Form 497 AB BOND FUND, INC.
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PROSPECTUS | DECEMBER 12, 2018, as revised JANUARY 21, 2020
AB Short Duration Income Portfolio
(Shares Offered—Exchange Ticker Symbol)
(Class A–SHUAX; Class C–SHUCX; Advisor Class–SHUYX)
Beginning January 1, 2021, as permitted by new regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Fund’s annual and semi-annual shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website address to access the report.
If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action. You may elect to receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund electronically at any time by contacting your financial intermediary (such as a broker-dealer or bank) or, if you are a direct investor, by calling the Fund at (800) 221-5672.
You may elect to receive all future reports in paper form free of charge. If you invest through a financial intermediary, you can contact your financial intermediary to request that you continue to receive paper copies of your shareholder reports; if you invest directly with the Fund, you can call the Fund at (800) 221-5672. Your election to receive reports in paper form will apply to all funds held in your account with your financial intermediary or, if you invest directly, to all AB Mutual Funds you hold.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
Investment Products Offered
|>||Are Not FDIC Insured|
|>||May Lose Value|
|>||Are Not Bank Guaranteed|
AB Short Duration Income Portfolio
The Fund’s investment objective is to seek high current income consistent with preservation of capital.
FEES AND EXPENSES OF THE FUND
This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. You may qualify for sales charge reductions if you and members of your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $100,000 in AB Mutual Funds. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial intermediary and in Investing in the Fund—Sales Charge Reduction Programs for Class A Shares on page 24 of this Prospectus, in Appendix C—Financial Intermediary Waivers of this Prospectus and in Purchase of Shares—Sales Charge Reduction Programs for Class A Shares on page 84 of the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).
You may be required to pay commissions and/or other forms of compensation to a broker for transactions in Advisor Class shares, which are not reflected in the tables or the examples below.
Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment)
|Maximum Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases |
(as a percentage of offering price)
|Maximum Deferred Sales Charge (Load) |
(as a percentage of offering price or redemption proceeds, whichever is lower)
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
|Class A||Class C||Advisor Class|
|Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees||.20||%||1.00||%||None|
|Total Other Expenses(c)||.70||%||.70||%||.70||%|
|Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses||1.25||%||2.05||%||1.05||%|
|Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement(d)||(.60||)%||(.60||)%||(.60||)%|
|Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement||.65||%||1.45||%||45||%|
|(a)||Purchases of Class A shares in amounts of $1,000,000 or more, or by certain group retirement plans, may be subject to a 1%, 1-year contingent deferred sales charge, or CDSC, which may be subject to waiver in certain circumstances.|
|(b)||For Class C shares, the CDSC is 0% after the first year. Class C shares automatically convert to Class A shares after ten years.|
|(c)||Total other expenses are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.|
|(d)||The Adviser has contractually agreed to waive its management fee and/or to bear expenses of the Fund until January 31, 2021 to the extent necessary to prevent total Fund operating expenses (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses other than the advisory fees of any AB Mutual Funds in which the Fund may invest, interest expense, taxes, extraordinary expenses, and brokerage commissions and other transaction costs), on an annualized basis, from exceeding .65%, 1.45% and .45% of average daily net assets, respectively, for Class A, Class C and Advisor Class shares (“expense limitations”). Any fees waived and expenses borne by the Adviser may be reimbursed by the Fund until the end of the third fiscal year after the fiscal period in which the fee was waived or the expense was borne, provided that no reimbursement payment will be made that would cause the Fund’s covered operating expenses to exceed the applicable expense limitations.|
The Examples are intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The Examples assume that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of the periods. The Examples also assume that your investment has a 5% return each year, that the Fund’s operating expenses stay the same (except that offering costs are not included after the first year) and that any fee waiver and/or expense limitation is in effect for only the first year. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
|Class A||Class C||Advisor Class|
|After 1 Year||$||489||$||248||*||$||46|
|After 3 Years||$||729||$||566||$||255|
|*||If you did not redeem your shares at the end of the period, your expenses would be decreased by approximately $100.|
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys or sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when shares are held in a taxable account. These transaction costs, which are not reflected in the Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Examples, affect the Fund’s performance.
The Fund pursues its objective by investing, under normal circumstances, primarily in income-producing securities. The Fund also normally invests at least 65% of its total assets in securities of U.S. and foreign governments and their agencies and instrumentalities (including mortgage-backed securities), derivatives related to such securities, and repurchase agreements relating to U.S. Government securities. Under normal circumstances, the Fund will maintain a dollar-weighted average duration of less than three years, although it may invest in securities of any duration or maturity.
The Fund may invest in non-government fixed-income securities, including corporate debt securities, non-government mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities, certificates of deposit and commercial paper. The Fund may invest up to 35% of its net assets in below investment grade securities (commonly known as “junk bonds”). The Fund’s investments in foreign securities may include both government and corporate securities, and securities of emerging market countries or of issuers in emerging markets.
The Adviser selects securities for purchase or sale based on its assessment of the securities’ risks and return characteristics as well as the securities’ impact on the overall risks and return characteristics of the Fund. In making this assessment, the Adviser takes into account various factors, including the credit quality and sensitivity to interest rates of the securities under consideration and of the Fund’s other holdings.
The Fund may utilize derivatives, such as options, futures contracts, forwards and swaps. The Fund may, for example, use interest rate futures contracts and swaps to establish exposure to the fixed-income markets or particular fixed-income securities. Derivatives may provide a more efficient and economical exposure to market segments than direct investments, and may also be a more efficient way to alter the Fund’s exposure. The Fund may also enter into transactions such as reverse repurchase agreements that are similar to borrowings for investment purposes. The Fund’s use of derivatives and these borrowing transactions may create aggregate exposure that is substantially in excess of its net assets, effectively leveraging the Fund.
The Adviser may hedge the foreign currency exposure resulting from the Fund’s security positions, and may take long or short positions in currencies, through the use of currency-related derivatives. The Fund is “non-diversified”, meaning that it can invest more of its assets in a smaller number of issuers.
|•||Market Risk: The value of the Fund’s assets will fluctuate as the bond market fluctuates. The value of its investments may decline, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably, simply because of economic changes or other events that affect large portions of the market.|
|•||Credit Risk: An issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income security, or the counterparty to a derivatives or other contract, may be unable or unwilling to make timely payments of interest or principal, or to otherwise honor its obligations. The issuer or guarantor may default, causing a loss of the full principal amount of a security and accrued interest. The degree of risk for a particular security may be reflected in its credit rating. There is the possibility that the credit rating of a fixed-income security may be downgraded after purchase, which may adversely affect the value of the security.|
|•||Below Investment Grade Securities Risk: Investments in fixed-income securities with lower ratings (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are subject to a higher probability that an issuer will default or fail to meet its payment obligations. These securities may be subject to greater price volatility due to such factors as specific corporate developments and negative perceptions of the junk bond market generally and may be more difficult to trade than other types of securities.|
|•||Interest Rate Risk: Changes in interest rates will affect the value of investments in fixed-income securities. When interest rates rise, the value of existing investments in fixed-income securities tends to fall and this decrease in value may not be offset by higher income from new investments. Interest rate risk is generally greater for fixed-income securities with longer maturities or durations.|
|•||Duration Risk: Duration is a measure that relates the expected price volatility of a fixed-income security to changes in interest rates. The duration of a fixed-income security may be shorter than or equal to the full maturity of a fixed-income security. Fixed-income securities with longer durations have more risk and will decrease in price as interest rates rise.|
|•||Inflation Risk: This is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the value of the Fund’s assets can decline as can the value of the Fund’s distributions. This risk is significantly greater for fixed-income securities with longer maturities.|
|•||Foreign (Non-U.S.) Risk: Investments in securities of non-U.S. issuers may involve more risk than those of U.S. issuers. These securities may fluctuate more widely in price and may be more difficult to trade due to adverse market, economic, political, regulatory or other factors.|
|•||Emerging Market Risk: Investments in emerging market countries may have more risk because the markets are less developed and less liquid as well as being subject to increased economic, political, regulatory or other uncertainties.|
|•||Derivatives Risk: Derivatives may be illiquid, difficult to price, and leveraged so that small changes may produce disproportionate losses for the Fund, and may be subject to counterparty risk to a greater degree than more traditional investments.|
|•||Leverage Risk: To the extent the Fund uses leveraging techniques, its net asset value, or NAV, may be more volatile because leverage tends to exaggerate the effect of changes in interest rates and any increase or decrease in the value of the Fund’s investments.|
|•||Currency Risk: Fluctuations in currency exchange rates may negatively affect the value of the Fund’s investments or reduce the Fund’s returns.|
|•||Illiquid Investments Risk: illiquid investments risk exists when certain investments become difficult to purchase or sell. Difficulty in selling such investments may result in sales at disadvantageous prices affecting the value of your investment in the Fund. Causes of illiquid investments risk may include low trading volumes, large positions and heavy redemptions of Fund shares. Illiquid investment risk may be higher in a rising interest rate environment, when the value and liquidity of fixed-income securities generally decline.|
|•||Non-Diversification Risk: The Fund may have more risk because it is “non-diversified” and therefore can invest more of its assets in a smaller number of issuers. Accordingly, changes in the value of a single security may have a more significant effect, either negative or positive, on the Fund’s NAV.|
|•||Mortgage-Related and/or Other Asset-Backed Securities Risk: Investments in mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities are subject to certain additional risks. The value of these securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates. These risks include “extension risk”, which is the risk that, in periods of rising interest rates, issuers may delay the payment of principal, and “prepayment risk”, which is the risk that in periods of falling interest rates, issuers may pay principal sooner than expected, exposing the Fund to a lower rate of return upon reinvestment of principal. Mortgage-backed securities offered by non-governmental issuers and other asset-backed securities may be subject to other risks, such as higher rates of default in the mortgages or assets backing the securities or risks associated with the nature and servicing of mortgages or assets backing the securities.|
|•||Management Risk: The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively-managed investment fund. The Adviser will apply its investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there is no guarantee that its techniques will produce the intended results.|
As with all investments, you may lose money by investing in the Fund.
BAR CHART AND PERFORMANCE INFORMATION
No performance information is available for the Fund because it has not yet been in operation for a full calendar year.
AllianceBernstein L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.
The following table lists the persons responsible for day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio:
|Employee||Length of Service||Title|
|Scott A. DiMaggio||Since 2018||Senior Vice President of the Adviser|
|Gershon M. Distenfeld||Since 2018||Senior Vice President of the Adviser|
|Douglas J. Peebles||Since 2018||Senior Vice President of the Adviser|
|Matthew S. Sheridan||Since 2018||Senior Vice President of the Adviser|
PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES
The following table describes the initial and subsequent minimum purchase amounts for each class of shares, which are subject to waiver in certain circumstances.
|Class A/Class C shares, including traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs||$2,500||$50|
|Automatic Investment Program||None||
If initial minimum investment is
less than $2,500, then $200
monthly until account balance
|Advisor Class shares (only available to fee-based programs or through other limited arrangements and certain commission-based brokerage arrangements)||None||None|
|Class A shares are available at NAV, without an initial sales charge, to 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit-sharing and money purchase pension plans, defined benefit plans, and non-qualified deferred compensation plans where in each case plan level or omnibus accounts are held on the books of the Fund.||None||None|
You may sell (redeem) your shares each day the New York Stock Exchange (the “Exchange”) is open. You may sell your shares through your financial intermediary or by mail (AllianceBernstein Investor Services, Inc., P.O. Box 786003, San Antonio, TX 78278-6003) or telephone (800) 221-5672.
The Fund may pay income dividends or make capital gains distributions, which may be subject to federal income taxes and taxable as ordinary income or capital gains, and may also be subject to state and local taxes.
PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank or a group retirement plan), the Fund and its related companies may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other financial intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
This section of the Prospectus provides additional information about the Fund’s investment practices and related risks, including principal and non-principal strategies and risks. This Prospectus does not describe all of the Fund’s investment practices; additional information about the Fund’s risks and investments can be found in the Fund’s SAI.
The Fund may, but is not required to, use derivatives for hedging or other risk management purposes or as part of its investment strategies. Derivatives are financial contracts whose value depends on, or is derived from, the value of an underlying asset, reference rate or index. The Fund may use derivatives to earn income and enhance returns, to hedge or adjust the risk profile of its investments, to replace more traditional direct investments and to obtain exposure to otherwise inaccessible markets.
There are four principal types of derivatives—options, futures contracts, forwards and swaps—each of which is described below. Derivatives include listed and cleared transactions where the Fund’s derivatives trade counterparty is an exchange or clearinghouse and non-cleared bilateral “over-the-counter” transactions that are privately negotiated and where the Fund’s derivatives trade counterparty is a financial institution. Exchange-traded or cleared derivatives transactions tend to be subject to less counterparty credit risk than those that are privately negotiated.
The Fund’s use of derivatives may involve risks that are different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities or other more traditional instruments. These risks include the risk that the value of a derivative instrument may not correlate perfectly, or at all, with the value of the assets, reference rates, or indices that they are designed to track. Other risks include the possible absence of a liquid secondary market for a particular instrument and possible exchange-imposed price fluctuation limits, either of which may make it difficult or impossible to close out a position when desired, and the risk that the counterparty will not perform its obligations. Certain derivatives may have a leverage component and involve leverage risk. Adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, note or index can result in a loss substantially greater than the Fund’s investment (in some cases, the potential loss is unlimited).
The Fund’s investments in derivatives may include, but are not limited to, the following:
|•||Forward Contracts—A forward contract is an agreement that obligates one party to buy, and the other party to sell, a specific quantity of an underlying commodity or other tangible asset for an agreed-upon price at a future date. A forward contract generally is settled by physical delivery of the commodity or tangible asset to an agreed-upon location (rather than settled by cash), or is rolled forward into a new forward contract or, in the case of a non-deliverable forward, by a cash payment at maturity. The Fund’s investments in forward contracts may include the following:|
|–||Forward Currency Exchange Contracts. The Fund may purchase or sell forward currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes to minimize the risk from adverse changes in the relationship between the U.S. Dollar and other currencies or for non-hedging purposes as a means of making direct investments in foreign currencies, as described below under “Other Derivatives and Strategies—Currency Transactions”. The Fund, for example, may enter into a forward contract as a transaction hedge (to “lock in” the U.S. Dollar price of a non-U.S. Dollar security), as a position hedge (to protect the value of securities the Fund owns that are denominated in a foreign currency against substantial changes in the value of the foreign currency) or as a cross-hedge (to protect the value of securities the Fund owns that are denominated in a foreign currency against substantial changes in the value of that foreign currency by entering into a forward contract for a different foreign currency that is expected to change in the same direction as the currency in which the securities are denominated).|
|•||Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts—A futures contract is a standardized, exchange-traded agreement that obligates the buyer to buy and the seller to sell a specified quantity of an underlying asset (or settle for cash the value of a contract based on an underlying asset, rate or index) at a specific price on the contract maturity date. Options on futures contracts are options that call for the delivery of futures contracts upon exercise. The Fund may purchase or sell futures contracts and options thereon to hedge against changes in interest rates, securities (through index futures or options) or currencies. The Fund may also purchase or sell futures contracts for foreign currencies or options thereon for non-hedging purposes as a means of making direct investments in foreign currencies, as described below under “Other Derivatives and Strategies—Currency Transactions”.|
|•||Options—An option is an agreement that, for a premium payment or fee, gives the option holder (the buyer) the right but not the obligation to buy (a “call option”) or sell (a “put option”) the underlying asset (or settle for cash an amount based on an underlying asset, rate or index) at a specified price (the exercise price) during a period of time or on a specified date. Investments in options are considered speculative. The Fund may lose the premium paid for them if the price of the underlying security or other asset decreased or remained the same (in the case of a call option) or increased or remained the same (in the case of a put option). If a put or call option purchased by the Fund were permitted to expire without being sold or exercised, its premium would represent a loss to the Fund. The Fund’s investments in options may include the following:|
|–||Options on Foreign Currencies. The Fund may invest in options on foreign currencies that are privately negotiated or traded on U.S. or foreign exchanges for hedging purposes to protect against declines in the U.S. Dollar value of foreign currency denominated securities held by the Fund and against increases in the U.S. Dollar cost of securities to be acquired. The purchase|
of an option on a foreign currency may constitute an effective hedge against fluctuations in exchange rates, although if rates move adversely, the Fund may forfeit the entire amount of the premium plus related transaction costs. The Fund may also invest in options on foreign currencies for non-hedging purposes as a means of making direct investments in foreign currencies, as described below under “Other Derivatives and Strategies—Currency Transactions”.
