instruments, it will typically contract to receive such returns for a predetermined period of time. During such period, the Fund may not have the ability to increase or decrease its exposure. In addition, such customized derivative instruments will likely be highly illiquid, and it is possible that the Fund will not be able to terminate such derivative instruments prior to their expiration date or that the penalties associated with such a termination might impact the Fund’s performance in a material adverse manner. Furthermore, derivative instruments typically contain provisions giving the counterparty the right to terminate the contract upon the occurrence of certain events. If a termination were to occur, the Fund’s return could be adversely affected as it would lose the benefit of the indirect exposure to the reference securities and it may incur significant termination expenses.
Counterparty Credit Risk
The Fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to the counterparties to the derivative contracts purchased by the Fund. If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or defaults on (or otherwise fails to perform) its payment or other obligations to the Fund, the risk of which is particularly acute under current conditions, the Fund may not receive the full amount that it is entitled to receive or may experience delays in recovering the collateral or other assets held by, or on behalf of, the counterparty. If this occurs, or if exercising contractual rights involves delays or costs for the Fund, the value of your shares in the Fund may decrease. The Fund bears the risk that counterparties may be adversely affected by legislative or regulatory changes, adverse market conditions (such as the current conditions), increased competition, and/or wide scale credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of the counterparties’ other trading partners or borrowers.
Financial Leverage Risk
Although the use of Financial Leverage by the Fund may create an opportunity for increased after-tax total return for the Common Shares, it also results in additional risks and can magnify the effect of any losses. If the income and gains earned on securities purchased with Financial Leverage proceeds are greater than the cost of Financial Leverage, the Fund’s return will be greater than if Financial Leverage had not been used. Conversely, if the income or gains from the securities purchased with such proceeds does not cover the cost of Financial Leverage, the return to the Fund will be less than if Financial Leverage had not been used. There can be no assurance that a leverage strategy will be implemented or that it will be successful during any period during which it is employed.
Financial Leverage involves risks and special considerations for shareholders, including the likelihood of greater volatility of net asset value, market price and dividends on the Common Shares than a comparable portfolio without leverage; the risk that fluctuations in interest rates on borrowings and short-term debt or in the dividend rates on any Financial Leverage that the Fund must pay will reduce the return to the Common Shareholders; and the effect of Financial Leverage in a declining market, which is likely to cause a greater decline in the net asset value of the Common Shares than if the Fund were not leveraged, which may result in a greater decline in the market price of the Common Shares.
It is also possible that the Fund will be required to sell assets, possibly at a loss, in order to redeem or meet payment obligations on any leverage. Such a sale would reduce the Fund's net asset value and also make it difficult for the net asset value to recover. The Fund in its best judgment nevertheless may determine to continue to use Financial Leverage if it expects that the benefits to the Fund's shareholders of maintaining the leveraged position will outweigh the current reduced return.
Certain types of Borrowings subject the Fund to covenants in credit agreements relating to asset coverage and portfolio composition requirements. Certain Borrowings issued by the Fund also may subject the Fund to certain restrictions on investments imposed by guidelines of one or more rating agencies, which may issue ratings for such Borrowings. Such guidelines may impose asset coverage or portfolio composition requirements that are more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act. It is not anticipated that these covenants or guidelines will impede the Sub-Adviser from managing the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies.
Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risks that the interest income earned on the investment of the proceeds will be less than the interest expense and Fund expenses associated with the repurchase agreement, that the market value of the securities sold by the Fund may decline below the price at which the Fund is obligated to repurchase such securities and that the securities may not be returned to the Fund. There is no assurance that reverse repurchase agreements can be successfully employed. In connection with reverse repurchase agreements, the Fund will also be subject to counterparty risk with respect to the purchaser of the securities. If the broker/dealer to whom the Fund sells securities becomes insolvent, the Fund’s right to purchase or repurchase securities may be restricted.
Because the fees received by the Adviser and Sub-Adviser are based on the Managed Assets of the Fund (including the proceeds of any Financial Leverage), the Adviser and Sub-Adviser have a financial incentive for the Fund to utilize Financial Leverage, which may create a conflict of interest between the Adviser and the Sub-Adviser and the Common Shareholders. There can be no assurance that a leveraging strategy will be successful during any period during which it is employed.
If the cost of leverage is no longer favorable, or if the Fund is otherwise required to reduce its leverage, the Fund may not be able to maintain distributions on Common Shares at historical levels and Common Shareholders will bear any costs associated with selling portfolio securities.
