Form 485APOS BLACKROCK FUNDS

March 10, 2020 6:31 AM EDT

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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 10, 2020

Securities Act File No. 33-26305

Investment Company Act File No. 811-05742

 

 

 

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM N-1A

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933  
Pre-Effective Amendment No.  
Post-Effective Amendment No. 1011  
and/or  
REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE
INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940
 
Amendment No. 1013  
(Check appropriate box or boxes)  

 

 

BlackRock FundsSM

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

100 Bellevue Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware 19809

United States of America

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (800) 441-7762

 

 

John M. Perlowski

BlackRock FundsSM

55 East 52nd Street

New York, New York 10055

United States of America

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

 

Copies to:

Counsel for the Fund:

 

Frank P. Bruno, Esq.

Sidley Austin LLP

787 Seventh Avenue

New York, New York 10019-6018

 

Janey Ahn

BlackRock Advisors, LLC

55 East 52nd Street

New York, New York 10055

It is proposed that this filing will become effective (check appropriate box)

 

Immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

 

On (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)

 

60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

 

On May 11, 2020 pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

 

75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)

 

On (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

This post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.

Title of Securities Being Registered: Shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.001 per share.

 

 

 


LOGO    [    ], 2020

 

 

The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED MARCH 10, 2020

 

Prospectus

 

BlackRock FundsSM  |  Investor and Institutional Shares

 

 

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

Investor A: PINXX • Investor C: BMCXX • Institutional: PNIXX

 

Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of the Fund’s shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from BlackRock or from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. 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 link to access the report.

You may elect to receive all future reports in paper free of charge. If you hold accounts directly with BlackRock, you can call (800) 441-7762 to inform BlackRock that you wish to continue receiving paper copies of your shareholder reports. If you hold accounts through a financial intermediary, you can follow the instructions included with this disclosure, if applicable, or contact your financial intermediary to request that you continue to receive paper copies of your shareholder reports. Please note that not all financial intermediaries may offer this service. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds advised by BlackRock Advisors, LLC, BlackRock Fund Advisors or their affiliates, or all funds held with your financial intermediary, as applicable.

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 electronic delivery of shareholder reports and other communications by: (i) accessing the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com/edelivery and logging into your accounts, if you hold accounts directly with BlackRock, or (ii) contacting your financial intermediary, if you hold accounts through a financial intermediary. Please note that not all financial intermediaries may offer this service.

This Prospectus contains information you should know before investing, including information about risks. Please read it before you invest and keep it for future reference.

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.

 

Not FDIC Insured • May Lose Value • No Bank Guarantee


Table of Contents

 

 

 

Fund Overview    Key facts and details about the Fund, including investment objective, principal investment strategies, principal risk factors, fee and expense information and historical performance information  
   Investment Objective     3  
   Fees and Expenses of the Fund     3  
   Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund     4  
   Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund     5  
   Performance Information     7  
   Investment Manager     7  
   Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares     7  
   Tax Information     8  
   Payments to Broker/Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries     8  
Details About the Fund    Information about how the Fund invests, including investment objective, investment processes, principal strategies and risk factors  
   How the Fund Invests     9  
   Investment Risks     12  
Account Information    Information about account services, sales charges and waivers, shareholder transactions, and distribution and other payments  
   How to Choose the Share Class that Best Suits Your Needs     16  
   Details About the Share Classes     19  
   Distribution and Shareholder Servicing Payments     21  
   How to Buy, Sell, Exchange and Transfer Shares     22  
   Account Services and Privileges     28  
   Fund’s Rights     29  
   Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates     30  
   Participation in Fee-Based Programs     30  
   Short-Term Trading Policy     31  
   Master/Feeder Structure     31  
Management of the Fund    Information about BlackRock  
   BlackRock     32  
   Conflicts of Interest     33  
   Valuation of Fund Investments     34  
   Dividends, Distributions and Taxes     35  
Financial Highlights    Financial Performance of the Fund     36  
General Information    Shareholder Documents     38  
   Certain Fund Policies     38  
   Statement of Additional Information     39  
Glossary    Glossary of Investment Terms     40  
Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies    Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies     A-1  
For More Information    Fund and Service Providers     Inside Back Cover  
   Additional Information     Back Cover  


Fund Overview

 

 

 

Investment Objective

 

The investment objective of BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (“WeLEAF” or the “Fund,” formerly known as BlackRock Money Market Portfolio), a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”), is to seek as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and preservation of capital while giving consideration to select environmental criteria.

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. More information about these fees and expenses is available from your financial professional or your selected securities dealer, broker, investment adviser, service provider or industry professional (including BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock”) and its affiliates (each a “Financial Intermediary”)) and in the “Details About the Share Classes” and the “Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies” sections on pages 19 and A-1, respectively, of the Fund’s prospectus and in the “Purchase of Shares” section on page II-28 of Part II of the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information.

 

Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)
   Investor A
Shares
   Investor C
Shares
   Institutional
Shares

Maximum Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases (as a percentage of offering price)

       None        None        None

Maximum Deferred Sales Charge (Load) (as a percentage of offering price or redemption proceeds, whichever is lower)

       None1        1.00%2        None
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
   Investor A
Shares
   Investor C
Shares
   Institutional
Shares

Management Fee

       [    ]%          [    ]%          [    ]%  

Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees

       0.25%        1.00%        None

Other Expenses3,4

       [    ]%          [    ]%          [    ]%  

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses4

       [    ]%          [    ]%          [    ]%  

Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements

       [    ]%          [    ]%          [    ]%  

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements5

       [    ]%          [    ]%          [    ]%  

 

1 

There is no contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”) on Investor A Shares purchased directly. However, a CDSC of up to 1.00% may apply to certain redemptions of the Fund’s Investor A Shares purchased in an exchange transaction for Investor A Shares of a fund advised by BlackRock or its affiliates where no initial sales charge was paid at the time of purchase of such fund (each an “Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund”) as part of an investment of $1,000,000 (lesser amounts may apply depending on the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund) or more. The Investor A Shares CDSC is only charged upon redemptions of Investor A Shares within 18 months after you originally acquired such Investor A Shares of the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund (a shorter holding period may apply depending on the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund), unless you qualify for a waiver. There is no CDSC charged on redemptions if you have owned your Investor A Shares for more than 18 months (or for a shorter holding period, as applicable) as measured from you original purchase of Investor A Shares that you exchanged into Investor A Shares of the Fund or if you purchase Investor A Shares of the Fund not through an exchange.

 

2 

Since all Investor C shares must be purchased in an exchange transaction for Investor C Shares of a non-money market fund advised by BlackRock or its affiliates (each, a “Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund”), a CDSC of 1.00% may apply to certain redemptions of the Fund’s Investor C Shares. The Investor C Shares CDSC is only charged upon redemptions of Investor C Shares within one year after you originally acquired the Investor C Shares of the Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund, unless you qualify for a waiver. There is no CDSC charged on redemptions if you have owned your Investor C Shares for more than one year (as measured from your original purchase of Investor C Shares that you exchanged into Investor C Shares of the Fund).

 

3 

Other Expenses have been restated to reflect current fees.

 

4 

The Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses do not correlate to the ratios of expenses to average net assets given in the Fund’s most recent annual report, which do not include the restatement of Other Expenses to reflect current fees.

 

5 

As described in the “Management of the Fund” section of the Fund’s prospectus beginning on page 32, BlackRock, the Fund’s investment manager, has contractually agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements (excluding Dividend Expense, Interest Expense, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses and certain other Fund expenses) as a percentage of average daily net assets to 0.55% (for Investor A Shares), 1.30% (for Investor C Shares) and 0.20% (for Institutional Shares) through July 31, 2021. The Fund may have to repay some of these waivers and/or reimbursements to BlackRock in the following two years. The agreement may be terminated upon 90 days’ notice by a majority of the non-interested trustees of the Trust or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

 

3


Example:

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

      1 Year        3 Years        5 Years        10 Years  

Investor A Shares1

   $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]  

Investor C Shares2

   $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]  

Institutional Shares

   $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]  

 

1 

These expense figures do not reflect the imposition of the CDSC which may be deducted upon the redemption of Investor A Shares of the Fund received in an exchange transaction for Investor A Shares of an Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund as described in the applicable prospectuses. No CDSC is deducted upon the redemption of Investor A Shares of the Fund that are not acquired by exchange.

 

2 

Reflects assessment of applicable CDSC assuming Investor C Shares were acquired by exchange from Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund immediately after purchase of shares from such other fund.

You would pay the following expenses if you did not redeem your shares:

 

      1 Year        3 Years        5 Years        10 Years  

Investor C Shares

   $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]  

Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a broad range of U.S. dollar-denominated money market instruments, including government, U.S. and foreign bank, and commercial obligations and repurchase agreements. Under normal conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, the Fund’s investment manager, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria. This policy is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund. However, the Fund will provide shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any changes to the policy.

BlackRock will consider the following as part of the Fund’s environmental criteria:

 

 

The Fund will invest in securities whose issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) at the time of the Fund’s investment has better than average performance in environmental practices. In evaluating performance in environmental practices, BlackRock will use data or other environmental, social, or governance risk metrics including ratings provided by independent research vendor(s) in determining whether to invest (or continue to invest) in securities issued or guaranteed by a particular entity. These independent research vendor(s) may consider one or more of the following factors: issuer or industry exposure to environmentally intensive activities, disclosures by an issuer around climate related issues and environmental matters or specific targets or plans by an issuer to manage environmental exposures. BlackRock may change an independent research vendor at any time in its discretion. BlackRock will consider factors such as emissions, energy and water intensity, waste generation, green revenues and environmental disclosure levels in evaluating the environmental performance of an issuer or guarantor.

 

 

U.S. Government securities will be considered to have met the Fund’s environmental criteria

 

 

The Fund will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities:

 

 

that derive more than 5% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement; or

 

 

that derive more than 5% of their revenue from thermal coal or nuclear energy based power generation.

In determining the efficacy of an issuer’s or guarantor’s environmental practices, BlackRock may also employ a proprietary model it has developed to consider the impact of various actions of an issuer or guarantor. The model uses third party data as well as information obtained by BlackRock to assess whether particular environmental factors may be material to an issuer or guarantor and capture any momentum around these factors. The model also seeks to consider more current headline news around an issuer or guarantor. The model may employ different inputs and weigh the significance of those inputs differently than the third party data sources that are used. BlackRock will conduct, as appropriate, its environmental evaluation of issuers and guarantors relative to a specific sector or across multiple sectors.

In addition, the Fund may invest in mortgage- and asset-backed securities, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts. The Fund may invest in “green” bonds where, in the opinion of

 

4


BlackRock, the use of proceeds from the sale of these securities will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. The Fund may also invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.

Under normal market conditions, at least 25% of the Fund’s total assets will be invested in obligations of issuers in the financial services industry or in obligations, such as repurchase agreements, secured by such obligations.

The Fund may invest up to 20% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) have below average performance in environmental practices or whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) are not evaluated by any independent research vendor(s) currently used by the Fund, and whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) do not otherwise meet the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The Fund seeks to maintain a net asset value (“NAV”) of $1.00 per share.

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Fund will only purchase securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”).”

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. You could lose money by investing in the Fund. Although the Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it cannot guarantee it will do so. The Fund may impose a fee upon the sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.

The following is a summary description of principal risks of investing in the Fund. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.

 

 

Credit Risk — Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a debt security (i.e., the borrower) will not be able to make payments of interest and principal when due. Changes in an issuer’s credit rating or the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness may also affect the value of the Fund’s investment in that issuer.

 

 

Environmental Criteria Risk — The risk that because the Fund’s environmental criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons, the Fund may forgo some market opportunities available to funds that do not use these criteria. Consequently, the Fund may underperform funds that do not utilize an environmental strategy. BlackRock’s assessment of an issuer’s environmental criteria may change over time, which could cause the Fund to hold securities that may no longer meet BlackRock’s current environmental criteria.

In evaluating the environmental criteria for an issuer or guarantor, BlackRock is dependent upon information and data that may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable. Currently, environmental data often lacks standardization, consistency and in some cases transparency. There may be different methodologies used by different data sources who compile environmental ratings of issuers or guarantors. This could adversely affect the analysis of the environmental criteria relevant to a particular issuer or guarantor. If BlackRock were to solely rely on this data, the Fund may invest in issuers or guarantors who may not meet the environmental criteria for investment. Investing on the basis of environmental criteria is qualitative and subjective by nature and there can be no assurance that the process utilized by any vendors of BlackRock or any judgment exercised by BlackRock will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor.

 

 

Extension Risk — When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall.

 

 

Financial Services Industry Risk Because of its concentration in the financial services industry, the Fund will be more susceptible to any economic, business, political or other developments which generally affect this industry sector. As a result, the Fund will be exposed to a large extent to the risks associated with that industry, such as government regulation, the availability and cost of capital funds, consolidation and general economic conditions. Financial services companies are also exposed to losses if borrowers and other counterparties experience financial problems and/or cannot repay their obligations.

When interest rates go up, the value of securities issued by many types of financial services companies generally goes down. In many countries, financial services and the companies that provide them are regulated by governmental entities, which can increase costs for new services or products and make it difficult to pass increased costs on to consumers. In certain areas, deregulation of financial services companies has resulted in increased competition and reduced profitability for certain companies.

 

5


The profitability of many types of financial services companies may be adversely affected in certain market cycles, including periods of rising interest rates, which may restrict the availability and increase the cost of capital, and declining economic conditions, which may cause credit losses due to financial difficulties of borrowers. Because many types of financial services companies are vulnerable to these economic cycles, a large portion of the Fund’s investments may lose value during such periods.

 

 

Foreign Exposure Risk Securities issued or supported by foreign entities, including foreign banks and corporations, may involve additional risks and considerations. Extensive public information about the foreign issuer may not be available, and unfavorable political, economic or governmental developments in the foreign country involved could affect the payment of principal and interest.

 

 

Income Risk — Income risk is the risk that the Fund’s yield will vary as short-term securities in its portfolio mature and the proceeds are reinvested in securities with different interest rates.

 

 

Interest Rate Risk Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a debt security may fall when interest rates rise. In general, the market price of debt securities with longer maturities will go up or down more in response to changes in interest rates than the market price of shorter-term securities. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

Liquidity Fee and Redemption Gate Risk — The Board has discretion to impose a liquidity fee of up to 2% upon sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. Accordingly, you may not be able to sell your shares or your redemptions may be subject to a liquidity fee when you sell your shares at certain times.

 

 

Market Risk and Selection Risk — Market risk is the risk that one or more markets in which the Fund invests will go down in value, including the possibility that the markets will go down sharply and unpredictably. Selection risk is the risk that the securities selected by Fund management will underperform the markets, the relevant indices or the securities selected by other funds with similar investment objectives and investment strategies. This means you may lose money.

 

 

Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Risks — Mortgage- and asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of mortgages or other assets, including consumer loans or receivables held in trust. Mortgage- and asset-backed securities are subject to credit, interest rate, prepayment and extension risks. These securities also are subject to risk of default on the underlying mortgage or asset, particularly during periods of economic downturn. Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain mortgage-backed securities.

 

 

Prepayment Risk — When interest rates fall, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more quickly than originally anticipated, and the Fund may have to invest the proceeds in securities with lower yields.

 

 

Repurchase Agreements and Purchase and Sale Contracts Risk — If the other party to a repurchase agreement or purchase and sale contract defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the Fund may suffer delays and incur costs or lose money in exercising its rights under the agreement. If the seller fails to repurchase the security in either situation and the market value of the security declines, the Fund may lose money.

 

 

Stable Net Asset Value Risk — The Fund may not be able to maintain a stable NAV of $1.00 per share at all times. If the Fund fails to maintain a stable NAV (or if there is a perceived threat of such a failure), the Fund, along with other money market funds, could be subject to increased redemption activity.

 

 

Treasury Obligations Risk — Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

U.S. Government Obligations Risk — Certain securities in which the Fund may invest, including securities issued by certain U.S. Government agencies and U.S. Government sponsored enterprises, are not guaranteed by the U.S. Government or supported by the full faith and credit of the United States.

 

 

Variable and Floating Rate Instrument Risk — Variable and floating rate securities provide for periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the securities. These securities may be subject to greater illiquidity risk than other fixed income securities, meaning the absence of an active market for these securities could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of them at any given time.

 

 

When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments Risk — When-issued and delayed delivery securities and forward commitments involve the risk that the security the Fund buys will lose value prior to its delivery. There also is the risk that the security will not be issued or that the other party to the transaction will not meet its obligation. If this occurs, the Fund may lose both the investment opportunity for the assets it set aside to pay for the security and any gain in the security’s price.

 

6


Performance Information

 

The information shows you how the Fund’s performance has varied year by year and provides some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. To the extent that dividends and distributions have been paid by the Fund, the performance information for the Fund in the chart and table assumes reinvestment of the dividends and distributions. As with all such investments, past performance is not an indication of future results. Sales charges are not reflected in the bar chart. If they were, returns would be less than those shown. However, the table includes all applicable fees and sales charges. If BlackRock and its affiliates had not waived or reimbursed certain Fund expenses during these periods, the Fund’s returns would have been lower. The Fund is a money market fund managed pursuant to the requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act. Effective May 28, 2010, Rule 2a-7 was amended to impose new liquidity, credit quality and maturity requirements on all money market funds. Fund performance shown prior to May 28, 2010 is based on Investment Company Act rules then in effect and is not an indication of future returns. Updated information on the Fund’s performance can be obtained by visiting http://www.blackrock.com/cash or can be obtained by phone at (800) 882-0052.

Investor A Shares

ANNUAL TOTAL RETURNS

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

As of 12/31

[updated bar chart to be filed by subsequent amendment]

During the ten-year period shown in the bar chart, the highest return for a quarter was [    ]% (quarter ended [    ]) and the lowest return for a quarter was [    ]% (quarter ended [    ]). The year-to-date return as of March 31, 2020 was [    ]%.

 

As of 12/31/19
Average Annual Total Returns
   1 Year      5 Years      10 Years  

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund — Investor A Shares

        

Return Before Taxes

     [     ]%       [     ]%       [     ]% 

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund — Investor C Shares

        

Return Before Taxes

     [     ]%       [     ]%       [     ]% 

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund — Institutional Shares

        

Return Before Taxes

     [     ]%       [     ]%       [     ]% 

To obtain the Fund’s current 7-day yield, call (800) 441-7762 or visit the Fund’s website at www.blackrock.com/cash.

Investment Manager

 

The Fund’s investment manager is BlackRock Advisors, LLC (previously defined as “BlackRock”).

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

 

The Fund is a retail money market fund and is intended only for sale to beneficial owners who are natural persons.

You may generally purchase or redeem shares of the Fund each day on which both the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are open.

To purchase or sell shares of the Fund you should contact your Financial Intermediary, or, if you hold your shares through the Fund, you should contact the Fund by phone at (800) 441-7762, by mail (c/o BlackRock Funds, P.O. Box 9819, Providence, Rhode Island 02940-8019), or by the Internet at www.blackrock.com. You have until the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. Eastern time) to get your purchase money in to the Fund on the day of your purchase or your purchase order will be cancelled.

 

7


The Fund’s initial and subsequent investment minimums generally are as follows, although the Fund may reduce or waive the minimums in some cases.

 

     Investor A Shares   Institutional Shares
Minimum Initial Investment  

$1,000 for all accounts except:

•  $50, if establishing an Automatic Investment Plan.

•  There is no investment minimum for employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs).

•  There is no investment minimum for certain fee-based programs.

 

There is no minimum initial investment for:

•  Employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs) and state sponsored 529 college savings plans, each of which may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Fund’s distributor to purchase such shares.

•  Clients of Financial Intermediaries that: (i) charge such clients a fee for advisory, investment consulting, or similar services or (ii) have entered into an agreement with the Fund’s distributor to offer Institutional Shares through a no-load program or investment platform.

 

$2 million for individuals. $1,000 for:

•  Clients investing through Financial Intermediaries that offer such shares on a platform that charges a transaction based sales commission outside of the Fund.

•  Tax-qualified accounts for insurance agents that are registered representatives of an insurance company’s broker-dealer that has entered into an agreement with the Fund’s distributor to offer Institutional Shares, and the family members of such persons.

Minimum Additional Investment   $50 for all accounts (with the exception of certain employer-sponsored retirement plans which may have a lower minimum).   No subsequent minimum.

Information is not provided for Investor C Shares of the Fund because Investor C Shares are no longer being offered to new investors. Investor C Shares are available upon exchange from Investor C Shares of certain Non-Money Market BlackRock Funds.

Tax Information

 

The Fund’s dividends and distributions may be subject to U.S. federal income taxes and may be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are a tax-exempt investor or are investing through a qualified tax-exempt plan described in section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, in which case you may be subject to U.S. federal income tax when distributions are received from such tax-deferred arrangements.

Payments to Broker/Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary, the Fund and BlackRock Investments, LLC, the Fund’s distributor, or its affiliates may pay the Financial Intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the Financial Intermediary and your individual financial professional to recommend the Fund over another investment.

 

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Details About the Fund

 

 

 

Included in this prospectus are sections that tell you about buying and selling shares, management information, shareholder features of BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (“WeLEAF” or the “Fund,” formerly known as BlackRock Money Market Portfolio) a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”), and your rights as a shareholder.

How the Fund Invests

 

The Fund is a retail money market fund managed pursuant to Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”).

 

 

The Fund seeks to maintain a net asset value (“NAV”) of $1.00 per share.

 

 

The Fund will maintain a dollar-weighted average maturity of 60 days or less and a dollar-weighted average life of 120 days or less. For a discussion of dollar-weighted average maturity and dollar-weighted average life, please see the Glossary on page 40.

 

 

Pursuant to Rule 2a-7, the Fund is subject to a “general liquidity requirement” that requires that the Fund hold securities that are sufficiently liquid to meet reasonably foreseeable shareholder redemptions in light of its obligations under Section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act regarding share redemptions and any commitments the Fund has made to shareholders. To comply with this general liquidity requirement, BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock”) must consider factors that could affect the Fund’s liquidity needs, including characteristics of the Fund’s investors and their likely redemptions. Depending upon the volatility of its cash flows (particularly shareholder redemptions), this may require the Fund to maintain greater liquidity than would be required by the daily and weekly minimum liquidity requirements discussed below.

 

 

The Fund will not acquire any illiquid security (i.e., securities that cannot be sold or disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value ascribed to them by the Fund) if, immediately following such purchase, more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets are invested in illiquid securities.

 

 

The Fund will not acquire any security other than a daily liquid asset unless, immediately following such purchase, at least 10% of its total assets would be invested in daily liquid assets, and the Fund will not acquire any security other than a weekly liquid asset unless, immediately following such purchase, at least 30% of its total assets would be invested in weekly liquid assets. For a discussion of daily liquid assets and weekly liquid assets, please see the Glossary on page 40.

 

 

The Fund invests in securities maturing within 13 months or less from the date of purchase, with certain exceptions. For example, certain government securities held by the Fund may have remaining maturities exceeding 13 months if such securities provide for adjustments in their interest rates not less frequently than every 13 months.

 

 

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification, and other requirements of Rule 2a-7, and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Fund will purchase securities (or issuers of such securities) that are Eligible Securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”). For a discussion of Eligible Securities, please see the Glossary on page 40.

The Board will be permitted to impose a liquidity fee on redemptions from the Fund (up to 2%) or temporarily restrict redemptions from the Fund for up to 10 business days during a 90 day period under certain circumstances. Please see the section below titled “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” for additional information about liquidity fees and redemption gates.

Investment Objective

The investment objective of the Fund is to seek as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and preservation of capital while giving consideration to select environmental criteria.

Should the Board determine that the investment objective of the Fund should be changed, shareholders will be given at least 30 days’ notice before any such change is made. However, such change can be effected without shareholder approval.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a broad range of U.S. dollar-denominated money market instruments, including government, U.S. and foreign bank, and commercial obligations and repurchase agreements. Under normal conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, the

 

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Fund’s investment manager, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria. This policy is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund. However, the Fund will provide shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any changes to the policy.

BlackRock will consider the following as part of the Fund’s environmental criteria:

 

 

The Fund will invest in securities whose issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) at the time of the Fund’s investment has better than average performance in environmental practices. In evaluating performance in environmental practices, BlackRock will use data or other environmental, social, or governance risk metrics including ratings provided by independent research vendor(s) in determining whether to invest (or continue to invest) in securities issued or guaranteed by a particular entity. These independent research vendor(s) may consider one or more of the following factors: issuer or industry exposure to environmentally intensive activities, disclosures by an issuer around climate related issues and environmental matters or specific targets or plans by an issuer to manage environmental exposures. BlackRock may change an independent research vendor at any time in its discretion. BlackRock will consider factors such as emissions, energy and water intensity, waste generation, green revenues and environmental disclosure levels in evaluating the environmental performance of an issuer or guarantor.

 

 

U.S. Government securities will be considered to have met the Fund’s environmental criteria

 

 

The Fund will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities:

 

 

that derive more than 5% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement; or

 

 

that derive more than 5% of their revenue from thermal coal or nuclear energy based power generation.

In determining the efficacy of an issuer’s or guarantor’s environmental practices, BlackRock may also employ a proprietary model it has developed to consider the impact of various actions of an issuer or guarantor. The model uses third party data as well as information obtained by BlackRock to assess whether particular environmental factors may be material to an issuer or guarantor and capture any momentum around these factors. The model also seeks to consider more current headline news around an issuer or guarantor. The model may employ different inputs and weigh the significance of those inputs differently than the third party data sources that are used. BlackRock will conduct, as appropriate, its environmental evaluation of issuers and guarantors relative to a specific sector or across multiple sectors.

When known at the time of purchase, Fund management may also consider an issuer’s or guarantor’s commitment to support sustainable palm oil.

In addition, the Fund may invest in mortgage- and asset-backed securities, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts. The Fund may invest in “green” bonds where, in the opinion of BlackRock, the use of proceeds from the sale of these securities will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. For purposes of compliance with the Fund’s 80% investment policy, (1) the Fund’s investment in “green” bonds will not be deemed to qualify unless the issuer or guarantor of such bonds, in the opinion of BlackRock, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria and (2) the Fund’s investment in repurchase agreements will not be deemed to qualify except to the extent that both the repurchase agreement counterparty and the issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) of the security subject to the repurchase agreement, in the opinion of BlackRock, at the time of purchase, meet the Fund’s environmental criteria. The Fund may also invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.

Under normal market conditions, at least 25% of the Fund’s total assets will be invested in obligations of issuers in the financial services industry or in obligations, such as repurchase agreements, secured by such obligations.

The Fund may invest up to 20% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) have below average performance in environmental practices or whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) are not evaluated by any independent research vendor(s) currently used by the Fund, and whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) do not otherwise meet the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Fund will only purchase securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Board.

Pursuant to Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, the Fund will generally limit its purchases of any one issuer’s securities (other than U.S. Government obligations and repurchase agreements collateralized by such securities) to 5% of the Fund’s total assets, except that up to 25% of its total assets may be invested in securities of one issuer for a period of up to three business days; provided that the Fund may not invest in the securities of more than one issuer in accordance with the foregoing exception at any one time.

 

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Additionally, a security purchased by the Fund (or the issuers of such security) will be:

 

   

a security that has short-term ratings at the time of purchase (or which are guaranteed or in some cases otherwise supported by credit supports with such ratings) in the highest rating category by at least two unaffiliated nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”), or one NRSRO, if the security or guarantee was only rated by one NRSRO;

 

   

a security that is issued or guaranteed by a person with such ratings;

 

   

a security without such short-term ratings that has been determined to be of comparable quality by BlackRock;

 

   

a security issued by other open-end investment companies that invest in the type of obligations in which the Fund may invest; or

 

   

a security issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

Appendix A to the Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) contains a description of the relevant rating symbols used by several NRSROs for various types of debt obligations.

During periods of unusual market conditions or during temporary defensive periods, the Fund may depart from its principal investment strategies. The Fund may hold uninvested cash reserves pending investment, during temporary defensive periods, or the Fund may invest without limit in U.S. Treasury securities. Uninvested cash reserves may not earn income. Temporary defensive investments may limit the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Other Strategies

In addition to the principal investment strategies discussed above, the Fund may also invest or engage in the following investments/strategies:

 

 

Borrowing. During periods of unusual market conditions, the Fund is authorized to borrow money from banks for temporary purposes in amounts up to one-third of the value of its total assets at the time of such borrowing. Such borrowings may be secured or unsecured.

 

 

Illiquid Investments. The Fund will not invest more than 5% of the value of its total assets in illiquid securities that it cannot sell in the ordinary course within seven days at approximately current value.

 

 

Investment Company Securities — The Fund may invest in securities issued by other open-end or closed-end investment companies as permitted by the Investment Company Act. A pro rata portion of the other investment companies’ expenses may be borne by the Fund’s shareholders. These investments may include, as consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, certain variable rate demand securities issued by closed-end funds, which invest primarily in portfolios of taxable or tax-exempt securities. It is anticipated that the payments made on the variable rate demand securities issued by closed-end municipal bond funds will be exempt from federal income tax.