|–||Options on Securities. The Fund may purchase or write a put or call option on securities. The Fund may write covered options, which means writing an option for securities the Fund owns, and uncovered options.|
|–||Options on Securities Indices. An option on a securities index is similar to an option on a security except that, rather than taking or making delivery of a security at a specified price, an option on a securities index gives the holder the right to receive, upon exercise of the option, an amount of cash if the closing level of the chosen index is greater than (in the case of a call) or less than (in the case of a put) the exercise price of the option.|
|•||Swap Transactions—A swap is an agreement that obligates two parties to exchange a series of cash flows at specified intervals (payment dates) based upon or calculated by reference to changes in specified prices or rates (e.g., interest rates in the case of interest rate swaps or currency exchange rates in the case of currency swaps) for a specified amount of an underlying asset (the “notional” principal amount). Generally the notional principal amount is used solely to calculate the payment stream, but is not exchanged. Most swaps are entered into on a net basis (i.e., the two payment streams are netted out, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments). Certain standardized swaps, including certain interest rate swaps and credit default swaps, are subject to mandatory central clearing and are required to be executed through a regulated swap execution facility. Cleared swaps are transacted through futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) that are members of central clearinghouses with the clearinghouse serving as central counterparty, similar to transactions in futures contracts. Funds post initial and variation margin to support their obligations under cleared swaps by making payments to their clearing member FCMs. Central clearing is intended to reduce counterparty credit risks and increase liquidity, but central clearing does not make swap transactions risk free. The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) may adopt similar clearing and execution requirements in respect of certain security-based swaps under its jurisdiction. Privately negotiated swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors and are not cleared through a third party, nor are these required to be executed on a regulated swap execution facility. The Fund’s investments in swap transactions include the following:|
|–||Interest Rate Swaps, Swaptions, Caps and Floors. Interest rate swaps involve the exchange by the Fund with another party of payments calculated by reference to specified interest rates (e.g., an exchange of floating-rate payments for fixed-rate payments). Unless there is a counterparty default, the risk of loss to the Fund from interest rate swap transactions is limited to the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the counterparty to an interest rate swap transaction defaults, the Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of interest payments that the Fund contractually is entitled to receive.|
An option on a swap agreement, also called a “swaption”, is an option that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to enter into a swap on a future date in exchange for paying a market-based “premium”. A receiver swaption gives the owner the right to receive the total return of a specified asset, reference rate, or index. A payer swaption gives the owner the right to pay the total return of a specified asset, reference rate, or index. Swaptions also include options that allow an existing swap to be terminated or extended by one of the counterparties.
The purchase of an interest rate cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a contractually-based principal amount from the party selling the interest rate cap. The purchase of an interest rate floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined interest rate, to receive payments of interest on an agreed principal amount from the party selling the interest rate floor. It may be more difficult for the Fund to trade or close out interest rate caps and floors in comparison to other types of swaps.
There is no limit on the amount of interest rate transactions that may be entered into by the Fund. The value of these transactions will fluctuate based on changes in interest rates.
Interest rate swap, swaption, cap and floor transactions may, for example, be used in an effort to preserve a return or spread on a particular investment or a portion of the Fund’s portfolio or to protect against an increase in the price of securities the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date. Interest rate swaps may also be used to leverage the Fund’s investments by creating positions that are functionally similar to purchasing a municipal or other fixed-income security but may only require payments to a swap counterparty under certain circumstances and allow the Fund to efficiently increase (or decrease) its duration and income.
|–||Inflation (CPI) Swaps. Inflation swap agreements are contracts in which one party agrees to pay the cumulative percentage increase in a price index (the Consumer Price Index with respect to CPI swaps) over the term of the swap (with some lag on the inflation index), and the other pays a compounded fixed rate. Inflation swap agreements may be used to protect the NAV of the Fund against an unexpected change in the rate of inflation measured by an inflation index since the value of these agreements is expected to increase if unexpected inflation increases. The Fund will enter into inflation swaps on a net basis. The values of inflation swap agreements are expected to change in response to changes in real interest rates. Real interest rates are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If nominal interest rates increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates may rise, leading to a decrease in value of an inflation swap agreement.|
|–||Credit Default Swap Agreements. The “buyer” in a credit default swap contract is obligated to pay the “seller” a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract in return for a contingent payment upon the occurrence of a credit event with respect to an underlying reference obligation. Generally, a credit event means bankruptcy, failure to pay, obligation acceleration or restructuring. The Fund may be either the buyer or seller in the transaction. If the Fund is a seller, the Fund receives a fixed rate of income throughout the term of the contract, which typically is between one month and ten years, provided that no credit event occurs. If a credit event occurs, the Fund, as seller, typically must pay the contingent payment to the buyer, which will be either (i) the “par value” (face amount) of the reference obligation, in which case the Fund will receive the reference obligation in return, or (ii) an amount equal to the difference between the face amount and the current market value of the reference obligation. As a buyer, if a credit event occurs, the Fund would be the receiver of such contingent payments, either delivering the reference obligation in exchange for the full notional (face) value of a reference obligation that may have little or no value, or receiving a payment equal to the difference between the face amount and the current market value of the obligation. The current market value of the reference obligation is typically determined via an auction process sponsored by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. The periodic payments previously received by the Fund, coupled with the value of any reference obligation received, may be less than the full amount it pays to the buyer, resulting in a loss to the Fund. If the Fund is a buyer and no credit event occurs, the Fund will lose its periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract. However, if a credit event occurs, the buyer typically receives full notional value for a reference obligation that may have little or no value.|
Credit default swaps may involve greater risks than if the Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly. Credit default swaps are subject to general market risk and credit risk and may be illiquid.
|–||Currency Swaps. The Fund may invest in currency swaps for hedging purposes to protect against adverse changes in exchange rates between the U.S. Dollar and other currencies or for non-hedging purposes as a means of making direct investments in foreign currencies, as described below under “Other Derivatives and Strategies—Currency Transactions”. Currency swaps involve the exchange by the Fund with another party of a series of payments in specified currencies. Currency swaps may be bilateral and privately negotiated with the Fund expecting to achieve an acceptable degree of correlation between its portfolio investments and its currency swaps position. Currency swaps may involve the exchange of actual principal amounts of currencies by the counterparties at the initiation, and again upon the termination, of the transaction.|
|–||Total Return Swaps. The Fund may enter into total return swaps, under which one party agrees to pay the other the total return of a defined underlying asset, such as a security or basket of securities, or non-asset reference, such as a securities index, during the specified period in return for periodic payments based on a fixed or variable interest rate or the total return from different underlying assets or references. Total return swaps could result in losses if the underlying asset or reference does not perform as anticipated. Total return swaps may reflect a leveraged investment and incorporate borrowing costs which are borne by the Fund. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s investment via total return swap will deliver returns in excess of the inherent borrowing costs and, accordingly, the Fund’s performance may be less than would be achieved by a direct investment in the underlying reference asset.|
|–||Variance and Correlation Swaps. The Fund may enter into variance or correlation swaps to hedge equity market risk or adjust exposure to the equity markets. Variance swaps are contracts in which two parties agree to exchange cash payments based on the difference between the stated level of variance and the actual variance realized on an underlying asset or index. “Variance” as used here is defined as the sum of the square of the returns on the reference asset or index (which in effect is a measure of its “volatility”) over the length of the contract term. The parties to a variance swap can be said to exchange actual volatility for a contractually stated rate of volatility. Correlation swaps are contracts in which two parties agree to exchange cash payments based on the differences between the stated and the actual correlation realized on the underlying equity securities within a given equity index. “Correlation” as used here is defined as the weighted average of the correlations between the daily returns of each pair of securities within a given equity index. If two assets are said to be closely correlated, it means that their daily returns vary in similar proportions or along similar trajectories.|
|•||Other Derivatives and Strategies|
|–||Eurodollar Instruments. Eurodollar instruments are essentially U.S. Dollar-denominated futures contracts or options that are linked to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Eurodollar futures contracts enable purchasers to obtain a fixed rate for the lending of funds and sellers to obtain a fixed rate for borrowings.|
|–||Currency Transactions. The Fund may invest in non-U.S. Dollar denominated securities on a currency hedged or an un-hedged basis. The Adviser may actively manage the Fund’s currency exposures and may seek investment opportunities by taking long or short positions in currencies through the use of currency-related derivatives, including forward currency exchange contracts, futures contracts and options on futures contracts, swaps and options. The Adviser may enter into transactions for investment opportunities when it anticipates that a foreign currency will appreciate or depreciate in value but securities denominated in that currency are not held by the Fund and do not present attractive investment opportunities. Such transactions may also be used when the Adviser believes that it may be more efficient than a direct investment in a foreign currency-denominated security. The Fund may also conduct currency exchange contracts on a spot basis (i.e., for cash at the spot rate prevailing in the currency exchange market for buying or selling currencies).|
Prior to conversion, convertible securities have the same general characteristics as non-convertible debt securities, which generally provide a stable stream of income with generally higher yields than those of equity securities of the same or similar issuers. The price of a convertible security will normally vary with changes in the price of the underlying equity security, although the higher yield tends to make the convertible security less volatile than the underlying equity security. As with debt securities, the market value of convertible securities tends to decrease as interest rates rise and increase as interest rates decline. While convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible debt securities of similar quality, they offer investors the potential to benefit from increases in the market prices of the underlying common stock. Convertible debt securities that are rated Baa3 or lower by Moody’s or BBB- or lower by S&P or Fitch and comparable unrated securities may share some or all of the risks of debt securities with those ratings.
Depositary Receipts and Securities of Supranational Entities
The Fund may invest in depositary receipts. American Depositary Receipts, or ADRs, are depositary receipts typically issued by a U.S. bank or trust company that evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. Global Depositary Receipts, or GDRs, European Depositary Receipts, or EDRs and other types of depositary receipts are typically issued by non-U.S. banks or trust companies and evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by either a U.S. or a non-U.S. company. Depositary receipts may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted. In addition, the issuers of the stock underlying unsponsored depositary receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States. Generally, depositary receipts in registered form are designed for use in the U.S. securities markets, and depositary receipts in bearer form are designed for use in securities markets outside of the United States. For purposes of determining the country of issuance, investments in depositary receipts of either type are deemed to be investments in the underlying securities.
A supranational entity is an entity designated or supported by the national government of one or more countries to promote economic reconstruction or development. Examples of supranational entities include the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and the European Investment Bank. “Semi-governmental securities” are securities issued by entities owned by either a national, state or equivalent government or are obligations of one of such government jurisdictions that are not backed by its full faith and credit and general taxing powers.
Event-linked securities are variable or fixed-rate fixed-income securities or types of equity securities for which the return of principal and payment of interest are contingent on the non-occurrence of various catastrophe exposures, which may be specific trigger events or a diversified group of events, such as hurricanes, typhoons, wind events or earthquakes. The most common type of event-linked fixed-income bonds are known as “catastrophe” or “cat” bonds. If the trigger events do not occur, the Fund will recover its principal and interest. If a trigger event occurs, the Fund may lose a portion of or its entire principal invested in the securities. These securities are generally illiquid and may be rated below investment grade or the unrated equivalent and have the same or equivalent risks as higher yield debt securities (“junk bonds”).
Forward commitments for the purchase or sale of securities may include purchases on a when-issued basis or purchases or sales on a delayed delivery basis. In some cases, a forward commitment may be conditioned upon the occurrence of a subsequent event, such as approval and consummation of a merger, corporate reorganization or debt restructuring or approval of a proposed financing by appropriate authorities (i.e., a “when, as and if issued” trade).
When forward commitments with respect to fixed-income securities are negotiated, the price, which is generally expressed in yield terms, is fixed at the time the commitment is made, but payment for and delivery of the securities take place at a later date. Securities purchased or sold under a forward commitment are subject to market fluctuation and no interest or dividends accrue to the purchaser prior to the settlement date. There is a risk of loss if the value of either a purchased security declines before the settlement date or the security sold increases before the settlement date. The use of forward commitments helps the Fund to protect against anticipated changes in interest rates and prices.
The Fund limits its investments in illiquid securities to 15% of its net assets. Under Rule 22e-4 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”), the term “illiquid securities” means any security or investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment.
If the Fund invests in illiquid securities, the Fund may not be able to sell such securities and may not be able to realize their full value upon sale. Restricted securities (securities subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale) may be illiquid. Some restricted securities (such as securities issued pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933 (“Rule 144A Securities”) or certain commercial paper) may be treated as liquid, although they may be more difficult to trade than other types of securities.
Indexed Commercial Paper
Indexed commercial paper may have its principal linked to changes in foreign currency exchange rates whereby its principal amount is adjusted upwards or downwards (but not below zero) at maturity to reflect changes in the referenced exchange rate. The Fund will
receive interest and principal payments on such commercial paper in the currency in which such commercial paper is denominated, but the amount of principal payable by the issuer at maturity will change in proportion to the change (if any) in the exchange rate between the two specified currencies between the date the instrument is issued and the date the instrument matures. While such commercial paper entails the risk of loss of principal, the potential for realizing gains as a result of changes in foreign currency exchange rates enables the Fund to hedge (or cross-hedge) against a decline in the U.S. Dollar value of investments denominated in foreign currencies while providing an attractive money market rate of return. The Fund will purchase such commercial paper for hedging purposes only, not for speculation.
Inflation-indexed securities are fixed-income securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. If the index measuring inflation falls, the principal value of these securities will be adjusted downward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities (calculated with respect to a smaller principal amount) will be reduced.
The value of inflation-indexed securities tends to react to changes in real interest rates. In general, the price of inflation-indexed securities can fall when real interest rates rise, and can rise when real interest rates fall. In addition, the value of these securities can fluctuate based on fluctuations in expectations of inflation. Interest payments on these securities can be unpredictable and will vary as the principal and/or interest is adjusted for inflation.
Investment in Exchange-Traded Funds and Other Investment Companies
The Fund may invest in shares of exchange-traded funds or ETFs, subject to the restrictions and limitations of the 1940 Act, or any applicable rules, exemptive orders or regulatory guidance thereunder. ETFs are pooled investment vehicles, which may be managed or unmanaged, that seek to track the performance of a specific index or implement actively-managed investment strategies. Index ETFs will not track their underlying indices precisely since the ETFs have expenses and may need to hold a portion of their assets in cash, unlike the underlying indices, and the ETFs may not invest in all of the securities in the underlying indices in the same proportion as the indices for varying reasons. The Fund will incur transaction costs when buying and selling ETF shares, and indirectly bear the expenses of the ETFs. In addition, the market value of an ETF’s shares, which is based on supply and demand in the market for the ETF’s shares, may differ from its NAV. Accordingly, there may be times when an ETF’s shares trade at a discount to its NAV.
The Fund may also invest in investment companies other than ETFs, as permitted by the 1940 Act or the rules and regulations or exemptive orders thereunder. As with ETF investments, if the Fund acquires shares in other investment companies, shareholders would bear, indirectly, the expenses of such investment companies (which may include management and advisory fees), which to the extent not waived or reimbursed, would be in addition to the Fund’s expenses. The Fund intends to invest uninvested cash balances in an affiliated money market fund as permitted by Rule 12d1-1 under the 1940 Act. The Fund’s investment in other investment companies, including ETFs, subjects the Fund indirectly to the underlying risks of those investment companies.