Market Discount Risk
Shares of closed-end management investment companies frequently trade at a discount from their net asset value, which is a risk separate and distinct from the risk that the Fund’s net asset value could decrease as a result of its investment activities. Although the value of the Fund’s net assets is generally considered by market participants in determining whether to purchase or sell Common Shares, whether investors will realize gains or losses upon the sale of Common Shares will depend entirely upon whether the market price of Common Shares at the time of sale is above or below the investor’s purchase price for Common Shares.
The Fund’s net asset value will be reduced immediately following an offering of the Common Shares due to the costs of such offering, which will be borne entirely by the Fund. The sale of Common Shares by the Fund (or the perception that such sales may occur) may have an adverse effect on prices of Common Shares in the secondary market. An increase in the number of Common Shares available may put downward pressure on the market price for Common Shares. The Fund may, from time to time, seek the consent of Common Shareholders to permit the issuance and sale by the Fund of Common Shares at a price below the Fund’s then current net asset value, subject to certain conditions, and such sales of Common Shares at price below net asset value, if any, may increase downward pressure on the market price for Common Shares. These sales, if any, also might make it more difficult for the Fund to sell additional Common Shares in the future at a time and price it deems appropriate.
Whether Common Shareholder will realize a gain or loss upon the sale of Common Shares depends upon whether the market value of the Common Shares at the time of sale is above or below the price the Common Shareholder paid, taking into account transaction costs for the Common Shares, and is not directly dependent upon the Fund’s net asset value. Because the market price of Common Shares will be determined by factors such as net asset value, dividend and distribution levels (which are dependent, in part, on expenses), supply of and demand for Common Shares, stability of dividends or distributions, trading volume of Common Shares, general market and economic conditions and other factors beyond the control of the Fund, the Fund cannot predict whether Common Shares will trade at, below or above net asset value or at, below or above the public offering price for the Common Shares. Common Shares of the Fund are designed primarily for long-term investors; investors in Common Shares should not view the Fund as a vehicle for trading purposes.
Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be worth less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the real value of the Common Shares and distributions can decline. In addition, during any periods of rising inflation, the dividend rates or borrowing costs associated with the Fund’s use of Financial Leverage would likely increase, which would tend to further reduce returns to Common Shareholders. Deflation risk is the risk that prices throughout the economy decline over time—the opposite of inflation. Deflation may have an adverse effect on the creditworthiness of issuers and may make issuer default more likely, which may result in a decline in the value of the Fund’s portfolio.
Mid-Cap And Small-Cap Company Risk
Investing in the securities of medium-sized or small market capitalizations (“mid-cap” and “small-cap” companies, respectively) presents some particular investment risks. Mid-cap and small-cap companies may experience much more price volatility, greater spreads between their bid and ask prices and significantly lower trading volumes than securities issued by large, more established companies. In addition, it may be difficult for the Fund to sell mid-cap or small-cap company securities at a desired time or price. Mid-cap and small-cap companies tend to have inexperienced management as well as limited product and market diversification and financial resources. Mid-cap and small-cap companies have more speculative prospects for future growth, sustained earnings and market share than large companies, and may be more vulnerable to adverse economic, market or industry developments than large capitalization companies.
Foreign Securities Risk
The Fund may invest without limitation in securities of non-U.S. issuers, including issuers in emerging markets. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve certain considerations and risks not ordinarily associated with investments in securities of domestic issuers, including risks of sanctions or other governmental actions and policies. Foreign companies are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. Foreign securities exchanges, brokers and listed companies may be subject to less government supervision and regulation that exists in the United States. Dividend and interest income may be subject to withholding and other foreign taxes, which may adversely affect the net return on such investments. There may be difficulty in obtaining or enforcing a court judgment abroad. In addition, it may be difficult to effect repatriation of capital invested in certain countries. In addition, with respect to certain countries, there are risks of expropriation, confiscatory taxation, political or social instability or diplomatic developments that could affect assets of the Fund held in foreign countries. These risks are heightened under the current public health and financial and economic conditions.
There may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than a U.S. company. Foreign securities markets may have substantially less volume than U.S. securities markets and some foreign company securities are less liquid than securities of otherwise comparable U.S. companies. Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures that could cause the Fund to encounter difficulties in purchasing and selling securities on such markets and may result in the Fund missing attractive investment opportunities or experiencing a loss. In addition, a portfolio that includes foreign securities can expect to have a higher expense ratio because of the increased transaction costs on non-U.S. securities markets and the increased costs of maintaining the custody of foreign securities.
