Acorn Income Fund Limited

General risks of investing

All types of investment carry a degree of risk. It is possible you could lose some, or all, of the money you invest. The level of risk varies depending on the type of investment.

Typically, you are less likely to lose money over the long term from an investment that is considered low risk, although potential returns may also be lower. Investments considered higher risk typically offer greater opportunities for better long-term returns, though the risk of losing money is also likely to be higher.

When you invest, it is important that you understand the risk to your money and are comfortable with that level of risk. If you are unsure, we would recommend that you consult a financial adviser.

Past performance of a fund is not an indication of how it will perform in the future. The share price of funds, therefore the value of your investment in the funds, and any income from them, can go down as well as up, and you could get back less than you invested.

The value of your investment might not keep up with any rise in the cost of living.

You could lose money if financial markets fall.

There is no guarantee that the investment objective of the fund will be achieved.

The levels of taxation that apply to income or capital gains from the fund, including any tax relief that may be available, will depend on your personal tax situation.

Funds with similar objectives may not perform in the same way as they are likely to have different holdings.

Fund performance will be affected by investment decisions made by the fund manager.

Fund specific risks

Some of the main specific risks of investing in this fund are summarised here. Further detail is available in the prospectus for the fund.

Alternative investments: These typically behave differently to traditional investments such as bonds and equities. They can include a range of assets such as specialist lending, private equity, hedge funds and gold. Adding alternative investments to a portfolio can help to make it more diverse but can also make it more volatile.

Call options: A type of derivative. Call options can be used for a number of reasons; they can be used to generate income or to gain exposure to an asset. These can make a fund more volatile from time to time.

Collective investment schemes (funds): Where other funds are held in a portfolio, or where there is indirect exposure to other funds, these could include higher-risk investments like hedge funds, property funds or commodity funds (e.g. investing in gold, oil), which would increase the overall risk in the fund.

Counterparty credit: Some securities or financial instruments rely on payments or guarantees from a counterparty. This is a role usually undertaken by a bank or similar entity.

Currency: Where investments in a fund are denominated in currencies other than sterling (for example, if a fund holds assets priced in euros), its value will be affected by changes in the relevant exchange rate. Certain other investments, such as the shares in companies with profits from other countries, will also be effected.

Derivative: A contract whose value is based on the change in price of a specific asset or index. When derivatives are used within a fund, it doesn’t necessarily increase risk. However, price changes in the underlying asset can translate into big swings in the value of derivatives (up and down), which has a direct effect on the value of the fund.

Equities: Equities (shares) can experience high levels of price fluctuation.

Fixed interest securities: Government and corporate bonds generally offer a fixed level of interest to investors, so their value can be affected by changes in interest rates. When central bank interest rates fall, investors may be prepared to pay more for bonds and bond prices tend to rise. If interest rates rise, bonds may be less valuable to investors and their prices can fall.

Gearing / leverage: Funds that use gearing / leverage (this can be achieved by the use of derivatives) can experience significantly higher price fluctuations.

Geographic concentration: Funds that have a strong focus on a particular country or region can carry a higher risk than funds with a more diversified portfolio.

Hedging: A hedge is designed to offset the risk of another investment falling in price. It can also act as a limit on potential gains if the investment that has been hedged increases in value.

Inflation: Higher inflation can lead to some investments falling in value, particularly those with a fixed level of interest, for example government bonds and corporate bonds.

Interest rate: Changes in central bank interest rates can affect all types of assets, in particular, securities such as government bonds and corporate bonds that generally offer a fixed level of interest. If interest rates go up, the value of a bond may fall, and vice versa.

Issuer credit: There are times when the issuer of a security (for example, a company that has issued a bond) is unable to make income payments or repay its debt. When this happens it can result in losses for the fund.

Legal and tax: The income or capital gains from investments can sometimes be affected by changes in legal and tax regulations or how these rules are applied.

Liquidity: In some instances, for example, when market conditions generally are difficult, holdings in a fund may be difficult to sell and buy at the desired price. The fund value could fall as a result.

Non-investment grade bonds: Bonds with a higher risk that the bond issuer might not meet its income or repayment obligations, as assessed by independent bond rating companies.

Operational: Processes, systems and controls around your investment might fail. The more complex or unusual the investments that the fund holds, the more likely this is to happen. For example, developing markets may have less reliable systems or lower standards of governance than more developed markets.

Over The Counter derivatives (OTC): These are types of derivatives that are not traded on a public exchange. Agreed privately between two parties, OTC derivatives can be tailored to meet the exact needs of each party. They can make a fund more volatile from time to time.

Property and Real Estate Investment Trusts: Property values can rise and fall sharply depending on the strength of a country’s economy.

Put-options: A type of derivative. Put-options can be used for a number of reasons. For example, they can be used to protect the value of an underlying investment or group of investments against a fall in value. They can be thought of as an insurance policy. These can make a fund more volatile from time to time.

Smaller companies: Investment in smaller companies is typically higher risk than investment in larger companies. Shares in smaller companies can experience greater levels of volatility.

Structured investments: These investments are built around a derivative and have specific criteria that need to be met to deliver a positive return. If these criteria are not met, the investment can fall sharply in value.

Unregulated collective investment schemes: These investments can carry additional risks as they are not subject to the same level of regulation as authorised or regulated schemes.

Zero dividend preference shares (ZDPs): Issued by investment trusts. ZDPs have a maturity date, pay no income but pay a set amount at maturity. Serious falls in market levels can alter their structure and lead to falling values.


Risk and other important information

When you invest, your money is at risk because the value of investments, and any income from them, can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you invested. The past performance of an investment is not a guide to how it will perform in the future. Because there are many different types of investment risk and investors have different attitudes to risk, we are not able to categorise our investments as having a specific level of risk. We would therefore strongly recommend that if you do not have professional experience in matters relating to investments, you should speak with a financial adviser before making an investment decision.

Premier Miton Investors is not authorised to provide investment advice or tax advice. Before making an investment decision, it is also important that you read the key documentation for that investment which is available in the literature section of the website, by contacting a financial adviser or by getting in touch with us directly. See ‘Contact us’ for more information or if you are unsure. You can find more details about the specific risks and literature that are relevant to each type of investment on the individual fund, portfolio or investment trust website pages.