 

 

Municipal Obligations. The Fund may, when deemed appropriate by BlackRock in light of its investment objective, invest in high quality, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities, such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts (“Municipal Obligations”) issued by state and local governmental issuers which carry yields that are competitive with those of other types of money market instruments of comparable quality.

 

 

Restricted Securities. Restricted securities are securities that cannot be offered for public resale unless registered under the applicable securities laws or that have a contractual restriction that prohibits or limits their resale. They may include Rule 144A securities, which are privately placed securities that can be resold to qualified institutional buyers but not to the general public, and securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers that are offered pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. The Fund is permitted to invest up to one-third of its total assets in reverse repurchase agreements. Investments in reverse repurchase agreements and securities lending transactions (described below) will be aggregated for purposes of this investment limitation.

 

 

Uninvested Cash Reserves — The Fund may hold up to 20% of its assets in uninvested cash reserves. Uninvested cash reserves will not earn income.

 

 

U.S. Treasury Floating Rate Notes — The Fund may invest in U.S. Treasury Floating Rate Notes (FRNs). These are two-year notes issued by the U.S. Treasury that reset their interest rates on a weekly basis. At maturity, the face value of an FRN is paid to the note holder.

 

11


Investment Risks

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. You could lose money by investing in the Fund. Although the Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it cannot guarantee it will do so. The Fund may impose a fee upon the sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.

The following is a description of certain risks of investing in the Fund. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

 

Credit Risk — Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a debt security (i.e., the borrower) will not be able to make payments of interest and principal when due. Changes in an issuer’s credit rating or the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness may also affect the value of the Fund’s investment in that issuer. The degree of credit risk depends on both the financial condition of the issuer and the terms of the obligation.

 

 

Environmental Criteria Risk — The risk that because the Fund’s environmental criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons, the Fund may forgo some market opportunities available to funds that do not use these criteria. Consequently, the Fund may underperform funds that do not utilize an environmental strategy. BlackRock’s assessment of an issuer’s environmental criteria may change over time, which could cause the Fund to hold securities that may no longer meet BlackRock’s current environmental criteria.

In evaluating the environmental criteria for an issuer or guarantor, BlackRock is dependent upon information and data that may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable. Currently, environmental data often lacks standardization, consistency and in some cases transparency. There may be different methodologies used by different data sources who compile environmental ratings of issuers or guarantors. This could adversely affect the analysis of the environmental criteria relevant to a particular issuer or guarantor. If BlackRock were to solely rely on this data, the Fund may invest in issuers or guarantors who may not meet the environmental criteria for investment. Investing on the basis of environmental criteria is qualitative and subjective by nature and there can be no assurance that the process utilized by any vendors of BlackRock or any judgment exercised by BlackRock will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor.

 

 

Extension Risk — When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. The value of longer-term securities generally changes more in response to changes in interest rates than shorter-term securities. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, securities may exhibit additional volatility and may lose value.

 

 

Financial Services Industry Risk — Because of its concentration in the financial services industry, the Fund will be more susceptible to any economic, business, political or other developments which generally affect this industry sector. As a result, the Fund will be exposed to a large extent to the risks associated with that industry, such as government regulation, the availability and cost of capital funds, consolidation and general economic conditions. Financial services companies are also exposed to losses if borrowers and other counterparties experience financial problems and/or cannot repay their obligations.

When interest rates go up, the value of securities issued by many types of financial services companies generally goes down. In many countries, financial services and the companies that provide them are regulated by governmental entities, which can increase costs for new services or products and make it difficult to pass increased costs on to consumers. In certain areas, deregulation of financial services companies has resulted in increased competition and reduced profitability for certain companies.

The profitability of many types of financial services companies may be adversely affected in certain market cycles, including periods of rising interest rates, which may restrict the availability and increase the cost of capital, and declining economic conditions, which may cause credit losses due to financial difficulties of borrowers. Because many types of financial services companies are vulnerable to these economic cycles, a large portion of the Fund’s investments may lose value during such periods.

 

 

Foreign Exposure Risk Securities issued or supported by foreign entities, including foreign banks and corporations, may involve additional risks and considerations. Extensive public information about the foreign issuer may not be available, and unfavorable political, economic or governmental developments in the foreign country involved could affect the payment of principal and interest.

 

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Income Risk — The Fund’s yield will vary as the short-term securities in its portfolio mature and the proceeds are reinvested in securities with different interest rates.

 

 

Interest Rate Risk Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a debt security may fall when interest rates rise. In general, the market price of debt securities with longer maturities will go up or down more in response to changes in interest rates than the market price of shorter-term securities. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

Liquidity Fee and Redemption Gate Risk — The Board has discretion to impose a liquidity fee of up to 2% upon sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. Accordingly, you may not be able to sell your shares or your redemptions may be subject to a liquidity fee when you sell your shares at certain times.

 

 

Market Risk and Selection Risk — Market risk is the risk that one or more markets in which the Fund invests will go down in value, including the possibility that the markets will go down sharply and unpredictably. Selection risk is the risk that the securities selected by Fund management will underperform the markets, the relevant indices or the securities selected by other funds with similar investment objectives and investment strategies. This means you may lose money.

 

 

Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Risks — Mortgage-backed securities (residential and commercial) and asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of mortgages or other assets, including consumer loans or receivables held in trust. Although asset-backed and commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) generally experience less prepayment than residential mortgage-backed securities, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, like traditional fixed-income securities, are subject to credit, interest rate, prepayment and extension risks.

Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain mortgage-backed securities. The Fund’s investments in asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-related securities, as well as additional risks associated with the nature of the assets and the servicing of those assets. These securities also are subject to the risk of default on the underlying mortgages or assets, particularly during periods of economic downturn. Certain CMBS are issued in several classes with different levels of yield and credit protection. The Fund’s investments in CMBS with several classes may be in the lower classes that have greater risks than the higher classes, including greater interest rate, credit and prepayment risks.

Mortgage-backed securities may be either pass-through securities or collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”). Pass-through securities represent a right to receive principal and interest payments collected on a pool of mortgages, which are passed through to security holders. CMOs are created by dividing the principal and interest payments collected on a pool of mortgages into several revenue streams (“tranches”) with different priority rights to portions of the underlying mortgage payments. Certain CMO tranches may represent a right to receive interest only (“IOs”), principal only (“POs”) or an amount that remains after floating-rate tranches are paid (an “inverse floater”). These securities are frequently referred to as “mortgage derivatives” and may be extremely sensitive to changes in interest rates. Interest rates on inverse floaters, for example, vary inversely with a short-term floating rate (which may be reset periodically). Interest rates on inverse floaters will decrease when short-term rates increase, and will increase when short-term rates decrease. These securities have the effect of providing a degree of investment leverage. In response to changes in market interest rates or other market conditions, the value of an inverse floater may increase or decrease at a multiple of the increase or decrease in the value of the underlying securities. If the Fund invests in CMO tranches (including CMO tranches issued by government agencies) and interest rates move in a manner not anticipated by Fund management, it is possible that the Fund could lose all or substantially all of its investment. Certain mortgage-backed securities in which the Fund may invest may also provide a degree of investment leverage, which could cause the Fund to lose all or substantially all of its investment.

The mortgage market in the United States has experienced difficulties that may adversely affect the performance and market value of certain of the Fund’s mortgage-related investments. Delinquencies and losses on mortgage loans (including subprime and second-lien mortgage loans) generally have increased and may continue to increase, and a decline in or flattening of real estate values (as has been experienced and may continue to be experienced in many housing markets) may exacerbate such delinquencies and losses. Also, a number of mortgage loan originators have experienced serious financial difficulties or bankruptcy. Reduced investor demand for mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities and increased investor yield requirements have caused limited liquidity in the secondary market for mortgage-related securities, which can adversely affect the market value of mortgage-related securities. It is possible that such limited liquidity in such secondary markets could continue or worsen.

Asset-backed securities entail certain risks not presented by mortgage-backed securities, including the risk that in certain states it may be difficult to perfect the liens securing the collateral backing certain asset-backed securities. In addition, certain asset-backed securities are based on loans that are unsecured, which means that there is no collateral to seize if the underlying borrower defaults.

 

13


 

Prepayment Risk — When interest rates fall, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more quickly than originally anticipated, and the Fund may have to invest the proceeds in securities with lower yields. In periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayments tends to increase (as does price fluctuation) as borrowers are motivated to pay off debt and refinance at new lower rates. During such periods, reinvestment of the prepayment proceeds by the management team will generally be at lower rates of return than the return on the assets that were prepaid. Prepayment reduces the yield to maturity and the average life of the security.

 

 

Repurchase Agreements and Purchase and Sale Contracts Risk — If the other party to a repurchase agreement or purchase and sale contract defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the Fund may suffer delays and incur costs or lose money in exercising its rights under the agreement. If the seller fails to repurchase the security in either situation and the market value of the security declines, the Fund may lose money.

 

 

Stable Net Asset Value Risk — The Fund may not be able to maintain a stable NAV of $1.00 per share at all times. If the Fund fails to maintain a stable NAV (or if there is a perceived threat of such a failure), the Fund, along with other money market funds, could be subject to increased redemption activity.

 

 

Treasury Obligations Risk — Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

U.S. Government Obligations Risk — Not all U.S. Government securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Obligations of certain agencies, authorities, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises of the U.S. Government are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States (e.g., the Government National Mortgage Association); other obligations are backed by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury (e.g., the Federal Home Loan Banks) and others are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase an agency’s obligations. Still others are backed only by the credit of the agency, authority, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise issuing the obligation. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to any of these entities if it is not obligated to do so by law.

 

 

Variable and Floating Rate Instrument Risk — Variable and floating rate securities provide for periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the securities. These securities may be subject to greater illiquidity risk than other fixed income securities, meaning the absence of an active market for these securities could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of them at any given time.

 

 

When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments Risk — When-issued and delayed delivery securities and forward commitments involve the risk that the security the Fund buys will lose value prior to its delivery. There also is the risk that the security will not be issued or that the other party to the transaction will not meet its obligation. If this occurs, the Fund may lose both the investment opportunity for the assets it set aside to pay for the security and any gain in the security’s price.

Other Risks of Investing in the Fund

The Fund may also be subject to certain other non-principal risks associated with its investments and investment strategies, including:

 

 

Borrowing Risk — Borrowing may exaggerate changes in the NAV of Fund shares and in the return on the Fund’s portfolio. Borrowing will cost the Fund interest expense and other fees. The costs of borrowing may reduce the Fund’s return. Borrowing may cause the Fund to liquidate positions when it may not be advantageous to do so to satisfy its obligations.

 

 

Cyber Security Risk — Failures or breaches of the electronic systems of the Fund, the Fund’s adviser, distributor, and other service providers, or the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests have the ability to cause disruptions and negatively impact the Fund’s business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses to the Fund and its shareholders. While the Fund has established business continuity plans and risk management systems seeking to address system breaches or failures, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems of the Fund’s service providers or issuers of securities in which the Fund invests.

 

 

Expense Risk — Fund expenses are subject to a variety of factors, including fluctuations in the Fund’s net assets. Accordingly, actual expenses may be greater or less than those indicated. For example, to the extent that the Fund’s net assets decrease due to market declines or redemptions, the Fund’s expenses will increase as a percentage of Fund net assets. During periods of high market volatility, these increases in the Fund’s expense ratio could be significant.

 

 

Illiquid Investments Risk — The Fund’s illiquid investments may reduce the returns of the Fund because it may be difficult to sell the illiquid investments at an advantageous time or price. The Fund may be unable to pay redemption proceeds within the time period stated in this prospectus because of unusual market conditions, an unusually high volume of redemption requests, or other reasons.

 

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Investment in Other Investment Companies Risk — As with other investments, investments in other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds, are subject to market and selection risk. In addition, if the Fund acquires shares of investment companies, including ones affiliated with the Fund, shareholders bear both their proportionate share of expenses in the Fund (including management and advisory fees) and, indirectly, the expenses of the investment companies (to the extent not offset by BlackRock through waivers). To the extent the Fund is held by an affiliated fund, the ability of the Fund itself to hold other investment companies may be limited.

 

 

Municipal Securities Risks — Municipal securities risks include the ability of the issuer to repay the obligation, the relative lack of information about certain issuers of municipal securities, and the possibility of future legislative changes which could affect the market for and value of municipal securities. These risks include:

General Obligation Bonds Risks — The full faith, credit and taxing power of the municipality that issues a general obligation bond secures payment of interest and repayment of principal. Timely payments depend on the issuer’s credit quality, ability to raise tax revenues and ability to maintain an adequate tax base.

Revenue Bonds Risks — Payments of interest and principal on revenue bonds are made only from the revenues generated by a particular facility, class of facilities or the proceeds of a special tax or other revenue source. These payments depend on the money earned by the particular facility or class of facilities, or the amount of revenues derived from another source.

Private Activity Bonds Risks — Municipalities and other public authorities issue private activity bonds to finance development of industrial facilities for use by a private enterprise. The private enterprise pays the principal and interest on the bond, and the issuer does not pledge its full faith, credit and taxing power for repayment. If the private enterprise defaults on its payments, the Fund may not receive any income or get its money back from the investment.

Moral Obligation Bonds Risks — Moral obligation bonds are generally issued by special purpose public authorities of a state or municipality. If the issuer is unable to meet its obligations, repayment of these bonds becomes a moral commitment, but not a legal obligation, of the state or municipality.

Municipal Notes Risks — Municipal notes are shorter term municipal debt obligations. They may provide interim financing in anticipation of, and are secured by, tax collection, bond sales or revenue receipts. If there is a shortfall in the anticipated proceeds, the notes may not be fully repaid and the Fund may lose money.

Municipal Lease Obligations Risks — In a municipal lease obligation, the issuer agrees to make payments when due on the lease obligation. The issuer will generally appropriate municipal funds for that purpose, but is not obligated to do so. Although the issuer does not pledge its unlimited taxing power for payment of the lease obligation, the lease obligation is secured by the leased property. However, if the issuer does not fulfill its payment obligation it may be difficult to sell the property and the proceeds of a sale may not cover the Fund’s loss.

Tax-Exempt Status Risk — In making investments, the Fund and its investment manager will rely on the opinion of issuers’ bond counsel and, in the case of derivative securities, sponsors’ counsel, on the tax-exempt status of interest on municipal obligations and payments under tax-exempt derivative securities. Neither the Fund nor its investment manager will independently review the bases for those tax opinions. If any of those tax opinions are ultimately determined to be incorrect or if events occur after the security is acquired that impact the security’s tax-exempt status, the Fund and its shareholders could be subject to substantial tax liabilities. The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has generally not ruled on the taxability of the securities. An assertion by the IRS that a portfolio security is not exempt from U.S. federal income tax (contrary to indications from the issuer) could affect the Fund’s and its shareholders’ income tax liability for the current or past years and could create liability for information reporting penalties. In addition, an IRS assertion of taxability may impair the liquidity and the fair market value of the securities.

 

 

Restricted Securities Risk Limitations on the resale of restricted securities may have an adverse effect on their marketability, and may prevent the Fund from disposing of them promptly at advantageous prices. Restricted securities may not be listed on an exchange and may have no active trading market. In order to sell such securities, the Fund may have to bear the expense of registering the securities for resale and the risk of substantial delays in effecting the registration. Other transaction costs may be higher for restricted securities than unrestricted securities. Restricted securities may be difficult to value because market quotations may not be readily available, and the securities may have significant volatility. Also, the Fund may get only limited information about the issuer of a given restricted security, and therefore may be less able to predict a loss. Certain restricted securities may involve a high degree of business and financial risk and may result in substantial losses to the Fund.

 

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements Risk Reverse repurchase agreements involve the sale of securities held by the Fund with an agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon price, date and interest payment. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the other party may fail to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could lose money if it is unable to recover the securities and the value of the collateral held by the Fund, including the value of the investments made with cash collateral, is less than the value of the securities. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences to the Fund.

 

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Account Information

 

 

 

How to Choose the Share Class that Best Suits Your Needs

 

The Fund currently offers multiple share classes (Investor A and Institutional Shares in this prospectus), each with its own sales charge and expense structure, allowing you to invest in the way that best suits your needs. The Fund no longer offers Investor C Shares to new investors. Each share class represents an ownership interest in the same investment portfolio of the Fund. When you choose your class of shares, you should consider the size of your investment and how long you plan to hold your shares. Either your financial professional or your selected securities dealer, broker, investment adviser, service provider or industry professional (including BlackRock and its affiliates) (each a “Financial Intermediary”) can help you determine which share class is best suited to your personal financial goals. Investor A and Investor C Shares are sometimes referred to herein collectively as “Investor Shares.”

If you exchange into Investor C Shares, you will invest the full amount of your purchase price, but you will be subject to a distribution fee of 0.75% per year and a service fee of 0.25% per year under a plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act. Because these fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges. Since all Investor C Shares must be purchased in an exchange transaction for Investor C Shares of a non-money market fund advised by BlackRock or its affiliates (each a “Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund”), a contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”) of 1.00% may apply to certain redemptions of the Fund’s Investor C Shares. The Investor C Shares CDSC is only charged upon redemptions of Investor C Shares within one year after you originally acquired the Investor C Shares of the Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund, unless you qualify for a waiver. There is no CDSC charged on redemptions if you have owned your Investor C Shares for more than one year (as measured from your original purchase of Investor C Shares of the Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund that you exchanged into Investor C Shares of the Fund). Classes with lower expenses will have higher net asset values and dividends relative to other share classes.

If you select Institutional Shares of the Fund, you will not pay any sales charge or service fees. However, only certain investors may buy Institutional Shares.

The Fund’s shares are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), an affiliate of BlackRock.

The table on the following pages summarizes key features of each of the share classes offered by this prospectus.

 

Share Classes at a Glance1
     Investor A   Investor C2   Institutional
Availability   Generally available through Financial Intermediaries.   Limited to exchanges from Investor C Shares of the Non-Money Market BlackRock Funds.  

Limited to certain investors, including:

•  Individuals who may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to purchase such shares.

•  Employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs) and state sponsored 529 college savings plans, each of which may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to purchase such shares.

•  Employees, officers and directors/trustees of BlackRock or its affiliates and immediate family members of such persons, if they open an account directly with BlackRock.

 

 

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Share Classes at a Glance1
     Investor A   Investor C2   Institutional
Availability (continued)          

•  Participants in certain programs sponsored by BlackRock or its affiliates or other Financial Intermediaries.

•  Tax-qualified accounts for insurance agents that are registered representatives of an insurance company’s broker-dealer that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Institutional Shares, and the family members of such persons.

•  Clients investing through Financial Intermediaries that have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer such shares on a platform that charges a transaction based sales commission outside of the Fund.

Minimum Investment  

$1,000 for all accounts except:

•  $ 50, if establishing an Automatic Investment Plan (“AIP”).

•  There is no investment minimum for employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs).

•  There is no investment minimum for certain fee-based programs.

 

$1,000 for all accounts except:

•  $ 50, if establishing an AIP.

•  There is no investment minimum for employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs).

•  There is no investment minimum for certain fee-based programs.

 

There is no investment minimum for:

•  Employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs) and state sponsored 529 college savings plans.

•  Employees, officers and directors/trustees of BlackRock or its affiliates and immediate family members of such persons, if they open an account directly with BlackRock.

•  Clients of Financial Intermediaries that: (i) charge such clients a fee for advisory, investment consulting, or similar services or (ii) have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Institutional Shares through a no-load program or investment platform.

 

$2 million for individuals.

 

$1,000 investment minimum for:

•  Clients investing through Financial Intermediaries that offer such shares on a platform that charges a transaction based sales commission outside of the Fund.

•  Tax-qualified accounts for insurance agents that are registered representatives of an insurance company’s broker-dealer that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Institutional Shares, and the family members of such persons.

 

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Share Classes at a Glance1
     Investor A   Investor C2   Institutional
Initial Sales Charge?   No. Entire purchase price is invested in shares of the Fund.   No. Entire purchase price is invested in shares of the Fund.   No. Entire purchase price is invested in shares of the Fund.
Deferred Sales Charge?   No. (A CDSC may apply to certain redemptions of Investor A Shares purchased in an exchange transaction for Investor A Shares of a fund advised by BlackRock or its affiliates where no initial sales charge was paid at the time of purchase of such fund (each, an “Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund”) that assesses a CDSC (which may be charged for purchases of $1 million or more (lesser amounts may apply depending on the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund) that are redeemed within 18 months or within a shorter holding period as applicable)).   Since all Investor C Shares must be purchased in an exchange transaction for Investor C Shares of a Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund, a CDSC of 1.00% will apply to redemptions of the Fund’s Investor C Shares if the redemption is within one year of your purchase of the Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund Investor C Shares, unless you qualify for a waiver.   No.
Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees?   No Distribution Fee. 0.25% Annual Service Fee.  

0.75% Annual Distribution Fee.

 

0.25% Annual Service Fee.

  No.
Redemption Fees?   The Fund may impose a liquidity fee under certain limited circumstances. See “Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below.   The Fund may impose a liquidity fee under certain limited circumstances. See “Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below.   The Fund may impose a liquidity fee under certain limited circumstances. See “Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below.
Conversion to Investor A Shares?   N/A   Yes, automatically approximately ten years after the date of purchase. It is the Financial Intermediary’s responsibility to ensure that the shareholder is credited with the proper holding period. As of the Effective Date (as defined below), certain Financial Intermediaries, including group retirement recordkeeping platforms, may not have been tracking such holding periods and therefore may not be able to process such conversions. In such instances, the automatic conversion of Investor C Shares to Investor A Shares will occur ten years after the Effective Date.   No.
Advantage   Generally available to most investors.   N/A   No ongoing shareholder servicing fees.
Disadvantage   You pay ongoing shareholder servicing fees.   Limited availability.   Limited availability.

 

1 

Please see “Details About the Share Classes” for more information about each share class.

2 

Investor C Shares are no longer offered for purchase by the Fund.

The following pages will cover the additional details of each share class, including the eligibility requirements for purchasing Institutional Shares, reduced sales charge information, Investor C Shares CDSC information and sales charge waivers.

The availability of certain sales charge waivers and reductions will depend on whether you purchase shares of an Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund or a Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund directly from the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund or Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund or through a Financial Intermediary before

 

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exchanging into shares of the Fund. Financial Intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of deferred sales charge waivers, which are discussed below. In all instances, it is your responsibility to notify the applicable Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund or Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund or your Financial Intermediary at the time of purchase of any relationship or other facts qualifying you for sales charge waivers or reductions. For waivers and discounts not available through a particular Financial Intermediary, shareholders will have to purchase Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund or Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund shares directly from the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund or Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund or through another Financial Intermediary to receive these waivers or reductions. Please see the “Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies” section, as applicable, to determine any sales charge waivers and reductions that may be available to you through your Financial Intermediary.

More information about existing sales charge reductions and waivers is available free of charge in a clear and prominent format via hyperlink at www.blackrock.com and in the Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”), which is available on the website or on request.

Details About the Share Classes

 

Investor A Shares at Net Asset Value

There is no initial sales charge or CDSC on Investor A Shares of the Fund purchased directly. However, a CDSC of up to 1.00% may apply to certain redemptions of the Fund’s Investor A Shares purchased in an exchange transaction for Investor A Shares of an Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund where no initial sales charge was paid at time of purchase of such Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund as part of an investment of $1,000,000 (lesser amounts may apply depending on the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund) or more. If the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund from which you exchanged your shares charges a CDSC less than 1.00%, the lesser CDSC will apply to redemptions of Investor A Shares of the Fund. The CDSC of up to 1.00% is charged on the lesser of the original cost of the shares being redeemed or your redemption proceeds. The Investor A Shares CDSC is only charged upon redemptions of Investor A Shares within 18 months after you originally acquired such Investor A Shares of the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund (a shorter holding period may apply depending on the Investor A Load-Waived BlackRock Fund), unless you qualify for a waiver. There is no CDSC charged on redemptions if you have owned your Investor A Shares for more than 18 months (or for a shorter holding period, as applicable) as measured from your original purchase of Investor A Shares that you exchanged into Investor A Shares of the Fund. Such CDSC may be waived in connection with certain fee-based programs. For a discussion on waivers, see “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge Waivers.” Any CDSC paid upon certain redemptions of Investor A Shares expressed as a percentage of the applicable redemption amount may be higher or lower than the charge described due to rounding.

See the “Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies” section, to the extent applicable, for CDSC reductions and waivers that may be available to customers of certain Financial Intermediaries. If you are eligible to buy both Investor A and Institutional Shares, you should buy Institutional Shares since Investor A Shares are subject to an annual 0.25% service fee, while Institutional Shares are not. The Distributor normally pays the annual Investor A Shares service fee to dealers as a shareholder servicing fee on a monthly basis.

Investor C Shares — Deferred Sales Charge Option

If you exchange into Investor C Shares, you do not pay an initial sales charge at the time of exchange. However, if you redeem your Investor C Shares within one year after purchase of shares of a Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund, you may be required to pay a deferred sales charge of 1.00%. The charge will apply to the lesser of the original cost of shares being redeemed or the proceeds of your redemption. When you redeem Investor C Shares, the redemption order is processed so that the lowest deferred sales charge is charged. Investor C Shares that are not subject to the deferred sales charge are redeemed first. In addition, you will not be charged a deferred sales charge when you redeem shares that you acquire through reinvestment of Fund dividends or capital gains. Any CDSC paid on the redemptions of Investor C Shares expressed as a percentage of the applicable redemption amount may be higher or lower than the charge described due to rounding.

Effective November 8, 2018 (the “Effective Date”), Investor C Shares will automatically convert to Investor A Shares approximately ten years after the date of purchase. It is the Financial Intermediary’s responsibility to ensure that the shareholder is credited with the proper holding period. As of the Effective Date, certain Financial Intermediaries, including group retirement recordkeeping platforms, may not have been tracking such holding periods and therefore may not be able to process such conversions. In such instances, the automatic conversion of Investor C Shares to Investor A Shares will occur ten years after the Effective Date. The automatic conversion of Investor C Shares to Investor A Shares is not a taxable event for Federal income tax purposes. Please consult your Financial Intermediary for additional information.

See the “Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies” section, to the extent applicable, for CDSC reductions and waivers that may be available to customers of certain Financial Intermediaries.

 

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You will also pay distribution fees of 0.75% and service fees of 0.25% for Investor C Shares each year. Because these fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges. The Distributor uses the money that it receives from the deferred sales charges and the distribution fees to cover the costs of marketing, advertising and compensating the Financial Intermediary who assists you in purchasing Fund shares.

The Distributor currently pays dealers a sales concession of 1.00% of the purchase price of Investor C Shares of a Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund from its own resources at the time of sale. The Distributor pays the annual Investor C Shares distribution fee and the annual Investor C Shares service fee as an ongoing concession and as a shareholder servicing fee, respectively, to dealers for Investor C Shares held for over a year measured from the time Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund shares were originally purchased and normally retains the Investor C Shares distribution fee and service fee during the first year after purchase. For certain employer-sponsored retirement plans, the Distributor will pay the full Investor C Shares distribution fee and service fee to dealers beginning in the first year after purchase in lieu of paying the sales concession. This may depend on the policies, procedures and trading platforms of your Financial Intermediary; consult your financial adviser.

Contingent Deferred Sales Charge Waivers

The deferred sales charge relating to Investor Shares may be reduced or waived in certain circumstances, such as:

 

 

Redemptions of shares purchased through certain employer-sponsored retirement plans and rollovers of current investments in the Fund through such plans;

 

 

Exchanges pursuant to the exchange privilege, as described in “How to Buy, Sell, Exchange and Transfer Shares — How to Exchange Shares or Transfer Your Account”;

 

 

Redemptions made in connection with minimum required distributions from IRA or 403(b)(7) accounts due to the shareholder reaching the age of 701/2;

 

 

Certain post-retirement withdrawals from an IRA or other retirement plan if you are over 59 1/2 years old and you purchased your shares prior to October 2, 2006;

 

 

Redemptions made with respect to certain retirement plans sponsored by BlackRock or an affiliate;

 

 

Redemptions resulting from shareholder death as long as the waiver request is made within one year of death or, if later, reasonably promptly following completion of probate (including in connection with the distribution of account assets to a beneficiary of the decedent);

 

 

Withdrawals resulting from shareholder disability (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) as long as the disability arose subsequent to the purchase of the shares;

 

 

Involuntary redemptions made of shares in accounts with low balances;

 

 

Certain redemptions made through the Systematic Withdrawal Plan (“SWP”) offered by the Fund, BlackRock or an affiliate;

 

 

Redemptions related to the payment of BNY Mellon Investment Servicing Trust Company custodial IRA fees; and

 

 

Redemptions when a shareholder can demonstrate hardship, in the absolute discretion of the Fund.