ADRs are receipts issued by United States banks or trust companies in respect of securities of foreign issuers held on deposit for use in the United States securities markets. While ADRs may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the securities into which they may be converted, many of the risks associated with foreign securities may also apply to ADRs. In addition, the underlying issuers of certain depositary receipts, particularly unsponsored or unregistered depositary receipts, are under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications to the holders of such receipts, or to pass through to them any voting rights with respect to the deposited securities.
Emerging Markets Risk
The Fund may invest in securities of issuers in emerging markets. Investing in securities in emerging markets countries generally entails greater risks of loss or inability to achieve the Fund’s investment objective than investing in securities in developed markets countries globally, such as increased economic, political, regulatory or other uncertainties. These risks are elevated under current conditions and include: (i) less social, political and economic stability and potentially more volatile currency exchange rates; (ii) the small current size of the markets for such securities, limited access to investments in the event of market closures (including due to local holidays), and the currently low or nonexistent volume of trading, which result in a lack of liquidity and in greater price volatility; (iii) certain national policies which may restrict the Fund’s investment opportunities, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests, and trade barriers; (iv) foreign taxation; (v) the absence of developed legal systems, including structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress (such as limits on rights and remedies available to the Fund) for investment losses and injury to private property; (vi) lower levels of government regulation, which could lead to market manipulation, and less extensive and transparent accounting, auditing, recordkeeping, financial reporting and other requirements, which limit the quality and availability of financial information; (vii) high rates of inflation for prolonged periods; (viii) sensitivity to adverse political or social events affecting the region where an emerging market is located compared to developed market securities; and (ix) particular sensitivity to global economic conditions, including adverse effects stemming from recessions, depressions or other economic crises, or reliance on international or other forms of aid, including trade, taxation and development policies. Sovereign debt of emerging countries may be in default or present a greater risk of default, the risk of which is heightened given the current conditions. Frontier market countries generally have smaller economies and even less developed capital markets than traditional emerging market countries (which themselves have increased investment risk relative to developed market countries) and, as a result, the Fund’s exposure to the risks associated with investing in emerging market countries are magnified if the Fund invests in frontier market countries.
Recent Market, Economic, and Social Developments Risk
Periods of market volatility remain, and may continue to occur in the future, in response to various political, social and economic events both within and outside of the United States and as a result of public health circumstances. These conditions have resulted in, and in many cases continue to result in, greater price volatility, less liquidity, widening credit spreads and a lack of price transparency, with many securities remaining illiquid and difficult to value. Risks resulting from any future debt or other economic crisis could also have a detrimental impact on the global economic recovery, the financial condition of financial institutions and the Fund’s business, financial condition and results of operation.
The outbreak of COVID-19 is causing materially reduced consumer demand and economic output, disrupting supply chains, resulting in market closures, travel restrictions and quarantines, and adversely impacting local and global economies. As with other serious economic disruptions, governmental authorities and regulators are responding to this crisis with significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including by providing direct capital infusions into companies, introducing new monetary programs and considerably lowering interest rates, which, in some cases resulted in negative interest rates. These actions, including their possible unexpected or sudden reversal, disruption or potential ineffectiveness, could further increase volatility in securities and other financial markets, reduce market liquidity, heighten investor uncertainty and adversely affect the value of the Fund’s investments and the performance of the Fund.
The current economic situation and the unprecedented measures taken by state, local and national governments around the world to combat the spread of COVID-19, as well as various social, political and psychological tensions in the United States and around the world, may continue to contribute to severe market disruptions and volatility and reduced economic activity, may have long-term negative effects on the U.S. and worldwide financial markets and economy and may cause further economic uncertainties in the United States and worldwide. The prolonged continuation or further deterioration of the current U.S. and global economic downturn could adversely impact the Fund’s portfolio. It is difficult to predict how long the financial markets and economic activity will continue to be impacted by these events and the Fund cannot predict the effects of these or similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets.
