Mutual fund investing involves risk including the loss of principal. International investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles, or from social, economic, or political instability in other nations. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, REIT investments are subject to changes in economic conditions, credit risk and interest rate fluctuations. Bonds and bond funds are subject to interest rate risk and will decline in value as interest rates rise. Mortgage-backed securities are subject to prepayment and extension risk and therefore react differently to changes in interest rates than other bonds. Small movements in interest rates may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain mortgage-backed securities. High yield bonds involve greater risks of default or downgrade and are more volatile than investment grade securities, due to the speculative nature of their investments. In addition to international investments, securities focusing on a single country may be subject to higher volatility.
MLP's interests are all in a particular industry and the MLP will be negatively impacted by economic events adversely impacting that industry. The risks of investing in a MLP are generally those involved in investing in a partnership as opposed to a corporation, such as a limited control of management, limited voting rights and tax risks. MLP's may be subject to state taxation in certain jurisdictions, which will have the effect of reducing the amount of income paid by the MLP to its investors.
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For each fund with at least a three-year history, Morningstar calculates a Morningstar Rating™ metric each month by subtracting the return on a 90-day U.S. Treasury Bill from the fund's load adjusted return for the same period, and then adjusting this excess return for risk. The top 10 percent of funds in each category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5 percent receive 4 stars, the next 35 percent receive 3 stars, the next 22.5 percent receive 2 stars and the bottom 10 percent receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a fund is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three, five and ten-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. As of 8/31/2012, the Hancock Horizon Burkenroad Fund, Class A was rated against 588 Small Blend Funds over a three year period, 510 over a five-year period, and 308 over a 10 year period and received 4, 5, and 5 stars respectively.