LIBOR Transition and Associated Risk
The Fund may invest in certain debt securities, derivatives or other financial instruments that utilize the London Interbank Offered Rate, or “LIBOR,” as a “benchmark” or “reference rate” for various interest rate calculations. In July 2017, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced a desire to phase out the use of LIBOR by the end of 2021. Although financial regulators and industry working groups have suggested alternative reference rates, such as European Interbank Offer Rate, Sterling Overnight Interbank Average Rate and Secured Overnight Financing Rate, global consensus on alternative rates is lacking and the process for amending existing contracts or instruments to transition away from LIBOR remains unclear. The elimination of LIBOR or changes to other reference rates or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of reference rates could have an adverse impact on the market for, or value of, any securities or payments linked to those reference rates, which may adversely affect the Fund’s performance and/or net asset value. Uncertainty and risk also remain regarding the willingness and ability of issuers and lenders to include revised provisions in new and existing contracts or instruments. Consequently, the transition away from LIBOR to other reference rates may lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets that are tied to LIBOR, fluctuations in values of LIBOR-related investments or investments in issuers that utilize LIBOR, increased difficulty in borrowing or refinancing and diminished effectiveness of hedging strategies, adversely affecting the Fund’s performance. Furthermore, the risks associated with the expected discontinuation of LIBOR and transition may be exacerbated if the work necessary to effect an orderly transition to an alternative reference rate is not completed in a timely manner. Because the usefulness of LIBOR as a benchmark could deteriorate during the transition period, these effects could occur prior to the end of 2021.
The Fund may invest in corporate loans either by participating as co-lender at the time the loan is originated or by buying an interest in the loan in the secondary market from a financial institution or institutional investor. The financial status of an institution interposed between the Fund and a borrower may affect the ability of the Fund to receive principal and interest payments.
The success of the Fund may depend on the skill with which an agent bank administers the terms of the corporate loan agreements, monitors borrower compliance with covenants, collects principal, interest and fee payments from borrowers and, where necessary, enforces creditor remedies against borrowers. Agent banks typically have broad discretion in enforcing loan agreements.
Mortgage-Related Securities, Other Asset-Backed Securities and Structured Securities
The Fund may invest in mortgage-related or other asset-backed securities. Mortgage-related securities include mortgage pass-through securities, collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”), commercial mortgage-backed securities, mortgage dollar rolls, CMO residuals, stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”) and other securities that directly or indirectly represent a participation in or are secured by and payable from mortgage loans on real property. These securities may be issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or one of its sponsored entities or may be issued by private organizations.
The value of mortgage-related or other asset-backed securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates. Early payments of principal on some mortgage-related securities may occur during periods of falling mortgage interest rates and expose the Fund to a lower rate of return upon reinvestment of principal. Early payments associated with mortgage-related securities cause these securities to experience significantly greater price and yield volatility than is experienced by traditional fixed-income securities. During periods of rising interest rates, a reduction in prepayments may increase the effective life of mortgage-related securities, subjecting them to greater risk of decline in market value in response to rising interest rates. If the life of a mortgage-related security is inaccurately predicted, the Fund may not be able to realize the rate of return it expected.
One type of SMBS has one class receiving all of the interest from the mortgage assets (the interest-only, or “IO” class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (the principal-only, or “PO” class). The yield to maturity on an IO class is extremely sensitive to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the underlying mortgage assets, and a rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s yield to maturity from these securities.
Another type of mortgage-related security, known as a Government Sponsored Enterprise (“GSE”) Risk-Sharing Bond or Credit Risk Transfer Security (“CRT”), is issued by GSEs (and sometimes banks or mortgage insurers) and structured without any government or GSE guarantee in respect of borrower defaults or underlying collateral. The risks associated with an investment in CRTs differ from the risks associated with an investment in mortgage-backed securities issued by GSEs because, in CRTs, some or all of the credit risk associated with the underlying mortgage loans is transferred to the end-investor.
The Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which include collateralized bond obligations (“CBOs”), collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), and other similarly structured securities. CBOs and CLOs are types of asset-backed securities. A CBO is a trust that is backed by a diversified pool of high-risk, below investment grade fixed-income securities. A CLO is a trust typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. The Fund may invest in other types of asset-backed securities that have been offered to investors.
The securitization techniques used to develop mortgage-related securities are being applied to a broad range of financial assets. Through the use of trusts and special purpose corporations, various types of assets, including automobile loans and leases, credit card receivables, home equity loans, equipment leases and trade receivables, are being securitized in structures similar to the structures used in mortgage securitizations.
The Fund may also invest in various types of structured securities and basket securities. Structured securities are securities issued in structured financing transactions, which generally involve aggregating types of debt assets in a pool or special purpose entity and then issuing new securities. Types of structured financings include securities described elsewhere in this Prospectus, such as mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities. The Fund’s investments include investments in structured securities that represent interests in entities organized and operated solely for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of particular debt obligations. This type of restructuring involves the deposit with or purchase by an entity, such as a corporation or trust, of specified instruments (such as commercial bank loans or high-yield bonds) and the issuance by that entity of one or more classes of structured securities backed by, or representing interests in, the underlying instruments. The cash flow on the underlying instruments may be apportioned among the newly issued structured securities to create securities with different investment characteristics such as varying maturities, payment priorities and interest rate provisions, and the extent of the payments made with respect to structured securities is dependent on the extent of the cash flow from the underlying instruments. Structured securities of a given class may be either subordinated or un-subordinated to the payment of another class. Subordinated structured securities typically have higher yields and present greater risks than unsubordinated structured securities.
Basket securities in which the Fund may invest may consist of entities organized and operated for the purpose of holding a basket of other securities. Baskets involving debt obligations may be designed to represent the characteristics of some portion of the debt securities market or the entire debt securities market.
The two principal classifications of municipal securities are bonds and notes. Municipal bonds are intended to meet longer-term capital needs while municipal notes are intended to fulfill short-term capital needs. Municipal notes generally have original maturities not exceeding one year. Municipal notes include tax anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes, bond anticipation notes, variable rate demand obligations, and tax-exempt commercial paper.
Municipal bonds are typically classified as “general obligation” or “revenue” or “special obligation” bonds. General obligation bonds are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its full faith, credit, and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. Revenue or special
obligation bonds are payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or, in some cases, from the proceeds of a special excise or other tax, but not from general tax revenues.
Current federal tax law distinguishes between municipal securities issued to finance certain private activities (“private activity bonds”) and other municipal securities. Private activity bonds, most of which are AMT-Subject bonds and are also revenue bonds, include bonds issued to finance such projects as airports, housing projects, resource recovery programs, solid waste disposal facilities, and student loan programs. Bonds of certain sectors have special risks. For example, the health-care industry can be affected by federal or state legislation, electric utilities are subject to governmental regulation, and private activity bonds are not government-backed. Attempts to restructure the tax system may have adverse effects on the value of municipal securities or make them less attractive to investors relative to taxable treatments.
The Fund may enter into participatory notes (commonly known as “P-Notes”) to gain exposure to foreign securities markets or foreign securities that might otherwise be difficult or costly to access or purchase because of foreign regulatory restrictions or foreign tax laws. Securities brokerages in the country buy the securities, then issue to foreign investors P-Notes that derive their value from the underlying securities. P-Notes involve transaction costs, which may be higher than those applicable to the equity securities. Any dividends or capital gains collected from the underlying securities are passed through to the foreign investors; however, the holder of a P-Note is not entitled to the same rights (e.g., dividends, voting rights) as an owner of the underlying security. The Fund must rely on the creditworthiness of a counterparty and would have no rights against the issuer of an underlying security. Use of P-Notes involves various risks. These include the risks that the P-Notes may be illiquid and that the Fund may not be able to terminate or offset its positions at the time it wishes to do so or at a favorable price and that, as a result of the failure of a counterparty or legal or operational issues, the Fund may not receive payments required to be made to them under the terms of a P-Note.
The Fund may invest in preferred stock. Preferred stock is a class of capital stock that typically pays dividends at a specified rate. Preferred stock is generally senior to common stock, but is subordinated to any debt the issuer has outstanding. Accordingly, preferred stock dividends are not paid until all debt obligations are first met. Preferred stock may be subject to more fluctuations in market value, due to changes in market participants’ perceptions of the issuer’s ability to continue to pay dividends, than debt of the same issuer. These investments include convertible preferred stock, which includes an option for the holder to convert the preferred stock into the issuer’s common stock under certain conditions, among which may be the specification of a future date when the conversion must begin, a certain number of shares of common stock per share of preferred stock, or a certain price per share for the common stock. Convertible preferred stock tends to be more volatile than non-convertible preferred stock because its value is related to the price of the issuer’s common stock as well as the dividends payable on the preferred stock.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
REITs are pooled investment vehicles that invest primarily in income-producing real estate or real estate related loans or interests. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or a combination of equity and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest and principal payments. Similar to investment companies such as the Fund, REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with several requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of expenses incurred by REITs in which the Fund invests in addition to the expenses incurred directly by the Fund.
Repurchase Agreements and Buy/Sell Back Transactions
The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements. In a repurchase agreement transaction, the Fund buys a security and simultaneously agrees to sell it back to the counterparty at a specified price in the future. However, a repurchase agreement is economically similar to a secured loan, in that the Fund lends cash to a counterparty for a specific term, normally a day or a few days, and is given acceptable collateral (the purchased securities) to hold in case the counterparty does not repay the loan. The difference between the purchase price and the repurchase price of the securities reflects an agreed-upon “interest rate”. Given that the price at which the Fund will sell the collateral back is specified in advance, the Fund is not exposed to price movements on the collateral unless the counterparty defaults. If the counterparty defaults on its obligation to buy back the securities at the maturity date and the liquidation value of the collateral is less than the outstanding loan amount, the Fund would suffer a loss. In order to further mitigate any potential credit exposure to the counterparty, if the value of the securities falls below a specified level that is linked to the loan amount during the life of the agreement, the counterparty must provide additional collateral to support the loan.
The Fund may enter into buy/sell back transactions, which are similar to repurchase agreements. In this type of transaction, the Fund enters a trade to buy securities at one price and simultaneously enters a trade to sell the same securities at another price on a specified date. Similar to a repurchase agreement, the repurchase price is higher than the sale price and reflects current interest rates. Unlike a repurchase agreement, however, the buy/sell back transaction is considered two separate transactions.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements and Dollar Rolls
The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements and dollar rolls, subject to the Fund’s limitations on borrowings. The terms of reverse repurchase agreements are essentially the reverse of “repurchase agreements” described above. In a reverse repurchase agreement transaction, the Fund sells a security and simultaneously agrees to repurchase it at a specified time and price. The economic effect of a reverse repurchase agreement is that of the Fund borrowing money on a secured basis, and reverse repurchase agreements may be considered a form of borrowing for some purposes. Even though the Fund posts securities as collateral, the Fund maintains exposure to price declines on these securities since it has agreed to repurchase the securities at a fixed price. Accordingly, reverse repurchase agreements create leverage risk for the Fund because the Fund maintains exposure to price declines of both the securities it sells in the reverse repurchase agreement and any securities it purchases with the cash it receives under the reverse repurchase agreement. If the value of the posted collateral declines, the counterparty would require the Fund to post additional collateral. If the value of the collateral increases, the Fund may ask for some of its collateral back. If the counterparty defaults and fails to sell the securities back to the Fund at a time when the market purchase price of the securities exceeds the agreed-upon repurchase price, the Fund would suffer a loss.
Dollar rolls involve sales by the Fund of securities for delivery in the current month and the Fund’s simultaneously contracting to repurchase substantially similar (same type and coupon) securities on a specified future date. During the roll period, the Fund forgoes principal and interest paid on the securities. The Fund is compensated by the difference between the current sales price and the lower forward price for the future purchase (often referred to as the “drop”) as well as by the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale.
Reverse repurchase agreements and dollar rolls involve the risk that the market value of the securities the Fund is obligated to repurchase under the agreement may decline below the repurchase price. In the event the buyer of securities under a reverse repurchase agreement or dollar roll files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, the Fund’s use of the proceeds of the agreement may be restricted pending a determination by the other party, or its trustee or receiver, whether to enforce the Fund’s obligation to repurchase the securities.
Rights and Warrants
Rights and warrants are option securities permitting their holders to subscribe for other securities. Rights are similar to warrants except that they have a substantially shorter duration. Rights and warrants do not carry with them dividend or voting rights with respect to the underlying securities, or any rights in the assets of the issuer. As a result, an investment in rights and warrants may be considered more speculative than certain other types of investments. In addition, the value of a right or a warrant does not necessarily change with the value of the underlying securities, and a right or a warrant ceases to have value if it is not exercised prior to its expiration date.
The Fund may make short sales as a part of overall portfolio management or to offset a potential decline in the value of a security. A short sale involves the sale of a security that the Fund does not own, or if the Fund owns the security, is not to be delivered upon consummation of the sale. When the Fund makes a short sale of a security that it does not own, it must borrow from a broker-dealer the security sold short and deliver the security to the broker-dealer upon conclusion of the short sale.
If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a short-term capital gain. The potential for the price of a fixed-income security sold short to rise is a function of the combination of the remaining maturity of the obligation, its creditworthiness and its yield. Unlike short sales of equities or other instruments, potential for the price of a fixed-income security to rise may be limited due to the fact that the security will be no more than par at maturity. However, the short sale of other instruments or securities generally, including fixed-income securities convertible into equities or other instruments, a fixed-income security trading at a deep discount from par or that pays a coupon that is high in relative and/or absolute terms, or that is denominated in a currency other than the U.S. Dollar, involves the possibility of a theoretically unlimited loss since there is a theoretically unlimited potential for the market price of the security sold short to increase.
Standby Commitment Agreements
Standby commitment agreements are similar to put options that commit the Fund, for a stated period of time, to purchase a stated amount of a security that may be issued and sold to the Fund at the option of the issuer. The price and coupon of the security are fixed at the time of the commitment. At the time of entering into the agreement, the Fund is paid a commitment fee, regardless of whether the security ultimately is issued. The Fund will enter into such agreements only for the purpose of investing in the security underlying the commitment at a yield and price considered advantageous to the Fund and unavailable on a firm commitment basis.
There is no guarantee that a security subject to a standby commitment will be issued. In addition, the value of the security, if issued, on the delivery date may be more or less than its purchase price. Since the issuance of the security is at the option of the issuer, the Fund will bear the risk of capital loss in the event the value of the security declines and may not benefit from an appreciation in the value of the security during the commitment period if the issuer decides not to issue and sell the security to the Fund.
Sovereign Debt Obligations
No established secondary markets may exist for many sovereign debt obligations. Reduced secondary market liquidity may have an adverse effect on the market price and the Fund’s ability to dispose of particular instruments when necessary to meet its liquidity
requirements or in response to specific economic events such as a deterioration in the creditworthiness of the issuer. Reduced secondary market liquidity for certain sovereign debt obligations may also make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for the purpose of valuing its portfolio. Market quotations are generally available on many sovereign debt obligations only from a limited number of dealers and may not necessarily represent firm bids of those dealers or prices for actual sales.
By investing in sovereign debt obligations, the Fund will be exposed to the direct or indirect consequences of political, social, and economic changes in various countries. Political changes in a country may affect the willingness of a foreign government to make or provide for timely payments of its obligations. The country’s economic status, as reflected in, among other things, its inflation rate, the amount of its external debt and its gross domestic product, will also affect the government’s ability to honor its obligations.
The Fund is permitted to invest in sovereign debt obligations that are not current in the payment of interest or principal or are in default so long as the Adviser believes it to be consistent with the Fund’s investment objectives. The Fund may have limited legal recourse in the event of a default with respect to certain sovereign debt obligations they hold. For example, remedies from defaults on certain sovereign debt obligations, unlike those on private debt, must, in some cases, be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party itself. Legal recourse therefore may be significantly diminished. Bankruptcy, moratorium, and other similar laws applicable to issuers of sovereign debt obligations may be substantially different from those applicable to issuers of private debt obligations. The political context, expressed as the willingness of an issuer of sovereign debt obligations to meet the terms of the debt obligation, for example, is of considerable importance. In addition, no assurance can be given that the holders of commercial bank debt will not contest payments to the holders of securities issued by foreign governments in the event of default under commercial bank loan agreements.