Increasing Government and other Public Debt Risk
Government and other public debt, including municipal obligations in which the Fund may invest, can be adversely affected by large and sudden changes in local and global economic conditions that result in increased debt levels. Although high levels of government and other public debt do not necessarily indicate or cause economic problems, high levels of debt may create certain systemic risks if sound debt management practices are not implemented. A high debt level may increase market pressures to meet an issuer’s funding needs, which may increase borrowing costs and cause a government or public or municipal entity to issue additional debt, thereby increasing the risk of refinancing. A high debt level also raises concerns that the issuer may be unable or unwilling to repay the principal or interest on its debt, which may adversely impact instruments held by the Fund that rely on such payments. Extraordinary governmental and quasigovernmental responses to the current economic, market, labor and public health conditions are significantly increasing government and other public debt, which heighten these risks and the long term consequences of these actions are not known. Unsustainable debt levels can decline the valuation of currencies, and can prevent a government from implementing effective counter-cyclical fiscal policy during economic downturns or can lead to increases in inflation or generate or contribute to an economic downturn. The foregoing developments and the associated risks can adversely impact a broad range of instruments and assets in which the Fund invests, including those that are not directly related to governmental or municipal issuers.
UK Departure from EU (“Brexit”) Risk
On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom officially withdrew from the European Union (“EU”) and the two sides entered into a transition period, during which period EU law continued to apply in the UK. The transition period ended on December 31, 2020. On December 30, 2020, the UK and the EU signed an agreement on the terms governing certain aspects of the EU’s and the United Kingdom’s relationship following the end of the transition period, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “TCA”). Notwithstanding the TCA, there is likely to be considerable uncertainty as to the United Kingdom’s post-transition framework, and in particular as to the arrangements which will apply to the UK’s relationships with the EU and with other countries, which is likely to continue to develop and could result in increased volatility and illiquidity and potentially lower economic growth. The political divisions surrounding Brexit within the United Kingdom, as well as those between the UK and the EU, may also have a destabilizing impact on the economy and currency of the United Kingdom and the EU. Any further exits from member states of the EU, or the possibility of such exits, would likely cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties.
In addition to the effects on the Fund's investments in European issuers, the unavoidable uncertainties and events related to Brexit could negatively affect the value and liquidity of the Fund's other investments, increase taxes and costs of business and cause volatility in currency exchange rates and interest rates. Brexit could adversely affect the performance of contracts in existence at the date of Brexit and European, UK or worldwide political, regulatory, economic or market conditions and could contribute to instability in political institutions, regulatory agencies and financial markets. Brexit could also lead to legal uncertainty and politically divergent national laws and regulations as a new relationship between the UK and EU is defined and as the UK determines which EU laws to replace or replicate. In addition, Brexit could lead to further disintegration of the EU and related political stresses (including those related to sentiment against cross border capital movements and activities of investors like the Fund), prejudice to financial services businesses that are conducting business in the EU and which are based in the UK, legal uncertainty regarding achievement of compliance with applicable financial and commercial laws and regulations in view of the expected steps to be taken pursuant to or in contemplation of Brexit. Any of these effects of Brexit, and others that cannot be anticipated, could adversely affect the Fund's business, results of operations and financial condition.
The result of Brexit, the progression of the European debt crisis and the possibility of one or more Eurozone countries exiting the EMU, or even the collapse of the euro as a common currency, has created significant volatility in currency and financial markets generally. The effects of the collapse of the euro, or of the exit of one or more countries from the EMU, on the U.S. and global economies and securities markets are impossible to predict and any such events could have a significant adverse impact on the value and risk profile of the Fund’s portfolio. Any partial or complete dissolution of the EMU could have significant adverse effects on currency and financial markets, and on the values of the Fund’s portfolio investments. If one or more EMU countries were to stop using the euro as its primary currency, the Fund’s investments in such countries may be redenominated into a different or newly adopted currency. As a result, the value of those investments could decline significantly and unpredictably. In addition, securities or other investments that are redenominated may be subject to foreign currency risk, liquidity risk and valuation risk to a greater extent than similar investments currently denominated in euros. To the extent a currency used for redenomination purposes is not specified in respect of certain EMU-related investments, or should the euro cease to be used entirely, the currency in which such investments are denominated may be unclear, making such investments particularly difficult to value or dispose of. The Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek judicial or other clarification of the denomination or value of such securities.
Legislation and Regulation Risk
At any time after the date hereof, U.S. and non-U.S. governmental agencies and other regulators may implement additional regulations and legislators may pass new laws that affect the investments held by the Fund, the strategies used by the Fund or the level of regulation or taxation applying to the Fund (such as regulations related to investments in derivatives and other transactions). These regulations and laws impact the investment strategies, performance, costs and operations of the Fund, as well as the way investments in, and shareholders of, the Fund are taxed. Legislative or regulatory changes may materially affect the securities in which the Fund invests and the Fund’s investment strategies and performance.
