The Trust’s portfolio is divided into three different asset segments:
- Equity Securities: common stocks of domestic and international companies;
- Fixed Income ETFs: shares of ETFs that invest in fixed-income securities; and
- Alternative Income Securities: shares of BDCs, MLPs and/or Midstream CCorps, U.S. and international REITs and ETFs that invest in REITs.
The selection methodology for each segment is described below.
Equity Securities Segment
The Trust may invest in the common stocks of small-, mid- and large-capitalization companies. In constructing the Trust’s portfolio, the Sponsor selects domestic and international companies, which may include securities of issuers located in emerging markets, American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) and New York Registry Shares, based on, but not limited to, the following factors:
- Fundamental characteristics such as return on assets, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and year-over-year sales growth; and
- Dividend yield.
Fixed Income ETFs Segment
The Sponsor selects ETFs that invest in fixed income securities such as corporate bonds, floating rate securities, international and emerging market debt, preferred securities and high-yield or “junk” securities. The ETFs are selected based on, but not limited to, the following factors:
- Yield; and
The Sponsor will consider ETFs investing in securities of all durations. The duration of a security is a measure of its price sensitivity to changes in interest rates based on the weighted average term to maturity of its interest and principal cash flows.
ETFs are investment pools that hold securities. ETFs provide an efficient and relatively simple way to invest in that they offer investors the opportunity to buy and sell an entire basket of securities with a single transaction throughout the trading day. ETFs are often built as an index fund, but trade like a stock on an exchange. ETFs generally offer advantages similar to those found in index funds such as low operating costs, performance designed to track an index, the potential for high tax efficiency and consistent investment strategies. Unlike conventional mutual funds, ETFs normally issue and redeem shares on a continuous basis at their net asset value in large specified blocks of shares, known as “creation units.” Market makers, large investors and institutions deal in creation units. The Trust will buy shares of the ETF on the exchanges and will incur brokerage costs.
Alternative Income Securities Segment
The Sponsor selects BDCs, MLPs and/or Midstream C-Corps, U.S. and international REITs and ETFs that invest in REITs based on, but not limited to, the following factors:
- Liquidity; and
- Dividend yield.
The BDCs held by the Trust will be publicly traded and may hold equity or fixed-income securities issued by domestic or foreign companies. These securities may include the securities of small-, mid- or large-capitalization companies. In addition, the securities held by the BDCs included in the Trust may be rated investment-grade or non-investment-grade. High-yield or “junk” bonds, the generic names for bonds rated below investment-grade, are frequently issued by corporations in the growth stage of their development or by established companies that are highly leveraged or whose operations or industries are depressed. Obligations rated below investment-grade should be considered speculative.
Risks and Other Considerations
As with all investments, you may lose some or all of your investment in the Trust. No assurance can be given that the Trust’s investment objective will be achieved. The Trust also might not perform as well as you expect. This can happen for reasons such as these:
- Securities prices can be volatile. The value of your investment may fall over time. Market value fluctuates in response to various factors. These can include stock market movements, purchases or sales of securities by the Trust, government policies, litigation, and changes in interest rates, inflation, the financial condition of the securities’ issuer or even perceptions of the issuer. Changes in legal, political, regulatory, tax and economic conditions may cause fluctuations in markets and securities prices, which could negatively impact the value of the Trust. Additionally, event such war, terrorism, natural and environmental disasters and the spread of infectious illnesses or other public health emergencies may adversely affect the economy, various markets and issuers. Recently, the outbreak of a novel and highly contagious form of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) has adversely impacted global commercial activity and contributed to significant volatility in certain markets. Many governments and businesses have instituted quarantines and closures, which has resulted in significant disruption in manufacturing, supply chains, consumer demand and economic activity. The potential impacts are increasingly uncertain, difficult to assess and impossible to predict, and may result in significant losses. Any adverse event could materially and negatively impact the value and performance of Trust and the Trust’s ability to achieve its investment objectives. Units of the Trust are not deposits of any bank and are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.
- Share prices, dividend rates or distributions on the securities in the Trust may decline during the life of the Trust. There is no guarantee that share prices of the securities in the Trust will not decline and that the issuers of the securities will declare dividends or distributions in the future and, if declared, whether they will remain at current levels or increase over time.
- The Trust invests in shares of ETFs. ETFs are investment pools that hold other securities. The ETFs are often passively-managed index funds that seek to replicate the performance or composition of a recognized securities index. ETFs are subject to various risks, including management’s ability to meet the fund’s investment objective. Shares of ETFs may trade at a discount from their net asset value in the secondary market. This risk is separate and distinct from the risk that the net asset value of the ETF shares may decrease. The amount of such discount from net asset value is subject to change from time to time in response to various factors. The underlying ETF has management and operating expenses. Consequently, you will bear not only your share of your Trust’s expenses, but also the expenses of the underlying ETFs. By investing in ETFs, the Trust incurs greater expenses than you would incur if you invested directly in the ETFs.