The Fund may invest in certain hybrid derivatives-type instruments that combine features of a traditional stock or bond with those of, for example, a futures contract or an option. These instruments include structured notes and indexed securities, commodity-linked notes and commodity index-linked notes and credit-linked securities. The performance of the structured product, which is generally a fixed-income security, is tied (positively or negatively) to the price or prices of an unrelated reference indicator such as a security or basket of securities, currencies, commodities, a securities or commodities index or a credit default swap or other kinds of swaps. The structured product may not pay interest or protect the principal invested. The structured product or its interest rate may be a multiple of the reference indicator and, as a result, may be leveraged and move (up or down) more rapidly than the reference indicator. Investments in structured products may provide a more efficient and less expensive means of obtaining exposure to underlying securities, commodities or other derivatives, but may potentially be more volatile and carry greater trading and market risk than investments in traditional securities. The purchase of a structured product also exposes the Fund to the credit risk of the issuer of the structured product.
Structured notes are derivative debt instruments. The interest rate or principal of these notes is determined by reference to an unrelated indicator (for example, a currency, security, or index thereof) unlike a typical note where the borrower agrees to make fixed or floating interest payments and to pay a fixed sum at maturity. Indexed securities may include structured notes as well as securities other than debt securities, the interest or principal of which is determined by an unrelated indicator.
Commodity-linked notes and commodity index-linked notes provide exposure to the commodities markets. These are derivative securities with one or more commodity-linked components that have payment features similar to commodity futures contracts, commodity options, commodity indices or similar instruments. Commodity-linked products may be either equity or debt securities, leveraged or unleveraged, and have both security and commodity-like characteristics. A portion of the value of these instruments may be derived from the value of a commodity, futures contract, index or other economic variable.
The Fund may also invest in certain hybrid derivatives-type investments that combine features of a traditional bond with those of certain derivatives such as a credit default swap, an interest rate swap or other securities. These investments include credit-linked securities. The issuers of these securities frequently are limited purpose trusts or other special purpose vehicles that invest in a derivative instrument or a basket of derivative instruments in order to provide exposure to certain fixed-income markets. For instance, the Fund may invest in credit-linked securities as a cash management tool to gain exposure to a certain market or to remain fully invested when more traditional income-producing securities are not available. The performance of the structured product, which is generally a fixed-income security, is linked to the receipt of payments from the counterparties to the derivative instruments or other securities. The Fund’s investments in credit-linked securities are indirectly subject to the risks associated with derivative instruments, including, among others, credit risk, default risk, counterparty risk, interest rate risk and leverage risk. These securities are generally structured as Rule 144A securities so that they may be freely traded among qualified institutional buyers. However, changes in the market for credit-linked securities or the availability of willing buyers may result in reduced liquidity for the securities.
Variable, Floating and Inverse Floating-Rate Instruments
The Fund may invest in variable, floating and inverse floating-rate instruments. Variable and floating-rate securities pay interest at rates that are adjusted periodically, according to a specified formula. A “variable” interest rate adjusts at predetermined intervals (e.g., daily, weekly or monthly), while a “floating” interest rate adjusts whenever a specified benchmark rate (such as the bank prime lending rate) changes.
The Fund may also invest in inverse floating-rate debt instruments (“inverse floaters”). The interest rate on an inverse floater resets in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest to which the inverse floater is indexed. An inverse floater may have greater
volatility in market value, in that, during periods of rising interest rates, the market values of inverse floaters will tend to decrease more rapidly than those of fixed-rate securities.
Zero-Coupon and Principal-Only Securities
Zero-coupon securities and principal-only (PO) securities are debt securities that have been issued without interest coupons or stripped of their unmatured interest coupons, and include receipts or certificates representing interests in such stripped debt obligations and coupons. Such a security pays no interest to its holder during its life. Its value to an investor consists of the difference between its face value at the time of maturity and the price for which it was acquired, which is generally an amount significantly less than its face value. Such securities usually trade at a deep discount from their face or par value and are subject to greater fluctuations in market value in response to changing interest rates than debt obligations of comparable maturities and credit quality that make current distributions of interest. On the other hand, because there are no periodic interest payments to be reinvested prior to maturity, these securities eliminate reinvestment risk and “lock in” a rate of return to maturity.
ADDITIONAL RISKS AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Investments in the Fund involve the risk considerations described below.
Borrowings and Leverage
The Fund may use borrowings for investment purposes subject to its investment policies and procedures and to applicable statutory or regulatory requirements. Borrowings by the Fund result in leveraging of the Fund’s shares. The Fund may also use leverage for investment purposes by entering into transactions such as reverse repurchase agreements, forward contracts and dollar rolls. This means that the Fund uses cash made available during the term of these transactions to make investments in other securities.
Utilization of leverage, which is usually considered speculative, involves certain risks to the Fund’s shareholders. These include a higher volatility of the NAV of the Fund’s shares of common stock and the relatively greater effect of changes in the value of the Fund’s portfolio on the NAV of the shares caused by favorable or adverse changes in market conditions or interest rates. In the case of borrowings for investment purposes, so long as the Fund is able to realize a net return on the leveraged portion of its investment portfolio that is higher than the interest expense paid on borrowings, the effect of leverage will be to cause the Fund’s shareholders to realize a higher net return than if the Fund were not leveraged. If the interest expense on borrowings or other costs of leverage approach the net return on the Fund’s investment portfolio or investments made through leverage, as applicable, the benefit of leverage to the Fund’s shareholders will be reduced. If the interest expense on borrowings or other costs of leverage were to exceed the net return to the Fund, the Fund’s use of leverage could result in a lower rate of net return than if the Fund were not leveraged. Similarly, the effect of leverage in a declining market could normally be a greater decrease in NAV than if the Fund were not leveraged.
Foreign (Non-U.S.) Securities
Investing in foreign securities involves special risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in U.S. securities. The securities markets of many foreign countries are relatively small, with the majority of market capitalization and trading volume concentrated in a limited number of companies representing a small number of industries. The Fund may experience greater price volatility and significantly lower liquidity than a portfolio invested solely in securities of U.S. companies. These markets may be subject to greater influence by adverse events generally affecting the market, and by large investors trading significant blocks of securities, than is usual in the United States. In addition, the securities markets of some foreign countries may be closed on certain days (e.g., local holidays) when the Fund is open for business. On such days, the Fund may be unable to add to or exit its positions in foreign securities traded in such markets even though it may otherwise be attractive to do so.
Securities registration, custody, and settlement may in some instances be subject to delays and legal and administrative uncertainties. Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain foreign countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees. These restrictions or controls may at times limit or preclude investment in certain securities and may increase the costs and expenses of the Fund. In addition, the repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of sales of securities from certain of the countries is controlled under regulations, including in some cases the need for certain advance government notification or authority, and if a deterioration occurs in a country’s balance of payments, the country could impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances.
The Fund also could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for repatriation, as well as by the application to it of other restrictions on investment. Investing in local markets may require the Fund to adopt special procedures or seek local governmental approvals or other actions, any of which may involve additional costs to the Fund. These factors may affect the liquidity of the Fund’s investments in any country and the Adviser will monitor the effect of any such factor or factors on the Fund’s investments. Transaction costs, including brokerage commissions for transactions both on and off the securities exchanges, in many foreign countries are generally higher than in the United States.
Issuers of securities in foreign jurisdictions are generally not subject to the same degree of regulation as are U.S. issuers with respect to such matters as insider trading rules, restrictions on market manipulation, shareholder proxy requirements, and timely disclosure of information. The reporting, accounting, and auditing standards of foreign countries may differ, in some cases significantly, from U.S. standards in important respects, and less information may be available to investors in foreign securities than to investors in U.S. securities. Substantially less information is publicly available about certain non-U.S. issuers than is available about most U.S. issuers.
The economies of individual foreign countries may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product or gross national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency, and balance of payments position. Nationalization, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, currency blockage, political changes, government regulation, political or social instability, revolutions, wars or diplomatic developments could affect adversely the economy of a foreign country. In the event of nationalization, expropriation, or other confiscation, the Fund could lose its entire investment in securities in the country involved. In addition, laws in foreign countries governing business organizations, bankruptcy and insolvency may provide less protection to security holders such as the Funds than that provided by U.S. laws.
In June 2016, the United Kingdom (“UK”) voted in a referendum to leave the European Union (“EU”). On March 29, 2017, the UK notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU. There is considerable uncertainty relating to the timing and potential consequences of the withdrawal. During the period prior to withdrawal and thereafter, the impact on the UK and European economies and the broader global economy could be significant, resulting in increased volatility and illiquidity, currency fluctuations, impacts on arrangements for trading and on other existing cross-border cooperation arrangements (whether economic, tax, fiscal, legal, regulatory or otherwise), and in potentially lower growth for companies in the UK, Europe and globally, which could have an adverse effect on the value of the Fund’s investments.
Investments in securities of companies in emerging markets involve special risks. There are approximately 100 countries identified by the World Bank as Low Income, Lower Middle Income and Upper Middle Income countries that are generally regarded as emerging markets. Emerging market countries that the Adviser currently considers for investment include:
Countries may be added to or removed from this list at any time.
Investing in emerging market securities imposes risks different from, or greater than, risks of investing in domestic securities or in foreign, developed countries. These risks include: smaller market capitalization of securities markets, which may suffer periods of relative illiquidity; significant price volatility; restrictions on foreign investment; and possible repatriation of investment income and capital. In addition, foreign investors may be required to register the proceeds of sales and future economic or political crises could lead to price controls, forced mergers, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, seizure, nationalization, or creation of government monopolies. The currencies of emerging market countries may experience significant declines against the U.S. Dollar, and devaluation may occur subsequent to investments in these currencies by the Fund. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging market countries.
Additional risks of emerging market securities may include: greater social, economic and political uncertainty and instability; more substantial governmental involvement in the economy; less governmental supervision and regulation; unavailability of currency hedging techniques; companies that are newly organized and small; differences in auditing and financial reporting standards, which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; and less developed legal systems. In addition, emerging securities markets may have different clearance and settlement procedures, which may be unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions or otherwise make it difficult to engage in such transactions. Settlement problems may cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities, hold a portion of its assets in cash pending investment, or be delayed in disposing of a portfolio security. Such a delay could result in possible liability to a purchaser of the security.
The Fund may invest in securities of frontier market countries. Frontier market countries generally have smaller, less diverse economies and even less developed capital markets and legal, regulatory, and political systems than traditional emerging markets. As a result, the risks of investing in emerging market countries are magnified in frontier market countries. Frontier market risks include the potential for extreme price volatility and illiquidity—economic or political instability may cause larger price changes in frontier market securities than in securities of issuers located in more developed markets. The risks of investing in frontier market countries may also be magnified
by: government ownership or control of parts of the private sector and of certain companies; trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values, impaired or limited access to issuer information and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which frontier market countries trade; and the relatively new and unsettled securities laws in many frontier market countries. The actions of a relatively few major investors in these markets are more likely to result in significant changes in local stock prices and the value of fund shares. The risk also exists that an emergency situation may arise in one or more frontier market countries as a result of which trading of securities may cease or may be substantially curtailed and prices for investments in such markets may not be readily available. All of these factors can make investing in frontier markets riskier than investing in more developed emerging markets or other foreign markets.
Foreign (Non-U.S.) Currencies
Investing in and exposure to foreign currencies involve special risks and considerations. If the Fund invests some portion of its assets in securities denominated in, and receives revenues in, foreign currencies, it will be adversely affected by reductions in the value of those currencies relative to the U.S. Dollar. Foreign currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly. They are determined by supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets, the relative merits of investments in different countries, actual or perceived changes in interest rates, and other complex factors. Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks or by currency controls or political developments. In light of these risks, the Fund may engage in certain currency hedging transactions, as described above, which involve certain special risks.
The Fund may also invest directly in foreign currencies for non-hedging purposes, directly on a spot basis (i.e., cash) or through derivatives transactions, such as forward currency exchange contracts, futures contracts and options thereon, swaps and options as described above. These investments will be subject to the same risks. In addition, currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time, causing the Fund’s NAV to fluctuate.
Investment in Below Investment Grade Fixed-Income Securities
Investments in securities rated below investment grade (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are subject to greater risk of loss of principal and interest than higher-rated securities. These securities are also generally considered to be subject to greater market risk than higher-rated securities. The capacity of issuers of these securities to pay interest and repay principal is more likely to weaken than is that of issuers of higher-rated securities in times of deteriorating economic conditions or rising interest rates. In addition, below investment grade securities may be more susceptible to real or perceived adverse economic conditions than investment grade securities.
The market for these securities may be thinner and less active than that for higher-rated securities, which can adversely affect the prices at which these securities can be sold. To the extent that there is no established secondary market for these securities, the Fund may experience difficulty in valuing such securities and, in turn, the Fund’s assets.
The Fund may invest in unrated securities when the Adviser believes that the financial condition of the issuers of such securities, or the protection afforded by the terms of the securities themselves, limits the risk to the Fund to a degree comparable to that of rated securities that are consistent with the Fund’s objective and policies.
The Fund may take advantage of other investment practices that are not currently contemplated for use by the Fund, or are not available but may yet be developed, to the extent such investment practices are consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and legally permissible for the Fund. Such investment practices, if they arise, may involve risks that exceed those involved in the activities described above.
Changes in Investment Objectives and Policies
The Fund is a series of AB Bond Fund, Inc. The Board of Directors of AB Bond Fund, Inc. (the “Board”) may change the Fund’s investment objective without shareholder approval. The Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days’ prior written notice of any change to the Fund’s investment objective. Unless otherwise noted, all other policies of the Fund may be changed without shareholder approval.
Temporary Defensive Position
For temporary defensive purposes in an attempt to respond to adverse market, economic, political or other conditions, the Fund may invest in certain types of short-term, liquid, investment-grade or high-quality debt securities. While the Fund is investing for temporary defensive purposes, it may not meet its investment objectives.
A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund’s SAI.
Cyber Security Risk
Mutual funds, including the Fund, are susceptible to cyber security risk. Cyber security breaches may allow an unauthorized party to gain access to Fund assets, shareholder data, or proprietary information, or cause the Fund and/or its service providers to suffer data corruption or lose operational functionality. In addition, cyber security breaches at issuers in which the Fund invests may affect the value of your investment in the Fund.
This section discusses how to buy, sell or redeem, or exchange different classes of shares of the Fund that are offered through this Prospectus. The Fund offers three classes of shares through this Prospectus.
Each share class represents an investment in the same portfolio of securities, but the classes may have different sales charges and bear different ongoing distribution expenses. For additional information on the differences between the different classes of shares and factors to consider when choosing among them, please see “The Different Share Class Expenses” and “Choosing a Share Class” below. Only Class A shares offer Quantity Discounts on sales charges, as described below.
The purchase of the Fund’s shares is priced at the next-determined NAV after your order is received in proper form.
Class A and Class C Shares – Shares Available to Retail Investors
You may purchase the Fund’s Class A or Class C shares through financial intermediaries, such as broker-dealers or banks. You also may purchase shares directly from the Fund’s principal underwriter, AllianceBernstein Investments, Inc., or ABI, if you are (i) an initial investor and the Fund has received and accepted a completed Mutual Fund Application identifying a financial intermediary with which ABI has an agreement; (ii) an existing Fund shareholder with an account held directly with a Fund; or (iii) an employee of the Adviser or any of its affiliates. These purchases may be subject to an initial sales charge, an asset-based sales charge or CDSC as described below.
Purchase Minimums and Maximums
|*||Purchase minimums may not apply to some accounts established in connection with the Automatic Investment Program and to some retirement-related investment programs. These investment minimums also do not apply to persons participating in a fee-based program or “Mutual Fund Only” brokerage program which is sponsored and maintained by a registered broker-dealer or other financial intermediary with omnibus account or “network level” account arrangements with the Fund.|
Maximum Individual Purchase Amount:
|—Class A shares||None|
|—Class C shares||$ 1,000,000|
Other Purchase Information
Your broker or financial intermediary must receive your purchase request by the Fund Closing Time, which is the close of regular trading on any day the Exchange is open (ordinarily, 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, but sometimes earlier, as in the case of scheduled half-day trading or unscheduled suspensions of trading), and submit it to the Fund by a pre-arranged time for you to receive the next-determined NAV, less any applicable initial sales charge.