The terms of many investments, financings or other transactions in the U.S. and globally have been historically tied to interbank reference rates (referred to collectively as the “London Interbank Offered Rate” or “LIBOR”), which function as a reference rate or benchmark for such investments, financings or other transactions. LIBOR may be a significant factor in determining payment obligations under derivatives transactions, the cost of financing of Fund investments or the value or return on certain other Fund investments. As a result, LIBOR may be relevant to, and directly affect, the Fund’s performance.
On July 27, 2017, the Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), the United Kingdom’s financial regulatory body and regulator of LIBOR, announced that after 2021 it will cease its active encouragement of banks to provide the quotations needed to sustain LIBOR due to the absence of an active market for interbank unsecured lending and other reasons. However, subsequent announcements by the FCA, the LIBOR administrator and other regulators indicate that it is possible that certain LIBORs may continue beyond 2021 and the most widely used LIBORs may continue until mid-2023. It is anticipated that LIBOR ultimately will be officially discontinued or the regulator will announce that it is no longer sufficiently robust to be representative of its underlying market around that time. Various financial industry groups have begun planning for that transition and certain regulators and industry groups have taken actions to establish alternative reference rates (e.g., the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, which measures the cost of overnight borrowings through repurchase agreement transactions collateralized with U.S. Treasury securities and is intended to replace U.S. dollar LIBORs with certain adjustments). However, there are challenges to converting certain contracts and transactions to a new benchmark and neither the full effects of the transition process nor its ultimate outcome is known.
The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets for instruments with terms tied to LIBOR. It could also lead to a reduction in the interest rates on, and the value of, some LIBOR-based investments and reduce the effectiveness of hedges mitigating risk in connection with LIBOR-based investments. Although some LIBOR-based instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate-setting methodology and/or increased costs for certain LIBOR-related instruments or financing transactions, others may not have such provisions and there may be significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies. Instruments that include robust fallback provisions to facilitate the transition from LIBOR to an alternative reference rate may also include adjustments that do not adequately compensate the holder for the different characteristics of the alternative reference rate. The result may be that the fallback provision results in a value transfer from one party to the instrument to the counterparty. Additionally, because such provisions may differ across instruments (e.g., hedges versus cash positions hedged), LIBOR’s cessation may give rise to basis risk and render hedges less effective. As the usefulness of LIBOR as a benchmark could deteriorate during the transition period, these effects and related adverse conditions could occur prior to the end of some LIBOR tenors in 2021 or the remaining LIBOR tenors in mid-2023. There also remains uncertainty and risk regarding the willingness and ability of issuers to include enhanced provisions in new and existing contracts or instruments, notwithstanding significant efforts by the industry to develop robust LIBOR replacement clauses. The effect of any changes to, or discontinuation of, LIBOR on the Fund will vary depending, among other things, on (1) existing fallback or termination provisions in individual contracts and the possible renegotiation of existing contracts and (2) whether, how, and when industry participants develop and adopt new reference rates and fallbacks for both legacy and new products and instruments. Fund investments may also be tied to other interbank offered rates and currencies, which also will face similar issues. In many cases, in the event that an instrument falls back to an alternative reference rate, including the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, the alternative reference rate will not perform the same as LIBOR because the alternative reference rates do not include a credit sensitive component in the calculation of the rate. The alternative reference rates are generally secured by U.S. treasury securities and will reflect the performance of the market for U.S. treasury securities and not the inter-bank lending markets. In the event of a credit crisis, floating rate instruments using alternative reference rates could therefore perform differently than those instruments using a rate indexed to the inter-bank lending market.
Various pending legislation, including in the U.S. Congress and the New York state legislature, may affect the transition of LIBOR-based instruments as well by permitting trustees and calculation agents to transition instruments with no LIBOR transition language to an alternative reference rate selected by such agents. Those legislative proposals include safe harbors from liability, which may limit the recourse the Fund may have if the alternative reference rate does not fully compensate the Fund for the transition of an instrument from LIBOR. It is uncertain whether such legislative proposals will be signed into law. These developments could negatively impact financial markets in general and present heightened risks, including with respect to the Fund’s investments. As a result of this uncertainty and developments relating to the transition process, the Fund and its investments may be adversely affected.
