As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 23, 2022

Registration No. 333-262728

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

Post-Effective

Amendment No. 1

to

FORM S-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

PROSHARES TRUST II

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   6221   87-6284802
(State of Organization)  

(Primary Standard Industrial

Classification Code Number)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

 

 

7272 Wisconsin Avenue

21st Floor

Bethesda, Maryland 20814

(240) 497-6400

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)

 

 

Michael L. Sapir

c/o ProShare Capital Management LLC

7272 Wisconsin Avenue

21st Floor

Bethesda, Maryland 20814

(240) 497-6400

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

Copies to:

 

Michael M. Philipp

c/o Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

77 West Wacker Drive

Chicago, Illinois 60601

 

Richard F. Morris

c/o ProShare Capital Management LLC

7272 Wisconsin Avenue

21st Floor

Bethesda, MD 20814

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:

As promptly as practicable after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

 

 

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933 check the following box:  ☒

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐


If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

ProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Natural Gas

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

ProShares UltraShort Silver

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

ProShares UltraShort Gold

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

ProShares UltraShort Australian Dollar

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       


If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

ProShares Ultra Euro

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

ProShares Short Euro

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

ProShares UltraShort Euro

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer   ☐ (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)    Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

ProShares Ultra Yen

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

ProShares UltraShort Yen

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐


 

The registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until this Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 


The information in this Prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.Subject to completion, June 23, 2022
PROSHARES TRUST II

Common Units of Beneficial Interest

Fund
Benchmark
ProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF (VIXM)
S&P 500® VIX Mid-Term Futures Index
ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas (BOIL)
Bloomberg Natural Gas SubindexSM
ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Natural Gas (KOLD)
Bloomberg Natural Gas SubindexSM
ProShares UltraShort Silver (ZSL)
Bloomberg Silver SubindexSM
ProShares UltraShort Gold (GLL)
Bloomberg Gold SubindexSM
ProShares Ultra Euro (ULE)
The U.S. dollar price of the euro
ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO)
The U.S. dollar price of the euro
ProShares Ultra Yen (YCL)
The U.S. dollar price of the Japanese yen
ProShares UltraShort Yen (YCS)
The U.S. dollar price of the Japanese yen
 
 
ProShares Trust II (the “Trust”) is a Delaware statutory trust organized into separate series. The Trust may from time to time offer to sell common units of beneficial interest (“Shares”) of any or all of the series of the Trust listed above (each, a “Fund” and collectively, the “Funds”) or other series of the Trust. Shares represent units of fractional undivided beneficial interest in and ownership of a series of the Trust. Each Fund’s Shares are offered on a continuous basis. With the exception of the Shares of the ProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF, the Shares of each Fund are listed for trading on NYSE Arca, Inc. under the ticker symbol shown above next to each Fund’s name. The Shares of the ProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF are listed for trading on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (collectively with the NYSE Arca, Inc., the “Exchange”). Please note that the Trust has series other than the Funds.
The ProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that match the performance of the S&P 500® VIX Mid-Term Futures Index (the “Index”).
Each of the other Funds is “geared” (each, a “Geared Fund” and collectively, the “Geared Funds”) which means that each has an investment objective to seek daily investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond either to a multiple (2x) or an inverse multiple (-2x) of the performance of a benchmark for a single day, not for any other period. The Geared Funds do not seek to achieve their stated investment objective over a period greater than a single day. A “single day” is measured from the time a Fund calculates its respective net asset value (“NAV”) to the time of the Fund’s next NAV calculation. The NAV calculation times for the Funds typically range from 7:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time). Please see the section entitled “Summary-Creation and Redemption Transactions” for additional details on the NAV calculation times for the Funds.
The Funds seek to achieve their respective investment objectives through the appropriate amount of exposure to its benchmark. Each Fund also has the ability to engage in swap transactions, forward contracts, options contacts, and other instruments in order to achieve its investment objective, in the manner and to the extent described herein. The Funds will not invest directly in any commodities or currencies.The ProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF may be referred to herein as the “VIX Futures Fund” or the “Matching Fund.” The ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas (the “Ultra Natural Gas Fund”) and the ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg
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Natural Gas (the “UltraShort Natural Gas Fund”) may be collectively referred to as the “Natural Gas Funds.” The ProShares UltraShort Silver (the “UltraShort Silver Fund”) and the ProShares UltraShort Gold (the “UltraShort Gold Fund”) may be collectively referred to as the “Precious Metals Funds.” The ProShares Ultra Euro (the “Ultra Euro Fund”), ProShares UltraShort Euro (the “UltraShort Euro Fund”), the ProShares Ultra Yen (the “Ultra Yen Fund”) and the ProShares UltraShort Yen (the “UltraShort Yen Fund”) may be collectively referred to as the “Currency Funds.” The Ultra Natural Gas Fund, the Ultra Euro Fund and the Ultra Yen Fund may be collectively referred to as the “Ultra Funds.” The UltraShort Natural Gas Fund, the UltraShort Euro Fund, the UltraShort Yen Fund and the Precious Metals Funds may be collectively referred to as the “UltraShort Funds.”