If you are an existing Fund shareholder and you have completed the appropriate section of the Mutual Fund Application, you may purchase additional shares by telephone with payment by electronic funds transfer in amounts not exceeding $500,000. AllianceBernstein Investor Services, Inc., or ABIS, must receive and confirm telephone requests before the Fund Closing Time to receive that day’s public offering price. Call (800) 221-5672 to arrange a transfer from your bank account.
Shares of the Fund are generally available for purchase in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Except to the extent otherwise permitted by the Fund, the Fund will only accept purchase orders directly from U.S. citizens with a U.S. address (including an APO or FPO address) or resident aliens with a U.S. address (including an APO or FPO address) and a U.S. taxpayer identification number (i.e., W-9 tax status). Subject to the requirements of local law applicable to the offering of Fund shares, U.S. citizens (i.e., W-9 tax status) residing in foreign countries are permitted to purchase shares of the Fund through their accounts at U.S. registered broker-dealers and other similar U.S. financial intermediaries, provided the broker-dealer or intermediary has an agreement with the Fund’s distributor permitting it to accept orders for the purchase and sale of Fund shares.
The Fund will not accept purchase orders (including orders for the purchase of additional shares) from foreign persons or entities or from resident aliens who, to the knowledge of the Fund, have reverted to non-resident status (e.g., a resident alien who has a non-U.S. address at time of purchase).
Class A shares are also available to the following tax-deferred arrangements:
|•||Traditional and Roth IRAs (minimums listed in the table above apply);|
|•||SEPs, SAR-SEPs, SIMPLE IRAs, and individual 403(b) plans (no investment minimum); and|
|•||AllianceBernstein-sponsored Coverdell Education Savings Accounts ($2,000 initial investment minimum, $150 Automatic Investment Program monthly minimum).|
Class C shares are available to AllianceBernstein Link, AllianceBernstein Individual 401(k), AllianceBernstein SIMPLE IRA plans with less than $250,000 in plan assets and 100 employees, and to group retirement plans.
Advisor Class Shares
You may purchase Advisor Class shares through your financial advisor at NAV. Advisor Class shares may be purchased and held solely:
|•||through accounts established under a fee-based program, sponsored and maintained by a registered broker-dealer or other financial intermediary and approved by ABI;|
|•||through a defined contribution employee benefit plan (e.g., a 401(k) plan) that purchases shares directly without the involvement of a financial intermediary; and|
|•||by investment advisory clients of, and certain other persons associated with, the Adviser and its affiliates or the Fund.|
Advisor Class shares may also be available on brokerage platforms of firms that have agreements with ABI to offer such shares when acting solely on an agency basis for the purchase or sale of such shares. If you transact in Advisor Class shares through one of these programs, you may be required to pay a commission and/or other forms of compensation to the broker. Shares of the Fund are available in other share classes that have different fees and expenses.
The Fund’s SAI has more detailed information about who may purchase and hold Advisor Class shares.
Class A Shares Available to Group Retirement Plans
Class A shares are available at NAV, without an initial sales charge, to 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit-sharing and money purchase pension plans, defined benefit plans, and non-qualified deferred compensation plans where plan level or omnibus accounts are held on the books of the Fund (“group retirement plans”).
Class A shares are also available at NAV to the AllianceBernstein Link, AllianceBernstein Individual 401(k) and AllianceBernstein SIMPLE IRA plans but only if such plans have at least $250,000 in plan assets or 100 employees, and to certain defined contribution retirement plans that do not have plan level or omnibus accounts on the books of the Fund.
Class A shares are also available to group retirement plans in the AllianceBernstein-sponsored programs known as the “Informed Choice” programs.
The Fund is required by law to obtain, verify and record certain personal information from you or persons authorized to act on your behalf in order to establish an account. Required information includes name, date of birth, physical address and taxpayer identification number (for most investors, your social security number). The Fund may also ask to see other identifying documents. If you do not provide the information, the Fund will not be able to open your account. If the Fund is unable to verify your identity, or that of another person(s) authorized to act on your behalf, or if the Fund believes it has identified potentially criminal activity, the Fund reserves the right to take action it deems appropriate or as required by law, which may include closing your account. If you are not a U.S. citizen or resident alien, your account must be affiliated with a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, member firm.
The Fund is required to withhold 24% of taxable dividends, capital gains distributions, and redemptions paid to any shareholder who has not provided the Fund with his or her correct taxpayer identification number. To avoid this, you must provide your correct taxpayer identification number on your Mutual Fund Application.
IRA custodians, plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, plan recordkeepers, and other financial intermediaries may establish their own eligibility requirements as to the purchase, sale or exchange of Fund shares, including minimum and maximum investment requirements. The Fund is not responsible for, and has no control over, the decisions of any plan sponsor, fiduciary or other financial intermediary to impose such differing requirements.
ABI may refuse any order to purchase shares. The Fund reserves the right to suspend the sale of its shares to the public in response to conditions in the securities markets or for other reasons.
This section describes the different expenses of investing in each class and explains factors to consider when choosing a class of shares. The expenses can include distribution and/or service (Rule 12b-1) fees, initial sales charges and/or CDSCs. Only Class A shares offer Quantity Discounts, as described below.
Asset-Based Sales Charges or Distribution and/or Service (Rule 12b-1) Fees
The amount of these fees for each class of the Fund’s shares is:
Distribution and/or Service
(Rule 12b-1) Fee (as a
Percentage of Aggregate
Average Daily Net Assets)
* The maximum fee allowed under the Rule 12b-1 Plan for the Class A shares of the Fund is 0.25% of the aggregate average daily net assets. The Board currently limits the payments to 0.20%.
Because these fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales fees. Class C shares are subject to higher Rule 12b-1 fees than Class A shares. Class C shares are subject to these higher fees for a period of ten years, after which they convert to Class A shares. Share classes with higher Rule 12b-1 fees will have a higher expense ratio, pay correspondingly lower dividends and may have a lower NAV (and returns). All or some of these fees are paid to financial intermediaries, which may include your financial intermediary’s firm. ABI retains these fees for certain shareholder accounts, including those held directly with the Fund (with no associated financial intermediary).
Class A Shares. You can purchase Class A shares at their public offering price (or cost), which is NAV plus an initial sales charge of up to 4.25% of the offering price. Any applicable sales charge will be deducted directly from your investment.
The initial sales charge you pay each time you buy Class A shares differs depending on the amount you invest and may be reduced or eliminated for larger purchases as indicated below. These discounts, which are also known as Breakpoints or Quantity Discounts, can reduce or, in some cases, eliminate the initial sales charges that would otherwise apply to your investment in Class A shares.
The sales charge schedule of Class A share Quantity Discounts is as follows:
|Initial Sales Charge|
|Amount Purchased||as %
|Up to $100,000||4.44||%||4.25||%|
|$100,000 up to $250,000||3.36||3.25|
|$250,000 up to $500,000||2.30||2.25|
|$500,000 up to $1,000,000||1.78||1.75|
|$1,000,000 and above||0.00||0.00|
Except as noted below, purchases of Class A shares in the amount of $1,000,000 or more or by AllianceBernstein or non-AllianceBernstein sponsored group retirement plans are not subject to an initial sales charge, but may be subject to a 1% CDSC if redeemed or terminated within one year.
Class A share purchases not subject to sales charges. The Fund may sell its Class A shares at NAV without an initial sales charge or CDSC to some categories of investors, including:
|•||persons participating in a fee-based program, sponsored and maintained by a registered broker-dealer or other financial intermediary, under which persons pay an asset-based fee for services in the nature of investment advisory or administrative services, or clients of broker-dealers or other financial intermediaries who purchase Class A shares for their own accounts through self-directed and/or non-discretionary brokerage accounts with the broker-dealers or other financial intermediaries that may or may not charge a transaction fee to its customers;|
|•||plan participants who roll over amounts distributed from employer maintained retirement plans to AllianceBernstein-sponsored IRAs where the plan is a client of or serviced by the Adviser’s Institutional Investment Management Division or Bernstein Global Wealth Management Division, including subsequent contributions to those IRAs;|
|•||certain other investors, such as investment management clients of the Adviser or its affiliates, including clients and prospective clients of the Adviser’s Institutional Investment Management Division, employees of selected dealers authorized to sell the Fund’s shares, and employees of the Adviser; or|
|•||persons participating in a “Mutual Fund Only” brokerage program, sponsored and maintained by a registered broker-dealer or other financial intermediary.|
The availability of certain sales charge waivers and discounts will depend on whether you purchase your shares directly from the Fund or through a financial intermediary. Intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of front-end sales load waivers and discounts or CDSC waivers. In all instances, it is the purchaser’s responsibility to notify the Fund or the purchaser’s financial intermediary at the time of purchase of any relationship or other facts qualifying the purchaser for sales charge waivers or discounts. For waivers and discounts not available through a particular intermediary, shareholders will have to purchase Fund shares directly from the Fund or through another intermediary to receive these waivers or discounts.
Please see the Fund’s SAI for more information about purchases of Class A shares without sales charges.
Certain intermediaries impose different eligibility criteria for sales load waivers and discounts, which are described in Appendix C—Financial Intermediary Waivers.
Class C Shares. You can purchase Class C shares at NAV without an initial sales charge. This means that the full amount of your purchase is invested in the Fund. Your investment is subject to a 1% CDSC if you redeem your shares within one year. If you exchange your shares for the Class C shares of another AB Mutual Fund, the 1% CDSC also will apply to the Class C shares received. The 1-year period for the CDSC begins with the date of your original purchase, not the date of the exchange for the other Class C shares.
Class C shares purchased for cash automatically convert to Class A shares ten years after the end of the month of your purchase. If you purchase shares by exchange for the Class C shares of another AB Mutual Fund, the conversion period runs from the date of your original purchase.
Advisor Class Shares. Advisor Class shares are not subject to any initial sales charge or CDSC, although your financial advisor may charge a fee.
This section includes important information about sales charge reduction programs available to investors in Class A shares and describes information or records you may need to provide to the Fund or your financial intermediary in order to be eligible for sales charge reduction programs. Your financial intermediary may have different policies and procedures regarding eligibility for sales charge reduction programs. See Appendix C—Financial Intermediary Waivers.
Information about Quantity Discounts and sales charge reduction programs also is available free of charge and in a clear and prominent format on our website at www.abfunds.com (click on “Investments—Mutual Funds”, select the Fund, then click on “More Literature—Understanding Sales Charges & Expenses”).
Rights of Accumulation
To determine if a new investment in Class A shares is eligible for a Quantity Discount, a shareholder can combine the value of the new investment in the Fund with the higher of cost or NAV of existing investments in the Fund, any other AB Mutual Fund and AB Institutional Funds. The AB Mutual Funds use the higher of cost or current NAV of your existing investments when combining them with your new investment.
Combined Purchase Privileges
A shareholder may qualify for a Quantity Discount by combining purchases of shares of the Fund into a single “purchase”. A “purchase” means a single purchase or concurrent purchases of shares of the Fund or any other AB Mutual Fund, including AB Institutional Funds, by:
|•||an individual, his or her spouse or domestic partner, or the individual’s children under the age of 21 purchasing shares for his, her or their own account(s);|
|•||a trustee or other fiduciary purchasing shares for a single trust, estate or single fiduciary account with one or more beneficiaries involved;|
|•||the employee benefit plans of a single employer; or|
|•||any company that has been in existence for at least six months or has a purpose other than the purchase of shares of the Fund.|
Letter of Intent
An investor may not immediately invest a sufficient amount to reach a Quantity Discount, but may plan to make one or more additional investments over a period of time that, in the end, would qualify for a Quantity Discount. For these situations, the Fund offers a Letter of Intent, which permits new investors to express the intention, in writing, to invest at least $100,000 in Class A shares of the Fund or any AB Mutual Fund within 13 months. The Fund will then apply the Quantity Discount to each of the investor’s purchases of Class A shares that would apply to the total amount stated in the Letter of Intent. In the event an existing investor chooses to initiate a Letter of Intent, the AB Mutual Funds will use the higher of cost or current NAV of the investor’s existing investments and of those accounts with which investments are combined via Combined Purchase Privileges toward the fulfillment of the Letter of Intent. For example, if the combined cost of purchases totaled $80,000 and the current NAV of all applicable accounts is $85,000 at the time a $100,000 Letter of Intent is initiated, the subsequent investment of an additional $15,000 would fulfill the Letter of Intent. If an investor fails to invest the total amount stated in the Letter of Intent, the Fund will retroactively collect the sales charge otherwise applicable by redeeming shares in the investor’s account at their then current NAV. Investors qualifying for Combined Purchase Privileges may purchase shares under a single Letter of Intent.
Required Shareholder Information and Records
In order for shareholders to take advantage of sales charge reductions, a shareholder or his or her financial intermediary must notify the Fund that the shareholder qualifies for a reduction. Without notification, the Fund is unable to ensure that the reduction is applied to the shareholder’s account. A shareholder may have to provide information or records to his or her financial intermediary or the Fund to verify eligibility for breakpoint privileges or other sales charge waivers. This may include information or records, including account statements, regarding shares of the Fund or other AB Mutual Funds held in:
|•||all of the shareholder’s accounts at the Fund or a financial intermediary; and|
|•||accounts of related parties of the shareholder, such as members of the same family, at any financial intermediary.|
The Fund will waive the CDSCs on redemptions of shares in the following circumstances, among others:
|•||permitted exchanges of shares;|
|•||following the death or disability of a shareholder;|
|•||if the redemption represents a minimum required distribution from an IRA or other retirement plan to a shareholder who has attained the age of 70 1/2; or|
|•||if the redemption is necessary to meet a plan participant’s or beneficiary’s request for a distribution or loan from a group retirement plan or to accommodate a plan participant’s or beneficiary’s direction to reallocate his or her plan account among other investment alternatives available under a group retirement plan.|
Please see the Fund’s SAI for a list of additional circumstances in which the Fund will waive the CDSCs on redemptions of shares.
Your financial intermediary may have different policies and procedures regarding eligibility for CDSC waivers. See Appendix C—Financial Intermediary Waivers.
Dividend Reinvestment Program
Unless you specifically have elected to receive dividends or distributions in cash, they will automatically be reinvested, without an initial sales charge or CDSC, in the same class of additional shares of the Fund. If you elect to receive distributions in cash, you will only receive a check if the amount of the distribution is equal to or exceeds $25.00. Distributions of less than $25.00 will automatically be reinvested in shares of the Fund. To receive distributions of less than $25.00 in cash, you must have bank instructions associated to your account so that distributions can be delivered to you electronically via Electronic Funds Transfer using the Automated Clearing House or “ACH”. In addition, the Fund may reinvest your distribution check (and future checks) in additional shares of the Fund if your check (i) is returned as undeliverable or (ii) remains uncashed for nine months.
Dividend Direction Plan
A shareholder who already maintains accounts in more than one AB Mutual Fund may direct the automatic investment of income dividends and/or capital gains by the Fund, in any amount, without the payment of any sales charges, in shares of any eligible class of one or more other AB Mutual Fund(s) in which the shareholder maintains an account.
Automatic Investment Program
The Automatic Investment Program allows investors to purchase shares of the Fund through pre-authorized transfers of funds from the investor’s bank account. Under the Automatic Investment Program, an investor may (i) make an initial purchase of at least $2,500 and invest at least $50 monthly or (ii) make an initial purchase of less than $2,500 and commit to a monthly investment of $200 or more until the investor’s account balance is $2,500 or more. Please see the Fund’s SAI for more details.
A shareholder who has redeemed all or any portion of his or her Class A shares may reinvest all or any portion of the proceeds from the redemption in Class A shares of any AB Mutual Fund at NAV without any sales charge, if the reinvestment is made within 120 calendar days after the redemption date.
Systematic Withdrawal Plan
The Fund offers a systematic withdrawal plan that permits the redemption of Class A or Class C shares without payment of a CDSC. Under this plan, redemptions equal to 1% a month, 2% every two months or 3% a quarter of the value of the Fund account would be free of a CDSC. The Class A and Class C shares held the longest would be redeemed first.
