The Index tracks the performance of U.S. exchange-listed depositary receipts in ADR or GDR form that are listed for trading on the NYSE, NYSE MKT and NASDAQ of companies from Brazil, Russia, India and China, which meet certain criteria. The universe of potential Index constituents includes all liquid U.S. exchange-listed ADRs and GDRs. As of the date of this prospectus, the Index’s constituent countries were represented (in approximate market capitalization) in the Index as follows: 32.56% of the Index consists of Brazilian companies, 27.84% of the Index consists of Russian companies, 9.61% of the Index consists of Indian companies and 29.99% of the Index consists of Chinese companies.
To be eligible for inclusion in the BRIC Index the security must pass the following screens:
Be represented in the BNY Mellon DR Index.
Free-float adjusted market capitalization greater than $250 million.
Minimum $100,000 3 month average daily U.S. dollar trading volume on the primary exchange of the ADR or GDR and $1,000,000 minimum 3 month average daily U.S. dollar trading volume from the US composite market. Hong Kong local trading volume may be used to satisfy this requirement for ADRs or GDRs whose local market is Hong Kong.*
Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFICs) are excluded based on the best
* If Hong Kong trading volume is used to satisfy the volume inclusion screen or if the ADR or GDR volume is less than 10 basis points of the market capitalization at the time of quarterly review than the local Hong Kong Exchange listed security will be used in the BRIC Index calculation in place of the Depositary Receipt.
Decisions regarding additions to and removals from the Index are made by the Index Administrator and are subject to periodic review by a policy steering committee known as BNY Mellon Index Committee.
The Index is weighted based on a modified capitalization method, using an Index formula based upon the aggregate of prices times share quantities. The number of shares used in the Index calculation generally represents the entire class(es) or series of shares adjusted for free-float that trade in the local market and also trade in the form of depositary receipts in the United States. Adjustments are made to ensure that no single security exceeds 23% of the Index and, with respect to 55% of the Index, that no single security represents more than 4.5% of the Index.
The Index may be adjusted for changes in shares quarterly and float annually that may affect the weighting of constituents in general.
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.
Investment Risk. An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest.
Equity Risk. The value of the equity securities held by the Fund may fall due to general market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate, or factors relating to specific companies in which the Fund invests. For example, an adverse event, such as an unfavorable earnings report, may depress the value of equity securities of an issuer held by the Fund; the price of common stock of an issuer may be particularly sensitive to general movements in the stock market; or a drop in the stock market may depress the price of most or all of the common stocks and other equity securities held by the Fund. In addition, common stock of an issuer in the Fund’s portfolio may decline in price if the issuer fails to make anticipated dividend payments because the issuer of the security experiences a decline in its financial condition. Common stock is subordinated to preferred stocks, bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure, in terms of priority to corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater dividend risk than preferred stocks or debt instruments of such issuers. In addition, while broad market measures of common stocks have historically generated higher average returns than fixed income securities, common stocks have also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns.
Foreign Investment Risk. The Fund’s investments in non-U.S. issuers, although generally limited to ADRs and GDRs, may involve unique risks compared to investing in securities of U.S. issuers, including less market liquidity, generally greater market volatility than U.S. securities and less complete financial information than for U.S. issuers. In addition, adverse political, economic or social developments could undermine the value of the Fund’s investments or prevent the Fund from realizing the full value of its investments. Financial reporting standards for companies based in foreign markets differ from those in the United States. Finally, to the extent the Fund invests in foreign securities other than ADRs, the value of the currency of the country in which the Fund has invested could decline relative to the value of the U.S. dollar, which may affect the value of the investment to U.S. investors.
Emerging market countries are countries that major international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, generally consider to be less economically mature than developed nations. Emerging market countries can include every nation in the world except the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and most countries located in Western Europe. Investing in foreign countries, particularly emerging market countries, entails the risk that news and events unique to a country or region will affect those markets and their issuers. Countries with emerging markets may have relatively unstable governments, may present the risks of nationalization of businesses, restrictions on foreign ownership and prohibitions on the repatriation of assets. The economies of emerging markets countries also may be based on only a few industries, making them more vulnerable to changes in local or global trade conditions and more sensitive to debt burdens or inflation rates. Local securities markets may trade a small number of securities and may be unable to respond effectively to increases in trading volume, potentially making prompt liquidation of holdings difficult or impossible at times.
Brazil has experienced substantial economic instability resulting from, among other things, periods of very high inflation, persistent structural public sector deficits and significant devaluations of the currency of Brazil, and leading also to a high degree of price volatility in both the Brazilian equity and foreign currency markets. Brazilian companies may also be adversely affected by high interest and unemployment rates, and are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices.
Investing in securities of Russian companies involves additional risks, including, among others, the absence of developed legal structures governing private or foreign investments and private property; the possibility of the loss of all or a substantial portion of the Fund’s assets invested in Russia as a result of expropriation; certain national policies which may restrict the Fund’s investment opportunities, including, without limitation, restrictions on investing in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to relevant national interests; and potentially greater price volatility in, significantly smaller capitalization of, and relative illiquidity of, some of these markets.
