¹Western Europe here includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
²Denoted by ISIN codes beginning with country codes other than “U.S.”
RISKS AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Investors should consider the following risk factors and special considerations associated with investing in the fund, which may cause you to lose money, including the entire principal amount that you invest. Interest Rate Risk: As interest rates rise, the value of fixed-income securities held by the fund are likely to decrease. Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. Investment Risk. An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest.
Interest Rate Risk. As interest rates rise, the value of fixed-income securities held by the Fund is likely to decrease. Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations.
Credit/Default Risk. Issuers or guarantors of debt instruments or the counterparty to a repurchase agreement or loan of portfolio securities may be unable or unwilling to make timely interest and/or principal payments or otherwise honor their obligations. Debt instruments are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, which may be reflected in credit ratings. Securities issued by the U.S. government generally have less credit risk than debt securities of non-government issuers. However, securities issued by certain U.S. government agencies are not necessarily backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Credit rating downgrades and defaults (failure to make interest or principal payment) may potentially reduce the Fund’s income and share price.
High Yield Securities Risk. High yield securities generally offer a higher current yield than that available from higher grade issues, but typically involve greater risk. Securities rated below investment grade are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” The ability of issuers of high yield securities to make timely payments of interest and principal may be adversely impacted by adverse changes in general economic conditions, changes in the financial condition of the issuers and price fluctuations in response to changes in interest rates. High yield securities are less liquid than investment grade securities and may be difficult to price or sell, particularly in times of negative sentiment toward high yield securities.
Asset Class Risk. The bonds in the Fund’s portfolio may underperform the returns of other bonds or indexes that track other industries, markets, asset classes or sectors. Different types of bonds and indexes tend to go through different performance cycles than the general bond market.
Call Risk/Prepayment Risk. During periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of a callable bond may exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation earlier than expected. This may result in the Fund reinvesting proceeds at lower interest rates, resulting in a decline in the Fund’s income.
Extension Risk. An issuer may exercise its right to pay principal on an obligation later than expected. This may happen when there is a rise in interest rates. Under these circumstances, the value of the obligation will decrease and the Fund’s performance may suffer from its inability to invest in higher yielding securities.
Income Risk. Falling interest rates may cause the Fund’s income to decline.
Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. If the Fund invests in illiquid securities or securities that become illiquid, Fund returns may be reduced because the Fund may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price.
Declining Yield Risk. During the final year of the Fund’s operations, as the bonds held by the Fund mature and the Fund’s portfolio transitions to cash and cash equivalents, the Fund’s yield will generally tend to move toward the yield of cash and cash equivalents and thus may be lower than the yields of the bonds previously held by the Fund and/or prevailing yields for bonds in the market.
Fluctuation of Yield and Liquidation Amount Risk. The Fund, unlike a direct investment in a bond that has a level coupon payment and a fixed payment at maturity, will make distributions of income that vary over time. Unlike a direct investment in bonds, the breakdown of returns between Fund distributions and liquidation proceeds are not predictable at the time of your investment. For example, at times during the Fund’s existence, it may make distributions at a greater (or lesser) rate than the coupon payments received on the Fund’s portfolio, which will result in the Fund returning a lesser (or greater) amount on liquidation than would otherwise be the case. The rate of Fund distribution payments may adversely affect the tax characterization of your returns from an investment in the Fund relative to a direct investment in corporate bonds. If the amount you receive as liquidation proceeds upon the Fund’s termination is higher or lower than your cost basis, you may experience a gain or loss for tax purposes.
Financial Services Sector Risk. The financial services industries are subject to extensive government regulation, can be subject to relatively rapid change due to increasingly blurred distinctions between service segments, and can be significantly affected by availability and cost of capital funds, changes in interest rates, the rate of corporate and consumer debt defaults, and price competition. In addition, the deterioration of the credit markets since late 2007 generally has caused an adverse impact in a broad range of markets, including U.S. and international credit and interbank money markets generally, thereby affecting a wide range of financial institutions and markets. In particular, events in the financial sector since late 2008 have resulted, and may continue to result, in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign. These events have included the U.S. government’s placement of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation under conservatorship, the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America, the U.S. government support of American International Group, Inc., the sale of Wachovia to Wells Fargo, reports of credit and liquidity issues involving certain money market mutual funds, and emergency measures by the U.S. and foreign governments banning short-selling. This situation has created instability in the financial markets and caused certain financial services companies to incur large losses. Numerous financial services companies have experienced substantial declines in the valuations of their assets, taken action to raise capital (such as the issuance of debt or equity securities), or even ceased operations. These actions have caused the securities of many financial services companies to experience a dramatic decline in value. Moreover, certain financial companies have avoided collapse due to intervention by the U.S. or foreign regulatory authorities (such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Reserve System), but such interventions have often not averted a substantial decline in the value of such companies’ securities. Issuers that have exposure to the real estate, mortgage and credit markets have been particularly affected by the foregoing events and the general market turmoil, and it is uncertain whether or for how long these conditions will continue.