See the “Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies” section, to the extent applicable, for CDSC reductions and waivers that may be available to customers of certain Financial Intermediaries.

More information about existing sales charge reductions and waivers is available free of charge in a clear and prominent format via hyperlink at www.blackrock.com and in the SAI, which is available on the website or on request.

Institutional Shares

Institutional Shares are not subject to any sales charge. Only certain investors are eligible to buy Institutional Shares. Your Financial Intermediary can help you determine whether you are eligible to buy Institutional Shares. The Fund may permit a lower initial investment for certain investors if their purchase, combined with purchases by other investors received together by the Fund, meets the minimum investment requirement.

Institutional Shares may also be available on certain brokerage platforms. An investor transacting in Institutional Shares on such brokerage platforms through a broker acting as an agent for the investor 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.

Eligible Institutional Shares investors include the following, provided that the beneficial owners of the Institutional Shares are natural persons:

 

 

Individuals with a minimum initial investment of $2 million who may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to purchase such shares;

 

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Clients of Financial Intermediaries that: (i) charge such clients a fee for advisory, investment consulting, or similar services or (ii) have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Institutional Shares through a no-load program or investment platform, in each case, with no minimum initial investment;

 

 

Clients investing through Financial Intermediaries that have entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer such shares on a platform that charges a transaction based sales commission outside of the Fund, with a minimum initial investment of $1,000;

 

 

Employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or SARSEPs) and state sponsored 529 college savings plans, each of which is not subject to any minimum initial investment and may purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to purchase such shares;

 

 

Trust department clients of PNC Bank, National Association and Bank of America, N.A. and their affiliates for whom they (i) act in a fiduciary capacity (excluding participant directed employee benefit plans); (ii) otherwise have investment discretion; or (iii) act as custodian for at least $2 million in assets, who are not subject to any minimum initial investment;

 

 

Holders of certain Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”) sponsored unit investment trusts (“UITs”) who reinvest dividends received from such UITs in shares of the Fund, who are not subject to any minimum initial investment;

 

 

Employees, officers and directors/trustees of BlackRock, Inc., mutual funds sponsored by BlackRock or its affiliates (“BlackRock Funds”), BofA Corp., The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Barclays PLC (“Barclays”) or their respective affiliates and immediate family members of such persons, if they open an account directly with BlackRock, who are not subject to any minimum initial investment; and

 

 

Tax-qualified accounts for insurance agents that are registered representatives of an insurance company’s broker-dealer that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor to offer Institutional Shares, and the family members of such persons.

The Fund reserves the right to modify or waive the above-stated policies at any time.

Right of Accumulation

Investors have a “right of accumulation” under which any of the following may be combined with the amount of the current purchase in determining whether an investor qualifies for a breakpoint and a reduced front-end sales charge:

i. The current value of an investor’s existing Investor A and A1, Investor C, C1, C2 and C3, Investor P, Institutional, Class K and Premier Shares in most BlackRock Funds,

ii. The current value of an investor’s existing shares of certain unlisted closed-end management investment companies sponsored and advised by BlackRock or its affiliates and

iii. The investment in the BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529 Program by the investor or by or on behalf of the investor’s spouse and children.

Financial Intermediaries may value current holdings of their customers differently for purposes of determining whether an investor qualifies for a breakpoint and a reduced front-end sales charge, although customers of the same Financial Intermediary will be treated similarly. In order to use this right, the investor must alert BlackRock to the existence of any previously purchased shares.

Distribution and Shareholder Servicing Payments

 

Plan Payments

The Fund has adopted a plan (the “Plan”) that allows the Fund to pay distribution fees for the sale of its shares and shareholder servicing fees for certain services provided to its shareholders.

The distribution fees payable pursuant to the Plan are paid to compensate Financial Intermediaries for distribution and sales support services and related expenses provided in connection with the sale of Investor C Shares, as well as shareholder support services, including responding to customer questions on the services performed by the Financial Intermediary and investments in Fund shares, assisting customers in choosing and changing dividend options, account designations and addresses and providing other similar shareholder liaison services. Because the fees paid by the Fund under the Plan are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment in the Investor C Shares of the Fund and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges.

 

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Other Payments by the Fund

In addition to fees that the Fund may pay to a Financial Intermediary pursuant to the Plan and fees the Fund pays to its transfer agent, BlackRock, on behalf of the Fund, may enter into non-Plan agreements with affiliated and unaffiliated Financial Intermediaries pursuant to which the Fund will pay a Financial Intermediary for administrative, networking, recordkeeping, sub-transfer agency, sub-accounting and/or shareholder services. These non-Plan payments are generally based on either (1) a percentage of the average daily net assets of Fund shareholders serviced by a Financial Intermediary or (2) a fixed dollar amount for each account serviced by a Financial Intermediary. The aggregate amount of these payments may be substantial.

Other Payments by BlackRock

From time to time, BlackRock, the Distributor or their affiliates also may pay a portion of the fees for administrative, networking, recordkeeping, sub-transfer agency, sub-accounting and shareholder services described above at its or their own expense and out of its or their profits. BlackRock, the Distributor and their affiliates may also compensate affiliated and unaffiliated Financial Intermediaries for the sale and distribution of shares of the Fund. These payments would be in addition to the Fund payments described in this prospectus and may be a fixed dollar amount, may be based on the number of customer accounts maintained by the Financial Intermediary, may be based on a percentage of the value of shares sold to, or held by, customers of the Financial Intermediary or may be calculated on another basis. The aggregate amount of these payments by BlackRock, the Distributor and their affiliates may be substantial and, in some circumstances, may create an incentive for a Financial Intermediary, its employees or associated persons to recommend or sell shares of the Fund to you.

Please contact your Financial Intermediary for details about payments it may receive from the Fund or from BlackRock, the Distributor or their affiliates. For more information, see the SAI.

How to Buy, Sell, Exchange and Transfer Shares

 

The chart on the following pages summarizes how to buy, sell, exchange and transfer shares through your Financial Intermediary. You may also buy, sell, exchange and transfer shares through BlackRock, if your account is held directly with BlackRock. To learn more about buying, selling, exchanging or transferring shares through BlackRock, call (800) 441-7762. Because the selection of a mutual fund involves many considerations, your Financial Intermediary may help you with this decision.

With certain limited exceptions, the Fund is generally available only to investors residing in the United States and may not be distributed by a foreign Financial Intermediary. Under this policy, in order to accept new accounts or additional investments (including by way of exchange from another BlackRock Fund) into existing accounts, the Fund generally requires that (i) a shareholder that is a natural person be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, in each case residing within the United States or a U.S. territory (including APO/FPO/DPO addresses), and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number, and (ii) a Financial Intermediary or a shareholder that is an entity be domiciled in the United States and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number or be domiciled in a U.S. territory and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number or IRS Form W-8. Any existing account that is updated to reflect a non-U.S. address will also be restricted from making additional investments.

The Fund may reject any purchase order, modify or waive the minimum initial or subsequent investment requirements for any shareholders and suspend and resume the sale of any share class of the Fund at any time for any reason. In addition, the Fund may waive certain requirements regarding the purchase, sale, exchange or transfer of shares described below and on the following pages.

The Fund is a retail money market fund and is intended only for sale to beneficial owners who are natural persons. Natural persons may invest in the Fund through certain tax-advantaged savings accounts, trusts and other retirement and investment accounts, which may include, among others: participant-directed defined contribution plans; individual retirement accounts; simplified employee pension arrangements; simple retirement accounts; custodial accounts; deferred compensation plans for government or tax-exempt organization employees; Archer medical savings accounts; college savings plans; health savings account plans; ordinary trusts and estates of natural persons; or certain other retirement and investment accounts with ultimate investment authority held by the natural person beneficial owner, notwithstanding having an institutional decision maker making day to day decisions (e.g., a plan sponsor in certain retirement arrangements or an investment adviser managing discretionary investment accounts). Financial Intermediaries are required to adopt and implement policies, procedures and internal controls reasonably designed to limit all beneficial owners of the Fund to natural persons. Financial Intermediaries are expected to promptly report to the Fund the existence of any shareholder of the Fund that does not qualify as a natural person of whom they are aware, promptly notify such shareholder, and take steps to redeem any such shareholder’s Fund shares.

The Fund reserves the right to redeem shares in any account that it cannot confirm to its satisfaction is beneficially owned by a natural person, after providing at least 60 days’ advance notice.

Under certain circumstances, if no activity occurs in an account within a time period specified by state law, a shareholder’s shares in the Fund may be transferred to that state.

 

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How to Buy Shares
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Initial Purchase   First, select the share class appropriate for you      

Refer to the “Share Classes at a Glance” table in this prospectus (be sure to read this prospectus carefully). When you place your initial order, you must indicate which share class you select (if you do not specify a share class and do not qualify to purchase Institutional Shares, you will receive Investor A Shares).

 

Certain factors, such as the amount of your investment, your time frame for investing, and your financial goals, may affect which share class you choose. Your financial representative can help you determine which share class is appropriate for you.

  Next, determine the amount of your investment      

Refer to the minimum initial investment in the “Share Classes at a Glance” table of this prospectus.

 

See “Account Information — Details About the Share Classes” for information on a lower initial investment requirement for certain Fund investors if their purchase, combined with purchases by other investors received together by the Fund, meets the minimum investment requirement.

  Have your Financial Intermediary submit your purchase order      

Purchase orders received by the Fund’s transfer agent, BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. (the “Transfer Agent”), before 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on each business day will be priced based on the next NAV calculated on that day, and if you send your payment by Federal funds or other immediately available funds no later than the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)) you will receive that day’s dividends.

 

NAV is calculated separately for each class of shares of the Fund as of the close of business on the New York Stock Exchange (“Exchange”), generally 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time), each business day. Shares will be priced on days that both the Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are open (each such day, a “business day”). The Fund may elect, in its discretion if it is determined to be in shareholders’ best interest, to be open on days when the Exchange is closed due to an emergency. Both the Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are closed on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Currently the only scheduled days on which the Exchange is open and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is closed are Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day. The only scheduled day on which the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is open and the Exchange is closed is Good Friday.

 

Purchase orders placed after 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) will be priced at the NAV determined on the next business day.

 

A broker-dealer or financial institution maintaining the account in which you hold shares may charge a separate account, service or transaction fee on the purchase or sale of Fund shares that would be in addition to the fees and expenses shown in the Fund’s “Fees and Expenses” table.

 

The Fund may reject any order to buy shares and may suspend the sale of shares at any time, including when a redemption gate is in place (see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below). Certain Financial Intermediaries may charge a processing fee to confirm a purchase.

    Or contact BlackRock (for accounts held directly with BlackRock)       To purchase shares directly from BlackRock, call (800) 441-7762 and request a new account application. Mail the completed application along with a check payable to BlackRock Funds to the Transfer Agent, at the address on the application.
Add to Your Investment   Purchase additional shares       For Investor A Shares, the minimum investment for additional purchases is generally $50 for all accounts (with the exception of certain employer-sponsored retirement plans which may have a lower minimum for additional purchases). The minimums for additional purchases may be waived under certain circumstances. Institutional Shares have no minimum for additional purchases.
    Have your Financial Intermediary submit your purchase order for       To purchase additional shares you may contact your Financial Intermediary. For more details on purchasing by Internet see below. additional shares

 

23


How to Buy Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Add to Your Investment (continued)   Or contact BlackRock (for accounts held directly with BlackRock)      

Purchase by Telephone: Call (800) 441-7762 and speak with one of our representatives. The Fund has the right to reject any telephone request for any reason.

 

Purchase in Writing: You may send a written request to BlackRock at the address on the back cover of this prospectus.

 

Purchase by VRU: Investor A Shares may also be purchased by use of the Fund’s automated voice response unit (“VRU”) service at (800) 441-7762.

 

Purchase by Internet: You may purchase your shares, and view activity in your account, by logging onto the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com. Purchases made on the Internet using Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) will have a trade date that is the day after the purchase is made.

 

Certain clients’ purchase orders of Institutional Shares placed prior to the close of business on the Exchange will be priced at the NAV determined that day. Contact your Financial Intermediary or BlackRock for further information. The Fund limits Internet purchases in Investor Shares of the Fund to $25,000 per trade. Different maximums may apply to certain investors.

 

Please read the On-Line Services Disclosure Statement and User Agreement, the Terms and Conditions page and the Consent to Electronic Delivery Agreement (if you consent to electronic delivery), before attempting to transact online.

 

The Fund employs reasonable procedures to confirm that transactions entered over the Internet are genuine. By entering into the User Agreement with the Fund in order to open an account through the website, the shareholder waives any right to reclaim any losses from the Fund or any of its affiliates, incurred through fraudulent activity.

  Acquire additional shares by reinvesting dividends and capital gains       All dividends and capital gains distributions are automatically reinvested without a sales charge. To make any changes to your dividend and/or capital gains distributions options, please call (800) 441-7762, or contact your Financial Intermediary (if your account is not held directly with BlackRock).
    Participate in the AIP      

BlackRock’s AIP allows you to invest a specific amount on a periodic basis from your checking or savings account into your investment account.

 

Refer to the “Account Services and Privileges” section of this prospectus for additional information.

 

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, you will not be permitted to automatically invest through the AIP until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

How to Pay for Shares   Making payment for purchases      

Payment for an order must be made in Federal funds or other immediately available funds by the time specified by your Financial Intermediary, but in no event later than the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)). If payment is not received by this time, the order will be canceled and you and your Financial Intermediary will be responsible for any loss to the Fund.

 

For shares purchased directly from the Fund, a check payable to BlackRock Funds which bears the name of the Fund must accompany a completed purchase application. There is a $20 fee for each purchase check that is returned due to insufficient funds. The Fund does not accept third-party checks. You may also wire Federal funds to the Transfer Agent to purchase shares, but you must call (800) 441-7762 before doing so to confirm the wiring instructions.

 

24


How to Sell Shares
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Full or Partial Redemption of Shares   Have your Financial Intermediary submit your sales order      

You can make redemption requests through your Financial Intermediary. Shareholders should indicate whether they are redeeming Investor A, Investor C or Institutional Shares. The price of your shares is based on the next calculation of the Fund’s NAV after your order is placed. For your redemption request to be priced at the NAV on the day of your request, you must submit your request to your Financial Intermediary prior to that day’s close of business on the Exchange (generally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time). Certain Financial Intermediaries, however, may require submission of orders prior to that time. Any redemption request placed after that time will be priced at the NAV at the close of business on the next business day.

 

Financial Intermediaries may charge a fee to process a redemption of shares.

 

The Fund may reject an order to sell shares under certain circumstances.

    Selling shares held directly with BlackRock      

Methods of Redeeming

Redeem by Telephone: You may sell Investor Shares held at BlackRock by telephone request if certain conditions are met and if the amount being sold is less than (i) $100,000 for payments by check or (ii) $250,000 for payments through ACH or wire transfer. Certain redemption requests, such as those in excess of these amounts, must be in writing with a medallion signature guarantee. For Institutional Shares, certain redemption requests may require written instructions with a medallion signature guarantee. Call (800) 441-7762 for details.

 

You can obtain a medallion signature guarantee stamp from a bank, securities dealer, securities broker, credit union, savings and loan association, national securities exchange or registered securities association. A notary public seal will not be acceptable.

 

The Fund, its administrators and the Distributor will employ reasonable procedures to confirm that instructions communicated by telephone are genuine. The Fund and its service providers will not be liable for any loss, liability, cost or expense for acting upon telephone instructions that are reasonably believed to be genuine in accordance with such procedures. The Fund may refuse a telephone redemption request if it believes it is advisable to do so.

 

During periods of substantial economic or market change, telephone redemptions may be difficult to complete. Please find below alternative redemption methods.

 

Redeem by VRU: Investor Shares may also be redeemed by use of the Fund’s automated VRU service. Proceeds for Investor Shares redeemed by the VRU service may be paid for non-retirement accounts in amounts up to $25,000, either through check, ACH or wire. If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, you will not be permitted to use the automated VRU service to redeem shares of the Fund until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted; provided however, you will still be able to redeem shares of the Fund as otherwise described in “How to Sell Shares” during a liquidity fee subject to such liquidity fee. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

 

Redeem by Internet: You may redeem in your account, by logging onto the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com. Proceeds from Internet redemptions may be sent via check, ACH or wire to the bank account of record. Proceeds for Investor Shares redeemed by Internet may be paid for non-retirement accounts in amounts up to $25,000, either through check, ACH or wire. Different maximums may apply to investors in Institutional Shares

 

Redeem in Writing: You may sell shares held at BlackRock by writing to BlackRock. All shareholders on the account must sign the letter. A medallion signature guarantee will generally be required but may be waived in certain limited circumstances. You can obtain a medallion signature guarantee stamp from a bank, securities dealer, securities broker, credit union, savings and loan association, national securities

 

 

25


How to Sell Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know

 

Full or Partial Redemption of Shares (continued)

 

 

Selling shares held directly with BlackRock (continued)

     

 

exchange or registered securities association. A notary public seal will not be acceptable. If you hold stock certificates, return the certificates with the letter. Proceeds from redemptions may be sent via check, ACH or wire to the bank account of record.

 

Payment of Redemption Proceeds

Redemption proceeds may be paid by check or, if the Fund has verified banking information on file, through ACH or by wire transfer.

 

Payment by Check: BlackRock will typically mail redemption proceeds one business day following receipt of a properly completed request, but in any event, within seven days. Shares can be redeemed by telephone and the proceeds sent by check to the shareholder at the address on record. Shareholders will pay $15 for redemption proceeds sent by check via overnight mail. You are responsible for any additional charges imposed by your bank for this service.

 

The Fund reserves the right to reinvest any dividend or distribution amounts (e.g., income dividends or capital gains) which you have elected to receive by check should your check be returned as undeliverable or remain uncashed for more than 6 months. No interest will accrue on amounts represented by uncashed checks. Your check will be reinvested in your account at the NAV next calculated, on the day of the investment. When reinvested, those amounts are subject to the risk of loss like any fund investment. If you elect to receive distributions in cash and a check remains undeliverable or uncashed for more than 6 months, your cash election may also be changed automatically to reinvest and your future dividend and capital gains distributions will be reinvested in the Fund at the NAV as of the date of payment of the distribution.

 

Payment by Wire Transfer: Proceeds for redeemed shares for which a redemption order is received before 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on a business day are normally paid in Federal funds wired to the redeeming shareholder on the same business day, provided that the Fund’s custodian is also open for business. Proceeds for redemption orders received on a day when the Fund’s custodian is closed are normally wired in Federal funds on the next business day following redemption on which the Fund’s custodian is open for business. The Fund reserves the right to wire redemption proceeds within seven days after receiving a redemption order if, in the judgment of the Fund, an earlier payment could adversely affect the Fund.

 

If a shareholder has given authorization for expedited redemption, shares can be redeemed by Federal wire transfer to a single previously designated bank account. Shareholders will pay $7.50 for redemption proceeds sent by Federal wire transfer. You are responsible for any additional charges imposed by your bank for this service. No charge for wiring redemption payments with respect to Institutional Shares is imposed by the Fund.

 

The Fund is not responsible for the efficiency of the Federal wire system or the shareholder’s firm or bank. To change the name of the single, designated bank account to receive wire redemption proceeds, it is necessary to send a written request to the Fund at the address on the back cover of this prospectus.

 

Payment by ACH: Redemption proceeds may be sent to the shareholder’s bank account (checking or savings) via ACH. Payment for redeemed shares for which a redemption order is received before 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on a business day is normally sent to the redeeming shareholder the next business day, with receipt at the receiving bank within the next two business days (48-72 hours), provided that the Fund’s custodian is also open for business. Payment for redemption orders received after 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) or on a day when the Fund’s custodian is closed is normally sent on the next business day following redemption on which the Fund’s custodian is open for business. The Fund reserves the right to send redemption proceeds within seven days after receiving a redemption order if, in the

 

 

26


How to Sell Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know

 

Full or Partial Redemption of Shares (continued)

 

 

Selling shares held directly with BlackRock (continued)

     

 

judgment of the Fund, an earlier payment could adversely affect the Fund. No charge for sending redemption payments via ACH is imposed by the Fund.

 

* * *

 

If you make a redemption request before the Fund has collected payment for the purchase of shares, the Fund may delay sending your proceeds. This delay will usually not exceed ten days.

 

Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” for more information.

Under normal and stressed market conditions, the Fund typically expects to meet redemption requests by using cash or cash equivalents in its portfolio or by selling portfolio assets to generate additional cash.

 

How to Exchange Shares or Transfer Your Account
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Exchange Privilege   Selling shares of one BlackRock Fund to purchase shares of another BlackRock Fund (“exchanging”)      

Investor A, Investor C and Institutional Shares of the Fund are generally exchangeable for shares of the same class of another BlackRock Fund, to the extent such shares are offered by your Financial Intermediary.

 

You can exchange $1,000 or more of Investor Shares from one fund into the same class of another fund which offers that class of shares (you can exchange less than $1,000 of Investor Shares if you already have an account in the fund into which you are exchanging). Investors who currently own Institutional Shares of the Fund may make exchanges into Institutional Shares of other BlackRock Funds except for investors holding shares through certain client accounts at Financial Intermediaries that are omnibus with the Fund and do not meet applicable minimums. There is no required minimum amount with respect to exchanges of Institutional Shares.

 

You may only exchange into a share class and fund that are open to new investors or in which you have a current account if the fund is closed to new investors. Some of the BlackRock Funds impose a sales charge. Therefore the exchange of Investor A Shares may be subject to that sales charge. Investor A Shares of the Fund that were obtained with the exchange privilege and that originally were shares of a BlackRock Fund that were subject to a sales charge can be exchanged for Investor A Shares of a Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund based on their respective NAVs. Exchanges of shares of the Fund for Investor C Shares of a Non-Money Market BlackRock Fund may be subject to the applicable CDSC upon the sale of these Investor C Shares received in exchange. The CDSC will continue to be measured from the date of the original purchase. The CDSC schedule applicable to your original purchase will apply to the shares you receive in the exchange and any subsequent exchange.

 

To exercise the exchange privilege, you may contact your Financial Intermediary. Alternatively, if your account is held directly with BlackRock, you may: (i) call (800) 441-7762 and speak with one of our representatives, (ii) make the exchange via the Internet by accessing your account online at www.blackrock.com, or (iii) send a written request to the Fund at the address on the back cover of this prospectus. Please note, if you indicated on your new account application that you did not want the Telephone Exchange Privilege, you will not be able to place exchanges via the telephone until you update this option either in writing or by calling (800) 441-7762. The Fund has the right to reject any telephone request for any reason.

 

Although there is currently no limit on the number of exchanges that you can make, the exchange privilege may be modified or terminated at any time in the future. The Fund may suspend or terminate your exchange privilege at any time for any reason, including if the Fund believes, in its sole discretion, that you are engaging in market timing activities. See “Short-Term Trading Policy” below. For U.S. federal income tax purposes

 

 

27


How to Exchange Shares or Transfer Your Account (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know

 

Exchange Privilege (continued)

 

 

Selling shares of one BlackRock Fund to purchase shares of another BlackRock Fund (“exchanging”) (continued)

     

 

a share exchange is a taxable event and a capital gain or loss may be realized. Please consult your tax adviser or other Financial Intermediary before making an exchange request.

 

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, you will not be permitted to exchange into or out of the Fund until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted; provided, however, that you will still be able to redeem shares of the Fund as described above in “How to Sell Shares” during a liquidity fee subject to such liquidity fee. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

Transfer Shares to Another Financial Intermediary   Transfer to a participating Financial Intermediary      

You may transfer your shares of the Fund only to another Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor. Certain shareholder services may not be available for the transferred shares. All future trading of these assets must be coordinated by the receiving firm.

 

If your account is held directly with BlackRock, you may call (800) 441-7762 with any questions; otherwise please contact your Financial Intermediary to accomplish the transfer of shares.

    Transfer to a non-participating Financial Intermediary      

You must either:

•  Transfer your shares to an account with the Fund; or

•  Sell your shares, paying any applicable deferred sales charge.

 

If your account is held directly with BlackRock, you may call (800) 441-7762 with any questions; otherwise please contact your Financial Intermediary to accomplish the transfer of shares.

Account Services and Privileges

 

The following table provides examples of account services and privileges available in your BlackRock account. Certain of these account services and privileges are only available to shareholders of Investor Shares whose accounts are held directly with BlackRock. If your account is held directly with BlackRock, please call (800) 441-7762 or visit www.blackrock.com for additional information as well as forms and applications. Otherwise, please contact your Financial Intermediary for assistance in requesting one or more of the following services and privileges.

 

Automatic Investment Plan   Allows systematic investments on a periodic basis from your checking or savings account.      

BlackRock’s AIP allows you to invest a specific amount on a periodic basis from your checking or savings account into your investment account. You may apply for this option upon account opening or by completing the AIP application. The minimum investment amount for an automatic investment is $50 per portfolio.

 

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, you will not be permitted to automatically invest through the AIP until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

Dividend Allocation Plan   Automatically invests your distributions into another BlackRock Fund of your choice pursuant to your instructions, without any fees or sales charges       Dividend and capital gains distributions may be reinvested in your account to purchase additional shares or paid in cash. Using the Dividend Allocation Plan, you can direct your distributions to your bank account (checking or savings), to purchase shares of another fund at BlackRock without any fees or sales charges, or by check to a special payee. Please call (800) 441-7762 for details. If investing in another fund at BlackRock, the receiving fund must be open to new purchases.
EZ Trader   Allows an investor to purchase or sell Investor Shares by telephone or over the Internet through ACH.      

(NOTE: This option is offered to shareholders whose accounts are held directly with BlackRock. Please speak with your Financial Intermediary if your account is held elsewhere).

 

Prior to establishing an EZ Trader account, please contact your bank to confirm that it is a member of the ACH system. Once confirmed, complete an application, making sure to include the appropriate bank information, and return the application to the address listed on the form.

 

Prior to placing a telephone or internet purchase or sale order, please call (800) 441-7762 to confirm that your bank information has been updated on your account. Once this is established, you may place your request to sell shares with the Fund by telephone or Internet. Proceeds will be sent to your pre-designated bank account.

 

28


Systematic Exchange Plan   This feature can be used by investors to systematically exchange money from one fund to up to four other funds      

A minimum of $10,000 in the initial BlackRock Fund is required and investments in any additional funds must meet minimum initial investment requirements.

 

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, you will not be permitted to use the Systematic Exchange Plan to exchange into or out of the Fund until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted; provided however, you will still be able to redeem shares of the Fund as described above in “How to Sell Shares” during a liquidity fee subject to such liquidity fee. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

Systematic Withdrawal Plan   This feature can be used by investors who want to receive regular distributions from their accounts      

To start a SWP a shareholder must have a current investment of $10,000 or more in a BlackRock Fund.

 

Shareholders can elect to receive cash payments of $50 or more at any interval they choose. Shareholders may sign up by completing the SWP Application Form which may be obtained from BlackRock. Shareholders should realize that if withdrawals exceed income the invested principal in their account will be depleted.

 

To participate in the SWP, shareholders must have their dividends reinvested. Shareholders may change or cancel the SWP at any time, with a minimum of 24 hours notice. If a shareholder purchases additional Investor A Shares of a BlackRock Fund at the same time he or she redeems shares through the SWP, that investor may lose money because of the sales charge involved. No CDSC will be assessed on redemptions of Investor Shares made through the SWP that do not exceed 12% of the account’s NAV on an annualized basis. For example, monthly, quarterly and semi-annual SWP redemptions of Investor Shares will not be subject to the CDSC if they do not exceed 1%, 3% and 6%, respectively, of an account’s NAV on the redemption date. SWP redemptions of Investor Shares in excess of this limit will still pay any applicable CDSC.

 

Ask your Financial Intermediary for details.

 

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee or redemption gate, you will not be permitted to systematically withdraw your shares through the SWP until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted; provided however, you will still be able to redeem shares of the Fund as described above in “How to Sell Shares” during a liquidity fee subject to such liquidity fee. Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below for more information.

Fund’s Rights

 

The Fund may:

 

 

Suspend the right of redemption if trading is halted or restricted on the Exchange or under other emergency conditions described in the Investment Company Act;

 

 

Postpone the date of payment upon redemption if trading is halted or restricted on the Exchange or under other emergency conditions described in the Investment Company Act or if a redemption request is made before the Fund has collected payment for the purchase of shares;

 

 

Redeem shares for property other than cash as may be permitted under the Investment Company Act; and

 

 

Redeem shares involuntarily in certain cases, such as when the value of a shareholder account falls below a specified level or if the Fund does not believe the account is for a natural person.

Suspension of Redemptions Upon Liquidation. If the Board, including a majority of the trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the Investment Company Act, determines either that (1) the Fund has invested, at the end of a business day, less than 10% of its total assets in weekly liquid assets, or (2) the Fund’s calculated NAV per share has deviated from $1.00 or such deviation is likely to occur; then the Board, subject to certain conditions, may, where the Board has determined to liquidate the Fund irrevocably, suspend redemptions and payment of redemption proceeds in order to facilitate the permanent liquidation of the Fund in an orderly manner. If this were to occur, it would likely result in a delay in your receipt of your redemption proceeds.

