The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks issued by companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index, a float-adjusted market- capitalization-weighted index designed to measure equity market performance of companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States. As of October 31, 2017, the Index includes 5,902 stocks of companies located in 46 countries, and the largest markets covered in the Index were Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, and China (which made up approximately 17%, 13%, 7%, 7%, 7%, and 6%, respectively). The Fund invests all, or substantially all, of its assets in the common stocks included in its target index.
An investment in the Fund could lose money over short or even long periods. You should expect the Fund’s share price and total return to fluctuate within a wide range. The Fund is subject to the following risks, which could affect the Fund’s performance:
- Stock market risk, which is the chance that stock prices overall will decline. Stock markets tend to move in cycles, with periods of rising prices and periods of falling prices. The Fund’s investments in foreign stocks can be riskier than U.S. stock investments. Foreign stocks tend to be more volatile and less liquid than U.S. stocks. The prices of foreign stocks and the prices of U.S. stocks may move in opposite directions. In addition, the Fund’s target index may, at times, become focused in stocks of a particular market sector, which would subject the Fund to proportionately higher exposure to the risks of that sector.
- Investment style risk, which is the chance that returns from non-U.S. small- and mid-capitalization stocks will trail returns from global stock markets. Historically, non-U.S. small- and mid-cap stocks have been more volatile in price than the large-cap stocks that dominate the global markets, and they often perform quite differently.
- Country/regional risk, which is the chance that world events – such as political upheaval, financial troubles, or natural disasters – will adversely affect the value of securities issued by companies in foreign countries or regions. Because the Fund may invest a large portion of its assets in securities of companies located in any one country or region, the Fund’s performance may be hurt disproportionately by the poor performance of its investments in that area. Country/regional risk is especially high in emerging markets.
- Currency risk, which is the chance that the value of a foreign investment, measured in U.S. dollars, will decrease because of unfavorable changes in currency exchange rates. Currency risk is especially high in emerging markets.
- Emerging markets risk, which is the chance that the stocks of companies located in emerging markets will be substantially more volatile, and substantially less liquid, than the stocks of companies located in more developed foreign markets because, among other factors, emerging markets can have greater custodial and operational risks; less developed legal, tax, regulatory, and accounting systems; and greater political, social, and economic instability than developed markets.
An investment in the Fund is not a deposit of a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.