Each share class represents an interest in the same portfolio of securities, but each class has its own sales charge and expense structure, allowing you to choose the class that best fits your situation. In choosing a class of shares, you should consider:
|•||the amount you intend to invest;|
|•||how long you expect to own shares;|
|•||expenses associated with owning a particular class of shares;|
|•||whether you qualify for any reduction or waiver of sales charges (for example, if you are making a large investment that qualifies for a Quantity Discount, you might consider purchasing Class A shares); and|
|•||whether a share class is available for purchase.|
Among other things, Class A shares, with their lower Rule 12b-1 fees, are designed for investors with a long-term investing time frame. Class C shares should not be considered as a long-term investment because they are subject to a higher distribution fee for ten years. Class C shares do not, however, have an initial sales charge or a CDSC so long as the shares are held for one year or more. Class C shares are designed for investors with a short-term investing time frame.
A transaction, service, administrative or other similar fee may be charged by your broker-dealer, agent or other financial intermediary, with respect to the purchase, sale or exchange of Class A, Class C or Advisor Class shares made through your financial advisor, or in connection with participation on the intermediary’s platform. Financial intermediaries, a fee-based program, or, for group retirement plans, a plan sponsor or plan fiduciary, also may impose requirements on the purchase, sale or exchange of shares that are different from, or in addition to, those described in this Prospectus and the Fund’s SAI, including requirements as to the minimum initial and subsequent investment amounts. In addition, group retirement plans may not offer all classes of shares of the Fund. The Fund is not responsible for, and has no control over, the decision of any financial intermediary, plan sponsor or fiduciary to impose such differing requirements.
You should consult your financial advisor for assistance in choosing a class of Fund shares.
Financial intermediaries market and sell shares of the Fund. These financial intermediaries employ financial advisors and receive compensation for selling shares of the Fund. This compensation is paid from various sources, including any sales charge, CDSC and/or Rule 12b-1 fee that you or the Fund may pay. Your individual financial advisor may receive some or all of the amounts paid to the financial intermediary that employs him or her.
All or a portion of the initial sales charge that you pay is paid by ABI to financial intermediaries selling Class A shares. ABI may also pay financial intermediaries a fee of up to 1% on purchases of Class A shares that are sold without an initial sales charge.
ABI pays, at the time of your purchase, a commission to financial intermediaries in an amount to equal to 1% of your investment for sales of Class C shares.
For Class A and Class C shares, up to 100% of the Rule 12b-1 fees applicable to these classes of shares each year may be paid to financial intermediaries.
Other Payments for Distribution Services and Educational Support
In addition to the commissions paid to or charged by financial intermediaries at the time of sale and Rule 12b-1 fees, some or all of which are paid to financial intermediaries (and, in turn, may be paid to your financial advisor), ABI, at its expense, currently provides additional payments to firms that sell shares of the AB Mutual Funds. Although the individual components may be higher and the total amount of payments made to each qualifying firm in any given year may vary, the total amount paid to a financial intermediary in connection with the sale of shares of the AB Mutual Funds will generally not exceed the sum of (a) 0.25% of the current year’s fund sales by that firm and (b) 0.10% of average daily net assets attributable to that firm over the year. These sums include payments for distribution analytical data regarding AB Mutual Fund sales by financial advisors of these firms and to reimburse directly or indirectly the costs incurred by these firms and their employees in connection with educational seminars and training efforts about the AB Mutual Funds for the firms’ employees and/or their clients and potential clients. The costs and expenses associated with these efforts may include travel, lodging, entertainment and meals. ABI may pay a portion of “ticket” or other transactional charges.
For 2020, ABI’s additional payments to these firms for distribution services and educational support related to the AB Mutual Funds are expected to be approximately 0.05% of the average monthly assets of the AB Mutual Funds, or approximately $22 million. In 2019, ABI paid approximately 0.05% of the average monthly assets of the AB Mutual Funds or approximately $21 million for distribution services and educational support related to the AB Mutual Funds.
A number of factors are considered in determining the additional payments, including each firm’s AB Mutual Fund sales, assets and redemption rates, and the willingness and ability of the firm to give ABI access to its financial advisors for educational and marketing purposes. In some cases, firms will include the AB Mutual Funds on a “preferred list”. ABI’s goal is to make the financial advisors who interact with current and prospective investors and shareholders more knowledgeable about the AB Mutual Funds so that they can provide suitable information and advice about the funds and related investor services.
The Fund and ABI also make payments for recordkeeping and other transfer agency services to financial intermediaries that sell AB Mutual Fund shares. Please see “Management of the Fund—Transfer Agency and Retirement Plan Services” below. If paid by the Fund, these expenses are included in “Other Expenses” under “Fees and Expenses of the Fund—Annual Fund Operating Expenses” in the Summary Information at the beginning of this Prospectus.
As of the date of this Prospectus, ABI anticipates that the firms that will receive additional payments for distribution services and/or educational support include:
American Enterprise Investment Services
Cadaret, Grant & Co.
Citigroup Global Markets
Commonwealth Financial Network
Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co.
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
JP Morgan Securities
Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.
Lincoln Financial Securities Corp.
Northwestern Mutual Investment Services
RBC Wealth Management
Robert W. Baird
UBS Financial Services
US Bancorp Investments
Voya Financial Partners
Waddell & Reed, Inc.
Wells Fargo Advisors
Although the Fund may use brokers and dealers that sell shares of the Fund to effect portfolio transactions, the Fund does not consider the sale of AB Mutual Fund shares as a factor when selecting brokers or dealers to effect portfolio transactions.
You may exchange your Fund shares for shares of the same class of other AB Mutual Funds provided that the other fund offers the same class of shares and, in the case of retirement plans, is an investment option under the plan. Exchanges of shares are made at the next-determined NAV, without sales or service charges, after your order is received in proper form. All exchanges are subject to the minimum investment restrictions set forth in the prospectus for the AB Mutual Fund whose shares are being acquired. You may request an exchange either directly or through your financial intermediary or, in the case of retirement plan participants, by following the procedures specified by your plan sponsor or plan recordkeeper. In order to receive a day’s NAV, ABIS must receive and confirm your telephone exchange request by the Fund Closing Time, on that day. The Fund may modify, restrict or terminate the exchange privilege on 60 days’ written notice.
You may “redeem” your shares (i.e., sell your shares to the Fund) on any day the Exchange is open, either directly or through your financial intermediary or, in the case of retirement plan participants, by following the procedures specified by your plan sponsor or plan recordkeeper. For Advisor Class shares, if you are in doubt about what procedures or documents are required by your fee-based program or employee benefit plan to sell your shares, you should contact your financial intermediary. Your sale price will be the next-determined NAV, less any applicable CDSC, after the Fund receives your redemption request in proper form. The Fund expects that it will typically take one to three business days following the receipt of your redemption request in proper form to pay out redemption proceeds. However, while not expected, payment of redemption proceeds may take up to seven days from the day your request is received in proper form by the Fund by the Fund Closing Time. If you recently purchased your shares by check or electronic funds transfer, your redemption payment may be delayed until the Fund is reasonably satisfied that the check or electronic funds transfer has been collected (which may take up to 10 days).
The Fund expects, under normal circumstances, to use cash or cash equivalents held by the Fund to satisfy redemption requests. The Fund may also determine to sell portfolio assets to meet such requests. Under certain circumstances, including stressed market conditions, the Fund may determine to pay a redemption request by accessing a bank line of credit or by distributing wholly or partly in kind securities from its portfolio, instead of cash.
Sale In-Kind. The Fund normally pays proceeds of a sale of Fund shares in cash. However, the Fund has reserved the right to pay the sale price in whole or in part by a distribution in-kind of securities in lieu of cash. If the redemption payment is made in-kind, the securities received will be subject to market risk and may decline in value. In addition, you may incur brokerage commissions if you elect to sell the securities for cash.
Selling Shares Through Your Financial Intermediary or Retirement Plan
Your financial intermediary or plan recordkeeper must receive your sales request by the Fund Closing Time, and submit it to the Fund by a pre-arranged time for you to receive that day’s NAV, less any applicable CDSC. Your financial intermediary, plan sponsor or plan recordkeeper is responsible for submitting all necessary documentation to the Fund and may charge you a fee for this service.
Selling Shares Directly to the Fund
|•||Send a signed letter of instruction or stock power, along with certificates, to:|
AllianceBernstein Investor Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 786003
San Antonio, TX 78278-6003
|•||For certified or overnight deliveries, send to:|
AllianceBernstein Investor Services, Inc.
8000 IH 10 W, 13th floor
San Antonio, TX 78230
|•||For your protection, a bank, a member firm of a national stock exchange or another eligible guarantor institution must guarantee signatures. Stock power forms are available from your financial intermediary, ABIS and many commercial banks. Additional documentation is required for the sale of shares by corporations, intermediaries, fiduciaries and surviving joint owners. If you have any questions about these procedures, contact ABIS.|
|•||You may redeem your shares for which no stock certificates have been issued by telephone request. Call ABIS at (800) 221-5672 with instructions on how you wish to receive your sale proceeds.|
|•||ABIS must receive and confirm a telephone redemption request by the Fund Closing Time for you to receive that day’s NAV, less any applicable CDSC.|
|•||For your protection, ABIS will request personal or other information from you to verify your identity and will generally record the calls. Neither the Fund nor the Adviser, ABIS, ABI or other Fund agent will be liable for any loss, injury, damage or expense as a result of acting upon telephone instructions purporting to be on your behalf that ABIS reasonably believes to be genuine.|
|•||If you have selected electronic funds transfer in your Mutual Fund Application, the redemption proceeds will be sent directly to your bank. Otherwise, the proceeds will be mailed to you.|
|•||Redemption requests by electronic funds transfer or check may not exceed $100,000 per Fund account per day.|
|•||Telephone redemption is not available for shares held in nominee or “street name” accounts, retirement plan accounts, or shares held by a shareholder who has changed his or her address of record within the previous 30 calendar days.|
The Board has adopted policies and procedures designed to detect and deter frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares or excessive or short-term trading that may disadvantage long-term Fund shareholders. These policies are described below. There is no guarantee that the Fund will be able to detect excessive or short-term trading activity or to identify shareholders engaged in such practices, particularly with respect to transactions in omnibus accounts. Shareholders should be aware that application of these policies may have adverse consequences, as described below, and should avoid frequent trading in Fund shares through purchases, sales and exchanges of shares. The Fund reserves the right to restrict, reject or cancel, without any prior notice, any purchase or exchange order for any reason, including any purchase or exchange order accepted by any shareholder’s financial intermediary.
Risks Associated With Excessive or Short-Term Trading Generally. While the Fund will try to prevent market timing by utilizing the procedures described below, these procedures may not be successful in identifying or stopping excessive or short-term trading in all circumstances. By realizing profits through short-term trading, shareholders that engage in rapid purchases and sales or exchanges of the Fund’s shares dilute the value of shares held by long-term shareholders. Volatility resulting from excessive purchases and sales or exchanges of Fund shares, especially involving large dollar amounts, may disrupt efficient portfolio management and cause the Fund to sell portfolio securities at inopportune times to raise cash to accommodate redemptions relating to short-term trading activity. In particular, the Fund may have difficulty implementing its long-term investment strategies if it is forced to maintain a higher level of its assets in cash to accommodate significant short-term trading activity. In addition, the Fund may incur increased administrative and other expenses due to excessive or short-term trading, including increased brokerage costs and realization of taxable capital gains.
Funds that may invest significantly in securities of foreign issuers may be particularly susceptible to short-term trading strategies. This is because securities of foreign issuers are typically traded on markets that close well before the time a Fund calculates its NAV (ordinarily at 4:00 p.m., Eastern time), which gives rise to the possibility that developments may have occurred in the interim that would affect the value of these securities. The time zone differences among international stock markets can allow a shareholder engaging in a short-term trading strategy to exploit differences in Fund share prices that are based on closing prices of securities of foreign issuers established some time before the Fund calculates its own share price (referred to as “time zone arbitrage”). The Fund has procedures, referred to as fair value pricing, designed to adjust closing market prices of securities of foreign issuers to reflect what is believed to be the fair value of those securities at the time the Fund calculates its NAV. While there is no assurance, the Fund expects that the use of fair value pricing, in addition to the short-term trading policies discussed below, will significantly reduce a shareholder’s ability to engage in time zone arbitrage to the detriment of other Fund shareholders.
A shareholder engaging in a short-term trading strategy may also target the Fund irrespective of its investments in securities of foreign issuers. Any Fund that invests in securities that are, among other things, thinly traded, traded infrequently or that have a limited public float has the risk that the current market price for the securities may not accurately reflect current market values. A shareholder may
seek to engage in short-term trading to take advantage of these pricing differences (referred to as “price arbitrage”). The Fund may be adversely affected by price arbitrage.
Policy Regarding Short-Term Trading. Purchases and exchanges of shares of the Fund should be made for investment purposes only. The Fund seeks to prevent patterns of excessive purchases and sales of Fund shares to the extent they are detected by the procedures described below subject to the Fund’s ability to monitor purchase, sale and exchange activity. The Fund reserves the right to modify this policy, including any surveillance or account blocking procedures established from time to time to effectuate this policy, at any time without notice.
|•||Transaction Surveillance Procedures. The Fund, through its agents, ABI and ABIS, maintains surveillance procedures to detect excessive or short-term trading in Fund shares. This surveillance process involves several factors, which include scrutinizing transactions in Fund shares that exceed certain monetary thresholds or numerical limits within a specified period of time. Generally, more than two exchanges of Fund shares during any 60-day period or purchases of shares followed by a sale within 60 days will be identified by these surveillance procedures. For purposes of these transaction surveillance procedures, the Fund may consider trading activity in multiple accounts under common ownership, control or influence. Trading activity identified by either, or a combination, of these factors, or as a result of any other information available at the time, will be evaluated to determine whether such activity might constitute excessive or short-term trading. With respect to managed or discretionary accounts for which the account owner gives his/her broker, investment adviser or other third party authority to buy and sell Fund shares, the Fund may consider trades initiated by the account owner, such as trades initiated in connection with bona fide cash management purposes, separately in their analysis. These surveillance procedures may be modified from time to time, as necessary or appropriate to improve the detection of excessive or short-term trading or to address specific circumstances.|
|•||Account Blocking Procedures. If the Fund determines, in its sole discretion, that a particular transaction or pattern of transactions identified by the transaction surveillance procedures described above is excessive or short-term trading in nature, the Fund will take remedial actions that may include issuing a warning, revoking certain account-related activities (such as the ability to place purchase, sale and exchange orders over the internet or by phone) or prohibiting or “blocking” future purchase or sale activity. However, sales of Fund shares back to the Fund or redemptions will continue to be permitted in accordance with the terms of the Fund’s current Prospectus. As a result, unless the shareholder redeems his or her shares, which may have consequences if the shares have declined in value, a CDSC is applicable or adverse tax consequences may result, the shareholder may be “locked” into an unsuitable investment. A blocked account will generally remain blocked for 90 days. Subsequent detections of excessive or short-term trading may result in an indefinite account block, or an account block until the account holder or the associated broker, dealer or other financial intermediary provides evidence or assurance acceptable to the Fund that the account holder did not or will not in the future engage in excessive or short-term trading.|
|•||Applications of Surveillance Procedures and Restrictions to Omnibus Accounts. Omnibus account arrangements are common forms of holding shares of the Fund, particularly among certain brokers, dealers and other financial intermediaries, including sponsors of retirement plans. The Fund applies its surveillance procedures to these omnibus account arrangements. As required by Commission rules, the Fund has entered into agreements with all of its financial intermediaries that require the financial intermediaries to provide the Fund, upon the request of the Fund or its agents, with individual account level information about their transactions. If the Fund detects excessive trading through its monitoring of omnibus accounts, including trading at the individual account level, the financial intermediaries will also execute instructions from the Fund to take actions to curtail the activity, which may include applying blocks to accounts to prohibit future purchases and exchanges of Fund shares. For certain retirement plan accounts, the Fund may request that the retirement plan or other intermediary revoke the relevant participant’s privilege to effect transactions in Fund shares via the internet or telephone, in which case the relevant participant must submit future transaction orders via the U.S. Postal Service (i.e., regular mail).|
The Fund’s NAV is calculated on any day the Exchange is open at the close of regular trading (ordinarily, 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, but sometimes earlier, as in the case of scheduled half-day trading or unscheduled suspensions of trading). To calculate NAV, the Fund’s assets are valued and totaled, liabilities are subtracted, and the balance, called net assets, is divided by the number of shares outstanding. If the Fund invests in securities that are primarily traded on foreign exchanges that trade on weekends or other days when the Fund does not price its shares, the value of the Fund’s shares may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or redeem their shares in the Fund.
