Meridian Equity Income portfolio managers conduct analytical screens followed by in-depth, fundamental research to uncover out-of-favor companies that have depressed valuations and visible catalysts for sustainable improvement in business fundamentals.
The Fund seeks to maximize total return by investing primarily in a diversified portfolio of dividend-paying equity securities of U.S. companies that have the potential for capital appreciation and which the Investment Adviser believes may have the capacity to raise dividends in the future. Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets in equity securities. Equity securities include common and preferred stocks as well as convertible securities in domestic and foreign companies. The Fund may invest in securities of companies with any capitalization across a broad range of industries. These may include companies that are relatively small in terms of assets, revenues and earnings. The mix of the Fund’s investments at any time will depend on the industries and types of securities the Investment Adviser believes hold the most potential for achieving the Fund’s investment objective. The Fund may invest up to 25% of its total assets, calculated at the time of purchase, in securities of foreign companies, including emerging market companies. The Fund may also invest its assets in debt or fixed income securities including higher yield, higher risk, lower rated or unrated corporate bonds commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” These are bonds that are rated Ba or below by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) or BB or below by Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”) or are in default or unrated but of comparable quality as determined by the Investment Adviser. The Fund generally sells investments when the Investment Adviser concludes that the long-term growth or dividend prospects of the company have deteriorated, or the issuer’s circumstances or the political or economic outlook relative to the security have changed, and better investment opportunities exist in other securities.
There are risks involved with any investment. The principal risks associated with an investment in this Fund are set forth below. Please see the section “Further Information About Principal Risks” in this Pro- spectus for a detailed discussion of these risks and other factors you should carefully consider before deciding to invest in the Fund.
General Risk — You could lose money on your investment in the Fund or the Fund could underperform other investments.
Investment Style Risk — Although the Fund makes every effort to achieve its investment objective of long-term growth of capital along with income, it cannot guarantee that the Investment Adviser’s investment strategies or securities selection method will achieve that objective.
Equity Securities Risk — Equity securities holders are entitled to the income and increase in the value of the assets and business of an issuer after debt obligations and obligations to debt securities holders are satisfied. Equity securities fluctuate in price in response to many factors including historical and prospective earnings of the issuer, the value of its assets, general economic conditions, interest rates, investors perceptions and market liquidity.
Market Risk — The value of the Fund’s investments will fluctuate in response to the activities of individual companies and general stock market and economic conditions and the value of your investment in the Fund may be more or less than your purchase price.
Income Risk — Because the payment of dividends is subject to the discretion of a company, there is a risk that the Fund may not be able to pay income.
Small Company Risk — Generally, the smaller the capitalization of a company, the greater the risk associated with an investment in the company. The stock prices of smaller and newer companies tend to fluctuate more than those of larger, more established companies and have smaller market for their shares than do large capitalization companies.
Foreign Company Risk — Investments in foreign securities may be subject to more risks than those associated with U.S. investments, including currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards. Emerging market securities involve greater risk and more volatility than those of companies in more developed markets. Significant levels of foreign taxes are also a risk related to foreign investments.
High Yield Bond Risk — Debt securities that are rated below investment grade (commonly referred to as “junk bonds”) involve a greater risk of default or price declines than investment grade securities. The market for high-yield, lower rated securities may be thinner and less active, causing market price volatility and limited liquidity in the secondary market. This may limit the ability of a Fund to sell these securities at their fair market values either to meet redemption requests, or in response to changes in the economy or the financial markets.
Debt Securities Risk — Debt securities are subject to credit risk, interest rate risk and liquidity risk. Credit risk is the risk that the entity that issued a debt security may become unable to make payments of principal and interest when due and includes the risk of default. Interest rate risk is the risk of losses due to changes in interest rates. Liquidity risk is the risk that the Fund may not be able to sell portfolio securities, including medium- and lower-grade securities, because there are too few buyers for them.