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The investment objective of the Dean Small Cap Value Fund is long-term capital appreciation and, secondarily, dividend income.
The Fund primarily invests in equity securities of small cap companies with market capitalization similar to the companies listed on the Russell 2000 Value Index at the time of investment. As of May 31, 2016, the market capitalization of companies listed on the Russell 2000 Value Index ranged from $9 million to $5.7 billion, and the median was $646 million. The Fund’s portfolio managers utilize a multi-factored valuation method to identify companies that are trading below intrinsic value or that may have been overlooked by the marketplace. The portfolio managers consider such factors as a company’s normal earnings power, its discounted cash flows, as well as various ratios, including the price-to-earning or price-to-book value ratios. The portfolio managers evaluate companies using fundamental, bottom-up research. The Fund seeks to preserve capital in down markets and to diversify its portfolio in traditional, as well as relative, value-oriented investments.
The portfolio managers look for stocks of companies that they believe are undervalued at the time of purchase. The managers use a value investment strategy that looks for companies that are temporarily out of favor in the market. The managers attempt to purchase the stocks of these undervalued companies and to hold each stock until it has returned to favor in the market and the price has increased to, or is higher than, a level the managers believe more accurately reflects the fair value of the company.
Companies may be undervalued due to market declines, poor economic conditions, actual or anticipated bad news regarding the issuer or its industry, or because they have been overlooked by the market. To identify these companies, the portfolio managers look for companies with earnings, cash flows and/or assets that are not accurately reflected in the companies market values. The managers may also consider whether the companies securities have a favorable dividend and/or interest-paying history and whether such payments are expected to continue.
The portfolio managers may sell stocks from the Fund’s portfolio if they believe:
- a stock no longer meets their valuation criteria
- a stock’s risk parameters outweigh its return opportunity
- more attractive alternatives are identified
- specific events alter a stock’s prospects
Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets in equity securities of U.S. and foreign small cap companies directly, or indirectly, through other investment companies (including exchange-traded funds) that invest primarily in U.S. and foreign small cap companies. Equity securities in which the Fund and underlying funds may invest include common stocks, securities convertible into common stocks (such as convertible bonds, convertible preferred stocks and warrants), and equity real estate investment trusts ( REITs ). Equity REITs trade like common stocks and invest directly in real estate, or other readily marketable securities that are issued by companies investing in, or that are secured by, real estate or real estate interests. The Fund may invest in foreign small cap companies directly or through depository receipts such as American Depository Receipts ( ADRs ) and Global Depository Receipts ( GDRs ). Generally, ADRs, in registered form, are denominated in U.S. dollars and are designed for use in the U.S. securities markets, while GDRs, in bearer form, may be denominated in other currencies and are designed for use in multiple foreign securities markets. ADRs are receipts typically issued by a U.S. bank or trust company evidencing ownership of the underlying foreign securities, while GDRs are foreign receipts evidencing a similar arrangement.
The Fund may invest its remaining assets in equity securities of mid or large cap companies, preferred stocks, or derivative instruments such as put and call options and futures contracts, and in fixed income securities, including corporate bonds.
*The Russell 3000 Index measures the performance of the 3,000 largest U.S. companies based on total market capitalization, which represents approximately 98% of the investable U.S. equity market. The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index. The Russell 2000 Value Index measures the performance of those Russell 2000 companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower forecasted growth values.
An investment in the Fund is not a deposit of a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency.
Equity and fixed-income securities are subject to inherent market risks and fluctuations in value due to changes in earnings, economic conditions, quality ratings and other factors beyond the control of the portfolio managers. Fixed-income securities and equities to a lesser extent are also subject to price fluctuations based upon changes in the level of interest rates, which will generally result in all those securities changing in price in the same way, i.e., all fixed-income securities experiencing appreciation when interest rates decline and depreciation when interest rates rise. As a result, there is a risk that you may lose money by investing in the Fund.
Preferred stocks, bonds, and fixed-income securities rated Baa or BBB have speculative characteristics and changes in economic conditions or other circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to pay principal and interest or to pay the preferred stock obligations than is the case with higher grade securities.
Investment in securities of foreign issuers involves somewhat different investment risks from those affecting securities of domestic issuers. In addition to credit and market risk, investments in foreign securities involve sovereign risk, which includes local political and economic developments, potential nationalization, withholding taxes on dividend or interest payments and currency blockage. Foreign companies may have less public or less reliable information available about them and may be subject to less governmental regulation than U.S. companies. Securities of foreign companies may be less liquid or more volatile than securities of U.S. companies.
The Small Cap Value Fund will typically invest a substantial portion of its assets in small companies, which may be less liquid and more volatile than investments in larger companies.
Small-Cap investing involve greater risk not associated with investing in more established companies, such as greater price volatility, business risk, less liquidity and increased competitive threat.
The Fund may buy or sell a variety of “derivative” instruments in order to gain exposure to particular securities or markets, in connection with hedging transactions and to increase total return. The Fund’s use of derivative instruments involves the risk that such instruments may not work as intended due to unanticipated developments in market conditions or other causes.
An investment in an exchange-traded fund (ETF) generally presents the same primary risks as an investment in a conventional fund (i.e., one that is not exchange traded) that has the same investment objectives, strategies, and policies. The price of an ETF can fluctuate up or down, and the Fund could lose money investing in an ETF if the prices of the securities owned by the ETF go down. In addition, ETFs may be subject to the following risks that do not apply to conventional funds: (i) the market price of an ETF’s shares may trade above or below their net asset value; (ii) an active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained; or (iii) trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem such action appropriate, the shares are delisted from the exchange, or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally.
Investments in real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and real-estate related securities involve special risks associated with an investment in real estate, such as limited liquidity and interest rate risks and may be more volatile than other securities. In addition, the value of REITs and other real estate-related investments is sensitive to changes in real estate values, extended vacancies of properties and other environmental and economic factors.