The Fund values its securities at their current market value determined on the basis of market quotations or, if market quotations are not readily available or are unreliable, at “fair value” as determined in accordance with procedures established by and under the general supervision of the Board. When the Fund uses fair value pricing, it may take into account any factors it deems appropriate. The Fund may determine fair value based upon developments related to a specific security, current valuations of foreign stock indices (as reflected in U.S. futures markets) and/or U.S. sector or broader stock market indices. The prices of securities used by the Fund to calculate its NAV may differ from quoted or published prices for the same securities. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that the fair value determined for a security is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of that security.
The Fund expects to use fair value pricing for securities primarily traded on U.S. exchanges only under very limited circumstances, such as the early closing of the exchange on which a security is traded or suspension of trading in the security, or for securities for which market prices are not readily available or deemed unreliable (including restricted securities). The Fund may use fair value pricing more frequently for securities primarily traded in non-U.S. markets because, among other things, most foreign markets close well before the Fund ordinarily values its securities at 4:00 p.m., Eastern time. The earlier close of these foreign markets gives rise to the possibility that significant events, including broad market moves, may have occurred in the interim. Factors considered in fair value pricing may include, but are not limited to, information obtained by contacting the issuer or analysts, or by analysis of the issuers’ financial statements. The Fund may value its securities using fair value prices based on independent pricing services.
Subject to its oversight, the Board has delegated responsibility for valuing the Fund’s assets to the Adviser. The Adviser has established a Valuation Committee, which operates under the policies and procedures approved by the Board, to value the Fund’s assets on behalf of the Fund. The Valuation Committee values Fund assets as described above. More information about the valuation of the Fund’s assets is available in the Fund’s SAI.
The Fund’s Adviser is AllianceBernstein L.P., 1345 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10105. The Adviser is a leading global investment adviser supervising client accounts with assets as of September 30, 2019, totaling over $592 billion (of which approximately $116 billion represented assets of investment companies sponsored by the Adviser). As of September 30, 2019, the Adviser managed retirement assets for many of the largest public and private employee benefit plans (including 15 of the nation’s FORTUNE 100 companies), for public employee retirement funds in 30 of the 50 states, for investment companies, and for foundations, endowments, banks and insurance companies worldwide. The 28 registered investment companies managed by the Adviser, comprising approximately 109 separate investment portfolios, had as of September 30, 2019 approximately 2.6 million shareholder accounts.
During the second quarter of 2018, AXA S.A. (“AXA”), a French holding company for the AXA Group, a worldwide leader in life, property and casualty and health insurance and asset management, completed the sale of a minority stake in its subsidiary, AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. (now named Equitable Holdings, Inc.) (“Equitable”), through an initial public offering. Equitable is the holding company for a diverse group of financial services companies, including an approximately 65.3% economic interest in the Adviser and a 100% interest in AllianceBernstein Corporation, the general partner of the Adviser. Since the initial sale, AXA has completed additional offerings, most recently during the fourth quarter of 2019. As a result, AXA owned 10.1% of the outstanding shares of common stock of Equitable as of November 13, 2019, and no longer owns a controlling interest in Equitable. AXA previously announced its intention to sell its entire interest in Equitable over time, subject to market conditions and other factors (the “Plan”). Most of AXA’s remaining Equitable shares are to be delivered on redemption of AXA bonds mandatorily exchangeable into Equitable shares and maturing in May 2021. AXA retains sole discretion to determine the timing of any future sales of its remaining shares of Equitable common stock.
The latest transaction under the Plan, which occurred on November 13, 2019, resulted in the indirect transfer of a “controlling block” of voting securities of the Adviser (a “Change of Control Event”) and was deemed an “assignment” causing a termination of the Fund’s investment advisory agreement. In order to ensure that investment advisory services could continue uninterrupted in the event of a Change of Control Event, the Board previously approved new investment advisory agreements with the Adviser and shareholders of the Fund subsequently approved the new investment advisory agreements. These agreements became effective on November 13, 2019.
The Adviser provides investment advisory services and order placement facilities for the Fund. For these advisory services, the Fund pays the Adviser a management fee of 0.35% of the first $2.5 billion of the Fund’s average net assets and 0.30% thereafter.
A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Fund’s investment advisory agreement will be available in the Fund’s semi-annual report to shareholders for the fiscal period ending April 30, 2019.
The Adviser acts as an investment adviser to other persons, firms or corporations, including investment companies, hedge funds, pension funds and other institutional investors. The Adviser may receive management fees, including performance fees, that may be higher or lower than the advisory fees it receives from the Fund. Certain other clients of the Adviser have investment objectives and policies similar to those of the Fund. The Adviser may, from time to time, make recommendations that result in the purchase or sale of a particular security by its other clients simultaneously with the Fund. If transactions on behalf of more than one client during the same period increase the demand for securities being purchased or the supply of securities being sold, there may be an adverse effect on price or quantity. It is the policy of the Adviser to allocate advisory recommendations and the placing of orders in a manner that is deemed equitable by the Adviser to the accounts involved, including the Fund. When two or more of the clients of the Adviser (including the Fund) are purchasing or selling the same security on a given day from the same broker-dealer, such transactions may be averaged as to price.
The management of, and investment decisions for, the Fund’s portfolio are made by the Adviser’s Short Duration Income investment team. The Short Duration Income investment team relies heavily on the fundamental analysis and research of the Adviser’s large internal research staff. No one person is principally responsible for coordinating the Fund’s investments.
The following table lists the senior members of the Short Duration Income investment team with the responsibility for day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio, the length of time that each person has been jointly and primarily responsible for the Fund, and each person’s principal occupation during the past five years:
Employee; Length of Service with the Fund; Title
|Principal Occupation During|
the Past Five (5) Years
|Scott A. DiMaggio; since 2018; Senior Vice President of the Adviser, and Co-Head of Fixed Income||Senior Vice President of the Adviser, with which he has been associated in a substantially similar capacity to his current position since prior to 2015.|
|Gershon M. Distenfeld; since 2018; Senior Vice President of the Adviser, and Co-Head of Fixed Income||Senior Vice President of the Adviser, with which he has been associated in a substantially similar capacity to his current position since prior to 2015.|
|Douglas J. Peebles; since 2018; Senior Vice President of the Adviser, and Chief Investment Officer of Fixed Income||Senior Vice President of the Adviser, with which he has been associated in a substantially similar capacity to his current position since prior to 2015.|
|Matthew S. Sheridan; since 2018; Senior Vice President of the Adviser|
The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about each Portfolio Manager’s compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers, and the Portfolio Managers’ ownership of securities in the Fund.
TRANSFER AGENCY AND RETIREMENT PLAN SERVICES
ABIS acts as the transfer agent for the Fund. ABIS, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the Adviser, registers the transfer, issuance and redemption of Fund shares and disburses dividends and other distributions to Fund shareholders.
Many Fund shares are owned by financial intermediaries for the benefit of their customers. Retirement plans also may hold Fund shares in the name of the plan, rather than the participant. In those cases, the Fund often does not maintain an account for you. Thus, some or all of the transfer agency functions for these and certain other accounts are performed by the financial intermediaries and plan recordkeepers. Financial intermediaries and recordkeepers, which may have affiliated financial intermediaries that sell shares of the AB Mutual Funds, may be paid by the Fund, the Adviser, ABI and ABIS (i) account fees in amounts up to $19 per account per annum, (ii) asset-based fees of up to 0.25% (except in respect of a limited number of intermediaries) per annum of the average daily assets held through the intermediary, or (iii) a combination of both. These amounts include fees for shareholder servicing, sub-transfer agency, sub-accounting and recordkeeping services. These amounts do not include fees for shareholder servicing that may be paid separately by the Fund pursuant to its Rule 12b-1 plan. Amounts paid by the Fund for these services are included in “Other Expenses” under “Fees and Expenses of the Fund” in the Summary Information section of this Prospectus. In addition, financial intermediaries may be affiliates of entities that receive compensation from the Adviser or ABI for maintaining retirement plan “platforms” that facilitate trading by affiliated and non-affiliated financial intermediaries and recordkeeping for retirement plans.
Because financial intermediaries and plan recordkeepers may be paid varying amounts per class for sub-transfer agency and related recordkeeping services, the service requirements of which may also vary by class, this may create an additional incentive for financial intermediaries and their financial advisors to favor one fund complex over another or one class of shares over another.
For more information, please refer to the Fund’s SAI, call your financial advisor or visit our website at www.abfunds.com.
Dividends and Distributions
Income dividends and capital gains distributions, if any, declared by the Fund on its outstanding shares will, at the election of each shareholder, be paid in cash or in additional shares of the same class of shares of the Fund. If paid in additional shares, the shares will have an aggregate NAV as of the close of business on the declaration date of the dividend or distribution equal to the cash amount of the dividend or distribution.
Income dividends generally are declared daily and distributed monthly; capital gains distributions for the Fund generally occur annually in December.
You may make an election to receive dividends and distributions in cash or in shares at the time you purchase shares. Your election can be changed at any time prior to a record date for a dividend. There is no sales or other charge in connection with the reinvestment of dividends or capital gains distributions. Cash dividends may be paid by check, or, at your election, electronically via the ACH network.
If you receive an income dividend or capital gains distribution in cash you may, within 120 days following the date of its payment, reinvest the dividend or distribution in additional shares of the Fund without charge by returning to the Adviser, with appropriate instructions, the check representing the dividend or distribution. Thereafter, unless you otherwise specify, you will be deemed to have elected to reinvest all subsequent dividends and distributions in shares of the Fund.
While it is the intention of the Fund to distribute to its shareholders substantially all of each fiscal year’s net income and net realized capital gains, if any, the amount and timing of any dividend or distribution will depend on the realization by the Fund of income and capital gains from investments. There is no fixed dividend rate and there can be no assurance that the Fund will pay any dividends or realize any capital gains. The final determination of the amount of the Fund’s return of capital distributions for the period will be made after the end of each calendar year.
You will normally have to pay federal income tax, and any state or local income taxes, on the distributions you receive from the Fund, whether you take the distributions in cash or reinvest them in additional shares. Distributions of net capital gains from the sale of investments that the Fund owned for more than one year and that are properly designated as capital gains distributions are taxable as long-term capital gains. Distributions of dividends to the Fund’s non-corporate shareholders may be treated as “qualified dividend income”, which is taxed at reduced rates, if such distributions are derived from, and designated by the Fund as, “qualified dividend income” and provided that holding period and other requirements are met by both the shareholder and the Fund. “Qualified dividend income” generally is income derived from dividends from U.S. corporations and “qualified foreign corporations”. Other distributions by the Fund are generally taxable to you as ordinary income. The Fund will notify you as to how much of the Fund’s distributions, if any, qualify for these reduced tax rates. Dividends declared in October, November, or December and paid in January of the following year are taxable as if they had been paid the previous December.
Investment income received by the Fund from sources within foreign countries may be subject to foreign income taxes withheld at the source. To the extent that the Fund is liable for foreign income taxes withheld at the source, the Fund intends, if possible, to operate so as to meet the requirements of the Code to “pass through” to the Fund’s shareholders credits for foreign income taxes paid (or to permit shareholders to claim a deduction for such foreign taxes), but there can be no assurance that the Fund will be able to do so, and if the Fund invests primarily in U.S. securities, it will not do so. Furthermore, a shareholder’s ability to claim a foreign tax credit or deduction for foreign taxes paid by the Fund may be subject to certain limitations imposed by the Code, as a result of which a shareholder may not be permitted to claim a credit or deduction for all or a portion of the amount of such taxes.
Under certain circumstances, if the Fund realizes losses (e.g., from fluctuations in currency exchange rates) after paying a dividend, all or a portion of the dividend may subsequently be characterized as a return of capital. Returns of capital are generally nontaxable, but will reduce a shareholder’s basis in shares of the Fund. If that basis is reduced to zero (which could happen if the shareholder does not reinvest distributions and returns of capital are significant), any further returns of capital will be taxable as a capital gain.
If you buy shares just before the Fund deducts a distribution from its NAV, you will pay the full price for the shares and then receive a portion of the price back as a distribution, which may be taxable.
For tax purposes, an exchange is treated as a sale of Fund shares. The sale or exchange of Fund shares is a taxable transaction for federal income tax purposes.
Each year shortly after December 31, the Fund will send you tax information stating the amount and type of all its distributions for the year. You are encouraged to consult your tax adviser about the federal, state, and local tax consequences in your particular circumstances, as well as about any possible foreign tax consequences.
If you are a nonresident alien individual or a foreign corporation for federal income tax purposes, please see the Fund’s SAI for information on how you will be taxed as a result of holding shares in the Fund.
Under unusual circumstances, the Fund may suspend redemptions or postpone payment for up to seven days or longer, as permitted by federal securities law. The Fund reserves the right to close an account that has remained below $1,000 for 90 days.
During drastic economic or market developments, you might have difficulty in reaching ABIS by telephone, in which event you should issue written instructions to ABIS. ABIS is not responsible for the authenticity of telephone requests to purchase, sell, or exchange shares. ABIS will employ reasonable procedures to verify that telephone requests are genuine, and could be liable for losses resulting from unauthorized transactions if it failed to do so. Dealers and agents may charge a commission for handling telephone requests. The telephone service may be suspended or terminated at any time without notice.
Shareholder Services. ABIS offers a variety of shareholder services. For more information about these services or your account, call ABIS’s toll-free number, (800) 221-5672. Some services are described in the Mutual Fund Application.
Householding. Many shareholders of the AB Mutual Funds have family members living in the same home who also own shares of the same funds. In order to reduce the amount of duplicative mail that is sent to homes with more than one fund account and to reduce expenses of the funds, all AB Mutual Funds will, until notified otherwise, send only one copy of each prospectus, shareholder report and proxy statement to each household address. This process, known as “householding”, does not apply to account statements, confirmations, or personal tax information. If you do not wish to participate in householding, or wish to discontinue householding at any time, call ABIS at (800) 221-5672. We will resume separate mailings for your account within 30 days of your request.
AMT is the federal alternative minimum tax.
AMT-Subject bonds are municipal securities paying interest that is an item of “tax preference” and thus subject to the AMT when received by a person in a tax year during which the person is subject to the AMT. These securities are primarily private activity bonds, including revenue bonds.
Bonds are interest-bearing or discounted government or corporate securities that obligate the issuer to pay the bond holder a specified sum of money, usually at specified intervals, and to repay the principal amount of the loan at maturity.
Fixed-income securities are investments, such as bonds, that pay a fixed rate of return.
Municipal securities are debt obligations issued by states, territories and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia, and their political subdivisions, duly constituted authorities and corporations. Municipal securities include municipal bonds, which are intended to meet longer-term capital needs and municipal notes, which are intended to fulfill short-term capital needs.
Non-U.S. company or non-U.S. issuer is an entity that (i) is organized under the laws of a foreign country and conducts business in a foreign country, (ii) derives 50% or more of its total revenues from business in foreign countries, or (iii) issues equity or debt securities that are traded principally on a stock exchange in a foreign country.
U.S. Government securities are securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, including obligations that are issued by private issuers that are guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or by certain government-sponsored entities (entities chartered by or sponsored by Act of Congress). These securities include securities backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, those supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, and those backed only by the credit of the issuing agency or entity itself. The first category includes U.S. Treasury securities (which are U.S. Treasury bills, notes, and bonds) and certificates issued by the Government National Mortgage Association. U.S. Government securities not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States or a right to borrow from the U.S. Treasury include certificates issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.