Note on Low Balance Accounts. Because of the high cost of maintaining smaller shareholder accounts, BlackRock has set a minimum balance of $500 in each Fund position you hold within your account (the “Fund Minimum”), and may redeem the shares in your account if the NAV of those shares in your account falls below $500 for any reason, including market fluctuation.

 

29


You will be notified that the value of your account is less than the Fund Minimum before the Fund makes any involuntary redemption. This notification will provide you with a 90 calendar day period to make an additional investment in order to bring the value of your account to at least $500 before the Fund makes an involuntary redemption. This involuntary redemption will not charge any deferred sales charge, and may not apply to accounts of certain employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including IRAs), qualified state tuition plan (529 Plan) accounts, and select fee-based programs at your Financial Intermediary.

Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates

 

Under Rule 2a-7, the Board is permitted to impose a liquidity fee up to 2% on the value of shares redeemed or temporarily restrict redemptions from the Fund for up to 10 business days during a 90 day period, in the event that the Fund’s weekly liquid assets fall below the following thresholds:

 

 

30% weekly liquid assets — If the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 30% of the Fund’s total assets, and the Board determines it is in the best interests of the Fund, the Board may impose at any time, and as early as the same day, a liquidity fee of up to 2% of the amount redeemed, or a redemption gate that temporarily suspends the right of redemption.

 

 

10% weekly liquid assets — If the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 10% of the Fund’s total assets as of the end of a business day, the Board will impose, at the beginning of the next business day, a liquidity fee of 1% of the amount redeemed, unless the Board determines that imposing such a fee would not be in the best interests of the Fund or determines that a lower or higher fee (not to exceed 2%) would be in the best interests of the Fund.

Liquidity fees and redemption gates, if imposed, may be terminated at any time in the discretion of the Board. Liquidity fees and redemption gates will also automatically terminate at the beginning of the next business day once the Fund has invested 30% or more of its total assets in weekly liquid assets as of the end of a business day.

If the Board imposes a liquidity fee, the fee will be used to help boost the weekly liquid assets of the Fund. The Fund may not accept purchases during the period that a liquidity fee has been imposed.

If the Board imposes a redemption gate, the Fund will not accept purchase or redemption orders until the Fund has notified shareholders that the redemption gate has been lifted. Any purchase or redemption orders submitted while a redemption gate is in effect will be cancelled without further notice. If you still wish to purchase or redeem shares once the redemption gate has been lifted, you will need to submit a new purchase or redemption request to the Fund or your Financial Intermediary. If a purchase or redemption order is received after the applicable deadline of the Fund, but prior to the imposition of a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, such order will be cancelled without further notice.

If the Board imposes a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, the Fund will not accept exchange orders into or out of the Fund until the Fund has notified shareholders that the liquidity fee or redemption gate has been lifted.

Under certain circumstances, the Fund may honor redemption or exchange orders (or pay redemptions without adding a liquidity fee to the redemption amount) if the Fund can verify that the redemption or exchange order was submitted to the Fund’s authorized agent before the Board imposed a liquidity fee or suspended redemptions.

The Board generally expects that a liquidity fee or redemption gate would be imposed, if at all, during periods of extraordinary market stress. The Board expects that a liquidity fee or redemption gate would typically be imposed only after the Fund has notified Financial Intermediaries and shareholders that a liquidity fee or redemption gate will be imposed (which may not be until the beginning of the next business day following the announcement that the Board has imposed the liquidity fee or redemption gate). However, the Board may, in its discretion, impose a liquidity fee or redemption gate at any time after the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 30% of the Fund’s total assets.

Announcements regarding the imposition of a liquidity fee or redemption gate, or the termination of a liquidity fee or redemption gate, will be filed with the SEC on Form N-CR and will be available on the website of the Fund (www.blackrock.com/cash). In addition, the Fund will make such announcements through a supplement to its registration statement and may further communicate such actions through other means.

Financial Intermediaries will be required promptly to take such actions reasonably requested by the Fund or its agent to implement, modify or remove, or to assist the Fund in implementing, modifying or removing, a liquidity fee or redemption gate established by the Board.

Participation in Fee-Based Programs

 

If you participate in certain fee-based programs offered by BlackRock or an affiliate of BlackRock or by Financial Intermediaries that have agreements with the Distributor or in certain fee-based programs in which BlackRock participates, you may be able to buy Institutional Shares, including by exchanges from other share classes. Sales charges on the shares being exchanged may be reduced or waived under certain circumstances. You generally cannot transfer shares held through a fee-based program into another account. Instead, if you choose to leave the fee-based

 

30


program, you may have to redeem your shares held through the program and purchase shares of another class, which may be subject to distribution and service fees. This may be a taxable event and you may pay any applicable sales charges or redemption fee. Please speak to your Financial Intermediary for information about specific policies and procedures applicable to your account.

Generally, upon termination of a fee-based program, the shares may be liquidated or the shares can be held in an account. In certain instances, when a shareholder chooses to continue to hold the shares, whatever share class was held in the program can be held after termination. Shares that have been held for less than specified periods within the program may be subject to a fee upon redemption. Shareholders that held Investor A or Institutional Shares in the program may be eligible to purchase additional shares of the respective share class of the Fund, but may be subject to upfront sales charges with respect to Investor A Shares. Additional purchases of Institutional Shares are permitted only if you have an existing position at the time of purchase or are otherwise eligible to purchase Institutional Shares. Please speak to your Financial Intermediary for more information.

Certain Financial Intermediaries may, in connection with a change in account type (for example, due to leaving a fee-based program or upon termination of the fee-based program) or otherwise in accordance with the Financial Intermediary’s policies and procedures, exchange the share class held in the program for another share class of the same fund, provided that the exchanged shares are not subject to a sales charge and the shareholder meets the eligibility requirements of the new share class. Please speak to your Financial Intermediary for information about specific policies and procedures applicable to your account.

Details about the features of each fee-based program and the relevant charges, terms and conditions are included in the client agreement for each fee-based program and are available from your Financial Intermediary. Please speak to your Financial Intermediary for more information.

Short-Term Trading Policy

 

Market timing is an investment technique involving frequent short-term trading of mutual fund shares designed to exploit market movements or inefficiencies in the way a mutual fund prices its shares. The Board has evaluated the risks of market timing activities by the Fund’s shareholders and has determined that due to (i) the Fund’s policy of seeking to maintain the Fund’s NAV per share at $1.00 each day, (ii) the nature of the Fund’s portfolio holdings, and (iii) the nature of the Fund’s shareholders, it is unlikely that (a) market timing would be attempted by the Fund’s shareholders or (b) any attempts to market time the Fund by shareholders would result in a negative impact to the Fund or its shareholders. As a result, the Board has not adopted policies and procedures to deter short-term trading in the Fund. There can be no assurances, however, that the Fund may not, on occasion, serve as a temporary or short-term investment vehicle for those who seek to market time funds offered by other investment companies.

Master/Feeder Structure

 

The Fund may in the future determine to become a “feeder” fund that invests all of its assets in another open-end investment company (a “master fund”) that has the same investment objective and strategies as the Fund. This structure is sometimes called a “master/feeder” structure. Investors in a feeder fund will acquire an indirect interest in the corresponding master fund. In a master/feeder structure, all investments will be made at the master level and the Fund’s investment results will correspond directly to the investment results of the underlying master in which it invests. A feeder fund may withdraw from its master fund at any time and may invest all of its assets in another pooled investment vehicle or retain an investment adviser to manage its assets directly.

A master fund may accept investments from other feeder funds, and all the feeder funds of a given master fund bear the master fund’s expenses in proportion to their assets. This structure may enable the feeder funds to reduce costs through economies of scale. A larger investment portfolio may also reduce certain transaction costs to the extent that contributions to and redemptions from a master fund from different feeder funds may offset each other and produce a lower net cash flow.

However, each feeder fund can set its own transaction minimums, fund specific expenses, and other conditions. This means that one feeder fund could offer access to the same master fund on more attractive terms, or could experience better performance, than another feeder fund. In addition, large purchases or redemptions by one feeder fund could negatively affect the performance of other feeder funds that invest in the same master fund.

Whenever a master fund holds a vote of its feeder funds, a fund that is a feeder fund investing in that master fund will pass the vote through to its own shareholders. Smaller feeder funds may be harmed by the actions of larger feeder funds. For example, a larger feeder fund could have more voting power than a fund that is a feeder fund over the operations of its master fund.

 

31


Management of the Fund

 

 

 

BlackRock

 

BlackRock, the Fund’s investment adviser, manages the Fund’s investments and its business operations subject to the oversight of the Board. While BlackRock is ultimately responsible for the management of the Fund, it is able to draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates for portfolio decisions and management with respect to certain portfolio securities. BlackRock is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc.

BlackRock, a registered investment adviser, was organized in 1994 to perform advisory services for investment companies. BlackRock and its affiliates had approximately $[    ] trillion in investment company and other portfolio assets under management as of March 31, 2020.

BlackRock serves as manager to the Fund pursuant to a management agreement (the “Management Agreement”), which provides that BlackRock is entitled to fees computed daily and payable monthly. The maximum annual management fee rate that the Fund can pay to BlackRock (as a percentage of average daily net assets) is calculated as follows:

 

Average Daily Net Assets

   Rate of
Management Fee

First $1 billion

       0.450 %

$1 billion – $2 billion

       0.400 %

$2 billion – $3 billion

       0.375 %

Greater than $3 billion

       0.350 %

BlackRock has contractually agreed to cap net expenses (excluding: (i) interest, taxes, dividends tied to short sales, brokerage commissions, and other expenditures which are capitalized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; (ii) expenses incurred directly or indirectly by the Fund as a result of investments in other investment companies and pooled investment vehicles; (iii) other expenses attributable to, and incurred as a result of, the Fund’s investments; and (iv) extraordinary expenses (including litigation expenses) not incurred in the ordinary course of the Fund’s business, if any) of each share class of Fund at the levels shown below and in the Fund’s fees and expenses table in the “Fund Overview” section of this prospectus. Items (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) in the preceding sentence are referred to in this prospectus as “Dividend Expense, Interest Expense, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses and certain other Fund expenses.” To achieve these expense caps, BlackRock has agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses if these operating expenses exceed a certain limit.

With respect to the Fund, BlackRock has contractually agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses to the amounts noted in the table below.

 

      Contractual Caps1 on
Total Annual
Operating Expenses2
(excluding Dividend
Expense, Interest
Expense, Acquired Fund
Fees and Expenses  and
certain other
Fund expenses)
  Total Annual Fund
Operating Expenses2
after giving effect to all
applicable expense
limitation provisions
(excluding Dividend
Expense, Interest Expense,
Acquired Fund
Fees and Expenses and
certain other Fund Expenses)

Investor A

       0.55 %       [     ]%

Investor C

       1.30 %       [     ]%

Institutional

       0.20 %       [     ]%

 

1  The contractual caps are in effect through July 31, 2021. The contractual agreement may be terminated upon 90 days’ notice by a majority of the non-interested trustees of the Trust or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

 

2  As a percentage of average daily net assets.

BlackRock and the Distributor have voluntarily agreed to waive a portion of their respective fees and/or reimburse operating expenses to enable the Fund to maintain minimum levels of daily net investment income. BlackRock and the Distributor may discontinue this voluntary waiver and/or reimbursement at any time without notice.

 

32


For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, the Fund paid BlackRock aggregate management fees, net of any applicable waivers, equal to [    ]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets.

A discussion of the basis for the Board’s approval of the Management Agreement with respect to the Fund is included in the Fund’s semi-annual shareholder report for the fiscal period ended September 30, 2019.

From time to time, a manager, analyst, or other employee of BlackRock or its affiliates may express views regarding a particular asset class, company, security, industry, or market sector. The views expressed by any such person are the views of only that individual as of the time expressed and do not necessarily represent the views of BlackRock or any other person within the BlackRock organization. Any such views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and BlackRock disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views may not be relied on as investment advice and, because investment decisions for the Fund are based on numerous factors, may not be relied on as an indication of trading intent on behalf of the Fund.

BlackRock or its affiliates will use at least 5% of BlackRock’s net revenue from its management fee from the Fund to purchase and then retire carbon credits either directly or through a third-party organization. These purchases will be made at least annually, with BlackRock maintaining the option to increase, decrease or terminate these purchases in its sole discretion at any time.

Additionally, BlackRock may at its discretion enter into a license agreement (a “License Agreement”) with one or more charitable organizations that is tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 from time to time. Pursuant to the relevant License Agreement, the charitable organization would grant BlackRock a license permitting BlackRock to use the charitable organization’s name and logo. BlackRock will pay a license fee to each such charitable organization for such use. No charitable organization will provide any investment advisory services to BlackRock or the Fund or participate in, or have any influence on, the day-to-day operations of, the Fund.

Legal Proceedings. On May 27, 2014, certain investors in the BlackRock Global Allocation Fund, Inc. (“Global Allocation”) and the BlackRock Equity Dividend Fund (“Equity Dividend”) filed a consolidated complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against BlackRock Advisors, LLC, BlackRock Investment Management, LLC and BlackRock International Limited (collectively, the “Defendants”) under the caption In re BlackRock Mutual Funds Advisory Fee Litigation. In the lawsuit, which purports to be brought derivatively on behalf of Global Allocation and Equity Dividend, the plaintiffs allege that the Defendants violated Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act by receiving allegedly excessive investment advisory fees from Global Allocation and Equity Dividend. On June 13, 2018, the court granted in part and denied in part the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. On July 25, 2018, the plaintiffs served a pleading that supplemented the time period of their alleged damages to run through the date of trial. The lawsuit seeks, among other things, to recover on behalf of Global Allocation and Equity Dividend all allegedly excessive advisory fees received by the Defendants beginning twelve months preceding the start of the lawsuit with respect to each of Global Allocation and Equity Dividend and ending on the date of judgment, along with purported lost investment returns on those amounts, plus interest. The Defendants believe the claims in the lawsuit are without merit. The trial on the remaining issues was completed on August 29, 2018. On February 8, 2019, the court issued an order dismissing the claims in their entirety. On March 8, 2019, the plaintiffs provided notice that they are appealing both the February 8, 2019 post-trial order and the June 13, 2018 order partially granting Defendants’ motion for summary judgment.

Conflicts of Interest

 

The investment activities of BlackRock and its affiliates (including BlackRock, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Affiliates”)), The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (which, through a subsidiary, has a significant economic interest in BlackRock, Inc.) and its subsidiaries (each with The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., an “Entity” and collectively, the “Entities”) and their respective directors, officers and employees, in the management of, or their interest in, their own accounts and other accounts they manage, may present conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders.

BlackRock, its Affiliates and the Entities provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow investment programs similar to that of the Fund. BlackRock, its Affiliates and the Entities are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. BlackRock or one or more Affiliates or Entities act or may act as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, commodity pool operator, commodity trading advisor, financier, underwriter, adviser, market maker, trader, prime broker, lender, index provider, agent and/or principal, and have other direct and indirect interests in securities, currencies, commodities, derivatives and other instruments in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. Thus, it is likely that the Fund will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from, entities for which an Affiliate or an Entity performs or seeks to perform investment banking or other services. Specifically, the Fund may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies with which an

 

33


Affiliate or an Entity has developed or is trying to develop investment banking relationships or in which an Affiliate or an Entity has significant debt or equity investments or other interests. The Fund may also invest in issuances (such as structured notes) by entities for which an Affiliate or an Entity provides and is compensated for cash management services relating to the proceeds from the sale of such issuances. The Fund also may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies for which an Affiliate or an Entity provides or may in the future provide research coverage. An Affiliate or Entity may have business relationships with, and purchase, or distribute or sell services or products from or to, distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Fund or who engage in transactions with or for the Fund, and may receive compensation for such services. The Fund may also make brokerage and other payments to Entities in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions. BlackRock or one or more Affiliates or Entities may engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds that have investment objectives similar to those of the Fund and/or that engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and other instruments as the Fund. This may include transactions in securities issued by other open-end and closed-end investment companies (which may include investment companies that are affiliated with the Fund and BlackRock, to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act). The trading activities of BlackRock and these Affiliates or Entities are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BlackRock or an Affiliate or an Entity having positions in certain securities that are senior or junior to, or have interests different from or adverse to, the securities that are owned by the Fund.

Neither BlackRock nor any Affiliate is under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, an Affiliate may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. The results of the Fund’s investment activities, therefore, may differ from those of an Affiliate and of other accounts managed by an Affiliate, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more Affiliates and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The opposite result is also possible.

In addition, the Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BlackRock or an Affiliate or an Entity or their directors, officers or employees or other clients have an adverse interest. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by clients advised or managed by BlackRock, its Affiliates or Entities may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more clients or BlackRock, its Affiliates or Entities or their directors, officers or employees, may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund. The Fund’s activities may be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to BlackRock, one or more Affiliates or Entities and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions.

Under a securities lending program approved by the Board, the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has retained BlackRock Investment Management, LLC, an Affiliate of BlackRock, to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund participates in the securities lending program. For these services, the securities lending agent will receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for the loaned securities. In addition, one or more Affiliates or Entities may be among the entities to which the Fund may lend its portfolio securities under the securities lending program.

The activities of BlackRock, its Affiliates and Entities and their respective directors, officers or employees, may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BlackRock has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the SAI for further information.

Valuation of Fund Investments

 

A mutual fund is a pool of investors’ money that is used to purchase a portfolio of securities, which in turn is owned in common by the investors. Investors put money into a mutual fund by buying shares. If a mutual fund has a portfolio worth $5 million and has 5 million shares outstanding, the NAV per share is $1.00. When you buy Investor or Institutional Shares you pay the NAV per share. Although the Fund seeks to maintain an NAV of $1.00 per share, there is no guarantee it will be able to do so.

The Fund’s investments are valued based on the amortized cost method described in the SAI.

The Transfer Agent will probably receive your order from your registered representative, who takes your order. However, you can also fill out a purchase application and mail it to the Transfer Agent with your check. Please call (800) 441-7762 for a purchase application. Purchase orders received by the Transfer Agent before 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on each business day will be priced based on the next NAV calculated on that day, and if you send your payment by Federal funds or other immediately available funds no later than the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)) you will receive that day’s dividends.

The NAV is calculated separately for each class of shares of the Fund as of the close of business on the Exchange, generally 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time), each business day. Shares will not be priced on days the Exchange or the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are closed. The Fund may elect, in its discretion if it is determined to be in shareholders’ best interest, to be open on days when the Exchange is closed due to an emergency.

 

34


Dividends, Distributions and Taxes

 

Distributions of net investment income derived by the Fund, if any, are declared daily and paid at least monthly and net realized capital gains, if any, will be distributed at least annually. Dividends will be reinvested automatically in the form of additional shares of the same class of the Fund at NAV without a sales charge, unless you instruct the Transfer Agent in writing to pay them in cash. Dividends that are declared but unpaid will remain in the gross assets of the Fund and will, therefore, continue to earn income for the Fund’s shareholders. Shareholders redeeming their shares will receive all dividends declared through the date immediately preceding the date of redemption. The Fund anticipates that a significant amount of the distributions may be taxed as ordinary income, although the Fund may distribute capital gains as well. Capital gains may be taxable to you at different rates depending on how long the Fund held the assets sold.

You will pay tax on dividends from the Fund whether you receive them in cash or additional shares. If you redeem Fund shares or exchange them for shares of another fund, you generally will be treated as having sold your shares and any gain on the transaction may be subject to tax. Fund distributions derived from qualified dividend income, which consists of dividends received from U.S. corporations and qualifying foreign corporations, and from long-term capital gains are eligible for taxation at a maximum rate of 15% or 20% for individuals, depending on whether their income exceeds certain threshold amounts, which are adjusted annually for inflation.

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee on share redemptions because of a drop in the Fund’s weekly liquid assets below certain levels, the amount that would ordinarily be payable to a redeeming shareholder of the Fund will be reduced, consequently reducing the amount of gain, or increasing the amount of loss, that would otherwise be reportable for income tax purposes. The liquidity fee cannot be separately claimed as a deduction.

Any such liquidity fee will constitute an asset of the Fund and will serve to benefit non-redeeming shareholders. However, the Fund does not intend to distribute such fees to non-redeeming shareholders. If the Fund receives liquidity fees, it will consider the appropriate tax treatment of such fees to the Fund at such time.

If the value of assets held by the Fund declines, the Board may authorize a reduction in the number of outstanding shares in shareholders’ accounts so as to preserve a net asset value of $1.00 per share. After such a reduction, the basis of eliminated shares would be added to the basis of shareholders’ remaining Fund shares, and you could recognize a capital loss if you disposed of your shares at that time. Dividends, including dividends reinvested in additional shares of the Fund, will nonetheless be fully taxable, even if the number of shares in your account has been reduced as described above.

A 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on the net investment income (which includes, but is not limited to, interest, dividends and net gain from investments) of U.S. individuals with income exceeding $200,000, or $250,000 if married filing jointly, and of trusts and estates.

Your dividends and redemption proceeds will be subject to backup withholding tax if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number or the number you have provided is incorrect.

If you are neither a tax resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a foreign entity (other than a pass-through entity to the extent owned by U.S. persons), the Fund’s ordinary income dividends will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies. However, certain distributions reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends, interest-related dividends or short-term capital gain dividends and paid to a foreign shareholder may be eligible for an exemption from U.S. withholding tax.

Separately, a 30% withholding tax is currently imposed on U.S.-source dividends, interest and other income items paid to (i) certain foreign financial institutions and investment funds, and (ii) certain other foreign entities. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions and investment funds will generally either need to (a) collect and report to the IRS detailed information identifying their U.S. accounts and U.S. account holders, comply with due diligence procedures for identifying U.S. accounts and withhold tax on certain payments made to noncomplying foreign entities and account holders or (b) if an intergovernmental agreement is entered into and implementing legislation is adopted, comply with the agreement and legislation. Other foreign entities will generally either need to provide detailed information identifying each substantial U.S. owner or certify there are no such owners.

This section summarizes some of the consequences under current federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for individualized tax advice. Consult your tax adviser about the potential tax consequences of an investment in the Fund under all applicable tax laws.

 

35


Financial Highlights

 

The Financial Highlights tables are intended to help you understand the Fund’s financial performance for the periods shown. Certain information reflects the financial results for a single Fund share. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned or lost on an investment in the Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and/or distributions). The information for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 has been audited by [                ], whose report, along with the Fund’s audited financial statements, is included in the Fund’s Annual Report. The information for the fiscal period ended September 30, 2019 is unaudited and is included in the Fund’s Semi-Annual Report. The Fund’s Annual Report and Semi-Annual Report are available on request.

 

     Institutional  
     Six Months Ended
September 30, 2019
(Unaudited)
    Year Ended March 31,  
(For a share outstanding throughout each period)   2019     2018     2017     2016     2015  

Net asset value, beginning of year

   $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00  

Net investment income

     0.0115       0.0213       0.0118       0.0061       0.0013       0.0000 (a) 

Net realized gain

     0.0000 (a)      0.0000 (a)      0.0004       0.0002       0.0001       0.0000 (a) 

Net increase from investment operations

     0.0115       0.0213       0.0122       0.0063       0.0014       0.0000  

Distributions(b)

            

From net investment income

     (0.0115     (0.0213     (0.0122     (0.0061     (0.0013     (0.0000 )(c) 

From net realized gain

           (0.0000 )(c)            (0.0002     (0.0001     (0.0000 )(c) 

Total distributions

     (0.0115     (0.0213     (0.0122     (0.0063     (0.0014     (0.0000

Net asset value, end of year

   $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00  

Total Return(d)

                                                

Based on net asset value

     1.15 %(e)      2.15     1.23     0.63     0.13     0.00

Ratios to Average Net Assets

                                                

Total expenses

     0.57 %(f)      0.60     0.56     0.56     0.56     0.62

Total expenses after fees waived and/or reimbursed

     0.20 %(f)      0.20     0.20     0.20     0.24     0.22

Net investment income

     2.29 (f)      2.17     1.18     0.61     0.11     0.00

Supplemental Data

                                                

Net assets, end of year (000)

   $ 361,332     $ 336,387     $ 305,669     $ 569,757     $ 605,469     $ 786,626  
(a) 

Amount is less than $0.00005 per share.

(b) 

Distributions for annual periods determined in accordance with U.S. federal income tax regulations.

(c) 

Amount is greater than $(0.00005) per share.

(d) 

Where applicable, assumes the reinvestment of distributions.

(e) 

Aggregate total return.

(f) 

Annualized.

 

36


Financial Highlights (concluded)

 

 

 

     Investor A  
     Six Months Ended
September 30, 2019
(Unaudited)
    Year Ended March 31,  
(For a share outstanding throughout each period)   2019     2018     2017     2016     2015  

Net asset value, beginning of year

   $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00  

Net investment income

     0.0099       0.0178       0.0090       0.0025       0.0007       0.0000 (a) 

Net realized gain (loss)

     0.0000 (a)      0.0000 (a)      (0.0002     0.0003       0.0001       0.0000 (a) 

Net increase from investment operations

     1.00       0.0178       0.0088       0.0028       0.0008       0.0000  

Distributions(b)

            

From net investment income

     (0.0099     (0.0178     (0.0088     (0.0025     (0.0007     (0.0000 )(c) 

From net realized gain

           (0.0000 )(c)            (0.0003     (0.0001     (0.0000 )(c) 

Total distributions

     (0.0099     (0.0178     (.0088     (0.0028     (0.0008     (0.0000

Net asset value, end of year

   $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00  

Total Return(d)

                                                

Based on net asset value

     1.00 %(e)      1.80     0.88     0.28     0.08     0.00

Ratios to Average Net Assets

                                                

Total expenses

     0.84 %(f)      0.90     0.91     0.97     0.90     0.93

Total expenses after fees waived and/or reimbursed

     0.51 %(f)      0.54     0.54     0.55     0.29     0.22

Net investment income

     1.95 %(f)      1.85     0.90     0.25     0.08     0.00

Supplemental Data

                                                

Net assets, end of year (000)

   $ 935,376     $ 484,301     $ 180,873     $ 122,896     $ 176,772     $ 137,381  
     Investor C  
     Six Months Ended
September 30, 2019
(Unaudited)
    Year Ended March 31,  
(For a share outstanding throughout each period)   2019     2018     2017     2016     2015  

Net asset value, beginning of year

   $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00  

Net investment income

     0.0060       0.0105       0.0017       0.0009       0.0010       0.0000 (a) 

Net realized gain (loss)

     0.0000 (a)      0.0000 (a)      (0.0002     0.0003       0.0001       0.0000 (a) 

Net increase from investment operations

     0.0060       0.0105       0.0018       0.0010       0.0011       0.0000  

Distributions(b)

            

From net investment income

     (0.0060     (0.0105     (0.0018     (0.0009     (0.0010     (0.0000 )(c) 

From net realized gain

           (0.0000 )(c)            (0.0001     (0.0001     (0.0000 )(c) 

Total distributions

     (0.0060     (0.0105     (0.0018     (0.0010     (0.0011     (0.0000

Net asset value, end of year

   $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00  

Total Return(d)

                                                

Based on net asset value

     0.60 %(e)      1.05     0.18     0.10     10.10     0.00

Ratios to Average Net Assets

                                                

Total expenses

     1.63 %(f)      1.64     1.65     1.62     1.57     1.59

Total expenses after fees waived and/or reimbursed

     1.30 %(f)      1.28     1.24     0.71     0.26     0.22

Net investment income

     1.20 %(f)      1.07     0.17     0.09     0.12     0.00

Supplemental Data

                                                

Net assets, end of year (000)

   $ 12,709     $ 15,174     $ 21,727     $ 26,434     $ 38,069     $ 26,568  
(a) 

Amount is less than $0.00005 per share.

(b) 

Distributions for annual periods determined in accordance with U.S. federal income tax regulations.

(c) 

Amount is greater than $(0.00005) per share.

(d) 

Where applicable, assumes the reinvestment of distributions.

(e) 

Aggregate total return.

(f) 

Annualized.

 

37


General Information

 

 

 

Shareholder Documents

 

Electronic Access to Annual Reports, Semi-Annual Reports and Prospectuses

Electronic copies of most financial reports and prospectuses are available on BlackRock’s website. Shareholders can sign up for e-mail notifications of annual and semi-annual reports and prospectuses by enrolling in the Fund’s electronic delivery program. To enroll:

Shareholders Who Hold Accounts with Investment Advisers, Banks or Brokerages: Please contact your Financial Intermediary. Please note that not all investment advisers, banks or brokerages may offer this service.