INVESTING IN THE SHARES INVOLVES SIGNIFICANT RISKS. PLEASE REFER TO “RISK FACTORS” BEGINNING ON PAGE 12.
THE FUNDS PRESENT SIGNIFICANT RISKS NOT APPLICABLE TO OTHER TYPES OF FUNDS. THE FUNDS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR ALL INVESTORS. THE VIX FUTURES FUND INCLUDES RISKS RELATING TO INVESTING IN AND SEEKING EXPOSURE TO VIX FUTURES CONTRACTS. THE GEARED FUNDS THAT USE LEVERAGE ARE RISKIER THAN SIMILARLY BENCHMARKED EXCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS THAT DO NOT USE LEVERAGE. AN INVESTOR SHOULD ONLY CONSIDER AN INVESTMENT IN A GEARED FUND IF HE OR SHE UNDERSTANDS THE CONSEQUENCES OF SEEKING DAILY LEVERAGED, DAILY INVERSE OR DAILY INVERSE LEVERAGED INVESTMENT RESULTS, INCLUDING THE IMPACT OF COMPOUNDING ON GEARED FUND PERFORMANCE.
THE RETURN OF A GEARED FUND FOR A PERIOD LONGER THAN A SINGLE DAY IS THE RESULT OF ITS RETURN FOR EACH DAY COMPOUNDED OVER THE PERIOD AND USUALLY WILL DIFFER IN AMOUNT AND POSSIBLY EVEN DIRECTION FROM THE GEARED FUND’S STATED MULTIPLE TIMES THE RETURN OF THE BENCHMARK FOR THE SAME PERIOD. THESE DIFFERENCES CAN BE SIGNIFICANT.
THE FUNDS’ INVESTMENTS MAY BE ILLIQUID AND/OR HIGHLY VOLATILE AND THE FUNDS MAY EXPERIENCE LARGE LOSSES FROM BUYING, SELLING OR HOLDING SUCH INVESTMENTS. AN INVESTOR IN ANY OF THE FUNDS COULD POTENTIALLY LOSE THE FULL PRINCIPAL VALUE OF HIS/HER INVESTMENT WITHIN A SINGLE DAY.
SHAREHOLDERS WHO INVEST IN THE FUNDS SHOULD ACTIVELY MANAGE AND MONITOR THEIR INVESTMENTS, AS FREQUENTLY AS DAILY.
Each Ultra Fund seeks daily investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond to two times (2x) the performance of its benchmark for a single day, not for any other period. Each UltraShort Fund seeks daily investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond to two times the inverse (-2x) of the performance of its benchmark for a single day, not for any other period.
The return of a Geared Fund for a period longer than a single day is the result of its return for each day compounded over the period and usually will differ in amount and possibly even direction from the Geared Fund’s stated multiple times the return of the Geared Fund’s benchmark for the same period. Daily compounding of a Geared Fund’s investment returns can dramatically and adversely affect its longer-term performance especially during periods of high volatility. Volatility has a negative impact on Geared Fund performance and the volatility of a Geared Fund’s benchmark may be at least as important to a Geared Fund’s return as the return of the Fund’s benchmark.
The Geared Funds that use leverage should produce returns for a single day that are more volatile than those of its respective benchmark. For example, the return for a single day of each of the Ultra Natural Gas Fund, the Ultra Euro Fund and the Ultra Yen Fund with its (2x) multiple should be approximately two times as volatile for a single day as the return of a fund with an objective of matching the same benchmark. The return for a single day of each of the UltraShort Natural Gas Fund, the UltraShort Silver Fund, the UltraShort Gold Fund, the UltraShort Euro Fund, and the UltraShort Yen Fund with a -2x multiple should be approximately two times as volatile for a single day as the inverse of the return of a fund with an objective of matching the same benchmark.
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THE VIX FUTURES FUND PRESENTS DIFFERENT RISKS THAN OTHER TYPES OF FUNDS, INCLUDING RISKS RELATING TO INVESTING AND SEEKING EXPOSURE TO VIX FUTURES CONTRACTS. AN INVESTOR SHOULD ONLY CONSIDER AN INVESTMENT IN THE VIX FUTURES FUND IF HE OR SHE UNDERSTANDS THE CONSEQUENCES OF SEEKING EXPOSURE TO VIX FUTURES CONTRACTS. THE VIX FUTURES FUND GENERALLY IS INTENDED TO BE USED ONLY FOR SHORT-TERM HORIZONS.
The VIX Futures Fund is benchmarked to the S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures Index. The VIX Futures Fund is not benchmarked to the VIX Index (which is commonly referred to as the “VIX”). The S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures Index and the VIX are two separate indices and can be expected to perform very differently.
