The use of derivatives is not intended to increase the overall level of risk. However, the use of derivatives may still lead to large changes in value and includes the potential for large financial loss. A counterparty to a derivative transaction may fail to meet its obligations which may also lead to a financial loss.
The value of equities (e.g. shares) and equity-related investments may vary according to company profits and future prospects as well as more general market factors. In the event of a company default (e.g. insolvency), the owners of their equity rank last in terms of any financial payment from that company.
Investments may be primarily concentrated in specific countries, geographical regions and/or industry sectors. This may mean that the resulting value may decrease whilst portfolios more broadly invested might grow.
Reference currency hedging aims to protect investors from a decline in the value of the reference currency only (the currency in which accounts are reported) and will not protect against a decline in the values of the currencies of the underlying investments, where these are different from the reference currency. In addition, where the currencies of the underlying investments are different from the reference currency, investors may suffer a loss when the value of the reference currency increases against the value of the share class currency. There can be no assurance that hedging strategies will be successful and such hedging can positively or negatively impact investors by inaccuracies in the operation of the hedge.