PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
(to Prospectus dated October 2, 2020)
Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities Fund
Up to 11,250,000 Common Shares

     Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to maximize total return through a combination of current income and capital appreciation. The Fund pursues a relative value-based investment philosophy, which utilizes quantitative and qualitative analysis to seek to identify securities or spreads between securities that deviate from their perceived fair value and/or historical norms. The Fund’s sub-adviser seeks to combine a credit-managed fixed-income portfolio with access to a diversified pool of alternative investments and equity strategies. The Fund’s investment philosophy is predicated upon the belief that thorough research and independent thought are rewarded with performance that has the potential to outperform benchmark indexes with both lower volatility and lower correlation of returns as compared to such benchmark indexes. The Fund cannot ensure investors that it will achieve its investment objective.
     The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a wide range of fixed-income and other debt and senior equity securities (“Income Securities”) selected from a variety of sectors and credit qualities, including, but not limited to, corporate bonds, loans and loan participations, structured finance investments, U.S. government and agency securities, mezzanine and preferred securities and convertible securities, and in common stocks, limited liability company interests, trust certificates and other equity investments (“Common Equity Securities”) that the Fund’s sub-adviser believes offer attractive yield and/or capital appreciation potential, including employing a strategy of writing (selling) covered call and put options on such equities.
     The Fund has entered into a Controlled Equity OfferingSM Sales Agreement, dated July 1, 2019 (the “Sales Agreement”), among the Fund, the Fund’s investment advisor, Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”), and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. (“Cantor Fitzgerald”) relating to the Fund’s common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.01 per share (the “Common Shares”), offered by this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus. In accordance with the terms of the Sales Agreement, the Fund may offer and sell up to 11,250,000 Common Shares, from time to time, through Cantor Fitzgerald as agent for the Fund for the offer and sale of Common Shares. As of September 10, 2020, the Fund had sold 6,986,379 Common Shares pursuant to the Sales Agreement and 4,263,621 Common Shares remained available for sale pursuant to this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus.
     Cantor Fitzgerald will be entitled to compensation of up to 2.00% of the gross proceeds of the sale of any Common Shares under the Sales Agreement, with the exact amount of such compensation to be mutually agreed upon by the Fund and Cantor Fitzgerald from time to time. In connection with the sale of the Common Shares on behalf of the Fund, Cantor Fitzgerald may be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”) and the compensation of Cantor Fitzgerald may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts.
     Sales of Common Shares, if any, under this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus may be made in negotiated transactions or by any method permitted by law deemed to be an “at the market offering” as defined in Rule 415(a)(4) under the 1933 Act.
     The Fund’s currently outstanding Common Shares are, and the Common Shares offered by this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus will be, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “GOF.” As of September 10, 2020, the net asset value per share of the Fund’s Common Shares was $16.24 and the last reported sale price for the Fund’s Common Shares on the NYSE was $18.17 per share, representing a premium to net asset value of 11.88%. To the extent that the market price per Common Share, less any distributing

i


commission or discount, is less than the then current net asset value per Common Share on any given day, the Fund will instruct Cantor Fitzgerald not to make any sales on such day.
This Prospectus Supplement, together with the accompanying Prospectus, dated October 2, 2020, sets forth concisely the information that you should know before investing in the Fund’s Common Shares. You should read this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus, which contain important information about the Fund, before deciding whether to invest, and you should retain them for future reference. A Statement of Additional Information, dated October 2, 2020, (the “SAI”), as supplemented from time to time, containing additional information about the Fund, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and is incorporated by reference in its entirety into the accompanying Prospectus. This Prospectus Supplement, the accompanying Prospectus and the SAI are part of a “shelf” registration statement filed with the SEC. This Prospectus Supplement describes the specific details regarding this offering, including the method of distribution. If information in this Prospectus Supplement is inconsistent with the accompanying Prospectus or the SAI, you should rely on this Prospectus Supplement. You may request a free copy of the SAI or request other information about the Fund (including the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports) or make shareholder inquiries by calling (800) 345-7999 or by writing the Fund, or you may obtain a copy (and other information regarding the Fund) from the SEC’s web site (http://www.sec.gov). Free copies of the Fund’s reports and the SAI also are available from the Fund’s website at www.guggenheiminvestments.com/gof.
     The Fund’s Common Shares do not represent a deposit or obligation of, and are not guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank or other insured depository institution and are not federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board or any other government agency.
     Capitalized terms used herein that are not otherwise defined shall have the meanings assigned to them in the accompanying Prospectus.

     Investing in the Fund’s Common Shares involves certain risks. See “Risks” beginning on page 64 of the accompanying Prospectus. You should consider carefully these risks together with all of the other information contained in this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus before making a decision to purchase Common Shares.
     Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this Prospectus Supplement or the accompanying Prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.


This Prospectus Supplement is dated October 2, 2020.

     
*    *    *
     Beginning on January 1, 2021, paper copies of the Fund’s annual and semi-annual shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports. Instead, the reports will
ii


be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website address to access the report.
     If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change, and you need not take any action. At any time, you may elect to receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund electronically by contacting your financial intermediary or, if you are a registered shareholder and your shares are held with the Fund’s transfer agent, Computershare, you may log into your Investor Center account at www.computershare.com/investor and go to “Communication Preferences” or call 1-866-488-3559.
     You may elect to receive paper copies of all future shareholder reports free of charge. If you invest through a financial intermediary, you can contact your financial intermediary to request that you continue to receive paper copies of your shareholder reports; if you invest directly with the Fund, you may call Computershare at 1-866-488-3559. Your election to receive reports in paper form will apply to all funds held in your account with your financial intermediary or, if you invest directly, to all closed-end funds you hold.
CAUTIONARY NOTICE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
     This Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus contain or incorporate by reference forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the federal securities laws, that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements describe the Fund’s plans, strategies, and goals and our beliefs and assumptions concerning future economic and other conditions and the outlook for the Fund, based on currently available information. In this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus, words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” “objectives,” “goals,” “future,” “intends,” “seeks,” “will,” “may,” “could,” “should,” and similar expressions are used in an effort to identify forward-looking statements, although some forward-looking statements may be expressed differently. The Fund is not entitled to the safe harbor for forward-looking statements pursuant to Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY
1
SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES
2
CAPITALIZATION
4
USE OF PROCEEDS
5
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
5
LEGAL MATTERS
6
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
6


     You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus in making your investment decisions. The Fund has not and Cantor Fitzgerald has not authorized any other person to provide you with different or inconsistent information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. The Fund and Cantor Fitzgerald take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. This Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus do not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. The information appearing in this Prospectus Supplement and in the accompanying Prospectus is accurate only as of the respective dates on their front covers. The Fund’s business, financial condition and prospects may have changed since such dates. The Fund will advise investors of any material changes to the extent required by applicable law.

iii


PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY
     This is only a summary of information contained elsewhere in this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in the Fund’s Common Shares. You should carefully read the more detailed information contained in this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus, dated October 2, 2020, especially the information set forth under the headings “Investment Objective and Policies” and “Risks” prior to making an investment in the Fund. You may also wish to request a copy of the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information, dated October 2, 2020 (the “SAI”), which contains additional information about the Fund. Capitalized terms used herein that are not otherwise defined shall have the meanings assigned to them in the accompanying Prospectus.
 
The Fund
Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company that commenced operations on July 26, 2007. The Fund’s objective is to maximize total return through a combination of current income and capital appreciation. The Fund pursues a relative value-based investment philosophy, which utilizes quantitative and qualitative analysis to seek to identify securities or spreads between securities that deviate from their perceived fair value and/or historical norms.

The Fund’s common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.01 per share, are called “Common Shares” and the holders of Common Shares are called “Common Shareholders” throughout this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus.
   
Management of the Fund
Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser and is responsible for the management of the Fund. Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, Inc. (the “Sub-Adviser”) is responsible for the management of the Fund’s portfolio of securities. Each of the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Guggenheim Partners, LLC (“Guggenheim Partners”). Guggenheim Partners is a diversified financial services firm with wealth management, capital markets, investment management and proprietary investing businesses, whose clients are a mix of individuals, family offices, endowments, foundation insurance companies and other institutions that have entrusted Guggenheim Partners with the supervision of more than $270 billion of assets as of June 30, 2020. Guggenheim Partners is headquartered in Chicago and New York with a global network of offices throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
 
 
Listing and Symbol 
The Fund’s currently outstanding Common Shares are and the Common Shares offered by this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus will be, subject to notice of issuance, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “GOF.” As of September 10, 2020, the net asset value per share of the Fund’s Common Shares was $16.24 and the last reported sale price for the Fund’s Common Shares was $18.17, representing a premium to net asset value of 11.88%.
 
 
Distributions
The Fund has paid distributions to Common Shareholders monthly since inception. Payment of future distributions is subject to approval by the Fund’s Board of Trustees, as well as meeting the covenants of any outstanding borrowings and the asset coverage requirements of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).
 
 
The Offering
The Fund has entered into a Controlled Equity OfferingSM Sales Agreement, dated July 1, 2019 (the “Sales Agreement”), with Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. (“Cantor Fitzgerald”) relating to the Common Shares offered by this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus. In accordance with the terms of the Sales Agreement, the Fund may offer and sell up to 11,250,000 Common Shares, from time to time, through Cantor Fitzgerald as the Fund’s agent for the offer and sale of the Common Shares. As of September 10, 2020, the Fund had sold 6,986,379 Common



1



Shares pursuant to the Sales Agreement and 4,263,621 Common Shares remained available for sale pursuant to this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus.

Sales of Common Shares, if any, under this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus may be made in negotiated transactions or by any method permitted by law deemed to be an “at the market offering” as defined in Rule 415(a)(4) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). See “Plan of Distribution” in this Prospectus Supplement.

The Common Shares may not be sold through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery or deemed delivery of the Prospectus and this Prospectus Supplement describing the method and terms of the offering of Common Shares.

Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may not sell Common Shares at a price below the then current net asset value per Common Share, after taking into account any commission or discount.
   
Risks
See “Risks” beginning on page 64 of the accompanying Prospectus for a discussion of factors you should consider carefully before deciding to invest in the Fund’s Common Shares.
 
 
Use of Proceeds
The Fund intends to invest the net proceeds of the offering in accordance with its investment objective and policies as stated in the accompanying Prospectus. It is currently anticipated that the Fund will be able to invest substantially all of the net proceeds of the offering in accordance with its investment objective and policies within three months after receipt of such proceeds. Pending such investment, it is anticipated that the proceeds will be invested in U.S. government securities or high quality, short-term money market securities. The Fund may also use the proceeds for working capital purposes, including the payment of distributions, interest and operating expenses, although the Fund currently has no intent to issue Common Shares primarily for this purpose.
 
SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES
     The following table contains information about the costs and expenses that Common Shareholders will bear directly or indirectly. The table is based on the capital structure of the Fund as of May 31, 2020 (except as noted below) after giving effect to the anticipated net proceeds of Common Shares offered by this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus and assuming that the Fund incurs the estimated offering expenses. The purpose of the table and the example below is to help you understand the fees and expenses that you, as a holder of Common Shares, would bear directly or indirectly.
Shareholder Transaction Expenses 
 
Sales load (as a percentage of offering price) 
2.00%(1) 
Offering expenses borne by the Fund (as a percentage of offering price) 
0.60%(2) 
Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan fees(3) 
None 
 
 
Percentage of Average Net Assets 
Annual Expenses 
Attributable to Common Shares(4)
Management fees(5) 
1.01% 
Interest expense(6) 
0.03% 
Acquired fund fees and expenses(7)
0.07%
Other expenses(8) 
0.15% 
Total annual expenses(9)
1.26% 
   

(1)
Represents the estimated commission with respect to the Common Shares being sold in this offering. Cantor Fitzgerald will be entitled to compensation of up to 2.00% of the gross proceeds of the sale of any Common


2




Shares under the Sales Agreement, with the exact amount of such compensation to be mutually agreed upon by the Fund and Cantor Fitzgerald from time to time. The Fund has assumed that Cantor Fitzgerald will receive a commission of 2.00% of the gross sale price of the Common Shares sold in this offering.
(2)
The Investment Adviser has incurred on behalf of the Fund all costs associated with the Fund’s registration statement and any offerings pursuant to such registration statement. The Fund has agreed, in connection with offerings under this registration statement, to reimburse the Investment Adviser for offering expenses incurred by the Investment Adviser on the Fund’s behalf in an amount up to the lesser of the Fund’s actual offering costs or 0.60% of the total offering price of the Common Shares sold in such offerings. Amounts in excess of 0.60% of the total offering price of shares sold pursuant to this registration statement will not be subject to recoupment from the Fund.
(3)
You will pay brokerage charges if you direct the Plan Agent to sell your Common Shares held in a dividend reinvestment account. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan” in the accompanying Prospectus.
(4)
Based upon average net assets applicable to Common Shares during the period ended May 31, 2020 after giving effect to the anticipated net proceeds of the Common Shares offered by this Prospectus Supplement based on an assumed price per share of $18.17 (the last reported sale price of the Fund’s Common Shares on the NYSE as of September 10, 2020). The price per share of any sale of Common Shares may be greater or less than the price assumed herein, depending on the market price of the Common Shares at the time of any sale. There is no guarantee that there will be any sales of Common Shares pursuant to this Prospectus Supplement. The number of Common Shares actually sold pursuant to this Prospectus Supplement may be less than as assumed herein.
(5)
The Fund pays an investment advisory fee to the Investment Adviser in an annual amount equal to 1.00% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets. Common Shareholders bear the portion of the investment advisory fee attributable to the assets purchased with the proceeds of borrowing or the issuance of commercial paper or other forms of debt (“Borrowings”) or reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions or through a combination of the foregoing (collectively “Financial Leverage”), which means that Common Shareholders effectively bear the entire advisory fee. The fee shown above is based upon outstanding Financial Leverage of 8.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. If Financial Leverage of more than 8.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets is used, the management fees shown would be higher.
(6)
 
  
 
Includes interest payments on borrowed funds and interest expense on reverse repurchase agreements. Interest payments on borrowed funds is based upon the Fund’s outstanding Borrowings as of May 31, 2020, which included Borrowings under the Fund’s committed facility agreement in an amount equal to 2.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets, at an average interest rate of 1.80%. Interest expenses on reverse repurchase agreements is based on the Fund’s outstanding reverse repurchase agreements as of May 31, 2020, which included leverage in the form of reverse repurchase agreements in an amount equal to 6.0% of the Fund’s Managed Assets, at a weighted average interest rate cost to the Fund of 0.72%. The actual amount of interest payments and expenses by the Fund will vary over time in accordance with the amount of Borrowings and reverse repurchase agreements and variations in market interest rates.
(7)
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year, reflecting the fees and expenses borne by the Fund as an investor in other investment companies during the most recently completed fiscal year and the expected investment of the proceeds of this offering.
(8)
Other expenses are estimated based upon those incurred during the fiscal period ended May 31, 2020.
(9)
The Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses in this fee table may not correlate to the expense ratios in the Fund’s financial highlights and financial statements because the financial highlights and financial statements reflect only the operating expenses of the Fund and do not include Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, which are fees and expenses incurred indirectly by the Fund through its investments in certain underlying investment companies.
Example
     As required by relevant SEC regulations, the following Example illustrates the expenses that you would pay on a $1,000 investment in Common Shares, assuming (1) “Total annual expenses” of 1.26% of net assets attributable to Common Shares, (2) the sales load of $20 and estimated offering expenses of $6, and (3) a 5% annual return*:
 
1 Year 
3 Years 
5 Years 
10 Years 
Total Expenses Incurred 
$39
$65
$93
$174
 



3



*     
The Example should not be considered a representation of future expenses or returns. Actual expenses may be higher or lower than those assumed. Moreover, the Fund’s actual rate of return may be higher or lower than the hypothetical 5% return shown in the Example. The Example assumes that all dividends and distributions are reinvested at net asset value.
 
CAPITALIZATION
     In accordance with the terms of the Sales Agreement, the Fund may offer and sell up to 11,250,000 Common Shares, from time to time, through Cantor Fitzgerald as the Fund’s agent for the offer and sale of Common Shares. As of September 10, 2020, the Fund had sold 6,986,379 Common Shares pursuant to the Sales Agreement and 4,263,621 Common Shares remained available for sale pursuant to this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus. The price per share of any Common Share sold hereunder may be greater or less than the price of $18.17 (the last reported sale price for the Fund’s Common Shares on the NYSE as of September 10, 2020) assumed herein, depending on the market price of the Common Shares at the time of such sale. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the Fund will sell all of the Common Shares available for sale hereunder or that there will be any sales of Common Shares hereunder. To the extent that the market price per Common Share, less any distributing commission or discount, is less than the then current net asset value per Common Share on any given day, the Fund will instruct Cantor Fitzgerald not to make any sales on such day.
 The following table sets forth the Fund’s capitalization at May 31, 2020:
(i)   
on an actual basis;
   
(ii)   
on an as adjusted basis, as of September 10, 2020, to reflect the issuance of an aggregate of 127,987 Common Shares pursuant to the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan, and the application of the net proceeds from such issuances of Common Shares; and the issuance and sale of 1,671,684 Common Shares issued and sold after May 31, 2020, but prior to the date of this Prospectus Supplement (less the commission paid and offering expenses payable by the Fund in connection with the issuance and sale of such Common Shares); and
   
(iii)   
on an as further adjusted basis to reflect the assumed sale of 4,263,621 Common Shares at a price of $18.17 per share (the last reported sale price for the Fund’s Common Shares on the NYSE as of September 10, 2020), in an offering under this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus less the assumed commission of $1,549,400 (representing an estimated commission paid to Cantor Fitzgerald of 2.00% of the gross proceeds of the sale of Common Shares effected by Cantor Fitzgerald in this offering) and estimated offering expenses payable by the Fund of $464,820.
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
Actual 
As Adjusted 
As Further Adjusted 
 
(audited) 
(unaudited) 
(unaudited) 
Short-Term Debt:
     
Reverse Repurchase Agreements and Borrowings
$61,745,822
$214,701,416
$214,701,416
Common Shareholder’s Equity: 
 
 
 
Common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.01 per 
 
 
 
share; unlimited shares authorized, 42,426,020 shares 
 
 
 
issued and outstanding (actual), 44,225,691 shares 
 
 
 
issued and outstanding (as adjusted), and 48,489,312
 
 
 
shares issued and outstanding (as further adjusted) 
$424,260 
       $442,257
       $484,893
Additional paid-in capital 
749,269,831 
780,124,272
855,537,410
Total distributable earnings (loss) 
(100,802,020) 
(100,802,020)
(100,802,020)
Net assets 
$648,892,071 
$679,764,509
$755,220,283
 


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USE OF PROCEEDS
     Sales of Common Shares, if any, under this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus may be made in negotiated transactions or by any method permitted by law deemed to be an “at the market offering” as defined in Rule 415(a)(4) under the 1933 Act. Assuming the sale of 4,263,621 Common Shares under this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus, the net proceeds to the Fund from this offering will be approximately $75.5 million (assuming a price of $18.17 per share, which was the last reported sales price of the Common Shares on the NYSE on September 10, 2020), after deducting the estimated commission and estimated offering expenses. There is no guarantee that there will be any sales of Common Shares pursuant to the Prospectus Supplement. The price per share of any Common Share sold hereunder may be greater or less than the price assumed herein, depending on the market price of the Common Shares at the time of such sale. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the Fund will sell all of the Common Shares available for sale hereunder or that there will be any sales of Common Shares hereunder. To the extent that the market price per Common Share, less any distributing commission or discount, is less than the then current net asset value per Common Share on any given day, the Fund will instruct Cantor Fitzgerald not to make any sales on such day. As a result, the actual net proceeds received by the Fund may be less than the amount of net proceeds estimated in this paragraph.
     The Fund intends to invest the net proceeds of the offering in accordance with its investment objective and policies as stated in the accompanying Prospectus. It is currently anticipated that the Fund will be able to invest substantially all of the net proceeds of the offering in accordance with its investment objective and policies within three months after receipt of such proceeds. Pending such investment, it is anticipated that the proceeds will be invested in U.S. government securities or high quality, short-term money market securities. The Fund may also use the proceeds for working capital purposes, including the payment of distributions, interest and operating expenses, although the Fund currently has no intent to issue Common Shares primarily for these purposes.
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
     Under the Sales Agreement among the Fund, the Investment Adviser and Cantor Fitzgerald, upon written instructions from the Fund, Cantor Fitzgerald will use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its sales and trading practices, to solicit offers to purchase the Common Shares under the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Sales Agreement. Cantor Fitzgerald’s solicitation will continue until the Fund instructs Cantor Fitzgerald to suspend the solicitations and offers. The Fund will instruct Cantor Fitzgerald as to the amount of Common Shares to be sold by Cantor Fitzgerald. The Fund may instruct Cantor Fitzgerald not to sell Common Shares if the sales cannot be effected at or above the price designated by the Fund in any instruction. The Fund or Cantor Fitzgerald may suspend the offering of Common Shares upon proper notice and subject to other conditions.
     Cantor Fitzgerald will provide written confirmation to the Fund not later than the opening of the trading day on the NYSE following any trading day on which Common Shares are sold under the Sales Agreement. Each confirmation will include the number of Common Shares sold on the preceding day, the net proceeds to the Fund and the compensation payable by the Fund to Cantor Fitzgerald in connection with the sales.
     The Fund will pay Cantor Fitzgerald commissions for its services in acting as agent for the sale of Common Shares. Cantor Fitzgerald will be entitled to compensation of up to 2.00% of the gross proceeds of the sale of any Common Shares under the Sales Agreement, with the exact amount of such compensation to be mutually agreed upon by the Fund and Cantor Fitzgerald from time to time. There is no guarantee that there will be any sales of Common Shares pursuant to this Prospectus Supplement.
     Settlement for sales of Common Shares will occur on the second trading day following the date on which such sales are made, or on some other date that is agreed upon by the Fund and Cantor Fitzgerald in connection with a particular transaction, in return for payment of the net proceeds to the Fund. There is no arrangement for funds to be deposited in escrow, trust or similar arrangement.
     In connection with the sale of Common Shares on behalf of the Fund, Cantor Fitzgerald may be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the 1933 Act, and the compensation paid to Cantor Fitzgerald may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. The Fund and the Investment Adviser have agreed to provide indemnification and contribution to Cantor Fitzgerald against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the

5

1933 Act. The Fund and the Investment Adviser have also agreed to reimburse Cantor Fitzgerald for other specified expenses.
     The offering of Common Shares pursuant to the Sales Agreement will terminate upon the earlier of (1) the sale of all Common Shares subject to the Sales Agreement or (2) the termination of the Sales Agreement. The Sales Agreement may be terminated by the Fund in its sole discretion at any time by giving 10 days’ notice to Cantor Fitzgerald. The Sales Agreement may be terminated by the Investment Adviser in its sole discretion in the event the Investment Adviser ceases to act as investment adviser to the Fund. In addition, Cantor Fitzgerald may terminate the Sales Agreement under the circumstances specified in the Sales Agreement and in its sole discretion at any time following a period of 30 days from the date of the Sales Agreement by giving 10 days’ notice to the Fund.
     Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may not sell Common Shares at a price below the then current net asset value per Common Share, after taking into account any commission or discount. To the extent that the market price per share of the Fund’s Common Shares is less than the then current net asset value per Common Share, after taking into account any commission or discount, on any given day, the Fund will instruct Cantor Fitzgerald not to make any sales on such day.
     In accordance with the terms of the Sales Agreement, the Fund may offer and sell up to 11,250,000 Common Shares, from time to time, through Cantor Fitzgerald as agent for the Fund for the offer and sale of Common Shares.  As of September 10, 2020, the Fund had sold 6,986,379 Common Shares pursuant to the Sales Agreement and 4,263,621 Common Shares remained available for sale pursuant to this Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus.
The principal business address of Cantor Fitzgerald is 499 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022.
LEGAL MATTERS
     Certain legal matters will be passed on by Dechert LLP, as counsel to the Fund in connection with the offering of Common Shares. Certain legal matters will be passed on by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, New York, New York and Houston, Texas, as special counsel to Cantor Fitzgerald in connection with the offering of Common Shares.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
     This Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus constitute part of a Registration Statement filed by the Fund with the SEC under the Securities Act and the 1940 Act. This Prospectus Supplement and the accompanying Prospectus omit certain of the information contained in the Registration Statement, and reference is hereby made to the Registration Statement and related exhibits for further information with respect to the Fund and the Common Shares offered hereby. Any statements contained herein concerning the provisions of any document are not necessarily complete, and, in each instance, reference is made to the copy of such document filed as an exhibit to the Registration Statement or otherwise filed with the SEC. Each such statement is qualified in its entirety by such reference. The complete Registration Statement may be obtained from the SEC upon payment of the fee prescribed by its rules and regulations or free of charge through the SEC’s web site (http://www.sec.gov).

6




PROSPECTUS

$350,000,000
Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities Fund
Common Shares
________________
Investment Objective and Philosophy. Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to maximize total return through a combination of current income and capital appreciation. The Fund will pursue a relative value-based investment philosophy, which utilizes quantitative and qualitative analysis to seek to identify securities or spreads between securities that deviate from their perceived fair value and/or historical norms. The Fund’s sub-adviser seeks to combine a credit-managed fixed-income portfolio with access to a diversified pool of alternative investments and equity strategies. The Fund’s investment philosophy is predicated upon the belief that thorough research and independent thought are rewarded with performance that has the potential to outperform benchmark indexes with both lower volatility and lower correlation of returns as compared to such benchmark indexes. The Fund cannot ensure investors that it will achieve its investment objective.
Investment Portfolio. The Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing in a wide range of fixed-income and other debt and senior equity securities (“Income Securities”) selected from a variety of sectors and credit qualities, including, but not limited to, corporate bonds, loans and loan participations, structured finance investments, U.S. government and agency securities, mezzanine and preferred securities and convertible securities, and in common stocks, limited liability company interests, trust certificates and other equity investments (“Common Equity Securities”) that the Fund’s sub-adviser believes offer attractive yield and/or capital appreciation potential, including employing a strategy of writing (selling) covered call and put options on such equities.
Offering. The Fund may offer, from time to time, up to $350,000,000 aggregate initial offering price of common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.01 per share (“Common Shares”), in one or more offerings in amounts, at prices and on terms set forth in one or more supplements to this Prospectus (each a “Prospectus Supplement”). As of September 10, 2020, the Fund had sold 6,986,379 Common Shares in an at-the-market offering at an aggregate offering price of $126,435,045. As a result, up to $223,564,955 aggregate offering price of Common Shares remained available for subsequent offerings under this Prospectus. You should read this Prospectus and any related Prospectus Supplement carefully before you decide to invest in the Common Shares.
The Fund may offer Common Shares (1) directly to one or more purchasers, (2) through agents that the Fund may designate from time to time or (3) to or through underwriters or dealers. The Prospectus Supplement relating to a particular offering of Common Shares will identify any agents or underwriters involved in the sale of Common Shares, and will set forth any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between the Fund and agents or underwriters or among underwriters or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. The Fund may not sell Common Shares through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of this Prospectus and a Prospectus Supplement. See “Plan of Distribution.”
________________
Investing in the Fund’s Common Shares involves certain risks. See “Risks” on page 64 of this Prospectus.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this Prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
________________
Prospectus dated October 2, 2020

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Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser. Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser and is responsible for the management of the Fund. Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) will be responsible for the management of the Fund’s portfolio of securities. Each of the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guggenheim Partners, LLC (“Guggenheim Partners”). Guggenheim Partners is a diversified financial services firm with wealth management, capital markets, investment management and proprietary investing businesses, whose clients are a mix of individuals, family offices, endowments, foundation insurance companies and other institutions that have entrusted Guggenheim Partners with the supervision of more than $270 billion of assets as of June 30, 2020. Guggenheim Partners is headquartered in Chicago and New York with a global network of offices throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. The Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser are referred to herein collectively as the “Adviser.”
Investment Parameters. The Fund may allocate its assets among a wide variety of Income Securities and Common Equity Securities. The Fund may invest without limitation in below-investment grade securities (e.g., securities rated below Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., below BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group or Fitch Ratings or comparably rated by another nationally recognized statistical rating organization or, if unrated, determined by the Sub-Adviser to be of comparable quality). Below investment grade securities are commonly referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds and are considered speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. The Fund’s investments in any of the sectors and types of Income Securities in which the Fund may invest may include, without limitation, below-investment grade securities. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will not invest more than: 50% of its total assets in Common Equity Securities consisting of common stock; 30% of its total assets in other investment companies, including registered investment companies, private investment funds and/or other pooled investment vehicles; 20% of its total assets in non-U.S. dollar-denominated Income Securities; and 10% of its total assets in Income Securities of issuers in emerging markets.
Common Shares. The Fund’s currently outstanding Common Shares are, and the Common Shares offered in this Prospectus will be, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “GOF.” The net asset value of the Common Shares at the close of business on September 10, 2020 was $16.24 per share and the last sale price of the Common Shares on the NYSE on such date was $18.17, representing a premium to net asset value of 11.88%. See “Market and Net Asset Value Information.”
Financial Leverage. The Fund may seek to enhance the level of its current distributions by utilizing financial leverage through the issuance of preferred shares (“Preferred Shares”), through borrowing or the issuance of commercial paper or other forms of debt (“Borrowings”), through reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions or through a combination of the foregoing (collectively “Financial Leverage”). The Fund may utilize Financial Leverage up to the limits imposed by the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended; however, the aggregate amount of Financial Leverage is not currently expected to exceed 331/3% of the Fund’s Managed Assets (as defined herein) after such issuance and/or borrowing. As of May 31, 2020, outstanding Borrowings under the committed facility agreement were $19.3 million, which represented approximately 2.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets as of such date. In addition, as of May 31, 2020, the Fund had reverse repurchase agreements outstanding representing Financial Leverage equal to approximately 6.0% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. As of May 31, 2020, the Fund’s total Financial Leverage represented approximately 8.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets.
The Fund’s total Financial Leverage may vary significantly over time based on the Sub-Adviser’s assessment of market conditions, available investment opportunities and cost of Financial Leverage. The Fund has at times used significantly greater levels of Financial Leverage than on May 31, 2020, including at times using Financial Leverage to the maximum extent permitted under the 1940 Act and the parameters set forth herein. The Fund may in the future increase Financial Leverage up to the parameters set forth herein. The Fund maintains a committed facility agreement with BNP Paribas Prime Brokerage International, Ltd. pursuant to which the Fund may borrow up to $80 million. On May 31, 2020, the Fund had $19.3 million in outstanding Borrowings under the committed facility agreement. Although the use of Financial Leverage by the Fund may create an opportunity for increased total return for the Common Shares, it also results in additional risks and can magnify the effect of any losses. Financial Leverage involves risks and special considerations for shareholders, including the likelihood of greater volatility of net asset value and market price of and dividends on the Common Shares. To the extent the Fund increases its amount of Financial Leverage outstanding, it will be more exposed to these risks. The cost of Financial Leverage, including the portion of the investment advisory fee attributable to the assets purchased with the proceeds of Financial Leverage, is borne by Common Shareholders. To the extent the Fund increases its amount of

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Financial Leverage outstanding, the Fund’s annual expenses as a percentage of net assets attributable to Common Shares will increase. See “Use of Financial Leverage.”
You should read this Prospectus, which contains important information about the Fund, together with any Prospectus Supplement, before deciding whether to invest, and retain it for future reference. A Statement of Additional Information (File No. 811-21982), dated October 2, 2020, containing additional information about the Fund, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and is incorporated by reference in its entirety into this Prospectus. The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC (http://www.sec.gov). You may request a free copy of the Statement of Additional Information by calling (800) 345-7999 or by writing to the Investment Adviser at Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC, 227 West Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois 60606, or you may obtain a copy (and other information regarding the Fund) from the SEC’s web site (http://www.sec.gov). Free copies of the Fund’s reports and its Statement of Additional Information will also be available from the Fund’s web site at www.guggenheiminvestments.com/gof. The information contained in, or that can be accessed through, the Fund’s website is not part of this Prospectus.
The Fund’s Common Shares do not represent a deposit or obligation of, and are not guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank or other insured depository institution and are not federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board or any other government agency.
*        *        *
Beginning on January 1, 2021, paper copies of the Fund’s annual and semi-annual shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website address to access the report.
If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change, and you need not take any action. At any time, you may elect to receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund electronically by contacting your financial intermediary or, if you are a registered shareholder and your shares are held with the Fund’s transfer agent, Computershare, you may log into your Investor Center account at www.computershare.com/investor and go to “Communication Preferences” or call 1-866-488-3559.
You may elect to receive paper copies of all future shareholder reports free of charge. If you invest through a financial intermediary, you can contact your financial intermediary to request that you continue to receive paper copies of your shareholder reports; if you invest directly with the Fund, you may call Computershare at 1-866-488-3559. Your election to receive reports in paper form will apply to all funds held in your account with your financial intermediary or, if you invest directly, to all closed-end funds you hold.

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You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this Prospectus and any accompanying Prospectus Supplement. The Fund has not authorized anyone to provide you with different information. The Fund is not making an offer of these securities in any state where the offer is not permitted.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 
Page
Prospectus Summary
1
Summary of Fund Expenses
40
Financial Highlights
42
Senior Securities and Other Financial Leverage
44
The Fund
45
Use of Proceeds
45
Market and Net Asset Value Information
45
Investment Objective and Policies
46
The Fund’s Investments
48
Use of Financial Leverage
60
Risks
64
Management of the Fund
95
Net Asset Value
97
Distributions
100
Dividend Reinvestment Plan
101
Description of Capital Structure
102
Anti-Takeover and Other Provisions in the Fund’s Governing Documents
103
Closed-End Fund Structure
104
Repurchase of Common Shares; Conversion to Open-End Fund
105
U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations
105
Plan of Distribution
109
Custodian, Administrator, Transfer Agent and Dividend Disbursing Agent
111
Legal Matters
111
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
111
Additional Information
111
Privacy Principles of the Fund
111
Incorporation By Reference
112

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Prospectus contains or incorporates by reference forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the federal securities laws, that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements describe the Fund’s plans, strategies, and goals and the Fund’s beliefs and assumptions concerning future economic and other conditions and the outlook for the Fund, based on currently available information. In this Prospectus, words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” “objectives,” “goals,” “future,” “intends,” “seeks,” “will,” “may,” “could,” “should,” and similar expressions are used in an effort to identify forward-looking statements, although some forward-looking statements may be expressed differently. The Fund is not entitled to the safe harbor for forward-looking statements pursuant to Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
This is only a summary of information contained elsewhere in this Prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in the Fund’s Common Shares. You should carefully read the more detailed information contained elsewhere in this Prospectus and any related Prospectus Supplement prior to making an investment in the Fund, especially the information set forth under the headings “Investment Objective and Policies” and “Risks.” You may also wish to request a copy of the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information, dated October 2, 2020 (the “SAI”), which contains additional information about the Fund.
The Fund
Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company that commenced operations on July 26, 2007. The Fund’s objective is to maximize total return through a combination of current income and capital appreciation.
 
The Fund’s common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.01 per share, are called “Common Shares” and the holders of Common Shares are called “Common Shareholders” throughout this Prospectus.
 
Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser and is responsible for the management of the Fund. Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) is responsible for the management of the Fund’s portfolio of securities. Each of the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Guggenheim Partners, LLC (“Guggenheim Partners”).
The Offering
The Fund may offer, from time to time, up to $350,000,000 aggregate initial offering price of Common Shares, on terms to be determined at the time of the offering. The Fund will offer Common Shares at prices and on terms to be set forth in one or more supplements to this Prospectus (each a “Prospectus Supplement”). As of September 10, 2020, the Fund had sold 6,986,379 Common Shares in an at-the-market offering at an aggregate offering price of $126,435,045. As a result, up to $223,564,955 aggregate offering price of Common Shares remained available for subsequent offerings under this Prospectus.
 
The Fund may offer Common Shares (1) directly to one or more purchasers, (2) through agents that the Fund may designate from time to time, or (3) to or through underwriters or dealers. The Prospectus Supplement relating to a particular offering will identify any agents or underwriters involved in the sale of Common Shares, and will set forth any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between the Fund and agents or underwriters or among underwriters or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. The Fund may not sell Common Shares through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of this Prospectus and a Prospectus Supplement describing the method and terms of the offering of Common Shares. See “Plan of Distribution.”
Use of Proceeds
Unless otherwise specified in a Prospectus Supplement, the Fund intends to invest the net proceeds of an offering of Common Shares in accordance with its investment objective and policies as stated herein. It is currently anticipated that the Fund will be able to invest substantially all of the net proceeds of an offering of Common Shares in accordance with its investment objective and policies within three months after the completion of such offering. Pending such investment, it is anticipated that the proceeds will be invested in U.S. government securities or high quality, short-term money market securities. The Fund may also use the proceeds for working capital purposes, including the payment of distributions, interest and operating expenses, although the Fund currently has no intent to issue Common Shares primarily for this purpose.


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Investment Objective
The Fund’s investment objective is to maximize total return through a combination of current income and capital appreciation. The Fund cannot ensure investors that it will achieve its investment objective. The Fund’s investment objective is considered fundamental and may not be changed without the approval of Common Shareholders. See “Investment Objective and Policies—Investment Philosophy and Investment Process.”
Investment Philosophy Process
The Fund will pursue a relative value-based investment philosophy, which utilizes quantitative and qualitative analysis to seek to identify securities or spreads between securities that deviate from their perceived fair value and/or historical norms. The Sub-Adviser seeks to combine a credit managed fixed income portfolio with access to a diversified pool of alternative investments and equity strategies. The Fund’s investment philosophy is predicated upon the belief that thorough research and independent thought are rewarded with performance that has the potential to outperform benchmark indexes with both lower volatility and lower correlation of returns as compared to such benchmark indexes.
 
The Sub-Adviser’s process for determining whether to buy a security is a collaborative effort between various groups including: (i) economic research, which focus on key economic themes and trends, regional and country-specific analysis, and assessments of event-risk and policy impacts on asset prices, (ii) the Portfolio Construction Group, which utilize proprietary portfolio construction and risk modeling tools to determine allocation of assets among a variety of sectors, (iii) its Sector Specialists, who are responsible for identifying investment opportunities in particular securities within these sectors, including the structuring of certain securities directly with the issuers or with investment banks and dealers involved in the origination of such securities, and (iv) portfolio managers, who determine which securities best fit the Fund based on the Fund’s investment objective and top-down sector allocations. In managing the Fund, the Sub- Adviser uses a process for selecting securities for purchase and sale that is based on intensive credit research and involves extensive due diligence on each issuer, region and sector. The Sub-Adviser also considers macroeconomic outlook and geopolitical issues.
Investment Portfolio
The Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing in:
 
Income Securities. The Fund may invest in a wide range of fixed- income and other debt and senior equity securities (“Income Securities”) selected from a variety of sectors and credit qualities. The Fund may invest in Income Securities of any credit quality, including, without limitation, Income Securities rated below-investment grade (commonly referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds), which are considered speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. The sectors and types of Income Securities in which the Fund may invest, include, but are not limited to:
 
 Corporate bonds;
 
 Loans and loan participations (including senior secured floating rate loans, “second lien” secured floating rate loans, and other types of secured and unsecured loans with fixed and variable interest rates) (collectively, “Loans”);
 
 Structured finance investments (including residential and commercial mortgage-related securities, asset- backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and risk-linked securities);
 
 U.S. government and agency securities;
 
 Mezzanine and preferred securities; and
 
 Convertible securities.
 
Common Equity Securities and Covered Call Option Strategy. The Fund may invest in common stocks, limited liability company interests, trust certificates and other equity investments (“Common Equity Securities”) that the Sub-Adviser believes offer attractive

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  yield and/or capital appreciation potential. As part of its Common Equity Securities strategy, the Fund currently intends to employ a strategy of writing (selling) covered call options and may, from time to time, buy or sell put options on individual Common Equity Securities and, to a lesser extent, on indices of securities and sectors of securities. This covered call option strategy is intended to generate current gains from option premiums as a means to enhance distributions payable to the Fund’s Common Shareholders.
 
Structured Finance Investments. The Fund may invest in structured finance investments, which are Income Securities and Common Equity Securities typically issued by special purpose vehicles that hold income-producing securities (e.g., mortgage loans, consumer debt payment obligations and other receivables) and other financial assets. Structured finance investments are tailored, or packaged, to meet certain financial goals of investors. Typically, these investments provide investors with capital protection, income generation and/or the opportunity to generate capital growth. The Sub-Adviser believes that structured finance investments provide attractive risk-adjusted returns, frequent sector rotation opportunities and prospects for adding value through security selection. Structured finance investments include:
 
Mortgage-Related Securities. Mortgage-related securities are a form of derivative collateralized by pools of commercial or residential mortgages. Pools of mortgage loans are assembled as securities for sale to investors by various governmental, government-related and private organizations. These securities may include complex instruments such as collateralized mortgage obligations, real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) (including debt and preferred stock issued by REITs), and other real estate-related securities. The mortgage- related securities in which the Fund may invest include those with fixed, floating or variable interest rates, those with interest rates that change based on multiples of changes in a specified index of interest rates, and those with interest rates that change inversely to changes in interest rates, as well as those that do not bear interest. The Fund may invest in residential and commercial mortgage-related securities issued by governmental entities and private issuers, including subordinated mortgage-related securities. The underlying assets of certain mortgage-related securities may be subject to prepayments, which shorten the weighted average maturity and may lower the return of such securities.
 
Asset-Backed Securities. Asset-backed securities (“ABS”) are a form of structured debt obligation. ABS are payment claims that are securitized in the form of negotiable paper that is issued by a financing company (generally called a special purpose vehicle). Collateral assets brought into a pool according to specific diversification rules. A special purpose vehicle is founded for the purpose of securitizing these payment claims and the assets of the special purpose vehicle are the diversified pool of collateral assets. The special purpose vehicle issues marketable securities which are intended to represent a lower level or risk than an underlying collateral asset individually, due to the diversification in the pool. The redemption of the securities issued by the special purpose vehicle takes place out of the cash flow generated by the collected assets. A special purpose vehicle may issue multiple securities with different priorities to the cash flows generated and the collateral assets. The collateral for ABS may include home equity loans, automobile and credit card receivables, boat loans, computer leases, airplane leases, mobile home loans, recreational vehicle loans and hospital account receivables. The Fund may invest in these and other types of ABS that may be developed in the future. There is the possibility that recoveries on the underlying collateral may not, in some cases, be available to support payments on these securities.
 
Collateralized Debt Obligations. A collateralized debt obligation (“CDO”) is an asset-backed security whose underlying collateral is typically a portfolio of bonds, bank loans, other structured finance securities and/or synthetic instruments. Where the underlying collateral is a portfolio of bonds, a CDO is referred to as a collateralized bond obligation (“CBO”). Where the underlying collateral is a portfolio of bank loans, a CDO is referred

3



  to as a collateralized loan obligation (“CLO”). Investors in CLOs bear the credit risk of the underlying collateral. Multiple tranches of securities are issued by the CLO, offering investors various maturity and credit risk characteristics. Tranches are categorized as senior, mezzanine, and subordinated/equity, according to their degree of risk. If there are defaults or the CLO’s collateral otherwise underperforms, scheduled payments to senior tranches take precedence over those of mezzanine tranches, and scheduled payments to mezzanine tranches take precedence over those to subordinated/equity tranches. This prioritization of the cash flows from a pool of securities among the several tranches of the CLO is a key feature of the CLO structure. If there are funds remaining after each tranche of debt receives its contractual interest rate and the CLO meets or exceeds required collateral coverage levels (or other similar covenants), the remaining funds may be paid to the subordinated (or residual) tranche (often referred to as the “equity” tranche). CLOs are subject to the same risk of prepayment described with respect to certain mortgage-related and asset-backed securities.
 
The Fund may invest in senior, rated tranches as well as mezzanine and subordinated tranches of CLOs. Investment in the subordinated tranche is subject to special risks. The subordinated tranche does not receive ratings and is considered the riskiest portion of the capital structure of a CLO because it bears the bulk of defaults from the loans in the CLO and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances.
 
Risk-Linked Securities. Risk-linked securities (“RLS”) are a form of derivative issued by insurance companies and insurance-related special purpose vehicles that apply securitization techniques to catastrophic property and casualty damages. RLS are typically debt obligations for which the return of principal and the payment of interest are contingent on the non-occurrence of a pre-defined “trigger event.” Depending on the specific terms and structure of the RLS, this trigger could be the result of a hurricane, earthquake or some other catastrophic event.
 
Real Property Asset Companies. The Fund may invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities issued by companies that own, produce, refine, process, transport and market “real property assets,” such as real estate and the natural resources upon or within real estate (“Real Property Asset Companies”).
 
Personal Property Asset Companies. The Fund may invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities issued by companies that seek to profit primarily from the ownership, rental, leasing, financing or disposition of personal (as opposed to real) property assets (“Personal Property Asset Companies”). Personal (as opposed to real) property includes any tangible, movable property or asset. The Fund will typically seek to invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities of Personal Property Asset Companies the investment performance of which is not expected to be highly correlated with traditional market indexes because the personal property asset held by such company is non-correlated with traditional debt or equity markets. Such personal property assets include special situation transportation assets (e.g., railcars, airplanes and ships) and collectibles (e.g., antiques, wine and fine art).
 
Private Securities. The Fund may invest in privately issued Income Securities and Common Equity Securities of both public and private companies (“Private Securities”). Private Securities have additional risk considerations than comparable public securities, including availability of financial information about the issuer and valuation and liquidity issues.
 
Investment Funds. As an alternative to holding investments directly, the Fund may also obtain investment exposure to Income Securities and Common Equity Securities by investing in other investment companies, including registered investment companies, private investment funds and/or other pooled investment vehicles (collectively, “Investment Funds”). The Fund may invest up to 30% of its total assets in Investment Funds that primarily hold (directly or indirectly) investments in which the Fund may

4



  invest directly. The 1940 Act generally limits a registered investment company’s investments in other investment companies to 10% of its total assets. However, pursuant to exemptions set forth in rules and regulations promulgated under the 1940 Act, the Fund may invest in excess of this limitation provided that the conditions of such exemptions are met. In addition, the Fund may invest in certain ETFs in excess of the 10% limitation in reliance upon and in accordance with exemptive relief obtained by such ETFs. The Fund will invest in private investment funds, commonly referred to as “hedge funds,” only to the extent permitted by applicable rules, regulations and interpretations of the SEC and NYSE. The Fund has no current intention to invest in private investment funds. Investments in other Investment Funds involve operating expenses and fees at the Investment Fund level that are in addition to the expenses and fees borne by the Fund and are borne indirectly by holders of the Fund’s Common Shares. Further, on December 19, 2018, the SEC published a proposed rule that, if adopted, would change the regulation of investments in other investment companies. Such regulations could permit closed-end funds to invest in other investment companies in excess of the limits of the 1940 Act.
 
Synthetic Investments. 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.
 
Derivative Transactions. The Fund may purchase and sell derivative instruments (which derive their value by reference to another instrument, security or index) for investment purposes, such as obtaining investment exposure to an investment category; risk management purposes, such as hedging against fluctuations in securities prices or interest rates; diversification purposes; or to change the duration of the Fund. In order to help protect the soundness of derivative transactions and outstanding derivative positions, the Sub-Adviser generally requires derivative counterparties to have a minimum credit rating of A from Moody’s Investors Service (or a comparable rating from another nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”)) and monitors such rating on an ongoing basis. In addition, the Sub-Adviser seeks to allocate derivative transactions to limit exposure to any single counterparty. The Fund has not adopted a maximum percentage limit with respect to derivative investments. However, the maximum level of and types of derivative transactions used by the Fund will be approved by the Board of Trustees and the Board of Trustees will receive regular reports from the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser regarding the Fund’s use of derivative instruments and the effect of derivative transactions on the management of the Fund’s portfolio and the performance of the Fund. See “The Fund’s Investments—Derivative Transactions.”
Investment Policies
The Fund may allocate its assets among a wide variety of Income Securities and Common Equity Securities.
 
The Fund may invest without limitation in below-investment grade securities (e.g., securities rated below Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., below BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group or Fitch Ratings or comparably rated by another nationally recognized statistical rating organization or, if unrated, determined by the Sub- Adviser to be of comparable quality). Below-investment grade securities are commonly referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds and are considered speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. The Fund’s investments in any of the sectors and types of Income Securities in which the Fund may invest may include, without limitation, below investment grade securities. The Fund’s investments in below investment grade securities may include distressed and defaulted securities.

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Under normal market conditions, the Fund will not invest more than:
 
 50% of its total assets in Common Equity Securities consisting of common stock;
 
 30% of its total assets in Investment Funds;
 
 20% of its total assets in non-U.S. dollar-denominated Income Securities of corporate and governmental issuers located outside the United States; and
 
 10% of its total assets in Income Securities of issuers in emerging markets.
 
The percentage of the Fund’s total assets allocated to any category of investment may at any given time be significantly less than the maximum percentage permitted pursuant to the above referenced investment policies.
 
Unless otherwise stated in this Prospectus or the SAI, the Fund’s investment policies are considered non-fundamental and may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Fund (the “Board of Trustees”) without Common Shareholder approval. The Fund will provide investors with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any change in the Fund’s investment policies. See “Investment Objective and Policies” in this Prospectus and in the SAI.
Financial Leverage
The Fund may seek to enhance the level of its current distributions by utilizing financial leverage through the issuance of preferred shares (“Preferred Shares”), through borrowing or the issuance of commercial paper or other forms of debt (“Borrowings”), through reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions or through a combination of the foregoing (collectively “Financial Leverage”). The Fund may utilize Financial Leverage up to the limits imposed by the 1940 Act; however, the aggregate amount of Financial Leverage is not currently expected to exceed 331/3% of the Fund’s Managed Assets (as defined herein) after such issuance and/or borrowing.
 
As of May 31, 2020, outstanding Borrowings under the committed facility agreement were $19.3 million, which represented approximately 2.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets as of such date. In addition, as of May 31, 2020, the Fund had reverse repurchase agreements outstanding representing Financial Leverage equal to approximately 6.0% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. As of May 31, 2020, the Fund’s total Financial Leverage represented approximately 8.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. The Fund’s total Financial Leverage may vary significantly over time based on the Sub-Adviser’s assessment of market conditions, available investment opportunities and cost of Financial Leverage. The Fund has at times used significantly greater levels of Financial Leverage than on May 31, 2020, including at times using Financial Leverage to the maximum extent permitted under the 1940 Act and the parameters set forth herein. The Fund may in the future increase Financial Leverage up to the parameters set forth herein. The Fund maintains a committed facility agreement with BNP Paribas Prime Brokerage International, Ltd. (“BNP Paribas”) pursuant to which the Fund may borrow up to $80 million. On May 31, 2020, the Fund had $19.3 million in outstanding Borrowings under the committed facility agreement.
 
Although the use of Financial Leverage by the Fund may create an opportunity for increased total return for the Common Shares, it also results in additional risks and can magnify the effect of any losses. Financial Leverage involves risks and special considerations for shareholders, including the likelihood of greater volatility of net asset value and market price of and dividends on the Common Share. To the extent the Fund increases its amount of Financial Leverage outstanding, it will be more exposed to these risks. The cost of Financial Leverage, including the portion of the investment advisory fee attributable to the assets purchased with the proceeds of Financial Leverage, is borne by Common Shareholders. To the extent the Fund increases its amount of Financial

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  Leverage outstanding, the Fund’s annual expenses as a percentage of net assets attributable to Common Shares will increase.
 