Shareholders Who Hold Accounts Directly With BlackRock:

 

 

Access the BlackRock website at http://www.blackrock.com/edelivery; and

 

 

Log into your account

Delivery of Shareholder Documents

The Fund delivers only one copy of shareholder documents, including prospectuses, shareholder reports and proxy statements, to shareholders with multiple accounts at the same address. This practice is known as “householding” and is intended to eliminate duplicate mailings and reduce expenses. Mailings of your shareholder documents may be householded indefinitely unless you instruct us otherwise. If you do not want the mailing of these documents to be combined with those for other members of your household, please contact the Fund at (800) 441-7762.

Certain Fund Policies

 

Anti-Money Laundering Requirements

The Fund is subject to the USA PATRIOT Act (the “Patriot Act”). The Patriot Act is intended to prevent the use of the U.S. financial system in furtherance of money laundering, terrorism or other illicit activities. Pursuant to requirements under the Patriot Act, the Fund is required to obtain sufficient information from shareholders to enable it to form a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of its shareholders. This information will be used to verify the identity of investors or, in some cases, the status of Financial Intermediaries. Such information may be verified using third-party sources. This information will be used only for compliance with the Patriot Act or other applicable laws, regulations and rules in connection with money laundering, terrorism or economic sanctions.

The Fund reserves the right to reject purchase orders from persons who have not submitted information sufficient to allow the Fund to verify their identity. The Fund also reserves the right to redeem any amounts in the Fund from persons whose identity it is unable to verify on a timely basis. It is the Fund’s policy to cooperate fully with appropriate regulators in any investigations conducted with respect to potential money laundering, terrorism or other illicit activities.

BlackRock Privacy Principles

BlackRock is committed to maintaining the privacy of its current and former fund investors and individual clients (collectively, “Clients”) and to safeguarding their non-public personal information. The following information is provided to help you understand what personal information BlackRock collects, how we protect that information and why in certain cases we share such information with select parties.

If you are located in a jurisdiction where specific laws, rules or regulations require BlackRock to provide you with additional or different privacy-related rights beyond what is set forth below, then BlackRock will comply with those specific laws, rules or regulations.

BlackRock obtains or verifies personal non-public information from and about you from different sources, including the following: (i) information we receive from you or, if applicable, your Financial Intermediary, on applications, forms or other documents; (ii) information about your transactions with us, our affiliates, or others; (iii) information we receive from a consumer reporting agency; and (iv) from visits to our website.

BlackRock does not sell or disclose to non-affiliated third parties any non-public personal information about its Clients, except as permitted by law, or as is necessary to respond to regulatory requests or to service Client accounts. These non-affiliated third parties are required to protect the confidentiality and security of this information and to use it only for its intended purpose.

 

38


We may share information with our affiliates to service your account or to provide you with information about other BlackRock products or services that may be of interest to you. In addition, BlackRock restricts access to non-public personal information about its Clients to those BlackRock employees with a legitimate business need for the information. BlackRock maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that are designed to protect the nonpublic personal information of its Clients, including procedures relating to the proper storage and disposal of such information.

Statement of Additional Information

 

If you would like further information about the Fund, including how it invests, please see the SAI.

For a discussion of the Fund’s policies and procedures regarding the selective disclosure of its portfolio holdings, please see the SAI.

 

39


Glossary

 

 

 

This glossary contains an explanation of some of the common terms used in this prospectus. For additional information about the Fund, please see the SAI.

Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses — fees and expenses charged by other investment companies in which the Fund invests a portion of its assets.

Annual Fund Operating Expenses — expenses that cover the costs of operating the Fund.

Daily Liquid Assets — include (i) cash; (ii) direct obligations of the U.S. Government; (iii) securities that will mature, as determined without reference to the maturity shortening provisions of Rule 2a-7 regarding interest rate readjustments, or are subject to a demand feature that is exercisable and payable within one business day; and (iv) amounts receivable and due unconditionally within one business day on pending sales of portfolio securities.

Dollar-Weighted Average Life — the dollar-weighted average maturity of the Fund’s portfolio calculated without reference to the exceptions used for variable or floating rate securities regarding the use of interest rate reset dates in lieu of the security’s actual maturity date. “Dollar-weighted” means the larger the dollar value of a debt security in the Fund, the more weight it gets in calculating this average.

Dollar-Weighted Average Maturity — the average maturity of the Fund is the average amount of time until the organizations that issued the debt securities in the Fund’s portfolio must pay off the principal amount of the debt. “Dollar-weighted” means the larger the dollar value of a debt security in the Fund, the more weight it gets in calculating this average. To calculate the dollar-weighted average maturity, the Fund may treat a variable or floating rate security as having a maturity equal to the time remaining to the security’s next interest rate reset date rather than the security’s actual maturity.

Distribution Fees — fees used to support the Fund’s marketing and distribution efforts, such as compensating Financial Intermediaries, advertising and promotion.

Eligible Securities — Applicable Eligible Securities include:

 

 

securities with a remaining maturity of 397 calendar days or less (with certain exceptions) that BlackRock determines present minimal credit risks to the Fund after considering certain factors;

 

 

securities issued by other registered investment companies that are money market funds; or

 

 

securities issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

Interest Expense — the cost of borrowing money to buy additional securities, primarily through reverse repurchase agreements (under which the Fund sells securities and agrees to buy them back at a particular date and price).

Management Fee — a fee paid to BlackRock for managing the Fund.

Other Expenses — include accounting, administration, transfer agency, custody, professional and registration fees.

Service Fees — fees used to compensate Financial Intermediaries for certain shareholder servicing activities.

Shareholder Fees — fees paid directly by a shareholder, including sales charges that you may pay when you buy or sell shares of the Fund.

Weekly Liquid Assets — include (i) cash; (ii) direct obligations of the U.S. Government; (iii) U.S. Government securities issued by a person controlled or supervised by and acting as an instrumentality of the U.S. Government pursuant to authority granted by the U.S. Congress, that are issued at a discount to the principal amount to be repaid at maturity without provision for the payment of interest and have a remaining maturity of 60 days or less; (iv) securities that will mature, as determined without reference to the maturity shortening provisions of Rule 2a-7 regarding interest rate readjustments, or are subject to a demand feature that is exercisable and payable within five business days; and (v) amounts receivable and due unconditionally within five business days on pending sales of portfolio securities.

 

40


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Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies

 

 

 

Intermediary-Defined Sales Charge Waiver Policies

 

Merrill Lynch:

Effective April 10, 2017, shareholders purchasing Fund shares through a Merrill Lynch platform or account (excluding shares purchased from or through the Fund, the Fund’s distributor or any non-Merrill Lynch platform or account, even if Merrill Lynch serves as broker-dealer of record for such shares) will be eligible only for the following sales charge waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and CDSC waivers) and reductions, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in the prospectus or SAI.

Front-End Sales Charge Waivers for Investor A Shares available at Merrill Lynch

 

 

Shares purchased by 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/plan participants

 

 

Shares purchased by or through a 529 Plan

 

 

Shares purchased through a Merrill Lynch affiliated investment advisory program, or effective February 1, 2019, exchanges of shares purchased through such a Merrill Lynch program due to the holdings moving from such program to a Merrill Lynch brokerage (non-advisory) account

 

 

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

 

 

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other BlackRock Fund)

 

 

Shares exchanged from Investor C (i.e. level-load) Shares of the same Fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date

 

 

Shares purchased by employees and registered representatives of Merrill Lynch or its affiliates and their family members

 

 

Shares purchased by directors of the Fund, and employees of BlackRock or any of its affiliates, as described in the prospectus

 

 

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions from another BlackRock Fund, 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 charge (known as Rights of Reinstatement)

CDSC Waivers on Investor A and C Shares available at Merrill Lynch

 

 

Shares sold due to death or disability of the shareholder

 

 

Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the prospectus

 

 

Shares bought due to 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 701/2

 

 

Shares sold to pay Merrill Lynch fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Merrill Lynch

 

 

Shares acquired through a Right of Reinstatement

 

 

Investor A and C Shares of the Fund held in the following IRA or other retirement brokerage accounts: Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, Rollover IRAs, Inherited IRAs, SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, BASIC Plans, Educational Savings Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts, that are exchanged for Institutional Shares of the Fund due to transfer to certain fee based accounts or platforms

 

 

Effective February 1, 2019, Investor A Shares sold, where such Investor A Shares were received as a result of exchanges of shares purchased through a Merrill Lynch affiliated investment advisory program due to the holdings moving from the program to a Merrill Lynch brokerage (non-advisory) account

 

A-1


Front-End Sales Charge Discounts Available at Merrill Lynch: Breakpoints, Rights of Accumulation & Letters of Intent

 

 

Breakpoints as described in the prospectus

 

 

Rights of Accumulation (ROA) entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts that will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of BlackRock Fund assets held by accounts within the purchaser’s household at Merrill Lynch. Eligible BlackRock Fund 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) allow for breakpoint discounts based on anticipated purchases of BlackRock Funds, through Merrill Lynch, over a 13-month period of time

 

A-2


Ameriprise Financial:

 

Investor A Shares Front-End Sales Charge Waivers Available at Ameriprise Financial

The following information applies to Investor A Shares purchases if you have an account with or otherwise purchase Fund shares through Ameriprise Financial.

Effective June 1, 2018, shareholders purchasing Investor A 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 this 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 capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within BlackRock Funds)

 

 

Shares exchanged from Investor 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 Investor C Shares for load waived shares, that waiver will also apply to such exchanges

 

 

Shares purchased by 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 (“FA”) and/or the FA’s spouse, FA’s lineal ascendant (mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great grandmother, great grandfather), FA’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 BlackRock Funds, 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 charge (i.e. Rights of Reinstatement)

 

 

A-3


Morgan Stanley Wealth Management:

 

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Investor A Share Front-End Sales Charge Waiver

Effective July 1, 2018, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management clients purchasing Investor A Shares of the Fund through Morgan Stanley’s transactional brokerage accounts are entitled to a waiver of the front-end sales charge in the following circumstances:

 

 

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 does 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

 

 

Investor C Shares that are no longer subject to a contingent deferred sales charge and are exchanged for Investor 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 BlackRock Funds under a Rights of Reinstatement provision, provided the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales charge

Unless specifically described above, no other front-end sales charge waivers are available to mutual fund purchases by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management clients through Morgan Stanley’s transactional brokerage accounts.

 

A-4


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 sales charge waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and CDSC waivers) and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this prospectus or the SAI.

Front-End Sales Charge Waivers on Investor A Shares Available at Raymond James

 

 

Shares purchased in a Raymond James investment advisory program.

 

 

Shares purchased of the same Fund or another BlackRock Fund through a systematic reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend distributions.

 

 

Shares purchased by 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 from another BlackRock Fund, 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 charge (known as Rights of Reinstatement).

 

 

A shareholder in the Fund’s Investor C shares will have their shares converted at net asset value to Investor A shares 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 Investor A and C Shares Available at Raymond James

 

 

Shares sold due to death or disability of the shareholder.

 

 

Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the Fund’s prospectus.

 

 

Shares bought due to 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 701/2 as described in the 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 Sales Charge Discounts Available at Raymond James: Breakpoints, Rights of Accumulation and/or Letters of Intent

 

 

Breakpoints as described in this prospectus.

 

 

Rights of accumulation which entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of BlackRock Fund assets held by accounts within the purchaser’s household at Raymond James. Eligible BlackRock Fund assets not held at Raymond James may be included in the calculation of rights of accumulation 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 of BlackRock Funds over a 13-month time period. Eligible BlackRock Fund 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.

 

A-5


Janney Montgomery Scott LLC:

 

Effective May 1, 2020, if you purchase fund shares through a Janney Montgomery Scott LLC (“Janney”) brokerage account, you will be eligible for the following sales charge waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”), 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 charge* waivers on Investor A shares available at Janney

 

 

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other BlackRock Fund).

 

 

Shares purchased by employees and registered representatives of Janney or its affiliates and their family members as designated by Janney.

 

 

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions from another BlackRock Fund, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within ninety (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 charge (i.e., right of reinstatement).

 

 

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.

 

 

Shares acquired through a right of reinstatement.

 

 

Investor C shares that are no longer subject to a contingent deferred sales charge and are converted to Investor A shares of the same fund pursuant to Janney’s policies and procedures.

CDSC waivers on Investor A and C shares available at Janney

 

 

Shares sold upon the death or disability of the shareholder.

 

 

Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the Fund’s prospectus or SAI.

 

 

Shares purchased in connection with a return of excess contributions from an IRA account.

 

 

Shares sold as part of a required minimum distribution for IRA and retirement accounts pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code.

 

 

Shares sold to pay Janney fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Janney.

 

 

Shares acquired through a right of reinstatement.

 

 

Shares exchanged into the same share class of a different fund.

Front-end sales charge* discounts available at Janney: breakpoints, rights of accumulation, and/or letters of intent

 

 

Breakpoints as described in the Fund’s prospectus or SAI.

 

 

Rights of accumulation (“ROA”), which entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts, will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of BlackRock Fund assets held by accounts within the purchaser’s household at Janney. Eligible BlackRock Fund assets not held at Janney 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 BlackRock Fund, over a 13-month time period. Eligible BlackRock Fund assets not held at Janney Montgomery Scott may be included in the calculation of letters of intent only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets.

*Also referred to as an “initial sales charge.”

 

A-6


For More Information

 

 

Fund and Service Providers

 

 

THE FUND

BlackRock FundsSM

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

100 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

Written Correspondence:

P.O. Box 9819

Providence, Rhode Island 02940-8019

Overnight Mail:

4400 Computer Drive

Westborough, Massachusetts 01581

(800) 441-7762

MANAGER

BlackRock Advisors, LLC

100 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

TRANSFER AGENT

BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc.

301 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

[                ]

[                ]

[                ]

ACCOUNTING SERVICES PROVIDER

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

383 Madison Avenue, Floor 11

New York, New York 10179

DISTRIBUTOR

BlackRock Investments, LLC

40 East 52nd Street

New York, New York 10022

CUSTODIANS

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

383 Madison Avenue, Floor 11

New York, New York 10179

The Bank of New York Mellon

240 Greenwich Street

New York, New York 10286

COUNSEL

Sidley Austin LLP

787 Seventh Avenue

New York, New York 10019

 


Additional Information

 

 

For more information:

This prospectus contains important information you should know before investing, including information about risks. Please read it before you invest and keep it for future reference. More information about the Fund is available at no charge upon request. This information includes:

Annual/Semi-Annual Reports

These reports contain additional information about the Fund’s investments. The annual report describes the Fund’s performance, lists portfolio holdings, and discusses recent market conditions, economic trends and Fund investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance for the last fiscal year.

Statement of Additional Information

A Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), dated [            ], 2020, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The SAI, which includes additional information about the Fund, may be obtained free of charge, along with the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports, by calling (800) 441-7762. The SAI, as amended and/or supplemented from time to time, is incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

BlackRock Investor Services

Representatives are available to discuss account balance information, mutual fund prospectuses, literature, programs and services available. Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time), on any business day. Call: (800) 537-4942.

Purchases and Redemptions

Call your Financial Intermediary or BlackRock Investor Services at (800) 537-4942.

World Wide Web

General Fund information and specific Fund performance, including the SAI and annual/semi-annual reports, can be accessed free of charge at www.blackrock.com/prospectus/cash. Mutual fund prospectuses and literature can also be requested via this website.

Written Correspondence

BlackRock FundsSM

P.O. Box 9819

Providence, Rhode Island 02940

Overnight Mail

BlackRock FundsSM

4400 Computer Drive

Westborough, Massachusetts 01581

Internal Wholesalers/Broker Dealer Support

Available on any business day to support investment professionals. Call: (800) 882-0052.

Portfolio Characteristics and Holdings

A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures related to disclosure of portfolio characteristics and holdings is available in the SAI.

For information about portfolio holdings and characteristics, BlackRock fund shareholders and prospective investors may call (800) 882-0052.

Securities and Exchange Commission

You may also view and copy public information about the Fund, including the SAI, by visiting the EDGAR database on the SEC’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: publicinfo@sec.gov.

You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus. No one is authorized to provide you with information that is different from information contained in this prospectus.

The SEC 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 COMPANY ACT FILE # 811-05742

 

 

LOGO    [CODE]


LOGO    [ ], 2020

 

 

The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED MARCH 10, 2020

 

Prospectus

 

BlackRock FundsSM  |  Service Shares

 

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

Service: PNPXX

 

 

Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of the Fund’s shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from BlackRock or from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. 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 link to access the report.

You may elect to receive all future reports in paper free of charge. If you hold accounts through a financial intermediary, you can follow the instructions included with this disclosure, if applicable, or contact your financial intermediary to request that you continue to receive paper copies of your shareholder reports. Please note that not all financial intermediaries may offer this service. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds advised by BlackRock Advisors, LLC, BlackRock Fund Advisors or their affiliates, or all funds held with your financial intermediary, as applicable.

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 electronic delivery of shareholder reports and other communications by contacting your financial intermediary, if you hold accounts through a financial intermediary. Please note that not all financial intermediaries may offer this service.

This Prospectus contains information you should know before investing, including information about risks.

Please read it before you invest and keep it for future reference.

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.

 

Not FDIC Insured • May Lose Value • No Bank Guarantee


Table of Contents

 

 

 

Fund Overview    Key facts and details about the Fund, including investment objective, principal investment strategies, principal risk factors, fee and expense information and historical performance information  
   Investment Objective     3  
   Fees and Expenses of the Fund     3  
   Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund     3  
   Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund     4  
   Performance Information     6  
   Investment Manager     7  
   Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares     7  
   Tax Information     7  
   Payments to Broker/Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries     7  
Details About the Fund    Information about how the Fund invests, including investment objective, investment processes, principal strategies and risk factors  
   How the Fund Invests     8  
   Investment Risks     11  
Account Information    Information about account services, sales charges and waivers, shareholder transactions, and distribution and other payments  
   How to Choose the Share Class that Best Suits Your Needs     15  
   Details About the Share Class  
   Distribution and Shareholder Servicing Payments     15  
   How to Buy, Sell and Transfer Shares     16  
   Fund’s Rights     20  
   Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates     21  
   Short-Term Trading Policy     21  
   Master/Feeder Structure     21  
Management of the Fund    Information about BlackRock  
   BlackRock     23  
   Conflicts of Interest     24  
   Valuation of Fund Investments     25  
   Dividends, Distributions and Taxes     26  
Financial Highlights    Financial Performance of the Fund     27  
General Information    Shareholder Documents     28  
   Certain Fund Policies     28  
   Statement of Additional Information     29  
Glossary    Glossary of Investment Terms     30  
For More Information    Fund and Service Providers     Inside Back Cover  
   Additional Information     Back Cover  

 


Fund Overview

 

 

 

Investment Objective

 

The investment objective of BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (“WeLEAF” or the “Fund,” formerly known as BlackRock Money Market Portfolio), a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”), is to seek as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and preservation of capital while giving consideration to select environmental criteria.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Service Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)

   Service
Shares

Management Fee

       [    ]%  

Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees

       0.25%

Other Expenses1,2

       [    ]%  

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses2

       [    ]%  

Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements3

       [    ]%  

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements3

       [    ]%  

 

1 

Other Expenses have been restated to reflect current fees.

 

2 

The Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses do not correlate to the ratio of expenses to average net assets given in the Fund’s most recent annual report, which does not include the restatement of Other Expenses to reflect current fees.

 

3 

As described in the “Management of the Fund” section of the Fund’s prospectus beginning on page 23, BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock”), the Fund’s investment manager, has contractually agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements (excluding Dividend Expense, Interest Expense, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses and certain other Fund expenses) to 0.50% (for Service Shares) of average daily net assets through July 31, 2021. The agreement may be terminated upon 90 days’ notice by a majority of the non-interested trustees of the Trust or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

Example:

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

      1 Year        3 Years        5 Years        10 Years  

Service Shares

   $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]  

Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a broad range of U.S. dollar-denominated money market instruments, including government, U.S. and foreign bank, and commercial obligations and repurchase agreements. Under normal conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, the Fund’s investment manager, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria. This policy is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund. However, the Fund will provide shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any changes to the policy.

BlackRock will consider the following as part of the Fund’s environmental criteria:

 

 

The Fund will invest in securities whose issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) at the time of the Fund’s investment has better than average performance in environmental practices. In evaluating performance in environmental practices, BlackRock will use data or other environmental, social, or governance risk metrics including ratings provided by independent research vendor(s) in determining whether to invest (or continue to invest) in securities issued or guaranteed by a particular entity. These independent research vendor(s) may consider one or more of the following factors: issuer or industry exposure to environmentally intensive activities, disclosures by an issuer around climate

 

3


 

related issues and environmental matters or specific targets or plans by an issuer to manage environmental exposures. BlackRock may change an independent research vendor at any time in its discretion. BlackRock will consider factors such as emissions, energy and water intensity, waste generation, green revenues and environmental disclosure levels in evaluating the environmental performance of an issuer or guarantor.

 

 

U.S. Government securities will be considered to have met the Fund’s environmental criteria

 

 

The Fund will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities:

 

 

that derive more than 5% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement; or

 

 

that derive more than 5% of their revenue from thermal coal or nuclear energy based power generation.

In determining the efficacy of an issuer’s or guarantor’s environmental practices, BlackRock may also employ a proprietary model it has developed to consider the impact of various actions of an issuer or guarantor. The model uses third party data as well as information obtained by BlackRock to assess whether particular environmental factors may be material to an issuer or guarantor and capture any momentum around these factors. The model also seeks to consider more current headline news around an issuer or guarantor. The model may employ different inputs and weigh the significance of those inputs differently than the third party data sources that are used. BlackRock will conduct, as appropriate, its environmental evaluation of issuers and guarantors relative to a specific sector or across multiple sectors.

In addition, the Fund may invest in mortgage- and asset-backed securities, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts. The Fund may invest in “green” bonds where, in the opinion of BlackRock, the use of proceeds from the sale of these securities will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. The Fund may also invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.

Under normal market conditions, at least 25% of the Fund’s total assets will be invested in obligations of issuers in the financial services industry or in obligations, such as repurchase agreements, secured by such obligations.

The Fund may invest up to 20% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) have below average performance in environmental practices or whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) are not evaluated by any independent research vendor(s) currently used by the Fund, and whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) do not otherwise meet the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The Fund seeks to maintain a net asset value (“NAV”) of $1.00 per share.

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Fund will only purchase securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”).”

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. You could lose money by investing in the Fund. Although the Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it cannot guarantee it will do so. The Fund may impose a fee upon the sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.

The following is a summary description of principal risks of investing in the Fund. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.

 

 

Credit Risk — Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a debt security (i.e., the borrower) will not be able to make payments of interest and principal when due. Changes in an issuer’s credit rating or the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness may also affect the value of the Fund’s investment in that issuer.

 

 

Environmental Criteria Risk — The risk that because the Fund’s environmental criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons, the Fund may forgo some market opportunities available to funds that do not use these criteria. Consequently, the Fund may underperform funds that do not utilize an environmental strategy. BlackRock’s assessment of an issuer’s environmental criteria may change over time, which could cause the Fund to hold securities that may no longer meet BlackRock’s current environmental criteria.

 

4


In evaluating the environmental criteria for an issuer or guarantor, BlackRock is dependent upon information and data that may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable. Currently, environmental data often lacks standardization, consistency and in some cases transparency. There may be different methodologies used by different data sources who compile environmental ratings of issuers or guarantors. This could adversely affect the analysis of the environmental criteria relevant to a particular issuer or guarantor. If BlackRock were to solely rely on this data, the Fund may invest in issuers or guarantors who may not meet the environmental criteria for investment. Investing on the basis of environmental criteria is qualitative and subjective by nature and there can be no assurance that the process utilized by any vendors of BlackRock or any judgment exercised by BlackRock will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor.

 

 

Extension Risk — When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall.

 

 

Financial Services Industry Risk Because of its concentration in the financial services industry, the Fund will be more susceptible to any economic, business, political or other developments which generally affect this industry sector. As a result, the Fund will be exposed to a large extent to the risks associated with that industry, such as government regulation, the availability and cost of capital funds, consolidation and general economic conditions. Financial services companies are also exposed to losses if borrowers and other counterparties experience financial problems and/or cannot repay their obligations.

When interest rates go up, the value of securities issued by many types of financial services companies generally goes down. In many countries, financial services and the companies that provide them are regulated by governmental entities, which can increase costs for new services or products and make it difficult to pass increased costs on to consumers. In certain areas, deregulation of financial services companies has resulted in increased competition and reduced profitability for certain companies.

The profitability of many types of financial services companies may be adversely affected in certain market cycles, including periods of rising interest rates, which may restrict the availability and increase the cost of capital, and declining economic conditions, which may cause credit losses due to financial difficulties of borrowers. Because many types of financial services companies are vulnerable to these economic cycles, a large portion of the Fund’s investments may lose value during such periods.

 

 

Foreign Exposure Risk Securities issued or supported by foreign entities, including foreign banks and corporations, may involve additional risks and considerations. Extensive public information about the foreign issuer may not be available, and unfavorable political, economic or governmental developments in the foreign country involved could affect the payment of principal and interest.

 

 

Income Risk — Income risk is the risk that the Fund’s yield will vary as short-term securities in its portfolio mature and the proceeds are reinvested in securities with different interest rates.

 

 

Interest Rate Risk Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a debt security may fall when interest rates rise. In general, the market price of debt securities with longer maturities will go up or down more in response to changes in interest rates than the market price of shorter-term securities. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

Liquidity Fee and Redemption Gate Risk — The Board has discretion to impose a liquidity fee of up to 2% upon sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. Accordingly, you may not be able to sell your shares or your redemptions may be subject to a liquidity fee when you sell your shares at certain times.

 

 

Market Risk and Selection Risk — Market risk is the risk that one or more markets in which the Fund invests will go down in value, including the possibility that the markets will go down sharply and unpredictably. Selection risk is the risk that the securities selected by Fund management will underperform the markets, the relevant indices or the securities selected by other funds with similar investment objectives and investment strategies. This means you may lose money.

 

 

Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Risks — Mortgage- and asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of mortgages or other assets, including consumer loans or receivables held in trust. Mortgage- and asset-backed securities are subject to credit, interest rate, prepayment and extension risks. These securities also are subject to risk of default on the underlying mortgage or asset, particularly during periods of economic downturn. Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain mortgage-backed securities.

 

 

Prepayment Risk — When interest rates fall, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more quickly than originally anticipated, and the Fund may have to invest the proceeds in securities with lower yields.

 

 

Repurchase Agreements and Purchase and Sale Contracts Risk — If the other party to a repurchase agreement or purchase and sale contract defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the Fund may suffer delays and incur

 

5


 

costs or lose money in exercising its rights under the agreement. If the seller fails to repurchase the security in either situation and the market value of the security declines, the Fund may lose money.

 

 

Stable Net Asset Value Risk — The Fund may not be able to maintain a stable NAV of $1.00 per share at all times. If the Fund fails to maintain a stable NAV (or if there is a perceived threat of such a failure), the Fund, along with other money market funds, could be subject to increased redemption activity.

 

 

Treasury Obligations Risk — Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

U.S. Government Obligations Risk — Certain securities in which the Fund may invest, including securities issued by certain U.S. Government agencies and U.S. Government sponsored enterprises, are not guaranteed by the U.S. Government or supported by the full faith and credit of the United States.

 

 

Variable and Floating Rate Instrument Risk — Variable and floating rate securities provide for periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the securities. These securities may be subject to greater illiquidity risk than other fixed income securities, meaning the absence of an active market for these securities could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of them at any given time.

 

 

When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments Risk — When-issued and delayed delivery securities and forward commitments involve the risk that the security the Fund buys will lose value prior to its delivery. There also is the risk that the security will not be issued or that the other party to the transaction will not meet its obligation. If this occurs, the Fund may lose both the investment opportunity for the assets it set aside to pay for the security and any gain in the security’s price.

Performance Information

 

The information shows you how the Fund’s performance has varied year by year and provides some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. To the extent that dividends and distributions have been paid by the Fund, the performance information for the Fund in the chart and table assumes reinvestment of the dividends and distributions. As with all such investments, past performance is not an indication of future results. The table includes all applicable fees. If BlackRock and its affiliates had not waived or reimbursed certain Fund expenses during these periods, the Fund’s returns would have been lower. The Fund is a money market fund managed pursuant to the requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act. Effective May 28, 2010, Rule 2a-7 was amended to impose new liquidity, credit quality and maturity requirements on all money market funds. Fund performance shown prior to May 28, 2010 is based on Investment Company Act rules then in effect and is not an indication of future returns. Updated information on the Fund’s performance can be obtained by visiting http://www.blackrock.com/cash or can be obtained by phone at (800) 882-0052.

Investor A Shares

ANNUAL TOTAL RETURNS

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

As of 12/31

[updated bar chart to be filed by subsequent amendment]

 

6


During the ten-year period shown in the bar chart, the highest return for a quarter was [    ]% (quarter ended [    ]) and the lowest return for a quarter was [ ]% (quarter ended [    ]). The year-to-date return as of March 31, 2020 was [    ]%.

