|Closing Market Price||$4.67|
|52-week Average Premium/Discount||1.26%|
|Current Distribution Rate 1, 2||20.56%|
|Quarterly Distribution Per Share2||$0.24000|
|Common Shares Outstanding||48,342,587|
|52 Week High/Low Market Price||$8.35/$3.74|
|52 Week High/Low NAV||$8.17/$4.41|
|Intraday Trading Information||NYSE|
|Closing Market Price||$4.89|
|Total Managed Assets||$350,229,509|
|52-Week Average Premium/Discount||1.25%|
|Investment Adviser||Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC|
|Portfolio Manager/Sub-Adviser||Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC|
|Expense Ratio (Common Shares)4||2.74%|
|Portfolio Turnover Rate||22%|
|Inception Market Price||$20.00|
|1940 Act Asset Coverage Ratio||321.31%|
|Since Inception (8/25/05)||1.85%||1.67%|
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 1.37%.
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. Flowers joined the Sub-Adviser in 2001, and serves as the Senior Managing Director, heading Equity and Derivative Strategies. Mr. Flowers has more than 15 years experience in the financial markets with concentration in risk management and trading across various sectors of the capital structure. His investment experience ranges in expertise from structured product investments and asset backed securities, to trading U.S. Government agencies, foreign sovereign debt, commodities, indexed futures, derivative and global equity arbitrage. Prior to working for the Sub-Adviser, Mr. Flowers was a co-founder and partner of Adventure Capital, a boutique venture capital and merchant banking company. Previously Mr. Flowers was at Credit Suisse First Boston, Dominick & Dominick Inc., and Coopers & Lybrand. Mr. Flowers holds a BA in Economics from Union College.
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.
Investors should consider the following risk factors and special considerations associated with investing in the Trust. An investment in the Trust is subject to 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, 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 those securities may fluctuate, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably. The value of the securities owned by the Fund will affect the value of the Common Shares. 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. 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.
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.
As the writer of a covered call option, the Fund forgoes, during the option’s life, the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the security covering the call option above the sum of the premium and the strike price of the call, but retains the risk of loss should the price of the underlying security decline. As the Fund writes covered calls over more of its portfolio, its ability to benefit from capital appreciation becomes more limited.
With respect to exchange-traded options, there can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist when the Fund seeks to close out an option position on an options exchange. If the Fund were unable to close out a covered call option that it had written on a security, it would not be able to sell the underlying security unless the option expired without exercise.
Option Risk. The Fund may also write (sell) over-the-counter options (“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 that they are two-party contracts, with exercise price, premium and other terms negotiated between buyer and seller, and generally do not have as much market liquidity as exchange-listed options.
Derivatives Transactions Risk
In addition to the covered call option strategy described above, the risks of which are described above, the Fund may, but is not required to, utilize futures contracts, options and over-the-counter derivatives contracts, among other Strategic Transactions, for purposes such as to seek to earn income, facilitate portfolio management and mitigate risks. Participation in options or futures 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's prediction of movements in the direction of the securities and interest rate markets is inaccurate, the consequences to the Fund may leave the Fund in a worse position than if it had not used such strategies. Risks inherent in the use of options, futures contracts and options on futures contracts and securities indices include:
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, risk of default by the other party to the transaction and risk of imperfect correlation between the value of derivative instruments and the underlying assets and may involve commissions or other costs. 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.
The Fund may invest in futures contracts. Futures and options on futures entail certain risks, including but not limited to the following:
losses from investing in futures transactions that are potentially unlimited and the segregation requirements for such transactions.
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.
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 otherwise fails to perform its obligations under a derivative contract due to financial difficulties, the Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery under the derivative contract in bankruptcy or other reorganization proceedings. The Fund may obtain only a limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances. If a counterparty’s credit becomes significantly impaired, multiple requests for collateral posting in a short period of time could increase the risk that the Fund may not receive adequate collateral.
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 have limited product lines and markets, as well as shorter operating histories, less experienced management and more limited financial resources than larger companies, and may be more vulnerable to adverse general market or economic developments. Securities of mid-cap and small-cap companies may be less liquid than those of larger companies, and may experience greater price fluctuations than larger companies. In addition, mid-cap or small-cap company securities may not be widely followed by investors, which may result in reduced demand.
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. 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.
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, and investments in such securities are considered speculative. Heightened risks of investing in emerging markets include: smaller market capitalization of securities markets, which may suffer periods of relative illiquidity; significant price volatility; restrictions on foreign investment; and potential restrictions on repatriation of investment income and capital.