Under the 1940 Act the Fund may not utilize Borrowings if, immediately after incurring such Borrowing, the Fund would have asset coverage (as defined in the 1940 Act) of less than 300% (i.e., for every dollar of Borrowings outstanding, the Fund is required to have at least three dollars of assets). Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may not issue Preferred Shares if, immediately after issuance, the Fund would have asset coverage (as defined in the 1940 Act) of less than 200% (i.e., for every dollar of Preferred Shares outstanding, the Fund is required to have at least two dollars of assets). The Fund has no present intention to issue Preferred Shares. The Fund may also borrow in excess of such limit for temporary purposes such as the settlement of transactions.
 
With respect to leverage incurred through investments in reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls and similar transactions, the Fund intends to earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities in accordance with applicable interpretations of the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). As a result of such segregation, the Fund’s obligations under such transactions will not be considered indebtedness for purposes of the 1940 Act and the Fund’s use of leverage through reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls and similar transactions will not be limited by the 1940 Act. However, the Fund’s use of leverage through reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls and similar transactions will be included when calculating the Fund’s Financial Leverage, and therefore is not currently expected to exceed 331/3% of the Fund’s Managed Assets, and may be further limited by the availability of cash or liquid securities to earmark or segregate in connection with such transactions.
 
In addition, the Fund may engage in certain derivatives transactions that have economic characteristics similar to leverage. To the extent the terms of such transactions obligate the Fund to make payments, the Fund intends to earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities in an amount at least equal to the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions or otherwise cover such transactions in accordance with applicable interpretations of the staff of the SEC. As a result of such segregation or cover, the Fund’s obligations under such transactions will not be considered indebtedness for purposes of the 1940 Act and will not be included in calculating the aggregate amount of the Fund’s Financial Leverage. To the extent that the Fund’s obligations under such transactions are not so segregated or covered, such obligations may be considered “senior securities representing indebtedness” under the 1940 Act and therefore subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement described above.
 
So long as the net rate of return on the Fund’s investments purchased with the proceeds of Financial Leverage exceeds the cost of such Financial Leverage, such excess amounts will be available to pay higher distributions to holders of the Fund’s Common Shares. In connection with the Fund’s use of Financial Leverage, the Fund may seek to hedge the interest rate risks associated with the Financial Leverage through interest rate swaps, caps or other derivative transactions. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s Financial Leverage strategy will be successful during any period during which it is employed. The costs associated with the issuance of Financial Leverage will be borne by Common Shareholders, which will result in a reduction of net asset value of the Common Shares. The fee paid to the Investment Adviser will be calculated on the basis of the Fund’s Managed Assets, including proceeds from Financial Leverage, so the fees paid to the Investment Adviser will be higher when Financial Leverage is utilized. Common Shareholders bear the portion of the investment advisory fee attributable to the assets purchased with the proceeds of Financial Leverage, which means that Common Shareholders effectively bear the entire advisory fee. See “Use of Financial Leverage” and “Risks— Financial Leverage Risk.”
Other Investment Practices
Temporary Defensive Investments. At any time when a temporary defensive posture is believed by the Sub-Adviser to be warranted (a “temporary defensive period”), the Fund

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  may, without limitation, hold cash or invest its assets in money market instruments and repurchase agreements in respect of those instruments. The Fund may not achieve its investment objective during a temporary defensive period or be able to sustain its historical distribution levels. See “Investment Objective and Policies—Temporary Defensive Investments.”
Management of the Fund
Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC acts as the Fund’s Investment Adviser pursuant to an advisory agreement with the Fund (the “Advisory Agreement”). Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, the Investment Adviser is responsible for the management of the Fund and administers the affairs of the Fund to the extent requested by the Board of Trustees. As compensation for its services, the Fund pays the Investment Adviser a fee, payable monthly in arrears at an annual rate equal to 1.00% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets. “Managed Assets” for purposes of the Advisory and Sub-Advisory Agreements (as defined herein) means the total assets of the Fund (other than assets attributable to any investments by the Fund in Affiliated Investment Funds), including the assets attributable to the proceeds from any borrowings or other forms of financial leverage, minus liabilities, other than liabilities related to any financial leverage. “Affiliated Investment Funds” means investment companies, including registered investment companies, private investment funds and/or other pooled investment vehicles, advised or managed by the Fund’s investment Sub-Adviser or any of its affiliates.“Managed Assets” for all other purposes means the total assets of the Fund, including the assets attributable to the proceeds from any borrowings or other forms of Financial Leverage, minus liabilities, other than liabilities related to any Financial Leverage.
 
Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC acts as the Fund’s Sub-Adviser pursuant to a sub-advisory agreement with the Fund and the Investment Adviser (the “Sub-Advisory Agreement”). Pursuant to the Sub-Advisory Agreement, the Sub-Adviser is responsible for the management of the Fund’s portfolio of securities. As compensation for its services, the Investment Adviser pays the Sub-Adviser a fee, payable monthly in arrears at an annual rate equal to 0.50% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets, less 0.50% of the Fund’s average daily assets attributable to any investments by the Fund in Affiliated Investment Funds.
 
Each of the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Guggenheim Partners.
Distributions
The Fund intends to pay substantially all of its net investment income to Common Shareholders through monthly distributions. In addition, the Fund intends to distribute any net long-term capital gains to Common Shareholders as long-term capital gain dividends at least annually. The Fund expects that distributions paid on the Common Shares will consist of (i) investment company taxable income, which includes, among other things, ordinary income, short-term capital gain and income from certain hedging and interest rate transactions, (ii) qualified dividend income and (iii) long-term capital gain (gain from the sale of a capital asset held longer than one year). Distributions may be paid by the Fund from any permitted source and, from time to time, all or a portion of a distribution may be a return of capital. To the extent the Fund receives dividends with respect to its investments in Common Equity Securities that consist of qualified dividend income (income from domestic and certain foreign corporations), a portion of the Fund’s distributions to its Common Shareholders may consist of qualified dividend income. The Fund cannot assure you, however, as to what percentage of the dividends paid on the Common Shares, if any, will consist of qualified dividend income or long-term capital gains, which are taxed at lower rates for individuals than ordinary income. In certain circumstances, the Fund may elect to retain income or capital gain and pay income or excise tax on such undistributed amount, to the extent that the Board of Trustees, in consultation with Fund management, determines it to be in the best interest of shareholders to do so. Alternatively, the distributions paid by the Fund for any particular month may be more than the amount of net investment income from that monthly period. As a result, all or a portion of a distribution may be a return of capital, which is in effect a partial return of the amount a Common Shareholder invested in the Fund, up to the amount of the Common Shareholder’s tax basis in their Common Shares, which would reduce such tax basis. Although a return of capital may not be taxable, it will generally increase the Common Shareholder’s potential gain, or reduce the Common Shareholder’s

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  potential loss, on any subsequent sale or other disposition of Common Shares. Shareholders who periodically receive the payment of a distribution consisting of a return of capital may be under the impression that they are receiving net income or profits when they are not. Shareholders should not assume that the source of a distribution from the Fund is net income or profit. See “Distributions.”
 
If you hold your Common Shares in your own name or if you hold your Common Shares with a brokerage firm that participates in the Fund’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the “Plan”), unless you elect to receive cash, all dividends and distributions that are declared by the Fund will be automatically reinvested in additional Common Shares of the Fund pursuant to the Plan. If you hold your Common Shares with a brokerage firm that does not participate in the Plan, you will not be able to participate in the Plan and any dividend reinvestment may be effected on different terms than those described above. Consult your financial adviser for more information. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”
Listing and Symbol
The Fund’s currently outstanding Common Shares are, and the Common Shares offered in this Prospectus will be, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “GOF.” The net asset value of the Common Shares at the close of business on September 10, 2020 was $16.24 per share and the last sale price of the Common Shares on the NYSE on such date was $18.17, representing a premium to net asset value of 11.88%.
Special Risk Considerations
Not a Complete Investment Program. An investment in the Common Shares of the Fund should not be considered a complete investment program. The Fund is intended for long-term investors seeking current income and capital appreciation. The Fund is not meant to provide a vehicle for those who wish to play short-term swings in the stock market. 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 Common Shares of the Fund is subject to investment risk, particularly under current economic, financial, labor and health conditions, 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, or income generated by, the investments held by the Fund are subject to the possibility of rapid and unpredictable fluctuation. These movements may result from factors affecting individual companies, or from broader influences, including real or perceived changes in prevailing interest rates, changes in inflation or expectations about inflation, investor confidence or economic, political, social or financial market conditions, environmental disasters, governmental actions, public health emergencies (such as the spread of infectious diseases, pandemics and epidemics) and other similar events, that each of which may be temporary or last for extended periods. For example, the risks of a borrower’s default or bankruptcy or non-payment of scheduled interest or principal payments from senior floating rate interests held by the Fund are especially acute under these conditions. Furthermore, interest rates and bond yields may fall as a result of types of events, including responses by governmental entities to such events, which would magnify the Fund’s fixed-income instruments’ susceptibility to interest rate risk and diminish their yield and performance. Moreover, the Fund’s investments in asset-backed securities are subject to many of the same risks that are applicable to investments in securities generally, including interest rate risk, credit risk, foreign currency risk, below-investment grade securities risk, financial leverage risk, prepayment and regulatory risk, which would be elevated under the foregoing circumstances.
 
Different sectors, industries and security types may react differently to such developments and, when the market performs well, there is no assurance that the Fund’s investments will increase in value along with the broader markets.  Volatility of financial markets, including potentially extreme volatility caused by the events described above,

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can expose the Fund to greater market risk than normal, possibly resulting in greatly reduced liquidity. Moreover, changing economic, political, social or financial market conditions in one country or geographic region could adversely affect the value, yield and return of the investments held by the Fund in a different country or geographic region because of the increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets. The Adviser potentially could be prevented from considering, managing and executing investment decisions at an advantageous time or price or at all as a result of any domestic or global market or other disruptions, particularly disruptions causing heightened market volatility and reduced market liquidity, such as the current conditions, which have also resulted in impediments to the normal functioning of workforces, including personnel and systems of the Fund’s service providers and market intermediaries.
 
At any point in time, your Common Shares may be worth less than your original investment, including the reinvestment of Fund dividends and distributions.
 
Management Risk. The Fund is subject to management risk because it has an actively managed portfolio. The Sub-Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analysis in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results. The Fund’s allocation of its investments across various asset classes and sectors may vary significantly over time based on the Adviser’s analysis and judgment. As a result, the particular risks most relevant to an investment in the Fund, as well as the overall risk profile of the Fund’s portfolio, may vary over time.
 
Income Risk. The income investors receive from the Fund is based primarily on the interest it earns from its investments in Income Securities, which can vary widely over the short-and long-term. If prevailing market interest rates drop, investors’ income from the Fund could drop as well. The Fund’s income could also be affected adversely when prevailing short-term interest rates increase and the Fund is utilizing leverage, although this risk is mitigated to the extent the Fund invests in floating-rate obligations.
 
Dividend Risk. Dividends on common stock and other 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. These circumstances may result from issuer-specific events, adverse economic or market developments, or legislative or regulatory changes or other developments that limit an issuer’s ability to declare and pay dividends, which would affect the Fund’s performance and ability to generate income. The dividend income from the Fund’s investment in Common Equity Securities will be influenced by both general economic activity and issuer-specific factors. In the event of adverse changes in economic conditions or adverse events effecting a specific industry or issuer, the issuers of the Common Equity Securities held by the Fund may reduce the dividend paid on such securities.
 
Income Securities Risk. In addition to the risks discussed above, Income Securities, including high-yield bonds, are subject to certain risks, including:
 
Issuer Risk. The value of Income Securities may decline for a number of reasons which directly relate to the issuer, such as management performance, financial leverage, reduced demand for the issuer’s goods and services, historical and projected earnings, and the value of its assets.
 
Spread Risk. Spread risk is the risk that the market price can change due to broad based movements in spreads, which is particularly relevant in the current low spread environment.

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Credit Risk. The Fund could lose money if the issuer or guarantor of a debt instrument or a counterparty to a derivatives transaction or other transaction (such as a repurchase agreement or a loan of portfolio securities or other instruments) is unable or unwilling, or perceived to be unable or unwilling, to pay interest or repay principal on time or defaults. If an issuer fails to pay interest, the Fund’s income would likely be reduced, and if an issuer fails to repay principal, the value of the instrument likely would fall and the Fund could lose money. This risk is especially acute with respect to below investment grade debt instruments (commonly referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds) and unrated high risk debt instruments, whose issuers are particularly susceptible to fail to meet principal or interest obligations under current conditions. Also, the issuer, guarantor or counterparty may suffer adverse changes in its financial condition or be adversely affected by economic, political or social conditions that could lower the credit quality (or the market’s perception of the credit quality) of the issuer or instrument, leading to greater volatility in the price of the instrument and in shares of the Fund. Although credit quality may not accurately reflect the true credit risk of an instrument, a change in the credit quality rating of an instrument or an issuer can have a rapid, adverse effect on the instrument’s liquidity and make it more difficult for the Fund to sell at an advantageous price or time. The risk of the occurrence of these types of events is heightened under current conditions.
  The degree of credit risk depends on the particular instrument and the financial condition of the issuer, guarantor or counterparty, which are often reflected in its credit quality. Credit quality is a measure of the issuer’s expected ability to make all required interest and principal payments in a timely manner. An issuer with the highest credit rating has a very strong capacity with respect to making all payments. An issuer with the second-highest credit rating has a strong capacity to make all payments, but the degree of safety is somewhat less. An issuer with the lowest credit quality rating may be in default or have extremely poor prospects of making timely payment of interest and principal. Credit ratings assigned by rating agencies are based on a number of factors and subjective judgments and therefore do not necessarily represent an issuer’s actual financial condition or the volatility or liquidity of the security. Although higher-rated securities generally present lower credit risk as compared to lower-rated or unrated securities, an issuer with a high credit rating may in fact be exposed to heightened levels of credit or liquidity risk.
 
Interest Rate Risk. Fixed-income and other debt instruments are subject to the possibility that interest rates could change (or are expected to change). Changes in interest rates, including changes in reference rates used in fixed-income and other debt instruments (such as the London Interbank Offer Rate), may adversely affect the Fund’s investments in these instruments, such as the value or liquidity of, and income generated by, the investments. In addition, changes in interest rates, including rates that fall below zero, can have unpredictable effects on markets and can adversely affect the Fund’s yield, income and performance.
 
The value of a debt instrument with a longer duration will generally be more sensitive to interest rate changes than a similar instrument with a shorter duration. Similarly, the longer the average duration (whether positive or negative) of these instruments held by the Fund or to which the Fund is exposed (i.e., the longer the average portfolio duration of the Fund), the more the Fund’s NAV will likely fluctuate in response to interest rate changes. Duration is a measure used to determine the sensitivity of a security’s price to changes in interest rates that incorporates a security’s yield, coupon, final maturity and call features, among other characteristics. For example, the NAV per share of a bond fund with an average duration of eight years would be expected to fall approximately 8% if interest rates rose by one percentage point.
 
However, measures such as duration may not accurately reflect the true interest rate sensitivity of instruments held by the Fund and, in turn, the Fund’s susceptibility to changes in interest rates. Certain fixed-income and debt instruments are subject to the risk

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  that the issuer may exercise its right to redeem (or call) the instrument earlier than anticipated. Although an issuer may call an instrument for a variety of reasons, if an issuer does so during a time of declining interest rates, the Fund might have to reinvest the proceeds in an investment offering a lower yield or other less favorable features, and therefore might not benefit from any increase in value as a result of declining interest rates. Interest only or principal only securities and inverse floaters are particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates, which may impact the income generated by the security and other features of the security.
 
Adjustable rate securities also react to interest rate changes in a similar manner as fixed-rate securities but generally to a lesser degree depending on the characteristics of the security, in particular its reset terms (i.e., the index chosen, frequency of reset and reset caps or floors). During periods of rising interest rates, because changes in interest rates on adjustable rate securities may lag behind changes in market rates, the value of such securities may decline until their interest rates reset to market rates. These securities also may be subject to limits on the maximum increase in interest rates. During periods of declining interest rates, because the interest rates on adjustable rate securities generally reset downward, their market value is unlikely to rise to the same extent as the value of comparable fixed rate securities. These securities may not be subject to limits on downward adjustments of interest rates.
 
During periods of rising interest rates, issuers of debt securities or asset-backed securities may pay principal later or more slowly than expected, which may reduce the value of a Fund’s investment in such securities and may prevent the Fund from receiving higher interest rates on proceeds reinvested in other instruments. During periods of falling interest rates, issuers of debt securities or asset-backed securities may pay off debts more quickly or earlier than expected, which could cause the Fund to be unable to recoup the full amount of its initial investment and/or cause the Fund to reinvest in lower-yielding securities, thereby reducing the Fund’s yield or otherwise adversely impacting the Fund.
  Certain debt instruments, such as instruments with a negative duration or inverse instruments, are also subject to interest rate risk, although such instruments generally react differently to changes in interest rates than instruments with positive durations. The Fund’s investments in these instruments also may be adversely affected by changes in interest rates. For example, the value of instruments with negative durations, such as inverse floaters, generally decrease if interest rates decline.
  The Fund’s use of leverage will tend to increase Common Share interest rate risk. The Fund may utilize certain strategies, including taking positions in futures or interest rate swaps, for the purpose of reducing the interest rate sensitivity of credit securities held by the Fund and decreasing the Fund’s exposure to interest rate risk. The Fund is not required to hedge its exposure to interest rate risk and may choose not to do so. In addition, there is no assurance that any attempts by the Fund to reduce interest rate risk will be successful or that any hedges that the Fund may establish will perfectly correlate with movements in interest rates.

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Current Fixed-Income and Debt Market Conditions. Fixed-income and debt market conditions are highly unpredictable and some parts of the market are subject to dislocations. In response to the crisis initially caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, as with other serious economic disruptions, governmental authorities and regulators have enacted or are enacting significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including providing direct capital infusions into companies, creating new monetary programs and lowering interest rates considerably. These actions present heightened risks to fixed-income and debt instruments, and such risks could be even further heightened if these actions are unexpectedly or suddenly reversed or are ineffective in achieving their desired outcomes. In light of these actions and current conditions, interest rates and bond yields in the United States and many other countries are at or near historic lows, and in some cases, such rates and yields are negative. The current very low or negative interest rates are magnifying the Fund’s susceptibility to interest rate risk and diminishing yield and performance. In addition, the current environment is exposing fixed-income and debt markets to significant volatility and reduced liquidity for Fund investments.
  Reinvestment Risk. Reinvestment risk is the risk that income from the Fund’s portfolio will decline if the Fund invests the proceeds from matured, traded or called Income Securities at market interest rates that are below the Fund portfolio’s current earnings rate. A decline in income could affect the Common Shares’ market price or the overall return of the Fund.
 
Prepayment Risk. Certain debt instruments, including loans and mortgage- and other asset-backed securities, are subject to the risk that payments on principal may occur more quickly or earlier than expected (or an investment is converted or redeemed prior to maturity). For example, an issuer may exercise its right to redeem outstanding debt securities prior to their maturity (known as a “call”) or otherwise pay principal earlier than expected for a number of reasons (e.g., declining interest rates, changes in credit spreads and improvements in the issuer’s credit quality). If an issuer calls or “prepays” a security in which the Fund has invested, the Fund may not recoup the full amount of its initial investment and may be required to reinvest in generally lower-yielding securities, securities with greater credit risks or securities with other, less favorable features or terms than the security in which the Fund initially invested, thus potentially reducing the Fund’s yield. Income Securities frequently have call features that allow the issuer to repurchase the security prior to its stated maturity. Loans and mortgage- and other asset-backed securities are particularly subject to prepayment risk, and offer less potential for gains, during periods of declining interest rates (or narrower spreads) as issuers of higher interest rate debt instruments pay off debts earlier than expected.  In addition, the Fund may lose any premiums paid to acquire the investment. Other factors, such as excess cash flows, may also contribute to prepayment risk. Thus, changes in interest rates may cause volatility in the value of and income received from these types of debt instruments.
  Variable or floating rate investments may be less vulnerable to prepayment risk. Most floating rate loans and fixed-income securities allow for prepayment of principal without penalty. Accordingly, the potential for the value of a floating rate loan or security to increase in response to interest rate declines is limited. Corporate loans or fixed-income securities purchased to replace a prepaid corporate loan or security may have lower yields than the yield on the prepaid corporate loan or security.
 
Liquidity Risk. The Fund may invest without limitation in Income Securities for which there is no readily available trading market or which are otherwise illiquid, including certain high-yield bonds. The Fund may not be able to readily dispose of illiquid securities and obligations at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell such securities and obligations if they were more widely traded and, as a result of such illiquidity, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations. In addition, limited liquidity could affect the market price of Income Securities, thereby adversely affecting the Fund’s net asset value and ability to make distributions. Dislocations in certain parts of markets

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  are resulting in reduced liquidity for certain investments. It is uncertain when financial markets will improve. Liquidity of financial markets may also be affected by government intervention.
 
Valuation of Certain Income Securities Risk. The Sub-Adviser may use the fair value method to value investments if market quotations for them are not readily available or are deemed unreliable, or if events occurring after the close of a securities market and before the Fund values its assets would materially affect net asset value. Because the secondary markets for certain investments may be limited, they may be difficult to value. Where market quotations are not readily available, valuation may require more research than for more liquid investments. In addition, elements of judgment may play a greater role in valuation in such cases than for investments with a more active secondary market because there is less reliable objective data available. A security that is fair valued may be valued at a price higher or lower than the value determined by other funds using their own fair valuation procedures. Prices obtained by the Fund upon the sale of such securities may not equal the value at which the Fund carried the investment on its books, which would adversely affect the net asset value of the Fund.
 
Duration and Maturity Risk. The Fund has no set policy regarding portfolio maturity or duration. Holding long duration and long maturity investments will expose the Fund to certain magnified risks. These risks include interest rate risk, credit risk and liquidity risks as discussed above. Generally speaking, the longer the duration of the Fund’s portfolio, the more exposure the Fund will have to interest rate risk described above.
 
Below-Investment Grade Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in Income Securities rated below-investment grade or, if unrated, determined by the Sub-Adviser to be of comparable credit quality, which are commonly referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds. Investment in securities of below-investment grade quality involves substantial risk of loss, the risk of which is particularly acute under current conditions. Income Securities of below-investment grade quality are predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal when due and therefore involve a greater risk of default or decline in market value due to adverse economic and issuer-specific developments. Securities of below investment grade quality may involve a greater risk of default or decline in market value due to adverse economic and issuer- specific developments. Issuers of below investment grade securities are not perceived to be as strong financially as those with higher credit ratings. These issuers are more vulnerable to financial setbacks and recession than more creditworthy issuers, which may impair their ability to make interest and principal payments. Income Securities of below-investment grade quality display increased price sensitivity to changing interest rates and to a deteriorating economic environment. The market values, total return and yield for securities of below investment grade quality tend to be more volatile than the market values, total return and yield for higher quality bonds. Securities of below investment grade quality tend to be less liquid than investment grade debt securities and therefore more difficult to value accurately and sell at an advantageous price or time and may involve greater transactions costs and wider bid/ask spreads, than higher-quality bonds. To the extent that a secondary market does exist for certain below investment grade securities, the market for them may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods. Because of the substantial risks associated with investments in below investment grade securities, you could have an increased risk of losing money on your investment in Common Shares, both in the short-term and the long-term. To the extent that the Fund invests in securities that have not been rated by an NRSRO, the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives will be more dependent on the Adviser’s credit analysis than would be the case when the Fund invests in rated securities.
 
Successful investment in lower-medium and lower-rated debt securities may involve greater investment risk and is highly dependent on the Adviser’s credit analysis. The value of securities of below investment grade quality is particularly vulnerable to changes

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  in interest rates and a real or perceived economic downturn or higher interest rates could cause a decline in prices of such securities by lessening the ability of issuers to make principal and interest payments. These securities are often thinly traded or subject to irregular trading and can be more difficult to sell and value accurately than higher-quality bonds because there tends to be less public information available about these securities. Because objective pricing data may be less available, judgment may play a greater role in the valuation process. In addition, the entire below investment grade market can experience sudden and sharp price swings due to a variety of factors, including changes in economic forecasts, stock market activity, large or sustained sales by major investors, a high- profile default, or a change in the market’s psychology. Adverse conditions could make it difficult at times for the Fund to sell certain securities or could result in lower prices than those used in calculating the Fund’s net asset value.
 
Structured Finance Investments Risk. The Fund’s structured finance investments may include residential and commercial mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities issued by governmental entities and private issuers. Holders of structured finance investments bear risks of the underlying investments, index or reference obligation and are subject to counterparty risk. The Fund may have the right to receive payments only from the structured product, and generally does not have direct rights against the issuer or the entity that sold the assets to be securitized. While certain structured finance investments enable the investor to acquire interests in a pool of securities without the brokerage and other expenses associated with directly holding the same securities, investors in structured finance investments generally pay their share of the structured product’s administrative and other expenses. Although it is difficult to predict whether the prices of indices and securities underlying structured finance investments will rise or fall, these prices (and, therefore, the prices of structured finance investments) will be influenced by the same types of political and economic events that affect issuers of securities and capital markets generally. If the issuer of a structured product uses shorter term financing to purchase longer term securities, the issuer may be forced to sell its securities at below market prices if it experiences difficulty in obtaining short-term financing, which may adversely affect the value of the structured finance investment owned by the Fund.
 
The Fund may invest in structured finance products collateralized by low grade or defaulted loans or securities. Investments in such structured finance products are subject to the risks associated with below investment grade securities. Such securities are characterized by high risk. It is likely that an economic recession could severely disrupt the market for such securities and may have an adverse impact on the value of such securities.
 
The Fund may invest in senior and subordinated classes issued by structured finance vehicles. The payment of cash flows from the underlying assets to senior classes take precedence over those of subordinated classes, and therefore subordinated classes are subject to greater risk. Furthermore, the leveraged nature of subordinated classes may magnify the adverse impact on such class of changes in the value of the assets, changes in the distributions on the assets, defaults and recoveries on the assets, capital gains and losses on the assets, prepayment on assets and availability, price and interest rates of assets.
 
Structured finance securities are typically privately offered and sold, and thus are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in structured finance securities may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities; however, an active dealer market may exist which would allow such securities to be considered liquid in some circumstances.
 
Mortgage-Backed Securities Risk. Mortgage-backed securities represent an interest in a pool of mortgages. The risks associated with mortgage-backed securities include: (1) credit risk associated with the performance of the underlying mortgage properties and of

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  the borrowers owning these properties; (2) adverse changes in economic conditions and circumstances, which are more likely to have an adverse impact on mortgage-backed securities secured by loans on certain types of commercial properties than on those secured by loans on residential properties; (3) prepayment risk, which can lead to significant fluctuations in the value of the mortgage-backed security; (4) loss of all or part of the premium, if any, paid; and (5) decline in the market value of the security, whether resulting from changes in interest rates, prepayments on the underlying mortgage collateral or perceptions of the credit risk associated with the underlying mortgage collateral. The value of mortgage-backed securities may be substantially dependent on the servicing of the underlying pool of mortgages.
 
When market interest rates decline, more mortgages are refinanced and the securities are paid off earlier than expected. Prepayments may also occur on a scheduled basis or due to foreclosure. When market interest rates increase, the market values of mortgage-backed securities decline. At the same time, however, mortgage refinancings and prepayments slow, which lengthens the effective maturities of these securities. As a result, the negative effect of the rate increase on the market value of mortgage-backed securities is usually more pronounced than it is for other types of debt securities. In addition, due to increased instability in the credit markets, the market for some mortgage-backed securities has experienced reduced liquidity and greater volatility with respect to the value of such securities, making it more difficult to value such securities. The Fund may invest in sub- prime mortgages or mortgage-backed securities that are backed by sub-prime mortgages.
 
Moreover, the relationship between prepayments and interest rates may give some high-yielding mortgage-related and asset-backed securities less potential for growth in value than conventional bonds with comparable maturities. In addition, in periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayments tends to increase. During such periods, the reinvestment of prepayment proceeds by the Fund will generally be at lower rates than the rates that were carried by the obligations that have been prepaid. Because of these and other reasons, mortgage-related and asset-backed securities’ total return and maturity may be difficult to predict precisely. To the extent that the Fund purchases mortgage-related and asset-backed securities at a premium, prepayments (which may be made without penalty) may result in loss of the Fund’s principal investment to the extent of premium paid.
 
Mortgage-backed securities generally are classified as either commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) or residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”), each of which are subject to certain specific risks.
 
Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities Risk. The market for CMBS developed more recently and, in terms of total outstanding principal amount of issues, is relatively small compared to the market for residential single-family mortgage-related securities. CMBS are subject to particular risks, including lack of standardized terms, have shorter maturities than residential mortgage loans and provide for payment of all or substantially all of the principal only at maturity rather than regular amortization of principal. In addition, commercial lending generally is viewed as exposing the lender to a greater risk of loss than one-to-four family residential lending. Commercial lending typically involves larger loans to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers than residential one-to-four family mortgage loans. In addition, the repayment of loans secured by income producing properties typically is dependent upon the successful operation of the related real estate project and the cash flow generated therefrom. Net operating income of an income-producing property can be affected by, among other things: tenant mix, success of tenant businesses, property management decisions, property location and condition, competition from comparable types of properties, changes in laws that increase operating expense or limit rents that may be charged, any need to address environmental contamination at the property, the occurrence of any uninsured casualty at the property, changes in national, regional or local economic conditions and/or specific industry segments, declines in regional or local real estate values, declines in regional or local

16



  rental or occupancy rates, increases in interest rates, real estate tax rates and other operating expenses, change in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies, including environmental legislation, acts of God, terrorism, social unrest and civil disturbances. Consequently, adverse changes in economic conditions and circumstances are more likely to have an adverse impact on mortgage-related securities secured by loans on commercial properties than on those secured by loans on residential properties. Economic downturns and other events that limit the activities of and demand for commercial retail and office spaces (such as the current crisis) adversely impact the value of such securities. Additional risks may be presented by the type and use of a particular commercial property. Special risks are presented by hospitals, nursing homes, hospitality properties and certain other property types. Commercial property values and net operating income are subject to volatility, which may result in net operating income becoming insufficient to cover debt service on the related mortgage loan. The exercise of remedies and successful realization of liquidation proceeds relating to CMBS may be highly dependent on the performance of the servicer or special servicer. There may be a limited number of special servicers available, particularly those that do not have conflicts of interest.
 
Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Risk. Credit-related risk on RMBS arises from losses due to delinquencies and defaults by the borrowers in payments on the underlying mortgage loans and breaches by originators and servicers of their obligations under the underlying documentation pursuant to which the RMBS are issued. The rate of delinquencies and defaults on residential mortgage loans and the aggregate amount of the resulting losses will be affected by a number of factors, including general economic conditions, particularly those in the area where the related mortgaged property is located, the level of the borrower’s equity in the mortgaged property and the individual financial circumstances of the borrower. If a residential mortgage loan is in default, foreclosure on the related residential property may be a lengthy and difficult process involving significant legal and other expenses. The net proceeds obtained by the holder on a residential mortgage loan following the foreclosure on the related property may be less than the total amount that remains due on the loan. The prospect of incurring a loss upon the foreclosure of the related property may lead the holder of the residential mortgage loan to restructure the residential mortgage loan or otherwise delay the foreclosure process. These risks are elevated given the current distressed economic, market, health and labor conditions, notably, increased levels of unemployment, delays and delinquencies in payments of mortgage and rent obligations, and uncertainty regarding the effects and extent of government intervention with respect to mortgage payments and other economic matters.
 
Sub-Prime Mortgage Market Risk. The residential mortgage market in the United States has experienced difficulties that may adversely affect the performance and market value of certain mortgages and mortgage-related securities. Delinquencies and losses on residential mortgage loans (especially sub-prime and second-line mortgage loans) generally have increased recently and may continue to increase, and a decline in or flattening of housing values (as has recently been experienced and may continue to be experienced in many housing markets) may exacerbate such delinquencies and losses. Borrowers with adjustable rate mortgage loans are more sensitive to changes in interest rates, which affect their monthly mortgage payments, and may be unable to secure replacement mortgages at comparably low interest rates. Also, a number of residential mortgage loan originators have experienced serious financial difficulties or bankruptcy. Largely due to the foregoing, reduced investor demand for mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities and increased investor yield requirements have caused limited liquidity in the secondary market for mortgage-related securities, which can adversely affect the market value of mortgage-related securities. It is possible that such limited liquidity in such secondary markets could continue or worsen. If the economy of the United States deteriorates further, the incidence of mortgage foreclosures, especially sub-prime

17



  mortgages, may increase, which may adversely affect the value of any mortgage-backed securities owned by the Fund.
 
The significance of the mortgage crisis and loan defaults in residential mortgage loan sectors led to the enactment of numerous pieces of legislation relating to the mortgage and housing markets. These actions, along with future legislation or regulation, may have significant impacts on the mortgage market generally and may result in a reduction of available transactional opportunities for the Fund or an increase in the cost associated with such transactions and may adversely impact the value of RMBS.
 
During the mortgage crisis, a number of originators and servicers of residential and commercial mortgage loans, including some of the largest originators and servicers in the residential and commercial mortgage loan market, experienced serious financial difficulties. Such difficulties may affect the performance of non-agency RMBS and CMBS. There can be no assurance that originators and servicers of mortgage loans will not continue to experience serious financial difficulties or experience such difficulties in the future, including becoming subject to bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, or that underwriting procedures and policies and protections against fraud will be sufficient in the future to prevent such financial difficulties or significant levels of default or delinquency on mortgage loans.
 
Asset-Backed Securities Risk. In addition to the general risks associated with credit securities discussed herein and the risks discussed under “Structured Finance Investments Risks,” ABS are subject to additional risks. ABS involve certain risks in addition to those presented by MBS. ABS do not have the benefit of the same security interest in the underlying collateral as MBS and are more dependent on the borrower’s ability to pay and may provide the Fund with a less effective security interest in the related collateral than do MBS. There is the possibility that recoveries on the underlying collateral may not, in some cases, be available to support payments on these securities. The collateral underlying ABS may constitute assets related to a wide range of industries and sectors, such as credit card and automobile receivables or other assets derived from consumer, commercial or corporate sectors.
 
For example, ABS can be collateralized with credit card and automobile receivables. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured, and the debtors are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give debtors the right to set off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. These risks are elevated given the currently distressed economic, market, labor and health conditions.
 
Most issuers of automobile receivables permit the servicers to retain possession of the underlying obligations. If the servicer were to sell these obligations to another party, there is a risk that the purchaser would acquire an interest superior to that of the holders of the related automobile receivables. In addition, because of the large number of vehicles involved in a typical issuance and technical requirements under state laws, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have an effective security interest in all of the obligations backing such receivables. If the economy of the United States deteriorates, defaults on securities backed by credit card, automobile and other receivables may increase, which may adversely affect the value of any ABS owned by the Fund. In recent years, certain automobile manufacturers have been granted access to emergency loans from the U.S. Government and have experienced bankruptcy. As a result of these events, the value of securities backed by receivables from the sale or lease of automobiles may be adversely affected.
 
If the economy of the United States deteriorates, defaults on securities backed by credit card, automobile and other receivables may increase, which may adversely affect the value of any ABS owned by the Fund. In addition, these securities may provide the Fund with a less effective security interest in the related collateral than do mortgage- related

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  securities. Therefore, there is the possibility that recoveries on the underlying collateral may not, in some cases, be available to support payments on these securities.
 
ABS collateralized by other types of assets are subject to risks associated with the underlying collateral.
 
CLO, CDO and CBO Risk. In addition to the general risks associated with debt securities discussed herein, CLOs, collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), and collateralized bond obligations (“CBOs”) are subject to additional risks. CLOs, CDOs and CBOs are subject to risks associated with the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default; and the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results. The credit quality of CLOs, CDOs and CBOs depends primarily upon the quality of the underlying assets and the level of credit support and/or enhancement provided. The underlying assets (e.g., debt obligations) of CLOs, CDOs and CBOs are subject to prepayments, which shorten the weighted average maturity and may lower the return of the securities issued by the CLOs, CDOs and CBOs. If the credit support or enhancement is exhausted, losses or delays in payment may result if the required payments of principal and interest are not made. The value of securities issued by CLOs, CDOs and CBOs also may change because of changes in market value; changes in the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the servicing agent for the pool, the originator of the pool, or the financial institution or fund providing the credit support or enhancement; loan performance and prices; broader sentiment and standing in the economic cycle, including expectations regarding future loan defaults; liquidity conditions; and supply and demand at the various tranche levels. Finally, CLOs, CDOs and CBOs are limited recourse and may not be paid in full and may be subject to up to 100% loss. See “Risks—CLO, CDO and CBO Risk.”
 
The Fund may invest in any portion of the capital structure of CLOs (including the subordinated, residual and deep mezzanine debt tranches). Investment in the subordinated tranche is subject to special risks. The subordinated tranche does not receive ratings and is considered the riskiest portion of the capital structure of a CLO. The subordinated tranche is junior in priority of payment to the more senior tranches of the CLO and is subject to certain payment restrictions. As a result, the subordinated tranche bears the bulk of defaults from the loans in the CLO. In addition, the subordinated tranche generally has only limited voting rights and generally does not benefit from any creditors’ rights or ability to exercise remedies under the indenture governing the CLO notes. Certain mezzanine tranches in which the Fund may invest may also be subject to certain risks similar to risks associated with investment in the subordinated tranche.
 
The subordinated tranche is unsecured and ranks behind all of the secured creditors, known or unknown, of the CLO issuer, including the holders of the secured notes it has issued. Consequently, to the extent that the value of the issuer’s portfolio of loan investments has been reduced as a result of conditions in the credit markets, defaulted loans, capital gains and losses on the underlying assets, prepayment or changes in interest rates, the value of the subordinated tranche realized at redemption could be reduced. Accordingly, the subordinated tranche may not be paid in full and may be subject to up to 100% loss. The leveraged nature of subordinated notes may magnify the adverse impact on the subordinated notes of changes in the market value of the investments held by the issuer, changes in the distributions on those investments, defaults and recoveries on those investments, capital gains and losses on those investments, prepayments on those investments and availability, prices and interest rates of those investments. Investments in the subordinated tranche of a CLO are generally less liquid than CLO debt tranches and subject to extensive transfer restrictions, and there may be no market for subordinated notes. Certain mezzanine tranches in which the Fund may invest may also be subject to

19



  certain risks similar to risks associated with investment in the subordinated tranche. See “Risks— CLO, CDO and CBO Risk—CLO Subordinated Notes Risk.”
 
Risks Associated with Risk-Linked Securities. RLS are a form of derivative issued by insurance companies and insurance-related special purpose vehicles that apply securitization techniques to catastrophic property and casualty damages. Unlike other insurable low-severity, high-probability events (such as auto collision coverage), the insurance risk of which can be diversified by writing large numbers of similar policies, the holders of a typical RLS are exposed to the risks from high-severity, low-probability events such as that posed by major earthquakes or hurricanes. RLS represent a method of reinsurance, by which insurance companies transfer their own portfolio risk to other reinsurance companies and, in the case of RLS, to the capital markets. A typical RLS provides for income and return of capital similar to other fixed-income investments, but involves full or partial default if losses resulting from a certain catastrophe exceeded a predetermined amount. In essence, investors invest funds in RLS and if a catastrophe occurs that “triggers” the RLS, investors may lose some or all of the capital invested. In the case of an event, the funds are paid to the bond sponsor—an insurer, reinsurer or corporation—to cover losses. In return, the bond sponsors pay interest to investors for this catastrophe protection. RLS can be structured to pay-off on three types of variables—insurance-industry catastrophe loss indices, insure-specific catastrophe losses and parametric indices based on the physical characteristics of catastrophic events. Such variables are difficult to predict or model, and the risk and potential return profiles of RLS may be difficult to assess. Catastrophe-related RLS have been in use since the 1990s, and the securitization and risk-transfer aspects of such RLS are beginning to be employed in other insurance and risk-related areas. No active trading market may exist for certain RLS, which may impair the ability of the Fund to realize full value in the event of the need to liquidate such assets.
 
Risks Associated with Structured Notes. Investments in structured notes involve risks associated with the issuer of the note and the reference instrument. Where the Fund’s investments in structured notes are based upon the movement of one or more factors, including currency exchange rates, interest rates, referenced bonds and stock indices, depending on the factor used and the use of multipliers or deflators, changes in interest rates and movement of the factor may cause significant price fluctuations. Additionally, changes in the reference instrument or security may cause the interest rate on the structured note to be reduced to zero, and any further changes in the reference instrument may then reduce the principal amount payable on maturity. Structured notes may be less liquid than other types of securities and more volatile than the reference instrument or security underlying the note.
 
Senior Loans Risk. The Fund may invest in senior secured floating rate Loans made to corporations and other non-governmental entities and issuers (“Senior Loans”). Senior Loans typically hold the most senior position in the capital structure of the issuing entity, are typically secured with specific collateral and typically have a claim on the assets and/or stock of the borrower that is senior to that held by subordinated debt holders and stockholders of the borrower. The Fund’s investments in Senior Loans are typically below-investment grade and are considered speculative because of the credit risk of their issuers. The risks associated with Senior Loans of below-investment grade quality are similar to the risks of other lower grade Income Securities, although Senior Loans are typically senior and secured in contrast to subordinated and unsecured Income Securities. Senior Loans’ higher standing has historically resulted in generally higher recoveries in the event of a corporate reorganization. In addition, because their interest payments are adjusted for changes in short-term interest rates, investments in Senior Loans generally have less interest rate risk than other lower grade Income Securities, which may have fixed interest rates. See “Risks—Senior Loans Risk.”
 
Second Lien Loans Risk. The Fund may invest in “second lien” secured floating rate Loans made by public and private corporations and other non-governmental entities and

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  issuers for a variety of purposes (“Second Lien Loans”). Second Lien Loans are second in right of payment to one or more Senior Loans of the related borrower. Second Lien Loans are subject to the same risks associated with investment in Senior Loans and other lower grade Income Securities. However, Second Lien Loans are second in right of payment to Senior Loans and therefore are subject to the additional risk that the cash flow of the borrower and any property securing the Loan may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments after giving effect to the senior secured obligations of the borrower. Second Lien Loans are expected to have greater price volatility and exposure to losses upon default than Senior Loans and may be less liquid. There is also a possibility that originators will not be able to sell participations in Second Lien Loans, which would create greater credit risk exposure.
 
Subordinated Secured Loans Risk. Subordinated secured Loans generally are subject to similar risks as those associated with investment in Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans and below investment grade securities. However, such loans may rank lower in right of payment than any outstanding Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans or other debt instruments with higher priority of the Borrower and therefore are subject to additional risk that the cash flow of the Borrower and any property securing the loan may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments and repayment of principal in the event of default or bankruptcy after giving effect to the higher ranking secured obligations of the Borrower. Subordinated secured Loans are expected to have greater price volatility than Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans and may be less liquid.
 
Unsecured Loans Risk. Unsecured Loans generally are subject to similar risks as those associated with investment in Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans, subordinated secured Loans and below investment grade securities. However, because unsecured Loans have lower priority in right of payment to any higher ranking obligations of the Borrower and are not backed by a security interest in any specific collateral, they are subject to additional risk that the cash flow of the Borrower and available assets may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments and repayment of principal after giving effect to any higher ranking obligations of the Borrower. Unsecured Loans are expected to have greater price volatility than Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans and subordinated secured Loans and may be less liquid.
 
Loans and Loan Participations and Assignments Risk. The Fund may invest in loans directly or through participations or assignments. The Fund may purchase Loans on a direct assignment basis from a participant in the original syndicate of lenders or from subsequent assignees of such interests. The Fund may also purchase, without limitation, participations in Loans. The purchaser of an assignment typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations of the assigning institution and becomes a lender under the credit agreement with respect to the debt obligation; however, the purchaser’s rights can be more restricted than those of the assigning institution, and, in any event, the Fund may not be able to unilaterally enforce all rights and remedies under the loan and with regard to any associated collateral. A participation typically results in a contractual relationship only with the institution participating out the interest, not with the Borrower. In purchasing participations, the Fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the Borrower with the terms of the loan agreement against the Borrower, and the Fund may not directly benefit from the collateral supporting the debt obligation in which it has purchased the participation. As a result, the Fund will be exposed to the credit risk of both the Borrower and the institution selling the participation. Further, in purchasing participations in lending syndicates, the Fund may not be able to conduct the same due diligence on the Borrower with respect to a Senior Loan that the Fund would otherwise conduct. In addition, as a holder of the participations, the Fund may not have voting rights or inspection rights that the Fund would otherwise have if it were investing directly in the Senior Loan, which may result in the Fund being exposed to greater credit or fraud risk with respect to the Borrower or the Senior Loan. Lenders selling a participation and other persons inter-positioned between the lender and the Fund with respect to a

21



  participation will likely conduct their principal business activities in the banking, finance and financial services industries. Because the Fund may invest in participations, the Fund may be more susceptible to economic, political or regulatory occurrences affecting such industries.
 
Certain of the loan participations or assignments acquired by the Fund may involve unfunded commitments of the lenders, revolving credit facilities, delayed draw credit facilities or other investments under which a borrower may from time to time borrow and repay amounts up to the maximum amount of the facility. In such cases, the Fund would have an obligation to advance its portion of such additional borrowings upon the terms specified in the loan documentation. Such an obligation may have the effect of requiring the Fund to increase its investment in a company at a time when it might not be desirable to do so (including at a time when the company’s financial condition makes it unlikely that such amounts will be repaid). These commitments are generally subject to the borrowers meeting certain criteria such as compliance with covenants and certain operational metrics. The terms of the borrowings and financings subject to commitment are comparable to the terms of other loans and related investments in the Fund’s portfolio.
  The Fund invests in or is exposed to loans and other similar debt obligations that are sometimes referred to as “covenant-lite” loans or obligations, which are generally subject to more risk than investments that contain traditional financial maintenance covenants and financial reporting requirements.
 
Mezzanine Investments Risk. The Fund may invest in certain lower grade securities known as “Mezzanine Investments,” which are subordinated debt securities that are generally issued in private placements in connection with an equity security (e.g., with attached warrants) or may be convertible into equity securities. Mezzanine Investments are subject to the same risks associated with investment in Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans and other lower grade Income Securities. However, Mezzanine Investments may rank lower in right of payment than any outstanding Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans of the borrower, or may be unsecured (i.e., not backed by a security interest in any specific collateral), and are subject to the additional risk that the cash flow of the borrower and available assets may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments after giving effect to any higher ranking obligations of the borrower. Mezzanine Investments are expected to have greater price volatility and exposure to losses upon default than Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans and may be less liquid.
 
Distressed and Defaulted Securities Risk. Investments in the securities of financially distressed issuers involve substantial risks. These securities may present a substantial risk of default or may be in default at the time of investment. The Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek recovery upon a default in the payment of principal or interest on its portfolio holdings. In any reorganization or liquidation proceeding relating to a portfolio company, the Fund may lose its entire investment or may be required to accept cash or securities with a value less than its original investment. Among the risks inherent in investments in a troubled entity is the fact that it frequently may be difficult to obtain information as to the true financial condition of such issuer. The Adviser’s judgment about the credit quality of the issuer and the relative value and liquidity of its securities may prove to be wrong.
 
Convertible Securities Risk. Convertible securities, debt or preferred equity securities convertible into, or exchangeable for, equity securities, are generally preferred stocks and other securities, including fixed-income securities and warrants that are convertible into or exercisable for common stock. Convertible securities generally participate in the appreciation or depreciation of the underlying stock into which they are convertible, but to a lesser degree and are subject to the risks associated with debt and equity securities, including interest rate, market and issuer risks. For example, if market interest rates rise, the value of a convertible security usually falls. Certain convertible securities may

22



 
combine higher or lower current income with options and other features. Warrants are options to buy a stated number of shares of common stock at a specified price anytime during the life of the warrants (generally, two or more years). Convertible securities may be lower-rated securities subject to greater levels of credit risk. A convertible security may be converted before it would otherwise be most appropriate, which may have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.
 
“Synthetic” convertible securities are selected based on the similarity of their economic characteristics to those of a traditional convertible security due to the combination of separate securities that possess the two principal characteristics of a traditional convertible security, i.e., an income-producing security (“income-producing component”) and the right to acquire an equity security (“convertible component”). The income-producing component is achieved by investing in non-convertible, income-producing securities such as bonds, preferred stocks and money market instruments, which may be represented by derivative instruments.
  The convertible component is achieved by investing in securities or instruments such as warrants or options to buy common stock at a certain exercise price, or options on a stock index. A simple example of a synthetic convertible security is the combination of a traditional corporate bond with a warrant to purchase equity securities of the issuer of the bond. The income-producing and convertible components of a synthetic convertible security may be issued separately by different issuers and at different times.
 
Preferred Stock Risks. The Fund may invest in preferred stock. Preferred stock represents an equity interest in a company that generally entitles the holder to receive, in preference to the holders of other stocks such as common stocks, dividends and a fixed share of the proceeds resulting from a liquidation of the company. Preferred stocks may pay fixed or adjustable rates of return. Preferred stock is subject to issuer-specific and market risks applicable generally to equity securities. In addition, a company’s preferred stock generally pays dividends (if declared) only after the company makes required payments to holders of its bonds and other debt. For this reason, the value of preferred stock will usually react more strongly than bonds and other debt to actual or perceived changes in the company’s financial condition or prospects.
  Preferred stock has properties of both an equity and a debt instrument and is generally considered a hybrid instrument. Preferred stock is senior to common stock, but is subordinate to bonds in terms of claims or rights to their share of the assets of the company. Preferred stocks may be significantly less liquid than many other securities, such as U.S. Government securities, corporate debt and common stock. See “Risks—Preferred Stock Risk.”
 
Foreign Securities Risk. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in non-U.S. dollar-denominated Income Securities of foreign issuers. Investing in foreign issuers may involve certain risks not typically associated with investing in securities of U.S. issuers due to increased exposure to foreign economic, political and legal developments, including favorable or unfavorable changes in currency exchange rates, exchange control regulations (including currency blockage), expropriation or nationalization of assets, imposition of withholding taxes on payments, and possible difficulty in obtaining and enforcing judgments against foreign entities. Furthermore, issuers of foreign securities and obligations are subject to different, often less comprehensive, accounting, reporting and disclosure requirements than domestic issuers. The securities and obligations of some foreign companies and foreign markets are less liquid and at times more volatile than comparable U.S. securities, obligations and markets. These risks may be more pronounced to the extent that the Fund invests a significant amount of its assets in companies located in one region and to the extent that the Fund invests in securities of issuers in emerging markets. The Fund may also invest in U.S. dollar- denominated Income Securities of foreign issuers, which are subject to many of the risks described above regarding Income Securities of foreign issuers denominated in foreign currencies.

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  See “Risks— Foreign Securities Risk.” These risks are heightened under the current conditions.
 