Investing in securities of Indian companies involves additional risks, including, but not limited to, greater price volatility, substantially less liquidity and significantly smaller market capitalization of securities markets, more substantial governmental involvement in the economy, higher rates of inflation and greater political, economic and social uncertainty. Furthermore, future actions of the Indian Government or religious and ethnic unrest could have a significant impact on the economy.
Investing in securities of Chinese companies involves additional risks, including, but not limited to: the economy of China differs, often unfavorably, from the U.S. economy in such respects as structure, general development, government involvement, wealth distribution, rate of inflation, growth rate, allocation of resources and capital reinvestment, among others; the central government has historically exercised substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through administrative regulation and/or state ownership; and actions of the Chinese central and local government authorities continue to have a substantial effect on economic conditions in China. In addition, previously the Chinese government has from time to time taken actions that influence the prices at which certain goods may be sold, encourage companies to invest or concentrate in particular industries, induce mergers between companies in certain industries and induce private companies to publicly offer their securities to increase or continue the rate of economic growth, control the rate of inflation or otherwise regulate economic expansion. It may do so in the future as well, potentially having a significant adverse effect on economic conditions in China, the economic prospects for, and the market prices and liquidity of, the securities of China companies and the payments of dividends and interest by China companies.
China Exposure Risk. From time to time, certain of the companies comprising the BNY Mellon BRIC Index that are located in China may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargoes imposed by the U.S. government and the United Nations and/or in countries identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism. One or more of these companies may be subject to constraints under U.S. law or regulations which could negatively affect the company’s performance, and/or could suffer damage to its reputation if it is identified as a company which invests or deals with countries which are identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism or subject to sanctions. As an investor in such companies, the Fund is indirectly subject to those risks.
Depositary Receipt Risk. The Fund may hold the securities of non-U.S. companies in the form of ADRs and GDRs. ADRs are negotiable certificates issued by a U.S. financial institution that represent a specified number of shares in a foreign stock and trade on a U.S. national securities exchange, such as the New York Stock Exchange. Sponsored ADRs are issued with the support of the issuer of the foreign stock underlying the ADRs and carry all of the rights of common shares, including voting rights. GDRs are similar to ADRs, but may be issued in bearer form and are typically offered for sale globally and held by a foreign branch of an international bank. 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. Issuers of unsponsored depositary receipts are not contractually obligated to disclose material information in the U.S. and, therefore, such information may not correlate to the market value of the unsponsored depositary receipt. The underlying securities of the ADRs and GDRs in the Fund’s portfolio are usually denominated or quoted in currencies other than the U.S. Dollar. As a result, changes in foreign currency exchange rates may affect the value of the Fund’s portfolio. In addition, because the underlying securities of ADRs and GDRs trade on foreign exchanges at times when the U.S. markets are not open for trading, the value of the securities underlying the ADRs and GDRs may change materially at times when the U.S. markets are not open for trading, regardless of whether there is an active U.S. market for shares of the Fund.
Energy Sector Risk. The profitability of companies in the energy sector is related to worldwide energy prices, exploration, and production spending. Such companies also are subject to risks of changes in exchange rates, government regulation, world events, depletion of resources and economic conditions, as well as market, economic and political risks of the countries where energy companies are located or do business. Oil and gas exploration and production can be significantly affected by natural disasters. Oil exploration and production companies may be adversely affected by changes in exchange rates, interest rates, government regulation, world events, and economic conditions. Oil exploration and production companies may be at risk for environmental damage claims.
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. 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. 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. Small and Medium-Sized Company Risk.Investing in securities of small and medium-sized companies involves greater risk than is customarily associated with investing in larger, more established companies. Securities of these companies present additional risks because their earnings are less predictable and they are more likely than larger companies to have narrower product lines, markets or financial resources. These companies’ stocks may be more volatile and less liquid than those of larger, more established companies. These stocks may have returns that vary, sometimes significantly, from the overall stock market.
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.
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. If the Fund utilizes a sampling approach, or otherwise holds investments other than those which comprise the Index, 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 unless that security is removed from the Index. In addition, the
Fund will not otherwise take defensive positions in declining markets unless such positions are reflected in the Index.
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 issues and redeems Shares at NAV only in a large specified number of Shares called a “Creation Unit” or multiples thereof. A Creation Unit consists of 50,000 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 are listed for trading on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) and because Shares 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.
The Guggenheim BRIC ETF and its Shares are not sponsored, endorsed, sold, recommended or promoted by BNY or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. None of the BNY or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates make any representation or warranty, express or implied, to the shareholders of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly, the ability of any data supplied by BNY to track general stock market performance or the suitability or appropriateness of the Fund for the shareholders or members of the public. BNY’s only relationship to the Investment Adviser is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names of BNY and of the data supplied by BNY, which is determined, composed and calculated by BNY without regard to the Investment Adviser, Fund or its Shares. Neither BNY nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates has any obligation to take the needs of the Investment Adviser or the shareholders of the Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the data supplied by BNY. BNY and any of its subsidiaries or affi liates are not responsible for and have not participated in the determination of the timing of, prices at, or quantities of the Shares to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the products are to be converted to cash, prices of the Shares of the Fund or the timing of the issuance or sale of such Shares. BNY has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund or its Shares.