Recent Market 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. 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 of uncertain value. Such market conditions may adversely affect the Fund, including by making valuation of some of the Fund’s securities uncertain and/or result in sudden and significant valuation increases or declines in the Fund’s holdings. If there is a significant decline in the value of the Fund’s portfolio, this may impact the asset coverage levels for the Fund’s outstanding leverage.
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. Market and economic disruptions have affected, and may in the future affect, consumer confidence levels and spending, personal bankruptcy rates, levels of incurrence and default on consumer debt and home prices, among other factors. To the extent uncertainty regarding the U.S. or global economy negatively impacts consumer confidence and consumer credit factors, the Fund’s business, financial condition and results of operations could be significantly and adversely affected. Downgrades to the credit ratings of major banks could result in increased borrowing costs for such banks and negatively affect the broader economy. Moreover, Federal Reserve policy, including with respect to certain interest rates, may also adversely affect the value, volatility and liquidity of dividend- and interest-paying securities. Market volatility, rising interest rates and/or unfavorable economic conditions could impair the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.
UK Departure from EU Risk
On Thursday June 23, 2016, voters in the United Kingdom referendum (the “Referendum”) on the question of whether to remain or leave the European Union (the “EU”) voted in a majority in favor of leaving the EU (“Brexit”). In March 2017, the British Parliament passed a bill authorizing the British Government to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union – the formal process of withdrawing from the EU. Invoking Article 50 gave the United Kingdom two years to negotiate a separation with the other members of the EU. Withdrawal was expected to occur on March 29, 2019, but in January 2019, a plan to implement Brexit was rejected by the British Parliament and the EU subsequently agreed to a postponement until October 31, 2019. Further postponements are possible. This historic event is widely expected to have consequences that are both profound and uncertain for the economic and political future of the United Kingdom and the EU, and financial markets generally.
The ongoing negotiations surrounding Brexit have yet to provide clarity on what the outcome will be for the UK or Europe. The UK remains a member of the EU until the legally established departure date and, until such date, all existing EU-derived laws and regulations continue to apply in the UK. Those laws may continue to apply for a transitional period, depending on whether an exit deal is struck and, if so, what that deal is. In any event, the UK’s on-shoring of EU legislation currently envisages no policy changes to EU law. However, the EU has not yet provided any material cushion from the effects of Brexit for financial services as a matter of EU law. 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 Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and negotiations undertaken under Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and the unavailability of timely information as to expected legal, tax and other regimes. 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, legislation may be enacted that could negatively affect the issuers in which the Fund invests. Changing approaches to regulation may also have a negative impact on issuers in which the Fund invests. In addition, legislation or regulation may change the way in which the Fund is regulated. There can be no assurance that future legislation, regulation or deregulation will not have a material adverse effect on the Fund or will not impair the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which was signed into law in July 2010, has resulted in significant revisions to the U.S. financial regulatory framework. The Dodd-Frank Act covers a broad range of topics, including, among many others: a reorganization of federal financial regulators; the creation of a process designed to ensure financial system stability and the resolution of potentially insolvent financial firms; the enactment of new rules for derivatives trading; the creation of a consumer financial protection watchdog; the registration and regulation of managers of private funds; the regulation of rating agencies; and the enactment of new federal requirements for residential mortgage loans. The regulation of various types of derivative instruments pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act may adversely affect the Fund or its counterparties.
On December 11, 2015, the SEC published a proposed rule that, if adopted, would change the regulation of the use of derivative instruments and financial commitment transactions by registered investment companies. The SEC sought public comments on numerous aspects of the proposed rule, and as a result the nature of any final regulations is uncertain at this time. Such regulations could limit the implementation of the Fund's use of derivatives, and reverse repurchase agreement transactions and impose additional compliance costs on the Fund, which could have an adverse impact on the Fund. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser cannot predict the effects of these regulations on the Fund's portfolio. The Adviser and the Sub-Adviser intend to monitor developments and seek to manage the Fund's portfolio in a manner consistent with achieving the Fund's investment objective, but there can be no assurance that they will be successful in doing so.