Emerging Markets Risk. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in Income Securities the issuers of which are located in countries considered to be emerging markets. Investing in securities in emerging countries generally entails greater risks than investing in securities in developed countries. Securities issued by governments or issuers in emerging market countries are more likely to have greater exposure to the risks of investing in foreign securities. These risks are elevated under current conditions and include: (1) less social, political and economic stability; (2) the small size of the markets for such securities, limited access to investments in the event of market closures and the low or nonexistent volume of trading, which result in a lack of liquidity, greater price volatility, and higher risk of failed trades or other trading issues; (3) certain national policies that may restrict the Fund’s investment opportunities, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (4) foreign taxation; (5) inflation and rapid fluctuations in interest rates; (6) currency devaluations; (7) dependence on a few key trading partners; and (8) the absence of developed structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for investment losses or injury to private property. Sovereign debt of emerging countries may be in default or present a greater risk of default, the risk of which is heightened given the current conditions. These risks are heightened for investments in frontier markets.
  The Sub-Adviser has broad discretion to identify countries that it considers to qualify as “emerging markets.”  In determining whether a country is an emerging market, the Sub-Adviser may take into account specific or general factors that the Sub-Adviser deems to be relevant, including interest rates, inflation rates, exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policies, trade and current account balances and/or legal, social and political developments, as well as whether the country is considered to be emerging or developing by supranational organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations or other similar entities.  Emerging market countries generally will include countries with low gross national product per capita and the potential for rapid economic growth and are likely to be located in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe and Central and South America. See “Risks—Emerging Markets Risk.”
 
Foreign Currency Risk. The value of securities denominated or quoted in foreign currencies may be adversely affected by fluctuations in the relative currency exchange rates and by exchange control regulations. The Fund’s investment performance may be negatively affected by a devaluation of a currency in which the Fund’s investments are denominated or quoted. Further, the Fund’s investment performance may be significantly affected, either positively or negatively, by currency exchange rates because the U.S. dollar value of securities denominated or quoted in another currency will increase or decrease in response to changes in the value of such currency in relation to the U.S. dollar. See “Risks—Foreign Currency Risk.”
 
Sovereign Debt Risk. Investments in sovereign debt involve special risks. Foreign governmental issuers of debt or the governmental authorities that control the repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or pay interest when due. In the event of default, there may be limited or no legal recourse in that, generally, remedies for defaults must be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party. Political conditions, especially a sovereign entity’s willingness to meet the terms of its debt obligations, are of considerable significance. The ability of a foreign sovereign issuer, especially an emerging market country, to make timely payments on its debt obligations will also be strongly influenced by the sovereign issuer’s balance of payments, including export performance, its access to international credit facilities and investments, fluctuations of interest rates and the extent of its foreign reserves. See “Risks—Sovereign Debt Risk.”
 
Common Equity Securities Risk. The Fund may invest up to 50% of its total assets in Common Equity Securities. Common Equity Securities’ prices fluctuate for a number of

24



  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 Equity Securities have historically generated higher average returns than Income Securities, Common Equity Securities have also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns. Equity securities are currently experiencing heightened volatility and therefore, the Fund’s investments in equity securities are subject to heightened risks related to volatility. 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.
 
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.
 
The Fund may write call options on individual securities, securities indices, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and baskets of securities. The buyer of an option acquires the right to buy (a call option) or sell (a put option) a certain quantity of a security (the underlying security) or instrument, at a certain price up to a specified point in time or on expiration, depending on the terms. The seller or writer of an option is obligated to sell (a call option) or buy (a put option) the underlying instrument. A call option is “covered” if the Fund owns the instrument underlying the call or has an absolute right to acquire the instrument without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, cash or cash equivalents in such amount are segregated by the Fund’s custodian). As a seller of covered call options, the Fund faces the risk that it will forgo the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the security covering the call option during an option’s life. As the Fund writes covered calls over more of its portfolio, its ability to benefit from capital appreciation becomes more limited. For certain types of options, the writer of the option will have no control over the time when it may be required to fulfill its obligation under the option. There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist if and when the Fund seeks to close out an option position. Once an option writer has received an exercise notice, it cannot effect a closing purchase transaction in order to terminate its obligation under the option and must deliver the underlying security at the exercise price.
 
The Fund may write exchange-listed and over-the-counter (“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 entered into directly with the buyer of the option and not through an exchange or clearing organization that is interposed between the Fund and the counterparty. In an OTC option transaction exercise price, premium and other terms are negotiated between buyer and seller. OTC options are subject to heightened counterparty, credit, liquidity and valuation risks.
 
Risks of Real Property Asset Companies. The Fund may invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities issued by Real Property Asset Companies. Because of the Fund’s ability to make indirect investments in real estate and in the securities of companies in the real estate industry, it is subject to risks associated with the direct ownership of real estate, including declines in the value of real estate; general and local

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  economic conditions; increased competition; and changes in interest rates. Because of the Fund’s ability to make indirect investments in natural resources and physical commodities, and in Real Property Asset Companies engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, gold and other precious metals, steel and iron ore production, energy services, forest products, chemicals, coal, alternative energy sources and environmental services, as well as related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers, the Fund is subject to risks associated with such real property assets, including supply and demand risk, depletion risk, regulatory risk and commodity pricing risk. See “Risks—Risks of Real Property Asset Companies.”
 
Risks of Personal Property Asset Companies. The Fund may invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities issued by Personal Property Asset Companies which invest in personal property such as special situation transportation assets (e.g., railcars, airplanes and ships) and collectibles (e.g., antiques, wine and fine art). The risks of special situation transportation assets include cyclicality of supply and demand for transportation assets and risk of decline in the value of transportation assets and rental values. The risks of collectible assets include the difficulty in valuing collectible assets, the relative illiquidity of collectible assets, the prospects of forgery or the inability to assess the authenticity of collectible assets and the high transaction and related costs of purchasing, selling and safekeeping collectible assets. See “Risks—Risks of Personal Property Asset Companies.”
 
Private Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in privately issued Income Securities and Common Equity Securities of both public and private companies. Private Securities have additional risk considerations than investments in comparable public investments. Whenever the Fund invests in companies that do not publicly report financial and other material information, it assumes a greater degree of investment risk and reliance upon the Sub-Adviser’s ability to obtain and evaluate applicable information concerning such companies’ creditworthiness and other investment considerations. Certain Private Securities may be illiquid. Because there is often no readily available trading market for Private Securities, the Fund may not be able to readily dispose of such investments at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell them if they were more widely traded. Private Securities are also more difficult to value. Private Securities that are debt securities generally are of below- investment grade quality, frequently are unrated and present many of the same risks as investing in below-investment grade public debt securities.
 
Investment Funds Risk. As an alternative to holding investments directly, the Fund may also obtain investment exposure to Income Securities and Common Equity Securities by investing up to 30% of its total assets in Investment Funds. Investments in Investment Funds present certain special considerations and risks not present in making direct investments in Income 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. 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. 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. See “Risks—Investment Funds Risk.”
 
Synthetic Investments Risk. 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

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  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, certain derivative instruments 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. See “Risks—Synthetic Investments Risk.”
 
Inflation/Deflation Risk. 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.
 
Market Discount Risk. The Fund’s Common Shares have traded both at a premium and at a discount in relation to net asset value. The Fund cannot predict whether the Common Shares will trade in the future at a premium or discount to net asset value. The Fund’s Common Shares have recently traded at a premium to net asset value per share, which may not be sustainable. If the Common Shares are trading at a premium to net asset value at the time you purchase Common Shares, the net asset value per share of the Common Shares purchased will be less than the purchase price paid. Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount from net asset value, but in some cases have traded above net asset value. The risk of the Common Shares trading at a discount is a risk separate from the risk of a decline in the Fund’s net asset value as a result of the Fund’s investment activities. 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 a 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 value of the Common Shares will be determined by factors such as the relative demand for and supply of the shares in the market, general market conditions and other factors outside the Fund’s control, the Fund cannot predict whether the 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.

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Dilution Risk. The voting power of current Common Shareholders will be diluted to the extent that current Common Shareholders do not purchase Common Shares in any future offerings of Common Shares or do not purchase sufficient Common Shares to maintain their percentage interest. If the Fund is unable to invest the proceeds of such offering as intended, the Fund’s per Common Share distribution may decrease and the Fund may not participate in market advances to the same extent as if such proceeds were fully invested as planned. If the Fund sells Common Shares at a price below net asset value pursuant to the consent of Common Shareholders, shareholders will experience a dilution of the aggregate net asset value per Common Share because the sale price will be less than the Fund’s then-current net asset value per Common Share. Similarly, were the expenses of the offering to exceed the amount by which the sale price exceeded the Fund’s then current net asset value per Common Share, shareholders would experience a dilution of the aggregate net asset value per Common Share. This dilution will be experienced by all shareholders, irrespective of whether they purchase Common Shares in any such offering. See “Description of Capital Structure— Common Shares— Issuance of Additional Common Shares.”
 
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 leveraging 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 and market price of and dividends on the Common Shares than a comparable portfolio without leverage; the risk that fluctuations in interest rates on Borrowings or in the dividend rate on any Preferred Shares 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.
 
Because the fees received by the Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser are based on the Managed Assets of the Fund (including the proceeds of any Financial Leverage), the Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser have a financial incentive for the Fund to utilize Financial Leverage, which may create a conflict of interest between the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser on the one hand and the Common Shareholders on the other. Common Shareholders bear the portion of the investment advisory fee attributable to the assets purchased with the proceeds of Financial Leverage, which means that Common Shareholders effectively bear the entire advisory fee. In order to manage this conflict of interest, the Board of Trustees will receive regular reports from the Adviser regarding the Fund’s use of Financial Leverage and the effect of Financial Leverage on the management of the Fund’s portfolio and the performance of the Fund.
 
Borrowings may subject the Fund to covenants in credit agreements relating to asset coverage and portfolio composition requirements. Borrowings 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 Indebtedness. Such guidelines may impose asset coverage or portfolio composition requirements that are more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act.
 
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

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  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. Dollar roll transactions involve the risk that the market value of the securities the Fund is required to purchase may decline below the agreed upon repurchase price of those securities. Successful use of dollar rolls may depend upon the Adviser’s ability to correctly predict interest rates and prepayments. There is no assurance that dollar rolls can be successfully employed. In connection with reverse repurchase agreements and dollar rolls, 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.
 
The Fund may engage in certain derivatives transactions that have economic characteristics similar to leverage. To the extent the terms of any such transaction obligate the Fund to make payments, the Fund intends to earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities in an amount at least equal to the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transaction or otherwise cover such transaction in accordance with applicable interpretations of the staff of the SEC. To the extent the terms of any such transaction obligate the Fund to deliver particular securities to extinguish the Fund’s obligations under such transactions, the Fund may “cover” its obligations under such transaction by either (i) owning the securities or collateral underlying such transactions or (ii) having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities or collateral without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, having earmarked or segregated cash or liquid securities). Securities so segregated or designated as “cover” will be unavailable for sale by the Adviser (unless replaced by other securities qualifying for segregation or cover requirements), which may adversely affect the ability of the Fund to pursue its investment objective.
 
Recent economic and market events have contributed to severe market volatility and caused severe liquidity strains in the credit markets. If dislocations in the credit markets continue, the Fund’s leverage costs may increase and there is a risk that the Fund may not be able to renew or replace existing leverage on favorable terms or at all. 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.
 
The Fund’s total Financial Leverage may vary significantly over time. To the extent the Fund increases its amount of Financial Leverage outstanding, it will be more exposed to these risks. See “Risks— Leverage Risk.”
 
Derivatives Transactions Risk. The Fund may engage in various derivatives transactions for hedging and risk management purposes, to facilitate portfolio management and to earn income or enhance total return. The use of derivatives transactions to earn income or enhance total return may be particularly speculative. Derivatives transactions involve risks. There may be imperfect correlation between the value of derivative instruments and the underlying assets. Derivatives transactions may be subject to risks associated with the possible default of the other party to the transaction. Derivative instruments may be illiquid. Certain derivatives transactions may have economic characteristics similar to leverage, in that relatively small market movements may result in large changes in the value of an investment. Certain derivatives transactions that involve leverage can result in losses that greatly exceed the amount originally invested. Furthermore, the Fund’s ability to successfully use derivatives transactions depends on the Adviser’s ability to predict pertinent securities prices, interest rates, currency exchange rates and other economic factors, which cannot be assured. The use of derivatives transactions may result in losses greater than if they had not been used, may require the Fund to sell or purchase portfolio

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  securities at inopportune times or for prices other than current market values, may limit the amount of appreciation the Fund can realize on an investment or may cause the Fund to hold a security that it might otherwise sell. Derivatives transactions involve risks of mispricing or improper valuation. The documentation governing a derivative instrument or transaction may be unfavorable or ambiguous. Derivatives transactions may involve commissions and other costs, which may increase the Fund’s expenses and reduce its return.
 
Various legislative and regulatory initiatives may impact the availability, liquidity and cost of derivative instruments, limit or restrict the ability of the Fund to use certain derivative instruments or transact with certain counterparties as a part of its investment strategy, increase the costs of using derivative instruments or make derivative instruments less effective. In connection with certain derivatives transactions, the Fund may be required to segregate liquid assets or otherwise cover such transactions. The Fund may earn a lower return on its portfolio than it might otherwise earn if it did not have to segregate assets in respect of, or otherwise cover, its derivatives transactions positions. Segregating assets and covering positions will not limit or offset losses on related positions.
 
Swap Risk. 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. If the Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates or currency exchange rates, the investment performance of the Fund may be less favorable than it would have been if these investment techniques were not used. Such 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 such 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. 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.
 
When the Fund acts as a seller of a credit default swap agreement with respect to a debt security, it is subject to the risk that an adverse credit event may occur with respect to the issuer of the debt security and the Fund may be required to pay the buyer the full notional value of the debt security under the swap net of any amounts owed to the Fund by the buyer under the swap (such as the buyer’s obligation to deliver the debt security to the Fund). As a result, the Fund bears the entire risk of loss due to a decline in value of a referenced debt security on a credit default swap it has sold if there is a credit event with respect to the issuer of the security. If the Fund is a buyer of a credit default swap and no credit event occurs, the Fund may recover nothing if the swap is held through its termination date. However, if a credit event occurs, the Fund generally may elect to receive the full notional value of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity whose value may have significantly decreased.
 
The swap market has become more standardized in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation.
 
As a result, some swaps have become relatively liquid. Although the swap market has become liquid, certain types of derivatives products, such as caps, floors and collars may be less liquid than swaps in general. Further regulatory developments in the swap market may adversely impact the swap market generally or the Fund’s ability to use swaps.

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Counterparty Risk. Counterparty risk is the risk that a counterparty to a Fund transaction (e.g., prime brokerage or securities lending arrangement or derivatives transaction) will be unable or unwilling to perform its contractual obligation to the Fund. The Fund is exposed to credit risks that the counterparty may be unwilling or unable to make timely payments or otherwise meet its contractual obligations. If the counterparty becomes bankrupt or defaults on (or otherwise becomes unable or unwilling to perform, the risk of which is particularly acute under current conditions) its payment or other obligations to the Fund, the Fund may not receive the full amount that it is entitled to receive or may experience delays in recovering the collateral or other assets held by, or on behalf of, the counterparty.
 
The Fund bears the risk that counterparties may be adversely affected by legislative or regulatory changes, adverse market conditions (such as the current conditions), increased competition, and/or wide scale credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of the counterparties’ other trading partners or borrowers.
 
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 create realized capital losses.
 
U.S. Government Securities Risk. Different types of U.S. government securities have different relative levels of credit risk depending on the nature of the particular government support for that security. U.S. government securities may be supported by: (i) the full faith and credit of the United States government; (ii) the ability of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; (iii) the credit of the issuing agency, instrumentality or government-sponsored entity (“GSE”); (iv) pools of assets (e.g., mortgage-backed securities); or (v) the United States in some other way. The U.S. government and its agencies and instrumentalities do not guarantee the market value of their securities, which may fluctuate in value and are subject to investment risks, and certain U.S. government securities may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Any downgrades of the U.S. credit rating could increase volatility in both stock and bond markets, result in higher interest rates and higher Treasury yields and increase the costs of all debt generally. The value of U.S. government obligations may be adversely affected by changes in interest rates. It is possible that the issuers of some U.S. government securities will not have the funds to timely meet their payment obligations in the future and there is a risk of default. For certain agency and GSE issued securities, there is no guarantee the U.S. government will support the agency or GSE if it is unable to meet its obligations.
 
UK Departure from EU (“Brexit”) Risk. On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom officially withdrew from the European Union (“EU”) and the two sides entered into a transition phase, scheduled to conclude on December 31, 2020, where the United Kingdom effectively remains in the EU from an economic perspective, but no longer has any political representation in the EU parliament. During this transition phase, which could be extended beyond December of 2020, the United Kingdom is expected to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU. Due to political uncertainty, it is not possible to anticipate whether the United Kingdom and the EU will be able to agree and implement a new trade agreement or what the nature of such trade arrangement will be. Throughout the withdrawal process and afterward, the impact on the United Kingdom and Economic and Monetary Union and the broader global economy is unknown but could be significant and could result in increased volatility and illiquidity and potentially lower economic growth. The political divisions surrounding Brexit within the United Kingdom, as well as those between the UK and the EU, may also have a destabilizing impact on the

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  economy and currency of the United Kingdom and the EU. Any further exits from member states of the EU, or the possibility of such exits, would likely cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties.
 
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 Brexit. 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.
 
Redenomination Risk. The result of Brexit, the progression of the European debt crisis and the possibility of one or more Eurozone countries exiting the European Monetary Union (“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

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  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.
 
In late November 2019, the SEC published a proposed rulemaking related to the use of derivatives and certain other transactions by registered investment companies that would, if adopted, for the most part rescind the SEC’s asset segregation and coverage rules and guidance.  Instead of complying with current requirements, funds would need to trade derivatives and other transactions that potentially create senior securities (except reverse repurchase agreements) subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit, certain other testing requirements and requirements related to board reporting. These new requirements would apply unless a fund qualified as a “limited derivatives user,” as defined in the SEC’s proposal. Reverse repurchase agreements would be subject to asset coverage requirements, and a fund trading reverse repurchase agreements would need to aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating the fund’s asset coverage ratio. Reverse repurchase agreements would not be included in the calculation of whether a fund is a limited derivatives user, but for funds subject to the VaR testing, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions would be included for purposes of such testing. The Adviser cannot predict the effects of these regulations on the Fund’s portfolio. The Adviser intends to monitor developments and seeks to manage the Fund’s portfolio in a manner consistent with achieving the Fund’s investment objective, but there can be no assurance that it 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.
 
LIBOR Risk. 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

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  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 are expected to 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.
 
The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets for instruments with terms tied to LIBOR. It could also lead to a reduction in the interest rates on, and the value of, some LIBOR-based investments and reduce the effectiveness of hedges mitigating risk in connection with LIBOR-based investments. Although some LIBOR-based instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate-setting methodology and/or increased costs for certain LIBOR-related instruments or financing transactions, others may not have such provisions and there may be significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies. Additionally, because such provisions may differ across instruments (e.g., hedges versus cash positions hedged), LIBOR’s cessation may give rise to basis risk and render hedges less effective.  As the usefulness of LIBOR as a benchmark could deteriorate during the transition period, these effects and related adverse conditions could occur prior to the end of 2021. There also remains uncertainty and risk regarding the willingness and ability of issuers to include enhanced provisions in new and existing contracts or instruments, notwithstanding significant efforts by the industry to develop robust LIBOR replacement clauses. The effect of any changes to, or discontinuation of, LIBOR on the Fund will vary depending, among other things, on (1) existing fallback or termination provisions in individual contracts and the possible renegotiation of existing contracts and (2) whether, how, and when industry participants develop and adopt new reference rates and fallbacks for both legacy and new products and instruments.  Fund investments may also be tied to other interbank offered rates and currencies, which also will face similar issues.
 
Certain classes of instruments invested in by the Fund may be more sensitive to LIBOR cessation than others. For example, certain asset classes such as floating rate notes may not contemplate a LIBOR cessation and/or might freeze a last-published or last-used LIBOR rate for all future payment dates upon a discontinuation of LIBOR. Also, for example, syndicated and other business loans tied to LIBOR may not provide a clear roadmap for LIBOR’s replacement, leaving any future adjustments to the determination of a quantum of lenders. Securitizations and other asset-backed transactions may experience disruption as a result of inconsistencies between when collateral assets shift from LIBOR and what rate those assets replace LIBOR with, on the one hand, and when the securitization notes shift from LIBOR and what rate the securitization notes replace LIBOR with.
 
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

34



  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.
 
The outbreak of COVID-19 is causing materially reduced consumer demand and economic output, disrupting supply chains, resulting in market closures, travel restrictions and quarantines, and adversely impacting local and global economies. As with other serious economic disruptions, governmental authorities and regulators are responding to this crisis with significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including by providing direct capital infusions into companies, introducing new monetary programs and considerably lowering interest rates, which, in some cases resulted in negative interest rates. These actions, including their possible unexpected or sudden reversal or potential ineffectiveness, could further increase volatility in securities and other financial markets, reduce market liquidity, heighten investor uncertainty and adversely affect the value of the Fund’s investments and the performance of the Fund.
 
Increasing Government and other Public Debt Risk. Government and other public debt, including municipal obligations in which the Fund invests, can be adversely affected by large and sudden changes in local and global economic conditions that result in increased debt levels. Although high levels of government and other public debt do not necessarily indicate or cause economic problems, high levels of debt may create certain systemic risks if sound debt management practices are not implemented. A high debt level may increase market pressures to meet an issuer’s funding needs, which may increase borrowing costs and cause a government or public or municipal entity to issue additional debt, thereby increasing the risk of refinancing. A high debt level also raises concerns that the issuer may be unable or unwilling to repay the principal or interest on its debt, which may adversely impact instruments held by the Fund that rely on such payments. Governmental and quasigovernmental responses to the current economic situation are increasing government and other public debt, which heighten these risks. Unsustainable debt levels can decline the valuation of currencies, and can prevent a government from implementing effective counter-cyclical fiscal policy during economic downturns or can generate or contribute to an economic downturn.
 
When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Transactions Risk. Securities purchased on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis may expose the Fund to counterparty risk of default as well as the risk that securities may experience fluctuations in value prior to their actual

35



  delivery. The Fund generally will not accrue income with respect to a when-issued or delayed delivery security prior to its stated delivery date.
 
Purchasing securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis can involve the additional risk that the price or yield available in the market when the delivery takes place may not be as favorable as that obtained in the transaction itself.
 
Short Sales Risk. The Fund may make short sales of securities. A short sale is a transaction in which the Fund sells a security it does not own. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash and liquid securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited. The Fund may have to pay a premium to borrow the securities and must pay any dividends or interest payable on the securities until they are replaced, which will be expenses of the Fund.
 
Repurchase Agreement Risk. A repurchase agreement exposes the Fund to the risk that the party that sells the security may default on its obligation to repurchase it. The Fund may lose money because it cannot sell the security at the agreed-upon time and price or the security loses value before it can be sold. The Fund may accept a wide variety of underlying securities as collateral for repurchase agreements entered into by the Fund. Rule 5b-3 under the 1940 Act, stipulates that if a repurchase agreement entered into by a fund is “collateralized fully,” the repurchase agreement is deemed a transaction in the underlying securities and not a separate security issued to the fund by the selling institution. In order for the repurchase agreement to qualify as “collateralized fully,” the collateral must consist solely of cash items, government securities, securities that are rated in the highest rating category by at least two NRSROs (or one NRSRO, if that is the only such NRSRO which has issued a rating on the security) or unrated securities which the Adviser deems to be of comparable quality. However, the Fund may accept collateral in respect of repurchase agreements which do not meet the above criteria, and in such event the repurchase agreement will not be considered “collateralized fully” for purposes of Rule 5b-3. Accepting collateral beyond the criteria of Rule 5b-3 exposes the Fund to two categories of risks. First, because the Fund’s repurchase agreements which are secured by such collateral are not “collateralized fully” under Rule 5b-3, the repurchase agreement is considered a separate security issued by the selling institution to the Fund. Accordingly, in addition to the risks of a default or bankruptcy of the selling institution, the Fund must include repurchase agreements that are not “collateralized fully” under Rule 5b-3 in its calculations of securities issued by the selling institution held by the Fund for purposes of various diversification and concentration requirements applicable to the Fund. In particular, to the extent a selling institution is a “securities related business” for purposes of Section 12(d)(3) of the 1940 Act and Rule 12d3-1 thereunder, the Fund would not be permitted to hold more than 5% of its total assets in securities issued by the selling institution, including repurchase agreements that are not “collateralized fully” under Rule 5b-3. While this limitation (as well as other applicable limitations arising under concentration and diversification requirements) limits the Fund’s exposure to each such selling institution, the Fund will be required to monitor its holdings of such securities and ensure that it complies with the applicable limitations. Second, the collateral underlying a repurchase agreement that is not “collateralized fully” under Rule 5b-3 may not qualify as permitted or appropriate investments for the Fund under the Fund’s investment strategies and limitations. Accordingly, if a selling institution defaults and the Fund takes possession of such collateral, the Fund may need to promptly dispose of such collateral (or other securities held by the Fund, if the Fund exceeds a limitation on a permitted investment by virtue of taking possession of the collateral). In cases of market turmoil (which may be associated with a default or bankruptcy of a selling

36



  institution), the Fund may have more difficulty than anticipated in selling such securities and/or in avoiding a loss on the sale of such securities. This risk may be more acute in the case of a selling institution’s insolvency or bankruptcy, which may restrict the Fund’s ability to dispose of collateral received from the selling institution. The Adviser follows various procedures to monitor the liquidity and quality of any collateral received under a repurchase agreement (as well as the credit quality of each selling institution) designed to minimize these risks, but there can be no assurance that the procedures will be successful in doing so.
 
Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may lend its portfolio securities to banks or dealers which meet the creditworthiness standards established by the Board of Trustees. Securities lending is subject to the risk that loaned securities may not be available to the Fund on a timely basis and the Fund may therefore lose the opportunity to sell the securities at a desirable price. Any loss in the market price of securities loaned by the Fund that occurs during the term of the loan would be borne by the Fund and would adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Also, there may be delays in recovery, or no recovery, of securities loaned or even a loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially while the loan is outstanding.
 
Risk of Failure to Qualify as a RIC. To qualify for the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment generally accorded to RICs, the Fund must, among other things, derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from certain prescribed sources, meet certain asset diversification tests and distribute for each taxable year at least 90% of its “investment company taxable income” (generally, ordinary income plus the excess, if any, of net short-term capital gain over net long-term capital loss). If for any taxable year the Fund does not qualify as a RIC, all of its taxable income for that year (including its net capital gain) would be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and such distributions would be taxable as ordinary dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits.
 
Conflicts of Interest Risk. Guggenheim Partners is a global asset management and investment advisory organization. Guggenheim Partners and its affiliates advise clients in various markets and transactions and purchase, sell, hold and recommend a broad array of investments for their own accounts and the accounts of clients and of their personnel and the relationships and products they sponsor, manage and advise. Accordingly, Guggenheim Partners and its affiliates may have direct and indirect interests in a variety of global markets and the securities of issuers in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. These interests may cause the Fund to be subject to regulatory limits, and in certain circumstances, these various activities may prevent the Fund from participating in an investment decision. As a result, activities and dealings of Guggenheim Partners and its affiliates may affect the Fund in ways that may disadvantage or restrict the Fund or be deemed to benefit Guggenheim Partners and its affiliates. From time to time, conflicts of interest may arise between a portfolio manager’s management of the investments of the Fund on the one hand and the management of other registered investment companies, pooled investment vehicles and other accounts (collectively, “other accounts”) on the other. The other accounts might have similar investment objectives or strategies as the Fund or otherwise hold, purchase, or sell securities that are eligible to be held, purchased or sold by the Fund. In certain circumstances, and subject to its fiduciary obligations under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”) and the requirements of the 1940 Act, the Adviser may have to allocate a limited investment opportunity among its clients. The other accounts might also have different investment objectives or strategies than the Fund. In addition, the Fund may be limited in its ability to invest in, or hold securities of, any companies that the Adviser or its affiliates (or other accounts managed by the Adviser or its affiliates) control, or companies in which the Adviser or its affiliates have interests or with whom they do business. For example, affiliates of the Adviser may act as underwriter, lead agent or administrative agent for loans or otherwise participate in the market for loans.

37



  Because of limitations imposed by applicable law, the presence of the Adviser’s affiliates in the markets for loans may restrict the Fund’s ability to acquire some loans or affect the timing or price of such acquisitions. To address these conflicts, the Fund and Guggenheim Partners and its affiliates have established various policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to detect and prevent such conflicts and prevent the Fund from being disadvantaged. For additional information about potential conflicts of interest, and the way in which the Adviser and its affiliates address such conflicts, please see “Management of the Fund—Potential Conflicts of Interest” in the SAI.
 
Market Disruption and Geopolitical 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 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 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 and the risks associated with financial, economic, health, labor and other global market developments and disruptions.
 
The Fund and its service providers are currently impacted by quarantines and similar measures being enacted by governments in response to COVID-19, which are obstructing the regular functioning of business workforces (including requiring employees to work from external locations and their homes). Accordingly, certain risks described above are heightened under current conditions.
 
Technology Risk. 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.

38



 
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 NAV; 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.
Anti-Takeover Provisions in the Fund’s Governing Documents
The Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust and Bylaws (collectively, the “Governing Documents”) include provisions that could limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund or convert the Fund to an open-end fund. These provisions could have the effect of depriving the Common Shareholders of opportunities to sell their Common Shares at a premium over the then-current market price of the Common Shares. See “Anti-Takeover and Other Provisions in the Fund’s Governing Documents” and “Risks—Anti- Takeover Provisions.”
Administrator, Custodian, Transfer Agent and Dividend Disbursing Agent
The Bank of New York Mellon serves as the custodian of the Fund’s assets pursuant to a custody agreement. Under the custody agreement, the custodian holds the Fund’s assets in compliance with the 1940 Act. For its services, the custodian will receive a monthly fee based upon, among other things, the average value of the total assets of the Fund, plus certain charges for securities transactions.
 
Computershare Inc. serves as the Fund’s dividend disbursing agent, transfer agent and registrar with respect to the Common Shares of the Fund, and Computershare Trust Company, N.A. serves as agent under the Fund’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the “Plan Agent”).
 
MUFG Investor Services (US) LLC (formerly Rydex Fund Services, LLC) (“MUFG”) serves as the Fund’s administrator. Pursuant to an administration agreement with the Fund, MUFG provides certain administrative, bookkeeping and accounting services to the Fund. MUFG also provides certain fund accounting services to the Fund pursuant to a fund accounting agreement.
   


39



SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES
The following table contains information about the costs and expenses that Common Shareholders will bear directly or indirectly. The table is based on the capital structure of the Fund as of May 31, 2020 (except as noted below).  The purpose of the table and the example below is to help you understand the fees and expenses that you, as a Common Shareholder, would bear directly or indirectly.

Shareholder Transaction Expenses
 
Sales load (as a percentage of offering price)
                —(1)
Offering expenses borne by the Fund (as a percentage of offering price)
             0.60%(1),(2)
Dividend Reinvestment Plan fees(3)
           None

Annual Expenses
Percentage of Average Net Assets Attributable to Common Shares(4)
Management fee(5)
1.00%
Interest expense(6)
0.04%
Acquired fund fees and expenses(7)
0.08%
Other expenses(8)
0.17%
Total annual expenses(9)
1.29%
______________________
(1)
If Common Shares to which this Prospectus relates are sold to or through underwriters, the Prospectus Supplement will set forth any applicable sales load and the estimated offering expenses borne by the Fund.
(2)
The Adviser has incurred on behalf of the Fund all costs associated with the Fund’s registration statement and any offerings pursuant to such registration statement. The Fund has agreed, in connection with offerings under this registration statement, to reimburse the Adviser for offering expenses incurred by the Adviser on the Fund’s behalf in an amount up to the lesser of the Fund’s actual offering costs or 0.60% of the total offering price of the Common Shares sold in such offerings. Amounts in excess of 0.60% of the total offering price of shares sold pursuant to this registration statement will not be subject to recoupment from the Fund. The expense limitation agreement will be in effect for the life of the registration statement with respect to all Common Shares sold pursuant to the registration statement and may only be terminated by the Board of Trustees of the Fund.
(3)
You will pay brokerage charges if you direct the Plan Agent to sell your Common Shares held in a dividend reinvestment account. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”
(4)
Based upon average net assets applicable to Common Shares during the year ended May 31, 2020.
(5)
The Fund pays the Investment Adviser a fee, payable monthly in arrears at an annual rate equal to 1.00% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets (as defined herein). The fee shown above is based upon outstanding Financial Leverage of 8.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. If Financial Leverage of more than 8.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets is used, the management fees shown would be higher.
(6)
Includes interest expense on borrowings under the Fund’s committed facility agreement and reverse repurchase agreements, based on the Fund’s outstanding Financial Leverage as of May 31, 2020. The Fund has entered into a committed facility agreement pursuant to which it may borrow up to $80 million. As of May 31, 2020, outstanding Borrowings under the committed facility agreement were $19.3 million, which represented approximately 2.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets as of such date. In addition, as of May 31, 2020, the Fund had reverse repurchase agreements outstanding representing Financial Leverage equal to approximately 6.0% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. As of May 31, 2020, the Fund’s total Financial Leverage represented approximately 8.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. The cost of Financial Leverage, including the portion of the investment advisory fee attributable to the assets purchased with the proceeds of Financial Leverage, is borne by Common Shareholders. The actual amount of interest payments on borrowed funds and interest expense on reverse repurchase agreements borne by the Fund will vary over time in accordance with the level of the Fund’s use of Borrowings and reverse repurchase agreements and variations in market interest rates.

40


(7)
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year, reflecting the fees and expenses borne by the Fund as an investor in other investment companies during the most recently completed fiscal year and the expected investment of the proceeds of this offering.
(8)
Other expenses are estimated based upon those incurred during the fiscal year ended May 31, 2020.
(9)
The Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses in this fee table may not correlate to the expense ratios in the Fund’s financial highlights and financial statements because the financial highlights and financial statements reflect only the operating expenses of the Fund and do not include Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, which are fees and expenses incurred indirectly by the Fund through its investments in certain underlying investment companies.

Example
As required by relevant SEC regulations, the following Example illustrates the expenses that you would pay on a $1,000 investment in Common Shares, assuming (1) “Total annual expenses” of 1.29% of net assets attributable to Common Shares and (2) a 5% annual return*:
 
1 Year
3 Years
5 Years
10 Years
Total Expenses Incurred(1)
$13
$41
$71
$156
______________________
*
The Example should not be considered a representation of future expenses or returns. Actual expenses may be higher or lower than those assumed. Moreover, the Fund’s actual rate of return may be higher or lower than the hypothetical 5% return shown in the Example. The Example assumes that all dividends and distributions are reinvested at net asset value.
Assuming the Fund does not utilize Financial Leverage, the estimated total expenses incurred for the 1, 3, 5 and 10 year period would be $13, $40, $68 and $151, respectively.
(1)
The example above does not include sales loads or estimated offering costs. In connection with an offering of Common Shares, the Prospectus Supplement will set forth an Example including sales load and estimated offering costs.

41



FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
The financial highlights table is intended to help you understand the Fund’s financial performance. The information in this table for the fiscal year ended 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 is derived from the Fund’s financial statements and has been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm for the Fund. The Fund’s audited financial statements appearing in the Fund’s annual report to shareholders for the year ended May 31, 2020, including the report of Ernst & Young LLP thereon, including accompanying notes thereto, are incorporated by reference in the SAI.
Per share data
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2020
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2019
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2018
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2017
Net asset value, beginning of period
$17.91
$19.12
$19.78
$17.50
Income from investment operations
       
Net investment income(a)
0.89
0.97
1.23
1.61
Net gain (loss) on investments (realized and unrealized)
(1.32)
0.01
0.30
2.86
Total from investment operations
(0.43)
0.98
1.53
4.47
Distributions to Common Shareholders
       
From and in excess of net investment income
(0.86)
(1.12)
(2.01)
(2.18)
Return of capital
(1.33)
(0.91)
Capital gains
 
(0.16)
(0.18)
(0.01)
Total distributions
(2.19)
(2.19)
(2.19)
(2.19)
Net asset value, end of period
$15.29
17.91
19.12
19.78
Market value, end of period
$16.20
19.96
21.29
20.94
Total investment return(b)
       
Net asset value
(2.79)%
5.43%
8.02%
26.76%
Market value
(7.96)%
4.94%
13.31%
33.33%
Ratios and supplemental data
       
Net assets, end of period (in thousands)
$648,892
$641,825
$530,250
$410,465
Ratios to average net assets applicable to
       
Common Shares:
       
Total expenses, including interest expense(c), (d)
1.21%
1.17%
1.52%
2.35%
Net investment income, including interest expense
5.29%
5.26%
6.27%
8.55%
Portfolio turnover
41%
38%
48%
41%
Senior Indebtedness
       
Borrowings – committed facility agreement (in thousands)
$19,300
N/A
N/A
$16,705
Asset coverage per $1,000 of borrowings(e)
$34,621
N/A
N/A
$25,571
(footnotes on following page)
 
Per share data
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2016
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2015
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2014
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2013
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2012
For the Year Ended May 31, 2011
Net asset value, beginning of period
$19.61
$20.56
$20.95
$19.00
$20.11
$17.56
Income from investment operations
           
Net investment income(a)
1.40
1.28
1.44
1.68
1.80
1.94
Net gain (loss) on investments (realized and unrealized)
(1.33)
(0.05)
0.35
2.22
(1.06)
2.49
Total from investment operations
0.07
1.23
1.79
3.90
0.74
4.43
Distributions to Common Shareholders
           
From and in excess of net investment income
(1.82)
(1.42)
(1.82)
(1.78)
(1.85)
(1.88)
Return of capital
Capital gains
(0.36)
(0.76)
(0.36)
(0.17)
Total distributions
(2.18)
(2.18)
(2.18)
(1.95)
(1.85)
(1.88)
Net asset value, end of period
17.50
19.61
20.56
20.95
19.00
20.11
Market value, end of period
17.61
21.21
21.83
21.91
21.08
22.32
Total investment return(b)
           
Net asset value
0.80%
6.39%
9.20%
21.37%
4.09%
26.14%
Market value
-6.07%
8.08%
10.71%
14.10%
3.81%
40.85%

42


 
Per share data
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2016
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2015
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2014
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2013
For the Year Ended
May 31, 2012
For the Year Ended May 31, 2011
Ratios and supplemental data
           
Net assets, end of period (in thousands)
$310,246
$342,988
$318,001
$286,471
$207,346
$187,333
Ratios to average net assets applicable to
           
Common Shares:
           
Total expenses, including interest expense(c), (d)
2.38%
2.16%
2.28%
2.47%
2.55%
2.69%
Net investment income, including interest expense
7.79%
6.44%
7.07%
8.30%
9.45%
10.20%
Portfolio turnover
116%
86%
95%
165%
112%
64%
Senior Indebtedness
           
Borrowings – committed facility agreement (in thousands)
$9,355
$45,489
$60,789
$56,099
$30,599
$22,433
Asset coverage per $1,000 of borrowings(e)
$34,164
$8,540
$6,231
$6,107
$7,776
$9,351

(a)
Based on average shares outstanding.
(b)
Total investment return is calculated assuming a purchase of a Common Share at the beginning of the period and a sale on the last day of the period reported either at net asset value or market price per share. Dividends and distributions are assumed to be reinvested at net asset value for net asset value returns or the prices obtained under the Fund’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan for market value returns. Total investment return does not reflect brokerage commissions. A return calculated for a period of less than one year is not annualized.
(c)
The ratios of total expenses to average net assets applicable to common shares do not reflect fees and expenses incurred indirectly by the Fund as a result of its investment in shares of other investment companies. If these fees were included in the expense ratios, the expense ratios would increase by 0.08%, 0.00%*, 0.00%*, 0.00%*, 0.02%, 0.03%, 0.03%, 0.05%, 0.04%, 0.03% and 0.05% for the years ended May 31, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively.
(d)
Excluding interest expense, the operating expense ratios for the periods ended May 31 would be:
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
1.17%
1.15%
1.33%
1.62%
1.74%
1.72%
1.78%
1.81%
1.78%
1.85%
(e)
Calculated by subtracting the Fund’s total liabilities (not including the borrowings) from the Fund’s total assets and dividing by the borrowings.
*
Less than 0.01%
43


SENIOR SECURITIES AND OTHER FINANCIAL LEVERAGE

The following table sets forth information about the Fund’s outstanding Financial Leverage as of the end of the last ten fiscal years. The information in this table for the fiscal years ended 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 has been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm. The Fund’s audited financial statements appearing in the Fund’s annual report to shareholders for the year ended May 31, 2020, including the report of Ernst & Young LLP thereon, including accompanying notes thereto, are incorporated by reference in the SAI.
Class and Fiscal
Period End
Total Principal
Amount Outstanding
Asset Coverage Per
Preferred Share/
$1,000 of Borrowings
Involuntary
Liquidating 
Preference Per
Unit
Average
Market Value
Per Unit
Borrowings – Committed Facility Agreement
May 31, 2020
$19,300,000
$34,621
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2019
$—
$—
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2018
$—
$—
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2017
$16,704,955
$25,571
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2016
$ 9,354,955
$34,164
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2015
$45,488,955
$8,540
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2014
$60,788,955
$6,231
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2013
$56,098,955
$6,107
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2012
$30,598,955
$7,776
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2011
$22,432,914
$9,351
N/A
N/A
Reverse Repurchase Agreements(1)
May 31, 2020
$42,445,822
 N/A(1)
 N/A
 N/A
May 31, 2019
$—
N/A(1)
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2018
$1,610,022
N/A(1)
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2017
$91,424,819
N/A(1)
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2016
$130,570,046
N/A(1)
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2015
$114,758,163
N/A(1)
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2014
$75,641,024
N/A(1)
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2013
$59,473,742
N/A(1)
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2012
$53,243,041
N/A(1)
N/A
N/A
May 31, 2011
$47,618,513
N/A(1)
N/A
N/A
TALF Program(1)
May 31, 2011
$10,618,934
N/A(1)
N/A
N/A
(1)
As a result of the Fund having earmarked or segregated cash or liquid securities to collateralize the transactions or otherwise having covered the transactions, in accordance with releases and interpretive letters issued by the SEC, the Fund does not treat its obligations under such transactions as senior securities representing indebtedness for purposes of the 1940 Act.
44


THE FUND
Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”) that commenced operations on July 26, 2007. The Fund was organized as a statutory trust on November 13, 2006, pursuant to a Certificate of Trust, and is governed by the laws of the State of Delaware. Its principal office is located at 227 West Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois 60606, and its telephone number is (312) 827-0100.
Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser and is responsible for the management of the Fund. Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) is responsible for the management of the Fund’s portfolio of securities. Each of the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Guggenheim Partners, LLC (“Guggenheim Partners”).
Except as otherwise noted, all percentage limitations set forth in this Prospectus apply immediately after a purchase or initial investment and any subsequent change in any applicable percentage resulting from market fluctuations does not require any action.
USE OF PROCEEDS
Unless otherwise specified in a supplement to this Prospectus (each a “Prospectus Supplement”), the Fund intends to invest the net proceeds of an offering of Common Shares in accordance with its investment objective and policies as stated herein. It is currently anticipated that the Fund will be able to invest substantially all of the net proceeds of an offering of Common Shares in accordance with its investment objective and policies within three months after the completion of such offering. Pending such investment, it is anticipated that the proceeds will be invested in U.S. government securities or high quality, short-term money market securities. The Fund may also use the proceeds for working capital purposes, including the payment of distributions, interest and operating expenses, although the Fund currently has no intent to issue Common Shares primarily for this purpose.
As of September 10, 2020, the Fund had sold 6,986,379 Common Shares in an at-the-market offering at an aggregate offering price of $126,435,045. As a result, up to $223,564,955 aggregate offering price of Common Shares remained available for subsequent offerings under this Prospectus.
MARKET AND NET ASSET VALUE INFORMATION
The Fund’s currently outstanding Common Shares are, and the Common Shares offered by this Prospectus, will be, subject to notice of issuance, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”). The Fund’s Common Shares commenced trading on the NYSE on July 27, 2007.
The Common Shares have traded both at a premium and at a discount in relation to the Fund’s net asset value per share. Although the Common Shares recently have traded at a premium to net asset value, there can be no assurance that this will continue after the offering nor that the Common Shares will not trade at a discount in the future. Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount to net asset value. The Fund’s net asset value may 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. See “Risks—Market Discount Risk.”
The following table sets forth, for each of the periods indicated, the high and low closing market prices for the Common Shares on the NYSE, as well as the net asset value per Common Share and the premium or discount to net asset value per Common Share at which the Common Shares were trading on the date of the high and low closing prices. The Fund calculates its net asset value as of the close of business, usually 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, every day on which the NYSE is open. See “Net Asset Value” for information as to the determination of the Fund’s net asset value.

