The longest equity bull market in history which lasted 11 years ended in March of 2020 due to the market uncertainty caused by the Global COVID-19 pandemic. The Volatility Index, also known as the Fear index, is a monthly report that details consumer attitudes and buying intentions. When the VIX spikes, it is often correlated to a downturn in the equity markets. Over the long term, the VIX average is relatively low and suggests that investors believe in the growth prospects of the stock market.
Highlighted returns capture peak to trough corrections of 10% or more during the time period. Source: FactSet. As of December 31, 2020. 1 Source: The Conference Board. The Consumer Confidence Survey® reflects prevailing business conditions and likely developments for the months ahead. This monthly report details consumer attitudes and buying intentions, with data available by age, income, and region. Measurement dates: September 30, 2007, February 27, 2009, and February 29, 2020.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Investments in debt securities are subject to credit and interest rate risk. An increase in interest rates typically causes the value of bonds and other fixed income securities to fall.
Investments in international securities are subject to certain risks of overseas investing including currency fluctuations and changes in political and economic conditions, which could result in significant market fluctuations. These risks are magnified in emerging markets.
Investments in small-capitalization companies are subject to greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than investing in larger, more established companies.
Real estate investments are subject to factors such as changing general and local economic, financial, competitive and environmental conditions.
Alternative investments are speculative, subject to high return volatility and involve a high degree of risk including, but not limited to, the risks associated with leverage, derivative instruments such as options and futures, distressed securities, may be illiquid on a long term basis and short sales. There can be no assurance that these types of strategies will achieve their objectives or avoid substantial losses. Alternative investments may also be subject to significant fees and expenses.
Investments in emerging markets are subject to risks such as erratic earnings patterns, economic and political instability, changing exchange controls, limitations on repatriation of foreign capital and changes in local governmental attitudes toward private investment, possibly leading to nationalization or confiscation of investor assets.
A bull market is a prolonged period in which investment prices are rising or are expected to rise. A 20% increase of the S&P 500® index was used and calculated on a monthly basis. A bull market may also be a prolonged period of time when prices are rising in a financial market faster than their historical average. Bull markets are characterized by optimism, investor confidence and expectations that strong results will continue. Bull markets can happen as a result of an economic recovery, an economic boom or investor psychology.
Market Risk—Market prices of investments held by the Fund may fall rapidly or unpredictably due to a variety of economic or political factors, market conditions, disasters or public health issues, or in response to events that affect particular industries or companies.
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