The Fund invests primarily in equity securities, principally common and preferred stocks, of U.S. companies with market capitalizations of at least $1 billion at the time of purchase and that the Subadviser considers to have above average prospects for growth.
The Subadviser uses a bottom-up approach, researching and evaluating individual companies, to manage the Fund's portfolio. This research includes visits to companies and discussions with company management.
In selecting stocks for the Fund's portfolio, the Subadviser looks for companies that it believes have the following financial characteristics:
In addition, the Subadviser looks for companies that have actually achieved or exceeded expected earnings results and, in the opinion of the Subadviser, are attractively valued relative to their growth prospects.
The Subadviser focuses on stocks of companies that it believes have distinct attributes such as:
The Subadviser prefers companies that are in the early stages of demonstrating the above financial and other characteristics.
The stocks of mid and large cap companies in the Fund's portfolio are those the Subadviser expects to maintain or achieve above average earnings growth. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in the securities of foreign issuers, including issuers located or doing business in emerging markets.
Market and Issuer risk: Securities markets are volatile and can decline significantly in response to adverse market, economic, political or regulatory developments, which may lower the value of securities held by the Fund, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. Additionally, an adverse event, such as an unfavorable earnings report, may depress the value of a particular issuer's stock.
Growth style risk: Over time, a growth oriented investing style may go in and out of favor, which may cause the Fund to underperform other equity funds that use different investing styles.
Selection risk: The Subadviser's judgment about the attractiveness, value and potential appreciation of a particular security may be incorrect.
Large cap risk: Large cap stocks may fall out of favor relative to small or mid cap stocks, which may cause the Fund to underperform other equity funds that focus on small or mid cap stocks.
Mid cap risk: The Fund's performance may be more volatile because it invests in mid cap stocks. Mid cap companies may have limited product lines, markets and financial resources. They are usually less stable in price and less liquid than those of larger, more established companies. Additionally, mid cap stocks may fall out of favor relative to small or large cap stocks, which may cause the Fund to underperform other equity funds that focus on small or large cap stocks.
Foreign securities risk: Because the Fund may invest in securities of foreign issuers, an investment in the Fund is subject to special risks in addition to those of U.S. securities. These risks include heightened political and economic risks, greater volatility, currency fluctuations, higher transaction costs, delayed settlement, possible foreign controls on investment, and less stringent investor protection and disclosure standards of foreign markets. Foreign securities are sometimes less liquid and harder to value than securities of U.S. issuers. These risks are more significant for issuers in emerging market countries. Global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, and conditions and events in one country, region or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market.