45


During Quarter Ended
Market Price
NAV per Common
Share on Date of Market
Price High and Low(1)
Premium/(Discount) on
Date of Market Price
High and Low(2)
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
August 31, 2020
$18.46
$16.48
$16.15
$15.44
14.30%
6.74%
May 31, 2020
$18.01
$11.82
$17.00
$15.25
5.94%
(22.49)%
February 29, 2020
$19.47
$17.08
$17.14
$16.91
13.59%
1.01%
November 30, 2019
$19.77
$18.56
$17.63
$17.46
12.14%
6.30%
August 31, 2019
$20.88
$19.51
$17.81
$17.60
17.24%
10.85%
May 31, 2019
$20.26
$19.18
$17.95
$17.88
12.87%
7.27%
February 28, 2019
$20.46
$17.31
$18.02
$17.83
13.54%
(2.92%)
November 30, 2018
$22.21
$18.94
$19.09
$18.38
16.34%
3.05%
August 31, 2018
$22.31
$21.10
$19.14
$19.01
16.56%
10.99%
May 31, 2018
$21.30
$19.91
$19.10
$19.39
11.52%
2.68%

(1)
Based on the Fund’s computations.
(2)
Calculated based on the information presented. Percentages are rounded.
The last reported sale price, net asset value per Common Share and percentage premium to net asset value per Common Share on September 10, 2020 was $18.17, $16.24 and 11.88%, respectively. The Fund cannot predict whether its Common Shares will trade in the future at a premium to or discount from net asset value, or the level of any premium or discount. Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount from net asset value. The Fund’s Common Shares have in the past traded below their net asset value. As of September 10, 2020, 44,225,691 Common Shares of the Fund were outstanding.
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND POLICIES
Investment Objective
The Fund’s investment objective is to maximize total return through a combination of current income and capital appreciation. The Fund’s investment objective is considered fundamental and may not be changed without the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund. The Fund cannot ensure investors that it will achieve its investment objective.
Investment Philosophy and Investment Process
The Fund will pursue a relative value-based investment philosophy, which utilizes quantitative and qualitative analysis to seek to identify securities or spreads between securities that deviate from their perceived fair value and/or historical norms. The Sub-Adviser seeks to combine a credit managed fixed-income portfolio with access to a diversified pool of alternative investments and equity strategies. The Fund’s investment philosophy is predicated upon the belief that thorough research and independent thought are rewarded with performance that has the potential to outperform benchmark indexes with both lower volatility and lower correlation of returns as compared to such benchmark indexes.
The Sub-Adviser’s analysis of a fixed-income security’s credit quality is comprised of multiple elements, including, but not limited to: (i) sector analysis, including regulatory developments and sector health, (ii) collateral, business, and counterparty risk, which includes payment history, collateral performance, and borrower credit profile, (iii) structural analysis, which includes securitization structure review and forms of credit enhancement, and (iv) stress analysis, including historical collateral performance during extreme market stress and identifying tail risks. This analysis is applied against the macroeconomic outlook, geopolitical issues as well as considerations that more directly affect the company’s industry to determine the Sub-Adviser’s internal judgment as to the security’s credit quality. In addition to the process described above, the Sub-Adviser selects securities using a rigorous portfolio construction approach to tightly control independent risk exposures such as fixed income sector weights, sector specific yield curves, credit spreads, prepayment risks, and other risk exposures the Sub-Adviser deems relevant. Within those risk constraints, the Sub-Adviser estimates the relative value of different securities to select individual securities that, in the Sub-Adviser’s judgment, may provide risk-adjusted outperformance.
The Sub-Adviser’s process for determining whether to buy a security is a collaborative effort between various groups including: (i) economic research, which focus on key economic themes and trends, regional and
46


country-specific analysis, and assessments of event-risk and policy impacts on asset prices, (ii) the Portfolio Construction Group, which utilize proprietary portfolio construction and risk modeling tools to determine allocation of assets among a variety of sectors, (iii) its Sector Specialists, who are responsible for identifying investment opportunities in particular securities within these sectors, including the structuring of certain securities directly with the issuers or with investment banks and dealers involved in the origination of such securities, and (iv) portfolio managers, who determine which securities best fit the Fund based on the Fund’s investment objective and top-down sector allocations. In managing the Fund, the Sub-Adviser uses a process for selecting securities for purchase and sale that is based on intensive credit research and involves extensive due diligence on each issuer, region and sector. The Sub-Adviser also considers macroeconomic outlook and geopolitical issues.
The Sub-Adviser generally decides which securities to sell for the Fund based on one of three factors:
In the Sub-Adviser’s judgment, the relative value measure of the instrument no longer indicates that the instrument is cheap relative to similar instruments and a substitution of the instrument with a similar but cheaper instrument enhances the risk-adjusted return potential of the portfolio.
The Sub-Adviser’s fundamental analysis suggests that the embedded credit risk in an instrument has increased and the instrument no longer properly compensates the holder for this increased risk.
The Sub-Adviser’s fundamental sector allocation decisions result in the rebalancing of existing positions to achieve the Sub-Adviser’s desired sector exposures.
Investment Policies
The Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing in a wide range of fixed-income and other debt and senior equity securities (“Income Securities”) selected from a variety of sectors, including, but not limited to, U.S. government and agency securities, corporate bonds, loans and loan participations, structured finance investments (including residential and commercial mortgage-related securities, asset-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and risk-linked securities), mezzanine and preferred securities and convertible securities. The Fund may invest in non-U.S. dollar-denominated Income Securities issued by sovereign entities and corporations, including Income Securities of issuers in emerging market countries. The Fund may invest in Income Securities of any credit quality, including, without limitation, Income Securities rated below-investment grade (commonly referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds), which are considered speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal.
The Fund may also invest in common stocks, limited liability company interests, trust certificates and other equity investments (“Common Equity Securities”) that the Sub-Adviser believes offer attractive yield and/or capital appreciation potential. As part of its Common Equity Securities strategy, the Fund currently intends to employ a strategy of writing (selling) covered call options and may, from time to time, buy or sell put options on individual Common Equity Securities. In addition to its covered call option strategy, the Fund may, to a lesser extent, pursue a strategy that includes the sale (writing) of both covered call and put options on indices of securities and sectors of securities.
The Fund may allocate its assets among a wide variety of Income Securities and Common Equity Securities, provided that, under normal market conditions, the Fund will not invest more than:
50% of its total assets in Common Equity Securities consisting of common stock;
30% of its total assets in other investment companies, including registered investment companies, private investment funds and/or other pooled investment vehicles;
20% of its total assets in non-U.S. dollar-denominated Income Securities of corporate and governmental issuers located outside the United States; and
10% of its total assets in Income Securities of issuers in emerging markets.
The percentage of the Fund’s total assets allocated to any category of investment may at any given time be significantly less than the percentage permitted pursuant to the above referenced investment policies.
These policies may be changed by the Board of Trustees, but no change is anticipated. If the Fund’s policies change, the Fund will provide shareholders at least 60 days’ prior written notice before implementation of the change.
47


Percentage limitations described in this Prospectus are as of the time of investment by the Fund and could thereafter be exceeded as a result of market value fluctuations of the Fund’s portfolio.
Credit Quality. The Fund may invest without limitation in securities rated below-investment grade (e.g., securities rated below Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), below BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group (“S&P”) or Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”) or comparably rated by another nationally recognized statistical rating organization) or, if unrated, determined by the Sub-Adviser to be of comparable quality. Securities rated below-investment grade are commonly referred to as “high-yield” or “junk bonds” and are considered speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. The Fund’s investments in any of the sectors and types of Income Securities in which the Fund may invest may include, without limitation, below investment grade securities. Lower grade securities may be particularly susceptible to economic downturns. It is likely that an economic recession could severely disrupt the market for such securities and may have an adverse effect on the value of such securities. In addition, it is likely that any such economic downturn could adversely affect the ability of the issuers of such securities to repay principal and pay interest thereon and increase the incidence of default for such securities.
The Fund is not required to dispose of a security if an NRSRO or the Sub-Adviser downgrades its assessment of that security. In determining whether to retain or sell a security that an NRSRO or the Sub-Adviser has downgraded, the Sub-Adviser may consider such factors as its assessment of the credit quality of the security, the price at which the security could be sold, and the rating, if any, assigned to the security by other ratings agencies. When the Sub-Adviser believes it to be in the best interests of the Fund’s shareholders, the Fund will reduce its investment in lower grade securities and, in certain market conditions, the Fund may invest none of its assets in lower grade securities.
Rating agencies, such as Moody’s or S&P, are private services that provide ratings of the credit quality of debt obligations. Ratings assigned by an NRSRO are not absolute standards of credit quality but represent the opinion of the NRSRO as to the quality of the obligation. Ratings do not evaluate market risks or the liquidity of securities. Rating agencies may fail to make timely changes in credit ratings and an issuer’s current financial condition may be better or worse than a rating indicates. To the extent that the issuer of a security pays an NRSRO for the analysis of its security, an inherent conflict of interest may exist that could affect the reliability of the rating. Ratings are relative and subjective and, although ratings may be useful in evaluating the safety of interest and principal payments, they do not evaluate the market value risk of such obligations. Although these ratings may be an initial criterion for selection of portfolio investments, the Sub-Adviser also will independently evaluate these securities and the ability of the issuers of such securities to pay interest and principal. To the extent that the Fund invests in unrated lower grade securities, the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective will be more dependent on the Sub-Adviser’s credit analysis than would be the case when the Fund invests in rated securities.
Please refer to Appendix A to the SAI for more information regarding Moody’s and S&P’s ratings of fixed-income securities.
THE FUND’S INVESTMENTS
The Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing in the following categories of securities:
Income Securities. The Fund may invest in a wide range of Income Securities selected from a variety of sectors, including, but not limited to, corporate bonds, loans and loan participations (including senior secured floating rate loans (“Senior Loans”), “second lien” secured floating rate loans (“Second Lien Loans”), and other types of secured and unsecured loans with fixed and variable interest rates) (collectively, “Loans”), structured finance investments (including residential and commercial mortgage-related securities, asset-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and risk-linked securities), U.S. government and agency securities, mezzanine and preferred securities and convertible securities. The Fund may invest in non-U.S. dollar-denominated Income Securities issued by sovereign entities and corporations, including Income Securities of issuers in emerging market countries. The Fund may invest in Income Securities of any credit quality, including Income Securities rated below-investment grade (commonly referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds), which are considered speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal.
Common Equity Securities and Covered Call Option Strategy. The Fund may invest in Common Equity Securities that the Sub-Adviser believes offer attractive yield and/or capital appreciation potential. As part of its Common Equity Securities strategy, the Fund currently intends to employ a strategy of writing (selling) covered call
48


options and may, from time to time, buy or sell put options on individual Common Equity Securities. In addition to its covered call option strategy, the Fund may, to a lesser extent, pursue a strategy that includes the sale (writing) of both covered call and put options on indices of securities and sectors of securities. This option strategy is intended to generate current gains from option premiums as a means to enhance distributions payable to the Fund’s Common Shareholders. As the Fund writes covered calls over more of its portfolio, its ability to benefit from capital appreciation becomes more limited. A substantial portion of the options written by the Fund may be over-the-counter options (“OTC options”). Under current market conditions, the Fund implements its covered call writing strategy primarily by investing in exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) which provide exposure to Common Equity Securities and writing covered call options on those ETFs.
Real Property Asset Companies. The Fund may invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities issued by companies that own, produce, refine, process, transport and market “real property assets,” such as real estate and the natural resources upon or within real estate (“Real Property Asset Companies”). These Real Property Asset Companies include:
Companies engaged in the ownership, construction, financing, management and/or sale of commercial, industrial and/or residential real estate (or that have assets primarily invested in such real estate), including real estate investment trusts (“REITs”); and
Companies engaged in energy, natural resources and basic materials businesses and companies engaged in associated businesses. These companies include, but are not limited to, those engaged in businesses such as oil and gas exploration and production, gold and other precious metals, steel and iron ore production, energy services, forest products, chemicals, coal, alternative energy sources and environmental services, as well as related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers.
Personal Property Asset Companies. The Fund may invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities issued by companies that seek to profit primarily from the ownership, rental, leasing, financing or disposition of “personal property assets” (“Personal Property Asset Companies”). Personal (as opposed to real) property assets include any tangible, movable property or asset. The Fund will typically seek to invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities of Personal Property Asset Companies with investment performance that is not highly correlated with traditional market indexes because the personal property asset held by such company is non-correlated with traditional debt or equity markets. Such personal property assets include special situation transportation assets (e.g., railcars, airplanes and ships) and collectibles (e.g., antiques, wine and fine art).
Private Securities. The Income Securities and Common Equity Securities in which the Fund may invest include privately issued securities of both public and private companies (“Private Securities”). Private Securities have additional risk considerations than comparable public securities, including availability of financial information about the issuer and valuation and liquidity issues.
Investment Funds. As an alternative to holding investments directly, the Fund may also obtain investment exposure to Income Securities and Common Equity Securities by investing in other investment companies, including registered investment companies, private investment funds and/or other pooled investment vehicles (collectively, “Investment Funds”). The Fund may invest up to 30% of its total assets in Investment Funds that primarily hold (directly or indirectly) investments in which the Fund may invest directly. The 1940 Act generally limits a registered investment company’s investments in other investment companies to 10% of its total assets. However, pursuant to exemptions set forth in rules and regulations promulgated under the 1940 Act, the Fund may invest in excess of this limitation provided that the conditions of such exemptions are met. In addition, the Fund may invest in certain ETFs in excess of the 10% limitation in reliance upon and in accordance with exemptive relief obtained by such ETFs. The Fund will invest in private investment funds, commonly referred to as “hedge funds,” only to the extent permitted by applicable rules, regulations and interpretations of the SEC and NYSE. The Fund has no current intention to invest in private investment funds. Investments in other Investment Funds involve operating expenses and fees at the Investment Fund level that are in addition to the expenses and fees borne by the Fund and are borne indirectly by holders of the Fund’s Common Shares. Further, on December 19, 2018, the SEC published a proposed rule that, if adopted, would change the regulation of investments in other investment companies. Such regulations could permit closed-end funds to invest in other investment companies in excess of the limits of the 1940 Act.
Synthetic Investments. 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
49


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 should the Sub-Adviser use derivatives as a means to synthetically implement the Fund’s investment strategies, including a lack of liquidity in such derivative instruments and additional expenses associated with using such derivative instruments.
Portfolio Contents
The Fund’s investment portfolio consists of investments in the following types of securities:
Corporate Bonds. Corporate bonds are debt obligations issued by corporations and other business entities. Corporate bonds may be either secured or unsecured. Collateral used for secured debt includes, but is not limited to, real property, machinery, equipment, accounts receivable, stocks, bonds or notes. If a bond is unsecured, it is known as a debenture. Bondholders, as creditors, have a prior legal claim over common and preferred stockholders as to both income and assets of the corporation for the principal and interest due them and may have a prior claim over other creditors if liens or mortgages are involved. Interest on corporate bonds may be fixed or floating, or the bonds may be zero coupons. Interest on corporate bonds is typically paid semi-annually and is fully taxable to the bondholder. Corporate bonds contain elements of both interest-rate risk and credit risk. The market value of a corporate bond generally may be expected to rise and fall inversely with interest rates and may also be affected by the credit rating of the corporation, the corporation’s performance and perceptions of the corporation in the marketplace. Corporate bonds usually yield more than government or agency bonds due to the presence of credit risk.
Investment Grade Bonds. The Fund may invest in a wide variety of fixed-income securities rated or determined by the Sub-Adviser to be investment grade quality that are issued by corporations and other non-governmental entities and issuers (“Investment Grade Bonds”). Investment Grade Bonds are subject to market and credit risk. Market risk relates to changes in a security’s value. Investment Grade Bonds have varying levels of sensitivity to changes in interest rates and varying degrees of credit quality. In general, bond prices rise when interest rates fall, and fall when interest rates rise. Longer-term and zero coupon bonds are generally more sensitive to interest rate changes. Credit risk relates to the ability of the issuer to make payments of principal and interest. The values of Investment Grade Bonds, like those of other fixed-income securities, may be affected by changes in the credit rating or financial condition of an issuer. Investment Grade Bonds are generally considered medium- and high-quality securities. Some, however, may possess speculative characteristics, and may be more sensitive to economic changes and changes in the financial condition of issuers. The market prices of Investment Grade Bonds in the lowest investment grade categories may fluctuate more than higher-quality securities and may decline significantly in periods of general or regional economic difficulty. Investment Grade Bonds in the lowest investment grade categories may be thinly traded, making them difficult to sell promptly at an acceptable price. Investment Grade Bonds include certain investment grade quality mortgage-related securities, asset-backed securities, and other hybrid securities and instruments that are treated as debt obligations for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Below-Investment Grade Bonds. The Fund may invest without limitation in a wide variety of fixed-income securities that are rated or determined by the Sub-Adviser to be below-investment grade quality (“Below-Investment Grade Bonds”). The credit quality of most Below-Investment Grade Bonds reflects a greater than average possibility that adverse changes in the financial condition of an issuer, or in general economic conditions, or both, may impair the ability of the issuer to make payments of interest and principal. The inability (or perceived inability) of issuers to make timely payment of interest and principal would likely make the values of Below-Investment Grade Bonds held by the Fund more volatile and could limit the Fund’s ability to sell such Bonds at favorable prices. In the absence of a liquid trading market for its Below-Investment Grade Bonds, the Fund may have difficulties determining the fair market value of such investments. Below-Investment Grade Bonds include certain investment grade quality mortgage-related securities, asset-backed securities, and other hybrid securities and instruments that are treated as debt obligations for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
In addition to pre-existing outstanding debt obligations of below-investment grade issuers, the Fund may also invest in “debtor-in-possession” or “DIP” financings newly issued in connection with “special situation” restructuring and refinancing transactions. DIP financings are Loans to a debtor-in-possession in a proceeding under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that have been approved by the bankruptcy court. DIP financings are typically fully secured by a lien on the debtor’s otherwise unencumbered assets or secured by a junior lien on the debtor’s encumbered assets (so long as the Loan is fully secured based on the most recent current valuation or appraisal report of the debtor). The bankruptcy court can authorize the debtor to grant the DIP lender a claim with super-
50