 

As of 12/31/19

Average Annual Total Returns

   1 Year      5 Years      10 Years  

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund — Service Shares

        

Return Before Taxes

     [     ]%       [     ]%       [     ]% 

To obtain the Fund’s current 7-day yield, call (800) 537-4942 or visit the Fund’s website at www.blackrock.com/cash.

Investment Manager

 

The Fund’s investment manager is BlackRock Advisors, LLC (previously defined as “BlackRock”).

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

 

The Fund is a retail money market fund and is intended only for sale to beneficial owners who are natural persons.

You may generally purchase or redeem shares of the Fund each day on which both the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are open.

To purchase or sell shares of the Fund you should contact your financial professional or your selected securities dealer, broker, investment adviser, service provider or industry professional (including BlackRock and its affiliates) (each a “Financial Intermediary”), or, if you hold your shares through the Fund, you should contact the Fund by phone at (800) 537-4942, by mail (c/o BlackRock Funds, P.O. Box 9819, Providence, Rhode Island 02940-8019), or by the Internet at www.blackrock.com. You have until the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. Eastern time) to get your purchase money in to the Fund on the day of your purchase or your purchase order will be cancelled.

The Fund’s initial and subsequent investment minimums generally are as follows, although the Fund may reduce or waive the minimums in some cases.

 

     Service Shares
Minimum Initial Investment   $5,000
Minimum Additional Investment   No subsequent minimum.

Tax Information

 

The Fund’s dividends and distributions may be subject to U.S. federal income taxes and may be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are a tax-exempt investor or are investing through a qualified tax-exempt plan described in section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, in which case you may be subject to U.S. federal income tax when distributions are received from such tax-deferred arrangements.

Payments to Broker/Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

If you purchase shares of the Fund through a Financial Intermediary, the Fund and BlackRock Investments, LLC, the Fund’s distributor, or its affiliates may pay the Financial Intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the Financial Intermediary and your individual financial professional to recommend the Fund over another investment.

Ask your individual financial professional or visit your Financial Intermediary’s website for more information.

 

7


Details About the Fund

 

 

 

Included in this prospectus are sections that tell you about buying and selling shares, management information, shareholder features of BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (“WeLEAF” or the “Fund,” formerly known as BlackRock Money Market Portfolio), a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”), and your rights as a shareholder.

How the Fund Invests

 

The Fund is a retail money market fund managed pursuant to Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”).

 

 

The Fund seeks to maintain a net asset value (“NAV”) of $1.00 per share.

 

 

The Fund will maintain a dollar-weighted average maturity of 60 days or less and a dollar-weighted average life of 120 days or less. For a discussion of dollar-weighted average maturity and dollar-weighted average life, please see the Glossary on page 30.

 

 

Pursuant to Rule 2a-7, the Fund is subject to a “general liquidity requirement” that requires that the Fund hold securities that are sufficiently liquid to meet reasonably foreseeable shareholder redemptions in light of its obligations under Section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act regarding share redemptions and any commitments the Fund has made to shareholders. To comply with this general liquidity requirement, BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock”) must consider factors that could affect the Fund’s liquidity needs, including characteristics of the Fund’s investors and their likely redemptions. Depending upon the volatility of its cash flows (particularly shareholder redemptions), this may require the Fund to maintain greater liquidity than would be required by the daily and weekly minimum liquidity requirements discussed below.

 

 

The Fund will not acquire any illiquid security (i.e., securities that cannot be sold or disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value ascribed to them by the Fund) if, immediately following such purchase, more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets are invested in illiquid securities.

 

 

The Fund will not acquire any security other than a daily liquid asset unless, immediately following such purchase, at least 10% of its total assets would be invested in daily liquid assets, and the Fund will not acquire any security other than a weekly liquid asset unless, immediately following such purchase, at least 30% of its total assets would be invested in weekly liquid assets. For a discussion of daily liquid assets and weekly liquid assets, please see the Glossary on page 30.

 

 

The Fund invests in securities maturing within 13 months or less from the date of purchase, with certain exceptions. For example, certain government securities held by the Fund may have remaining maturities exceeding 13 months if such securities provide for adjustments in their interest rates not less frequently than every 13 months.

 

 

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification, and other requirements of Rule 2a-7, and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Fund will purchase securities (or issuers of such securities) that are Eligible Securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”). For a discussion of Eligible Securities, please see the Glossary on page 30.

The Board will be permitted to impose a liquidity fee on redemptions from the Fund (up to 2%) or temporarily restrict redemptions from the Fund for up to 10 business days during a 90 day period under certain circumstances. Please see the section below titled “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” for additional information about liquidity fees and redemption gates.

Investment Objective

The investment objective of the Fund is to seek as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and preservation of capital while giving consideration to select environmental criteria.

Should the Board determine that the investment objective of the Fund should be changed, shareholders will be given at least 30 days’ notice before any such change is made. However, such change can be effected without shareholder approval.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a broad range of U.S. dollar-denominated money market instruments, including government, U.S. and foreign bank, and commercial obligations and repurchase agreements. Under normal conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount

 

8


of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, the Fund’s investment manager, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria. This policy is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund. However, the Fund will provide shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any changes to the policy.

BlackRock will consider the following as part of the Fund’s environmental criteria:

 

 

The Fund will invest in securities whose issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) at the time of the Fund’s investment has better than average performance in environmental practices. In evaluating performance in environmental practices, BlackRock will use data or other environmental, social, or governance risk metrics including ratings provided by independent research vendor(s) in determining whether to invest (or continue to invest) in securities issued or guaranteed by a particular entity. These independent research vendor(s) may consider one or more of the following factors: issuer or industry exposure to environmentally intensive activities, disclosures by an issuer around climate related issues and environmental matters or specific targets or plans by an issuer to manage environmental exposures. BlackRock may change an independent research vendor at any time in its discretion. BlackRock will consider factors such as emissions, energy and water intensity, waste generation, green revenues and environmental disclosure levels in evaluating the environmental performance of an issuer or guarantor.

 

 

U.S. Government securities will be considered to have met the Fund’s environmental criteria

 

 

The Fund will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities:

 

 

that derive more than 5% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement; or

 

 

that derive more than 5% of their revenue from thermal coal or nuclear energy based power generation.

In determining the efficacy of an issuer’s or guarantor’s environmental practices, BlackRock may also employ a proprietary model it has developed to consider the impact of various actions of an issuer or guarantor. The model uses third party data as well as information obtained by BlackRock to assess whether particular environmental factors may be material to an issuer or guarantor and capture any momentum around these factors. The model also seeks to consider more current headline news around an issuer or guarantor. The model may employ different inputs and weigh the significance of those inputs differently than the third party data sources that are used. BlackRock will conduct, as appropriate, its environmental evaluation of issuers and guarantors relative to a specific sector or across multiple sectors.

When known at the time of purchase, Fund management may also consider an issuer’s or guarantor’s commitment to support sustainable palm oil.

In addition, the Fund may invest in mortgage- and asset-backed securities, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts. The Fund may invest in “green” bonds where, in the opinion of BlackRock, the use of proceeds from the sale of these securities will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. For purposes of compliance with the Fund’s 80% investment policy, (1) the Fund’s investment in “green” bonds will not be deemed to qualify unless the issuer or guarantor of such bonds, in the opinion of BlackRock, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria and (2) the Fund’s investment in repurchase agreements will not be deemed to qualify except to the extent that both the repurchase agreement counterparty and the issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) of the security subject to the repurchase agreement, in the opinion of BlackRock, at the time of purchase, meet the Fund’s environmental criteria. The Fund may also invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.

Under normal market conditions, at least 25% of the Fund’s total assets will be invested in obligations of issuers in the financial services industry or in obligations, such as repurchase agreements, secured by such obligations.

The Fund may invest up to 20% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) have below average performance in environmental practices or whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) are not evaluated by any independent research vendor(s) currently used by the Fund, and whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) do not otherwise meet the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Fund will only purchase securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Board.

Pursuant to Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act, the Fund will generally limit its purchases of any one issuer’s securities (other than U.S. Government obligations and repurchase agreements collateralized by such securities) to 5% of the Fund’s total assets, except that up to 25% of its total assets may be invested in securities of

 

9


one issuer for a period of up to three business days; provided that the Fund may not invest in the securities of more than one issuer in accordance with the foregoing exception at any one time.

Additionally, a security purchased by the Fund (or the issuers of such security) will be:

 

   

a security that has short-term ratings at the time of purchase (or which are guaranteed or in some cases otherwise supported by credit supports with such ratings) in the highest rating category by at least two unaffiliated nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”), or one NRSRO, if the security or guarantee was only rated by one NRSRO;

 

   

a security that is issued or guaranteed by a person with such ratings;

 

   

a security without such short-term ratings that has been determined to be of comparable quality by BlackRock;

 

   

a security issued by other open-end investment companies that invest in the type of obligations in which the Fund may invest; or

 

   

a security issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

Appendix A to the Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) contains a description of the relevant rating symbols used by several NRSROs for various types of debt obligations.

During periods of unusual market conditions or during temporary defensive periods, the Fund may depart from its principal investment strategies. The Fund may hold uninvested cash reserves pending investment, during temporary defensive periods, or the Fund may invest without limit in U.S. Treasury securities. Uninvested cash reserves may not earn income. Temporary defensive investments may limit the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Other Strategies

In addition to the principal investment strategies discussed above, the Fund may also invest or engage in the following investments/strategies:

 

 

Borrowing — During periods of unusual market conditions, the Fund is authorized to borrow money from banks for temporary purposes in amounts up to one-third of the value of its total assets at the time of such borrowing. Such borrowings may be secured or unsecured.

 

 

Illiquid Investments — The Fund will not invest more than 5% of the value of its total assets in illiquid securities that it cannot sell in the ordinary course within seven days at approximately current value.

 

 

Investment Company Securities — The Fund may invest in securities issued by other open-end or closed-end investment companies as permitted by the Investment Company Act. A pro rata portion of the other investment companies’ expenses may be borne by the Fund’s shareholders. These investments may include, as consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, certain variable rate demand securities issued by closed-end funds, which invest primarily in portfolios of taxable or tax-exempt securities. It is anticipated that the payments made on the variable rate demand securities issued by closed-end municipal bond funds will be exempt from federal income tax.

 

 

Municipal Obligations — The Fund may, when deemed appropriate by BlackRock in light of its investment objective, invest in high quality, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of the states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities, such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts (“Municipal Obligations”) issued by state and local government issuers which carry yields that are competitive with those of other types of money market instruments of comparable quality.

 

 

Restricted Securities — Restricted securities are securities that cannot be offered for public resale unless registered under the applicable securities laws or that have a contractual restriction that prohibits or limits their resale. They may include Rule 144A securities, which are privately placed securities that can be resold to qualified institutional buyers but not to the general public, and securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers that are offered pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements — The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. The Fund is permitted to invest up to one-third of its total assets in reverse repurchase agreements. Investments in reverse repurchase agreements and securities lending transactions (described below) will be aggregated for purposes of this investment limitation.

 

 

Uninvested Cash Reserves — The Fund may hold up to 20% of its assets in uninvested cash reserves. Uninvested cash reserves will not earn income.

 

 

U.S. Treasury Floating Rate Notes — The Fund may invest in U.S. Treasury Floating Rate Notes (FRNs). These are two-year notes issued by the U.S. Treasury that reset their interest rates on a weekly basis. At maturity, the face value of an FRN is paid to the note holder.

 

10


Investment Risks

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. You could lose money by investing in the Fund. Although the Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it cannot guarantee it will do so. The Fund may impose a fee upon the sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.

The following is a description of certain risks of investing in the Fund. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

 

Credit Risk — Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a debt security (i.e., the borrower) will not be able to make payments of interest and principal when due. Changes in an issuer’s credit rating or the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness may also affect the value of the Fund’s investment in that issuer. The degree of credit risk depends on both the financial condition of the issuer and the terms of the obligation.

 

 

Environmental Criteria Risk — The risk that because the Fund’s environmental criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons, the Fund may forgo some market opportunities available to funds that do not use these criteria. Consequently, the Fund may underperform funds that do not utilize an environmental strategy. BlackRock’s assessment of an issuer’s environmental criteria may change over time, which could cause the Fund to hold securities that may no longer meet BlackRock’s current environmental criteria.

In evaluating the environmental criteria for an issuer or guarantor, BlackRock is dependent upon information and data that may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable. Currently, environmental data often lacks standardization, consistency and in some cases transparency. There may be different methodologies used by different data sources who compile environmental ratings of issuers or guarantors. This could adversely affect the analysis of the environmental criteria relevant to a particular issuer or guarantor. If BlackRock were to solely rely on this data, the Fund may invest in issuers or guarantors who may not meet the environmental criteria for investment. Investing on the basis of environmental criteria is qualitative and subjective by nature and there can be no assurance that the process utilized by any vendors of BlackRock or any judgment exercised by BlackRock will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor.

 

 

Extension Risk — When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. The value of longer-term securities generally changes more in response to changes in interest rates than shorter-term securities. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, securities may exhibit additional volatility and may lose value.

 

 

Financial Services Industry Risk — Because of its concentration in the financial services industry, the Fund will be more susceptible to any economic, business, political or other developments which generally affect this industry sector. As a result, the Fund will be exposed to a large extent to the risks associated with that industry, such as government regulation, the availability and cost of capital funds, consolidation and general economic conditions. Financial services companies are also exposed to losses if borrowers and other counterparties experience financial problems and/or cannot repay their obligations.

When interest rates go up, the value of securities issued by many types of financial services companies generally goes down. In many countries, financial services and the companies that provide them are regulated by governmental entities, which can increase costs for new services or products and make it difficult to pass increased costs on to consumers. In certain areas, deregulation of financial services companies has resulted in increased competition and reduced profitability for certain companies.

The profitability of many types of financial services companies may be adversely affected in certain market cycles, including periods of rising interest rates, which may restrict the availability and increase the cost of capital, and declining economic conditions, which may cause credit losses due to financial difficulties of borrowers. Because many types of financial services companies are vulnerable to these economic cycles, a large portion of the Fund’s investments may lose value during such periods.

 

 

Foreign Exposure Risk Securities issued or supported by foreign entities, including foreign banks and corporations, may involve additional risks and considerations. Extensive public information about the foreign issuer may not be available, and unfavorable political, economic or governmental developments in the foreign country involved could affect the payment of principal and interest.

 

 

Income Risk — The Fund’s yield will vary as the short-term securities in its portfolio mature and the proceeds are reinvested in securities with different interest rates.

 

11


 

Interest Rate Risk Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a debt security may fall when interest rates rise. In general, the market price of debt securities with longer maturities will go up or down more in response to changes in interest rates than the market price of shorter-term securities. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

Liquidity Fee and Redemption Gate Risk — The Board has discretion to impose a liquidity fee of up to 2% upon sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. Accordingly, you may not be able to sell your shares or your redemptions may be subject to a liquidity fee when you sell your shares at certain times.

 

 

Market Risk and Selection Risk — Market risk is the risk that one or more markets in which the Fund invests will go down in value, including the possibility that the markets will go down sharply and unpredictably. Selection risk is the risk that the securities selected by Fund management will underperform the markets, the relevant indices or the securities selected by other funds with similar investment objectives and investment strategies. This means you may lose money.

 

 

Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Risks — Mortgage-backed securities (residential and commercial) and asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of mortgages or other assets, including consumer loans or receivables held in trust. Although asset-backed and commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) generally experience less prepayment than residential mortgage-backed securities, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, like traditional fixed-income securities, are subject to credit, interest rate, prepayment and extension risks.

Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain mortgage-backed securities. The Fund’s investments in asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-related securities, as well as additional risks associated with the nature of the assets and the servicing of those assets. These securities also are subject to the risk of default on the underlying mortgages or assets, particularly during periods of economic downturn. Certain CMBS are issued in several classes with different levels of yield and credit protection. The Fund’s investments in CMBS with several classes may be in the lower classes that have greater risks than the higher classes, including greater interest rate, credit and prepayment risks.

Mortgage-backed securities may be either pass-through securities or collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”). Pass-through securities represent a right to receive principal and interest payments collected on a pool of mortgages, which are passed through to security holders. CMOs are created by dividing the principal and interest payments collected on a pool of mortgages into several revenue streams (“tranches”) with different priority rights to portions of the underlying mortgage payments. Certain CMO tranches may represent a right to receive interest only (“IOs”), principal only (“POs”) or an amount that remains after floating-rate tranches are paid (an “inverse floater”). These securities are frequently referred to as “mortgage derivatives” and may be extremely sensitive to changes in interest rates. Interest rates on inverse floaters, for example, vary inversely with a short-term floating rate (which may be reset periodically). Interest rates on inverse floaters will decrease when short-term rates increase, and will increase when short-term rates decrease. These securities have the effect of providing a degree of investment leverage. In response to changes in market interest rates or other market conditions, the value of an inverse floater may increase or decrease at a multiple of the increase or decrease in the value of the underlying securities. If the Fund invests in CMO tranches (including CMO tranches issued by government agencies) and interest rates move in a manner not anticipated by Fund management, it is possible that the Fund could lose all or substantially all of its investment. Certain mortgage-backed securities in which the Fund may invest may also provide a degree of investment leverage, which could cause the Fund to lose all or substantially all of its investment.

The mortgage market in the United States has experienced difficulties that may adversely affect the performance and market value of certain of the Fund’s mortgage-related investments. Delinquencies and losses on mortgage loans (including subprime and second-lien mortgage loans) generally have increased and may continue to increase, and a decline in or flattening of real estate values (as has been experienced and may continue to be experienced in many housing markets) may exacerbate such delinquencies and losses. Also, a number of mortgage loan originators have experienced serious financial difficulties or bankruptcy. Reduced investor demand for mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities and increased investor yield requirements have caused limited liquidity in the secondary market for mortgage-related securities, which can adversely affect the market value of mortgage-related securities. It is possible that such limited liquidity in such secondary markets could continue or worsen.

Asset-backed securities entail certain risks not presented by mortgage-backed securities, including the risk that in certain states it may be difficult to perfect the liens securing the collateral backing certain asset-backed securities. In addition, certain asset-backed securities are based on loans that are unsecured, which means that there is no collateral to seize if the underlying borrower defaults.

 

 

Prepayment Risk — When interest rates fall, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more quickly than originally anticipated, and the Fund may have to invest the proceeds in securities with lower yields. In periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayments tends to increase (as does price fluctuation) as borrowers are

 

12


 

motivated to pay off debt and refinance at new lower rates. During such periods, reinvestment of the prepayment proceeds by the management team will generally be at lower rates of return than the return on the assets that were prepaid. Prepayment reduces the yield to maturity and the average life of the security.

 

 

Repurchase Agreements and Purchase and Sale Contracts Risk — If the other party to a repurchase agreement or purchase and sale contract defaults on its obligation under the agreement, the Fund may suffer delays and incur costs or lose money in exercising its rights under the agreement. If the seller fails to repurchase the security in either situation and the market value of the security declines, the Fund may lose money.

 

 

Stable Net Asset Value Risk — The Fund may not be able to maintain a stable NAV of $1.00 per share at all times. If the Fund fails to maintain a stable NAV (or if there is a perceived threat of such a failure), the Fund, along with other money market funds, could be subject to increased redemption activity.

 

 

Treasury Obligations Risk — Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

U.S. Government Obligations Risk — Not all U.S. Government securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Obligations of certain agencies, authorities, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises of the U.S. Government are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States (e.g., the Government National Mortgage Association); other obligations are backed by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury (e.g., the Federal Home Loan Banks) and others are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase an agency’s obligations. Still others are backed only by the credit of the agency, authority, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise issuing the obligation. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government would provide financial support to any of these entities if it is not obligated to do so by law.

 

 

Variable and Floating Rate Instrument Risk — Variable and floating rate securities provide for periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the securities. These securities may be subject to greater illiquidity risk than other fixed income securities, meaning the absence of an active market for these securities could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of them at any given time.

 

 

When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments Risk — When-issued and delayed delivery securities and forward commitments involve the risk that the security the Fund buys will lose value prior to its delivery. There also is the risk that the security will not be issued or that the other party to the transaction will not meet its obligation. If this occurs, the Fund may lose both the investment opportunity for the assets it set aside to pay for the security and any gain in the security’s price.

Other Risks of Investing in the Fund

The Fund may also be subject to certain other non-principal risks associated with its investments and investment strategies, including:

 

 

Borrowing Risk — Borrowing may exaggerate changes in the NAV of Fund shares and in the return on the Fund’s portfolio. Borrowing will cost the Fund interest expense and other fees. The costs of borrowing may reduce the Fund’s return. Borrowing may cause the Fund to liquidate positions when it may not be advantageous to do so to satisfy its obligations.

 

 

Cyber Security Risk — Failures or breaches of the electronic systems of the Fund, the Fund’s adviser, distributor, and other service providers, or the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests have the ability to cause disruptions and negatively impact the Fund’s business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses to the Fund and its shareholders. While the Fund has established business continuity plans and risk management systems seeking to address system breaches or failures, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems of the Fund’s service providers or issuers of securities in which the Fund invests.

 

 

Expense Risk — Fund expenses are subject to a variety of factors, including fluctuations in the Fund’s net assets. Accordingly, actual expenses may be greater or less than those indicated. For example, to the extent that the Fund’s net assets decrease due to market declines or redemptions, the Fund’s expenses will increase as a percentage of Fund net assets. During periods of high market volatility, these increases in the Fund’s expense ratio could be significant.

 

 

Illiquid Investments Risk — The Fund’s illiquid investments may reduce the returns of the Fund because it may be difficult to sell the illiquid investments at an advantageous time or price. The Fund may be unable to pay redemption proceeds within the time period stated in this prospectus because of unusual market conditions, an unusually high volume of redemption requests, or other reasons.

 

 

Investment in Other Investment Companies Risk — As with other investments, investments in other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds, are subject to market and selection risk. In addition, if the Fund acquires shares of investment companies, including ones affiliated with the Fund, shareholders bear both their

 

13


 

proportionate share of expenses in the Fund (including management and advisory fees) and, indirectly, the expenses of the investment companies (to the extent not offset by BlackRock through waivers). To the extent the Fund is held by an affiliated fund, the ability of the Fund itself to hold other investment companies may be limited.

 

 

Municipal Securities Risks — Municipal securities risks include the ability of the issuer to repay the obligation, the relative lack of information about certain issuers of municipal securities, and the possibility of future legislative changes which could affect the market for and value of municipal securities. These risks include:

General Obligation Bonds Risks — The full faith, credit and taxing power of the municipality that issues a general obligation bond secures payment of interest and repayment of principal. Timely payments depend on the issuer’s credit quality, ability to raise tax revenues and ability to maintain an adequate tax base.

Revenue Bonds Risks — Payments of interest and principal on revenue bonds are made only from the revenues generated by a particular facility, class of facilities or the proceeds of a special tax or other revenue source. These payments depend on the money earned by the particular facility or class of facilities, or the amount of revenues derived from another source.

Private Activity Bonds Risks — Municipalities and other public authorities issue private activity bonds to finance development of industrial facilities for use by a private enterprise. The private enterprise pays the principal and interest on the bond, and the issuer does not pledge its full faith, credit and taxing power for repayment. If the private enterprise defaults on its payments, the Fund may not receive any income or get its money back from the investment.

Moral Obligation Bonds Risks — Moral obligation bonds are generally issued by special purpose public authorities of a state or municipality. If the issuer is unable to meet its obligations, repayment of these bonds becomes a moral commitment, but not a legal obligation, of the state or municipality.

Municipal Notes Risks — Municipal notes are shorter term municipal debt obligations. They may provide interim financing in anticipation of, and are secured by, tax collection, bond sales or revenue receipts. If there is a shortfall in the anticipated proceeds, the notes may not be fully repaid and the Fund may lose money.

Municipal Lease Obligations Risks — In a municipal lease obligation, the issuer agrees to make payments when due on the lease obligation. The issuer will generally appropriate municipal funds for that purpose, but is not obligated to do so. Although the issuer does not pledge its unlimited taxing power for payment of the lease obligation, the lease obligation is secured by the leased property. However, if the issuer does not fulfill its payment obligation it may be difficult to sell the property and the proceeds of a sale may not cover the Fund’s loss.

Tax-Exempt Status Risk — In making investments, the Fund and its investment manager will rely on the opinion of issuers’ bond counsel and, in the case of derivative securities, sponsors’ counsel, on the tax-exempt status of interest on municipal obligations and payments under tax-exempt derivative securities. Neither the Fund nor its investment manager will independently review the bases for those tax opinions. If any of those tax opinions are ultimately determined to be incorrect or if events occur after the security is acquired that impact the security’s tax-exempt status, the Fund and its shareholders could be subject to substantial tax liabilities. The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has generally not ruled on the taxability of the securities. An assertion by the IRS that a portfolio security is not exempt from U.S. federal income tax (contrary to indications from the issuer) could affect the Fund’s and its shareholders’ income tax liability for the current or past years and could create liability for information reporting penalties. In addition, an IRS assertion of taxability may impair the liquidity and the fair market value of the securities.

 

 

Restricted Securities Risk Limitations on the resale of restricted securities may have an adverse effect on their marketability, and may prevent the Fund from disposing of them promptly at advantageous prices. Restricted securities may not be listed on an exchange and may have no active trading market. In order to sell such securities, the Fund may have to bear the expense of registering the securities for resale and the risk of substantial delays in effecting the registration. Other transaction costs may be higher for restricted securities than unrestricted securities. Restricted securities may be difficult to value because market quotations may not be readily available, and the securities may have significant volatility. Also, the Fund may get only limited information about the issuer of a given restricted security, and therefore may be less able to predict a loss. Certain restricted securities may involve a high degree of business and financial risk and may result in substantial losses to the Fund.

 

 

Reverse Repurchase Risk Reverse repurchase agreements involve the sale of securities held by the Fund with an agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon price, date and interest payment. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the other party may fail to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could lose money if it is unable to recover the securities and the value of the collateral held by the Fund, including the value of the investments made with cash collateral, is less than the value of the securities. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences to the Fund.

 

14


Account Information

 

 

 

How to Choose the Share Class that Best Suits Your Needs

 

The Fund currently offers multiple share classes (Service Shares in this prospectus), each with its own sales charge and expense structure, allowing you to invest in the way that best suits your needs. Each share class represents an ownership interest in the same investment portfolio of the Fund. When you choose your class of shares, you should consider the size of your investment and how long you plan to hold your shares. Either your financial professional or your selected securities dealer, broker, investment adviser, service provider or industry professional (including BlackRock and its affiliates) (each, a “Financial Intermediary”) can help you determine which share class is best suited to your personal financial goals.

The Fund’s shares are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”), an affiliate of BlackRock.

The table below summarizes key features of the Service Share class of the Fund.

 

     Service Shares at a Glance
Availability   Limited to certain investors whose beneficial owner is a natural person, including: Financial Intermediaries (such as banks and brokerage firms) acting on behalf of their customers, certain persons who were shareholders of the Compass Capital Group of Funds at the time of its combination with The PNC® Fund in 1996 and investors that participate in the Capital DirectionsSM asset allocation program. Service Shares will normally be held by Financial Intermediaries or in the name of nominees of Financial Intermediaries on behalf of their customers. Service Shares are normally purchased through a customer’s account at a Financial Intermediary through procedures established by such Financial Intermediary. In these cases, confirmation of share purchases and redemptions will be sent to the Financial Intermediaries. A customer’s ownership of shares will be recorded by the Financial Intermediary and reflected in the account statements provided by such Financial Intermediaries to their customers. Investors wishing to purchase Service Shares should contact their Financial Intermediaries.
Minimum Investment   $5,000. However, Financial Intermediaries may set a higher minimum for their customers.
Initial Sales Charge?   No. Entire purchase price is invested in shares of the Fund.
Deferred Sales Charge?   No.
Service and Distribution Fees?   No Distribution Fee. 0.25% Annual Service Fee.
Redemption Fees?   The Fund may impose a liquidity fee under certain limited circumstances. See “Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below.
Advantage   No up-front sales charge so you start off owning more shares.
Disadvantage   Limited availability.

Distribution and Shareholder Servicing Payments

 

Plan Payments

The Fund has adopted a plan (the “Plan”) with respect to Service Shares that allows the Fund to pay distribution and service fees for the sale of its shares and shareholder servicing fees for certain services provided to its shareholders. The Fund does not make distribution payments under the Plan with respect to Service Shares.

The shareholder servicing fees payable pursuant to the Plan are paid to compensate Financial Intermediaries for providing support services to their customers who own Service Shares, including responding to customer questions on the services performed by the Financial Intermediary and investments in Service Shares, assisting customers in choosing and changing dividend options, account designations and addresses and providing other similar shareholder liaison services. Because the fees paid by the Fund under the Plan are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment in the Service Shares of the Fund and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges.

