Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The Underlying Index may include large-, mid- or small-capitalization companies, and components primarily include consumer discretionary, financials and industrials companies. The components of the Underlying Index, and the degree to which these components represent certain industries, may change over time.
As of its inception date, the Fund intends to seek to achieve its investment objective initially by investing a substantial portion of its assets in one Underlying Fund, the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF.
BFA uses a “passive” or indexing approach to try to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not try to “beat” the index it tracks and does not seek temporary defensive positions when markets decline or appear overvalued.
Indexing may eliminate the chance that the Fund will substantially outperform the Underlying Index but also may reduce some of the risks of active management, such as poor security selection. Indexing seeks to achieve lower costs and better after-tax performance by keeping portfolio turnover low in comparison to actively managed investment companies.
BFA uses a representative sampling indexing strategy to manage the Fund and the Underlying Fund. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Underlying Index. The securities selected are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics (based on factors such as market
capitalization and industry weightings), fundamental characteristics (such as return variability and yield) and liquidity measures similar to those of the Underlying Index. The Fund or the Underlying Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in its Underlying Index.
The Fund generally invests at least 80% of its assets in securities of the Underlying Index (including indirect investments through the Underlying Fund) and in depositary receipts representing securities of the Underlying Index, including foreign currency forward contracts designed to hedge against non-U.S. currency fluctuations. The Fund may invest the remainder of its assets in certain futures, options and swap contracts, cash and cash equivalents, including money market funds advised by BFA or its affiliates, as well as in securities not included in the Underlying Index, but which BFA believes will help the Fund track the Underlying Index.
The Underlying Index applies a one-month forward rate to the total value of the non-U.S. dollar denominated securities included in the Underlying Index to effectively create a “hedge” against fluctuations in the relative value of the component currencies in relation to the U.S. dollar. The hedge is reset on a monthly basis. The Underlying Index is designed to have higher returns than an equivalent unhedged investment when the component currencies are weakening relative to the U.S. dollar. Conversely, the Underlying Index is designed to have lower returns than an equivalent unhedged investment when the component currencies are rising relative to the U.S. dollar.
In order to replicate the “hedging” component of the Underlying Index, the Fund intends to enter into foreign currency forward contracts designed to offset the Fund’s exposure to the component currencies. A foreign currency forward contract is a contract between two parties to buy or sell a specified amount of a specific currency in the future at an agreed upon exchange rate. The Fund’s exposure to foreign currency forward contracts is based on the aggregate exposure of the Fund to the component currencies. While this approach is designed to minimize the impact of currency fluctuations on Fund returns, it does not necessarily eliminate the Fund’s exposure to the component currencies. The return of the foreign currency forward contracts may not perfectly offset the actual fluctuations between the component currencies and the U.S. dollar.
The Fund may use non-deliverable forward contracts to execute its hedging transactions. A non-deliverable foreign currency forward contract is a contract where there is no physical settlement of two currencies at maturity. Rather, based on the movement of the currencies, a net cash settlement will be made by one party to the other.
The Fund may lend securities representing up to one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the value of the collateral received).
The Underlying Index is sponsored by an organization (the “Index Provider”) that is independent of the Fund and BFA. The Index Provider determines the composition and relative weightings of the securities in the Underlying Index and publishes information regarding the market value of the Underlying Index. The Fund’s Index Provider is MSCI.
You can find the prospectus: HERE