priority over administrative expenses incurred during bankruptcy and of other claims, thus a DIP financing may constitute senior debt even if not secured. DIP financings are often required to close with certainty and in a rapid manner in order to satisfy existing creditors and to enable the issuer to emerge from bankruptcy or to avoid a bankruptcy proceeding. These financings allow the entity to continue its business operations while reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Distressed and Defaulted Securities. The Fund may invest in the securities of financially distressed and bankrupt issuers. Such debt obligations may be in covenant or payment default. Such investments generally trade significantly below par and are considered speculative. The repayment of defaulted obligations is subject to significant uncertainties. Defaulted obligations might be repaid only after lengthy workout or bankruptcy proceedings, during which the issuer might not make any interest or other payments. Typically such workout or bankruptcy proceedings result in only partial recovery of cash payments or an exchange of the defaulted obligation for other debt or equity securities of the issuer or its affiliates, which may in turn be illiquid or speculative.
Structured Finance Investments. The Fund may invest in structured finance investments, which are Income Securities and Common Equity Securities typically issued by special purpose vehicles that hold income-producing securities (e.g., mortgage loans, consumer debt payment obligations and other receivables) and other financial assets. Structured finance investments are tailored, or packaged, to meet certain financial goals of investors. Typically, these investments provide investors with capital protection, income generation and/or the opportunity to generate capital growth. The Sub-Adviser believes that structured finance investments provide attractive risk-adjusted returns, frequent sector rotation opportunities and prospects for adding value through security selection. Structured finance investments include:
Mortgage-Related Securities. Mortgage-related securities are a form of derivative collateralized by pools of commercial or residential mortgages. Pools of mortgage loans are assembled as securities for sale to investors by various governmental, government-related and private organizations. These securities may include complex instruments such as collateralized mortgage obligations, REITs (including debt and preferred stock issued by REITs), and other real estate-related securities. The mortgage-related securities in which the Fund may invest include those with fixed, floating or variable interest rates, those with interest rates that change based on multiples of changes in a specified index of interest rates, and those with interest rates that change inversely to changes in interest rates, as well as those that do not bear interest. The Fund may invest in residential and commercial mortgage-related securities issued by governmental entities and private issuers, including subordinated mortgage-related securities. The underlying assets of certain mortgage-related securities may be subject to prepayments, which shorten the weighted average maturity and may lower the return of such securities. See “Investment Objective and Policies – Additional Investment Policies – Mortgage Related Securities” in the Fund’s SAI for additional information regarding various types of mortgage-related securities.
Asset-Backed Securities. Asset-backed securities (“ABS”) are a form of structured debt obligation. ABS are payment claims that are securitized in the form of negotiable paper that is issued by a financing company (generally called a special purpose vehicle). Collateral assets brought into a pool according to specific diversification rules. A special purpose vehicle is founded for the purpose of securitizing these payment claims and the assets of the special purpose vehicle are the diversified pool of collateral assets. The special purpose vehicle issues marketable securities which are intended to represent a lower level or risk than an underlying collateral asset individually, due to the diversification in the pool. The redemption of the securities issued by the special purpose vehicle takes place out of the cash flow generated by the collected assets. A special purpose vehicle may issue multiple securities with different priorities to the cash flows generated and the collateral assets. The collateral for ABS may include home equity loans, automobile and credit card receivables, boat loans, computer leases, airplane leases, mobile home loans, recreational vehicle loans and hospital account receivables. The Fund may invest in these and other types of ABS that may be developed in the future. There is the possibility that recoveries on the underlying collateral may not, in some cases, be available to support payments on these securities.
Collateralized Debt Obligations. A collateralized debt obligation (“CDO”) is an asset-backed security whose underlying collateral is typically a portfolio of bonds, bank loans, other structured finance securities and/or synthetic instruments. Where the underlying collateral is a portfolio of bonds, a CDO is referred to as a collateralized bond obligation (“CBO”). Where the underlying collateral is a portfolio of bank loans, a CDO is referred to as a collateralized loan obligation (“CLO”). Investors in CLOs bear the credit risk of the
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underlying collateral. Multiple tranches of securities are issued by the CLO, offering investors various maturity and credit risk characteristics. Tranches are categorized as senior, mezzanine, and subordinated/equity, according to their degree of risk. If there are defaults or the CLO’s collateral otherwise underperforms, scheduled payments to senior tranches take precedence over those of mezzanine tranches, and scheduled payments to mezzanine tranches take precedence over those to subordinated/equity tranches. This prioritization of the cash flows from a pool of securities among the several tranches of the CLO is a key feature of the CLO structure. If there are funds remaining after each tranche of debt receives its contractual interest rate and the CLO meets or exceeds required collateral coverage levels (or other similar covenants), the remaining funds may be paid to the subordinated (or residual) tranche (often referred to as the “equity” tranche). The contractual provisions setting out this order of payments are set out in detail in the relevant CLO’s indenture. These provisions are referred to as the “priority of payments” or the “waterfall” and determine the terms of payment of any other obligations that may be required to be paid ahead of payments of interest and principal on the securities issued by a CLO. In addition, for payments to be made to each tranche, after the most senior tranche of debt, there are various tests that must be complied with, which are different for each CLO. If a CLO breaches one of these tests excess cash flow that would otherwise be available for distribution to the subordinated tranche investors is diverted to prepay CLO debt investors in order of seniority until such time as the covenant breach is cured. If the covenant breach is not or cannot be cured, the subordinated tranche investors (and potentially other investors in lower priority rated tranches) may experience a partial or total loss of their investment.
CLOs are subject to the same risk of prepayment described with respect to certain mortgage-related and asset-backed securities. The value of CLOs may be affected by changes in the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the servicing agent for the pool, the originator of the pool, or the financial institution or fund providing the credit support or enhancement.
The Fund may invest in senior, rated tranches as well as subordinated tranches of CLOs. Investment in the subordinated tranche is subject to special risks. The subordinated tranche does not receive ratings and is considered the riskiest portion of the capital structure of a CLO because it bears the bulk of defaults from the loans in the CLO and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances.
Risk-Linked Securities. Risk-linked securities (“RLS”) are a form of derivative issued by insurance companies and insurance-related special purpose vehicles that apply securitization techniques to catastrophic property and casualty damages. RLS are typically debt obligations for which the return of principal and the payment of interest are contingent on the non-occurrence of a pre-defined “trigger event.” Depending on the specific terms and structure of the RLS, this trigger could be the result of a hurricane, earthquake or some other catastrophic event. Insurance companies securitize this risk to transfer to the capital markets the truly catastrophic part of the risk exposure. A typical RLS provides for income and return of capital similar to other fixed-income investments, but would involve full or partial default if losses resulting from a certain catastrophe exceeded a predetermined amount. RLS typically have relatively high yields compared with similarly rated fixed-income securities, and also have low correlation with the returns of traditional securities. The Sub-Adviser believes that inclusion of RLS in the Fund’s portfolio could lead to significant improvement in its overall risk-return profile. Investments in RLS may be linked to a broad range of insurance risks, which can be broken down into three major categories: natural risks (such as hurricanes and earthquakes), weather risks (such as insurance based on a regional average temperature) and non-natural events (such as aerospace and shipping catastrophes). Although property-casualty RLS have been in existence for over a decade, significant developments have started to occur in securitizations done by life insurance companies. In general, life insurance industry securitizations could fall into a number of categories. Some are driven primarily by the desire to transfer risk to the capital markets, such as the transfer of extreme mortality risk (mortality bonds). Others, while also including the element of risk transfer, are driven by other considerations. For example, a securitization could be undertaken to relieve the capital strain on life insurance companies caused by the regulatory requirements of establishing very conservative reserves for some types of products. Another example is the securitization of the stream of future cash flows from a particular block of business, including the securitization of embedded values of life insurance business or securitization for the purpose of funding acquisition costs.
Senior Loans. Senior Loans are floating rate Loans made to corporations and other non-governmental entities and issuers. Senior Loans typically hold the most senior position in the capital structure of the issuing entity,
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are typically secured with specific collateral and typically have a claim on the assets and/or stock of the borrower that is senior to that held by subordinated debt holders and stockholders of the borrower. The proceeds of Senior Loans primarily are used to finance leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers, acquisitions, stock repurchases, dividends, and, to a lesser extent, to finance internal growth and for other corporate purposes. Senior Loans typically have rates of interest that are redetermined daily, monthly, quarterly or semi-annually by reference to a base lending rate, plus a premium or credit spread. Base lending rates in common usage today are primarily the London-Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), and secondarily the prime rate offered by one or more major U.S. banks (the “Prime Rate”) and the certificate of deposit (“CD”) rate or other base lending rates used by commercial lenders.
Second Lien Loans. Second Lien Loans are Loans made by public and private corporations and other nongovernmental entities and issuers for a variety of purposes. Second Lien Loans are second in right of payment to one or more Senior Loans of the related borrower. Second Lien Loans typically are secured by a second priority security interest or lien to or on specified collateral securing the borrower’s obligation under the Loan and typically have similar protections and rights as Senior Loans. Second Lien Loans are not (and by their terms cannot) become subordinate in right of payment to any obligation of the related borrower other than Senior Loans of such borrower. Second Lien Loans, like Senior Loans, typically have floating rate interest payments. Because Second Lien Loans are second to Senior Loans, they present a greater degree of investment risk but often pay interest at higher rates reflecting this additional risk. Such investments generally are of below-investment grade quality. Other than their subordinated status, Second Lien Loans have many characteristics and risks similar to Senior Loans discussed above. In addition, Second Lien Loans and debt securities of below-investment grade quality share many of the risk characteristics of Non-Investment Grade Bonds.
Subordinated Secured Loans. Subordinated secured Loans are made by public and private corporations and other nongovernmental entities and issuers for a variety of purposes. Subordinated secured Loans may rank lower in right of payment to one or more Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans of the Borrower. Subordinated secured Loans typically are secured by a lower priority security interest or lien to or on specified collateral securing the Borrower’s obligation under the Loan, and typically have more subordinated protections and rights than Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans. Subordinated secured Loans may become subordinated in right of payment to more senior obligations of the Borrower issued in the future. Subordinated secured Loans may have fixed or floating rate interest payments. Because Subordinated secured Loans may rank lower as to right of payment than Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans of the Borrower, they may present a greater degree of investment risk than Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans but often pay interest at higher rates reflecting this additional risk. Such investments generally are of below investment grade quality. Other than their more subordinated status, such investments have many characteristics and risks similar to Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans discussed above.
Unsecured Loans. Unsecured Loans are loans made by public and private corporations and other nongovernmental entities and issuers for a variety of purposes. Unsecured Loans generally have lower priority in right of payment compared to holders of secured debt of the Borrower. Unsecured Loans are not secured by a security interest or lien to or on specified collateral securing the Borrower’s obligation under the loan. Unsecured Loans by their terms may be or may become subordinate in right of payment to other obligations of the borrower, including Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans and Subordinated Secured Loans. Unsecured Loans may have fixed or floating rate interest payments. Because unsecured Loans are subordinate to the secured debt of the borrower, they present a greater degree of investment risk but often pay interest at higher rates reflecting this additional risk. Such investments generally are of below investment grade quality. Other than their subordinated and unsecured status, such investments have many characteristics and risks similar to Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans and Subordinated Secured Loans discussed above.
Mezzanine Investments. The Fund may invest in certain lower grade securities known as “Mezzanine Investments,” which are subordinated debt securities that are generally issued in private placements in connection with an equity security (e.g., with attached warrants) or may be convertible into equity securities. Mezzanine Investments may be issued with or without registration rights. Similar to other lower grade securities, maturities of Mezzanine Investments are typically seven to ten years, but the expected average life is significantly shorter at three to five years. Mezzanine Investments are usually unsecured and subordinated to other obligations of the issuer.
Convertible Securities. Convertible securities include bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks and other securities that entitle the holder to acquire common stock or other equity securities of the issuer. Convertible securities have general characteristics similar to both debt and equity securities. A convertible security generally entitles the holder to receive interest or preferred dividends paid or accrued until the convertible security matures or
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is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities have characteristics similar to non-convertible debt obligations. Convertible securities rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure and, therefore, generally entail less risk than the corporation’s common stock, although the extent to which such risk is reduced depends in large measure upon the degree to which the convertible security sells above its value as a debt obligation. A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a predetermined price. If a convertible security held by the Fund is called for redemption, the Fund would be required to permit the issuer to redeem the security and convert it to underlying common stock, or would sell the convertible security to a third party, which may have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives. The price of a convertible security often reflects variations in the price of the underlying common stock in a way that non-convertible debt may not. The value of a convertible security is a function of (i) its yield in comparison to the yields of other securities of comparable maturity and quality that do not have a conversion privilege and (ii) its worth if converted into the underlying common stock.
Preferred Stocks. Preferred stocks represent the senior residual interest in the assets of an issuer after meeting all claims, with priority to corporate income and liquidation payments over the issuer’s common stock. As such, preferred stock is inherently more risky than the bonds and loans of the issuer, but less risky than its common stock. Preferred stocks often contain provisions that allow for redemption in the event of certain tax or legal changes or at the issuers’ call. Preferred stocks typically do not provide any voting rights, except in cases when dividends are in arrears beyond a certain time period. Preferred stock in some instances is convertible into common stock.
Although they are equity securities, preferred stocks have certain characteristics of both debt and common stock. They are debt-like in that their promised income is contractually fixed. They are common stock-like in that they do not have rights to precipitate bankruptcy proceedings or collection activities in the event of missed payments. Furthermore, they have many of the key characteristics of equity due to their subordinated position in an issuer’s capital structure and because their quality and value are heavily dependent on the profitability of the issuer rather than on any legal claims to specific assets or cash flows. In order to be payable, dividends on preferred stock must be declared by the issuer’s board of directors. In addition, distributions on preferred stock may be subject to deferral and thus may not be automatically payable. Income payments on some preferred stocks are cumulative, causing dividends and distributions to accrue even if not declared by the board of directors or otherwise made payable. Other preferred stocks are non-cumulative, meaning that skipped dividends and distributions do not continue to accrue. There is no assurance that dividends on preferred stocks in which the Fund invests will be declared or otherwise made payable. If the Fund owns preferred stock that is deferring its distributions, the Fund may be required to report income for U.S. federal income tax purposes while it is not receiving cash payments corresponding to such income. When interest rates fall below the rate payable on an issue of preferred stock or for other reasons, the issuer may redeem the preferred stock, generally after an initial period of call protection in which the stock is not redeemable. Preferred stocks may be significantly less liquid than many other securities, such as U.S. Government securities, corporate bonds and common stock.
U.S. Government Securities. The Fund may invest in debt securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities including: (1) U.S. Treasury obligations, which differ in their interest rates, maturities and times of issuance, such as U.S. Treasury bills (maturity of one year or less), U.S. Treasury notes (maturity of one to ten years), and U.S. Treasury bonds (generally maturities of greater than ten years), including the principal components or the interest components issued by the U.S. government under the separate trading of registered interest and principal securities program (i.e., “STRIPS”), all of which are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States; and (2) obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities, including government guaranteed mortgage-related securities, some of which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury, some of which are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. government, and some of which are backed only by the credit of the issuer itself.
Foreign Securities. While the Fund invests primarily in securities of U.S. issuers, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in non-U.S. dollar-denominated fixed-income securities of corporate and governmental issuers located outside the United States, including up to 10% in emerging markets. Foreign securities include securities issued or guaranteed by companies organized under the laws of countries other than the United States and securities issued or guaranteed by foreign governments, their agencies or instrumentalities and supra-national governmental entities, such as the World Bank. Foreign securities also may be traded on foreign securities exchanges or in over-the-counter capital markets. The value of foreign securities and obligations is affected by changes in currency rates, foreign tax laws (including withholding tax), government policies (in this country or abroad), relations between nations and trading, settlement, custodial and other operational risks. In addition, the
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costs of investing abroad are generally higher than in the United States, and foreign securities markets may be less liquid, more volatile and less subject to governmental supervision than markets in the United States. Foreign investments also could be affected by other factors not present in the United States, including expropriation, armed conflict, confiscatory taxation, lack of uniform accounting and auditing standards, less publicly available financial and other information and potential difficulties in enforcing contractual obligations.
Since the Fund may invest in securities and obligations that are denominated or quoted in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, the Fund may be affected by changes in foreign currency exchange rates (and exchange control regulations) which affect the value of investments in the Fund and the accrued income and appreciation or depreciation of the investments in U.S. dollars. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar will affect the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s assets denominated in that currency and the Fund’s return on such assets as well as any temporary uninvested reserves in bank deposits in foreign currencies. In addition, the Fund will incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. The Fund may seek to fully hedge its exposures to foreign currencies but may, at the discretion of the Sub-Adviser, at any time limit or eliminate foreign currency hedging activity. See “—Derivative Transactions—Foreign Currency Transactions.”
Sovereign and Supranational Obligations. The Fund may invest in sovereign debt securities, which are debt securities issued or guaranteed by foreign governmental entities, such as foreign government debt or foreign treasury bills. Investments in sovereign debt securities involve special risks in addition to those risks usually associated with investments in debt securities, including risks associated with economic or political uncertainty and the risk that the governmental authority that controls the repayment of sovereign debt may be unwilling or unable to repay the principal and/or interest when due. The Fund may also invest in securities or other obligations issued or backed by supranational organizations, which are international organizations that are designated or supported by government entities or banking institutions typically to promote economic reconstruction or development. These obligations are subject to the risk that the government(s) on whose support the organization depends may be unable or unwilling to provide the necessary support. With respect to both sovereign and supranational obligations, the Fund may have little recourse against the foreign government or supranational organization that issues or backs the obligation in the event of default. These obligations may be denominated in foreign currencies and the prices of these obligations may be more volatile than corporate debt obligations.
Sovereign debt instruments in which the Fund may invest may involve great risk and may be deemed to be the equivalent in terms of credit quality to securities rated below investment grade by Moody’s and S&P. Governmental entities may depend on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and international organizations to reduce principal and interest arrearages on their debt obligations. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic or other reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of the governmental entity’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of the commitments to lend funds or other aid to the governmental entity, which may further impair the governmental entity’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Some of the countries in which the Fund may invest have encountered difficulties in servicing their sovereign debt obligations and have withheld payments of interest and/or principal of sovereign debt. These difficulties have also led to agreements to restructure external debt obligations, which may result in costs to the holders of the sovereign debt. Consequently, a government obligor may default on its obligations and/or the values of its obligations may decline significantly.
Common Stocks and Other Common Equity Securities. The Fund may also invest in common stocks and other Common Equity Securities that the Sub-Adviser believes offer attractive yield and/or capital appreciation potential. Common stock represents the residual ownership interest in the issuer. Holders of common stocks and other Common Equity Securities are entitled to the income and increase in the value of the assets and business of the issuer after all of its debt obligations and obligations to preferred stockholders are satisfied. The Fund may invest in companies of any market capitalization.
Options. As part of its Common Equity Securities strategy, the Fund currently intends to employ a strategy of writing (selling) covered call options and may, from time to time, buy or sell put options on individual Common Equity Securities. In addition to its covered call option strategy, the Fund may, to a lesser extent, pursue a strategy that includes the sale (writing) of both covered call and put options on indices of securities and sectors of securities. This option strategy is intended to generate current gains from option premiums as a means to enhance distributions payable to the Fund’s Common Shareholders. An option on a security is a contract that gives the holder of the
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option, in return for a premium, the right to buy from (in the case of a call) or sell to (in the case of a put) the writer of the option the security underlying the option at a specified exercise or “strike” price. The writer of an option on a security has the obligation upon exercise of the option to deliver the underlying security upon payment of the exercise price or to pay the exercise price upon delivery of the underlying security. Certain options, known as “American style” options may be exercised at any time during the term of the option. Other options, known as “European style” options, may be exercised only on the expiration date of the option.
If an option written by the Fund expires unexercised, the Fund realizes on the expiration date a capital gain equal to the premium received by the Fund at the time the option was written. If an option purchased by the Fund expires unexercised, the Fund realizes a capital loss equal to the premium paid. Prior to the earlier of exercise or expiration, an exchange-traded option may be closed out by an offsetting purchase or sale of an option of the same series (type, underlying security, exercise price and expiration). There can be no assurance, however, that a closing purchase or sale transaction can be effected when the Fund desires. The Fund may sell put or call options it has previously purchased, which could result in a net gain or loss depending on whether the amount realized on the sale is more or less than the premium and other transaction costs paid on the put or call option when purchased. The Fund will realize a capital gain from a closing purchase transaction if the cost of the closing option is less than the premium received from writing the option, or, if it is more, the Fund will realize a capital loss. If the premium received from a closing sale transaction is more than the premium paid to purchase the option, the Fund will realize a capital gain or, if it is less, the Fund will realize a capital loss. Net gains from the Fund’s option strategy will be short-term capital gains which, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, will constitute net investment company taxable income.
The Fund will follow a strategy known as “covered call option writing,” which is a strategy designed to generate current gains from option premiums as a means to enhance distributions payable to the Fund’s Common Shareholders. As the Fund writes covered calls over more of its portfolio, its ability to benefit from capital appreciation becomes more limited.
As part of its strategy, the Fund may not sell “naked” call options on individual securities, (i.e., options representing more shares of the stock than are held in the portfolio). A call option written by the Fund on a security is “covered” if the Fund owns the security underlying the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that security without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, cash or other assets determined to be liquid by the Sub-Adviser (in accordance with procedures established by the board of trustees) in such amount are segregated by the Fund’s custodian) upon conversion or exchange of other securities held by the Fund. A call option is also covered if the Fund holds a call on the same security as the call written where the exercise price of the call held is (i) equal to or less than the exercise price of the call written, or (ii) greater than the exercise price of the call written, provided the difference is maintained by the Fund in segregated assets determined to be liquid by the Sub-Adviser as described above.
Put options are contracts that give the holder of the option, in return for a premium, the right to sell to the writer of the option the security underlying the option at a specified exercise price at a specific time or times during the term of the option. These strategies may produce a considerably higher return than the Fund’s primary strategy of covered call writing, but involve a higher degree of risk and potential volatility.
The Fund will write (sell) put options on individual securities only if the put option is “covered.” A put option written by the Fund on a security is “covered” if the Fund segregates or earmarks assets determined to be liquid by the Sub-Adviser, as described above, equal to the exercise price. A put option is also covered if the Fund holds a put on the same security as the put written where the exercise price of the put held is (i) equal to or greater than the exercise price of the put written, or (ii) less than the exercise price of the put written, provided the difference is maintained by the Fund in segregated or earmarked assets determined to be liquid by the Sub-Adviser, as described above.
The Fund may sell put and call options on indices of securities. Options on an index differ from options on securities because (i) the exercise of an index option requires cash payments and does not involve the actual purchase or sale of securities, (ii) the holder of an index option has the right to receive cash upon exercise of the option if the level of the index upon which the option is based is greater, in the case of a call, or less, in the case of a put, than the exercise price of the option and (iii) index options reflect price-fluctuations in a group of securities or segments of the securities market rather than price fluctuations in a single security.
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Restricted and Illiquid Securities. The Fund may invest in securities for which there is no readily available trading market or that are otherwise illiquid. Illiquid securities include securities legally restricted as to resale, such as commercial paper issued pursuant to Section 4(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and securities eligible for resale pursuant to Rule 144A thereunder. Section 4(2) and Rule 144A securities may, however, be treated as liquid by the Investment Adviser pursuant to procedures adopted by the Fund’s Board of Trustees, which require consideration of factors such as trading activity, availability of market quotations and number of dealers willing to purchase the security. If the Fund invests in Rule 144A securities, the level of portfolio illiquidity may be increased to the extent that eligible buyers become uninterested in purchasing such securities.
It may be difficult to sell such securities at a price representing the fair value until such time as such securities may be sold publicly. Where registration is required, a considerable period may elapse between a decision to sell the securities and the time when it would be permitted to sell. Thus, the Fund may not be able to obtain as favorable a price as that prevailing at the time of the decision to sell. The Fund may also acquire securities through private placements under which it may agree to contractual restrictions on the resale of such securities. Such restrictions might prevent their sale at a time when such sale would otherwise be desirable.
Government Sponsored Investment Programs
From time to time, the Fund may seek to invest in credit securities through one or more programs that may from time to time be sponsored, established or operated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and other governmental agencies.
Derivative Transactions
The Fund may, but is not required to, use various strategic transactions in swaps, futures, options and other derivative contracts in order to earn income, facilitate portfolio management and mitigate risks. These strategies may be executed through the use of derivative contracts. In the course of pursuing these investment strategies, the Fund may purchase and sell exchange-listed and OTC put and call options on securities, equity and fixed-income indices and other instruments, purchase and sell futures contracts and options thereon, and enter into various transactions such as swaps, caps, floors or collars. In addition, derivative transactions may also include new techniques, instruments or strategies that are permitted as regulatory changes occur. In order to protect the soundness of derivative transactions and outstanding derivative positions, the Sub-Adviser generally requires derivative counterparties to have a minimum credit rating of A from Moody’s (or a comparable rating from another NRSRO) and monitors such rating on an ongoing basis. In addition, the Sub-Adviser seeks to allocate derivative transactions to limit exposure to any single counterparty. The Fund has not adopted a maximum percentage limit with respect to derivative investments. However, the maximum level of and types of derivative transactions used by the Fund will be approved by the Board of Trustees and the Board of Trustees will receive regular reports from the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser regarding the Fund’s use of derivative instruments and the effect of derivative transactions on the management of the Fund’s portfolio and the performance of the Fund.
Credit Derivatives. The Fund may engage in credit derivatives transactions, which generally take one of three forms: swaps (specifically, credit default swaps), options and structured instruments. The Fund may use credit default swaps, among other things, to transfer credit exposure. The Fund may be either the buyer or seller in a credit default swap transaction and generally will be a net buyer of protection. The “buyer” in a credit default contract is obligated to pay the “seller” a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no specified credit event with respect to a reference issuer has occurred. The Fund may enter in to cleared credit default swaps (including index credit default swaps) and bilaterally-traded, OTC credit default swaps. In a physically-settled credit default swap, if a credit event occurs, the seller must pay the buyer the full notional value, or “par value”, of the reference obligation in exchange for a deliverable reference obligation. Many credit default swaps are not physically-settled but rather auction-settled. In an auction-settled credit default swap, if a credit event occurs, the seller must pay the difference between the full notional value, or “par value”, and the auction-recognized settlement price.
Where the Fund is a buyer, if no credit event occurs, the Fund would have spent the stream of payments and received no benefit from the contract. However, if a credit event occurs, the Fund (if the buyer) will either receive the full notional value of the reference obligation, less the value, if any, of the delivery reference obligation, that may have little or no value or the difference between the full notional value and the auction-recognized settlement price. As a seller, the Fund receives a fixed rate of income throughout the term of the contract, which typically is between six months and five years, provided that there is no credit event during the pendency of the
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trade. If a credit event occurs, the Fund as seller generally must pay the buyer the full notional value, or “par value” of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of the reference obligations of the entity described in the swap, or the Fund may be required to deliver the related net cash amount, depending on the settlement methodology of the swap. “”Unless and until the Fund actually receives the defaulted reference obligation, it will not be a holder of record of such obligation and will not have any rights as a creditor against the relevant issuer.
The Fund would earmark and reserve assets necessary to meet any accrued payment obligations when it is the buyer of a credit default swap. In cases where the Fund is the seller of a credit default swap, if the credit default swap provides for physical settlement, the Fund would be required to earmark and reserve the full notional amount of the credit default swap. Where the Fund sells protection, it effectively adds the equivalent of leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total assets, the Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap.
Foreign Currency Transactions. The Fund may (but is not required to) hedge some or all of its exposure to non-U.S. currencies through the use of forward foreign currency exchange contracts, options on foreign currencies, foreign currency futures contracts and swaps and other derivatives transactions. Suitable hedging transactions may not be available in all circumstances and there can be no assurance that the Fund will engage in such transactions at any given time or from time to time when they would be beneficial. Although the Fund has the flexibility to engage in such transactions, the Investment Adviser or Sub-Adviser may determine not to do so or to do so only in unusual circumstances or market conditions. These transactions may not be successful and may eliminate any chance for the Fund to benefit from favorable fluctuations in relevant foreign currencies. The Fund may also use derivatives transactions for purposes of increasing exposure to a foreign currency or to shift exposure to foreign currency fluctuations from one currency to another.
For a more complete discussion of the Fund’s investment practices involving transactions in derivatives and certain other investment techniques, see “Investment Objective and Policies—Derivative Instruments” in the Fund’s SAI.
Temporary Defensive Investments
At any time when a temporary defensive posture is believed by the Investment Adviser to be warranted (a “temporary defensive period”), the Fund may, without limitation, hold cash or invest its assets in money market instruments and repurchase agreements in respect of those instruments. The money market instruments in which the Fund may invest are obligations of the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities; commercial paper rated A-1 or higher by S&P or Prime-1 by Moody’s; and certificates of deposit and bankers’ acceptances issued by domestic branches of U.S. banks that are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. During a temporary defensive period, the Fund may also invest in shares of money market mutual funds. Money market mutual funds are investment companies, and the investments in those companies by the Fund are in some cases subject to the 1940 Act’s limitations on investments in other investment companies. See “Investment Restrictions” in the Fund’s SAI. As a shareholder in a mutual fund, the Fund will bear its ratable share of its expenses, including management fees, and will remain subject to payment of the fees to the Investment Adviser, with respect to assets so invested. See “Management of the Fund.” The Fund may not achieve its investment objective during a temporary defensive period or be able to sustain its historical distribution levels.
Certain Other Investment Practices
When Issued, Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments. The Fund may enter into forward commitments for the purchase or sale of securities, including on a “when issued” or “delayed delivery” basis, in excess of customary settlement periods for the type of security involved. In some cases, a forward commitment may be conditioned upon the occurrence of a subsequent event, such as approval and consummation of a merger, corporate reorganization or debt restructuring (i.e., a when, as and if issued security). When such transactions are negotiated, the price is fixed at the time of the commitment, with payment and delivery taking place in the future, generally a month or more after the date of the commitment. While it will only enter into a forward commitment with the intention of actually acquiring the security, the Fund may sell the security before the settlement date if it is deemed advisable. Securities purchased under a forward commitment are subject to market fluctuation, and no interest (or dividends) accrues to the Fund prior to the settlement date. The Fund will segregate with its custodian cash or liquid securities in an aggregate amount at least equal to the amount of its outstanding forward commitments.
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Loans of Portfolio Securities. To increase income, the Fund may lend its portfolio securities to securities broker-dealers or financial institutions if (i) the loan is collateralized in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements and (ii) no loan will cause the value of all loaned securities to exceed 331/3% of the value of the Fund’s total assets. If the borrower fails to maintain the requisite amount of collateral, the loan automatically terminates and the Fund could use the collateral to replace the securities while holding the borrower liable for any excess of replacement cost over the value of the collateral. As with any extension of credit, there are risks of delay in recovery and in some cases even loss of rights in collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially. There can be no assurance that borrowers will not fail financially. On termination of the loan, the borrower is required to return the securities to the Fund, and any gain or loss in the market price during the period of the loan would inure to the Fund. If the other party to the loan petitions for bankruptcy or becomes subject to the United States Bankruptcy Code, the law regarding the rights of the Fund is unsettled. As a result, under extreme circumstances, there may be a restriction on the Fund’s ability to sell the collateral and the Fund would suffer a loss. See “Investment Objective and Policies Loans of Portfolio Securities” in the Fund’s SAI.
Repurchase Agreements. Repurchase agreements may be seen as loans by the Fund collateralized by underlying debt securities. Under the terms of a typical repurchase agreement, the Fund would acquire an underlying debt obligation for a relatively short period (usually not more than one week) subject to an obligation of the seller to repurchase, and the Fund to resell, the obligation at an agreed price and time. This arrangement results in a fixed rate of return to the Fund that is not subject to market fluctuations during the holding period. The Fund bears a risk of loss in the event that the other party to a repurchase agreement defaults on its obligations and the Fund is delayed in or prevented from exercising its rights to dispose of the collateral securities, including the risk of a possible decline in the value of the underlying securities during the period in which it seeks to assert these rights. The Sub-Adviser, acting under the supervision of the Board of Trustees of the Fund, reviews the creditworthiness of those banks and dealers with which the Fund enters into repurchase agreements to evaluate these risks and monitors on an ongoing basis the value of the securities subject to repurchase agreements to ensure that the value is maintained at the required level. The Fund will not enter into repurchase agreements with the Investment Adviser, the Sub-Adviser or their affiliates. The Fund will segregate or earmark cash or liquid securities in an amount at least equal to the dollar amount of the Fund’s obligation to repurchase securities or other assets (plus any accrued interest, if applicable). Assets may be segregated with the Fund’s custodian or on the Fund’s books.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. Under a reverse repurchase agreement, the Fund temporarily transfers possession of a portfolio instrument to another party, such as a bank or broker-dealer, in return for cash. At the same time, the Fund agrees to repurchase the instrument at an agreed upon time (normally within seven days) and price, which reflects an interest payment. The Fund may enter into such agreements when it is able to invest the cash acquired at a rate higher than the cost of the agreement, which would increase earned income. When the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, any fluctuations in the market value of either the instruments transferred to another party or the instruments in which the proceeds may be invested would affect the market value of the Fund’s assets. As a result, such transactions may increase fluctuations in the market value of the Fund’s assets. While there is a risk that large fluctuations in the market value of the Fund’s assets could affect net asset value, this risk is not significantly increased by entering into reverse repurchase agreements, in the opinion of the Sub-Adviser. Because reverse repurchase agreements may be considered to be the practical equivalent of borrowing funds, they constitute a form of leverage. Such agreements will be treated as subject to investment restrictions regarding “borrowings.” If the Fund reinvests the proceeds of a reverse repurchase agreement at a rate lower than the cost of the agreement, entering into the agreement will lower the Fund’s cash available for distribution. The Sub-Adviser generally requires counterparties to reverse repurchase transactions to have a minimum credit rating of A from Moody’s (or a comparable rating from another NRSRO) and monitors such rating on an ongoing basis.
Portfolio Turnover
The Fund will buy and sell securities to seek to accomplish its investment objective. Portfolio turnover generally involves some expense to the Fund, including brokerage commissions or dealer mark-ups and other transaction costs on the sale of securities and reinvestment in other securities. The portfolio turnover rate is computed by dividing the lesser of the amount of the securities purchased or securities sold by the average monthly value of securities owned during the year (excluding securities whose maturities at acquisition were one year or less). The Fund’s portfolio turnover rate may vary greatly from year to year. Higher portfolio turnover may decrease the after-tax return to individual investors in the Fund to the extent it results in a decrease of the long-term capital
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gains portion of distributions to shareholders. For the fiscal years ended May 31, 2020 and May 31, 2019, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 41% and 38%, respectively.
Investment Restrictions
The Fund has adopted certain other investment limitations designed to limit investment risk. These limitations are fundamental and may not be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority of the outstanding Common Shares, as defined in the 1940 Act (and preferred shares, if any, voting together as a single class). See “Investment Restrictions” in the SAI for a complete list of the fundamental investment policies of the Fund.
USE OF FINANCIAL LEVERAGE
The Fund may seek to enhance the level of its current distributions by utilizing financial leverage through the issuance of preferred shares (“Preferred Shares”), through borrowing or the issuance of commercial paper or other forms of debt (“Borrowings”), through reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions or through a combination of the foregoing (collectively “Financial Leverage”). The Fund may utilize Financial Leverage up to the limits imposed by the 1940 Act; however, the aggregate amount of Financial Leverage is not currently expected to exceed 331/3% of the Fund’s Managed Assets after such issuance and/or borrowing. So long as the net rate of return on the Fund’s investments purchased with the proceeds of Financial Leverage exceeds the cost of such Financial Leverage, such excess amounts will be available to pay higher distributions to holders of the Fund’s Common Shares. There can be no assurance that a leveraging strategy will be implemented or that it will be successful during any period during which it is employed.
As of May 31, 2020, outstanding Borrowings under the committed facility agreement were $19.3 million, which represented approximately 2.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets as of such date. In addition, as of May 31, 2020, the Fund had reverse repurchase agreements outstanding representing Financial Leverage equal to approximately 6.0% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. As of May 31, 2020, the Fund’s total Financial Leverage represented approximately 8.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets.
The Fund’s total Financial Leverage may vary significantly over time based on the Sub-Adviser’s assessment of market conditions, available investment opportunities and cost of leverage. The Fund has at times used significantly greater levels of leverage than on May 31, 2020, and may in the future increase leverage up to the parameters set forth herein.
Borrowing
The Fund is authorized to borrow or issue debt securities for financial leveraging purposes and for temporary purposes such as the settlement of transactions. The Fund may utilize Indebtedness to the maximum extent permitted under the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund generally is not permitted to issue commercial paper or notes or engage in other Borrowings unless, immediately after the Borrowing, the Fund would have asset coverage (as defined in the 1940 Act) of less than 300%, i.e., the value of the Fund’s total assets less liabilities other than the principal amount represented by commercial paper, notes or other Borrowings, is at least 300% of such principal amount. In addition, other than with respect to privately arranged Borrowings, the Fund is not permitted to declare any cash dividend or other distribution on the Common Shares unless, at the time of such declaration, the value of the Fund’s total assets, less liabilities other than the principal amount represented by Borrowings, is at least 300% of such principal amount after deducting the amount of such dividend or other distribution. If the Fund borrows, the Fund intends, to the extent possible, to prepay all or a portion of the principal amount of any outstanding commercial paper, notes or other Borrowings to the extent necessary to maintain the required asset coverage.
The terms of any such Borrowings may require the Fund to pay a fee to maintain a line of credit, such as a commitment fee, or to maintain minimum average balances with a lender. Any such requirements would increase the cost of such Borrowings over the stated interest rate. Such lenders would have the right to receive interest on and repayment of principal of any such Borrowings, which right will be senior to those of the Common Shareholders. Any such Borrowings may contain provisions limiting certain activities of the Fund, including the payment of dividends to Common Shareholders in certain circumstances. Any Borrowings will likely be ranked senior or equal to all other existing and future Borrowings of the Fund.
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
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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.
The 1940 Act grants to the holders of senior securities representing indebtedness issued by the Fund, other than with respect to privately arranged Borrowings, certain voting rights in the event of default in the payment of interest on or repayment of principal. Failure to maintain certain asset coverage requirements under the 1940 Act could result in an event of default and entitle the debt holders to elect a majority of the Board of Trustees.
The Fund has entered into a committed facility agreement with BNP Paribas, dated as of November 20, 2008, and amended through the date hereof, pursuant to which the Fund may borrow up to $80 million. Interest payable by the Fund on Borrowings under the committed facility agreement is based on the three-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus 85 basis points. An unused commitment fee of 0.75% may be charged on the difference between the maximum committed amount and the actual amount borrowed. On May 31, 2020, outstanding Borrowings under the committed facility agreement were $19.3 million. The Fund’s Borrowings under the committed facility are collateralized by portfolio assets which are maintained by the Fund in a separate account with the Fund’s custodian for the benefit of the lender, which collateral exceeds the amount borrowed. Securities deposited in the collateral account may, subject to certain conditions, be rehypothecated by BNP Paribas up to the amount of the loan balance outstanding. The Fund continues to receive dividends and interest on rehypothecated securities. The Fund also has the right to recall rehypothecated securities on demand and such securities shall be returned to the collateral account within the ordinary settlement cycle. In the event a recalled security is not returned by the lender, the loan balance outstanding will be reduced by the amount of the recalled security failed to be returned. The Fund receives a portion of the fees earned by BNP Paribas in connection with the rehypothecation of portfolio securities. Rehypothecation of the Fund’s pledged portfolio securities entails risks, including the risk that the lender will be unable or unwilling to return rehypothecated securities which could result in, among other things, the Fund’s inability to find suitable investments to replace the unreturned securities, thereby impairing the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives. In the event of a default by the Fund under the committed facility, the lender has the right to sell such collateral assets to satisfy the Fund’s obligation to the lender. The amounts drawn under the committed facility may vary over time and such amounts will be reported in the Fund’s audited and unaudited financial statements contained in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements and Dollar Roll Transactions
Borrowings may be made by the Fund through reverse repurchase agreements under which the Fund sells portfolio securities to financial institutions such as banks and broker-dealers and agrees to repurchase them at a particular date and price. Such agreements are considered to be borrowings under the 1940 Act. The Fund may utilize reverse repurchase agreements when it is anticipated that the interest income to be earned from the investment of the proceeds of the transaction is greater than the interest expense of the transaction.
Borrowings may be made by the Fund through dollar roll transactions. A dollar roll transaction involves a sale by the Fund of a mortgage-backed or other security concurrently with an agreement by the Fund to repurchase a similar security at a later date at an agreed-upon price. The securities that are repurchased will bear the same interest rate and stated maturity as those sold, but pools of mortgages collateralizing those securities may have different prepayment histories than those sold. During the period between the sale and repurchase, the Fund will not be entitled to receive interest and principal payments on the securities sold. Proceeds of the sale will be invested in additional instruments for the Fund, and the income from these investments will generate income for the Fund. If such income does not exceed the income, capital appreciation and gain or loss that would have been realized on the securities sold as part of the dollar roll, the use of this technique will diminish the investment performance of the Fund compared with what the performance would have been without the use of dollar rolls.
With respect to any reverse repurchase agreement, dollar roll or similar transaction, the Fund’s Managed Assets shall include any proceeds from the sale of an asset of the Fund to a counterparty in such a transaction, in addition to the value of the underlying asset as of the relevant measuring date.
With respect to Financial Leverage incurred through investments in reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls and economically similar transactions, the Fund intends to earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities in accordance with applicable interpretations of the staff of the SEC. As a result of such segregation, the Fund’s obligations under such transactions will not be considered senior securities representing indebtedness for purposes
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of the 1940 Act and the Fund’s use of leverage through reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls and economically similar transactions will not be limited by the 1940 Act. However, the Fund’s use of leverage through reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls and economically similar transactions will be included when calculating the Fund’s Financial Leverage and therefore will be limited by the Fund’s maximum overall leverage levels approved by the Board of Trustees (currently 331/3% of the Fund’s Managed Assets) and may be further limited by the availability of cash or liquid securities to earmark or segregate in connection with such transactions.
Preferred Shares
The Fund’s Governing Documents provide that the Board of Trustees may authorize and issue Preferred Shares with rights as determined by the Board of Trustees, by action of the Board of Trustees without prior approval of the holders of the Common Shares. Common Shareholders have no preemptive right to purchase any Preferred Shares that might be issued. Any such Preferred Share offering would be subject to the limits imposed by the 1940 Act. Although the Fund has no present intention to issue Preferred Shares, it may in the future utilize Preferred Shares to the maximum extent permitted by the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may not issue Preferred Shares if, immediately after issuance, the Fund would have asset coverage (as defined in the 1940 Act) of less than 200% (i.e., for every dollar of Preferred Shares outstanding, the Fund is required to have at least two dollars of assets). The Fund has no present intention to issue Preferred Shares. See “Description of Capital Structure-Preferred Shares.”
Certain Portfolio Transactions
In addition the Fund may engage in certain derivatives transactions that have economic characteristics similar to leverage. To the extent the terms of such transactions obligate the Fund to make payments, the Fund intends to earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities in an amount at least equal to the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions or otherwise cover such transactions in accordance with applicable interpretations of the staff of the SEC. To the extent the terms of such transactions obligate the Fund to deliver particular securities to extinguish the Fund’s obligations under such transactions the Fund may “cover” its obligations under such transactions by either (i) owning the securities or collateral underlying such transactions or (ii) having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities or collateral without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, having earmarked or segregated cash or liquid securities). Such segregation or cover is intended to provide the Fund with available assets to satisfy its obligations under such transactions. As a result of such segregation or cover, the Fund’s obligations under such transactions will not be considered senior securities representing indebtedness for purposes of the 1940 Act, or included in calculating the aggregate amount of the Fund’s Financial Leverage. To the extent that the Fund’s obligations under such transactions are not so segregated or covered, such obligations may be considered “senior securities representing indebtedness” under the 1940 Act and therefore subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement.
Effects of Financial Leverage
As of May 31, 2020, outstanding Borrowings under the committed facility agreement were $19.3 million, which represented approximately 2.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets as of such date. In addition, as of May 31, 2020, the Fund had reverse repurchase agreements outstanding representing Financial Leverage equal to approximately 6.0% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. As of May 31, 2020, the Fund’s total Financial Leverage represented approximately 8.7% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. Assuming the Fund’s total Financial Leverage represented approximately 331/3% of the Fund’s Managed Assets and interest costs to the Fund at a combined average annual rate of 2.04% with respect to such Financial Leverage, then the incremental income generated by the Fund’s portfolio (net of estimated expenses including expenses related to the Financial Leverage) must exceed approximately 0.68% to cover such interest expense. Of course, these numbers are merely estimates used for illustration. The amount of Financial Leverage used by the Fund as well as actual interest expenses on such Financial Leverage will vary.
The following table is furnished pursuant to requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). It is designed to illustrate the effect of leverage on Common Share total return, assuming investment portfolio total returns (comprised of income, net expenses and changes in the value of investments held in the Fund’s portfolio) of -10%, -5%, 0%, 5% and 10%. These assumed investment portfolio returns are hypothetical figures and are not necessarily indicative of what the Fund’s investment portfolio returns will be. The table further
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assumes Financial Leverage representing approximately 331/3% of the Fund’s Managed Assets and interest costs to the Fund at a combined average annual rate of 2.04% with respect to such Financial Leverage.
Assumed portfolio total return (net of expenses)
(10.00)%
(5.00)%
0.00%
5.00%
10.00%
Common Share total return
13.98%
6.48%
(1.02)%
(8.52)%
(16.02)%
Common Share total return is composed of two elements—the Common Share dividends paid by the Fund (the amount of which is largely determined by the Fund’s net investment income after paying the carrying cost of Financial Leverage) and realized and unrealized gains or losses on the value of the securities the Fund owns. As required by SEC rules, the table assumes that the Fund is more likely to suffer capital loss than to enjoy capital appreciation. For example, to assume a total return of 0%, the Fund must assume that the net investment income it receives on its investments is entirely offset by losses on the value of those investments. This table reflects the hypothetical performance of the Fund’s portfolio and not the performance of the Fund’s Common Shares, the value of which will be determined by market and other factors.
During the time in which the Fund is utilizing Financial Leverage, the amount of the fees paid to the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser for investment advisory services will be higher than if the Fund did not utilize Financial Leverage because the fees paid will be calculated based on the Fund’s Managed Assets, which may create a conflict of interest between the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser and the Common Shareholders. In order to manage this conflict of interest, the Board of Trustees will receive regular reports from the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser regarding the Fund’s use of Financial Leverage and the effect of Financial Leverage on the management of the Fund’s portfolio and the performance of the Fund. Because the Financial Leverage costs will be borne by the Fund at a specified rate, only the Fund’s Common Shareholders will bear the cost of the Fund’s fees and expenses.
Interest Rate Transactions
In connection with the Fund’s use of Financial Leverage, the Fund may enter into interest rate swap or cap transactions. Interest rate swaps involve the Fund’s agreement with the swap counterparty to pay a fixed-rate payment in exchange for the counterparty’s paying the Fund a variable rate payment that is intended to approximate all or a portion of the Fund’s variable-rate payment obligation on the Fund’s Financial Leverage. The payment obligation would be based on the notional amount of the swap, which will not exceed the amount of the Fund’s Financial Leverage.
The Fund may use an interest rate cap, which would require it to pay a premium to the cap counterparty and would entitle it, to the extent that a specified variable-rate index exceeds a predetermined fixed rate, to receive payment from the counterparty of the difference based on the notional amount. The Fund would use interest rate swaps or caps only with the intent to reduce or eliminate the risk that an increase in short-term interest rates could have on Common Share net earnings as a result of leverage.
The Fund will usually enter into swaps or caps on a net basis; that is, the two payment streams will be netted out in a cash settlement on the payment date or dates specified in the instrument, with the Fund’s receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. The Fund intends to segregate cash or liquid securities having a value at least equal to the Fund’s net payment obligations under any swap transaction, marked-to-market daily. The Fund will treat such amounts as illiquid.
The use of interest rate swaps and caps is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio security transactions. Depending on the state of interest rates in general, the Fund’s use of interest rate instruments could enhance or harm the overall performance of the Common Shares. To the extent there is a decline in interest rates, the net amount receivable by the Fund under the interest rate swap or cap could decline and could thus result in a decline in the net asset value of the Common Shares. In addition, if short-term interest rates are lower than the Fund’s fixed rate of payment on the interest rate swap, the swap will reduce Common Share net earnings if the Fund must make net payments to the counterparty. If, on the other hand, short-term interest rates are higher than the fixed rate of payment on the interest rate swap, the swap will enhance Common Share net earnings if the Fund receives net payments from the counterparty. Buying interest rate caps could enhance the performance of the Common Shares by limiting the Fund’s maximum leverage expense.
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Buying interest rate caps could also decrease the net earnings of the Common Shares if the premium paid by the Fund to the counterparty exceeds the additional cost of the Financial Leverage that the Fund would have been required to pay had it not entered into the cap agreement.
Interest rate swaps and caps do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to interest rate swaps is limited to the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the counterparty defaults, the Fund would not be able to use the anticipated net receipts under the swap or cap to offset the costs of the Financial Leverage. Depending on whether the Fund would be entitled to receive net payments from the counterparty on the swap or cap, which in turn would depend on the general state of short-term interest rates at that point in time, such a default could negatively impact the performance of the Common Shares.
Although this will not guarantee that the counterparty does not default, the Fund will not enter into an interest rate swap or cap transaction with any counterparty that the Sub-Adviser believes does not have the financial resources to honor its obligation under the interest rate swap or cap transaction. In order to help protect the soundness of derivative transactions and outstanding derivative positions, the Sub-Adviser generally requires derivative counterparties to have a minimum credit rating of A from Moody’s Investors Service (or a comparable rating from another NRSRO) and monitors such rating on an ongoing basis. Further, the Sub-Adviser will regularly monitor the financial stability of a counterparty to an interest rate swap or cap transaction in an effort to proactively protect the Fund’s investments.
In addition, at the time the interest rate swap or cap transaction reaches its scheduled termination date, there is a risk that the Fund will not be able to obtain a replacement transaction or that the terms of the replacement will not be as favorable as on the expiring transaction. If this occurs, it could have a negative impact on the performance of the Common Shares.
The Fund may choose or be required to redeem some or all Fund Preferred Shares or prepay any Borrowings. Such a redemption or prepayment would likely result in the Fund’s seeking to terminate early all or a portion of any swap or cap transaction. Such early termination of a swap could result in a termination payment by or to the Fund. An early termination of a cap could result in a termination payment to the Fund. There may also be penalties associated with early termination.
RISKS
Investors should consider the following risk factors and special considerations associated with investing in the Fund. Investors should be aware that in light of the current uncertainty, volatility and distress in economies, financial markets, and labor and health conditions over the world, the risks below are heightened significantly compared to normal conditions and therefore subject the Fund’s investments and a shareholder’s investment in the Fund to elevated investment risk, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount invested.
Not a Complete Investment Program
An investment in the Common Shares of the Fund should not be considered a complete investment program. The Fund is intended for long-term investors seeking current income and capital appreciation. The Fund is not meant to provide a vehicle for those who wish to play short-term swings in the stock market. 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 Common Shares of the Fund is subject to investment risk, particularly under current economic, financial, labor and health conditions, 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, or income generated by, the investments held by the Fund are subject to the possibility of rapid and unpredictable fluctuation. These movements may result from factors affecting individual companies, or from broader influences, including real or perceived changes in prevailing interest rates, changes in inflation or expectations about inflation, investor confidence or economic, political, social or financial market conditions, environmental disasters, governmental actions, public health emergencies (such as the spread of infectious diseases, pandemics and epidemics) and other similar events, that each of which may be temporary or last for extended periods. For example, the risks of a borrower’s default or bankruptcy or non-payment of scheduled interest or principal payments from senior floating rate interests held by the Fund are especially acute under these conditions.
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Furthermore, interest rates and bond yields may fall as a result of types of events, including responses by governmental entities to such events, which would magnify the Fund’s fixed-income instruments’ susceptibility to interest rate risk and diminish their yield and performance. Moreover, the Fund’s investments in asset-backed securities are subject to many of the same risks that are applicable to investments in securities generally, including interest rate risk, credit risk, foreign currency risk, below-investment grade securities risk, financial leverage risk, prepayment and regulatory risk, which would be elevated under the foregoing circumstances.
Different sectors, industries and security types may react differently to such developments and, when the market performs well, there is no assurance that the Fund’s investments will increase in value along with the broader markets.  Volatility of financial markets, including potentially extreme volatility caused by the events described above, can expose the Fund to greater market risk than normal, possibly resulting in greatly reduced liquidity. Moreover, changing economic, political, social or financial market conditions in one country or geographic region could adversely affect the value, yield and return of the investments held by the Fund in a different country or geographic region because of the increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets. The Adviser potentially could be prevented from considering, managing and executing investment decisions at an advantageous time or price or at all as a result of any domestic or global market or other disruptions, particularly disruptions causing heightened market volatility and reduced market liquidity, such as the current conditions, which have also resulted in impediments to the normal functioning of workforces, including personnel and systems of the Fund’s service providers and market intermediaries.
At any point in time, your Common Shares may be worth less than your original investment, including the reinvestment of Fund dividends and distributions.
Management Risk
The Fund is subject to management risk because it has an actively managed portfolio. The Sub-Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analysis in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results. The Fund’s allocation of its investments across various asset classes and sectors may vary significantly over time based on the Adviser’s analysis and judgment. As a result, the particular risks most relevant to an investment in the Fund, as well as the overall risk profile of the Fund’s portfolio, may vary over time.
Income Risk
The income investors receive from the Fund is based primarily on the interest it earns from its investments in Income Securities, which can vary widely over the short- and long-term. If prevailing market interest rates drop, investors’ income from the Fund could drop as well. The Fund’s income could also be affected adversely when prevailing short-term interest rates increase and the Fund is utilizing leverage, although this risk is mitigated to the extent the Fund invests in floating-rate obligations.
Dividend Risk
Dividends on common stock and other 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. These circumstances may result from issuer-specific events, adverse economic or market developments, or legislative or regulatory changes or other developments that limit an issuer’s ability to declare and pay dividends, which would affect the Fund’s performance and ability to generate income. The dividend income from the Fund’s investment in Common Equity Securities will be influenced by both general economic activity and issuer-specific factors. In the event of adverse changes in economic conditions or adverse events effecting a specific industry or issuer, the issuers of the Common Equity Securities held by the Fund may reduce the dividends paid on such securities.
Income Securities Risk
In addition to the risks discussed above, Income Securities, including high-yield bonds, are subject to certain risks, including:
Issuer Risk. The value of Income Securities may decline for a number of reasons which directly relate to the issuer, such as management performance, financial leverage, reduced demand for the issuer’s goods and services, historical and projected earnings, and the value of its assets.
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Spread Risk. Spread risk is the risk that the market price can change due to broad based movements in spreads, which is particularly relevant in the current low spread environment.
Credit Risk. The Fund could lose money if the issuer or guarantor of a debt instrument or a counterparty to a derivatives transaction or other transaction (such as a repurchase agreement or a loan of portfolio securities or other instruments) is unable or unwilling, or perceived to be unable or unwilling, to pay interest or repay principal on time or defaults. If an issuer fails to pay interest, the Fund’s income would likely be reduced, and if an issuer fails to repay principal, the value of the instrument likely would fall and the Fund could lose money. This risk is especially acute with respect to below investment grade debt instruments (commonly referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds) and unrated high risk debt instruments, whose issuers are particularly susceptible to fail to meet principal or interest obligations under current conditions. Also, the issuer, guarantor or counterparty may suffer adverse changes in its financial condition or be adversely affected by economic, political or social conditions that could lower the credit quality (or the market’s perception of the credit quality) of the issuer or instrument, leading to greater volatility in the price of the instrument and in shares of the Fund. Although credit quality may not accurately reflect the true credit risk of an instrument, a change in the credit quality rating of an instrument or an issuer can have a rapid, adverse effect on the instrument’s liquidity and make it more difficult for the Fund to sell at an advantageous price or time. The risk of the occurrence of these types of events is heightened under current conditions.
The degree of credit risk depends on the particular instrument and the financial condition of the issuer, guarantor or counterparty, which are often reflected in its credit quality. Credit quality is a measure of the issuer’s expected ability to make all required interest and principal payments in a timely manner. An issuer with the highest credit rating has a very strong capacity with respect to making all payments. An issuer with the second-highest credit rating has a strong capacity to make all payments, but the degree of safety is somewhat less. An issuer with the lowest credit quality rating may be in default or have extremely poor prospects of making timely payment of interest and principal. Credit ratings assigned by rating agencies are based on a number of factors and subjective judgments and therefore do not necessarily represent an issuer’s actual financial condition or the volatility or liquidity of the security. Although higher-rated securities generally present lower credit risk as compared to lower-rated or unrated securities, an issuer with a high credit rating may in fact be exposed to heightened levels of credit or liquidity risk.
Interest Rate Risk. Fixed-income and other debt instruments are subject to the possibility that interest rates could change (or are expected to change). Changes in interest rates, including changes in reference rates used in fixed-income and other debt instruments (such as LIBOR), may adversely affect the Fund’s investments in these instruments, such as the value or liquidity of, and income generated by, the investments. In addition, changes in interest rates, including rates that fall below zero, can have unpredictable effects on markets and can adversely affect the Fund’s yield, income and performance.
The value of a debt instrument with a longer duration will generally be more sensitive to interest rate changes than a similar instrument with a shorter duration. Similarly, the longer the average duration (whether positive or negative) of these instruments held by the Fund or to which the Fund is exposed (i.e., the longer the average portfolio duration of the Fund), the more the Fund’s NAV will likely fluctuate in response to interest rate changes. Duration is a measure used to determine the sensitivity of a security’s price to changes in interest rates that incorporates a security’s yield, coupon, final maturity and call features, among other characteristics. For example, the NAV per share of a bond fund with an average duration of eight years would be expected to fall approximately 8% if interest rates rose by one percentage point.
However, measures such as duration may not accurately reflect the true interest rate sensitivity of instruments held by the Fund and, in turn, the Fund’s susceptibility to changes in interest rates. Certain fixed-income and debt instruments are subject to the risk that the issuer may exercise its right to redeem (or call) the instrument earlier than anticipated. Although an issuer may call an instrument for a variety of reasons, if an issuer does so during a time of declining interest rates, the Fund might have to reinvest the proceeds in an investment offering a lower yield or other less favorable features, and therefore might not benefit from any increase in value as a result of declining interest rates. Interest only or principal only securities and inverse floaters are particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates, which may impact the income generated by the security and other features of the security.
Adjustable rate securities also react to interest rate changes in a similar manner as fixed-rate securities but generally to a lesser degree depending on the characteristics of the security, in particular its reset terms (i.e., the index chosen, frequency of reset and reset caps or floors). During periods of rising interest rates, because changes in interest rates on adjustable rate securities may lag behind changes in market rates, the value of such securities may decline until their interest rates reset to market rates. These securities also may be subject to limits on the maximum
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increase in interest rates. During periods of declining interest rates, because the interest rates on adjustable rate securities generally reset downward, their market value is unlikely to rise to the same extent as the value of comparable fixed rate securities. These securities may not be subject to limits on downward adjustments of interest rates.
During periods of rising interest rates, issuers of debt securities or asset-backed securities may pay principal later or more slowly than expected, which may reduce the value of a Fund’s investment in such securities and may prevent the Fund from receiving higher interest rates on proceeds reinvested in other instruments. During periods of falling interest rates, issuers of debt securities or asset-backed securities may pay off debts more quickly or earlier than expected, which could cause the Fund to be unable to recoup the full amount of its initial investment and/or cause the Fund to reinvest in lower-yielding securities, thereby reducing the Fund’s yield or otherwise adversely impacting the Fund.
Certain debt instruments, such as instruments with a negative duration or inverse instruments, are also subject to interest rate risk, although such instruments generally react differently to changes in interest rates than instruments with positive durations. The Fund’s investments in these instruments also may be adversely affected by changes in interest rates. For example, the value of instruments with negative durations, such as inverse floaters, generally decrease if interest rates decline.
The Fund’s use of leverage will tend to increase Common Share interest rate risk. The Fund may utilize certain strategies, including taking positions in futures or interest rate swaps, for the purpose of reducing the interest rate sensitivity of credit securities held by the Fund and decreasing the Fund’s exposure to interest rate risk. The Fund is not required to hedge its exposure to interest rate risk and may choose not to do so. In addition, there is no assurance that any attempts by the Fund to reduce interest rate risk will be successful or that any hedges that the Fund may establish will perfectly correlate with movements in interest rates.
Current Fixed-Income and Debt Market Conditions. Fixed-income and debt market conditions are highly unpredictable and some parts of the market are subject to dislocations. In response to the crisis initially caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, as with other serious economic disruptions, governmental authorities and regulators have enacted or are enacting significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including providing direct capital infusions into companies, creating new monetary programs and lowering interest rates considerably. These actions present heightened risks to fixed-income and debt instruments, and such risks could be even further heightened if these actions are unexpectedly or suddenly reversed or are ineffective in achieving their desired outcomes. In light of these actions and current conditions, interest rates and bond yields in the United States and many other countries are at or near historic lows, and in some cases, such rates and yields are negative. The current very low or negative interest rates are magnifying the Fund’s susceptibility to interest rate risk and diminishing yield and performance. In addition, the current environment is exposing fixed-income and debt markets to significant volatility and reduced liquidity for Fund investments.
Reinvestment Risk. Reinvestment risk is the risk that income from the Fund’s portfolio will decline if the Fund invests the proceeds from matured, traded or called Income Securities at market interest rates that are below the Fund portfolio’s current earnings rate. A decline in income could affect the Common Shares’ market price or the overall return of the Fund.
Prepayment Risk. Certain debt instruments, including loans and mortgage- and other asset-backed securities, are subject to the risk that payments on principal may occur more quickly or earlier than expected (or an investment is converted or redeemed prior to maturity). For example, an issuer may exercise its right to redeem outstanding debt securities prior to their maturity (known as a “call”) or otherwise pay principal earlier than expected for a number of reasons (e.g., declining interest rates, changes in credit spreads and improvements in the issuer’s credit quality).If an issuer calls or “prepays” a security in which the Fund has invested, the Fund may not recoup the full amount of its initial investment and may be required to reinvest in generally lower-yielding securities, securities with greater credit risks or securities with other, less favorable features or terms than the security in which the Fund initially invested, thus potentially reducing the Fund’s yield. Income Securities frequently have call features that allow the issuer to repurchase the security prior to its stated maturity. Loans and mortgage- and other asset-backed securities are particularly subject to prepayment risk, and offer less potential for gains, during periods of declining interest rates (or narrower spreads) as issuers of higher interest rate debt instruments pay off debts earlier than expected.  In addition, the Fund may lose any premiums paid to acquire the investment. Other factors, such as excess cash flows, may also contribute to prepayment risk. Thus, changes in interest rates may cause volatility in the value of and income received from these types of debt instruments.
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Variable or floating rate investments may be less vulnerable to prepayment risk. Most floating rate loans and fixed-income securities allow for prepayment of principal without penalty. Accordingly, the potential for the value of a floating rate loan or security to increase in response to interest rate declines is limited. Corporate loans or fixed-income securities purchased to replace a prepaid corporate loan or security may have lower yields than the yield on the prepaid corporate loan or security.
Liquidity Risk. The Fund may invest without limitation in Income Securities for which there is no readily available trading market or which are otherwise illiquid, including certain high-yield bonds. The Fund may not be able to readily dispose of illiquid securities and obligations at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell such securities and obligations if they were more widely traded and, as a result of such illiquidity, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations. In addition, limited liquidity could affect the market price of Income Securities, thereby adversely affecting the Fund’s net asset value and ability to make distributions. Dislocations in certain parts of markets are resulting in reduced liquidity for certain investments. It is uncertain when financial markets will improve. Liquidity of financial markets may also be affected by government intervention.
Valuation of Certain Income Securities Risk. The Sub-Adviser may use the fair value method to value investments if market quotations for them are not readily available or are deemed unreliable, or if events occurring after the close of a securities market and before the Fund values its assets would materially affect net asset value. Because the secondary markets for certain investments may be limited, they may be difficult to value. Where market quotations are not readily available, valuation may require more research than for more liquid investments. In addition, elements of judgment may play a greater role in valuation in such cases than for investments with a more active secondary market because there is less reliable objective data available. A security that is fair valued may be valued at a price higher or lower than the value determined by other funds using their own fair valuation procedures. Prices obtained by the Fund upon the sale of such securities may not equal the value at which the Fund carried the investment on its books, which would adversely affect the net asset value of the Fund.
Duration and Maturity Risk. The Fund has no set policy regarding portfolio maturity or duration. Holding long duration and long maturity investments will expose the Fund to certain magnified risks. These risks include interest rate risk, credit risk and liquidity risks as discussed above. Generally speaking, the longer the duration of the Fund’s portfolio, the more exposure the Fund will have to interest rate risk described above.
Below-Investment Grade Securities Risk
The Fund may invest in Income Securities rated below-investment grade or, if unrated, determined by the Sub-Adviser to be of comparable credit quality, which are commonly referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds. Investment in securities of below-investment grade quality involves substantial risk of loss, the risk of which is particularly acute under current conditions. Income Securities of below-investment grade quality are predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal when due and therefore involve a greater risk of default or decline in market value due to adverse economic and issuer-specific developments. Securities of below investment grade quality may involve a greater risk of default or decline in market value due to adverse economic and issuer-specific developments. Issuers of below investment grade securities are not perceived to be as strong financially as those with higher credit ratings. These issuers are more vulnerable to financial setbacks and recession than more creditworthy issuers, which may impair their ability to make interest and principal payments. Income Securities of below-investment grade quality display increased price sensitivity to changing interest rates and to a deteriorating economic environment. The market values, total return and yield for securities of below investment grade quality tend to be more volatile than the market values, total return and yield for higher quality bonds. Securities of below investment grade quality tend to be less liquid than investment grade debt securities and therefore more difficult to value accurately and sell at an advantageous price or time and may involve greater transactions costs and wider bid/ask spreads, than higher-quality bonds. To the extent that a secondary market does exist for certain below investment grade securities, the market for them may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods. Because of the substantial risks associated with investments in below investment grade securities, you could have an increased risk of losing money on your investment in Common Shares, both in the short-term and the long-term. To the extent that the Fund invests in securities that have not been rated by an NRSRO, the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives will be more dependent on the Adviser’s credit analysis than would be the case when the Fund invests in rated securities.
Successful investment in lower-medium and lower-rated debt securities may involve greater investment risk and is highly dependent on the Adviser’s credit analysis. The value of securities of below investment grade
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quality is particularly vulnerable to changes in interest rates and a real or perceived economic downturn or higher interest rates could cause a decline in prices of such securities by lessening the ability of issuers to make principal and interest payments. These securities are often thinly traded or subject to irregular trading and can be more difficult to sell and value accurately than higher-quality bonds because there tends to be less public information available about these securities. Because objective pricing data may be less available, judgment may play a greater role in the valuation process. In addition, the entire below investment grade market can experience sudden and sharp price swings due to a variety of factors, including changes in economic forecasts, stock market activity, large or sustained sales by major investors, a high- profile default, or a change in the market’s psychology. Adverse conditions could make it difficult at times for the Fund to sell certain securities or could result in lower prices than those used in calculating the Fund’s net asset value.
Structured Finance Investments Risk
The Fund’s structured finance investments may include residential and commercial mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities issued by governmental entities and private issuers. Holders of structured finance investments bear risks of the underlying investments, index or reference obligation and are subject to counterparty risk. The Fund may have the right to receive payments only from the structured product, and generally does not have direct rights against the issuer or the entity that sold the assets to be securitized. While certain structured finance investments enable the investor to acquire interests in a pool of securities without the brokerage and other expenses associated with directly holding the same securities, investors in structured finance investments generally pay their share of the structured product’s administrative and other expenses. Although it is difficult to predict whether the prices of indices and securities underlying structured finance investments will rise or fall, these prices (and, therefore, the prices of structured finance investments) will be influenced by the same types of political and economic events that affect issuers of securities and capital markets generally. If the issuer of a structured product uses shorter term financing to purchase longer term securities, the issuer may be forced to sell its securities at below market prices if it experiences difficulty in obtaining short-term financing, which may adversely affect the value of the structured finance investment owned by the Fund.
The Fund may invest in structured finance products collateralized by low grade or defaulted loans or securities. Investments in such structured finance products are subject to the risks associated with below investment grade securities. Such securities are characterized by high risk. It is likely that an economic recession could severely disrupt the market for such securities and may have an adverse impact on the value of such securities.
The Fund may invest in senior and subordinated classes issued by structured finance vehicles. The payment of cash flows from the underlying assets to senior classes take precedence over those of subordinated classes, and therefore subordinated classes are subject to greater risk. Furthermore, the leveraged nature of subordinated classes may magnify the adverse impact on such class of changes in the value of the assets, changes in the distributions on the assets, defaults and recoveries on the assets, capital gains and losses on the assets, prepayment on assets and availability, price and interest rates of assets.
Structured finance securities are typically privately offered and sold, and thus are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in structured finance securities may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities; however, an active dealer market may exist which would allow such securities to be considered liquid in some circumstances.
Mortgage-Backed Securities Risk
Mortgage-backed securities represent an interest in a pool of mortgages. The risks associated with mortgage-backed securities include: (1) credit risk associated with the performance of the underlying mortgage properties and of the borrowers owning these properties; (2) adverse changes in economic conditions and circumstances, which are more likely to have an adverse impact on mortgage-backed securities secured by loans on certain types of commercial properties than on those secured by loans on residential properties; (3) prepayment risk, which can lead to significant fluctuations in the value of the mortgage-backed security; (4) loss of all or part of the premium, if any, paid; and (5) decline in the market value of the security, whether resulting from changes in interest rates, prepayments on the underlying mortgage collateral or perceptions of the credit risk associated with the underlying mortgage collateral. The value of mortgage-backed securities may be substantially dependent on the servicing of the underlying pool of mortgages.
When market interest rates decline, more mortgages are refinanced and the securities are paid off earlier than expected. Prepayments may also occur on a scheduled basis or due to foreclosure. When market interest rates
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increase, the market values of mortgage-backed securities decline. At the same time, however, mortgage refinancings and prepayments slow, which lengthens the effective maturities of these securities. As a result, the negative effect of the rate increase on the market value of mortgage-backed securities is usually more pronounced than it is for other types of debt securities. In addition, due to increased instability in the credit markets, the market for some mortgage-backed securities has experienced reduced liquidity and greater volatility with respect to the value of such securities, making it more difficult to value such securities. The Fund may invest in sub-prime mortgages or mortgage-backed securities that are backed by sub-prime mortgages.
Moreover, the relationship between prepayments and interest rates may give some high-yielding mortgage-related and asset-backed securities less potential for growth in value than conventional bonds with comparable maturities. In addition, in periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayments tends to increase. During such periods, the reinvestment of prepayment proceeds by the Fund will generally be at lower rates than the rates that were carried by the obligations that have been prepaid. Because of these and other reasons, mortgage-related and asset-backed securities’ total return and maturity may be difficult to predict precisely. To the extent that the Fund purchases mortgage-related and asset-backed securities at a premium, prepayments (which may be made without penalty) may result in loss of the Fund’s principal investment to the extent of premium paid.
Mortgage-backed securities generally are classified as either commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) or residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”), each of which are subject to certain specific risks.
Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities Risk. The market for CMBS developed more recently and, in terms of total outstanding principal amount of issues, is relatively small compared to the market for residential single-family mortgage-related securities. CMBS are subject to particular risks, including lack of standardized terms, have shorter maturities than residential mortgage loans and provide for payment of all or substantially all of the principal only at maturity rather than regular amortization of principal. In addition, commercial lending generally is viewed as exposing the lender to a greater risk of loss than one-to-four family residential lending. Commercial lending typically involves larger loans to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers than residential one-to-four family mortgage loans. In addition, the repayment of loans secured by income producing properties typically is dependent upon the successful operation of the related real estate project and the cash flow generated therefrom. Net operating income of an income-producing property can be affected by, among other things: tenant mix, success of tenant businesses, property management decisions, property location and condition, competition from comparable types of properties, changes in laws that increase operating expense or limit rents that may be charged, any need to address environmental contamination at the property, the occurrence of any uninsured casualty at the property, changes in national, regional or local economic conditions and/or specific industry segments, declines in regional or local real estate values, declines in regional or local rental or occupancy rates, increases in interest rates, real estate tax rates and other operating expenses, change in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies, including environmental legislation, acts of God, terrorism, social unrest and civil disturbances. Consequently, adverse changes in economic conditions and circumstances are more likely to have an adverse impact on mortgage-related securities secured by loans on commercial properties than on those secured by loans on residential properties. Economic downturns and other events that limit the activities of and demand for commercial retail and office spaces (such as the current crisis) adversely impact the value of such securities. Additional risks may be presented by the type and use of a particular commercial property. Special risks are presented by hospitals, nursing homes, hospitality properties and certain other property types. Commercial property values and net operating income are subject to volatility, which may result in net operating income becoming insufficient to cover debt service on the related mortgage loan. The exercise of remedies and successful realization of liquidation proceeds relating to CMBS may be highly dependent on the performance of the servicer or special servicer. There may be a limited number of special servicers available, particularly those that do not have conflicts of interest.
Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Risk. Credit-related risk on RMBS arises from losses due to delinquencies and defaults by the borrowers in payments on the underlying mortgage loans and breaches by originators and servicers of their obligations under the underlying documentation pursuant to which the RMBS are issued. The rate of delinquencies and defaults on residential mortgage loans and the aggregate amount of the resulting losses will be affected by a number of factors, including general economic conditions, particularly those in the area where the related mortgaged property is located, the level of the borrower’s equity in the mortgaged property and the individual financial circumstances of the borrower. If a residential mortgage loan is in default, foreclosure on the related residential property may be a lengthy and difficult process involving significant legal and other expenses. The net proceeds obtained by the holder on a residential mortgage loan following the foreclosure on the related property may be less than the total amount that remains due on the loan. The prospect of incurring a loss
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upon the foreclosure of the related property may lead the holder of the residential mortgage loan to restructure the residential mortgage loan or otherwise delay the foreclosure process. These risks are elevated given the current distressed economic, market, health and labor conditions, notably, increased levels of unemployment, delays and delinquencies in payments of mortgage and rent obligations, and uncertainty regarding the effects and extent of government intervention with respect to mortgage payments and other economic matters.
Sub-Prime Mortgage Market Risk. The residential mortgage market in the United States has experienced difficulties that may adversely affect the performance and market value of certain mortgages and mortgage-related securities. Delinquencies and losses on residential mortgage loans (especially sub-prime and second-line mortgage loans) generally have increased recently and may continue to increase, and a decline in or flattening of housing values (as has recently been experienced and may continue to be experienced in many housing markets) may exacerbate such delinquencies and losses. Borrowers with adjustable rate mortgage loans are more sensitive to changes in interest rates, which affect their monthly mortgage payments, and may be unable to secure replacement mortgages at comparably low interest rates. Also, a number of residential mortgage loan originators have experienced serious financial difficulties or bankruptcy. Largely due to the foregoing, reduced investor demand for mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities and increased investor yield requirements have caused limited liquidity in the secondary market for mortgage-related securities, which can adversely affect the market value of mortgage-related securities. It is possible that such limited liquidity in such secondary markets could continue or worsen. If the economy of the United States deteriorates further, the incidence of mortgage foreclosures, especially sub-prime mortgages, may increase, which may adversely affect the value of any mortgage-backed securities owned by the Fund.
The significance of the mortgage crisis and loan defaults in residential mortgage loan sectors led to the enactment of numerous pieces of legislation relating to the mortgage and housing markets. These actions, along with future legislation or regulation, may have significant impacts on the mortgage market generally and may result in a reduction of available transactional opportunities for the Fund or an increase in the cost associated with such transactions and may adversely impact the value of RMBS.
During the mortgage crisis, a number of originators and servicers of residential and commercial mortgage loans, including some of the largest originators and servicers in the residential and commercial mortgage loan market, experienced serious financial difficulties. Such difficulties may affect the performance of non-agency RMBS and CMBS. There can be no assurance that originators and servicers of mortgage loans will not continue to experience serious financial difficulties or experience such difficulties in the future, including becoming subject to bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, or that underwriting procedures and policies and protections against fraud will be sufficient in the future to prevent such financial difficulties or significant levels of default or delinquency on mortgage loans.
Asset-Backed Securities Risk
In addition to the general risks associated with credit securities discussed herein and the risks discussed under “Structured Finance Investments Risks,” ABS are subject to additional risks. ABS involve certain risks in addition to those presented by MBS. ABS do not have the benefit of the same security interest in the underlying collateral as MBS and are more dependent on the borrower’s ability to pay and may provide the Fund with a less effective security interest in the related collateral than do MBS. There is the possibility that recoveries on the underlying collateral may not, in some cases, be available to support payments on these securities. The collateral underlying ABS may constitute assets related to a wide range of industries and sectors, such as credit card and automobile receivables or other assets derived from consumer, commercial or corporate sectors.
For example, ABS can be collateralized with credit card and automobile receivables. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured, and the debtors are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give debtors the right to set off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. These risks are elevated given the currently distressed economic, market, labor and health conditions.
Most issuers of automobile receivables permit the servicers to retain possession of the underlying obligations. If the servicer were to sell these obligations to another party, there is a risk that the purchaser would acquire an interest superior to that of the holders of the related automobile receivables. In addition, because of the large number of vehicles involved in a typical issuance and technical requirements under state laws, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have an effective security interest in all of the obligations backing
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such receivables. If the economy of the United States deteriorates, defaults on securities backed by credit card, automobile and other receivables may increase, which may adversely affect the value of any ABS owned by the Fund. In recent years, certain automobile manufacturers have been granted access to emergency loans from the U.S. Government and have experienced bankruptcy. As a result of these events, the value of securities backed by receivables from the sale or lease of automobiles may be adversely affected.
If the economy of the United States deteriorates, defaults on securities backed by credit card, automobile and other receivables may increase, which may adversely affect the value of any ABS owned by the Fund. In addition, these securities may provide the Fund with a less effective security interest in the related collateral than do mortgage-related securities. Therefore, there is the possibility that recoveries on the underlying collateral may not, in some cases, be available to support payments on these securities.
ABS collateralized by other types of assets are subject to risks associated with the underlying collateral.
CLO, CDO and CBO Risk
In addition to the general risks associated with debt securities discussed herein and the risks discussed under “Structured Finance Investments Risks,” CLOs, CDOs and CBOs are subject to additional risks. CLOs, CDOs and CBOs are subject to risks associated with the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default; and the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results.
The credit quality of CLOs, CDOs and CBOs depends primarily upon the quality of the underlying assets and the level of credit support and/or enhancement provided. The underlying assets (e.g., debt obligations) of CLOs, CDOs and CBOs are subject to prepayments, which shorten the weighted average maturity and may lower the return of the securities issued by the CLOs, CDOs and CBOs. If the credit support or enhancement is exhausted, losses or delays in payment may result if the required payments of principal and interest are not made. The transaction documents relating to the issuance of CLOs, CDOs and CBOs may impose eligibility criteria on the assets of the issuing SPV, restrict the ability of the investment manager to trade investments and impose certain portfolio-wide asset quality requirements. These criteria, restrictions and requirements may limit the ability of the SPV’s investment manager to maximize returns on the CLOs, CDOs and CBOs. In addition, other parties involved in CLOs, CDOs and CBOs, such as third party credit enhancers and investors in the rated tranches, may impose requirements that have an adverse effect on the returns of the various tranches of CLOs, CDOs and CBOs. Furthermore, CLO, CDO and CBO transaction documents generally contain provisions that, in the event that certain tests are not met (generally interest coverage and over-collateralization tests at varying levels in the capital structure), proceeds that would otherwise be distributed to holders of a junior tranche must be diverted to pay down the senior tranches until such tests are satisfied. Failure (or increased likelihood of failure) of a CLO, CDO or CBO to make timely payments on a particular tranche will have an adverse effect on the liquidity and market value of such tranche.
Payments to holders of CLOs, CDOs and CBOs may be subject to deferral. If cashflows generated by the underlying assets are insufficient to make all current and, if applicable, deferred payments on the CLOs, CDOs and CBOs, no other assets will be available for payment of the deficiency and, following realization of the underlying assets, the obligations of the issuer to pay such deficiency will be extinguished.
The value of securities issued by CLOs, CDOs and CBOs also may change because of changes in market value: changes in the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the servicing agent for the pool, the originator of the pool, or the financial institution or fund providing the credit support or enhancement; loan performance and prices; broader sentiment and standing in the economic cycle, including expectations regarding future loan defaults; liquidity conditions; and supply and demand at the various tranche levels. Finally, CLOs, CDOs and CBOs are limited recourse and may not be paid in full and may be subject to up to 100% loss.
Section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, often referred to as the “Volcker Rule,” imposes restrictions on banking entities’ ability to sponsor or invest in certain CLOs, CDOs and CBOs. These restrictions may have an adverse effect on the CLO, CDO and CBO market generally, including the availability, liquidity and value of certain CLOs, CDOs and CBOs.
The Fund may invest in any portion of the capital structure of CLOs (including the subordinated, residual and deep mezzanine debt tranches). As a result, the CLOs in which the Fund invests may have issued and sold debt
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tranches that will rank senior to the tranches in which the Fund invests. By their terms, such more senior tranches may entitle the holders to receive payment of interest or principal on or before the dates on which the Fund is entitled to receive payments with respect to the tranches in which the Fund invests. Also, in the event of insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of a CLO, holders of more senior tranches would typically be entitled to receive payment in full before the Fund receives any distribution. After repaying such senior creditors, such CLO may not have any remaining assets to use for repaying its obligation to the Fund. In the case of tranches ranking equally with the tranches in which the Fund invests, the Fund would have to share on an equal basis any distributions with other creditors holding such securities in the event of an insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of the relevant CLO. Therefore, the Fund may not receive back the full amount of its investment in a CLO.
CLO Subordinated Notes Risk. The Fund may invest in any portion of the capital structure of CLOs (including the subordinated, residual and deep mezzanine debt tranches). Investment in the subordinated tranche is subject to special risks. The subordinated tranche does not receive ratings and is considered the riskiest portion of the capital structure of a CLO. The subordinated tranche is junior in priority of payment to the more senior tranches of the CLO and is subject to certain payment restrictions. As a result, the subordinated tranche bears the bulk of defaults from the loans in the CLO. In addition, the subordinated tranche generally has only limited voting rights and generally does not benefit from any creditors’ rights or ability to exercise remedies under the indenture governing the CLO notes. Certain mezzanine tranches in which the Fund may invest may also be subject to certain risks similar to risks associated with investment in the subordinated tranche.
The subordinated tranche is unsecured and ranks behind all of the secured creditors, known or unknown, of the CLO issuer, including the holders of the secured notes it has issued. Consequently, to the extent that the value of the issuer’s portfolio of loan investments has been reduced as a result of conditions in the credit markets, defaulted loans, capital gains and losses on the underlying assets, prepayment or changes in interest rates, the value of the subordinated tranche realized at redemption could be reduced. If a CLO breaches certain tests set forth in the CLO’s indenture, excess cash flow that would otherwise be available for distribution to the subordinated tranche investors is diverted to prepay CLO debt investors in order of seniority until such time as the covenant breach is cured. If the covenant breach is not or cannot be cured, the subordinated tranche investors (and potentially other investors in lower priority rated tranches) may experience a partial or total loss of their investment. Accordingly, the subordinated tranche may not be paid in full and may be subject to up to 100% loss. At the time of issuance, the subordinated tranche of a CLO is typically under-collateralized in that the liabilities of a CLO at inception exceed its total assets.
The leveraged nature of subordinated notes may magnify the adverse impact on the subordinated notes of changes in the market value of the investments held by the issuer, changes in the distributions on those investments, defaults and recoveries on those investments, capital gains and losses on those investments, prepayments on those investments and availability, prices and interest rates of those investments.
Subordinated notes are not guaranteed by another party. There can be no assurance that distributions on the assets held by the CLO will be sufficient to make any distributions or that the yield on the subordinated notes will meet the Fund’s expectations. Investments in the subordinated tranche of a CLO are generally less liquid than CLO debt tranches and subject to extensive transfer restrictions, and there may be no market for subordinated notes. Therefore Fund may be required to hold subordinated notes for an indefinite period of time or until their stated maturity. Certain mezzanine tranches in which the Fund may invest may also be subject to certain risks similar to risks associated with investment in the subordinated tranche.
Risks Associated with Risk-Linked Securities
RLS are a form of derivative issued by insurance companies and insurance-related special purpose vehicles that apply securitization techniques to catastrophic property and casualty damages. Unlike other insurable low-severity, high-probability events (such as auto collision coverage), the insurance risk of which can be diversified by writing large numbers of similar policies, the holders of a typical RLS are exposed to the risks from high-severity, low-probability events such as that posed by major earthquakes or hurricanes. RLS represent a method of reinsurance, by which insurance companies transfer their own portfolio risk to other reinsurance companies and, in the case of RLS, to the capital markets. A typical RLS provides for income and return of capital similar to other fixed-income investments, but involves full or partial default if losses resulting from a certain catastrophe exceeded a predetermined amount. In essence, investors invest funds in RLS and if a catastrophe occurs that “triggers” the RLS, investors may lose some or all of the capital invested. In the case of an event, the funds are paid to the bond
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sponsor — an insurer, reinsurer or corporation — to cover losses. In return, the bond sponsors pay interest to investors for this catastrophe protection. RLS can be structured to pay-off on three types of variables—insurance-industry catastrophe loss indices, insure-specific catastrophe losses and parametric indices based on the physical characteristics of catastrophic events. Such variables are difficult to predict or model, and the risk and potential return profiles of RLS may be difficult to assess. Catastrophe-related RLS have been in use since the 1990s, and the securitization and risk-transfer aspects of such RLS are beginning to be employed in other insurance and risk-related areas. No active trading market may exist for certain RLS, which may impair the ability of the Fund to realize full value in the event of the need to liquidate such assets.
Risks Associated with Structured Notes
Investments in structured notes involve risks associated with the issuer of the note and the reference instrument. Where the Fund’s investments in structured notes are based upon the movement of one or more factors, including currency exchange rates, interest rates, referenced bonds and stock indices, depending on the factor used and the use of multipliers or deflators, changes in interest rates and movement of the factor may cause significant price fluctuations. Additionally, changes in the reference instrument or security may cause the interest rate on the structured note to be reduced to zero, and any further changes in the reference instrument may then reduce the principal amount payable on maturity. Structured notes may be less liquid than other types of securities and more volatile than the reference instrument or security underlying the note.
Senior Loans Risk
The Fund may invest in senior secured floating rate Loans made to corporations and other non-governmental entities and issuers (“Senior Loans”). Senior Loans typically hold the most senior position in the capital structure of the issuing entity, are typically secured with specific collateral and typically have a claim on the assets and/or stock of the borrower that is senior to that held by subordinated debt holders and stockholders of the borrower. The Fund’s investments in Senior Loans are typically below-investment grade and are considered speculative because of the credit risk of their issuers The risks associated with Senior Loans of below-investment grade quality are similar to the risks of other lower grade Income Securities, although Senior Loans are typically senior and secured in contrast to subordinated and unsecured Income Securities. Senior Loans’ higher standing has historically resulted in generally higher recoveries in the event of a corporate reorganization. In addition, because their interest payments are adjusted for changes in short-term interest rates, investments in Senior Loans generally have less interest rate risk than other lower grade Income Securities, which may have fixed interest rates. The Fund’s investments in Senior Loans are typically below-investment grade and are considered speculative because of the credit risk of their issuers. Such companies are more likely to default on their payments of interest and principal owed to the Fund, and such defaults could reduce the Fund’s net asset value and income distributions. An economic downturn generally leads to a higher non-payment rate, and a debt obligation may lose significant value before a default occurs. Moreover, any specific collateral used to secure a Senior Loan may decline in value or become illiquid, which would adversely affect the Senior Loan’s value.
Economic and other events (whether real or perceived) can reduce the demand for certain Senior Loans or Senior Loans generally, which may reduce market prices and cause the Fund’s net asset value per share to fall. The frequency and magnitude of such changes cannot be predicted.
Loans and other debt instruments are also subject to the risk of price declines due to increases in prevailing interest rates, although floating-rate debt instruments are substantially less exposed to this risk than fixed-rate debt instruments. Interest rate changes may also increase prepayments of debt obligations and require the Fund to invest assets at lower yields. No active trading market may exist for certain Senior Loans, which may impair the ability of the Fund to realize full value in the event of the need to liquidate such assets. Adverse market conditions may impair the liquidity of some actively traded Senior Loans.
Second Lien Loans Risk
The Fund may invest in “second lien” secured floating rate Loans made by public and private corporations and other non-governmental entities and issuers for a variety of purposes (“Second Lien Loans”). Second Lien Loans are second in right of payment to one or more Senior Loans of the related borrower. Second Lien Loans are subject to the same risks associated with investment in Senior Loans and other lower grade Income Securities. However, Second Lien Loans are second in right of payment to Senior Loans and therefore are subject to the additional risk that the cash flow of the borrower and any property securing the Loan may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments after giving effect to the senior secured obligations of the borrower. Second Lien Loans are
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expected to have greater price volatility and exposure to losses upon default than Senior Loans and may be less liquid. There is also a possibility that originators will not be able to sell participations in Second Lien Loans, which would create greater credit risk exposure.
Subordinated Secured Loans Risk
Subordinated secured Loans generally are subject to similar risks as those associated with investment in Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans and below investment grade securities. However, such loans may rank lower in right of payment than any outstanding Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans or other debt instruments with higher priority of the Borrower and therefore are subject to additional risk that the cash flow of the Borrower and any property securing the loan may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments and repayment of principal in the event of default or bankruptcy after giving effect to the higher ranking secured obligations of the Borrower. Subordinated secured Loans are expected to have greater price volatility than Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans and may be less liquid.
Unsecured Loans Risk
Unsecured Loans generally are subject to similar risks as those associated with investment in Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans, subordinated secured Loans and below investment grade securities. However, because unsecured Loans have lower priority in right of payment to any higher ranking obligations of the Borrower and are not backed by a security interest in any specific collateral, they are subject to additional risk that the cash flow of the Borrower and available assets may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments and repayment of principal after giving effect to any higher ranking obligations of the Borrower. Unsecured Loans are expected to have greater price volatility than Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans and subordinated secured Loans and may be less liquid.
Loans and Loan Participations and Assignments Risk
The Fund may invest in loans directly or through participations or assignments. The Fund may purchase Loans on a direct assignment basis from a participant in the original syndicate of lenders or from subsequent assignees of such interests. The Fund may also purchase, without limitation, participations in Loans. The purchaser of an assignment typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations of the assigning institution and becomes a lender under the credit agreement with respect to the debt obligation; however, the purchaser’s rights can be more restricted than those of the assigning institution, and, in any event, the Fund may not be able to unilaterally enforce all rights and remedies under the loan and with regard to any associated collateral. A participation typically results in a contractual relationship only with the institution participating out the interest, not with the Borrower. In purchasing participations, the Fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the Borrower with the terms of the loan agreement against the Borrower, and the Fund may not directly benefit from the collateral supporting the debt obligation in which it has purchased the participation. As a result, the Fund will be exposed to the credit risk of both the Borrower and the institution selling the participation. Further, in purchasing participations in lending syndicates, the Fund may not be able to conduct the same due diligence on the Borrower with respect to a Senior Loan that the Fund would otherwise conduct. In addition, as a holder of the participations, the Fund may not have voting rights or inspection rights that the Fund would otherwise have if it were investing directly in the Senior Loan, which may result in the Fund being exposed to greater credit or fraud risk with respect to the Borrower or the Senior Loan. Lenders selling a participation and other persons interpositioned between the lender and the Fund with respect to a participation will likely conduct their principal business activities in the banking, finance and financial services industries. Because the Fund may invest in participations, the Fund may be more susceptible to economic, political or regulatory occurrences affecting such industries.
The Fund invests in or is exposed to loans and other similar debt obligations that are sometimes referred to as “covenant-lite” loans or obligations, which are generally subject to more risk than investments that contain traditional financial maintenance covenants and financial reporting requirements.
Unfunded Commitments Risk. Certain of the loan participations or assignments acquired by the Fund may involve unfunded commitments of the lenders, revolving credit facilities, delayed draw credit facilities or other investments under which a borrower may from time to time borrow and repay amounts up to the maximum amount of the facility. In such cases, the Fund would have an obligation to advance its portion of such additional borrowings upon the terms specified in the loan documentation. Such an obligation may have the effect of requiring the Fund to increase its investment in a company at a time when it might not be desirable to do so (including at a time when the company’s financial condition makes it unlikely that such amounts will be repaid). These commitments are generally subject to the borrowers meeting certain criteria such as compliance with covenants and certain
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operational metrics. The terms of the borrowings and financings subject to commitment are comparable to the terms of other loans and related investments in the Fund’s portfolio.
Mezzanine Investments Risk
The Fund may invest in certain lower grade securities known as “Mezzanine Investments,” which are subordinated debt securities that are generally issued in private placements in connection with an equity security (e.g., with attached warrants) or may be convertible into equity securities. Mezzanine Investments are subject to the same risks associated with investment in Senior Loans, Second Lien Loans and other lower grade Income Securities. However, Mezzanine Investments may rank lower in right of payment than any outstanding Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans of the borrower, or may be unsecured (i.e., not backed by a security interest in any specific collateral), and are subject to the additional risk that the cash flow of the borrower and available assets may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments after giving effect to any higher ranking obligations of the borrower. Mezzanine Investments are expected to have greater price volatility and exposure to losses upon default than Senior Loans and Second Lien Loans and may be less liquid.
Distressed and Defaulted Securities Risk
Investments in the securities of financially distressed issuers involve substantial risks. These securities may present a substantial risk of default or may be in default at the time of investment. The Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek recovery upon a default in the payment of principal or interest on its portfolio holdings. In any reorganization or liquidation proceeding relating to a portfolio company, the Fund may lose its entire investment or may be required to accept cash or securities with a value less than its original investment. Among the risks inherent in investments in a troubled entity is the fact that it frequently may be difficult to obtain information as to the true financial condition of such issuer. The Adviser’s judgment about the credit quality of the issuer and the relative value and liquidity of its securities may prove to be wrong.
Convertible Securities Risk
Convertible securities, debt or preferred equity securities convertible into, or exchangeable for, equity securities, are generally preferred stocks and other securities, including fixed-income securities and warrants that are convertible into or exercisable for common stock. Convertible securities generally participate in the appreciation or depreciation of the underlying stock into which they are convertible, but to a lesser degree and are subject to the risks associated with debt and equity securities, including interest rate, market and issuer risks. For example, if market interest rates rise, the value of a convertible security usually falls. Certain convertible securities may combine higher or lower current income with options and other features. Warrants are options to buy a stated number of shares of common stock at a specified price anytime during the life of the warrants (generally, two or more years). Convertible securities may be lower-rated securities subject to greater levels of credit risk. A convertible security may be converted before it would otherwise be most appropriate, which may have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.
“Synthetic” convertible securities are selected based on the similarity of their economic characteristics to those of a traditional convertible security due to the combination of separate securities that possess the two principal characteristics of a traditional convertible security, i.e., an income-producing security (“income-producing component”) and the right to acquire an equity security (“convertible component”). The income-producing component is achieved by investing in non-convertible, income-producing securities such as bonds, preferred stocks and money market instruments, which may be represented by derivative instruments.
The convertible component is achieved by investing in securities or instruments such as warrants or options to buy common stock at a certain exercise price, or options on a stock index. A simple example of a synthetic convertible security is the combination of a traditional corporate bond with a warrant to purchase equity securities of the issuer of the bond. The income-producing and convertible components of a synthetic convertible security may be issued separately by different issuers and at different times.
Preferred Stock Risk
The Fund may invest in preferred stock, which represents the senior residual interest in the assets of an issuer after meeting all claims, with priority to corporate income and liquidation payments over the issuer’s common stock. As such, preferred stock is inherently more risky than the bonds and other debt instruments of the issuer, but less risky than its common stock. Preferred stocks may pay fixed or adjustable rates of return. Preferred stock is subject to issuer-specific and market risks applicable generally to equity securities. Certain preferred stocks contain
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provisions that allow an issuer under certain conditions to skip (in the case of “non-cumulative” preferred stocks) or defer (in the case of “cumulative” preferred stocks) dividend payments. Preferred stocks often contain provisions that allow for redemption in the event of certain tax or legal changes or at the issuer’s call.
Preferred stocks typically do not provide any voting rights, except in cases when dividends are in arrears beyond a certain time period. There is no assurance that dividends on preferred stocks in which the Fund invests will be declared or otherwise made payable. If the Fund owns preferred stock that is deferring its distributions, the Fund may be required to report income for U.S. federal income tax purposes while it is not receiving cash payments corresponding to such income. When interest rates fall below the rate payable on an issue of preferred stock or for other reasons, the issuer may redeem the preferred stock, generally after an initial period of call protection in which the stock is not redeemable.
Preferred stocks may be significantly less liquid than many other securities, such as U.S. Government securities, corporate debt and common stock. Preferred stock has properties of both an equity and a debt instrument and is generally considered a hybrid instrument.
Foreign Securities Risk
The Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in non-U.S. dollar denominated Income Securities of foreign issuers. Investing in foreign issuers may involve certain risks not typically associated with investing in securities of U.S. issuers due to increased exposure to foreign economic, political and legal developments, including favorable or unfavorable changes in currency exchange rates, exchange control regulations (including currency blockage), expropriation or nationalization of assets, imposition of withholding taxes on payments, and possible difficulty in obtaining and enforcing judgments against foreign entities. Furthermore, issuers of foreign securities and obligations are subject to different, often less comprehensive, accounting, reporting and disclosure requirements than domestic issuers. The securities and obligations of some foreign companies and foreign markets are less liquid and at times more volatile than comparable U.S. securities, obligations and markets. These risks may be more pronounced to the extent that the Fund invests a significant amount of its assets in companies located in one region and to the extent that the Fund invests in securities of issuers in emerging markets. The Fund may also invest in U.S. dollar- denominated Income Securities of foreign issuers, which are subject to many of the risks described above regarding Income Securities of foreign issuers denominated in foreign currencies. These risks are heightened under the current conditions.
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 up to 10% of its total assets in Income Securities the issuers of which are located in countries considered to be emerging markets. Investing in securities in emerging countries generally entails greater risks than investing in securities in developed countries. Securities issued by governments or issuers in emerging market countries are more likely to have greater exposure to the risks of investing in foreign securities. These risks are elevated under current conditions and include: (1) less social, political and economic stability; (2) the small size of the markets for such securities, limited access to investments in the event of market closures and the low or nonexistent volume of trading, which result in a lack of liquidity, greater price volatility, and higher risk of failed trades or other trading issues; (3) certain national policies that may restrict the Fund’s investment opportunities,
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including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (4) foreign taxation; (5) inflation and rapid fluctuations in interest rates; (6) currency devaluations; (7) dependence on a few key trading partners; and (8) the absence of developed structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for investment losses or injury to private property. Furthermore, foreign investors may be required to register the proceeds of sales and future economic or political crises could lead to price controls, forced mergers, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, seizure, nationalization or creation of government monopolies. The currencies of emerging market countries may experience significant declines against the U.S. dollar, and devaluation may occur subsequent to investments in these currencies by the Fund. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging market countries. Sovereign debt of emerging countries may be in default or present a greater risk of default, the risk of which is heightened given the current conditions. These risks are heightened for investments in frontier markets.
The Sub-Adviser has broad discretion to identify countries that it considers to qualify as “emerging markets.”  In determining whether a country is an emerging market, the Sub-Adviser may take into account specific or general factors that the Sub-Adviser deems to be relevant, including interest rates, inflation rates, exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policies, trade and current account balances and/or legal, social and political developments, as well as whether the country is considered to be emerging or developing by supranational organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations or other similar entities.  Emerging market countries generally will include countries with low gross national product per capita and the potential for rapid economic growth and are likely to be located in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe and Central and South America.
Foreign Currency Risk
The value of securities denominated or quoted in foreign currencies may be adversely affected by fluctuations in the relative currency exchange rates and by exchange control regulations. The Fund’s investment performance may be negatively affected by a devaluation of a currency in which the Fund’s investments are denominated or quoted. Further, the Fund’s investment performance may be significantly affected, either positively or negatively, by currency exchange rates because the U.S. dollar value of securities denominated or quoted in another currency will increase or decrease in response to changes in the value of such currency in relation to the U.S. dollar. Finally, the Fund’s distributions are paid in U.S. dollars, and to the extent the Fund’s assets are denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, there is a risk that the value of any distribution from such assets may decrease if the currency in which such assets or distributions are denominated falls in relation to the value of the U.S. dollar. The Fund currently intends to seek to hedge its exposures to foreign currencies but may, at the discretion of the Investment Adviser, at any time limit or eliminate foreign currency hedging activity. To the extent the Fund does not hedge (or is unsuccessful in seeking to hedge) its foreign currency risk, the value of the Fund’s assets and income could be adversely affected by currency exchange rate movements.
Sovereign Debt Risk
Investments in sovereign debt securities, such as foreign government debt or foreign treasury bills, involve special risks, including the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the government debtor’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund or international lenders, the political constraints to which the debtor may be subject and other political considerations. Periods of economic and political uncertainty may result in the illiquidity and increased price volatility of sovereign debt securities held by the Fund. The governmental authority that controls the repayment of sovereign debt may be unwilling or unable to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such securities due to the extent of its foreign reserves. If an issuer of sovereign debt defaults on payments of principal and/or interest, the Fund may have limited or no legal recourse against the issuer and/or guarantor. In certain cases, remedies must be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party itself. For example, there may be no bankruptcy or similar proceedings through which all or part of the sovereign debt that a governmental entity has not repaid may be collected. There can be no assurance that the holders of commercial bank loans to the same sovereign entity may not contest payments to the holders of sovereign debt in the event of default under commercial bank loan agreements.
Certain issuers of sovereign debt may be dependent on disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest arrearages on their debt. Such disbursements may be conditioned upon a debtor’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. A failure on the part of the debtor to implement such reforms, achieve
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such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the debtor, which may impair the debtor’s ability to service its debts on a timely basis. Foreign investment in certain sovereign debt is restricted or controlled to varying degrees, including requiring governmental approval for the repatriation of income, capital or proceeds of sales by foreign investors. These restrictions or controls may at times limit or preclude foreign investment in certain sovereign debt and increase the costs and expenses of the Fund.
As a holder of sovereign debt, the Fund may be requested to participate in the restructuring of such sovereign indebtedness, including the rescheduling of payments and the extension of further loans to debtors, which may adversely affect the Fund. There can be no assurance that such restructuring will result in the repayment of all or part of the debt. Sovereign debt risk is increased for emerging market issuers and certain emerging market countries have declared moratoria on the payment of principal and interest on external debt. Certain emerging market countries have experienced difficulty in servicing their sovereign debt on a timely basis, which has led to defaults and the restructuring of certain indebtedness.
UK Departure from EU (“Brexit”) Risk
On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom officially withdrew from the European Union (“EU”) and the two sides entered into a transition phase, scheduled to conclude on December 31, 2020, where the United Kingdom effectively remains in the EU from an economic perspective, but no longer has any political representation in the EU parliament. During this transition phase, which could be extended beyond December of 2020, the United Kingdom is expected to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU. Due to political uncertainty, it is not possible to anticipate whether the United Kingdom and the EU will be able to agree and implement a new trade agreement or what the nature of such trade arrangement will be. Throughout the withdrawal process and afterward, the impact on the United Kingdom and Economic and Monetary Union and the broader global economy is unknown but could be significant and could result in increased volatility and illiquidity and potentially lower economic growth. The political divisions surrounding Brexit within the United Kingdom, as well as those between the UK and the EU, may also have a destabilizing impact on the economy and currency of the United Kingdom and the EU. Any further exits from member states of the EU, or the possibility of such exits, would likely cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties.
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 Brexit. 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.
Redenomination Risk
The result of Brexit, the progression of the European debt crisis and the possibility of one or more Eurozone countries exiting the European Monetary Union (“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
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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.
Common Equity Securities Risk
The Fund may invest up to 50% of its total assets in Common Equity Securities. An adverse event, such as an unfavorable earnings report, may depress the value of a particular common stock held by the Fund. Also, the prices of equity securities are sensitive to general movements in the stock market, so a drop in the stock market may depress the prices of equity securities to which the Fund has exposure. 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 Equity Securities have historically generated higher average returns than Income Securities, Common Equity Securities have also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns. Equity securities are currently experiencing heightened volatility and therefore, the Fund’s investments in equity securities are subject to heightened risks related to volatility. 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.
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.
The Fund may write call options on individual securities, securities indices, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and baskets of securities. The buyer of an option acquires the right to buy (a call option) or sell (a put option) a certain quantity of a security (the underlying security) or instrument, at a certain price up to a specified point in time or on expiration, depending on the terms. The seller or writer of an option is obligated to sell (a call option) or buy (a put option) the underlying instrument. A call option is “covered” if the Fund owns the security underlying the call or has an absolute right to acquire the security without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, cash or cash equivalents in such amount are segregated by the Fund’s custodian). As a seller of covered call options, the Fund faces the risk that it will forgo the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the security covering the call option during an option’s life. As the Fund writes covered calls over more of its portfolio, its ability to benefit from capital appreciation becomes more limited. For certain types of options, the writer of the option will have no control over the time when it may be required to fulfill its obligation under the option. There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist if and when the Fund seeks to close out an option position. Once an option writer has received an exercise notice, it cannot effect a closing purchase transaction in order to terminate its obligation under the option and must deliver the underlying security at the exercise price.
The Fund may write exchange-listed and 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 entered into directly with the buyer of the option and not through an exchange or clearing organization that is interposed between the Fund and the counterparty. In an OTC option transaction exercise price, premium and other terms are negotiated between buyer and seller. OTC options are subject to heightened counterparty, credit, liquidity and valuation risks.
Risks of Real Property Asset Companies
The Fund may invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities issued by Real Property Asset Companies.
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Real Estate Risks. Because of the Fund’s ability to make indirect investments in real estate and in the securities of companies in the real estate industry, it is subject to risks associated with the direct ownership of real estate. These risks include:
declines in the value of real estate;
general and local economic conditions;
unavailability of mortgage funds;
overbuilding;
extended vacancies of properties;
increased competition;
increases in property taxes and operating expenses;
changes in zoning laws;
losses due to costs of cleaning up environmental problems and contamination;
limitations on, or unavailability of, insurance on economic terms;
liability to third parties for damages resulting from environmental problems;
casualty or condemnation losses;
limitations on rents;
changes in neighborhood values and the appeal of properties to tenants;
changes in valuation due to the impact of terrorist incidents on a particular property or area, or on a segment of the economy; and
changes in interest rates.
National Resources and Commodities Risks. Because of the Fund’s ability to make indirect investments in natural resources and physical commodities, and in Real Property Asset Companies engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, gold and other precious metals, steel and iron ore production, energy services, forest products, chemicals, coal, alternative energy sources and environmental services, as well as related transportation companies and equipment manufacturers, the Fund is subject to risks associated with special risks, which include:
Supply and Demand Risk. A decrease in the production of a physical commodity or a decrease in the volume of such commodity available for transportation, mining, processing, storage or distribution may adversely impact the financial performance of an energy, natural resources, basic materials or an associated company that devotes a portion of its business to that commodity. Production declines and volume decreases could be caused by various factors, including catastrophic events affecting production, depletion of resources, labor difficulties, environmental proceedings, increased regulations, equipment failures and unexpected maintenance problems, import supply disruption, governmental expropriation, political upheaval or conflicts or increased competition from alternative energy sources or commodity prices. Alternatively, a sustained decline in demand for such commodities could also adversely affect the financial performance of energy, natural resources, basic materials or associated companies. Factors that could lead to a decline in demand include economic recession or other adverse economic conditions, higher taxes on commodities or increased governmental regulations, increases in fuel economy, consumer shifts to the use of alternative commodities or fuel sources, changes in commodity prices, or weather.
Depletion and Exploration Risk. Many energy, natural resources, basic materials and associated companies are engaged in the production of one or more physical commodities or are engaged in transporting, storing, distributing and processing these items on behalf of shippers. To maintain or grow their revenues, these companies or their customers need to maintain or expand their reserves through exploration of new sources of supply, through the development of existing sources, through acquisitions or through long-term contracts to acquire reserves. The financial performance of energy, natural resources, basic materials and associated
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companies may be adversely affected if they, or the companies to whom they provide the service, are unable to cost-effectively acquire additional reserves sufficient to replace the natural decline.
Operational and Geological Risk. Energy, natural resources, basic materials companies and associated companies are subject to specific operational and geological risks in addition to normal business and management risks. Some examples of operational risks include mine rock falls, underground explosions and pit wall failures. Geological risk would include faulting of the ore body and misinterpretation of geotechnical data.
Regulatory Risk. Energy, natural resources, basic materials and associated companies are subject to significant federal, state and local government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices they may charge for the products and services they provide. Various governmental authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations and the permits issued under them, and violators are subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil fines, injunctions or both. Stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the operations and financial performance of energy, natural resources and basic materials companies.
Commodity Pricing Risk. The operations and financial performance of energy, natural resources and basic materials companies may be directly affected by commodity prices, especially those energy, natural resources, basic materials and associated companies that own the underlying commodity. Commodity prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in market and economic conditions, the impact of weather on demand, levels of domestic production and imported commodities, energy conservation, domestic and foreign governmental regulation and taxation, the availability of local, intrastate and interstate transportation systems, governmental expropriation and political upheaval and conflicts. Volatility of commodity prices, which may lead to a reduction in production or supply, may also negatively impact the performance of energy, natural resources, basic materials and associated companies that are solely involved in the transportation, processing, storing, distribution or marketing of commodities. Volatility of commodity prices may also make it more difficult for energy, natural resources, basic materials and associated companies to raise capital to the extent the market perceives that their performance may be directly or indirectly tied to commodity prices.
Precious Metals Pricing Risk. The Fund may invest in companies that have a material exposure to precious metals, such as gold, silver and platinum and precious metals related instruments and securities. The price of precious metals can fluctuate widely and is affected by numerous factors beyond the Fund’s control including: global or regional political, economic or financial events and situations; investors’ expectations with respect to the future rates of inflation and movements in world equity, financial and property markets; global supply and demand for specific precious metals, which is influenced by such factors as mine production and net forward selling activities by precious metals producers, central bank purchases and sales, jewelry demand and the supply of recycled jewelry, net investment demand and industrial demand, net of recycling; interest rates and currency exchange rates, particularly the strength of and confidence in the U.S. dollar; and investment and trading activities of hedge funds, commodity funds and other speculators. The Fund does not intend to hold physical precious metals.
Risks of Personal Property Asset Companies
The Fund may invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities issued by Personal Property Asset Companies. Personal (as opposed to real) property includes any tangible, movable property or asset. The Fund will typically seek to invest in Income Securities and Common Equity Securities of Personal Property Asset Companies that are associated with personal property assets with investment performance that is not highly correlated with traditional market indexes, such as special situation transportation assets (e.g., railcars, airplanes and ships) and collectibles (e.g., antiques, wine and fine art).
Special Situation Transportation Assets Risks. The risks of special situation transportation assets include:
Cyclicality of Supply and Demand for Transportation Assets Risk. The transportation asset leasing and sales industry has periodically experienced cycles of oversupply and undersupply of railcars, aircraft and ships. The oversupply of a specific type of transportation asset in the market is likely to depress the values of that type of transportation asset. The supply and demand of transportation assets is affected by various
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cyclical factors that are not under the Fund’s control, including: (i) passenger and cargo demand; (ii) commercial demand for certain types of transportation assets, (iii) fuel costs and general economic conditions affecting lessees’ operations; (iv) government regulation, including operating restrictions; (v) interest rates; (vi) the availability of credit; (vii) manufacturer production level; (viii) retirement and obsolescence of certain classes of transportation assets; (ix) re-introduction into service of transportation assets previously in storage; and (x) traffic control infrastructure constraints.
Risk of Decline in Value of Transportation Assets and Rental Values. In addition to factors linked to the railway, aviation and shipping industries, other factors that may affect the value of transportation assets, and thus of the Personal Property Asset Companies in which the Fund invests, include: (i) manufacturers merging or exiting the industry or ceasing to produce specific types of transportation asset; (ii) the particular maintenance and operating history of the transportation assets; (iii) the number of operators using that type of transportation asset; (iv) whether the railcar, aircraft or ship is subject to a lease; (v) any regulatory and legal requirements that must be satisfied before the transportation asset can be operated, sold or re-leased, (vi) compatibility of parts and layout of the transportation asset among operators of particular asset; and (vii) any renegotiation of a lease on less favorable terms.
Technological Risks. The availability for sale or lease of new, technologically advanced transportation assets and the imposition of stringent noise, emissions or environmental regulations may make certain types of transportation assets less desirable in the marketplace and therefore may adversely affect the owners’ ability to lease or sell such transportation assets. Consequently, the owner will have to lease or sell many of the transportation assets close to the end of their useful economic life. The owners’ ability to manage these technological risks by modifying or selling transportation assets will likely be limited.
Risks Relating to Leases of Transportation Assets. Owner/lessors of transportation assets will typically require lessees of assets to maintain customary and appropriate insurance. There can be no assurance that the lessees’ insurance will cover all types of claims that may be asserted against the owner, which could adversely affect the value of the Fund’s investment in the Personal Property Asset Company owning such transportation asset. Personal Property Asset Companies will be subject to credit risk of the lessees’ ability to the provisions of the lease of the transportation asset. The Personal Property Asset Company will need to release or sell transportation assets as the current leases expire in order to continue to generate revenues. The ability to re-lease or sell transportation assets will depend on general market and competitive conditions. Some of the competitors of the Personal Property Asset Company may have greater access to financial resources and may have greater operational flexibility. If the Personal Property Asset Company is not able to re-lease a transportation asset, it may need to attempt to sell the aircraft to provide funds for its investors, including the Fund.
Collectible Assets Risks. The risks of collectible assets include:
Valuation of Collectible Assets Risk. The market for collectible assets as a financial investment is in the early stages of development. Collectible assets are typically bought and sold through auction houses, and estimates of prices of collectible assets at auction are imprecise. Accordingly, collectible assets are difficult to value.
Liquidity of Collectible Assets Risk. There are relatively few auction houses in comparison to brokers and dealers of traditional financial assets. The ability to sell collectible assets is dependent on the demand for particular classes of collectible assets, which demand has been volatile and erratic in the past. There is no assurance that collectible assets can be sold within a particular timeframe or at the price at which such collectible assets are valued, which may impair the ability of the Fund to realize full value of Personal Property Asset Companies in the event of the need to liquidate such assets.
Authenticity of Collectible Assets Risk. The value of collectible assets often depends on its rarity or scarcity, or of its attribution as the product of a particular artisan. Collectible Assets are subject to forgery and to the inabilities to assess the authenticity of the collectible asset, which may significantly impair the value of the collectible asset.
High Transaction and Related Costs Risk. Collectible assets are typically bought and sold through auction houses, which typically charge commissions to the purchaser and to the seller which may exceed 20% of the sale price of the collectible asset. In addition, holding collectible assets entails storage and insurance costs, which may be substantial.
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Private Securities Risk
The Fund may invest in privately issued Income Securities and Common Equity Securities of both public and private companies. Private Securities have additional risk considerations than investments in comparable public investments. Whenever the Fund invests in companies that do not publicly report financial and other material information, it assumes a greater degree of investment risk and reliance upon the Sub-Adviser’s ability to obtain and evaluate applicable information concerning such companies’ creditworthiness and other investment considerations. Certain Private Securities may be illiquid. Because there is often no readily available trading market for Private Securities, the Fund may not be able to readily dispose of such investments at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell them if they were more widely traded. Private Securities are also more difficult to value. Valuation may require more research, and elements of judgment may play a greater role in the valuation of Private Securities as compared to public securities because there is less reliable objective data available. Private Securities that are debt securities generally are of below-investment grade quality, frequently are unrated and present many of the same risks as investing in below-investment grade public debt securities. Investing in private debt instruments is a highly specialized investment practice that depends more heavily on independent credit analysis than investments in other types of obligations.
Investment Funds Risk
As an alternative to holding investments directly, the Fund may also obtain investment exposure to Income Securities and Common Equity Securities by investing up to 30% of its total assets in Investment Funds. Investments in Investment Funds present certain special considerations and risks not present in making direct investments in Income 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.
On December 19, 2018, the SEC published a proposed rule that, if adopted, would change the regulation of investments in other investment companies. Such regulations could permit closed-end funds to invest in other investment companies in excess of the limits of section 12(d)(1). The Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser cannot predict the effects of these regulations on the Fund’s portfolio. The Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser intend to monitor developments and seeks 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.
Synthetic Investments 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 use 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
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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, certain derivative instruments contain provisions giving the counterparty the right to terminate the contract upon the occurrence of certain events. Such events may include a decline in the value of the reference securities and material violations of the terms of the contract or the portfolio guidelines as well as other events determined by the counterparty. 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.
In the event the Fund seeks to participate in Investment Funds (including Private Investment Funds) through the use of such synthetic derivative instruments, the Fund will not acquire any voting interests or other shareholder rights that would be acquired with a direct investment in the underlying Investment Fund. Accordingly, the Fund will not participate in matters submitted to a vote of the shareholders. In addition, the Fund may not receive all of the information and reports to shareholders that the Fund would receive with a direct investment in such Investment Fund.
Further, the Fund will pay the counterparty to any such customized derivative instrument structuring fees and ongoing transaction fees, which will reduce the investment performance of the Fund. Finally, certain tax aspects of such customized derivative instruments are uncertain and a Common Shareholder’s return could be adversely affected by an adverse tax ruling.
Inflation/Deflation Risk
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 affect 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.
Market Discount Risk
The Fund’s Common Shares have traded both at a premium and at a discount in relation to net asset value. The Fund cannot predict whether the Common Shares will trade in the future at a premium or discount to net asset value. The Fund’s Common Shares have recently traded at a premium to net asset value per share, which may not be sustainable. If the Common Shares are trading at a premium to net asset value at the time you purchase Common Shares, the net asset value per share of the Common Shares purchased will be less than the purchase price paid. Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount from net asset value, but in some cases have traded above net asset value. The risk of the Common Shares trading at a discount is a risk separate from the risk of a decline in the Fund’s net asset value as a result of the Fund’s investment activities. 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 a 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 value of the Common Shares will be determined by factors such as the relative demand for and supply of the shares in the market, general market conditions and other factors outside the Fund’s control, the Fund cannot predict whether the 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
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designed primarily for long-term investors; investors in Common Shares should not view the Fund as a vehicle for trading purposes.
Dilution Risk
The voting power of current Common Shareholders will be diluted to the extent that current Common Shareholders do not purchase Common Shares in any future offerings of Common Shares or do not purchase sufficient Common Shares to maintain their percentage interest. If the Fund is unable to invest the proceeds of such offering as intended, the Fund’s per Common Share distribution may decrease and the Fund may not participate in market advances to the same extent as if such proceeds were fully invested as planned. If the Fund sells Common Shares at a price below net asset value pursuant to the consent of Common Shareholders, shareholders will experience a dilution of the aggregate net asset value per Common Share because the sale price will be less than the Fund’s then-current net asset value per Common Share. Similarly, were the expenses of the offering to exceed the amount by which the sale price exceeded the Fund’s then current net asset value per Common Share, shareholders would experience a dilution of the aggregate net asset value per Common Share. This dilution will be experienced by all shareholders, irrespective of whether they purchase Common Shares in any such offering. See “Description of Capital Structure—Common Shares—Issuance of Additional Common Shares.”
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 leveraging 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 and market price of and dividends on the Common Shares than a comparable portfolio without leverage; the risk that fluctuations in interest rates on Borrowings or in the dividend rate on any Preferred Shares 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.
Because the fees received by the Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser are based on the Managed Assets of the Fund (including the proceeds of any Financial Leverage), the Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser have a financial incentive for the Fund to utilize Financial Leverage, which may create a conflict of interest between the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser on the one hand and the Common Shareholders on the other. Common Shareholders bear the portion of the investment advisory fee attributable to the assets purchased with the proceeds of Financial Leverage, which means that Common Shareholders effectively bear the entire advisory fee. In order to manage this conflict of interest, the Board of Trustees will receive regular reports from the Adviser regarding the Fund’s use of Financial Leverage and the effect of Financial Leverage on the management of the Fund’s portfolio and the performance of the Fund.
Borrowings may subject the Fund to covenants in credit agreements relating to asset coverage and portfolio composition requirements. Borrowings 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 Indebtedness. Such guidelines may impose asset coverage or portfolio composition requirements that are more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act.
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. Dollar roll transactions involve the risk that the market value of the securities the Fund is required to purchase may decline below the agreed upon repurchase price of those securities. Successful use of dollar rolls may depend upon the Adviser’s ability to correctly predict interest rates and prepayments. There is no assurance that dollar rolls can be successfully employed. In connection with reverse
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repurchase agreements and dollar rolls, 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.
The Fund may engage in certain derivatives transactions that have economic characteristics similar to leverage. To the extent the terms of any such transaction obligate the Fund to make payments, the Fund intends to earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities in an amount at least equal to the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transaction or otherwise cover such transaction in accordance with applicable interpretations of the staff of the SEC. To the extent the terms of any such transaction obligate the Fund to deliver particular securities to extinguish the Fund’s obligations under such transactions, the Fund may “cover” its obligations under such transaction by either (i) owning the securities or collateral underlying such transactions or (ii) having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities or collateral without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, having earmarked or segregated cash or liquid securities). Securities so segregated or designated as “cover” will be unavailable for sale by the Adviser (unless replaced by other securities qualifying for segregation or cover requirements), which may adversely affect the ability of the Fund to pursue its investment objective.
Recent economic and market events have contributed to severe market volatility and caused severe liquidity strains in the credit markets. If dislocations in the credit markets continue, the Fund’s leverage costs may increase and there is a risk that the Fund may not be able to renew or replace existing leverage on favorable terms or at all. 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.
The Fund’s total Financial Leverage may vary significantly over time. To the extent the Fund increases its amount of Financial Leverage outstanding, it will be more exposed to these risks.
Derivatives Transactions Risk
Derivatives Transactions Risk In General. In addition to the covered call option strategy described above, the Fund may, but is not required to, utilize other derivatives, including futures contracts and other Strategic Transactions to seek to earn income, facilitate portfolio management and mitigate risks. Participation in derivatives 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 is incorrect about its expectations of market conditions, the use of derivatives could also result in a loss, which in some cases may be unlimited. Risks inherent in the use of derivatives include:
dependence on the Sub-Adviser’s ability to predict correctly movements in the direction of interest rates and securities prices;
imperfect correlation between the price of derivatives and movements in the prices of the securities being hedged;
the fact that skills needed to use these strategies are different from those needed to select portfolio securities;
the possible absence of a liquid secondary market for any particular instrument at any time;
the possible need to defer closing out certain hedged positions to avoid adverse tax consequences;
the possible inability of the Fund to purchase or sell a security at a time that otherwise would be favorable for it to do so, or the possible need for the Fund to sell a security at a disadvantageous time due to a need for the Fund to maintain “cover” or to segregate securities in connection with the hedging techniques; and
the creditworthiness of counterparties.
Futures Transactions Risk. The Fund may invest in futures contracts. Futures and options on futures entail certain risks, including but not limited to the following:
no assurance that futures contracts or options on futures can be offset at favorable prices;
possible reduction of the return of the Fund due to their use for hedging;
possible reduction in value of both the securities hedged and the hedging instrument;

