Investments in stocks involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. Dividend income is not guaranteed and may vary depending on market performance, and may be taxed as either ordinary income or capital gains. Dividend yield is one component of performance and should not be the only consideration for investment. Investment results will vary.
The performance of the ESG Dividend Fund may be subject to greater fluctuation since its strategy involves holding a limited number of securities. This type of strategy may increase the Fund’s risk since the performance of a particular stock may have a larger impact, positively or negatively, on the Fund’s performance.
ESG screening limits the availability of investment opportunities for the Fund. If the Fund changes its ESG standards or a company stops meeting the Fund’s ESG standards, the Fund may sell the affected investments even if this means the Fund loses money.
The ESG Dividend Fund and Select Dividend Growth Fund each employ a Disciplined Strategy and will not deviate from that strategy (except to the extent necessary to comply with federal tax laws or other applicable laws). If either Fund is committed to a strategy that is unsuccessful, the Fund will not meet its investment goal. Because these Funds will not use certain techniques available to other mutual funds to reduce stock market exposure, they may be more susceptible to general market declines than other mutual funds.
Interest rates and bond prices typically move inversely to each other. As interest rates rise, credit instruments typically fall, and as interest rates fall, credit instruments typically rise. Longer term and lower coupon bonds tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes. Investments in loans and other floating-rate securities reduce interest rate risk. While interest rates on loans adjust periodically, these rates may not correlate to prevailing interest rates during the periods between rate adjustments. The Fund may be subject to a greater risk of rising interest rates due to the current period of historically low rates and the effect of potential government fiscal policy initiatives and resulting market reaction to those initiatives.
Investments in floating rate loans involve certain risks, including, among others, risks of nonpayment of principal and interest; collateral impairment; non-diversification and borrower industry concentration; and lack of full liquidity. Investments in non-investment-grade debt securities (“high-yield” or “junk” bonds) tend to have lower interest rate risk but may be subject to greater market fluctuations and risk of default or loss of income and principal than securities in higher rating categories. High-yield debt instruments carry a greater default risk, may be more volatile, less liquid, more difficult to value and more susceptible to adverse economic conditions or investor perceptions than other debt instruments.
Focused funds are less diversified than typical mutual funds; therefore the performance of each holding in a focused fund has a greater impact upon the overall portfolio, which increases risk. Stocks of small-cap and mid-cap companies are generally more volatile than and not as readily marketable as those of larger companies, and may have fewer resources and a greater risk of business failure than do large companies.
Senior floating rate funds are not money market funds; their NAVs will fluctuate and may lose value. Investment in these loans involves certain risks, including, among others, risks of nonpayment of principal and interest; collateral impairment; non-diversification and borrower industry concentration; and lack of full liquidity.
Investments in stocks are subject to risk, including the possible loss of principal. Stocks of small-cap and micro-cap companies are subject to additional risks. Companies with smaller market capitalizations tend to be at early stages of development with limited product lines, market access for products, financial resources, access to new capital, or depth in management. It may be difficult to obtain reliable information and financial data about these companies. Consequently, the securities of smaller companies may not be as readily marketable and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic market movements.
In attempting to track the performance of the Russell 2000 Index, the Small-Cap Fund may be more susceptible to adverse developments concerning a particular security, company or industry because the Fund’s index component generally will not use any defensive strategies to mitigate its risk exposure.
Investing internationally involves special risks, such as currency fluctuations, and economic and political instability.