- The Trust is subject to an ETF’s index correlation risk. To the extent that an underlying ETF is an index tracking ETF, index correlation risk is the risk that the performance of an ETF will vary from the actual performance of the fund’s target index, known as “tracking error.” This can happen due to fund expenses, transaction costs, market impact, corporate actions (such as mergers and spin-offs) and timing variances.
- The Trust invests in shares of BDCs. BDCs’ ability to grow and their overall financial condition is impacted significantly by their ability to raise capital. In addition to raising capital through the issuance of common stock, BDCs may engage in borrowing. A BDC’s credit rating may change over time which could adversely affect their ability to obtain additional credit and/or increase the cost of such borrowing. BDCs are generally leveraged, which may magnify the potential for gains and losses on amounts invested and, accordingly, may increase the risks associated with those securities. BDC investments are frequently not publicly traded and, as a result, there is uncertainty as to the value and liquidity of those investments. Due to the relative illiquidity of certain BDC investments, if a BDC is required to liquidate all or a portion of its portfolio quickly, it may realize significantly less than the value at which such investments are recorded.
BDCs frequently have high expenses which may include, but are not limited to, the payment of management fees, administration expenses, taxes, interest payable on debt, governmental charges, independent director fees and expenses, valuation expenses, and fees payable to third parties relating to or associated with making investments. In addition, a BDC may pay an incentive fee to its investment adviser. The potential for the investment adviser to earn incentive fees may create an incentive for the investment adviser to make investments that are riskier or more speculative than would otherwise be in the best interests of the BDC. Additionally, if the base management fee is based on gross assets, the investment adviser may have an incentive to increase portfolio leverage in order to earn higher base management fees. These incentives raise the expenses paid by a BDC. The Trust will indirectly bear these expenses and estimated BDC expenses are shown in the Trust’s annual operating expenses under “Fees and Expenses” to illustrate the impact of their impact. These expenses may fluctuate significantly over time.
- The ETFs and BDCs are subject to annual fees and expenses, including a management fee. Unitholders of the Trust will bear these fees in addition to the fees and expenses of the Trust. See “Fees and Expenses” for additional information.
- The value of the fixed-income securities in the BDCs and ETFs will generally fall if interest rates, in general, rise. Typically, fixed-income securities with longer periods before maturity are more sensitive to interest rate changes. In addition, the duration of a security will also affect its price sensitivity to interest rate changes. For example, if a security has a duration of 5 years and interest rates go up by 1%, it can be expected that the security price will move down by 5%. The Trust may be subject to greater risk of rising interest rates than would normally be the case due to the current period of historically low rates.
- A BDC, ETF or an issuer of securities held by a BDC or ETF may be unwilling or unable to make principal payments and/or to declare distributions in the future, may call a security before its stated maturity, or may reduce the level of distributions declared. Issuers may suspend dividends during the life of the Trust. This may result in a reduction in the value of your units.
- The financial condition of a BDC, ETF or an issuer of securities held by a BDC or ETF may worsen, resulting in a reduction in the value of your units. This may occur at any point in time, including during the primary offering period.
- Economic conditions may lead to limited liquidity and greater volatility. The markets for fixed-income securities, such as those held by certain BDCs and ETFs, may experience periods of illiquidity and volatility. General market uncertainty and consequent repricing risk have led to market imbalances of sellers and buyers, which in turn have resulted in significant valuation uncertainties in a variety of fixed-income securities. These conditions resulted, and in many cases continue to result in, greater volatility, less liquidity, widening credit spreads and a lack of price transparency, with many debt securities remaining illiquid and of uncertain value. These market conditions may make valuation of some of the securities held by a BDC or ETF uncertain and/or result in sudden and significant valuation increases or declines in its holdings.
- Certain BDCs and ETFs held by the Trust invest in securities that are rated below investment-grade and are considered to be “junk” securities. Below investment-grade obligations are considered to be speculative and are subject to greater market and credit risks, and accordingly, the risk of non-payment or default is higher than with investment-grade securities. In addition, such securities may be more sensitive to interest rate changes and more likely to receive early returns of principal in falling rate environments.
- Certain BDCs and ETFs held by the Trust may invest in securities that are rated as investment-grade by only one rating agency. As a result, such split-rated securities may have more speculative characteristics and are subject to a greater risk of default than securities rated as investment-grade by more than one rating agency.