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possible lack of liquidity due to daily limits on price fluctuations;
imperfect correlation between the contracts and the securities being hedged; and
losses from investing in futures transactions that are potentially unlimited and the segregation requirements for such transactions.
Counterparty Risk. Counterparty risk is the risk that a counterparty to a Fund transaction (e.g., prime brokerage or securities lending arrangement or derivatives transaction) will be unable or unwilling to perform its contractual obligation to the Fund. The Fund is exposed to credit risks that the counterparty may be unwilling or unable to make timely payments or otherwise meet its contractual obligations. If the counterparty becomes bankrupt or defaults on (or otherwise becomes unable or unwilling to perform, the risk of which is particularly acute under current conditions) its payment or other obligations to the Fund, the Fund may not receive the full amount that it is entitled to receive or may experience delays in recovering the collateral or other assets held by, or on behalf of, the counterparty.
The Fund bears the risk that counterparties may be adversely affected by legislative or regulatory changes, adverse market conditions (such as the current conditions), increased competition, and/or wide scale credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of the counterparties’ other trading partners or borrowers.
The counterparty risk for cleared derivatives is generally lower than for uncleared OTC derivatives transactions since generally a clearing organization becomes substituted for each counterparty to a cleared derivative contract and, in effect, guarantees the parties’ performance under the contract as each party to a trade looks only to the clearing organization for performance of financial obligations under the derivative contract. However, there can be no assurance that a clearing organization, or its members, will satisfy its obligations to the Fund.
Risks Associated with Options on Securities. 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. There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist when the Fund seeks to close out an option position. The Fund’s ability to terminate OTC options is more limited than with exchange-traded options and may involve the risk that broker-dealers participating in such transactions will not fulfill their obligations. The hours of trading for options may not conform to the hours during which the underlying securities are traded. The Fund’s options transactions will be subject to limitations established by each of the exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities on which such options are traded. To the extent that the Fund writes covered put options, the Fund will bear the risk of loss if the value of the underlying stock declines below the exercise price. If the option is exercised, the Fund could incur a loss if it is required to purchase the stock underlying the put option at a price greater than the market price of the stock at the time of exercise. While the Fund’s potential gain in writing a covered put option is limited to the interest earned on the liquid assets securing the put option plus the premium received from the purchaser of the put option, the Fund risks a loss equal to the entire value of the stock. To the extent that the Fund writes 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 has retained the risk of loss should the price of the underlying security decline. The writer of an option has no control over the time when it may be required to fulfill its obligation as a writer of the option. Once an option writer has received an exercise notice, it cannot effect a closing purchase transaction in order to terminate its obligation under the option and must deliver the underlying security at the exercise price. Thus, the use of options may require the Fund to sell portfolio securities at inopportune times or for prices other than current market values, may limit the amount of appreciation the Fund can realize on an investment or may cause the Fund to hold a security that it might otherwise sell.
Risks Associated with Swaps. 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. If the Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates or currency exchange rates, the investment performance of the Fund may be less favorable than it would have been if these investment techniques were not used. Such 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 such 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
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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. 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.
When the Fund acts as a seller of a credit default swap agreement with respect to a debt security, it is subject to the risk that an adverse credit event may occur with respect to the issuer of the debt security and the Fund may be required to pay the buyer the full notional value of the debt security under the swap net of any amounts owed to the Fund by the buyer under the swap (such as the buyer’s obligation to deliver the debt security to the Fund). As a result, the Fund bears the entire risk of loss due to a decline in value of a referenced debt security on a credit default swap it has sold if there is a credit event with respect to the issuer of the security. If the Fund is a buyer of a credit default swap and no credit event occurs, the Fund may recover nothing if the swap is held through its termination date. However, if a credit event occurs, the Fund generally may elect to receive the full notional value of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity whose value may have significantly decreased.
The swap market has become more standardized in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, some swaps have become relatively liquid. Although the swap market has become liquid, certain types of derivatives products, such as caps, floors and collars may be less liquid than swaps in general.
Certain standardized swaps are subject to mandatory exchange-trading and/or central clearing. Exchange-trading and central clearing are expected to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity, but exchange-trading and central clearing do not make swap transactions risk-free. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and related regulatory developments require the clearing and exchange-trading of certain OTC derivative instruments that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and SEC have defined as “swaps.” Mandatory exchange-trading and clearing are occurring on a phased-in basis based on CFTC approval of contracts for central clearing. Depending on the Fund’s size and other factors, the margin required under the rules of the clearinghouse and by the clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral swap. In addition, regulators have developed rules that require trading and execution of the most liquid swaps on trading facilities. Moving trading to an exchange-type system may increase market transparency and liquidity but may require the Fund to incur increased expenses to access the same types of cleared and uncleared swaps. In addition, the CFTC and other applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in the Fund and its counterparties posting higher margin amounts for uncleared swaps. Recently adopted rules also require centralized reporting of detailed information about many types of cleared and uncleared swaps. Reporting of swap data may result in greater market transparency, but may subject the Fund to additional administrative burdens and the safeguards established to protect trader anonymity may not function as expected. The Sub-Adviser will continue to monitor developments in this area, particularly to the extent regulatory changes affect the ability of the Fund to enter into swap agreements.
Further regulatory developments in the swap market may adversely impact the swap market generally or the Fund’s ability to use swaps.
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 create realized capital losses. See “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.”
U.S. Government Securities Risk
Different types of U.S. government securities have different relative levels of credit risk depending on the nature of the particular government support for that security. U.S. government securities may be supported by: (i) the full faith and credit of the United States government; (ii) the ability of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; (iii) the credit of the issuing agency, instrumentality or government-sponsored entity (“GSE”); (iv) pools of assets (e.g., mortgage-backed securities); or (v) the United States in some other way. The U.S. government and its
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agencies and instrumentalities do not guarantee the market value of their securities, which may fluctuate in value and are subject to investment risks, and certain U.S. government securities may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. The value of U.S. government obligations may be adversely affected by changes in interest rates. It is possible that the issuers of some U.S. government securities will not have the funds to timely meet their payment obligations in the future and there is a risk of default. For certain agency and GSE issued securities, there is no guarantee the U.S. government will support the agency or GSE if it is unable to meet its obligations.
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.
In late November 2019, the SEC published a proposed rulemaking related to the use of derivatives and certain other transactions by registered investment companies that would, if adopted, for the most part rescind the SEC’s asset segregation and coverage rules and guidance.  Instead of complying with current requirements, funds would need to trade derivatives and other transactions that potentially create senior securities (except reverse repurchase agreements) subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit, certain other testing requirements and requirements related to board reporting. These new requirements would apply unless a fund qualified as a “limited derivatives user,” as defined in the SEC’s proposal. Reverse repurchase agreements would be subject to asset coverage requirements, and a fund trading reverse repurchase agreements would need to aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating the fund’s asset coverage ratio. Reverse repurchase agreements would not be included in the calculation of whether a fund is a limited derivatives user, but for funds subject to the VaR testing, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions would be included for purposes of such testing.
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.
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LIBOR Risk
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.
The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets for instruments with terms tied to LIBOR. It could also lead to a reduction in the interest rates on, and the value of, some LIBOR-based investments and reduce the effectiveness of hedges mitigating risk in connection with LIBOR-based investments. Although some LIBOR-based instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate-setting methodology and/or increased costs for certain LIBOR-related instruments or financing transactions, others may not have such provisions and there may be significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies. Additionally, because such provisions may differ across instruments (e.g., hedges versus cash positions hedged), LIBOR’s cessation may give rise to basis risk and render hedges less effective.  As the usefulness of LIBOR as a benchmark could deteriorate during the transition period, these effects and related adverse conditions could occur prior to the end of 2021. There also remains uncertainty and risk regarding the willingness and ability of issuers to include enhanced provisions in new and existing contracts or instruments, notwithstanding significant efforts by the industry to develop robust LIBOR replacement clauses. The effect of any changes to, or discontinuation of, LIBOR on the Fund will vary depending, among other things, on (1) existing fallback or termination provisions in individual contracts and the possible renegotiation of existing contracts and (2) whether, how, and when industry participants develop and adopt new reference rates and fallbacks for both legacy and new products and instruments.  Fund investments may also be tied to other interbank offered rates and currencies, which also will face similar issues.
Certain classes of instruments invested in by the Fund may be more sensitive to LIBOR cessation than others. For example, certain asset classes such as floating rate notes may not contemplate a LIBOR cessation and/or might freeze a last-published or last-used LIBOR rate for all future payment dates upon a discontinuation of LIBOR. Also, for example, syndicated and other business loans tied to LIBOR may not provide a clear roadmap for LIBOR’s replacement, leaving any future adjustments to the determination of a quantum of lenders. Securitizations and other asset-backed transactions may experience disruption as a result of inconsistencies between when collateral assets shift from LIBOR and what rate those assets replace LIBOR with, on the one hand, and when the securitization notes shift from LIBOR and what rate the securitization notes replace LIBOR with.
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.
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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.
The outbreak of COVID-19 is causing materially reduced consumer demand and economic output, disrupting supply chains, resulting in market closures, travel restrictions and quarantines, and adversely impacting local and global economies. As with other serious economic disruptions, governmental authorities and regulators are responding to this crisis with significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including by providing direct capital infusions into companies, introducing new monetary programs and considerably lowering interest rates, which, in some cases resulted in negative interest rates. These actions, including their possible unexpected or sudden reversal or potential ineffectiveness, could further increase volatility in securities and other financial markets, reduce market liquidity, heighten investor uncertainty and adversely affect the value of the Fund’s investments and the performance of the Fund.
Increasing Government and other Public Debt Risk
Government and other public debt, including municipal obligations in which the Fund invests, can be adversely affected by large and sudden changes in local and global economic conditions that result in increased debt levels. Although high levels of government and other public debt do not necessarily indicate or cause economic problems, high levels of debt may create certain systemic risks if sound debt management practices are not implemented. A high debt level may increase market pressures to meet an issuer’s funding needs, which may increase borrowing costs and cause a government or public or municipal entity to issue additional debt, thereby increasing the risk of refinancing. A high debt level also raises concerns that the issuer may be unable or unwilling to repay the principal or interest on its debt, which may adversely impact instruments held by the Fund that rely on such payments. Governmental and quasigovernmental responses to the current economic situation are increasing government and other public debt, which heighten these risks. Unsustainable debt levels can decline the valuation of currencies, and can prevent a government from implementing effective counter-cyclical fiscal policy during economic downturns or can generate or contribute to an economic downturn.
When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Transactions Risk
Securities purchased on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis may expose the Fund to counterparty risk of default as well as the risk that securities may experience fluctuations in value prior to their actual delivery. The Fund generally will not accrue income with respect to a when-issued or delayed delivery security prior to its stated delivery date. Purchasing securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis can involve the additional risk that the price or yield available in the market when the delivery takes place may not be as favorable as that obtained in the transaction itself.
Short Sales Risk
The Fund may make short sales of securities. A short sale is a transaction in which the Fund sells a security it does not own. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash and liquid securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited. The Fund may have to pay a premium to borrow the securities and must pay any dividends or interest payable on the securities until they are replaced, which will be expenses of the Fund.
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Repurchase Agreement Risk
A repurchase agreement exposes the Fund to the risk that the party that sells the security may default on its obligation to repurchase it. The Fund may lose money because it cannot sell the security at the agreed-upon time and price or the security loses value before it can be sold.
The Fund may accept a wide variety of underlying securities as collateral for repurchase agreements entered into by the Fund. Rule 5b-3 under the 1940 Act, stipulates that if a repurchase agreement entered into by a fund is “collateralized fully,” the repurchase agreement is deemed a transaction in the underlying securities and not a separate security issued to the fund by the selling institution. In order for the repurchase agreement to qualify as “collateralized fully,” the collateral must consist solely of cash items, government securities, securities that are rated in the highest rating category by at least two NRSROs (or one NRSRO, if that is the only such NRSRO which has issued a rating on the security) or unrated securities which the Adviser deems to be of comparable quality. However, the Fund may accept collateral in respect of repurchase agreements which do not meet the above criteria, and in such event the repurchase agreement will not be considered “collateralized fully” for purposes of Rule 5b-3. Accepting collateral beyond the criteria of Rule 5b-3 exposes the Fund to two categories of risks. First, because the Fund’s repurchase agreements which are secured by such collateral are not “collateralized fully” under Rule 5b-3, the repurchase agreement is considered a separate security issued by the selling institution to the Fund. Accordingly, in addition to the risks of a default or bankruptcy of the selling institution, the Fund must include repurchase agreements that are not “collateralized fully” under Rule 5b-3 in its calculations of securities issued by the selling institution held by the Fund for purposes of various diversification and concentration requirements applicable to the Fund. In particular, to the extent a selling institution is a “securities related business” for purposes of Section 12(d)(3) of the 1940 Act and Rule 12d3-1 thereunder, the Fund would not be permitted to hold more than 5% of its total assets in securities issued by the selling institution, including repurchase agreements that are not “collateralized fully” under Rule 5b-3. While this limitation (as well as other applicable limitations arising under concentration and diversification requirements) limits the Fund’s exposure to each such selling institution, the Fund will be required to monitor its holdings of such securities and ensure that it complies with the applicable limitations. Second, the collateral underlying a repurchase agreement that is not “collateralized fully” under Rule 5b-3 may not qualify as permitted or appropriate investments for the Fund under the Fund’s investment strategies and limitations. Accordingly, if a selling institution defaults and the Fund takes possession of such collateral, the Fund may need to promptly dispose of such collateral (or other securities held by the Fund, if the Fund exceeds a limitation on a permitted investment by virtue of taking possession of the collateral). In cases of market turmoil (which may be associated with a default or bankruptcy of a selling institution), the Fund may have more difficulty than anticipated in selling such securities and/or in avoiding a loss on the sale of such securities. This risk may be more acute in the case of a selling institution’s insolvency or bankruptcy, which may restrict the Fund’s ability to dispose of collateral received from the selling institution. The Adviser follows various procedures to monitor the liquidity and quality of any collateral received under a repurchase agreement (as well as the credit quality of each selling institution) designed to minimize these risks, but there can be no assurance that the procedures will be successful in doing so.
Securities Lending Risk
The Fund may lend its portfolio securities to banks or dealers which meet the creditworthiness standards established by the Board of Trustees. Securities lending is subject to the risk that loaned securities may not be available to the Fund on a timely basis and the Fund may therefore lose the opportunity to sell the securities at a desirable price. Any loss in the market price of securities loaned by the Fund that occurs during the term of the loan would be borne by the Fund and would adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Also, there may be delays in recovery, or no recovery, of securities loaned or even a loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially while the loan is outstanding.
Risk of Failure to Qualify as a RIC
To qualify for the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment generally accorded to RICs, the Fund must, among other things, derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from certain prescribed sources, meet certain asset diversification tests and distribute for each taxable year at least 90% of its “investment company taxable income” (generally, ordinary income plus the excess, if any, of net short-term capital gain over net long-term capital loss). If for any taxable year the Fund does not qualify as a RIC, all of its taxable income for that year (including its net capital gain) would be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and such distributions would be taxable as ordinary dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits.
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Conflicts of Interest Risk
Guggenheim Partners is a global asset management and investment advisory organization. Guggenheim Partners and its affiliates advise clients in various markets and transactions and purchase, sell, hold and recommend a broad array of investments for their own accounts and the accounts of clients and of their personnel and the relationships and products they sponsor, manage and advise. Accordingly, Guggenheim Partners and its affiliates may have direct and indirect interests in a variety of global markets and the securities of issuers in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. These interests may cause the Fund to be subject to regulatory limits, and in certain circumstances, these various activities may prevent the Fund from participating in an investment decision. As a result, activities and dealings of Guggenheim Partners and its affiliates may affect the Fund in ways that may disadvantage or restrict the Fund or be deemed to benefit Guggenheim Partners and its affiliates. From time to time, conflicts of interest may arise between a portfolio manager’s management of the investments of the Fund on the one hand and the management of other registered investment companies, pooled investment vehicles and other accounts (collectively, “other accounts”) on the other. The other accounts might have similar investment objectives or strategies as the Fund or otherwise hold, purchase, or sell securities that are eligible to be held, purchased or sold by the Fund. In certain circumstances, and subject to its fiduciary obligations under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”) and the requirements of the 1940 Act, the Adviser may have to allocate a limited investment opportunity among its clients. The other accounts might also have different investment objectives or strategies than the Fund. In addition, the Fund may be limited in its ability to invest in, or hold securities of, any companies that the Adviser or its affiliates (or other accounts managed by the Adviser or its affiliates) control, or companies in which the Adviser or its affiliates have interests or with whom they do business. For example, affiliates of the Adviser may act as underwriter, lead agent or administrative agent for loans or otherwise participate in the market for loans. Because of limitations imposed by applicable law, the presence of the Adviser’s affiliates in the markets for loans may restrict the Fund’s ability to acquire some loans or affect the timing or price of such acquisitions. To address these conflicts, the Fund and Guggenheim Partners and its affiliates have established various policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to detect and prevent such conflicts and prevent the Fund from being disadvantaged. For additional information about potential conflicts of interest, and the way in which the Adviser and its affiliates address such conflicts, please see “Management of the Fund—Potential Conflicts of Interest” in the SAI.
Market Disruption and Geopolitical 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 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 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 and the risks associated with financial, economic, health, labor and other global market developments and disruptions.
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The Fund and its service providers are currently impacted by quarantines and similar measures being enacted by governments in response to COVID-19, which are obstructing the regular functioning of business workforces (including requiring employees to work from external locations and their homes). Accordingly, certain risks described above are heightened under current conditions.
Technology Risk
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 NAV; 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.
Anti-Takeover Provisions Risk
The Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust and Bylaws (collectively the “Governing Documents”) include provisions that could limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund or convert the Fund to an open-end fund. These provisions could have the effect of depriving the Common Shareholders of opportunities to sell their Common Shares at a premium over the then-current market price of the Common Shares. See “Anti-Takeover and Other Provisions in the Fund’s Governing Documents.”
MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND
Trustees and Officers
The Board of Trustees is broadly responsible for the management of the Fund, including general supervision of the duties performed by the Investment Adviser. The names and business addresses of the Trustees and officers of the Fund and their principal occupations and other affiliations during the past five years are set forth under “Management of the Fund” in the SAI.
The Investment Adviser
Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guggenheim Partners, acts as the Fund’s Investment Adviser pursuant to an investment advisory agreement between the Fund and the Investment Adviser (the “Advisory Agreement”). The Investment Adviser is a registered investment adviser and acts as investment adviser to a number of closed-end and open-end investment companies. The Investment Adviser is a Delaware limited liability company, with its principal offices located at 227 West Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois 60606.
Guggenheim Partners is a diversified financial services firm with wealth management, capital markets, investment management and proprietary investing businesses, whose clients are a mix of individuals, family offices, endowments, foundation insurance companies and other institutions that have entrusted Guggenheim Partners with
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the supervision of more than $270 billion of assets as of June 30, 2020. Guggenheim Partners is headquartered in Chicago and New York with a global network of offices throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, the Investment Adviser is responsible for the management of the Fund. The Investment Adviser furnishes office facilities and equipment and clerical, bookkeeping and administrative services on behalf of the Fund and oversees the activities of the Fund’s Sub-Adviser. The Investment Adviser provides all services through the medium of any directors, officers or employees of the Investment Adviser or its affiliates as the Investment Adviser deems appropriate in order to fulfill its obligations and pays the compensation of all officers and Trustees of the Fund who are its affiliates.
As compensation for its services, the Fund pays the Investment Adviser a fee, payable monthly in arrears at an annual rate equal to 1.00% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets (from which the Investment Adviser pays the Sub-Adviser’s fee as described under “—The Sub-Adviser” below). “Managed Assets” for purposes of the Advisory and Sub-Advisory Agreements means the total assets of the Fund (other than assets attributable to any investments by the Fund in Affiliated Investment Funds), including the assets attributable to the proceeds from any borrowings or other forms of financial leverage, minus liabilities, other than liabilities related to any financial leverage. “Affiliated Investment Funds” means investment companies, including registered investment companies, private investment funds and/or other pooled investment vehicles, advised or managed by the Fund’s investment Sub-Adviser or any of its affiliates. “Managed Assets” for all other purposes means the total assets of the Fund, including the assets attributable to the proceeds from any borrowings or other forms of Financial Leverage, minus liabilities, other than liabilities related to any Financial Leverage.
A discussion regarding the basis for the most recent approval of the Advisory Agreement by the Board of Trustees is available in the Fund’s annual report to shareholders for the period ending May 31, 2020.
In addition to the fees of the Investment Adviser, the Fund pays all other costs and expenses of its operations, including compensation of its Trustees (other than those affiliated with the Investment Adviser), custodial expenses, transfer agency and dividend disbursing expenses, legal fees, expenses of the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, expenses of repurchasing shares, listing expenses, expenses of preparing, printing and distributing prospectuses, stockholder reports, notices, proxy statements and reports to governmental agencies, and taxes, if any.
The Sub-Adviser
Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guggenheim Partners, acts as the Fund’s Sub-Adviser pursuant to a sub-advisory agreement among the Fund, the Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser (the “Sub-Advisory Agreement”). The Sub-Adviser is a Delaware limited liability company, with its principal offices located at 100 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, California 90401.
Pursuant to the Sub-Advisory Agreement, the Sub-Adviser, under the supervision of the Fund’s Board of Trustees, is responsible for the management of the Fund’s portfolio of securities and provides certain facilities and personnel related to such management. As compensation for the Sub-Adviser’s services, the Investment Adviser pays the Sub-Adviser a fee, payable monthly in arrears at an annual rate equal to 0.50% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets, less 0.50% of the Fund’s average daily assets attributable to any investments by the Fund in Affiliated Investment Funds.
A discussion regarding the basis for the most recent approval of the Sub-Advisory Agreement by the Board of Trustees is available in the Fund’s annual report to shareholders for the period ending May 31, 2020.
Portfolio Management
The Sub-Adviser’s investment process is a collaborative effort between various groups including: (i) economic research, which focus on key economic themes and trends, regional and country-specific analysis, and assessments of event-risk and policy impacts on asset prices, (ii) the Portfolio Construction Group, which utilize proprietary portfolio construction and risk modeling tools to determine allocation of assets among a variety of sectors, (iii) its Sector Specialists, who are responsible for identifying investment opportunities in particular securities within these sectors, including the structuring of certain securities directly with the issuers or with investment banks and dealers involved in the origination of such securities, and (iv) portfolio managers, who determine which securities best fit the Fund based on the Fund’s investment objective and top-down sector allocations.
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The Sub-Adviser’s personnel with responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio are:
B. Scott Minerd, Chairman, Global Chief Investment Officer, Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager of the Sub-Adviser. Mr. Minerd joined Guggenheim Partners (or its affiliate or predecessor) in May 1998. Mr. Minerd leads Guggenheim Partners’ research on global macroeconomics and guides the firm’s investment strategies. Previously, Mr. Minerd was a Managing Director with Credit Suisse First Boston in charge of trading and risk management for the Fixed Income Credit Trading Group. He was responsible for the corporate bond, preferred stock, money markets, U.S. government agency and sovereign debt, derivatives securities, structured debt and interest rate swaps trading business units. Mr. Minerd is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets, helping advise the NY Fed President about financial market developments, risks to the financial system and steps that can be taken to understand and mitigate these risks. He is an advisor to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on long-term investments and is a contributing member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and their Global Agenda Council on the Arctic.
Anne B. Walsh, Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income, Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager of the Sub-Adviser. Ms. Walsh joined Guggenheim Partners (or its affiliate or predecessor) in 2007 is also the head of the Portfolio Construction Group and Portfolio Management. She oversees more than $185 billion in fixed-income investments including Agencies, Credit, Municipals, and Structured Securities. She is responsible for portfolio design, strategy, sector allocation and risk management, as well as conveying Guggenheim Partners’ macroeconomic outlook to Portfolio Managers and fixed income Sector Specialists. Ms. Walsh specializes in liability-driven portfolio management. Prior to joining Guggenheim Partners, she served as Chief Investment Officer at Reinsurance Group of America, and also held roles at Zurich Scudder Investments, Lincoln Investment Management and American Bankers.
 Steven H. Brown, Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager of the Sub-Adviser. Mr. Brown joined Guggenheim Partners (or its affiliate or predecessor) in 2010 and is a Portfolio Manager for Guggenheim Partners’ Active Fixed Income and Total Return mandates. He works with the Chief Investment Officers and other members of the Portfolio Management team to develop and execute portfolio strategy. Additionally, he works closely with the Sector Teams and Portfolio Construction Group. Prior to joining Portfolio Management in 2012, Brown worked in Guggenheim Partners’ Asset Backed Securities group. His responsibilities on that team included trading and evaluating investment opportunities and monitoring credit performance. Prior to joining Guggenheim Partners in 2010, Mr. Brown held roles within structured products at ABN AMRO and Bank of America in Chicago and London. Mr. Brown earned a BS in Finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a member of the CFA Institute.
Adam J. Bloch, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager of the Sub-Adviser. Mr. Bloch joined Guggenheim Partners in 2012 and is a Portfolio Manager for the firm’s Active Fixed Income and Total Return mandates. Mr. Bloch works with the Chief Investment Officers and other Portfolio Managers to develop portfolio strategy that is in line with the firm’s views. He oversees strategy implementation, working with research analysts and traders to generate trade ideas, hedge portfolios, and manage day-to-day risk. Prior to joining Guggenheim Partners, he worked in Leveraged Finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York where he structured high-yield bonds and leveraged loans for leveraged buyouts, restructurings, and corporate refinancings across multiple industries. Mr. Bloch graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.
     The SAI provides additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities of the Fund.
NET ASSET VALUE
The net asset value of the Common Shares is calculated by subtracting the Fund’s total liabilities (including from Borrowings) and the liquidation preference of any outstanding Preferred Shares from total assets (the market value of the securities the Fund holds plus cash and other assets). The per share net asset value is calculated by dividing its net asset value by the number of Common Shares outstanding and rounding the result to the nearest full cent. The Fund generally calculates its net asset value once each day on which there is a regular trading session on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) as of the scheduled close of normal trading on the “NYSE” (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time). The NYSE is open Monday through Friday, except on observation of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. If the NYSE has an earlier closing time
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(scheduled or unscheduled), such as on days in advance of holidays generally observed by the NYSE, the Fund may calculate its net asset value as of the earlier closing time or calculate its net asset value as of the normally scheduled close of regular trading on the NYSE for that day, so long as the Sub-Adviser believes there generally remains an adequate market to obtain reliable and accurate market quotations. The Fund generally does not calculate its net asset value on any day that the NYSE is not open for business. However, if the NYSE is closed for any other reason on a day it would normally be open for business, the Fund may calculate its net asset value as of the normally scheduled close of regular trading on the NYSE for that day, so long as the Sub-Adviser believes there generally remains an adequate market to obtain reliable and accurate market quotations. The Fund discloses its net asset value on a daily basis. Information that becomes known to the Fund or its agent after the Fund’s net asset value has been calculated on a particular day will not be used to retroactively adjust the price of a security or the Fund’s previously determined net asset value.
The Board of Trustees has adopted policies and procedures for the valuation of the Fund’s investments (the “Valuation Procedures”). Pursuant to the Valuation Procedures, the Board has delegated to a valuation committee, consisting of representatives from investment management, fund administration, legal and compliance departments (the “Valuation Committee”), the day-to-day responsibility for implementing the Valuation Procedures, including, under most circumstances, the responsibility for determining the fair value of the Fund’s securities and/or other assets.
In general, portfolio securities and assets of the Fund will be valued on the basis of readily available market quotations at their current market value. With respect to portfolio securities and assets of the Fund for which market quotations are not readily available or are deemed not reliable, the Fund will fair value those securities and assets in good faith using methods approved by the Board of Trustees. The Valuation Procedures permit the Fund to use a variety of valuation methodologies in connection with valuing the Fund’s investments. The methodology used for a specific type of investment may vary based on the market data available or other considerations. As a general matter, valuing securities and assets accurately is difficult and can be based on inputs and assumptions which may not always be correct.
The Fund values equity securities at the last reported sale price on the principal exchange or in the principal OTC market in which such securities are traded or listed, as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE on the day the securities are being valued or, if there are no sales, on the basis of broker quotations. Securities traded primarily on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (“NASDAQ”) National Market System are normally valued by the Fund at the NASDAQ Official Closing Price (“NOCP”) provided by NASDAQ each business day, which may not necessarily represent the last sale price. The NOCP is the most recently reported price as of 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, unless that price is outside the range of the “inside” bid and ask prices (i.e., the bid and ask prices that dealers quote to each other when trading for their own accounts); in that case, NASDAQ will adjust the price to equal the inside bid or ask price, whichever is closer. Because of delays in reporting trades, the NOCP may not be based on the price of the last trade to occur before the market closes.
The Fund values exchange-traded options and other exchange-traded derivative contracts at the mean of the bid and ask prices at the close on the principal exchange on which they are traded. OTC options are valued using a price provided by a pricing service.
The Fund’s securities that are traded primarily in foreign markets may be traded in such markets on days that the NYSE is closed. Generally, trading in foreign securities markets is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of the NYSE. The values of foreign securities are determined as of the close of such foreign markets or the close of the NYSE, if earlier. All investments quoted in foreign currencies are valued in U.S. dollars on the basis of the foreign currency exchange rates prevailing at the close of U.S. business at 4:00 p.m. As a result, the net asset value of the Fund may be significantly affected on days when Common Shareholders have no ability to trade the Common Shares on the NYSE. Investments in foreign securities may involve risks not present in domestic investments. The Valuation Committee will determine the current value of such foreign securities by taking into consideration certain factors which may include those discussed above, as well as the following factors, among others: the value of the securities traded on other foreign markets, ADR trading, closed-end fund trading, foreign currency exchange activity, and the trading prices of financial products that are tied to foreign securities. In addition, under the Valuation Procedures, the Valuation Committee and the Sub-Adviser are authorized to use prices and other information supplied by a third party pricing vendor in valuing foreign securities.
The Fund may utilize independent third party pricing services or bid quotations provided by dealers to value certain of its securities at their market value appointed pursuant to the processes set forth in the Valuation
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Procedures. The Fund typically uses independent third party pricing services to value credit securities, including CLOs and certain other structured finance securities, held by the Fund at their market value. The Fund periodically verifies valuations provided by independent pricing services. The Fund’s officers, through the Valuation Committee and consistent with the monitoring and review responsibilities set forth in the Valuation Procedures, regularly review procedures used and valuations provided by the pricing services. Valuations provided by pricing services are generally based on methods that the Valuation Committee believes are reasonably designed to approximate the amount that the Fund would receive upon the sale of the portfolio security or asset. Pricing services face the same challenges as the Fund in valuing securities and assets and may rely on limited available information. If independent pricing services or dealer quotations are not available for a given security, such security will be valued in accordance with the Valuation Procedures that the Board of Trustees believes are designed to accurately reflect the fair value of securities valued in accordance with such guidelines. For certain credit securities, including CLOs and certain other structured finance securities, fair valuations may include input from the Sub-Adviser utilizing a wide variety of market data including yields or prices of investments of comparable quality, type of issue, coupon, maturity, rating, indications of value from security dealers, evaluations of anticipated cash flows or collateral, spread over U.S. Treasury obligations, and other information and analysis. The Fund may also use third party service providers to model certain securities, including CLOs and certain other structured finance securities, using cash flow models to determine fair market value. While the Fund’s use of fair valuation is intended to result in calculation of net asset value that fairly reflects values of the Fund’s portfolio securities as of the time of pricing, the Fund cannot guarantee that any fair valuation will, in fact, approximate the amount the Fund would actually realize upon the sale of the securities in question.
The Fund may also fair value securities and assets when a significant event is deemed to have occurred after the time of a market quotation including for securities and assets traded on foreign markets and securities and assets for which market quotations are provided by pricing services as of a time that is prior to the time when the Fund determine its net asset value. There can be no assurance in each case that significant events will be identified.
Proportions of the Fund’s investments that are fair valued vary from time to time and the Fund may fair value a significant amount of its portfolio securities and assets. The Fund’s shareholder report contain more information about the Fund’s holdings that are fair valued. Investors should consult these reports for additional information.
Fair value represents a good faith approximation of the value of a security. Fair value determinations may be based on limited inputs and involve the consideration of a number of subjective factors, an analysis of applicable facts and circumstances, and the exercise of judgment. As a result, it is possible that the fair value for a security determined in good faith in accordance with the Fund’s valuation procedures may differ from valuations for the same security determined by other funds using their own valuation procedures. Although the Fund’s valuation procedures are designed to value a portfolio security or asset at the price the Fund may reasonably expect to receive upon its sale in an orderly transaction, there can be no assurance that any fair value determination thereunder would, in fact, approximate the amount that the Fund would receive upon the sale of the portfolio security or asset or the price at which the portfolio security or asset would trade if a reliable market quotation were readily available.
Debt securities with a maturity of greater than 60 days at acquisition are valued at prices that reflect broker-dealer supplied valuations or are obtained from independent pricing services, which may consider the trade activity, treasury spreads, yields or price of bonds of comparable quality, coupon, maturity, and type, as well as prices quoted by dealers who make markets in such securities. Short-term debt securities with remaining maturities of less than 60 days at acquisition may be valued at amortized cost, provided such amount approximates market value.
Investments for which market quotations are not readily available are fair valued as determined in good faith by the Sub-Adviser, subject to review and approval by the Valuation Committee, pursuant to methods established or ratified by the Board. The Valuation Committee convenes regularly to review the valuation of all portfolio securities and assets which have been fair valued for reasonableness. Valuations in accordance with these methods are intended to reflect each security’s (or asset’s or liability’s) “fair value.” Each such determination is based on a consideration of all relevant factors, which are likely to vary from one pricing context to another. Examples of such factors may include, but are not limited to market prices; sale prices; broker quotes; and models which derive prices based on inputs such as prices of securities with comparable maturities and characteristics, or based on inputs such as anticipated cash flows or collateral, spread over U.S. Treasury securities, and other information analysis. The Fund values derivatives transactions in accordance with the Valuation Procedures. In connection with futures contracts and other derivative investments, such factors may include obtaining information
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as to how (a) these contracts and other derivative investments trade in the futures or other derivative markets, respectively, and (b) the securities underlying these contracts and other derivative investments trade in the cash market. Accrued payments to the Fund under such transactions will be assets of the Fund and accrued payments by the Fund will be liabilities of the Fund.
DISTRIBUTIONS
The Fund intends to pay substantially all of its net investment income, if any, to Common Shareholders through monthly distributions. In addition, the Fund intends to distribute any net long-term capital gains to Common Shareholders as long-term capital gain dividends at least annually. The Fund expects that distributions paid on the Common Shares will consist of (i) investment company taxable income taxed as ordinary income, which includes, among other things, ordinary income, short-term capital gain and income from certain hedging and interest rate transactions, (ii) qualified dividend income and (iii) long-term capital gain (gain from the sale of a capital asset held longer than one year). Distributions may be paid by the Fund from any permitted source and, from time to time, all or a portion of a distribution may be a return of capital. To the extent the Fund receives dividends with respect to its investments in Common Equity Securities that consist of qualified dividend income (income from domestic and certain foreign corporations), a portion of the Fund’s distributions to its Common Shareholders may consist of qualified dividend income. Qualified dividend income and long-term capital gains of certain non-corporate U.S. Common Shareholders (including individuals) will be taxable at reduced maximum rates. The Fund cannot assure you, however, as to what percentage of the dividends paid on the Common Shares, if any, will consist of qualified dividend income or long-term capital gains.
Pursuant to the requirements of the 1940 Act, in the event the Fund makes distributions from sources other than income, a notice will accompany each monthly distribution with respect to the estimated source of the distribution made. Such notices will describe the portion, if any, of the monthly dividend which, in the Fund’s good faith judgment, constitutes long-term capital gain, short-term capital gain, investment company taxable income or a return of capital. The actual character of such dividend distributions for U.S. federal income tax purposes, however, will only be determined finally by the Fund at the close of its fiscal year, based on the Fund’s full year performance and its actual net investment company taxable income and net capital gains for the year, which may result in a recharacterization of amounts distributed during such fiscal year from the characterization in the monthly estimates.
The Fund expects that over time it will distribute all of its investment company taxable income. The investment company taxable income of the Fund will consist of all dividend and interest income accrued on portfolio assets, short-term capital gain and income from certain hedging and interest rate transactions, less all expenses of the Fund. Expenses of the Fund will be accrued each day.
To permit the Fund to maintain more stable monthly distributions, the Fund may distribute more or less than the entire amount of the net investment income earned in a particular period. As a result, the distributions paid by the Fund for any particular monthly period may be more or less than the amount of net investment income actually earned by the Fund during the period, and the Fund may have to sell a portion of its investment portfolio to make a distribution at a time when independent investment judgment might not dictate such action. Any undistributed net investment income may be available to supplement future distributions. Undistributed net investment income is included in the Common Shares’ net asset value, and, correspondingly, distributions from net investment income will reduce the Common Shares’ net asset value. In certain circumstances, the Fund may elect to retain income or capital gain and pay income or excise tax on such undistributed amount, to the extent that the Board of Trustees, in consultation with Fund management, determines it to be in the best interest of shareholders to do so.
Alternatively, the distributions paid by the Fund for any particular month may be more than the amount of net investment income from that monthly period. As a result, all or a portion of a distribution may be a return of capital. If the Fund’s total distributions in any year exceed the amount of its investment company taxable income and net capital gain for the year, any such excess would generally be characterized as a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes, to the extent such amounts exceed the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. The amount by which the Fund’s total distributions exceed investment company taxable income and net capital gain would generally be treated as a return of capital up to the amount of the Common Shareholder’s tax basis in their Common Shares, which would reduce such tax basis, with any amounts exceeding such basis treated as a gain from the sale of their Common Shares. Consequently, although a return of capital may not be taxable, it will generally increase the Common Shareholder’s potential gain, or reduce the Common Shareholder’s potential loss, on any subsequent sale or other disposition of Common Shares. A return of capital distribution is in effect a partial return of the amount a Common Shareholder invested in the Fund. Shareholders who periodically receive the
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payment of a distribution consisting of a return of capital may be under the impression that they are receiving net income or profits when they are not. Shareholders should not assume that the source of a distribution from the Fund is net income or profit.
If you hold your Common Shares in your own name or if you hold your Common Shares with a brokerage firm that participates in the Fund’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the “Plan”), unless you elect to receive cash, all dividends and distributions that are declared by the Fund will be automatically reinvested in additional Common Shares of the Fund pursuant to the Plan. If you hold your Common Shares with a brokerage firm that does not participate in the Plan, you will not be able to participate in the Plan and any dividend reinvestment may be effected on different terms than those described above. Consult your financial adviser for more information. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”
DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN
Under the Fund’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan, a shareholder whose Common Shares are registered in his or her own name will have all distributions reinvested automatically by Computershare Trust Company, N.A., which is agent under the Plan (the “Plan Agent”), unless the shareholder elects to receive cash. Distributions with respect to Common Shares registered in the name of a broker-dealer or other nominee (that is, in “street name”) will be reinvested by the broker or nominee in additional Common Shares under the Plan, unless the service is not provided by the broker or nominee or the shareholder elects to receive distributions in cash. Investors who own Common Shares registered in street name should consult their broker-dealers for details regarding reinvestment. All distributions to investors who do not participate in the Plan will be paid by check mailed directly to the record holder by Computershare Inc. as dividend disbursing agent.
Under the Plan, whenever the market price of the Common Shares is equal to or exceeds net asset value at the time Common Shares are valued for purposes of determining the number of Common Shares equivalent to the cash dividend or capital gains distribution, participants in the Plan are issued new Common Shares from the Fund, valued at the greater of (i) the net asset value as most recently determined or (ii) 95% of the then-current market price of the Common Shares. The valuation date is the dividend or distribution payment date or, if that date is not a NYSE trading day, the next preceding trading day. If the net asset value of the Common Shares at the time of valuation exceeds the market price of the Common Shares, the Plan Agent will buy the Common Shares for such Plan in the open market, on the NYSE or elsewhere, for the participants’ accounts, except that the Plan Agent will endeavor to terminate purchases in the open market and cause the Fund to issue Common Shares at the greater of net asset value or 95% of market value if, following the commencement of such purchases, the market value of the Common Shares exceeds net asset value. If the Fund should declare a distribution or capital gains distribution payable only in cash, the Plan Agent will buy the Common Shares for such Plan in the open market, on the NYSE or elsewhere, for the participants’ accounts. There is no charge from the Fund for reinvestment of dividends or distributions in Common Shares pursuant to the Plan; however, all participants will pay a pro rata share of brokerage commissions incurred by the Plan Agent when it makes open-market purchases.
The Plan Agent maintains all shareholder accounts in the Plan and furnishes written confirmations of all transactions in the account, including information needed by shareholders for personal and tax records. Common Shares in the account of each Plan participant will be held by the Plan Agent in noncertificated form in the name of the participant.
In the case of shareholders such as banks, brokers or nominees, which hold Common Shares for others who are the beneficial owners, the Plan Agent will administer the Plan on the basis of the number of Common Shares certified from time to time by the shareholder as representing the total amount registered in the shareholder’s name and held for the account of beneficial owners who participate in the Plan.
The automatic reinvestment of dividends and other distributions will not relieve participants of an income tax that may be payable or required to be withheld on such dividends or distributions.
Experience under the Plan may indicate that changes are desirable. Accordingly, the Fund reserves the right to amend or terminate its Plan as applied to any voluntary cash payments made and any dividend or distribution paid subsequent to written notice of the change sent to the members of such Plan at least 90 days before the record date for such dividend or distribution. The Plan also may be amended or terminated by the Plan Agent on at least 90 days written notice to the participants in such Plan. All correspondence concerning the Plan should be directed to Computershare Trust Company N.A., P.O. Box 30170, College Station, TX 77842-3170, Attention: Shareholder
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Services Department. Participants may also contact Computershare Trust Company, N.A. online at www.computershare.com/investor or by telephone at: (866) 488-3559.
DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STRUCTURE
The following is a brief description of the terms of the Common Shares, Borrowings and Preferred Shares which may be issued by the Fund. This description does not purport to be complete and is qualified by reference to the Fund’s Governing Documents.
Common Shares
The Fund is an unincorporated statutory trust organized under the laws of Delaware pursuant to a Certificate of Trust, dated as of November 13, 2006. Pursuant to the Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust, dated as of November 13, 2006, and as amended through the date hereof, the Fund is authorized to issue an unlimited number of common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.01 per share. Each Common Share, when issued and paid for in accordance with the terms of this offering, will be fully paid and non-assessable, except that the Board of Trustees shall have the power to cause shareholders to pay expenses of the Fund by setting off charges due from shareholders from declared but unpaid dividends or distributions owed the shareholders and/or by reducing the number of Common Shares owned by each respective shareholder. All Common Shares are equal as to dividends, assets and voting privileges and have no conversion, preemptive or other subscription rights. The Fund will send annual and semi-annual reports, including financial statements, to all holders of its shares.
Listing and Symbol. The Fund’s Common Shares are listed on the NYSE under the symbol “GOF.”
Voting Rights. Until any Preferred Shares are issued, holders of the Common Shares will vote as a single class to elect the Fund’s Board of Trustees and on additional matters with respect to which the 1940 Act mandates a vote by the Fund’s shareholders. If Preferred Shares are issued, holders of Preferred Shares will have a right to elect two of the Fund’s Trustees, and will have certain other voting rights. See “Anti-Takeover Provisions in the Fund’s Governing Documents.”
Issuance of Additional Common Shares. The provisions of the 1940 Act generally require that the public offering price (less underwriting commissions and discounts) of common shares sold by a closed-end investment company must equal or exceed the net asset value of such company’s common shares (calculated within 48 hours of the pricing of such offering), unless such sale is made with the consent of a majority of its common shareholders. 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. If such consent is obtained, the Fund may, contemporaneous with and in no event more than one year following the receipt of such consent, sell Common Shares at price below net asset value in accordance with any conditions adopted in connection with the giving of such consent. Additional information regarding any consent of Common Shareholders obtained by the Fund and the applicable conditions imposed on the issuance and sale by the Fund of Common Shares at a price below net asset value will be disclosed in the Prospectus Supplement relating to any such offering of Common Shares at a price below net asset value. Until such consent of Common Shareholders, if any, is obtained, the Fund may not sell Common Shares at a price below net asset value. Because the Fund’s advisory fee and sub-advisory fee are based upon average Managed Assets, the Investment Adviser’s and the Sub-Adviser’s interests in recommending the issuance and sale of Common Shares at a price below net asset value may conflict with the interests of the Fund and its Common Shareholders.
Borrowings
The Fund is permitted, without prior approval of the Common Shareholders, to borrow money. The Fund may issue notes or other evidence of indebtedness (including bank borrowings or commercial paper) and may secure any such Borrowings by mortgaging, pledging or otherwise subjecting the Fund’s assets as security. In connection with such Borrowings, the Fund may be required to maintain minimum average balances with the lender or to pay a commitment or other fee to maintain a line of credit. Any such requirements will increase the cost of borrowing over the stated interest rate.
Limitations. Borrowings by the Fund are subject to certain limitations under the 1940 Act, including the amount of asset coverage required. In addition, agreements related to the Borrowings may also impose certain requirements, which may be more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act. See “Use of Financial Leverage” and “Risks—Financial Leverage Risk.”
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Distribution Preference. The rights of lenders to the Fund to receive interest on, and repayment of, principal of any such Borrowings will be senior to those of the Common Shareholders, and the terms of any such Borrowings may contain provisions which limit certain activities of the Fund, including the payment of dividends to Common Shareholders in certain circumstances.
Voting Rights. The 1940 Act does (in certain circumstances) grant to the lenders to the Fund certain voting rights in the event of default in the payment of interest on, or repayment of, principal. Any Borrowings will likely be ranked senior or equal to all other existing and future borrowings of the Fund.
Preferred Shares
The Fund’s Governing Documents provide that the Board of Trustees may authorize and issue preferred shares with rights as determined by the Board of Trustees, by action of the Board of Trustees without prior approval of the holders of the Common Shares. Common Shareholders have no preemptive right to purchase any preferred shares that might be issued. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may not issue Preferred Shares if, immediately after issuance, the Fund would have asset coverage (as defined in the 1940 Act) of less than 200% (i.e., for every dollar of Preferred Shares outstanding, the Fund is required to have at least two dollars of assets). Any preferred shares issued by the Fund would have special voting rights and a liquidation preference over the Common Shares. If the Fund issues and has preferred shares outstanding, the Common Shareholders will not be entitled to receive any distributions from the Fund unless all accrued dividends on preferred shares have been paid, unless asset coverage (as defined in the 1940 Act) with respect to preferred shares would be at least 200% after giving effect to the distributions and unless certain other requirements imposed by any rating agencies rating the preferred shares have been met. Issuance of preferred shares would constitute financial leverage and would entail special risks to the Common Shareholders. The Fund has no present intention to issue preferred shares.
Capitalization
The following table provides information about the outstanding securities of the Fund as of May 31, 2020:

