Harbor Small Cap Growth Fund Investor Class (HISGX)

Investment Philosophy

The Fund invests primarily in equity securities, principally common and preferred stocks, of small cap companies. We define small cap companies as those with market capitalizations that fall within the range of the Russell 2000® Growth Index, provided that if the upper end of the capitalization range of that Index falls below $2.5 billion, we will continue to define those companies with market capitalizations between the upper end of the range of the Index and $2.5 billion as small cap companies. As of December 31, 2016, the range of the Index was $9 million to $10.5 billion, but it is expected to change frequently.

The Subadviser's bottom-up approach first identifies companies that meet the Subadviser's strict fundamental criteria and then performs a qualitative review on each identified company to select companies for inclusion in the Fund's portfolio. This means that the Subadviser's individual stock selections primarily determine the Fund's sector weightings. The Subadviser's research may include personal interviews and other contact with company management.

In selecting stocks for the Fund's portfolio, the Subadviser looks for companies that it believes possess the following characteristics:

  • Accelerating earnings growth
  • Strong balance sheets
  • Attractive valuations as measured by price/earnings to growth ratios

In addition, the Subadviser prefers companies that it believes possess the following qualitative characteristics:

  • Superior company management
  • Significant insider ownership
  • Unique market positions and broad market opportunities
  • Solid financial controls and accounting processes

Under normal market conditions, the Fund expects to invest in approximately 60 to 80 companies with at least 80% of its net assets, plus borrowings for investment purposes, in a diversified portfolio of small cap equity securities.

Risks

There is no guarantee that the investment objective of the Fund will be achieved. Stocks fluctuate in price and the value of your investment in the Fund may go down. This means that you could lose money on your investment in the Fund or the Fund may not perform as well as other investment options. Principal risks impacting the Fund include:

Market and issuer risk: Securities markets are volatile and can decline significantly in response to adverse market, economic, political, regulatory or other 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 growth potential of a particular security may be incorrect. The Subadviser potentially will be prevented from executing investment decisions at an advantageous time or price as a result of any domestic or global market disruptions, particularly disruptions causing heightened market volatility and reduced market liquidity, as well as increased or changing regulations. Thus, investments that the Subadviser believes represent an attractive opportunity or in which the Fund seeks to obtain exposure may be unavailable entirely or in the specific quantities or prices sought by the Subadviser and the Fund may need to obtain the exposure through less advantageous or indirect investments or forgo the investment at the time.

Small cap risk: The Fund's performance may be more volatile because it invests primarily in small cap stocks. Smaller 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, small cap stocks may fall out of favor relative to mid or large cap stocks, which may cause the Fund to underperform other equity funds that focus on mid or large cap stocks.