Telecommunications Sector Risk. The telecommunications sector is subject to extensive government regulation. The costs of complying with governmental regulations, delays or failure to receive required regulatory approvals or the enactment of new adverse regulatory requirements may adversely affect the business of the telecommunications companies. The telecommunications sector can also be significantly affected by intense competition, including competition with alternative technologies such as wireless communications, product compatibility, consumer preferences, rapid obsolescence and research and development of new products. Other risks include those related to regulatory changes, such as the uncertainties resulting from such companies’ diversification into new domestic and international businesses, as well as agreements by any such companies linking future rate increases to inflation or other factors not directly related to the actual operating profits of the enterprise.
Consumer Staples Sector Risk. Companies in this sector are subject to government regulation affecting the permissibility of using various food additives and production methods, which regulations could affect company profitability. Tobacco companies may be adversely affected by the adoption of proposed legislation and/or by litigation. Also, the success of food and soft drink may be strongly affected by fads, marketing campaigns and other factors affecting supply and demand.
Consumer Discretionary Sector Risk. The success of consumer product manufacturers and retailers is tied closely to the performance of the overall domestic and international economy, interest rates, competition and consumer confidence. Success depends heavily on disposable household income and consumer spending. Changes in demographics and consumer tastes can also affect the demand for, and success of, consumer products in the marketplace.
Non-Correlation Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs a number of operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing the Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Index. Since the Index constituents may vary on a monthly basis, the Fund’s costs associated with rebalancing may be greater than those incurred by other exchange-traded funds that track indices whose composition changes less frequently.
The Fund may not be fully invested at times, either as a result of cash flows into the Fund or reserves of cash held by the Fund to meet redemptions and expenses. Since the Fund utilizes a sampling approach, its return may not correlate as well with the return on the Index as would be the case if it purchased all of the securities in the Index with the same weightings as the Index. Concentration Risk. If the Index concentrates in an industry or group of industries the Fund’s investments will be concentrated accordingly. In such event, the value of the Fund’s Shares may rise and fall more than the value of shares of a fund that invests in securities of companies in a broader range of industries.
Passive Management Risk. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund is not “actively” managed. Therefore, it would not necessarily sell a security because the security’s issuer was in financial trouble or defaulted, or whose credit rating was downgraded, unless that security is removed from the Index.
Issuer-Specific Changes. The value of an individual security or particular type of security can be more volatile than the market as a whole and can perform differently from the value of the market as a whole. The value of securities of smaller issuers can be more volatile than that of larger issuers.
Risk of Cash Transactions. In certain instances, unlike most ETFs, the Fund may effect creations and redemptions for cash, rather than in-kind. As a result, an investment in the Fund may be less tax-efficient than an investment in a more conventional ETF. ETFs generally are able to make in-kind redemptions and avoid being taxed on gain on the distributed portfolio securities at the Fund level. Because the Fund may effect redemptions for cash, rather than in-kind distributions, it may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. If the Fund recognizes gain on these sales, this generally will cause the Fund to recognize gain it might not otherwise have recognized, or to recognize such gain sooner than would otherwise be required if it were to distribute portfolio securities in-kind. The Fund generally intends to distribute these gains to shareholders to avoid being taxed on this gain at the Fund level and otherwise comply with the special tax rules that apply to it. This strategy may cause shareholders to be subject to tax on gains they would not otherwise be subject to, or at an earlier date than, if they had made an investment in a different ETF. Moreover, cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees and taxes. These brokerage fees and taxes, which will be higher than if the Fund sold and redeemed its Shares principally in-kind, will be passed on to purchasers and redeemers of Creation Units in the form of creation and redemption transaction fees.
Non-Diversified Fund Risk. The Fund is considered non-diversified and can invest a greater portion of assets in securities of individual issuers than a diversified fund. As a result, changes in the market value of a single investment could cause greater fluctuations in share price than would occur in a diversified fund.
The Fund’s Shares will change in value, and you could lose money by investing in the Fund. The Fund may not achieve its investment objective. An investment in the Fund has not been guaranteed, sponsored, recommended, or approved by the United States, or any agency, instrumentality or officer of the United States, has not been insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and is not guaranteed by and is not otherwise an obligation of any bank or insured depository institution.
As with any investment, you should consider how your investment will be taxed. The tax information contained in the prospectus is provided as general information. Investors should consult their own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment as Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC does not offer tax advice.
The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares called a “Creation Unit” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of 100,000 Shares. The Fund generally issues and redeems Creation Units principally in-kind. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, the Shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund. Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund will be listed for trading on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) and because Shares will trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than or less than NAV.
Investors buying or selling ETF shares on the secondary market may incur brokerage costs and other transactional fees. Shares of ETFs may fluctuate in price due to daily changes in trading volume. At times, shares may not have a high volume of trading.
BulletShares®, BulletShares® USD Corporate Bond Index, and BulletShares® USD High Yield Corporate Bond Index are trademarks of Guggenheim Index ServicesSM and have been licensed for use by Guggenheim Investments. Guggenheim Index ServicesSM is an affiliate of Guggenheim Investments.