Title of Class
Amount
Authorized
Amount Held by the
Fund or for its Account
Amount Outstanding
Common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.01 per share
Unlimited
42,426,020
ANTI-TAKEOVER AND OTHER PROVISIONS IN THE FUND’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS
The Fund presently has provisions in its Governing Documents which could have the effect of limiting, in each case, (i) the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund, (ii) the Fund’s freedom to engage in certain transactions or (iii) the ability of the Fund’s Trustees or shareholders to amend the Governing Documents or effectuate changes in the Fund’s management. These provisions of the Governing Documents of the Fund may be regarded as “anti-takeover” provisions. The Board of Trustees is divided into two classes, with the terms of one class expiring at each annual meeting of shareholders. At each annual meeting, one class of Trustees is elected to a two-year term. This provision could delay for up to one year the replacement of a majority of the Board of Trustees. A Trustee may be removed from office by the action of a majority of the remaining Trustees followed by a vote of the holders of at least 75% of the shares then entitled to vote for the election of the respective Trustee.
In addition, the Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust requires the favorable vote of a majority of the Fund’s Board of Trustees followed by the favorable vote of the holders of at least 75% of the outstanding shares of each affected class or series of the Fund, voting separately as a class or series, to approve, adopt or authorize certain transactions with 5% or greater holders of a class or series of shares and their associates, unless the transaction has been approved by at least 80% of the Trustees, in which case “a majority of the outstanding voting securities” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund shall be required. For purposes of these provisions, a 5% or greater holder of a class or series of shares (a “Principal Shareholder”) refers to any person who, whether directly or indirectly and whether alone or together with its affiliates and associates, beneficially owns 5% or more of the outstanding shares of any class or series of shares of beneficial interest of the Fund.
The 5% holder transactions subject to these special approval requirements are:
the merger or consolidation of the Fund or any subsidiary of the Fund with or into any Principal Shareholder;

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the issuance of any securities of the Fund to any Principal Shareholder for cash (other than pursuant of any automatic dividend reinvestment plan);
the sale, lease or exchange of all or any substantial part of the assets of the Fund to any Principal Shareholder, except assets having an aggregate fair market value of less than $1,000,000, aggregating for the purpose of such computation all assets sold, leased or exchanged in any series of similar transactions within a twelve-month period; or
the sale, lease or exchange to the Fund or any subsidiary of the Fund, in exchange for securities of the Fund, of any assets of any Principal Shareholder, except assets having an aggregate fair market value of less than $1,000,000, aggregating for purposes of such computation all assets sold, leased or exchanged in any series of similar transactions within a twelve-month period.
To convert the Fund to an open-end investment company, the Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust requires the favorable vote of a majority of the Board of the Trustees followed by the favorable vote of the holders of at least 75% of the outstanding shares of each affected class or series of shares of the Fund, voting separately as a class or series, unless such amendment has been approved by at least 80% of the Trustees, in which case “a majority of the outstanding voting securities” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund shall be required. The foregoing vote would satisfy a separate requirement in the 1940 Act that any conversion of the Fund to an open-end investment company be approved by the shareholders. If approved in the foregoing manner, conversion of the Fund to an open-end investment company could not occur until 90 days after the shareholders’ meeting at which such conversion was approved and would also require at least 30 days’ prior notice to all shareholders.
To liquidate the Fund, the Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust requires the favorable vote of a majority of the Board of Trustees followed by the favorable vote of the holders of at least 75% of the outstanding shares of each affected class or series of the Fund, voting separately as a class or series, unless such liquidation has been approved by at least 80% of Trustees, in which case “a majority of the outstanding voting securities” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund shall be required.
For the purposes of calculating “a majority of the outstanding voting securities” under the Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust, each class and series of the Fund shall vote together as a single class, except to the extent required by the 1940 Act or the Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust with respect to any class or series of shares. If a separate vote is required, the applicable proportion of shares of the class or series, voting as a separate class or series, also will be required.
The Board of Trustees has determined that provisions with respect to the Board of Trustees and the shareholder voting requirements described above, which voting requirements are greater than the minimum requirements under Delaware law or the 1940 Act, are in the best interest of shareholders generally. Reference should be made to the Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust on file with the SEC for the full text of these provisions. See “Additional Information.”
CLOSED-END FUND STRUCTURE
Closed-end funds differ from open-end management investment companies (commonly referred to as mutual funds) in that closed-end funds generally list their shares for trading on a securities exchange and do not redeem their shares at the option of the shareholder. By comparison, mutual funds issue securities redeemable at net asset value at the option of the shareholder and typically engage in a continuous offering of their shares. Mutual funds are subject to continuous asset in-flows and out-flows that can complicate portfolio management, whereas closed-end funds generally can stay more fully invested in securities consistent with the closed-end fund’s investment objective and policies. In addition, in comparison to open-end funds, closed-end funds have greater flexibility in their ability to make certain types of investments, including investments in illiquid securities.
However, shares of closed-end investment companies listed for trading on a securities exchange frequently trade at a discount from net asset value, but in some cases trade at a premium. The market price may be affected by trading volume of the shares, general market and economic conditions and other factors beyond the control of the closed-end fund. The foregoing factors may result in the market price of the Common Shares being greater than, less than or equal to net asset value.
The Fund reserves the right to merge or reorganize with another fund, liquidate or convert into an open-end fund, in each case subject to applicable approvals by shareholders and the Fund’s Board as required by law and the
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Fund’s governing documents. The Board of Trustees has reviewed the structure of the Fund in light of its investment objective and policies and has determined that the closed-end structure is in the best interests of the shareholders. Investors should assume that it is unlikely that the Board would vote to convert the Fund to an open-end investment company.
REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES; CONVERSION TO OPEN-END FUND
Repurchase of Common Shares
The Board of Trustees will review periodically the trading range and activity of the Fund’s shares with respect to its net asset value and the Board may take certain actions to seek to reduce or eliminate any such discount. Such actions may include open market repurchases or tender offers for the Common Shares at net asset value. There can be no assurance that the Board will decide to undertake any of these actions or that, if undertaken, such actions would result in the Common Shares trading at a price equal to or close to net asset value per Common Share.
Conversion to Open-End Fund
To convert the Fund to an open-end investment company, the Declaration of Trust requires the favorable vote of a majority of the Board of Trustees followed by the favorable vote of the holders of at least 75% of the outstanding shares of each affected class or series of shares of the Fund, voting separately as a class or series, unless such amendment has been approved by at least 80% of the Trustees, in which case “a majority of the outstanding voting securities” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund shall be required. The foregoing vote would satisfy a separate requirement in the 1940 Act that any conversion of the Fund to an open-end investment company be approved by the shareholders. If approved in the foregoing manner, conversion of the Fund to an open-end investment company could not occur until 90 days after the shareholders’ meeting at which such conversion was approved and would also require at least 30 days’ prior notice to all shareholders.
In the event of conversion, the Common Shares would cease to be listed on the NYSE or other national securities exchange or market system. The Board of Trustees believes, however, that the closed-end structure is desirable, given the Fund’s investment objectives and policies. Investors should assume, therefore, that it is unlikely that the Board of Trustees would vote to convert the Fund to an open-end investment company. Shareholders of an open-end investment company may require the company to redeem their shares at any time (except in certain circumstances as authorized by or under the 1940 Act) at their net asset value, less such redemption charge, if any, as might be in effect at the time of a redemption. The Fund would expect to pay all such redemption requests in cash, but intends to reserve the right to pay redemption requests in a combination of cash or securities. If such partial payment in securities were made, investors may incur brokerage costs in converting such securities to cash. If the Fund were converted to an open-end fund, it is likely that new Common Shares would be sold at net asset value plus a sales load.
U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
The following discussion is a brief summary of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations affecting the Fund and the ownership and disposition of the Fund’s Common Shares. A more complete discussion of the tax rules applicable to the Fund and its Common Shareholders can be found in the SAI that is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. Except as otherwise noted, this discussion assumes you are a taxable U.S. person and that you hold your Common Shares as capital assets for U.S. federal income tax purposes (generally, assets held for investments). This discussion is based upon current provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), the regulations promulgated thereunder and judicial and administrative authorities, all of which are subject to change or differing interpretations by the courts or the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”), possibly with retroactive effect. No attempt is made to present a detailed explanation of all U.S. federal tax concerns affecting the Fund and its Common Shareholders (including Common Shareholders subject to special treatment under U.S. federal income tax law). No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a position contrary to any of the tax aspects set forth below.
The discussion set forth herein does not constitute tax advice and potential investors are urged to consult their own tax advisers to determine the specific U.S. federal, state, local and foreign tax consequences to them of investing in the Fund.
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Taxation of the Fund
The Fund has elected and intends to continue to be treated and to qualify annually as a regulated investment company (a “RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Code. Accordingly, the Fund must, among other things, meet certain income, asset diversification and distribution requirements.
(i)
The Fund must derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from the following sources: (a) dividends, interest (including tax-exempt interest), payments with respect to certain securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including gain from options, futures and forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or foreign currencies; and (b) interests in “qualified publicly traded partnerships” (as defined in the Code). Generally, a qualified publicly traded partnership includes a partnership the interests of which are traded on an established securities market or readily tradable on a secondary market (or the substantial equivalent thereof).
(ii)
The Fund must diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of each taxable year (a) at least 50% of the market value of the Fund’s total assets is represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, the securities of other RICs and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect of any one issuer, to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer and (b) not more than 25% of the market value of the Fund’s total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities and the securities of other RICs) of (I) any one issuer, (II) any two or more issuers that the Fund controls and that are determined to be engaged in the same business or similar or related trades or businesses or (III) any one or more “qualified publicly traded partnerships” (as defined in the Code).
(iii)
The Fund must distribute in each taxable year at least 90% of its investment company taxable income (generally, its ordinary income and the excess of any net short-term capital gain over net long-term capital loss).
As long as the Fund qualifies as a RIC, the Fund generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax to the extent that it distributes its investment company taxable income and net realized capital gains. The Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its investment company taxable income each year. The Fund will be subject to income tax at regular corporate rates on any taxable income or gains that it does not distribute to its Common Shareholders.
The Fund will either distribute or retain for reinvestment all or part of its net capital gain (which consists of the excess of its net long-term capital gain over its net short-term capital loss). If any such gain is retained, the Fund will be subject to a corporate income tax on such retained amount. In that event, the Fund expects to designate the retained amount as undistributed capital gain in a notice to its Common Shareholders, each of whom, if subject to U.S. federal income tax on long-term capital gains, (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes as long-term capital gain its share of such undistributed amounts, (ii) will be entitled to credit its proportionate share of the tax paid by the Fund against its U.S. federal income tax liability and to claim refunds to the extent that the credit exceeds such liability and (iii) will increase its basis in its Common Shares by the amount of undistributed capital gain included in such Common Shareholder’s gross income net of the tax deemed paid by the shareholder under clause (ii).
The Code imposes a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the Fund to the extent the Fund does not distribute by the end of any calendar year at least the sum of (i) 98% of its ordinary income (not taking into account any capital gain or loss) for the calendar year and (ii) 98.2% of its capital gain in excess of its capital loss (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for a one-year period generally ending on October 31 of the calendar year. In addition, the minimum amounts that must be distributed in any year to avoid the excise tax will be increased or decreased to reflect any under-distribution or over-distribution, as the case may be, from the previous year. While the Fund intends to distribute any income and capital gain in the manner necessary to minimize imposition of the 4% nondeductible excise tax, there can be no assurance that sufficient amounts of the Fund’s taxable income and capital gain will be distributed to entirely avoid the imposition of the excise tax. In that event, the Fund will be liable for the excise tax only on the amount by which it does not meet the foregoing distribution requirement.
Certain of the Fund’s investment practices are subject to special and complex U.S. federal income tax provisions that may, among other things, (i) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions, (ii) convert lower taxed long-term capital gains or “qualified dividend income” into higher taxed short-
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term capital gains or ordinary income, (iii) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss (the deductibility of which is more limited), (iv) cause the Fund to recognize income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash, (v) adversely affect the time as to when a purchase or sale of stock or securities is deemed to occur, (vi) adversely alter the characterization of certain complex financial transactions and (vii) produce income that will not be “qualified” income for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described above. These U.S. federal income tax provisions could therefore affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to Common Shareholders. The Fund intends to structure and monitor its transactions and may make certain tax elections and may be required to dispose of securities to mitigate the effect of these provisions and prevent disqualification of the Fund as a RIC (which may adversely affect the net after-tax return to the Fund).
If for any taxable year the Fund does not qualify as a RIC, all of its taxable income (including its net capital gain) will be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to Common Shareholders, and such distributions will be taxable to the Common Shareholders as ordinary dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits. Provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met, such dividends, however, would generally be eligible (i) to be treated as qualified dividend income in the case of certain non-corporate U.S. Common Shareholders (including individuals) and (ii) for the dividends-received deduction in the case of U.S. Common Shareholders taxed as corporations. The Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay taxes and make distributions (which could be subject to interest charges) before requalifying for taxation as a RIC.
Taxation of Common Shareholders
Distributions. Distributions paid to you by the Fund from its net capital gain, which is the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss, if any, that the Fund properly reports as capital gains dividends (“capital gain dividends”) are taxable as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long you have held your Common Shares. All other dividends paid to you by the Fund (including dividends from short-term capital gains) from its current or accumulated earnings and profits (“ordinary income dividends”) are generally subject to tax as ordinary income.
In the case of corporate shareholders, properly reported ordinary income dividends paid by the Fund generally will be eligible for the dividends received deduction to the extent that the Fund’s income consists of dividend income from U.S. corporations and certain holding period requirements are satisfied. If you are a non-corporate shareholder (including a shareholder who is an individual), any such ordinary income dividend that you receive from the Fund generally will be eligible for taxation at reduced maximum rates to the extent that (i) the ordinary income dividend is attributable to “qualified dividend income” (i.e., generally dividends paid by U.S. corporations and certain foreign corporations) received by the Fund, (ii) the Fund satisfies certain holding period and other requirements with respect to the stock on which such qualified dividend income was paid and (iii) you satisfy certain holding period and other requirements with respect to your Common Shares. Qualified dividend income eligible for these special rules is not actually treated as capital gains, however, and thus will not be included in the computation of your net capital gain and generally cannot be used to offset any capital losses. In general, you may include as qualified dividend income only that portion of the dividends that may be and are so reported by the Fund as qualified dividend income. Dividend income from passive foreign investment companies and, in general, dividend income from REITs is not eligible for the reduced rate for qualified dividend income and is taxed as ordinary income. There can be no assurance as to what portion of the Fund’s distributions will qualify for favorable treatment as qualified dividend income.
Any distributions you receive that are in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits will be treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of your adjusted tax basis in your Common Shares, and thereafter as capital gain from the sale of Common Shares. The amount of any Fund distribution that is treated as a tax-free return of capital will reduce your adjusted tax basis in your Common Shares, thereby increasing your potential gain or reducing your potential loss on any subsequent sale or other disposition of your Common Shares.
Dividends and other taxable distributions are taxable to you even if they are reinvested in additional Common Shares of the Fund. Dividends and other distributions paid by the Fund are generally treated as received by you at the time the dividend or distribution is made. If, however, the Fund pays you a dividend in January that was declared in the previous October, November or December and you were the Common Shareholder of record on a specified date in one of such months, then such dividend will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as being paid by the Fund and received by you on December 31 of the year in which the dividend was declared.
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The Fund will send you information after the end of each year setting forth the amount and tax status of any distributions paid to you by the Fund.
Sale of Common Shares. The sale or other disposition of Common Shares of the Fund will generally result in capital gain or loss to you and will be long-term capital gain or loss if you have held such Common Shares for more than one year. Any loss upon the sale or other disposition of Common Shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any capital gain dividends received (including amounts credited as an undistributed capital gain) by you with respect to such Common Shares. Any loss you recognize on a sale or other disposition of Common Shares will be disallowed if you acquire other Common Shares (whether through the automatic reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after your sale or exchange of the Common Shares. In such case, your tax basis in the Common Shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.
Current U.S. federal income tax law taxes both long-term and short-term capital gain of corporations at the rates applicable to ordinary income. For non-corporate taxpayers, short-term capital gain is currently taxed at rates applicable to ordinary income while long-term capital gain generally is taxed at reduced maximum rates.
Backup Withholding. The Fund may be required to withhold, for U.S. federal backup withholding tax purposes, a portion of the dividends, distributions and redemption proceeds payable to non-corporate Common Shareholders who fail to provide the Fund (or its agent) with their correct taxpayer identification number (in the case of individuals, generally, their social security number) or to make required certifications, or who are otherwise subject to backup withholding. Backup withholding is not an additional tax and any amount withheld may be refunded or credited against your U.S. federal income tax liability, if any, provided that you furnish the required information to the IRS.
The foregoing is a general and abbreviated summary of the provisions of the Code and the Treasury regulations in effect as they directly govern the taxation of the Fund and its Common Shareholders. These provisions are subject to change by legislative or administrative action, and any such change may be retroactive. A more complete discussion of the tax rules applicable to the Fund and its Common Shareholders can be found in the Statement of Additional Information that is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. Common Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisers regarding specific questions as to U.S. federal, state, local and foreign income or other taxes.
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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
The Fund may sell up to $350,000,000 in aggregate initial offering price of Common Shares from time to time under this Prospectus and any related Prospectus Supplement (1) directly to one or more purchases; (2) through agents; (3) through underwriters; (4) through dealers; or (5) pursuant to the Plan. As of September 10, 2020, the Fund had sold 6,986,379 Common Shares in an at-the-market offering at an aggregate offering price of $126,435,045. As a result, up to $223,564,955 aggregate offering price of Common Shares remained available for subsequent offerings under this Prospectus. Each Prospectus Supplement relating to an offering of Common Shares will state the terms of the offering, including:
the names of any agents, underwriters or dealers;
any sales loads or other items constituting underwriters’ compensation;
any discounts, commissions, or fees allowed or paid to dealers or agents;
the public offering or purchase price of the offered Common Shares and the net proceeds the Fund will receive from the sale; and
any securities exchange on which the offered Common Shares may be listed.
Direct Sales
The Fund may sell Common Shares directly to, and solicit offers from, institutional investors or others who may be deemed to be underwriters as defined in the Securities Act for any resales of the securities. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved. The Fund may use electronic media, including the Internet, to sell offered securities directly. The Fund will describe the terms of any of those sales in a Prospectus Supplement.
By Agents
The Fund may offer Common Shares through agents that the Fund may designate. The Fund will name any agent involved in the offer and sale and describe any commissions payable by the Fund in the Prospectus Supplement. Unless otherwise indicated in the Prospectus Supplement, the agents will be acting on a best efforts basis for the period of their appointment.
By Underwriters
The Fund may offer and sell Common Shares from time to time to one or more underwriters who would purchase the Common Shares as principal for resale to the public, either on a firm commitment or best efforts basis. If the Fund sells Common Shares to underwriters, the Fund will execute an underwriting agreement with them at the time of the sale and will name them in the Prospectus Supplement. In connection with these sales, the underwriters may be deemed to have received compensation from the Fund in the form of underwriting discounts and commissions. The underwriters also may receive commissions from purchasers of Common Shares for whom they may act as agent. Unless otherwise stated in the Prospectus Supplement, the underwriters will not be obligated to purchase the Common Shares unless the conditions set forth in the underwriting agreement are satisfied, and if the underwriters purchase any of the Common Shares, they will be required to purchase all of the offered Common Shares. The underwriters may sell the offered Common Shares to or through dealers, and those dealers may receive discounts, concessions or commissions from the underwriters as well as from the purchasers for whom they may act as agent. Any public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers may be changed from time to time.
If a Prospectus Supplement so indicates, the Fund may grant the underwriters an option to purchase additional Common Shares at the public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions, within 45 days from the date of the Prospectus Supplement, to cover any overallotments.
By Dealers
The Fund may offer and sell Common Shares from time to time to one or more dealers who would purchase the securities as principal. The dealers then may resell the offered Common Shares to the public at fixed or varying prices to be determined by those dealers at the time of resale. The Fund will set forth the names of the dealers and the terms of the transaction in the Prospectus Supplement.
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General Information
Agents, underwriters, or dealers participating in an offering of Common Shares may be deemed to be underwriters, and any discounts and commission received by them and any profit realized by them on resale of the offered Common Shares for whom they act as agent, may be deemed to be underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act.
The Fund may offer to sell securities either at a fixed price or at prices that may vary, at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices related to prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices.
To facilitate an offering of Common Shares in an underwritten transaction and in accordance with industry practice, the underwriters may engage in transactions that stabilize, maintain, or otherwise affect the market price of the Common Shares or any other security. Those transactions may include overallotment, entering stabilizing bids, effecting syndicate covering transactions, and reclaiming selling concessions allowed to an underwriter or a dealer.
An overallotment in connection with an offering creates a short position in the common stock for the underwriter’s own account.
An underwriter may place a stabilizing bid to purchase the Common Shares for the purpose of pegging, fixing, or maintaining the price of the Common Shares.
Underwriters may engage in syndicate covering transactions to cover overallotments or to stabilize the price of the Common Shares by bidding for, and purchasing, the Common Shares or any other securities in the open market in order to reduce a short position created in connection with the offering.
The managing underwriter may impose a penalty bid on a syndicate member to reclaim a selling concession in connection with an offering when the Common Shares originally sold by the syndicate member is purchased in syndicate covering transactions or otherwise.
Any of these activities may stabilize or maintain the market price of the Common Shares above independent market levels. The underwriters are not required to engage in these activities, and may end any of these activities at any time.
Any underwriters to whom the offered Common Shares are sold for offering and sale may make a market in the offered Common Shares, but the underwriters will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market-making at any time without notice. There can be no assurance that there will be a liquid trading market for the offered Common Shares.
Under agreements entered into with the Fund, underwriters and agents may be entitled to indemnification by us against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribution for payments the underwriters or agents may be required to make.
The underwriters, agents, and their affiliates may engage in financial or other business transactions with the Fund in the ordinary course of business.
Pursuant to a requirement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., or FINRA, the maximum compensation to be received by any FINRA member or independent broker-dealer may not be greater than eight percent (8%) of the gross proceeds received by the Fund for the sale of any securities being registered pursuant to SEC Rule 415 under the Securities Act.
The aggregate offering price specified on the cover of this Prospectus relates to the offering of the Common Shares not yet issued as of the date of this Prospectus.
To the extent permitted under the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, the underwriters may from time to time act as a broker or dealer and receive fees in connection with the execution of portfolio transactions on behalf of the Fund after the underwriters have ceased to be underwriters and, subject to certain restrictions, each may act as a broker while it is an underwriter.
A Prospectus and accompanying Prospectus Supplement in electronic form may be made available on the websites maintained by underwriters. The underwriters may agree to allocate a number of Common Shares for sale to their online brokerage account holders. Such allocations of Common Shares for internet distributions will be made on the same basis as other allocations. In addition, Common Shares may be sold by the underwriters to securities dealers who resell Common Shares to online brokerage account holders.
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Dividend Reinvestment Plan
The Fund may issue and sell Common Shares pursuant to the Plan.
CUSTODIAN, ADMINISTRATOR, TRANSFER AGENT AND DIVIDEND DISBURSING AGENT
The Bank of New York Mellon serves as the custodian of the Fund’s assets pursuant to a custody agreement. Under the custody agreement, the custodian holds the Fund’s assets in compliance with the 1940 Act. For its services, the custodian will receive a monthly fee based upon, among other things, the average value of the total assets of the Fund, plus certain charges for securities transactions. The Bank of New York Mellon is located at 101 Barclay Street, New York, New York 10286.
Computershare Inc. serves as the Fund’s dividend disbursing agent, transfer agent and registrar for the Common Shares of the Fund. Computershare Inc. is located at 250 Royall Street, Canton, MA 02021. Computershare Trust Company, N.A. serves as Plan Agent under the Fund’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan.
MUFG Investor Services (US) LLC (formerly Rydex Fund Services, LLC) (“MUFG”), serves as administrator to the Fund. Pursuant to an administration agreement, MUFG is responsible for providing administrative services to the Fund. For the services, the Fund pays MUFG a fee, accrued daily and paid monthly, at the annual rate equal to 0.0275% of the first $200 million in average daily Managed Assets, 0.0200% of the next $300 million in average daily Managed Assets, $0.0150% of the next $500 million in average daily Managed Assets, and 0.0100% of average daily Managed Assets above $1 billion.
MUFG also serves as fund accounting agent to the Fund. Pursuant to a fund accounting agreement, MUFG performs certain accounting services. For the services, the Fund pays MUFG a fee, accrued daily and paid monthly, at the annual rate equal to 0.0300% of the first $200 million in average daily Managed Assets, 0.0150% of the next $300 million in average daily Managed Assets, 0.0100% of the next $500 million in average daily Managed Assets, and 0.0075% of average daily Managed Assets above $1 billion, subject to a minimum fee of $50,000 per year, and reimburses MUFG for certain out-of-pocket expenses.
LEGAL MATTERS
Certain legal matters will be passed on by Dechert LLP as counsel to the Fund in connection with the offering of the Common Shares. If certain legal matters in connection with an offering of Common Shares are passed upon by counsel for the underwriters of such offering, that counsel will be named in the Prospectus Supplement related to that offering.
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
Ernst & Young LLP, 1775 Tysons Blvd, Tysons, Virginia 22102, has been engaged as the Fund’s Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
This Prospectus constitutes part of a Registration Statement filed by the Fund with the SEC under the Securities Act, and the 1940 Act. This Prospectus omits certain of the information contained in the Registration Statement, and reference is hereby made to the Registration Statement and related exhibits for further information with respect to the Fund and the Common Shares offered hereby. Any statements contained herein concerning the provisions of any document are not necessarily complete, and, in each instance, reference is made to the copy of such document filed as an exhibit to the Registration Statement or otherwise filed with the SEC. Each such statement is qualified in its entirety by such reference. The complete Registration Statement may be obtained from the SEC upon payment of the fee prescribed by its rules and regulations or free of charge through the SEC web site (http://www.sec.gov).
PRIVACY PRINCIPLES OF THE FUND
The Fund is committed to maintaining the privacy of its shareholders and to safeguarding their non-public personal information. The following information is provided to help you understand what personal information the Fund collects, how the Fund protects that information and why, in certain cases, the Fund may share information with select other parties.
Generally, the Fund does not receive any non-public personal information relating to its shareholders, although certain non-public personal information of its shareholders may become available to the Fund. The Fund
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does not disclose any non-public personal information about its shareholders or former shareholders to anyone, except as permitted by law or as is necessary in order to service shareholder accounts (for example, to a transfer agent or third party administrator).
The Fund restricts access to non-public personal information about its shareholders to employees of the Fund’s Investment Adviser and its delegates and affiliates with a legitimate business need for the information. The Fund maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards designed to protect the non-public personal information of its shareholders.
INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
As noted above, this Prospectus is part of a Registration Statement that has been filed with the SEC. Pursuant to the final rule and form amendments adopted by the SEC on April 8, 2020 to implement certain provisions of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, the Fund may “incorporate by reference” the information that it files with the SEC, which means that the Fund can disclose important information by referring to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this Prospectus, and later information that the Fund files with the SEC will automatically update and supersede this information.