Geopolitical and Market Disruption Risk
The aftermath of the war in Iraq, instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Russia, Ukraine and the Middle East, possible terrorist attacks in the United States and around the world, growing social and political discord in the United States, the European debt crisis, the response of the international community—through economic sanctions and otherwise—to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and posture vis-a-vis Ukraine, increasingly strained relations between the United States and a number of foreign countries, including traditional allies, such as certain European countries, and historical adversaries, such as North Korea, Iran, China and Russia, and the international community generally, new and continued political unrest in various countries, such as Venezuela and Spain, the United Kingdom’s pending withdrawal from the European Union (the “EU”) and the resulting profound and uncertain impacts on the economic and political future of the United Kingdom, the exit or potential exit of one or more countries from the EU or the European Monetary Union (the “EMU”), the EU and global financial markets, further downgrade of U.S. Government securities, the change in the U.S. president and the new administration and other similar events, may have long-term effects on the United States and worldwide financial markets and may cause further economic uncertainties in the United States and worldwide. The Fund does not know and cannot predict how long the securities markets may be affected by these events and the effects of these and similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets. The Fund may be adversely affected by abrogation of international agreements and national laws which have created the market instruments in which the Fund may invest, failure of the designated national and international authorities to enforce compliance with the same laws and agreements, failure of local, national and international organization to carry out their duties prescribed to them under the relevant agreements, revisions of these laws and agreements which dilute their effectiveness or conflicting interpretation of provisions of the same laws and agreements. The Fund may be adversely affected by uncertainties such as terrorism, international political developments, and changes in government policies, taxation, restrictions on foreign investment and currency repatriation, currency fluctuations and other developments in the laws and regulations of the countries in which it is invested and the risks associated with financial, economic, health, labor and other global market developments and disruptions.
The Fund and its service providers are currently impacted by quarantines and similar measures being enacted by governments in response to COVID-19, which are obstructing the regular functioning of business workforces (including requiring employees to work from external locations and their homes). Accordingly, certain risks described above are heightened under current conditions.
Portfolio Turnover Risk
The Fund’s annual portfolio turnover rate may vary greatly from year to year. Portfolio turnover rate is not considered a limiting factor in the execution of investment decisions for the Fund. A higher portfolio turnover rate results in correspondingly greater brokerage commissions and other transactional expenses that are borne by the Fund. High portfolio turnover may result in an increased realization of net short-term capital gains by the Fund which, when distributed to Common Shareholders, will be taxable as ordinary income. Additionally, in a declining market, portfolio turnover may result in realized capital losses.
Anti-Takeover Provisions Risk
The Funds’ Certificate of Trust, Agreement and Declaration of Trust and By-Laws include provisions that could limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of such Fund or convert such Fund to an open-end fund.
As the use of Internet technology has become more prevalent, the Fund and its service providers and markets generally have become more susceptible to potential operational risks related to intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund or a service provider to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. There can be no guarantee that any risk management systems established by the Fund, its service providers, or issuers of the securities in which the Fund invests to reduce technology and cyber security risks will succeed, and the Fund cannot control such systems put in place by service providers, issuers or other third parties whose operations may affect the Fund.
Cyber Security Risk
As in other parts of the economy, the Fund and its service providers, as well as exchanges and market participants through or with which the Fund trades and other infrastructures and services on which the Fund or its service providers rely, are susceptible to ongoing risks related to cyber incidents and the risks associated with financial, economic, public health, labor and other global market developments and disruptions. Cyber incidents, which can be perpetrated by a variety of means, may result in actual or potential adverse consequences for critical information and communications technology, systems and networks that are vital to the operations of the Fund or its service providers. A cyber incident or sudden market disruption could adversely impact the Fund, its service providers or its shareholders by, among other things, interfering with the processing of shareholder transactions or other operational functionality, impacting the Fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value or other data, causing the release of private or confidential information, impeding trading, causing reputational damage, and subjecting the Fund to fines, penalties or financial losses or otherwise adversely affecting the operations, systems and activities of the Fund, its service providers and market intermediaries. These types of adverse consequences could also result from other operational disruptions or failures arising from, for example, processing errors, human errors, and other technological issues. In each case, the Fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value correctly, in a timely manner or process trades or Fund or shareholder transactions may be adversely affected, including over a potentially extended period. The Fund and its service providers may directly bear these risks and related costs.
The Fund and its service providers are currently impacted by quarantines and similar measures being enacted by governments in response to COVID-19, which are obstructing the regular functioning of business workforces (including requiring employees to work from external locations and their homes). Accordingly, the risks described above are heightened under current conditions.
Guggenheim Investments represents the investment management business of Guggenheim Partners, LLC ("Guggenheim"). Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC is an affiliate of Guggenheim.
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