The current presidential administration has called for, and in certain instances has begun to implement, significant changes to U.S. fiscal, tax, trade, healthcare, immigration, foreign, and government regulatory policy. In this regard, there is significant uncertainty with respect to legislation, regulation and government policy at the federal level, as well as the state and local levels. Recent events have created a climate of heightened uncertainty and introduced new and difficult-to-quantify macroeconomic and political risks with potentially far-reaching implications. There has been a corresponding meaningful increase in the uncertainty surrounding interest rates, inflation, foreign exchange rates, trade volumes and fiscal and monetary policy. To the extent the U.S. Congress or the current presidential administration implements changes to U.S. policy, those changes may impact, among other things, the U.S. and global economy, international trade and relations, unemployment, immigration, corporate taxes, healthcare, the U.S. regulatory environment, inflation and other areas. Some particular areas identified as subject to potential change, amendment or repeal include the Dodd-Frank Act, including the Volcker Rule and various swaps and derivatives regulations, credit risk retention requirements and the authorities of the Federal Reserve, the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the SEC. Although the Fund cannot predict the impact, if any, of these changes to the Fund's business, they could adversely affect the Fund's business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows. Until the Fund knows what policy changes are made and how those changes impact the Fund's business and the business of the Fund's competitors over the long term, the Fund will not know if, overall, the Fund will benefit from them or be negatively affected by them.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”), enacted on December 22, 2017, made substantial changes to the Code, most of which went into effect on January 1, 2018. Among those changes are a significant permanent reduction in the generally applicable corporate tax rate, changes in the taxation of individuals and other non-corporate taxpayers that generally but not universally reduce their taxes on a temporary basis subject to “sunset” provisions, the elimination or modification of various previously allowed deductions (including changes to the manner in which depreciation deductions are calculated and substantial limitations on the deductibility of interest and, in the case of individuals, the deduction for personal state and local taxes), certain additional limitations on the deduction of net operating losses, changes that affect the timing of the recognition of certain items of income and significant changes to the international tax rules. The effect of these, and the many other, changes made in the TCJA remains uncertain, both in terms of their direct effect on the taxation of an investment in our Common Shares and their indirect effect on the value of our Common Shares or market conditions generally. Furthermore, many of the provisions of the TCJA still require guidance through the issuance of Treasury regulations in order to assess their effect. There may be a substantial delay before such regulations are promulgated, increasing the uncertainty as to the ultimate effect of the statutory amendments on us. Technical corrections legislation also may be proposed with respect to the TCJA, the effect of which cannot be predicted.
The Fund's investments and payment obligations may be based on floating rates, such as London Interbank Offer Rate (“LIBOR”), Euro Interbank Offered Rate and other similar types of reference rates (each, a “Reference Rate”). On July 27, 2017, the Chief Executive of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, announced that the FCA will no longer persuade nor require banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR and certain other Reference Rates after 2021. Such announcement indicates that the continuation of LIBOR and other Reference Rates on the current basis cannot and will not be guaranteed after 2021. This announcement and any additional regulatory or market changes may have an adverse impact on a Fund or its investments.
In advance of 2021, regulators and market participants will work together to identify or develop successor Reference Rates. Additionally, prior to 2021, it is expected that market participants will focus on the transition mechanisms by which the Reference Rates in existing contracts or instruments may be amended, whether through market wide protocols, fallback contractual provisions, bespoke negotiations or amendments or otherwise. Nonetheless, the termination of certain Reference Rates presents risks to the Fund. At this time, it is not possible to completely identify or predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of alternative Reference Rates or any other reforms to Reference Rates that may be enacted in the UK or elsewhere. The elimination of a Reference Rate or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of Reference Rates could have an adverse impact on the market for or value of any securities or payments linked to those Reference Rates and other financial obligations held by the Fund or on its overall financial condition or results of operations. In addition, any substitute Reference Rate and any pricing adjustments imposed by a regulator or by counterparties or otherwise may adversely affect the Fund's performance and/or NAV.
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.
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.
The Fund and its service providers are susceptible to cyber security risks that include, among other things, theft, unauthorized monitoring, release, misuse, loss, destruction or corruption of confidential and highly restricted data; denial of service attacks; unauthorized access to relevant systems, compromises to networks or devices that the Fund and its service providers use to service the Fund’s operations; or operational disruption or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support the Fund and its service providers. Cyber attacks against or security breakdowns of the Fund or its service providers may adversely impact the Fund and its stockholders, potentially resulting in, among other things, financial losses; the inability of Fund stockholders to transact business and the Fund to process transactions; inability to calculate the Fund’s net asset value; violations of applicable privacy and other laws; regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs; and/or additional compliance costs. The Fund may incur additional costs for cyber security risk management and remediation purposes. In addition, cyber security risks may also impact issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, which may cause the Fund’s investment in such issuers to lose value. There can be no assurance that the Fund or its service providers will not suffer losses relating to cyber attacks or other information security breaches in the future.
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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