The Fund incorporates by reference any future filings (including those made after the date of the filing of the Registration Statement of which this Prospectus is a part) it will make with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14, or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or pursuant to Rule 30b2-1 under the 1940 Act until the termination of the offering of the securities covered by this Prospectus. To obtain copies of these filings, see “Additional Information.”

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Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities Fund
__________________________
Statement of Additional Information
Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to maximize total return through a combination of current income and capital appreciation. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will attempt to achieve its investment objective by investing in a wide range of fixed-income and other debt and senior equity securities selected from a variety of sectors and credit qualities, including, but not limited to, corporate bonds, loans and loan participations, structured finance investments, U.S. government and agency securities, mezzanine and preferred securities and convertible securities, and in common stocks, limited liability company interests, trust certificates and other equity investments that the Sub-Adviser believes offer attractive yield and/or capital appreciation potential, including employing a strategy of writing (selling) covered call and put options on such equities. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objective will be achieved.
This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus, but should be read in conjunction with the prospectus for the Fund dated October 2, 2020 (the “Prospectus”), and any related supplement to the Prospectus (each a “Prospectus Supplement”). Investors should obtain and read the Prospectus and any related Prospectus Supplement prior to purchasing Common Shares. A copy of the Prospectus and any related Prospectus Supplement may be obtained without charge, by calling the Fund at (800) 345-7999.
The Prospectus and this SAI omit certain of the information contained in the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Washington, D.C. The registration statement may be obtained from the SEC upon payment of the fee prescribed, or inspected via its website (www.sec.gov) at no charge. Capitalized terms used but not defined herein have the meanings ascribed to them in the prospectus.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

 
Page
The Fund
S-2
Investment Objective and Policies
S-2
Investment Restrictions
S-16
Management of the Fund
S-17
Portfolio Transactions
S-37
U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations
S-38
General Information
S-44
Financial Statements
S-45
Appendix A Description of Securities Ratings
A-1
Appendix B Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC Proxy Voting Policy and Procedures
B-1


Statement of Additional Information dated October 2, 2020.
S-1



THE FUND
The Fund is a diversified, closed-end management investment company organized under the laws of the State of Delaware. The Fund’s currently outstanding common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.01 (the “Common Shares”), are, and the Common Shares offered in the Prospectus will be, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”), under the symbol “GOF.” Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as the Fund’s investment adviser and is responsible for the management of the Fund. Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) serves as the Trust’s investment Sub-Adviser and is responsible for the management of the Fund’s portfolio of securities. The Investment Adviser and the Sub-Adviser are referred to herein collectively as the “Adviser.”
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND POLICIES
Additional Investment Policies
The following information supplements the discussion of the Fund’s investment objective, policies and techniques that are described in the Prospectus. The Fund may make the following investments, among others, some of which are part of its principal investment strategies and some of which are not. The principal risks of the Fund’s principal investment strategies are discussed in the Prospectus. The Fund may not buy all of the types of securities or use all of the investment techniques that are described.
Mortgage-Related Securities. Mortgage-related securities include structured debt obligations collateralized by pools of commercial or residential mortgages. Pools of mortgage loans and mortgage-related loans such as mezzanine loans are assembled as securities for sale to investors by various governmental, government-related and private organizations. Mortgage-related securities include complex instruments such as collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”), stripped mortgage-backed securities, mortgage pass-through securities, interests in real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”), real estate investment trusts (“REITs”), including debt and preferred stock issued by REITs, as well as other real estate-related securities. The mortgage-related securities in which the Fund may invest include those with fixed, floating or variable interest rates, those with interest rates that change based on multiples of changes in a specified index of interest rates and those with interest rates that change inversely to changes in interest rates, as well as those that do not bear interest. The Fund may invest in residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) and commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”), including residual interests, issued by governmental entities and private issuers, including subordinated mortgage-related securities. The Fund may invest in sub-prime mortgages or mortgage-related securities that are backed by sub-prime mortgages. Certain mortgage-related securities that the Fund may invest in are described below.
Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. RMBS are securities the payments on which depend (except for rights or other assets designed to assure the servicing or timely distribution of proceeds to holders of such securities) primarily on the cash flow from residential mortgage loans made to borrowers that are secured (on a first priority basis or second priority basis, subject to permitted liens, easements and other encumbrances) by residential real estate (one- to four-family properties) the proceeds of which are used to purchase real estate and purchase or construct dwellings thereon (or to refinance indebtedness previously so used). Residential mortgage loans are obligations of the borrowers thereunder only and are not typically insured or guaranteed by any other person or entity. The ability of a borrower to repay a loan secured by residential property is dependent upon the income or assets of the borrower. A number of factors, including a general economic downturn, acts of God, terrorism, social unrest and civil disturbances, may impair borrowers’ abilities to repay their loans.
Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities. CMBS generally are multi-class debt or pass-through certificates secured or backed by mortgage loans on commercial properties. CMBS generally are structured to provide protection to the senior class investors against potential losses on the underlying mortgage loans. This protection generally is provided by having the holders of subordinated classes of securities (“Subordinated CMBS”) take the first loss if there are defaults on the underlying commercial mortgage loans. Other protection, which may benefit all of the classes or particular classes, may include issuer guarantees, reserve funds, additional Subordinated CMBS, cross-collateralization and over-collateralization.
The Fund may invest in Subordinated CMBS issued or sponsored by commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, mortgage bankers, private mortgage insurance companies and other non-governmental issuers. Subordinated CMBS have no governmental guarantee and are subordinated in some manner as to the payment of principal and/or interest to the holders of more senior mortgage-related securities arising out of the same pool of
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mortgages. The holders of Subordinated CMBS typically are compensated with a higher stated yield than are the holders of more senior mortgage-related securities. On the other hand, Subordinated CMBS typically subject the holder to greater risk than senior CMBS and tend to be rated in a lower rating category, and frequently a substantially lower rating category, than the senior CMBS issued in respect of the same mortgage pool. Subordinated CMBS generally are likely to be more sensitive to changes in prepayment and interest rates and the market for such securities may be less liquid than is the case for traditional income securities and senior mortgage-related securities.
Government Agency Securities. Mortgage-related securities issued by the Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”) include GNMA Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates (also known as “Ginnie Maes”) which are guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by GNMA and such guarantee is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. GNMA is a wholly owned U.S. Government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. GNMA certificates also are supported by the authority of GNMA to borrow funds from the U.S. Treasury to make payments under its guarantee.
Government-Related Securities. Mortgage-related securities issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”) include FNMA Guaranteed Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates (also known as “Fannie Maes”) which are solely the obligations of FNMA and are not backed by or entitled to the full faith and credit of the United States. FNMA is a privately owned government-sponsored organization. Fannie Maes are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by FNMA. Mortgage-related securities issued by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”) include FHLMC Mortgage Participation Certificates (also known as “Freddie Macs” or “PCs”). FHLMC is a corporate instrumentality of the United States created pursuant to the Emergency Home Finance Act of 1970, as amended. Freddie Macs are not guaranteed by the United States or by any Federal Home Loan Bank and do not constitute a debt or obligation of the United States or of any Federal Home Loan Bank. Freddie Macs entitle the holder to timely payment of interest, which is guaranteed by FHLMC. FHLMC guarantees either ultimate collection or timely payment of all principal payments on the underlying mortgage loans. When FHLMC does not guarantee timely payment of principal, FHLMC may remit the amount due on account of its guarantee of ultimate payment of principal at any time after default on an underlying mortgage, but in no event later than one year after it becomes payable. On September 7, 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”), an independent regulatory agency, placed FNMA and FHLMC into conservatorship, a statutory process designed to stabilize a troubled institution with the objective of returning the entity to normal business operations. At the same time, the U.S. Treasury agreed to acquire $1 billion of senior preferred stock of each instrumentality and obtained warrants for the purchase of common stock of each instrumentality. Under these Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements (“SPAs”), the U.S. Treasury has pledged to provide up to $100 billion per instrumentality as needed, including the contribution of cash capital to the instrumentalities in the event their liabilities exceed their assets. In May 2009, the U.S. Treasury increased its maximum commitment to each instrumentality under the SPAs to $200 billion per instrumentality. In December 2009, the U.S. Treasury further amended the SPAs to allow the cap on the U.S. Treasury’s funding commitment to increase as necessary to accommodate any cumulative reduction in Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s net worth through the end of 2012. At the start of 2013, the unlimited support the U.S. Treasury extended to the two companies expired-Fannie Mae’s bailout is capped at $125 billion and Freddie Mac has a limit of $149 billion. On August 17, 2012, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was again amending the Agreement to terminate the requirement that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each pay a 10% dividend annually on all amounts received under the funding commitment. Instead, they will transfer to the U.S. Treasury on a quarterly basis all profits earned during a quarter that exceed a capital reserve amount of $3 billion.
Also in December 2009, the U.S. Treasury amended the SPAs to provide Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with some additional flexibility to meet the requirement to reduce their mortgage portfolios. The actions of the U.S. Treasury are intended to ensure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac maintain a positive net worth and meet their financial obligations, preventing mandatory triggering of receivership. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Treasury initiatives will be successful. Other U.S. government securities the Fund may invest in include (but are not limited to) securities issued or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, Farmers Home Loan Administration, Export-Import Bank of the U.S., Small Business Administration, General Services Administration, Central Bank for Cooperatives, Federal Farm Credit Banks, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, Federal Land Banks, Maritime Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority, District of Columbia Armory Board and Student Loan Marketing Association. Because the U.S. government is not obligated by law to provide support to an instrumentality it sponsors, the Fund will invest in obligations issued by such an instrumentality only if the
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Investment Adviser determines that the credit risk with respect to the instrumentality does not make its securities unsuitable for investment by the Fund.
No assurance can be given as to whether the U.S. government will continue to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In addition, the future for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remains uncertain. Congress has recently considered proposals to reduce the U.S. government’s role in the mortgage market of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including proposals as to whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be nationalized, privatized, restructured or eliminated altogether. Should the federal government adopt any such proposal, the value of the Fund’s investments in securities issued by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would be impacted. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also the subject of continuing legal actions and investigations which may have an adverse effect on these entities.
Under the direction of the FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac developed a common securitization platform that in June 2019 began issuing a uniform mortgage-backed security (“UMBS”) (the “Single Security Initiative”) that aligned the characteristics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac certificates. UMBS are eligible for delivery into the TBA market. The effects that the Single Security Initiative may have on the market for mortgage-backed securities are uncertain.
The FHFA has announced plans to consider taking Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship.  Should Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be taken out of conservatorship, it is unclear whether the U.S. Treasury would continue to enforce its rights or perform its obligations under the SPAs.  It also unclear how the capital structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be constructed post-conservatorship, and what effects, if any, the privatization of the enterprises will have on their creditworthiness and guarantees of certain MBS.  Accordingly, should the FHFA take the enterprises out of conservatorship, there could be an adverse impact on the value of their securities.
Private Entity Securities. These mortgage-related securities are issued by commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, mortgage bankers, private mortgage insurance companies and other non-governmental issuers. Timely payment of principal and interest on mortgage-related securities backed by pools created by nongovernmental issuers often is supported partially by various forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance. The insurance and guarantees are issued by government entities, private insurers and the mortgage poolers. There can be no assurance that the private insurers or mortgage poolers can meet their obligations under the policies, so that if the issuers default on their obligations the holders of the security could sustain a loss. No insurance or guarantee covers the Fund or the price of the Fund’s shares. Mortgage-related securities issued by non-governmental issuers generally offer a higher rate of interest than government-agency and government-related securities because there are no direct or indirect government guarantees of payment.
Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. A CMO is a multi-class bond backed by a pool of mortgage pass-through certificates or mortgage loans. CMOs may be collateralized by (a) Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac pass-through certificates, (b) unsecuritized mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, (c) unsecuritized conventional mortgages, (d) other mortgage-related securities or (e) any combination thereof. Each class of CMOs, often referred to as a “tranche,” is issued at a specific coupon rate and has a stated maturity or final distribution date. Principal prepayments on collateral underlying a CMO may cause it to be retired substantially earlier than the stated maturities or final distribution dates. The principal and interest on the underlying mortgages may be allocated among the several classes of a series of a CMO in many ways. One or more tranches of a CMO may have coupon rates which reset periodically at a specified increment over an index, such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”)  or a replacement rate (or sometimes more than one index). These floating rate CMOs typically are issued with lifetime caps on the coupon rate thereon. The Fund also may invest in inverse floating rate CMOs. Inverse floating rate CMOs constitute a tranche of a CMO with a coupon rate that moves in the reverse direction to an applicable index such as LIBOR. Accordingly, the coupon rate thereon will increase as interest rates decrease. Inverse floating rate CMOs are typically more volatile than fixed or floating rate tranches of CMOs. Many inverse floating rate CMOs have coupons that move inversely to a multiple of the applicable indexes. The effect of the coupon varying inversely to a multiple of an applicable index creates a leverage factor. Inverse floaters based on multiples of a stated index are designed to be highly sensitive to changes in interest rates and can subject the holders thereof to extreme reductions of yield and loss of principal. The markets for inverse floating rate CMOs with highly leveraged characteristics at times may be very thin. The Fund’s ability to dispose of its positions in such securities will depend on the degree of liquidity in the markets for such securities. It is impossible to predict the amount of trading interest that may exist in such securities, and therefore the future degree of liquidity.
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Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. Stripped mortgage-backed securities are created by segregating the cash flows from underlying mortgage loans or mortgage securities to create two or more new securities, each with a specified percentage of the underlying security’s principal or interest payments. Mortgage securities may be partially stripped so that each investor class receives some interest and some principal. When securities are completely stripped, however, all of the interest is distributed to holders of one type of security, known as an interest-only security (“IO”), and all of the principal is distributed to holders of another type of security known as a principal-only security (“PO”). Strips can be created in a pass-through structure or as tranches of a CMO. The yields to maturity on IOs and POs are very sensitive to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the related underlying mortgage assets. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund may not fully recoup its initial investment in IOs. Conversely, if the underlying mortgage assets experience less than anticipated prepayments of principal, the yield on POs could be materially and adversely affected.
Sub-Prime Mortgages. Sub-prime mortgages are mortgages rated below “A” by S&P, Moody’s or Fitch. Historically, sub-prime mortgage loans have been made to borrowers with blemished (or non-existent) credit records, and the borrower is charged a higher interest rate to compensate for the greater risk of delinquency and the higher costs of loan servicing and collection. Sub-prime mortgages are subject to both state and federal anti-predatory lending statutes that carry potential liability to secondary market purchasers such as the Fund. Sub-prime mortgages have certain characteristics and associated risks similar to below investment grade securities, including a higher degree of credit risk, and certain characteristics and associated risks similar to mortgage-backed securities, including prepayment risk.
Mortgage REITs. Mortgage REITs are pooled investment vehicles that invest the majority of their assets in real property mortgages and which generally derive income primarily from interest payments thereon. Mortgage REITs are generally not taxed on income timely distributed to shareholders, provided they comply with the applicable requirements of the Code. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management and other expenses paid by mortgage REITs in which it invests. Investing in mortgage REITs involves certain risks related to investing in real property mortgages. Mortgage REITs are subject to interest rate risk and the risk of default on payment obligations by borrowers. Mortgage REITs whose underlying assets are mortgages on real properties used by a particular industry or concentrated in a particular geographic region are subject to risks associated with such industry or region. Real property mortgages may be relatively illiquid, limiting the ability of mortgage REITs to vary their portfolios promptly in response to changes in economic or other conditions. Mortgage REITs may have limited financial resources, their securities may trade infrequently and in limited volume, and they may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than securities of larger or more broadly based companies.
Other Mortgage-Related Securities. Other mortgage-related securities include securities other than those described above that directly or indirectly represent a participation in, or are secured by and payable from, mortgage loans on real property, including CMO residuals. Other mortgage-related securities may be equity or debt securities issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, homebuilders, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks, partnerships, trusts and special purpose entities of the foregoing.
Loans. The Fund may invest a portion of its assets in loans directly, loan participations and other direct claims against a borrower. The Sub-Adviser believes corporate loans to be high-yield debt instruments if the issuer has outstanding debt securities rated below-investment grade or has no rated securities. The corporate loans in which the Fund invests primarily consist of direct obligations of a borrower and may include debtor in possession financings pursuant to Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, obligations of a borrower issued in connection with a restructuring pursuant to Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, leveraged buy-out loans, leveraged recapitalization loans, receivables purchase facilities, and privately placed notes. The Fund may invest in a corporate loan at origination as a co-lender or by acquiring in the secondary market participations in, assignments of or novations of a corporate loan. By purchasing a participation, the Fund acquires some or all of the interest of a bank or other lending institution in a loan to a corporate or government borrower. The participations typically will result in the Fund having a contractual relationship only with the lender, not the borrower. The Fund will have the right to receive payments of principal, interest and any fees to which it is entitled only from the lender selling the participation and only upon receipt by the lender of the payments from the borrower. Many such loans are secured, although some may be unsecured. Such loans may be in default at the time of purchase. Loans that are fully secured offer the Fund more protection than an unsecured loan in the event of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal. However, there is no assurance that the liquidation of collateral from a secured loan would satisfy the corporate borrower’s obligation, or that the collateral can be liquidated. Direct debt instruments may involve a risk
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of loss in case of default or insolvency of the borrower and may offer less legal protection to the Fund in the event of fraud or misrepresentation. In addition, loan participations involve a risk of insolvency of the lending bank or other financial intermediary. The markets in loans are not regulated by federal securities laws or the SEC. As in the case of other high-yield investments, such corporate loans may be rated in the lower rating categories of the established rating services (such as “Ba” or lower by Moody’s or “BB” or lower by S&P), or may be unrated investments determined to be of comparable quality by the Sub-Adviser. As in the case of other high-yield investments, such corporate loans can be expected to provide higher yields than lower yielding, higher rated fixed-income securities, but may be subject to greater risk of loss of principal and income. There are, however, some significant differences between corporate loans and high-yield bonds. Corporate loan obligations are frequently secured by pledges of liens and security interests in the assets of the borrower, and the holders of corporate loans are frequently the beneficiaries of debt service subordination provisions imposed on the borrower’s bondholders. These arrangements are designed to give corporate loan investors preferential treatment over high-yield investors in the event of deterioration in the credit quality of the issuer. Even when these arrangements exist, however, there can be no assurance that the borrowers of the corporate loans will repay principal and/or pay interest in full. Corporate loans generally bear interest at rates set at a margin above a generally recognized base lending rate that may fluctuate on a day-to-day basis, in the case of the prime rate of a U.S. bank, or which may be adjusted on set dates, typically 30 days but generally not more than one year, in the case of the LIBOR. Consequently, the value of corporate loans held by the Fund may be expected to fluctuate significantly less than the value of other fixed rate high-yield instruments as a result of changes in the interest rate environment; however, the secondary dealer market for certain corporate loans may not be as well developed as the secondary dealer market for high-yield bonds and, therefore, presents increased market risk relating to liquidity and pricing concerns.
Mezzanine Investments. The Fund may invest in certain lower grade securities known as “Mezzanine Investments,” which are subordinated debt securities that are generally issued in private placements in connection with an equity security (e.g., with attached warrants) or may be convertible into equity securities. Mezzanine Investments may be issued with or without registration rights. Similar to other lower grade securities, maturities of Mezzanine Investments are typically seven to ten years, but the expected average life is significantly shorter at three to five years. Mezzanine Investments are usually unsecured and subordinated to other obligations of the issuer.
In connection with its purchase of Mezzanine Investments, the Fund may participate in rights offerings and may purchase warrants, which are privileges issued by corporations enabling the owners to subscribe and purchase a specified number of shares of the corporation at a specified price during a specified period of time. Subscription rights normally have a short life span to expiration. The purchase of rights or warrants involves the risk that the Fund could lose the purchase value of a right or warrant if the right to subscribe to additional shares is not exercised prior to the rights’ and warrants’ expiration. Also, the purchase of rights and/or warrants involves the risk that the effective price paid for the right and/or warrant added to the subscription price of the related security may exceed the value of the subscribed security’s market price such as when there is no movement in the level of the underlying security.
Short Sales. The Fund is authorized to make short sales of securities. A short sale is a transaction in which the Fund sells a security it does not own in anticipation that the market price of that security will decline. To the extent the Fund engages in short sales, the Fund will not make a short sale, if, after giving effect to such sale, the market value of all securities sold short exceeds 25% of the value of its total assets. Also, the market value of the securities sold short of any one issuer will not exceed either 10% of the Fund’s total assets or 5% of such issuer’s voting securities. The Fund may also make short sales “against the box” without respect to such limitations. In this type of short sale, at the time of the sale, the Fund owns, or has the immediate and unconditional right to acquire at no additional cost, the identical security. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash and liquid securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited.
In the view of the SEC, a short sale involves the creation of a “senior security” as such term is defined in the 1940 Act unless the sale is “against the box” and the securities sold short (or securities convertible into or exchangeable for such securities) are segregated or unless the Fund’s obligation to deliver the securities sold short is “covered” by earmarking or segregating cash, U.S. government securities or other liquid assets in an amount equal to the difference between the market value of the securities sold short and any collateral required to be deposited
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with a broker in connection with the sale (not including the proceeds from the short sale), which difference is adjusted daily for changes in the value of the securities sold short. The total value of the short sale proceeds, cash, U.S. government securities or other liquid assets deposited with the broker and earmarked or segregated on its books or with the Fund’s custodian may not at any time be less than the market value of the securities sold short. The Fund will comply with these requirements.
Securities Subject To Reorganization. The Fund may invest in securities of companies for which a tender or exchange offer has been made or announced and in securities of companies for which a merger, consolidation, liquidation or reorganization proposal has been announced if, in the judgment of the Investment Adviser, there is a reasonable prospect of high total return significantly greater than the brokerage and other transaction expenses involved. In general, securities which are the subject of such an offer or proposal sell at a premium to their historic market price immediately prior to the announcement of the offer or may also discount what the stated or appraised value of the security would be if the contemplated transaction were approved or consummated. Such investments may be advantageous when the discount significantly overstates the risk of the contingencies involved; significantly undervalues the securities, assets or cash to be received by shareholders of the prospective portfolio company as a result of the contemplated transaction; or fails adequately to recognize the possibility that the offer or proposal may be replaced or superseded by an offer or proposal of greater value. The evaluation of such contingencies requires unusually broad knowledge and experience on the part of the Sub-Adviser which must appraise not only the value of the issuer and its component businesses as well as the assets or securities to be received as a result of the contemplated transaction but also the financial resources and business motivation of the offer and/or the dynamics and business climate when the offer or proposal is in process. Since such investments are ordinarily short-term in nature, they will tend to increase the turnover ratio of the Fund, thereby increasing its brokerage and other transaction expenses. The Sub-Adviser intends to select investments of the type described which, in its view, have a reasonable prospect of capital appreciation which is significant in relation to both the risk involved and the potential of available alternative investments.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies. The Fund may invest in stock, warrants, and other securities of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) or similar special purpose entities. A SPAC is a publicly traded company that raises investment capital for the purpose of acquiring an existing company. Until an acquisition is completed, a SPAC generally invests its assets in U.S. government securities, money market securities and cash. If an acquisition that meets the requirements of the SPAC is not completed within a pre-established period of time, the funds invested in the SPAC are returned to its shareholders. Because SPACs and similar entities do not have an operating history or ongoing business other than seeking acquisitions, the value of their securities is particularly dependent on the ability of the SPAC’s management to identify and complete a profitable acquisition. Some SPACs pursue acquisitions only within certain industries or regions, which can increase the volatility of their prices. Interests in SPACs are typically traded in the OTC market and may be illiquid and/or be subject to restrictions on resale.
Warrants and Rights. The Fund may invest in warrants or rights (including those acquired in units or attached to other securities) that entitle the holder to buy equity securities at a specific price for a specific period of time but will do so only if such equity securities are deemed appropriate by the Sub-Adviser for inclusion in the Fund’s portfolio.
Derivative Instruments
Swaps. Swap contracts may be purchased or sold to obtain investment exposure and/or to hedge against fluctuations in securities prices, currencies, interest rates or market conditions, to change the duration of the overall portfolio or to mitigate default risk. In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) on different currencies, securities, baskets of currencies or securities, indices or other instruments, which returns are calculated with respect to a “notional value,” (i.e., the designated reference amount of exposure to the underlying instruments). The Fund intends to enter into swaps primarily on a net basis (i.e., the two payment streams are netted out), with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. The Fund may use swaps for risk management purposes and as a speculative investment.
The net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s swap obligations over its entitlements will be maintained in a segregated account by the Fund’s custodian. The Sub-Adviser generally requires counterparties to have a minimum credit rating of A from Moody’s Investors Service (or comparable rating from another rating agency) and monitors such rating on an on-going basis. If the other party to a swap contract defaults, the Fund’s risk of loss will consist of the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive. Under such
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circumstances, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction. The Fund may enter in to cleared and exchange-traded swaps (where applicable) and bilaterally-traded, OTC swaps.
Interest rate swaps. Interest rate swaps involve the exchange by the Fund with another party of respective commitments to pay or receive interest (e.g., an exchange of fixed rate payments for floating rate payments).
Total return swaps. Total return swaps are contracts in which one party agrees to make payments of the total return from the designated underlying asset(s), which may include securities, baskets of securities, or securities indices, during the specified period, in return for receiving payments equal to a fixed or floating rate of interest or the total return from the other designated underlying asset(s).
Currency swaps. Currency swaps involve the exchange of the two parties’ respective commitments to pay or receive fluctuations with respect to a notional amount of two different currencies (e.g., an exchange of payments with respect to fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the Japanese yen).
Credit default swaps. The Fund may be either the buyer or seller in a credit default swap transaction. The “buyer” in a credit default contract is obligated to pay the “seller” a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no specified credit event with respect to a reference issuer has occurred. When the Fund acts as a seller of a credit default swap agreement with respect to a debt security, it is subject to the risk that an adverse credit event may occur with respect to the issuer of the debt security and the Fund may be required to pay the buyer the full notional value of the debt security under the swap net of any amounts owed to the Fund by the buyer under the swap (such as the buyer’s obligation to deliver the debt security to the Fund). As a result, the Fund bears the entire risk of loss due to a decline in value of a referenced debt security on a credit default swap it has sold if there is a credit event with respect to the issuer of the security. If the Fund is a buyer of a credit default swap and no credit event occurs, the Fund may recover nothing if the swap is held through its termination date. However, if a credit event occurs, the buyer generally may elect to receive the full notional value of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity whose value may have significantly decreased.
The Fund is required to cover its swaps positions in a manner consistent with the 1940 Act or the rules and SEC interpretations thereunder in order to limit the risk associated with the use of leverage and other related risks. The Fund’s obligations under a swap agreement settled in cash or on a net basis (other than a credit default swaps for which the Fund is the seller) would be accrued daily (offset against any amounts owing to the Fund) and any accrued but unpaid net amounts owed to a swap counterparty would be covered by segregating assets determined to be liquid. Obligations under swap agreements so covered would not be viewed as raising “senior securities” issues for purposes of the Fund’s investment restriction concerning senior securities and, accordingly, would not treat them as subject to the Fund’s borrowing restrictions. For swaps that are not settled in cash or on a net basis, the Fund will earmark or segregate cash or liquid assets with a value at least equal to the full notional amount of the swaps (minus any amounts owed to the Fund) or enter into offsetting transactions. For swaps that are settled in cash on a net basis (other than a credit default swaps for which the Fund is the seller), the Fund may designate or segregate on its records cash or liquid assets equal to the Fund’s next daily marked-to-market net obligations under the swaps, if any, rather than the full notional amount. Such segregation will ensure that the Fund has assets available to satisfy its obligations with respect to the transaction and will limit any potential leveraging of the Fund’s portfolio. By earmarking or designating assets equal to only its net obligation under cash-settled swaps, the Fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Fund were required to earmark or segregate assets equal to the full notional amount of such swaps. As described below, the SEC published a proposed rulemaking related to the use of derivatives and certain other transactions by registered investment companies that would, if adopted, for the most part rescind the SEC’s asset segregation and coverage rules and guidance.
The use of interest rate, total return, currency, credit default and other swaps is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. If the Sub-Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates and other applicable factors, the investment performance of the Fund would be unfavorably affected.
Credit-Linked Notes. The Fund may invest in credit-linked notes (“CLN”) for risk management purposes, including diversification. A CLN may be viewed as a derivative instrument. It is a synthetic obligation between two or more parties where the payment of principal and/or interest is based on the performance of some obligation (a
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reference obligation). In addition to the credit risk of the reference obligations and interest rate risk, the buyer/seller of the CLN is subject to counterparty risk.
Futures and Options on Futures. The Fund may purchase and sell various kinds of financial futures contracts and options thereon to obtain investment exposure and/or to seek to hedge against changes in interest rates or for other risk management purposes. Futures contracts may be based on various securities and securities indices. Such transactions involve a risk of loss or depreciation due to adverse changes in prices of the reference securities or indices, and such losses may exceed the Fund’s initial investment in these contracts. The Fund will only purchase or sell futures contracts or related options in compliance with the rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Transactions in financial futures and options on futures involve certain costs. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s use of futures contracts will be advantageous. Financial covenants related to future Fund borrowings may limit use of these transactions.
Options. The Fund may purchase or sell (i.e., write) options on securities and securities indices or on currencies, which options are listed on a national securities exchange or in the OTC market, as a means of achieving additional return or of hedging the value of the Fund’s portfolio.
The Fund may purchase or write (sell) exchange traded and OTC options. Writing call options involves giving third parties the right to buy securities from the Fund for a fixed price at a future date and writing put options involves giving third parties the right to sell securities to the Fund for a fixed price at a future date. Buying an options contract gives the Fund the right to purchase securities from third parties or gives the Fund the right to sell securities to third parties for a fixed price at a future date. The number of call options the Fund can write is limited by the amount of Fund assets that can cover such options, and further limited by the fact that call options normally represent 100 share lots of the underlying common stock. In addition to options on individual securities, the Fund may buy and sell put and call options on currencies, baskets of securities or currencies, indices and other instruments. Options bought or sold by the Fund may be “cash settled,” meaning that the purchaser of the option has the right to receive a cash payment from the writer of the option to the extent that the value of the underlying position rises above (in the case of a call) or falls below (in the case of a put) the exercise price of the option. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s use of options will be successful.
In the case of a call option on a common stock or other security, the option is “covered” if the Fund owns the security underlying the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that security without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, cash or other assets determined to be liquid by the Investment Adviser (in accordance with procedures established by the board of trustees of the Fund (the “Board of Trustees” or the “Board”)) in such amount are segregated by the Fund’s custodian) upon conversion or exchange of other securities held by the Fund. A call option is also covered if the Fund holds a call on the same security as the call written where the exercise price of the call held is (i) equal to or less than the exercise price of the call written, or (ii) greater than the exercise price of the call written, provided the difference is maintained by the Fund in segregated assets determined to be liquid by the Investment Adviser as described above. A put option on a security is “covered” if the Fund segregates assets determined to be liquid by the Investment Adviser as described above equal to the exercise price. A put option is also covered if the Fund holds a put on the same security as the put written where the exercise price of the put held is (i) equal to or greater than the exercise price of the put written, or (ii) less than the exercise price of the put written, provided the difference is maintained by the Fund in segregated assets determined to be liquid by the Investment Adviser as described above.
If the Fund has written an option, it may terminate its obligation by effecting a closing purchase transaction. This is accomplished by purchasing an option of the same series as the option previously written. However, once the Fund has been assigned an exercise notice, the Fund will be unable to effect a closing purchase transaction. Similarly, if the Fund is the holder of an option it may liquidate its position by effecting a closing sale transaction. This is accomplished by selling an option of the same series as the option previously purchased. There can be no assurance that either a closing purchase or sale transaction can be effected when the Fund so desires.
To the extent that the Fund writes covered call options, 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 has retained the risk of loss should the price of the underlying security decline. The writer of an option has no control over the time when it may be required to fulfill its obligation as a writer of the option. Once an option writer has received an exercise notice, it cannot effect a closing purchase transaction in order to terminate its obligation under the option and must deliver the underlying security at the exercise price. Thus, the use of options may require the Fund to sell portfolio securities at inopportune times or for
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prices other than current market values, may limit the amount of appreciation the Fund can realize on an investment or may cause the Fund to hold a security that it might otherwise sell.
The Fund will not write “naked” or uncovered call options. Furthermore, the Fund’s options transactions will be subject to limitations established by each of the exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities on which such options are traded. These limitations govern the maximum number of options in each class which may be written or purchased by a single investor or group of investors acting in concert, regardless of whether the options are written or purchased on the same or different exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities or are held or written in one or more accounts or through one or more brokers. Thus, the number of options which the Fund may write or purchase may be affected by options written or purchased by other investment advisory clients of the Investment Adviser. An exchange, board of trade or other trading facility may order the liquidation of positions found to be in excess of these limits, and it may impose certain other sanctions.
To the extent that the Fund writes covered put options, the Fund will bear the risk of loss if the value of the underlying stock declines below the exercise price. If the option is exercised, the Fund could incur a loss if it is required to purchase the stock underlying the put option at a price greater than the market price of the stock at the time of exercise. While the Fund’s potential gain in writing a covered put option is limited to the interest earned on the liquid assets securing the put option plus the premium received from the purchaser of the put option, the Fund risks a loss equal to the entire value of the stock.
The Fund will realize a profit from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is less than the premium received from writing the option or is more than the premium paid to purchase the option; the Fund will realize a loss from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is more than the premium received from writing the option or is less than the premium paid to purchase the option. Since call option prices generally reflect increases in the price of the underlying security or currency, any loss resulting from the repurchase of a call option may also be wholly or partially offset by unrealized appreciation of the underlying security or currency. Other principal factors affecting the market value of a put or a call option include supply and demand, interest rates, the current market price and price volatility of the underlying security or currency and the time remaining until the expiration date. Gains and losses on investments in options depend, in part, on the ability of the Investment Adviser to predict correctly the effect of these factors. The use of options cannot serve as a complete hedge since the price movement of securities underlying the options will not necessarily follow the price movements of the portfolio securities subject to the hedge.
There are several risks associated with transactions in options on securities. For example, 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.
There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist when the Fund seeks to close out an option position. Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market on an exchange include the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening transactions or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the facilities of an exchange or the Options Clearing Corporation (the “OCC”) may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options). If trading were discontinued, the secondary market on that exchange (or in that class or series of options) would cease to exist. However, outstanding options on that exchange that had been issued by the OCC as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms. The Fund’s ability to terminate OTC options is more limited than with exchange-traded options and may involve the risk that broker-dealers participating in such transactions will not fulfill their obligations. 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.
The hours of trading for options may not conform to the hours during which the underlying securities are traded. To the extent that the options markets close before the markets for the underlying securities, significant price and rate movements can take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the options markets. Call options are marked-to-market daily and their value will be affected by changes in the value of and dividend rates of
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the underlying common stocks, an increase in interest rates, changes in the actual or perceived volatility of the stock market and the underlying common stocks and the remaining time to the options’ expiration. Additionally, the exercise price of an option may be adjusted downward before the option’s expiration as a result of the occurrence of certain corporate events affecting the underlying equity security, such as extraordinary dividends, stock splits, merger or other extraordinary distributions or events. A reduction in the exercise price of an option would reduce the Fund’s capital appreciation potential on the underlying security.
To the extent that the Fund purchases options, the Fund will be subject to the following additional risks. If a put or call option purchased by the Fund is not sold when it has remaining value, and if the market price of the underlying security remains equal to or greater than the exercise price (in the case of a put), or remains less than or equal to the exercise price (in the case of a call), the Fund will lose its entire investment in the option. Also, where a put or call option on a particular security is purchased to hedge against price movements in a related security, the price of the put or call option may move more or less than the price of the related security. If restrictions on exercise were imposed, the Fund might be unable to exercise an option it had purchased. If the Fund were unable to close out an option that it had purchased on a security, it would have to exercise the option in order to realize any profit or the option may expire worthless.
An option position may be closed out only on an exchange that provides a secondary market for an option of the same series or in a private transaction. Although the Fund will generally purchase or write only those options for which there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option. In such event it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in particular options, so that the Fund would have to exercise its options in order to realize any profit and would incur brokerage commissions upon the exercise of call options and upon the subsequent disposition of underlying securities for the exercise of put options. If the Fund, as a covered call option writer, is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it will not be able to sell the underlying security until the option expires or it delivers the underlying security upon exercise or otherwise covers the position.
Options on Securities Indices. The Fund may purchase and sell options on securities indices. One effect of such transactions may be to hedge all or part of the Fund’s securities holdings against a general decline in the securities market or a segment of the securities market. Options on securities indices are similar to options on stocks except that, rather than the right to take or make delivery of stock at a specified price, an option on a securities index gives the holder the right to receive, upon exercise of the option, an amount of cash if the closing level of the securities index upon which the option is based is greater than, in the case of a call, or less than, in the case of a put, the exercise price of the option. All options written on securities indices must be covered. Often, when the Fund writes an option on a securities index, it will earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities in an amount at least equal to the market value of the option and will maintain the account while the option is open or will otherwise cover the transaction.
The Fund’s successful use of options on indices depends upon its ability to predict the direction of the market and is subject to various additional risks. The correlation between movements in the index and the price of the securities being hedged against is imperfect and the risk from imperfect correlation increases as the composition of the Fund diverges from the composition of the relevant index. Accordingly, a decrease in the value of the securities being hedged against may not be wholly offset by a gain on the exercise or sale of a securities index put option held by the Fund.
Futures Contracts and Options on Futures. The Fund may, without limit, enter into futures contracts or options on futures contracts. It is anticipated that these investments, if any, will be made by the Fund primarily for the purpose of hedging against changes in the value of its portfolio securities and in the value of securities it intends to purchase. Such investments will only be made if they are economically appropriate to the reduction of risks involved in the management of the Fund. In this regard, the Fund may enter into futures contracts or options on futures for the purchase or sale of securities indices or other financial instruments including but not limited to U.S. government securities.
A “sale” of a futures contract (or a “short” futures position) means the assumption of a contractual obligation to deliver the instrument underlying the contract at a specified price at a specified future time. A “purchase” of a futures contract (or a “long” futures position) means the assumption of a contractual obligation to acquire the instrument underlying the contract at a specified price at a specified future time. Certain futures contracts, including stock and bond index futures, are settled on a net cash payment basis rather than by the sale and delivery of the instrument underlying the futures contracts.
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No consideration will be paid or received by the Fund upon the purchase or sale of a futures contract. Initially, the Fund will be required to deposit with the broker an amount of cash or cash equivalents equal to approximately 1% to 10% of the contract amount (this amount is subject to change by the exchange or board of trade on which the contract is traded and brokers or members of such board of trade may charge a higher amount). This amount is known as the “initial margin” and is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the contract. Subsequent payments, known as “variation margin,” to and from the broker will be made daily as the price of the instrument underlying the futures contract fluctuates. At any time prior to the expiration of the futures contract, the Fund may elect to close the position by taking an opposite position, which will operate to terminate its existing position in the contract.
An option on a futures contract gives the purchaser the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a position in a futures contract at a specified exercise price at a specified time or times prior to the expiration of the option. Upon exercise of an option, the delivery of the futures position by the writer of the option to the holder of the option will be accompanied by delivery of the accumulated balance in the writer’s futures margin account attributable to that contract, which represents the amount by which the market price of the futures contract exceeds, in the case of a call, or is less than, in the case of a put, the exercise price of the option on the futures contract. The potential loss related to the purchase of an option on futures contracts is limited to the premium paid for the option (plus transaction costs). Because the value of the option purchased is fixed at the point of sale, there are no daily cash payments by the purchaser to reflect changes in the value of the underlying contract; however, the value of the option does change daily and that change would be reflected in the net assets of the Fund.
Futures and options on futures contracts entail certain risks, including but not limited to the following: no assurance that futures contracts or options on futures contracts can be offset at favorable prices, possible reduction of the yield of the Fund due to the use of hedging, possible reduction in value of both the securities hedged and the hedging instrument, possible lack of liquidity due to daily limits on price fluctuations, imperfect correlation between the contracts and the securities being hedged, losses from investing in futures transactions that are potentially unlimited and the segregation requirements described below.
In the event the Fund sells a put option on a futures contract or enters into long futures contracts, under current interpretations of the 1940 Act, an amount of cash or liquid securities equal to the market value of the contract must be deposited and maintained in a segregated account with the custodian of the Fund to collateralize the positions, in order for the Fund to avoid being treated as having issued a senior security in the amount of its obligations. For short positions in futures contracts and sales of call options on futures contract, the Fund may establish a segregated account (not with a futures commission merchant or broker) with cash or liquid securities that, when added to amounts deposited with a futures commission merchant or a broker as margin, equal the market value of the instruments underlying the futures contracts or call options on futures contracts, respectively (but are no less than the price of the call option or the market price at which the short positions were established).
The purchase of a call option on a futures contract is similar in some respects to the purchase of a call option on an individual security. Depending on the pricing of the option compared to either the price of the futures contract upon which it is based or the price of the underlying instrument, it may or may not be less risky than ownership of the futures contract or underlying instrument. As with the purchase of futures contracts, when the Fund is not fully invested it may purchase a call option on a futures contract to hedge against a market advance due to declining interest rates.
The purchase of a put option on a futures contract is similar to the purchase of protective put options on portfolio securities. The Fund may purchase a put option on a futures contract to hedge the Fund’s portfolio against the risk of rising interest rates and consequent reduction in the value of portfolio securities.
The Fund’s ability to establish and close out positions in futures contracts and options thereon will be subject to the development and maintenance of liquid markets. Although the Fund generally will purchase or sell only those futures contracts and options thereon for which there appears to be a liquid market, there is no assurance that a liquid market on an exchange will exist for any particular futures contract or option thereon at any particular time. In the event no liquid market exists for a particular futures contract or option thereon in which the Fund maintains a position, it will not be possible to effect a closing transaction in that contract or to do so at a satisfactory price, and the Fund would either have to make or take delivery under the futures contract or, in the case of a written option, wait to sell the underlying securities until the option expires or is exercised or, in the case of a purchased option, exercise the option. In the case of a futures contract or an option thereon that the Fund has written and that
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the Fund is unable to close, the Fund would be required to maintain margin deposits on the futures contract or option thereon and to make variation margin payments until the contract is closed.
When the Fund purchases or sells a futures contract, or sells an option thereon, the Fund is required to “cover” its position in order to limit the risk associated with the use of leverage and other related risks. To cover its position, the Fund may earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities that, when added to any amounts deposited with a futures commission merchant as initial margin, are equal to the market value of the futures contract or otherwise “cover” its position in a manner consistent with the 1940 Act or the rules and SEC interpretations thereunder. If the Fund continues to engage in the described securities trading practices and properly earmarks or segregates assets, the assets will function as a practical limit on the amount of leverage which the Fund may undertake and on the potential increase in the speculative character of the Fund. Such practices are intended to assure the availability of adequate funds to meet the obligations of the Fund arising from such investment activities, although there is no guarantee that they will function as intended.
With respect to futures contracts that are not contractually required to “cash-settle,” the Fund usually must cover its open positions by earmarking or segregating on its records cash or liquid assets equal to the contract’s notional value. For futures contracts that are “cash-settled,” however, the Fund is permitted to earmark or segregate cash or liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s next daily marked-to-market (net) obligation, if any (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability) rather than the notional value. By earmarking or designating assets equal to only its net obligation under cash-settled futures, the Fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Fund were required to earmark or segregate assets equal to the full notional value of such contracts.
Among other ways, the Fund may also cover its long position in a futures contract by purchasing a put option on the same futures contract with a strike price (i.e., an exercise price) as high as or higher than the price of the futures contract. In the alternative, if the strike price of the put is less than the price of the futures contract, the Fund will also earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities equal in value to the difference between the strike price of the put and the price of the futures contract and that can be exercised on any date or that has the same exercise date as the expiration date of the futures contract. The Fund may also cover its long position in a futures contract by taking a short position in the instruments underlying the futures contract (or, in the case of an index futures contract, a portfolio with a volatility substantially similar to that of the index on which the futures contract is based). The Fund may cover its short position in a futures contract by taking a long position in the instruments underlying the futures contract. Among other ways, the Fund may cover its sale of a call option on a futures contract by taking a long position in the underlying futures contract at a price less than or equal to the strike price of the call option. In the alternative, if the long position in the underlying futures contract is established at a price greater than the strike price of the written (sold) call, the Fund will earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities equal in value to the difference between the strike price of the call and the price of the futures contract. The Fund may cover its sale of a put option on a futures contract by taking a short position in the underlying futures contract at a price greater than or equal to the strike price of the put option, or, if the short position in the underlying futures contract is established at a price less than the strike price of the written put, the Fund will earmark or segregate cash or liquid securities equal in value to the difference between the strike price of the put and the price of the futures contract.
Successful use of futures contracts and options thereon by the Fund is subject to the ability of the Investment Adviser to predict correctly movements in the direction of interest rates. If the Investment Adviser’s expectations are not met, the Fund will be in a worse position than if a hedging strategy had not been pursued. For example, if the Fund has hedged against the possibility of an increase in interest rates that would adversely affect the price of securities in its portfolio and the price of such securities increases instead, the Fund will lose part or all of the benefit of the increased value of its securities because it will have offsetting losses in its futures positions. In addition, in such situations, if the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements, it may have to sell securities to meet the requirements. These sales may be, but will not necessarily be, at increased prices which reflect the rising market. The Fund may have to sell securities at a time when it is disadvantageous to do so.
Interest Rate Futures Contracts and Options Thereon. The Fund may purchase or sell interest rate futures contracts to take advantage of or to protect the Fund against fluctuations in interest rates affecting the value of securities that the Fund holds or intends to acquire. For example, if interest rates are expected to increase, the Fund might sell futures contracts on securities, the values of which historically have a high degree of positive correlation to the values of the Fund’s po