 

15


Other Payments by the Fund

In addition to fees that the Fund may pay to a Financial Intermediary pursuant to the Plan and fees the Fund pays to its transfer agent, BlackRock, on behalf of the Fund, may enter into non-Plan agreements with affiliated and unaffiliated Financial Intermediaries pursuant to which the Fund will pay a Financial Intermediary for administrative, networking, recordkeeping, sub-transfer agency, sub-accounting and/or shareholder services. These non-Plan payments are generally based on either (1) a percentage of the average daily net assets of Fund shareholders serviced by a Financial Intermediary or (2) a fixed dollar amount for each account serviced by a Financial Intermediary. The aggregate amount of these payments may be substantial.

Other Payments by BlackRock

From time to time, BlackRock, the Distributor or their affiliates also may pay a portion of the fees for administrative, networking, recordkeeping, sub-transfer agency, sub-accounting and shareholder services described above at its or their own expense and out of its or their profits. BlackRock, the Distributor and their affiliates may also compensate affiliated and unaffiliated Financial Intermediaries for the sale and distribution of shares of the Fund. These payments would be in addition to the Fund payments described in this prospectus and may be a fixed dollar amount, may be based on the number of customer accounts maintained by the Financial Intermediary, may be based on a percentage of the value of shares sold to, or held by, customers of the Financial Intermediary or may be calculated on another basis. The aggregate amount of these payments by BlackRock, the Distributor and their affiliates may be substantial and, in some circumstances, may create an incentive for a Financial Intermediary, its employees or associated persons to recommend or sell shares of the Fund to you.

Please contact your Financial Intermediary for details about payments it may receive from the Fund or from BlackRock, the Distributor or their affiliates. For more information, see the Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”).

How to Buy, Sell and Transfer Shares

 

The chart on the following pages summarizes how to buy, sell and transfer shares through your Financial Intermediary. You may also buy, sell and transfer shares through BlackRock, if your account is held directly with BlackRock. To learn more about buying, selling or transferring shares through BlackRock, call (800) 537-4942. Because the selection of a mutual fund involves many considerations, your Financial Intermediary may help you with this decision.

With certain limited exceptions, the Fund is generally available only to investors residing in the United States and may not be distributed by a foreign Financial Intermediary. Under this policy, in order to accept new accounts or additional investments into existing accounts, the Fund generally requires that (i) a shareholder that is a natural person be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, in each case residing within the United States or a U.S. territory (including APO/FPO/DPO addresses), and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number, and (ii) a Financial Intermediary or a shareholder that is an entity be domiciled in the United States and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number or be domiciled in a U.S. territory and have a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number or IRS Form W-8. Any existing account that is updated to reflect a non-U.S. address will also be restricted from making additional investments.

The Fund may reject any purchase order, modify or waive the minimum initial or subsequent investment requirements for any shareholders and suspend and resume the sale of any share class of the Fund at any time for any reason. In addition, the Fund may waive certain requirements regarding the purchase, sale or transfer of shares described below and on the following pages.

The Fund is a retail money market fund and is intended only for sale to beneficial owners who are natural persons. Natural persons may invest in the Fund through certain tax-advantaged savings accounts, trusts and other retirement and investment accounts, which may include, among others: participant-directed defined contribution plans; individual retirement accounts; simplified employee pension arrangements; simple retirement accounts; custodial accounts; deferred compensation plans for government or tax-exempt organization employees; Archer medical savings accounts; college savings plans; health savings account plans; ordinary trusts and estates of natural persons; or certain other retirement and investment accounts with ultimate investment authority held by the natural person beneficial owner, notwithstanding having an institutional decision maker making day to day decisions (e.g., a plan sponsor in certain retirement arrangements or an investment adviser managing discretionary investment accounts). Financial Intermediaries are required to adopt and implement policies, procedures and internal controls reasonably designed to limit all beneficial owners of the Fund to natural persons. Financial Intermediaries are expected to promptly report to the Fund the existence of any shareholder of the Fund that does not qualify as a natural person of whom they are aware, promptly notify such shareholder, and take steps to redeem any such shareholder’s Fund shares.

The Fund reserves the right to redeem shares in any account that it cannot confirm to its satisfaction is beneficially owned by a natural person, after providing at least 60 days’ advance notice. Under certain circumstances, if no activity occurs in an account within a time period specified by state law, a shareholder’s shares in the Fund may be transferred to that state.

 

16


Persons who were shareholders of an investment portfolio of the Compass Capital Group of Funds in 1996 at the time the portfolio combined with The PNC® Fund may purchase and redeem Service Shares of the same fund and for the same account in which they held shares on that date through the procedures described in this section.

 

How to Buy Shares
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Initial Purchase   Determine the amount of your investment       Refer to the minimum initial investment in the “Service Shares at a Glance” table of this prospectus.
    Have your Financial Intermediary submit your purchase order      

Purchase orders received by the Fund’s transfer agent, BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. (the “Transfer Agent”), before 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on each business day will be priced based on the next NAV calculated on that day, and if you send your payment by Federal funds or other immediately available funds no later than the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)) you will receive that day’s dividends.

 

NAV is calculated separately for each class of shares of the Fund as of the close of business on the New York Stock Exchange (“Exchange”), generally 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time), each business day. Shares will be priced on days that both the Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are open (each such day, a “business day”). The Fund may elect, in its discretion if it is determined to be in shareholders’ best interest, to be open on days when the Exchange is closed due to an emergency. Both the Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are closed on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Currently the only scheduled days on which the Exchange is open and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is closed are Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day. The only scheduled day on which the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is open and the Exchange is closed is Good Friday.

 

Purchase orders placed after 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) will be priced at the NAV determined on the next business day.

 

A broker-dealer or financial institution maintaining the account in which you hold shares may charge a separate account, service or transaction fee on the purchase or sale of Fund shares that would be in addition to the fees and expenses shown in the Fund’s “Fees and Expenses” table.

 

The Fund may reject any order to buy shares and may suspend the sale of shares at any time, including when a redemption gate is in place (see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” below). Financial Intermediaries may charge a processing fee to confirm a purchase.

Add to Your Investment   Purchase additional shares       There is no minimum amount for additional investments.
  Have your Financial Intermediary submit your purchase order for additional shares       To purchase additional shares you may contact your Financial Intermediary.
    Or contact BlackRock (for accounts held directly with BlackRock)      

Purchase by Telephone: Call the Fund at (800) 537-4942 and speak with one of our representatives. The Fund has the right to reject any telephone request for any reason.

 

Purchase by Internet: You may purchase your shares and view activity in your account by logging onto the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com. Purchases made on the Internet using the Automated Clearing House Network (“ACH”) will have a trade date that is the day after the purchase is made. Certain clients’ purchase orders of Service Shares placed prior to the close of business on the Exchange will be priced at the NAV determined that day. Contact your Financial Intermediary or BlackRock for further information. Limits on amounts that may be purchased via Internet may vary. For additional information, call BlackRock at (800) 537-4942.

 

17


How to Buy Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know

Add to Your Investment

(continued)

  Or contact BlackRock (for accounts held directly with BlackRock) (continued)    

 

 

Please read the On-Line Services Disclosure Statement and User Agreement, the Terms and Conditions page and the Consent to Electronic Delivery Agreement (if you consent to electronic delivery), before attempting to transact online.

 

The Fund employs reasonable procedures to confirm that transactions entered over the Internet are genuine. By entering into the User Agreement with the Fund in order to open an account through the website, the shareholder waives any right to reclaim any losses from the Fund or any of its affiliates, incurred through fraudulent activity.

    Acquire additional shares by reinvesting dividends and capital gains       All dividends and capital gains distributions are automatically reinvested without a sales charge. To make any changes to your dividend and/or capital gains distributions options, please call BlackRock at (800) 537-4942, or contact your Financial Intermediary (if your account is not held directly with BlackRock).
How to Pay for Shares   Making payment for purchases       Payment for Service Shares must normally be made in Federal funds or other immediately available funds by your Financial Intermediary, but in no event later than the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)). Payment may also, at the discretion of the Fund, be made in the form of securities that are permissible investments for the Fund. If payment is not received by this time, the order will be canceled and you and your Financial Intermediary will be responsible for any loss to the Fund.
How to Sell Shares
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Full or Partial
Redemption of
Shares
  Have your Financial Intermediary submit your sales order      

You can make redemption requests through your Financial Intermediary in accordance with the procedures applicable to your accounts. These procedures may vary according to the type of account and the Financial Intermediary involved and customers should consult their Financial Intermediary in this regard. Financial Intermediaries are responsible for transmitting redemption orders and crediting their customers’ accounts with redemption proceeds on a timely basis.

 

Information relating to such redemption services and charges to process a redemption of shares, if any, should be obtained by customers from their Financial Intermediaries. Financial Intermediaries may place redemption orders by telephoning (800) 537-4942. The price of your shares is based on the next calculation of the Fund’s NAV after your order is placed. For your redemption request to be priced at the NAV on the day of your request, you must submit your request to your Financial Intermediary prior to that day’s close of business on the Exchange (generally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time). Certain Financial Intermediaries, however, may require submission of orders prior to that time. Any redemption request placed after that time will be priced at the NAV at the close of business on the next business day.

 

Financial Intermediaries may charge a fee to process a redemption of shares. Shareholders should indicate which class of shares they are redeeming.

 

The Fund may reject an order to sell shares under certain circumstances.

 

 

 

Selling shares held directly with BlackRock

   

 

 

Methods of Redeeming

Redeem by Telephone: Shareholders may place redemption orders by telephoning (800) 537-4942.

 

The Fund, its administrators and the Distributor will employ reasonable procedures to confirm that instructions communicated by telephone are genuine. The Fund and its service providers will not be liable for any loss, liability, cost or expense for acting upon telephone instructions that are reasonably believed to be genuine in accordance with such procedures. The Fund may refuse a telephone redemption request if it believes it is advisable to do so.

 

18


How to Sell Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Full or Partial
Redemption of
Shares (continued)
  Selling shares held directly with BlackRock (continued)    

 

 

 

During periods of substantial economic or market change, telephone redemptions may be difficult to complete. Please find below alternative redemption methods.

 

Redeem by Internet: You may redeem in your account, by logging onto the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com. Proceeds from Internet redemptions will be sent via wire to the bank account of record.

 

Redeem in Writing: Redemption requests may be sent in proper form to BlackRock Funds, P.O. Box 9819, Providence, RI 02940-8019, or for overnight delivery, 4400 Computer Drive, Westborough, Massachusetts 01581. Under certain circumstances, a medallion signature guarantee will be required.

 

Payment of Redemption Proceeds

Redemption proceeds may be paid by check or, if the Fund has verified banking information on file, by wire transfer.

 

Payment by Check: BlackRock will typically mail redemption proceeds one business day following receipt of a properly completed request, but in any event, within seven days. Shares can be redeemed by telephone and the proceeds sent by check to the shareholder at the address on record. Shareholders will pay $15 for redemption proceeds sent by check via overnight mail. You are responsible for any additional charges imposed by your bank for this service.

 

The Fund reserves the right to reinvest any dividend or distribution amounts (e.g., income dividends or capital gains) which you have elected to receive by check should your check be returned as undeliverable or remain uncashed for more than 6 months. No interest will accrue on amounts represented by uncashed checks. Your check will be reinvested in your account at the NAV next calculated, on the day of the investment. When reinvested, those amounts are subject to the risk of loss like any fund investment. If you elect to receive distributions in cash and a check remains undeliverable or uncashed for more than 6 months, your cash election may also be changed automatically to reinvest and your future dividend and capital gains distributions will be reinvested in the Fund at the NAV as of the date of payment of the distribution.

 

Payment by Wire Transfer: Proceeds for redeemed shares for which a redemption order is received before 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on a business day are normally paid in Federal funds wired to the redeeming shareholder on the same business day, provided that the Fund’s custodian is also open for business. Proceeds for redemption orders received on a day when the Fund’s custodian is closed are normally wired in Federal funds on the next business day following redemption on which the Fund’s custodian is open for business. The Fund reserves the right to wire redemption proceeds within seven days after receiving a redemption order if, in the judgment of the Fund, an earlier payment could adversely affect the Fund.

 

Shares can be redeemed by Federal wire transfer to a single previously designated bank account. No charge for wiring redemption proceeds with respect to Service Shares is imposed by the Fund, although Financial Intermediaries may charge their customers for redemption services. Information relating to such redemption services and charges, if any, should be obtained by customers from their Financial Intermediaries. You are responsible for any additional charges imposed by your bank for wire transfers.

 

The Fund is not responsible for the efficiency of the Federal wire system or the shareholder’s firm or bank. To change the name of the single, designated bank account to receive wire redemption proceeds, it is necessary to send a written request to the Fund at the address on the back cover of this prospectus.

 

***

 

19


How to Sell Shares (continued)
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Full or Partial
Redemption of
Shares (continued)
  Selling shares held directly with BlackRock (continued)    

 

 

 

If you make a redemption request before the Fund has collected payment for the purchase of shares, the Fund may delay sending your proceeds. This delay will usually not exceed ten days.

 

Please see “Account Information — Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates” for more information.

 

Under normal and stressed market conditions, the Fund typically expects to meet redemption requests by using cash or cash equivalents in its portfolio or by selling portfolio assets to generate additional cash.

How to Transfer Your Account
     Your Choices        Important Information for You to Know
Transfer Shares to
Another Financial
Intermediary
  Transfer to a participating Financial Intermediary      

You may transfer your shares of the Fund only to another Financial Intermediary that has entered into an agreement with the Distributor. Certain shareholder services may not be available for the transferred shares. All future trading of these assets must be coordinated by the receiving firm.

 

If your account is held directly with BlackRock, you may call (800) 537-4942 with any questions; otherwise please contact your Financial Intermediary to accomplish the transfer of your Service Shares.

    Transfer to a non-participating Financial Intermediary      

You must either:

•  Transfer your Service Shares to an account with the Fund; or

•  Sell your Service Shares, paying any applicable deferred sales charge.

 

If your account is held directly with BlackRock, you may call (800) 537-4942 with any questions; otherwise please contact your Financial Intermediary to accomplish the transfer of your Service Shares.

Fund’s Rights

 

The Fund may:

 

 

Suspend the right of redemption if trading is halted or restricted on the Exchange or under other emergency conditions described in the Investment Company Act;

 

 

Postpone the date of payment upon redemption if trading is halted or restricted on the Exchange or under other emergency conditions described in the Investment Company Act or if a redemption request is made before the Fund has collected payment for the purchase of shares;

 

 

Redeem shares for property other than cash as may be permitted under the Investment Company Act; and

 

 

Redeem shares involuntarily in certain cases, such as when the value of a shareholder account falls below a specified level or if the Fund does not believe the account is for a natural person.

Suspension of Redemptions Upon Liquidation. If the Board, including a majority of the trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the Investment Company Act, determines either that (1) the Fund has invested, at the end of a business day, less than 10% of its total assets in weekly liquid assets, or (2) the Fund’s calculated NAV per share has deviated from $1.00 or such deviation is likely to occur; then the Board, subject to certain conditions, may, where the Board has determined to liquidate the Fund irrevocably, suspend redemptions and payment of redemption proceeds in order to facilitate the permanent liquidation of the Fund in an orderly manner. If this were to occur, it would likely result in a delay in your receipt of your redemption proceeds.

Note on Low Balance Accounts. Because of the high cost of maintaining smaller shareholder accounts, BlackRock has set a minimum balance of $500 in each Fund position you hold within your account (the “Fund Minimum”), and may redeem the shares in your account if the NAV of those shares in your account falls below $500 for any reason, including market fluctuation.

You will be notified that the value of your account is less than the Fund Minimum before the Fund makes any involuntary redemption. This notification will provide you with a 90 calendar day period to make an additional investment in order to bring the value of your account to at least $500 before the Fund makes an involuntary redemption. This involuntary redemption will not charge any deferred sales charge, and may not apply to accounts of certain employer-sponsored retirement plans (not including IRAs), qualified state tuition plan (529 Plan) accounts, and select fee-based programs at your Financial Intermediary.

 

20


Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates

 

Under Rule 2a-7, the Board is permitted to impose a liquidity fee up to 2% on the value of shares redeemed or temporarily restrict redemptions from the Fund for up to 10 business days during a 90 day period, in the event that the Fund’s weekly liquid assets fall below the following thresholds:

 

 

30% weekly liquid assets — If the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 30% of the Fund’s total assets, and the Board determines it is in the best interests of the Fund, the Board may impose at any time, and as early as the same day, a liquidity fee of up to 2% of the amount redeemed, or a redemption gate that temporarily suspends the right of redemption.

 

 

10% weekly liquid assets — If the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 10% of the Fund’s total assets as of the end of a business day, the Board will impose, at the beginning of the next business day, a liquidity fee of 1% of the amount redeemed, unless the Board determines that imposing such a fee would not be in the best interests of the Fund or determines that a lower or higher fee (not to exceed 2%) would be in the best interests of the Fund.

Liquidity fees and redemption gates, if imposed, may be terminated at any time in the discretion of the Board. Liquidity fees and redemption gates will also automatically terminate at the beginning of the next business day once the Fund has invested 30% or more of its total assets in weekly liquid assets as of the end of a business day.

If the Board imposes a liquidity fee, the fee will be used to help boost the weekly liquid assets of the Fund. The Fund may not accept purchases during the period that a liquidity fee has been imposed.

If the Board imposes a redemption gate, the Fund will not accept purchase or redemption orders until the Fund has notified shareholders that the redemption gate has been lifted. Any purchase or redemption orders submitted while a redemption gate is in effect will be cancelled without further notice. If you still wish to purchase or redeem shares once the redemption gate has been lifted, you will need to submit a new purchase or redemption request to the Fund or your Financial Intermediary. If a purchase or redemption order is received after the applicable deadline of the Fund, but prior to the imposition of a liquidity fee or a redemption gate, such order will be cancelled without further notice.

Under certain circumstances, the Fund may honor redemption orders (or pay redemptions without adding a liquidity fee to the redemption amount) if the Fund can verify that the redemption order was submitted to the Fund’s authorized agent before the Board imposed a liquidity fee or suspended redemptions.

The Board generally expects that a liquidity fee or redemption gate would be imposed, if at all, during periods of extraordinary market stress. The Board expects that a liquidity fee or redemption gate would typically be imposed only after the Fund has notified Financial Intermediaries and shareholders that a liquidity fee or redemption gate will be imposed (which may not be until the beginning of the next business day following the announcement that the Board has imposed the liquidity fee or redemption gate). However, the Board may, in its discretion, impose a liquidity fee or redemption gate at any time after the weekly liquid assets of the Fund fall below 30% of the Fund’s total assets.

Announcements regarding the imposition of a liquidity fee or redemption gate, or the termination of a liquidity fee or redemption gate, will be filed with the SEC on Form N-CR and will be available on the website of the Fund (www.blackrock.com/cash). In addition, the Fund will make such announcements through a supplement to its registration statement and may further communicate such actions through other means.

Financial Intermediaries will be required promptly to take such actions reasonably requested by the Fund or its agent to implement, modify or remove, or to assist the Fund in implementing, modifying or removing, a liquidity fee or redemption gate established by the Board.

Short-Term Trading Policy

 

Market timing is an investment technique involving frequent short-term trading of mutual fund shares designed to exploit market movements or inefficiencies in the way a mutual fund prices its shares. The Board has evaluated the risks of market timing activities by the Fund’s shareholders and has determined that due to (i) the Fund’s policy of seeking to maintain the Fund’s NAV per share at $1.00 each day, (ii) the nature of the Fund’s portfolio holdings, and (iii) the nature of the Fund’s shareholders, it is unlikely that (a) market timing would be attempted by the Fund’s shareholders or (b) any attempts to market time the Fund by shareholders would result in a negative impact to the Fund or its shareholders. As a result, the Board has not adopted policies and procedures to deter short-term trading in the Fund. There can be no assurances, however, that the Fund may not, on occasion, serve as a temporary or short-term investment vehicle for those who seek to market time funds offered by other investment companies.

Master/Feeder Structure

 

The Fund may in the future determine to become a “feeder” fund that invests all of its assets in another open-end investment company (a “master fund”) that has the same investment objective and strategies as the Fund. This

 

21


structure is sometimes called a “master/feeder” structure. Investors in a feeder fund will acquire an indirect interest in the corresponding master fund. In a master/feeder structure, all investments will be made at the master level and the Fund’s investment results will correspond directly to the investment results of the underlying master in which it invests. A feeder fund may withdraw from its master fund at any time and may invest all of its assets in another pooled investment vehicle or retain an investment adviser to manage its assets directly.

A master fund may accept investments from other feeder funds, and all the feeder funds of a given master fund bear the master fund’s expenses in proportion to their assets. This structure may enable the feeder funds to reduce costs through economies of scale. A larger investment portfolio may also reduce certain transaction costs to the extent that contributions to and redemptions from a master fund from different feeder funds may offset each other and produce a lower net cash flow.

However, each feeder fund can set its own transaction minimums, fund specific expenses, and other conditions. This means that one feeder fund could offer access to the same master fund on more attractive terms, or could experience better performance, than another feeder fund. In addition, large purchases or redemptions by one feeder fund could negatively affect the performance of other feeder funds that invest in the same master fund.

Whenever a master fund holds a vote of its feeder funds, a fund that is a feeder fund investing in that master fund will pass the vote through to its own shareholders. Smaller feeder funds may be harmed by the actions of larger feeder funds. For example, a larger feeder fund could have more voting power than a fund that is a feeder fund over the operations of its master fund.

 

22


Management of the Fund

 

 

 

BlackRock

 

BlackRock, the Fund’s investment adviser, manages the Fund’s investments and its business operations subject to the oversight of the Board. While BlackRock is ultimately responsible for the management of the Fund, it is able to draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates for portfolio decisions and management with respect to certain portfolio securities. BlackRock is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc.

BlackRock, a registered investment adviser, was organized in 1994 to perform advisory services for investment companies. BlackRock and its affiliates had approximately $[ ] trillion in investment company and other portfolio assets under management as of March 31, 2020.

BlackRock serves as manager to the Fund pursuant to a management agreement (the “Management Agreement”), which provides that BlackRock is entitled to fees computed daily and payable monthly. The maximum annual management fee rate that the Fund can pay to BlackRock (as a percentage of average daily net assets) is calculated as follows:

 

Average Daily Net Assets

   Rate of
Management Fee

First $1 billion

       0.450 %

$1 billion – $2 billion

       0.400 %

$2 billion – $3 billion

       0.375 %

Greater than $3 billion

       0.350 %

BlackRock has contractually agreed to cap net expenses (excluding: (i) interest, taxes, dividends tied to short sales, brokerage commissions, and other expenditures which are capitalized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; (ii) expenses incurred directly or indirectly by the Fund as a result of investments in other investment companies and pooled investment vehicles; (iii) other expenses attributable to, and incurred as a result of, the Fund’s investments; and (iv) extraordinary expenses (including litigation expenses) not incurred in the ordinary course of the Fund’s business, if any) of Service Shares of the Fund at the levels shown below and in the Fund’s fees and expenses table in the “Fund Overview” section of this prospectus. Items (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) in the preceding sentence are referred to in this prospectus as “Dividend Expense, Interest Expense, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses and certain other Fund expenses.” To achieve this expense cap, BlackRock has agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses if these operating expenses exceed a certain limit.

With respect to the Fund, BlackRock has contractually agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses to the amount noted in the table below.

 

      Contractual Cap1 on
Total Annual
Operating Expenses2
(excluding Dividend
Expense, Interest
Expense, Acquired Fund
Fees and Expenses and
certain other
Fund expenses)
  Total Annual Fund
Operating Expenses2
after giving effect to all
applicable expense
limitation provisions
(excluding Dividend
Expense, Interest Expense,
Acquired Fund Fees and
Expenses and certain other
Fund Expenses)

Service Shares

       0.50 %       [     ]%

 

1  The contractual cap is in effect through July 31, 2021. The contractual agreement may be terminated upon 90 days’ notice by a majority of the non-interested trustees of the Trust or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

 

2  As a percentage of average daily net assets.

BlackRock and the Distributor have voluntarily agreed to waive a portion of their respective fees and/or reimburse operating expenses to enable the Fund to maintain minimum levels of daily net investment income. BlackRock and the Distributor may discontinue this voluntary waiver and/or reimbursement at any time without notice.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, the Fund paid BlackRock aggregate management fees, net of any applicable waivers, equal to [    ]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets.

 

23


A discussion of the basis for the Board’s approval of the Management Agreement with respect to the Fund is included in the Fund’s semi-annual shareholder report for the fiscal period ended September 30, 2019.

From time to time, a manager, analyst, or other employee of BlackRock or its affiliates may express views regarding a particular asset class, company, security, industry, or market sector. The views expressed by any such person are the views of only that individual as of the time expressed and do not necessarily represent the views of BlackRock or any other person within the BlackRock organization. Any such views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and BlackRock disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views may not be relied on as investment advice and, because investment decisions for the Fund are based on numerous factors, may not be relied on as an indication of trading intent on behalf of the Fund.

BlackRock or its affiliates will use at least 5% of BlackRock’s net revenue from its management fee from the Fund to purchase and then retire carbon credits either directly or through a third-party organization. These purchases will be made at least annually, with BlackRock maintaining the option to increase, decrease or terminate these purchases in its sole discretion at any time.

Additionally, BlackRock may at its discretion enter into a license agreement (a “License Agreement”) with one or more charitable organizations that is tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 from time to time. Pursuant to the relevant License Agreement, the charitable organization would grant BlackRock a license permitting BlackRock to use the charitable organization’s name and logo. BlackRock will pay a license fee to each such charitable organization for such use. No charitable organization will provide any investment advisory services to BlackRock or the Fund or participate in, or have any influence on, the day-to-day operations of, the Fund.

Legal Proceedings. On May 27, 2014, certain investors in the BlackRock Global Allocation Fund, Inc. (“Global Allocation”) and the BlackRock Equity Dividend Fund (“Equity Dividend”) filed a consolidated complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against BlackRock Advisors, LLC, BlackRock Investment Management, LLC and BlackRock International Limited (collectively, the “Defendants”) under the caption In re BlackRock Mutual Funds Advisory Fee Litigation. In the lawsuit, which purports to be brought derivatively on behalf of Global Allocation and Equity Dividend, the plaintiffs allege that the Defendants violated Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act by receiving allegedly excessive investment advisory fees from Global Allocation and Equity Dividend. On June 13, 2018, the court granted in part and denied in part the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. On July 25, 2018, the plaintiffs served a pleading that supplemented the time period of their alleged damages to run through the date of trial. The lawsuit seeks, among other things, to recover on behalf of Global Allocation and Equity Dividend all allegedly excessive advisory fees received by the Defendants beginning twelve months preceding the start of the lawsuit with respect to each of Global Allocation and Equity Dividend and ending on the date of judgment, along with purported lost investment returns on those amounts, plus interest. The Defendants believe the claims in the lawsuit are without merit. The trial on the remaining issues was completed on August 29, 2018. On February 8, 2019, the court issued an order dismissing the claims in their entirety. On March 8, 2019, the plaintiffs provided notice that they are appealing both the February 8, 2019 post-trial order and the June 13, 2018 order partially granting Defendants’ motion for summary judgment.

Conflicts of Interest

 

The investment activities of BlackRock and its affiliates (including BlackRock, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Affiliates”)), The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (which, through a subsidiary, has a significant economic interest

in BlackRock, Inc.) and its subsidiaries (each with The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., an “Entity” and collectively, the “Entities”) and their respective directors, officers and employees, in the management of, or their interest in, their own accounts and other accounts they manage, may present conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders.

BlackRock, its Affiliates and the Entities provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow investment programs similar to that of the Fund. BlackRock, its Affiliates and the Entities are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. BlackRock or one or more Affiliates or Entities act or may act as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, commodity pool operator, commodity trading advisor, financier, underwriter, adviser, market maker, trader, prime broker, lender, index provider, agent and/or principal, and have other direct and indirect interests in securities, currencies, commodities, derivatives and other instruments in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. Thus, it is likely that the Fund will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from, entities for which an Affiliate or an Entity performs or seeks to perform investment banking or other services. Specifically, the Fund may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies with which an Affiliate or an Entity has developed or is trying to develop investment banking relationships or in which an Affiliate or an Entity has significant debt or equity investments or other interests. The Fund may also invest in issuances (such as

 

24


structured notes) by entities for which an Affiliate or an Entity provides and is compensated for cash management services relating to the proceeds from the sale of such issuances. The Fund also may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies for which an Affiliate or an Entity provides or may in the future provide research coverage. An Affiliate or Entity may have business relationships with, and purchase, or distribute or sell services or products from or to, distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Fund or who engage in transactions with or for the Fund, and may receive compensation for such services. The Fund may also make brokerage and other payments to Entities in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions. BlackRock or one or more Affiliates or Entities may engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds that have investment objectives similar to those of the Fund and/or that engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and other instruments as the Fund. This may include transactions in securities issued by other open-end and closed-end investment companies (which may include investment companies that are affiliated with the Fund and BlackRock, to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act). The trading activities of BlackRock and these Affiliates or Entities are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BlackRock or an Affiliate or an Entity having positions in certain securities that are senior or junior to, or have interests different from or adverse to, the securities that are owned by the Fund.

