Preferred securities are subject to bond market volatility risk, credit risk and interest rate fluctuation risk. In addition, preferred securities are subordinated to other securities in the issuer’s capital structure and are subject to the risk that the issuer will fail to make dividends or other distributions because other claims on the issuer’s assets take priority. Preferred securities may be less liquid than many other types of securities and may be subject to the risk of being redeemed prior to their scheduled date.
In attempting to track the performance of the S&P Preferred Stock Index, the Preferred sleeve may be more susceptible to adverse developments concerning a particular security, company or industry because the sleeve’s index component generally will not use any defensive strategies to mitigate its risk exposure.
The Global Dividend Stocks and REITs sleeves each employ a disciplined strategy and will not deviate from their strategy (except to the extent necessary to comply with federal tax laws or other applicable laws). If either sleeve is committed to a strategy that is unsuccessful, the Fund may not meet its overall investment goal. Because the Global Dividend Stocks sleeve generally will not use certain hedging techniques available to the Preferred and REIT sleeves to reduce stock market exposure, this portion of the Fund may be more susceptible to general market declines than the other sleeves. International investing involves special risks, such as currency fluctuations and economic and political instability. 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.
Real estate securities are subject to the risk that property values may fall due to increasing vacancies or declining rents. The price of real estate securities also may decline because of the failure of borrowers to pay their loans and poor management. Many real estate companies utilize leverage, which increases investment risk and could adversely affect a company’s operations and market value in periods of rising interest rates, as well as risks normally associated with debt financing. Income and real estate values also may be adversely affected by such factors as applicable laws, interest rate levels and the availability of financing.