Financial highlights information is not available because the Fund had not yet commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus.
Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”)
Aaa—Bonds which are rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality. They carry the smallest degree of investment risk and are generally referred to as “gilt edge”. Interest payments are protected by a large or by an exceptionally stable margin and principal is secure. While the various protective elements are likely to change, such changes as can be visualized are most unlikely to impair the fundamentally strong position of such issues.
Aa—Bonds which are rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk. Together with the Aaa group they comprise what are generally known as high-grade bonds. They are rated lower than the best bonds because margins of protection may not be as large as in Aaa securities or fluctuation of protective elements may be of greater amplitude or there may be other elements present which make the long-term risks appear somewhat larger than the Aaa securities.
A—Bonds which are rated A possess many favorable investment attributes and are to be considered as upper-medium-grade obligations and are subject to low credit risk. Factors giving security to principal and interest are considered adequate but elements may be present which suggest a susceptibility to impairment some time in the future.
Baa—Bonds which are rated Baa are considered as medium-grade obligations, i.e., they are neither highly protected nor poorly secured. Interest payments and principal security appear adequate for the present but certain protective elements may be lacking or may be characteristically unreliable over any great length of time. Such bonds lack outstanding investment characteristics and in fact have speculative characteristics as well.
Ba—Bonds which are rated Ba are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk; their future cannot be considered as well-assured. Often the protection of interest and principal payments may be very moderate and thereby not well safeguarded during both good and bad times over the future. Uncertainty of position characterizes bonds in this class.
B—Bonds which are rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.
Caa—Bonds which are rated Caa are judged to be speculative of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.
Ca—Bonds which are rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.
C—Bonds which are rated C are the lowest rated class of bonds and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.
Absence of Rating—Where no rating has been assigned or where a rating has been withdrawn, it may be for reasons unrelated to the quality of the issue.
Should no rating be assigned, the reason may be one of the following:
|1.||An application for rating was not received or accepted;|
|2.||The issue or issuer belongs to a group of securities or companies that are unrated as a matter of policy;|
|3.||There is a lack of essential data pertaining to the issue or issuer;|
|4.||The issue was privately placed, in which case the rating is not published in Moody’s publications.|
Suspension may occur if new and material circumstances arise, the effects of which preclude satisfactory analysis; if there is no longer available reasonable up-to-date data to permit a judgment to be formed; if a bond is called for redemption; or for other reasons.
Note—Moody’s applies numerical modifiers, 1, 2 and 3 in each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa in its corporate bond rating system. The modifier 1 indicates that the security ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates that the issue ranks in the lower end of its generic rating category. Additionally, a “(hyb)” indicator is appended to all ratings of hybrid securities issued by banks, insurers, finance companies, and securities firms.
S&P Global Ratings (“S&P”)
AAA—Debt rated AAA has the highest rating assigned by S&P. Capacity to pay interest and repay principal is extremely strong.
AA—Debt rated AA has a very strong capacity to pay interest and repay principal and differs from the highest rated issues only in small degree.
A—Debt rated A has a strong capacity to pay interest and repay principal although it is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than debt in higher rated categories.
BBB—Debt rated BBB normally exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to pay interest and repay principal for debt in this category than in higher rated categories.
BB, B, CCC, CC, C—Debt rated BB, B, CCC, CC or C is regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. BB indicates the lowest degree of speculation and C the highest. While such debt will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposures to adverse conditions.
BB—Debt rated BB is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative debt. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial or economic conditions which could lead to an inadequate capacity to pay interest and repay principal.
B—Debt rated B is more vulnerable to nonpayment than debt rated BB, but there is capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Adverse business, financial or economic conditions will likely impair the capacity or willingness to pay principal or repay interest.
CCC—Debt rated CCC is currently vulnerable to nonpayment, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial and economic conditions to pay interest and repay principal. In the event of adverse business, financial or economic conditions, there is not likely to be capacity to pay interest or repay principal.
CC—Debt rated CC is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The CC rating is used when a default has not yet occurred but S&P expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.
C— Debt rated C is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared with obligations that are rated higher.
D—Debt rated D is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the D rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The D rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation’s rating is lowered to D if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
Plus (+) or Minus (-)—The ratings from AA to CCC may be modified by the addition of a plus or minus sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.
NR—Debt designated NR is not rated.
AAA—Bonds considered to be investment grade and of the highest credit quality. The obligor has an exceptionally strong ability to pay interest and repay principal, which is unlikely to be affected by reasonably foreseeable events.
AA—Bonds considered to be investment grade and of very high credit quality. The obligor’s ability to pay interest and repay principal is very strong, although not quite as strong as bonds rated AAA. Because bonds rated in the AAA and AA categories are not significantly vulnerable to foreseeable future developments, short-term debt of these issuers is generally rated F1+.
A—Bonds considered to be investment grade and of high credit quality. The obligor’s ability to pay interest and repay principal is considered to be strong, but may be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic conditions and circumstances than bonds with higher ratings.
BBB—Bonds considered to be investment grade and of satisfactory credit quality. The obligor’s ability to pay interest and repay principal is considered to be adequate. Adverse changes in economic conditions and circumstances, however, are more likely to have adverse impact on these bonds, and therefore impair timely payment. The likelihood that the ratings of these bonds will fall below investment grade is higher than for bonds with higher ratings.
BB—Bonds are considered speculative. The obligor’s ability to pay interest and repay principal may be affected over time by adverse economic changes. However, business and financial alternatives can be identified which could assist the obligor in satisfying its debt service requirements.
B—Bonds are considered highly speculative. While bonds in this class are currently meeting debt service requirements, the probability of continued timely payment of principal and interest reflects the obligor’s limited margin of safety and the need for reasonable business and economic activity throughout the life of the issue.
CCC—Bonds have certain identifiable characteristics which, if not remedied, may lead to default. The ability to meet obligations requires an advantageous business and economic environment.
CC—Bonds are minimally protected. Default in payment of interest and/or principal seems probable over time.
C—Bonds are in imminent default in payment of interest or principal.
Defaulted obligations are typically rated in the CCC to C rating categories, depending upon their recovery prospects and other relevant characteristics. This approach better aligns obligations that have comparable overall expected loss but varying vulnerability to default and loss.
Plus (+) Minus (-)—Plus and minus signs are used with a rating symbol to indicate the relative position of a credit within the rating category. Plus and minus signs, however, are not used in the AAA category or in categories below CCC.
Hypothetical Investment and Expense Information
The following supplemental hypothetical investment information provides additional information calculated and presented in a manner different from expense information found under “Fees and Expenses of the Fund” in the Summary Information at the beginning of this Prospectus, about the effect of the Fund’s expenses, including investment advisory fees and other Fund costs, on the Fund’s returns over a 10-year period. The chart shows the estimated expenses that would be charged on a hypothetical investment of $10,000 in Class A shares of the Fund assuming a 5% return each year, including an initial sales charge of 4.25%. Except as otherwise indicated, the chart also assumes that the current annual expense ratio stays the same throughout the 10-year period. The current annual expense ratio for the Fund is the same as stated under “Fees and Expenses of the Fund”. Additional information concerning the fees and expenses incurred by the Fund may be found at FINRA’s Fund Analyzer web page (available at http://apps.finra.org/fundanalyzer/1/fa.aspx). Your actual expenses may be higher or lower.
|*||Expenses are net of any fee waiver or expense waiver for the first year. Thereafter, the expense ratio reflects the Fund’s operating expenses before fee waiver as reflected under “Fees and Expenses of the Fund” in the Summary Information at the beginning of this Prospectus (excluding offering expenses).|
Waiver Specific to Merrill Lynch
Effective April 10, 2017, shareholders purchasing Fund shares through a Merrill Lynch platform or account will be eligible only for the following load waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and contingent deferred, or back-end, sales charge waivers) and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in the Fund’s Prospectus or SAI:
Front-end Sales Load Waivers on Class A Shares available at Merrill Lynch
|•||Employer-sponsored retirement, deferred compensation and employee benefit plans (including health savings accounts) and trusts used to fund those plans, provided that the shares are not held in a commission-based brokerage account and shares are held for the benefit of the plan|
|•||Shares purchased by or through a 529 Plan|
|•||Shares purchased through a Merrill Lynch affiliated investment advisory program|
|•||Shares purchased by third party investment advisors on behalf of their advisory clients through Merrill Lynch’s platform|
|•||Shares of funds purchased through the Merrill Edge Self-Directed platform (if applicable)|
|•||Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within the fund family)|
|•||Shares exchanged from Class C (i.e., level-load) shares of the same fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date|
|•||Employees and registered representatives of Merrill Lynch or its affiliates and their family members|
|•||Directors or Trustees of the Fund, and employees of the Fund’s investment adviser or any of its affiliates, as described in this prospectus|
|•||Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (known as Rights of Reinstatement)|
CDSC Waivers on A and C Shares available at Merrill Lynch
|•||Death or disability of the shareholder|
|•||Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the Fund’s Prospectus|
|•||Return of excess contributions from an IRA Account|
|•||Shares sold as part of a required minimum distribution for IRA and retirement accounts due to the shareholder reaching age 70½|
|•||Shares sold to pay Merrill Lynch fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Merrill Lynch|
|•||Shares acquired through a right of reinstatement|
|•||Shares held in retirement brokerage accounts, that are exchanged for a lower cost share class due to transfer to a fee based account or platform|
Front-end Load Discounts Available at Merrill Lynch: Breakpoints, Rights of Accumulation & Letters of Intent
|•||Breakpoints as described in this Prospectus.|
|•||Rights of Accumulation (ROA) which entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of fund family assets held by accounts within the purchaser’s household at Merrill Lynch. Eligible fund family assets not held at Merrill Lynch may be included in the ROA calculation only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets|
|•||Letters of Intent (LOI) which allow for breakpoint discounts based on anticipated purchases within a fund family, through Merrill Lynch, over a 13-month period of time (if applicable)|
Waivers Specific to Morgan Stanley
Effective July 1, 2018, shareholders purchasing Fund shares through a Morgan Stanley Wealth Management transactional brokerage account will be eligible only for the following front-end sales charge waivers with respect to Class A shares, which may differ from and may be more limited than those disclosed elsewhere in the Fund’s Prospectus or SAI.
|•||Employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit sharing and money purchase pension plans and defined benefit plans). For purposes of this provision, employer-sponsored retirement plans do not include SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs, SAR-SEPs or Keogh plans|
|•||Morgan Stanley employee and employee-related accounts according to Morgan Stanley’s account linking rules|
|•||Shares purchased through reinvestment of dividends and capital gains distributions when purchasing shares of the same fund|
|•||Shares purchased through a Morgan Stanley self-directed brokerage account|
|•||Class C (i.e., level-load) shares that are no longer subject to a contingent deferred sales charge and are converted to Class A shares of the same fund pursuant to Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s share class conversion program|
|•||Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (i) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (ii) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (iii) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales charge|
Waivers Specific to Ameriprise Financial
The following information applies to Class A shares purchases if you have an account with or otherwise purchase Fund shares through Ameriprise Financial:
Effective June 1, 2018, shareholders purchasing Fund shares through an Ameriprise Financial platform or account will be eligible for the following front-end sales charge waivers and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in the Fund’s prospectus or SAI:
|•||Employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit sharing and money purchase pension plans and defined benefit plans). For purposes of this provision, employer-sponsored retirement plans do not include SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs or SAR-SEPs|
|•||Shares purchased through an Ameriprise Financial investment advisory program (if an advisory or similar share class for such investment advisory program is not available)|
|•||Shares purchased by third-party investment advisors on behalf of their advisory clients through Ameriprise Financial’s platform (if an advisory or similar share class for such investment advisory program is not available)|
|•||Shares purchased through reinvestment of distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within same fund family)|
|•||Shares exchanged from Class C shares of the same fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date. To the extent that this prospectus elsewhere provides for a waiver with respect to such shares following a shorter holding period, that waiver will apply to exchanges following such shorter period. To the extent that this prospectus elsewhere provides for a waiver with respect to exchanges of Class C shares for load waived shares, that waiver will also apply to such exchanges|
|•||Employees and registered representatives of Ameriprise Financial or its affiliates and their immediate family members|
|•||Shares purchased by or through qualified accounts (including IRAs, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, 401(k)s, 403(b) TSCAs subject to ERISA and defined benefit plans) that are held by a covered family member, defined as an Ameriprise financial advisor and/or the advisor’s spouse, advisor’s lineal ascendant (mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great grandmother, great grandfather), advisor’s lineal descendant (son, step-son, daughter, step-daughter, grandson, granddaughter, great grandson, great granddaughter) or any spouse of a covered family member who is a lineal descendant|
|•||Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (i.e., Rights of Reinstatement)|
Waivers Specific to Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. and Each Entity’s Affiliates (“Raymond James”)
Effective March 1, 2019, shareholders purchasing Fund shares through a Raymond James platform or account, or through an introducing broker-dealer or independent registered investment adviser for which Raymond James provides trade execution, clearance, and/or custody services, will be eligible only for the following load waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and contingent deferred, or back-end, sales charge waivers) and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this Fund’s Prospectus or SAI.
Front-end Sales Load Waivers on Class A Shares Available at Raymond James
|•||Shares purchased in an investment advisory program|
|•||Shares purchased within the same fund family through a systematic reinvestment of capital gains and dividend distributions|
Employees and registered representatives of Raymond James or its affiliates and their family members as designated by Raymond James
|•||Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (known as Rights of Reinstatement)|
|•||A shareholder in the Fund’s Class C shares will have their shares converted at net asset value to Class A shares (or the appropriate share class) of the Fund if the shares are no longer subject to a CDSC and the conversion is in line with the policies and procedures of Raymond James|
CDSC Waivers on Class A and C Shares Available at Raymond James
|•||Death or disability of the shareholder|
|•||Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the Fund’s Prospectus|
|•||Return of excess contributions from an IRA Account|
|•||Shares sold as part of a required minimum distribution for IRA and retirement accounts due to the shareholder reaching age 70 1/2 as described in this Fund’s Prospectus|
|•||Shares sold to pay Raymond James fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Raymond James|
|•||Shares acquired through a right of reinstatement|
Front-end Load Discounts Available at Raymond James: Breakpoints, and/or Rights of Accumulation, and/or Letters of Intent
|•||Breakpoints as described in this Prospectus|
|•||Rights of Accumulation (“ROA”) which entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of fund family assets held by accounts within the purchaser’s household at Raymond James. Eligible fund family assets not held at Raymond James may be included in the ROA calculation only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets|
|•||Letters of intent which allow for breakpoint discounts based on anticipated purchases within a fund family, over a 13-month time period. Eligible fund family assets not held at Raymond James may be included in the calculation of letters of intent only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets|
For more information about the Fund, the following documents are available upon request:
|•||ANNUAL/SEMI-ANNUAL REPORTS TO SHAREHOLDERS|
The Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders will contain additional information on the Fund’s investments. In the annual report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during its last fiscal year.
|•||STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (SAI)|
The Fund has an SAI, which contains more detailed information about the Fund, including its operations and investment policies. The Fund’s SAI and the independent registered public accounting firm’s reports and financial statements in the Fund’s most recent annual report to shareholders are incorporated by reference into (and are legally part of) this Prospectus.
You may request a free copy of the current annual/semi-annual report or SAI, or make inquiries concerning the Fund, by contacting your broker or other financial intermediary, or by contacting the Adviser:
AllianceBernstein Investor Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 786003
San Antonio, TX 78278-6003
For Information: (800) 221-5672
For Literature: (800) 227-4618
|On the Internet:||www.abfunds.com|
You may also view reports and other information about the Funds, including the SAI, by visiting the EDGAR database on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website (http://www.sec.gov). Copies of this information can be obtained, for a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: [email protected]
You also may find these documents and more information about the Adviser and the Fund on the Internet at: www.abfunds.com.
The [A/B] Logo is a service mark of AllianceBernstein and AllianceBernstein® is a registered trademark used by permission of the owner, AllianceBernstein L.P.
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