- The Trust invests in ADRs and U.S.- listed foreign securities and certain ETFs and BDCs held by the Trust invest in foreign securities. Certain ETF’s and BDC’s investment in foreign securities and the Trust’s investment in U.S.-listed foreign securities and ADRs presents additional risk. ADRs are issued by a bank or Trust company to evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by foreign corporations. Securities of foreign issuers present risks beyond those of domestic securities. More specifically, foreign risk is the risk that foreign securities will be more volatile than U.S. securities due to such factors as adverse economic, currency, political, social or regulatory developments in a country, including government seizure of assets, excessive taxation, limitations on the use or transfer of assets, the lack of liquidity or regulatory controls with respect to certain industries or differing legal and/or accounting standards.
- The Trust and certain ETFs held by the Trust invest in securities issued by companies headquartered or incorporated in countries considered to be emerging markets. Emerging markets are generally defined as countries with low per capita income in the initial stages of their industrialization cycles. Risks of investing in developing or emerging countries include the possibility of investment and trading limitations, liquidity concerns, delays and disruptions in settlement transactions, political uncertainties and dependence on international trade and development assistance. Companies headquartered in emerging market countries may be exposed to greater volatility and market risk.
- The Trust invests in, and certain BDCs and ETFs held by the Trust may invest in, securities issued by small-capitalization and mid-capitalization companies. These securities customarily involve more investment risk than securities of large-capitalization companies. Small-capitalization and mid-capitalization companies may have limited product lines, markets or financial resources and may be more vulnerable to adverse general market or economic developments.
- The Trust invests in MLPs. MLPs are limited partnerships or limited liability companies that are taxed as partnerships and whose interests (limited partnership units or limited liability company units) are traded on securities exchanges like shares of common stock. Currently, most MLPs operate in the energy, natural resources or real estate sectors. Investments in MLP interests are subject to the risks generally applicable to companies in the energy and natural resources sectors, including commodity pricing risk, supply and demand risk, depletion risk and exploration risk. The benefit the Trust derives from its investment in MLPs is largely dependent on their being treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes. As a partnership, an MLP has no income tax liability at the entity level. If, as a result of a change in an MLP’s business, an MLP were treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, such MLP would be obligated to pay federal income tax on its income at the applicable corporate tax rate. If an MLP was classified as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, the amount of cash available for distribution with respect to its units would be reduced and any such distributions received by the Trust would be taxed entirely as dividend income if paid out of the earnings of the MLP. Therefore, treatment of an MLP as a corporation for federal income tax purposes would result in a material reduction in the after-tax return to the Trust, likely causing a substantial reduction in the value of the units of the Trust.
- The Trust and certain ETFs held by the Trust invest in REITs. REITs may concentrate their investments in specific geographic areas or in specific property types, such as, hotels, shopping malls, residential complexes and office buildings. The value of the REITs and other real estate securities and the ability of such securities to distribute income may be adversely affected by several factors, including: rising interest rates; changes in the global and local economic climate and real estate conditions; perceptions of prospective tenants of the safety, convenience and attractiveness of the properties; the ability of the owner to provide adequate management, maintenance and insurance; the cost of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act; increased competition from new properties; the impact of present or future environmental legislation and compliance with environmental laws; changes in real estate taxes and other operating expenses; adverse changes in governmental rules and fiscal policies; adverse changes in zoning laws; declines in the value of real estate; the downturn in the subprime mortgage lending market and the real estate markets in the United States; and other factors beyond the control of the issuer of the security. Additionally, current negative economic impacts caused by COVID- 19 have resulted in a number of businesses and individuals struggling to pay their rents, which has created cash flow difficulties for many landlords. Furthermore, demand for leased commercial space has weakened. REITs provide space to many industries that have been directly impacted by the spread of COVID-19 and may be negatively impacted by these current conditions.
- The Trust may be susceptible to potential risks through breaches in cybersecurity. A breach in cybersecurity refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Trust to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Sponsor of the Trust to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. In addition, cybersecurity breaches of the Trust’s third-party service providers, or issuers in which the Trust invests, can also subject the Trust to many of the same risks associated with direct cybersecurity breaches.
- The Trust is subject to risks arising from various operational factors and their service providers. Operational factors include, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Trust’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. Additionally, the Trust may be subject to the risk that a service provider may not be willing or able to perform their duties as required or contemplated by their agreements with the Trust. Although the Trust seeks to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures, there is no way to completely protect against such risks.
- Inflation may lead to a decrease in the value of assets or income from investments.
- The Sponsor does not actively manage the portfolio. The Trust will generally hold, and may, when creating additional units, continue to buy, the same securities even though a security’s outlook, market value or yield may have changed.
See “Investment Risks” in Part A of the prospectus and “Risk Factors” in Part B of the prospectus for additional information.