Neither BlackRock nor any Affiliate is under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, an Affiliate may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. The results of the Fund’s investment activities, therefore, may differ from those of an Affiliate and of other accounts managed by an Affiliate, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more Affiliates and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The opposite result is also possible.

In addition, the Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BlackRock or an Affiliate or an Entity or their directors, officers or employees or other clients have an adverse interest. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by clients advised or managed by BlackRock, its Affiliates or Entities may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more clients or BlackRock, its Affiliates or Entities or their directors, officers or employees, may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund. The Fund’s activities may be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to BlackRock, one or more Affiliates or Entities and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions.

Under a securities lending program approved by the Board, the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has retained BlackRock Investment Management, LLC, an Affiliate of BlackRock, to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund participates in the securities lending program. For these services, the securities lending agent will receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for the loaned securities. In addition, one or more Affiliates or Entities may be among the entities to which the Fund may lend its portfolio securities under the securities lending program.

The activities of BlackRock, its Affiliates and Entities and their respective directors, officers or employees, may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BlackRock has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the SAI for further information.

Valuation of Fund Investments

 

A mutual fund is a pool of investors’ money that is used to purchase a portfolio of securities, which in turn is owned in common by the investors. Investors put money into a mutual fund by buying shares. If a mutual fund has a portfolio worth $5 million and has 5 million shares outstanding, the NAV per share is $1.00. When you buy Service Shares you pay the NAV per share. Although the Fund seeks to maintain an NAV of $1.00 per share, there is no guarantee it will be able to do so.

The Fund’s investments are valued based on the amortized cost method described in the SAI.

The Transfer Agent will probably receive your order from your registered representative, who takes your order. However, you can also fill out a purchase application and mail it to the Transfer Agent with your check. Please call (800) 537-4942 for a purchase application. Purchase orders received by the Transfer Agent before 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on each business day will be priced based on the next NAV calculated on that day, and if you send your payment by Federal funds or other immediately available funds no later than the close of the federal funds wire (normally 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)) you will receive that day’s dividends.

The NAV is calculated separately for each class of shares of the Fund as of the close of business on the Exchange, generally 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time), each business day. Shares will not be priced on days the Exchange or the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are closed. The Fund may elect, in its discretion if it is determined to be in shareholders’ best interest, to be open on days when the Exchange is closed due to an emergency.

 

25


Dividends, Distributions and Taxes

 

Distributions of net investment income derived by the Fund, if any, are declared daily and paid at least monthly and net realized capital gains, if any, will be distributed at least annually. Dividends will be reinvested automatically in the form of additional shares of the same class of the Fund at NAV without a sales charge, unless you instruct the Transfer Agent in writing to pay them in cash. Dividends that are declared but unpaid will remain in the gross assets of the Fund and will, therefore, continue to earn income for the Fund’s shareholders. Shareholders redeeming their shares will receive all dividends declared through the date immediately preceding the date of redemption. The Fund anticipates that a significant amount of the distributions may be taxed as ordinary income, although the Fund may distribute capital gains as well. Capital gains may be taxable to you at different rates depending on how long the Fund held the assets sold.

You will pay tax on dividends from the Fund whether you receive them in cash or additional shares. If you redeem Fund shares or exchange them for shares of another fund, you generally will be treated as having sold your shares and any gain on the transaction may be subject to tax. Fund distributions derived from qualified dividend income, which consists of dividends received from U.S. corporations and qualifying foreign corporations, and from long-term capital gains are eligible for taxation at a maximum rate of 15% or 20% for individuals, depending on whether their income exceeds certain threshold amounts, which are adjusted annually for inflation.

If the Fund imposes a liquidity fee on share redemptions because of a drop in the Fund’s weekly liquid assets below certain levels, the amount that would ordinarily be payable to a redeeming shareholder of the Fund will be reduced, consequently reducing the amount of gain, or increasing the amount of loss, that would otherwise be reportable for income tax purposes. The liquidity fee cannot be separately claimed as a deduction.

Any such liquidity fee will constitute an asset of the Fund and will serve to benefit non-redeeming shareholders. However, the Fund does not intend to distribute such fees to non-redeeming shareholders. If the Fund receives liquidity fees, it will consider the appropriate tax treatment of such fees to the Fund at such time.

If the value of assets held by the Fund declines, the Board may authorize a reduction in the number of outstanding shares in shareholders’ accounts so as to preserve a net asset value of $1.00 per share. After such a reduction, the basis of eliminated shares would be added to the basis of shareholders’ remaining Fund shares, and you could recognize a capital loss if you disposed of your shares at that time. Dividends, including dividends reinvested in additional shares of the Fund, will nonetheless be fully taxable, even if the number of shares in your account has been reduced as described above.

A 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on the net investment income (which includes, but is not limited to, interest, dividends and net gain from investments) of U.S. individuals with income exceeding $200,000, or $250,000 if married filing jointly, and of trusts and estates.

Your dividends and redemption proceeds will be subject to backup withholding tax if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number or the number you have provided is incorrect.

If you are neither a tax resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a foreign entity (other than a pass-through entity to the extent owned by U.S. persons), the Fund’s ordinary income dividends will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies. However, certain distributions reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends, interest-related dividends or short-term capital gain dividends and paid to a foreign shareholder may be eligible for an exemption from U.S. withholding tax.

Separately, a 30% withholding tax is currently imposed on U.S.-source dividends, interest and other income items paid to (i) certain foreign financial institutions and investment funds, and (ii) certain other foreign entities. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions and investment funds will generally either need to (a) collect and report to the IRS detailed information identifying their U.S. accounts and U.S. account holders, comply with due diligence procedures for identifying U.S. accounts and withhold tax on certain payments made to noncomplying foreign entities and account holders or (b) if an intergovernmental agreement is entered into and implementing legislation is adopted, comply with the agreement and legislation. Other foreign entities will generally either need to provide detailed information identifying each substantial U.S. owner or certify there are no such owners.

This section summarizes some of the consequences under current federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for individualized tax advice. Consult your tax adviser about the potential tax consequences of an investment in the Fund under all applicable tax laws.

 

26


Financial Highlights

 

The Financial Highlights table is intended to help you understand the Fund’s financial performance for the periods shown. Certain information reflects the financial results for a single Fund share. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned or lost on an investment in the Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and/or distributions). The information for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 has been audited by [                ], whose report, along with the Fund’s audited financial statements, is included in the Fund’s Annual Report. The information for the fiscal period ended September 30, 2019 is unaudited and is included in the Fund’s Semi-Annual Report. The Fund’s Annual Report and Semi-Annual Report are available on request.

 

     Service  
     Six Months Ended
September 30, 2019
(Unaudited)
    Year Ended March 31,  
(For a share outstanding throughout each period)   2019     2018     2017     2016     2015  

Net asset value, beginning of year

   $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00  

Net investment income

     0.0100       0.0185       0.0092       0.0009       0.0008       0.0000 (a) 

Net realized gain

     0.0000 (a)      0.0000 (a)      0.0001       0.0024       0.0001       0.0000 (a) 

Net increase from investment operations

     0.01000       0.0185       0.0093       0.0033       0.0009       0.0000  

Distributions(b)

            

From net investment income

     (0.0100     (0.0185     (0.0093     (0.0009     (0.0008     (0.0000 )(c) 

From net realized gain

           (0.0000 )(c)            (0.0024     (0.0001     (0.0000 )(c) 

Total distributions

     (0.0100     (0.0185     (0.0093     (0.0033     (0.0009     (0.0000

Net asset value, end of year

   $ 1.00 (e)    $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00     $ 1.00  

Total Return(d)

                                                

Based on net asset value

     1.00 %(f)      1.87     0.93     0.33     0.09     0.00

Ratios to Average Net Assets

                                                

Total expenses

     0.85 %(f)      0.83     0.86     0.89     0.85     0.90

Total expenses after fees waived and/or reimbursed

     0.50 %(f)      0.47     0.50     0.50     0.27     0.22

Net investment income

     2.00 %(f)      1.87     0.92     0.09     0.10     0.00

Supplemental Data

                                                

Net assets, end of year (000)

   $ 4,349     $ 6,152     $ 5,655     $ 6,191     $ 520,139     $ 428,033  
(a) 

Amount is less than $0.00005 per share.

(b) 

Distributions for annual periods determined in accordance with U.S. federal income tax regulations.

(c) 

Amount is greater than $(0.00005) per share.

(d) 

Where applicable, assumes the reinvestment of distributions.

(e) 

Aggregate total return.

(f) 

Annualized.

 

27


General Information

 

 

 

Shareholder Documents

 

Electronic Access to Annual Reports, Semi-Annual Reports and Prospectuses

Electronic copies of most financial reports and prospectuses are available on BlackRock’s website. Shareholders can sign up for e-mail notifications of annual and semi-annual reports and prospectuses by enrolling in the Fund’s electronic delivery program. To enroll:

Shareholders Who Hold Accounts with Investment Advisers, Banks or Brokerages: Please contact your Financial Intermediary. Please note that not all investment advisers, banks or brokerages may offer this service.

Shareholders Who Hold Accounts Directly With BlackRock:

 

Access the BlackRock website at http://www.blackrock.com/edelivery; and

 

 

Log into your account

Delivery of Shareholder Documents

The Fund delivers only one copy of shareholder documents, including prospectuses, shareholder reports and proxy statements, to shareholders with multiple accounts at the same address. This practice is known as “householding” and is intended to eliminate duplicate mailings and reduce expenses. Mailings of your shareholder documents may be householded indefinitely unless you instruct us otherwise. If you do not want the mailing of these documents to be combined with those for other members of your household, please contact the Fund at (800) 537-4942.

Certain Fund Policies

 

Anti-Money Laundering Requirements

The Fund is subject to the USA PATRIOT Act (the “Patriot Act”). The Patriot Act is intended to prevent the use of the U.S. financial system in furtherance of money laundering, terrorism or other illicit activities. Pursuant to requirements under the Patriot Act, the Fund is required to obtain sufficient information from shareholders to enable it to form a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of its shareholders. This information will be used to verify the identity of investors or, in some cases, the status of Financial Intermediaries. Such information may be verified using third-party sources. This information will be used only for compliance with the Patriot Act or other applicable laws, regulations and rules in connection with money laundering, terrorism or economic sanctions.

The Fund reserves the right to reject purchase orders from persons who have not submitted information sufficient to allow the Fund to verify their identity. The Fund also reserves the right to redeem any amounts in the Fund from persons whose identity it is unable to verify on a timely basis. It is the Fund’s policy to cooperate fully with appropriate regulators in any investigations conducted with respect to potential money laundering, terrorism or other illicit activities.

BlackRock Privacy Principles

BlackRock is committed to maintaining the privacy of its current and former fund investors and individual clients (collectively, “Clients”) and to safeguarding their non-public personal information. The following information is provided to help you understand what personal information BlackRock collects, how we protect that information and why in certain cases we share such information with select parties.

If you are located in a jurisdiction where specific laws, rules or regulations require BlackRock to provide you with additional or different privacy-related rights beyond what is set forth below, then BlackRock will comply with those specific laws, rules or regulations.

BlackRock obtains or verifies personal non-public information from and about you from different sources, including the following: (i) information we receive from you or, if applicable, your Financial Intermediary, on applications, forms or other documents; (ii) information about your transactions with us, our affiliates, or others; (iii) information we receive from a consumer reporting agency; and (iv) from visits to our website.

BlackRock does not sell or disclose to non-affiliated third parties any non-public personal information about its Clients, except as permitted by law, or as is necessary to respond to regulatory requests or to service Client accounts. These non-affiliated third parties are required to protect the confidentiality and security of this information and to use it only for its intended purpose.

We may share information with our affiliates to service your account or to provide you with information about other BlackRock products or services that may be of interest to you. In addition, BlackRock restricts access to non-public

 

28


personal information about its Clients to those BlackRock employees with a legitimate business need for the information. BlackRock maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that are designed to protect the nonpublic personal information of its Clients, including procedures relating to the proper storage and disposal of such information.

Statement of Additional Information

 

If you would like further information about the Fund, including how it invests, please see the SAI.

For a discussion of the Fund’s policies and procedures regarding the selective disclosure of its portfolio holdings, please see the SAI.

 

29


Glossary

 

 

 

This glossary contains an explanation of some of the common terms used in this prospectus. For additional information about the Fund, please see the SAI.

Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses — fees and expenses charged by other investment companies in which the Fund invests a portion of its assets.

Annual Fund Operating Expenses — expenses that cover the costs of operating the Fund.

Daily Liquid Assets — include (i) cash; (ii) direct obligations of the U.S. Government; (iii) securities that will mature, as determined without reference to the maturity shortening provisions of Rule 2a-7 regarding interest rate readjustments, or are subject to a demand feature that is exercisable and payable within one business day; and (iv) amounts receivable and due unconditionally within one business day on pending sales of portfolio securities.

Dollar-Weighted Average Life — the dollar-weighted average maturity of the Fund’s portfolio calculated without reference to the exceptions used for variable or floating rate securities regarding the use of interest rate reset dates in lieu of the security’s actual maturity date. “Dollar-weighted” means the larger the dollar value of a debt security in the Fund, the more weight it gets in calculating this average.

Dollar-Weighted Average Maturity — the average maturity of the Fund is the average amount of time until the organizations that issued the debt securities in the Fund’s portfolio must pay off the principal amount of the debt. “Dollar-weighted” means the larger the dollar value of a debt security in the Fund, the more weight it gets in calculating this average. To calculate the dollar-weighted average maturity, the Fund may treat a variable or floating rate security as having a maturity equal to the time remaining to the security’s next interest rate reset date rather than the security’s actual maturity.

Distribution Fees — fees used to support the Fund’s marketing and distribution efforts, such as compensating Financial Intermediaries, advertising and promotion.

Eligible Securities — Applicable Eligible Securities include:

 

 

securities with a remaining maturity of 397 calendar days or less (with certain exceptions) that BlackRock determines present minimal credit risks to the Fund after considering certain factors;

 

 

securities issued by other registered investment companies that are money market funds; or

 

 

securities issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

Interest Expense — the cost of borrowing money to buy additional securities, primarily through reverse repurchase agreements (under which the Fund sells securities and agrees to buy them back at a particular date and price).

Management Fee — a fee paid to BlackRock for managing the Fund.

Other Expenses — include accounting, administration, transfer agency, custody, professional and registration fees.

Service Fees — fees used to compensate Financial Intermediaries for certain shareholder servicing activities.

Weekly Liquid Assets — include (i) cash; (ii) direct obligations of the U.S. Government; (iii) U.S. Government securities issued by a person controlled or supervised by and acting as an instrumentality of the U.S. Government pursuant to authority granted by the U.S. Congress, that are issued at a discount to the principal amount to be repaid at maturity without provision for the payment of interest and have a remaining maturity of 60 days or less; (iv) securities that will mature, as determined without reference to the maturity shortening provisions of Rule 2a-7 regarding interest rate readjustments, or are subject to a demand feature that is exercisable and payable within five business days; and (v) amounts receivable and due unconditionally within five business days on pending sales of portfolio securities.

 

30


For More Information

 

 

Fund and Service Providers

 

 

THE FUND

BlackRock FundsSM

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

100 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

Written Correspondence:

P.O. Box 9819

Providence, Rhode Island 02940-8019

Overnight Mail:

4400 Computer Drive

Westborough, Massachusetts 01581

(800) 537-4942

MANAGER

BlackRock Advisors, LLC

100 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

TRANSFER AGENT

BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. 301 Bellevue Parkway

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

[             ]

[             ]

[             ]

ACCOUNTING SERVICES PROVIDER

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

383 Madison Avenue, Floor 11

New York, New York 10179

DISTRIBUTOR

BlackRock Investments, LLC 40 East 52nd Street New York, New York 10022

CUSTODIANS

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. 383 Madison Avenue, Floor 11 New York, New York 10179

The Bank of New York Mellon 240 Greenwich Street New York, New York 10286

COUNSEL

Sidley Austin LLP 787 Seventh Avenue New York, New York 10019

 


Additional Information

 

 

For more information:

This prospectus contains important information you should know before investing, including information about risks. Please read it before you invest and keep it for future reference. More information about the Fund is available at no charge upon request. This information includes:

Annual/Semi-Annual Reports

These reports contain additional information about the Fund’s investments. The annual report describes the Fund’s performance, lists portfolio holdings, and discusses recent market conditions, economic trends and Fund investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance for the last fiscal year.

Statement of Additional Information

A Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), dated [            ], 2020, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The SAI, which includes additional information about the Fund, may be obtained free of charge, along with the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports, by calling (800) 537-4942. The SAI, as amended and/or supplemented from time to time, is incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

BlackRock Investor Services

Representatives are available to discuss account balance information, mutual fund prospectuses, literature, programs and services available. Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern time), on any business day. Call: (800) 537-4942.

Purchases and Redemptions

Call your Financial Intermediary or BlackRock Investor Services at (800) 537-4942.

World Wide Web

General Fund information and specific Fund performance, including the SAI and annual/semi-annual reports, can be accessed free of charge at www.blackrock.com/prospectus/cash. Mutual fund prospectuses and literature can also be requested via this website.

Written Correspondence

BlackRock FundsSM P.O. Box 9819 Providence, Rhode Island 02940

Overnight Mail

BlackRock FundsSM 4400 Computer Drive Westborough, Massachusetts 01581

Internal Wholesalers/Broker Dealer Support

Available on any business day to support investment professionals. Call: (800) 882-0052.

Portfolio Characteristics and Holdings

A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures related to disclosure of portfolio characteristics and holdings is available in the SAI.

For information about portfolio holdings and characteristics, BlackRock fund shareholders and prospective investors may call (800) 882-0052.

Securities and Exchange Commission

You may also view and copy public information about the Fund, including the SAI, by visiting the EDGAR database on the SEC’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: publicinfo@sec.gov.

You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus. No one is authorized to provide you with information that is different from information contained in this prospectus.

The SEC 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 COMPANY ACT FILE # 811-05742

 

 

LOGO    [CODE]


LOGO    [    ], 2020

 

 

The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED MARCH 10, 2020

 

Prospectus

 

BlackRock FundsSM  |  Premier Shares

 

 

BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund

Premier Shares: BMMXX

 

 

Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of the Fund’s shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from BlackRock or from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. 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 link to access the report.

You may elect to receive all future reports in paper free of charge. If you hold accounts through a financial intermediary, you can follow the instructions included with this disclosure, if applicable, or contact your financial intermediary to request that you continue to receive paper copies of your shareholder reports. Please note that not all financial intermediaries may offer this service. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds advised by BlackRock Advisors, LLC, BlackRock Fund Advisors or their affiliates, or all funds held with your financial intermediary, as applicable.

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 electronic delivery of shareholder reports and other communications by contacting your financial intermediary, if you hold accounts through a financial intermediary. Please note that not all financial intermediaries may offer this service.

This Prospectus contains information you should know before investing, including information about risks. Please read it before you invest and keep it for future reference.

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.

 

Not FDIC Insured • May Lose Value • No Bank Guarantee


Table of Contents

 

 

 

Fund Overview    Key facts and details about the Fund, including investment objective, principal investment strategies, principal risk factors, fee and expense information and historical performance information  
   Investment Objective     3  
   Fees and Expenses of the Fund     3  
   Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund     3  
   Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund     4  
   Performance Information     6  
   Investment Manager     7  
   Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares     7  
   Tax Information     7  
   Payments to Broker/Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries     7  
Details About the Fund    Information about how the Fund invests, including investment objective, investment processes, principal strategies and risk factors  
   How the Fund Invests     8  
   Investment Risks     11  
Account Information    Information about account services, sales charges and waivers, shareholder transactions, and distribution and other payments  
   How to Choose the Share Class that Best Suits Your Needs     15  
   Details About the Share Class     16  
   Distribution and Shareholder Servicing Payments     16  
   How to Buy, Sell and Transfer Shares     17  
   Fund’s Rights     19  
   Liquidity Fees and Redemption Gates     20  
   Short-Term Trading Policy     20  
   Master/Feeder Structure     20  
Management of the Fund    Information about BlackRock  
   BlackRock     22  
   Conflicts of Interest     23  
   Valuation of Fund Investments     24  
   Dividends, Distributions and Taxes     24  
Financial Highlights    Financial Performance of the Fund     26  
General Information    Shareholder Documents     27  
   Certain Fund Policies     27  
   Statement of Additional Information     28  
Glossary    Glossary of Investment Terms     29  
For More Information    Fund and Service Providers Inside Back Cover     Inside Back Cover  
   Additional Information Back Cover     Back Cover


Fund Overview

 

 

 

Investment Objective

 

The investment objective of BlackRock Wealth Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (“WeLEAF” or the “Fund,” formerly known as BlackRock Money Market Portfolio), a series of BlackRock FundsSM (the “Trust”), is to seek as high a level of current income as is consistent with liquidity and preservation of capital while giving consideration to select environmental criteria.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold Premier Shares of the Fund.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
   Premier
Shares

Management Fee

       [    ]%  

Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees

       None

Other Expenses1

       [    ]%  

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

       [    ]%  

Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements2

       [    ]%  

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements2

       [    ]%  

 

1 

Other Expenses are based on estimated amounts for the current year.

 

2 

As described in the “Management of the Fund” section of the Fund’s prospectus beginning on page 22, BlackRock Advisors, LLC (“BlackRock”), the Fund’s investment manager, has contractually agreed to waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements (excluding Dividend Expense, Interest Expense, Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses and certain other Fund expenses) to 0.20% (for Premier Shares) of average daily net assets through July 31, 2021. The agreement may be terminated upon 90 days’ notice by a majority of the non-interested trustees of the Trust or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

Example:

This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

      1 Year        3 Years        5 Years        10 Years  

Premier Shares

   $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]        $ [    ]  

Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a broad range of U.S. dollar-denominated money market instruments, including government, U.S. and foreign bank, and commercial obligations and repurchase agreements. Under normal conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer or guarantor, in the opinion of BlackRock, the Fund’s investment manager, at the time of purchase, meets the Fund’s environmental criteria. This policy is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund. However, the Fund will provide shareholders with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of any changes to the policy.

BlackRock will consider the following as part of the Fund’s environmental criteria:

 

 

The Fund will invest in securities whose issuer (or guarantor, if applicable) at the time of the Fund’s investment has better than average performance in environmental practices. In evaluating performance in environmental practices, BlackRock will use data or other environmental, social, or governance risk metrics including ratings provided by independent research vendor(s) in determining whether to invest (or continue to invest) in securities issued or guaranteed by a particular entity. These independent research vendor(s) may consider one or more of the following factors: issuer or industry exposure to environmentally intensive activities, disclosures by an issuer around climate related issues and environmental matters or specific targets or plans by an issuer to manage environmental

 

3


 

exposures. BlackRock may change an independent research vendor at any time in its discretion. BlackRock will consider factors such as emissions, energy and water intensity, waste generation, green revenues and environmental disclosure levels in evaluating the environmental performance of an issuer or guarantor.

 

 

U.S. Government securities will be considered to have met the Fund’s environmental criteria

 

 

The Fund will not invest in securities issued or guaranteed by entities:

 

 

that derive more than 5% of their revenue from fossil fuels mining, exploration or refinement; or

 

 

that derive more than 5% of their revenue from thermal coal or nuclear energy based power generation.

In determining the efficacy of an issuer’s or guarantor’s environmental practices, BlackRock may also employ a proprietary model it has developed to consider the impact of various actions of an issuer or guarantor. The model uses third party data as well as information obtained by BlackRock to assess whether particular environmental factors may be material to an issuer or guarantor and capture any momentum around these factors. The model also seeks to consider more current headline news around an issuer or guarantor. The model may employ different inputs and weigh the significance of those inputs differently than the third party data sources that are used. BlackRock will conduct, as appropriate, its environmental evaluation of issuers and guarantors relative to a specific sector or across multiple sectors.

In addition, the Fund may invest in mortgage- and asset-backed securities, short-term obligations issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and their respective authorities, agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions and derivative securities such as beneficial interests in municipal trust certificates and partnership trusts. The Fund may invest in “green” bonds where, in the opinion of BlackRock, the use of proceeds from the sale of these securities will be used to finance projects intended to generate an environmental benefit. The Fund may also invest in variable and floating rate instruments, and transact in securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment basis.

Under normal market conditions, at least 25% of the Fund’s total assets will be invested in obligations of issuers in the financial services industry or in obligations, such as repurchase agreements, secured by such obligations.

The Fund may invest up to 20% of the value of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) have below average performance in environmental practices or whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) are not evaluated by any independent research vendor(s) currently used by the Fund, and whose issuer (and, if applicable, guarantor) do not otherwise meet the Fund’s environmental criteria.

The Fund seeks to maintain a net asset value (“NAV”) of $1.00 per share.

The securities purchased by the Fund are subject to the quality, diversification and other requirements of Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), and other rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Fund will only purchase securities that present minimal credit risk as determined by BlackRock pursuant to guidelines approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”).”

Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. You could lose money by investing in the Fund. Although the Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it cannot guarantee it will do so. The Fund may impose a fee upon the sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.

The following is a summary description of principal risks of investing in the Fund. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.

 

 

Credit Risk — Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a debt security (i.e., the borrower) will not be able to make payments of interest and principal when due. Changes in an issuer’s credit rating or the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness may also affect the value of the Fund’s investment in that issuer.

 

 

Environmental Criteria Risk — The risk that because the Fund’s environmental criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons, the Fund may forgo some market opportunities available to funds that do not use these criteria. Consequently, the Fund may underperform funds that do not utilize an environmental strategy. BlackRock’s assessment of an issuer’s environmental criteria may change over time, which could cause the Fund to hold securities that may no longer meet BlackRock’s current environmental criteria.

 

4


In evaluating the environmental criteria for an issuer or guarantor, BlackRock is dependent upon information and data that may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable. Currently, environmental data often lacks standardization, consistency and in some cases transparency. There may be different methodologies used by different data sources who compile environmental ratings of issuers or guarantors. This could adversely affect the analysis of the environmental criteria relevant to a particular issuer or guarantor. If BlackRock were to solely rely on this data, the Fund may invest in issuers or guarantors who may not meet the environmental criteria for investment. Investing on the basis of environmental criteria is qualitative and subjective by nature and there can be no assurance that the process utilized by any vendors of BlackRock or any judgment exercised by BlackRock will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor.

 

 

Extension Risk — When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall.

 

 

Financial Services Industry Risk Because of its concentration in the financial services industry, the Fund will be more susceptible to any economic, business, political or other developments which generally affect this industry sector. As a result, the Fund will be exposed to a large extent to the risks associated with that industry, such as government regulation, the availability and cost of capital funds, consolidation and general economic conditions. Financial services companies are also exposed to losses if borrowers and other counterparties experience financial problems and/or cannot repay their obligations.

When interest rates go up, the value of securities issued by many types of financial services companies generally goes down. In many countries, financial services and the companies that provide them are regulated by governmental entities, which can increase costs for new services or products and make it difficult to pass increased costs on to consumers. In certain areas, deregulation of financial services companies has resulted in increased competition and reduced profitability for certain companies.

The profitability of many types of financial services companies may be adversely affected in certain market cycles, including periods of rising interest rates, which may restrict the availability and increase the cost of capital, and declining economic conditions, which may cause credit losses due to financial difficulties of borrowers. Because many types of financial services companies are vulnerable to these economic cycles, a large portion of the Fund’s investments may lose value during such periods.

 

 

Foreign Exposure Risk Securities issued or supported by foreign entities, including foreign banks and corporations, may involve additional risks and considerations. Extensive public information about the foreign issuer may not be available, and unfavorable political, economic or governmental developments in the foreign country involved could affect the payment of principal and interest.

 

 

Income Risk — Income risk is the risk that the Fund’s yield will vary as short-term securities in its portfolio mature and the proceeds are reinvested in securities with different interest rates.

 

 

Interest Rate Risk Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a debt security may fall when interest rates rise. In general, the market price of debt securities with longer maturities will go up or down more in response to changes in interest rates than the market price of shorter-term securities. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period shareholders own shares of the Fund.

 

 

Liquidity Fee and Redemption Gate Risk — The Board has discretion to impose a liquidity fee of up to 2% upon sale of your shares or may temporarily suspend your ability to sell shares if the Fund’s liquidity falls below required minimums because of market conditions or other factors. Accordingly, you may not be able to sell your shares or your redemptions may be subject to a liquidity fee when you sell your shares at certain times.

 

 

Market Risk and Selection Risk — Market risk is the risk that one or more markets