Asset Class Definitions

Asset Class Definitions

Participation in asset classes may be achieved through investing in Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

It is not possible to invest in an index.





Small-, mid- and micro-cap companies may be hindered as a result of limited resources or less diverse products or services and have therefore historically been more volatile than the stocks of larger, more established companies.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) investing entails special risks, including credit risk, interest rate fluctuations and the impact of varied economic conditions.

Master Limited Partnerships (MLP) investing includes risks such as equity- and commodity-like volatility.  Also, distribution payouts sometimes include the return of principal and, in these instances, references to these payouts as "dividends" or "yields" may be inaccurate and may overstate the profitability/success of the MLP.  Additionally, there are potentially complex and adverse tax consequences associated with investing in MLPs.  This is largely dependent on how the MLPs are structured and the vehicle used to invest in the MLPs.  It is strongly recommended that an investor consider and understand these characteristics of MLPs and consult with a financial and tax professional prior to investment.

Investments in international and emerging markets securities include exposure to risks such as currency fluctuations, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets and political instability.

In a rising interest rate environment, the value of fixed-income securities generally declines.

High-yield bonds, also known as junk bonds, are subject to greater risk of loss of principal and interest, including default risk, than higher-rated bonds.

Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) are Treasury securities that are indexed to inflation in an effort to protect investors from the negative effects of inflation. The principal value of TIPS is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), while the interest rate remains fixed. TIPS will decline in value when real interest rates rise. Portfolios that invest in TIPS are not guaranteed and will fluctuate in value.