The VIX is a non-investable index that measures the implied volatility of the S&P 500. For these purposes, “implied volatility” is a measure of the expected volatility (i.e., the rate and magnitude of variations in performance) of the S&P 500 over the next 30 days. The VIX does not represent the actual volatility of the S&P 500. The VIX is calculated based on the prices of a constantly changing portfolio of S&P 500 put and call options. The S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures Index, the index used by the VIX Futures Fund, consists of mid-term VIX futures contracts. As such, the performance of the Index can be expected to be very different from the actual volatility of the S&P 500 or the performance of the VIX. As a result, the performance of the Funds also can be expected to be very different from the actual volatility of the S&P 500 or the performance of the VIX.
Unlike certain other asset classes that, in general, have historically increased in price over long periods of time, the volatility of the S&P 500 as measured by the VIX has historically reverted to a long-term average level over time. This means that the potential upside of an investment in the VIX Futures Fund may be limited. In addition, gains of the VIX Futures Fund, if any, may be subject to significant and unexpected reversals. Investors holding Shares of the VIX Futures Fund beyond short-term periods have an increased risk of losing all or a substantial portion of their investment.
Each Fund will distribute to shareholders a Schedule K-1 that will contain information regarding the income and expenses of the Fund.
NEITHER THE TRUST NOR ANY FUND IS A MUTUAL FUND OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF INVESTMENT COMPANY AS DEFINED IN THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940, AS AMENDED (THE “1940 ACT”), AND NEITHER IS SUBJECT TO REGULATION THEREUNDER. SHAREHOLDERS DO NOT HAVE THE PROTECTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH OWNERSHIP OF SHARES IN AN INVESTMENT COMPANY REGISTERED UNDER THE 1940 ACT. SEE RISK FACTOR ENTITLED “SHAREHOLDERS DO NOT HAVE THE PROTECTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH OWNERSHIP OF SHARES IN AN INVESTMENT COMPANY REGISTERED UNDER THE 1940 ACT IN PART ONE OF THIS PROSPECTUS FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Each Fund continuously offers and redeems Shares only in large blocks of Shares known as “Creation Units”, each of which consists of 50,000 Shares (25,000 Shares with respect to the VIX Futures Fund). Only Authorized Participants (as defined herein) may purchase and redeem Shares from a Fund and then only in Creation Units. An Authorized Participant is an entity that has entered into an Authorized Participant Agreement with the Trust and ProShare Capital Management LLC (the “Sponsor”). Shares are offered to Authorized Participants in Creation Units at each Fund’s respective NAV. Authorized Participants may then offer to the public, from time to time, Shares from any Creation Unit they create at a per-Share market price. The form of Authorized Participant Agreement and the related Authorized Participant Procedures Handbook set forth the terms and conditions under which an Authorized Participant may purchase or redeem a Creation Unit. Authorized Participants will not receive from any Fund, the Sponsor, or any of their affiliates, any fee or other compensation in connection with their sale of Shares to the public. An Authorized Participant may receive commissions or fees from investors who purchase Shares through their commission or fee-based brokerage accounts.
These securities have not been approved or disapproved by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or any state securities commission nor has the SEC or any state securities commission passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
THE COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION HAS NOT PASSED UPON THE MERITS OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS POOL NOR HAS THE COMMISSION PASSED ON THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT.
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[], 2022
The Shares are neither interests in nor obligations of the Sponsor, Wilmington Trust Company, or any of their respective affiliates. The Shares are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency.
This Prospectus has two parts: the offered series disclosure and the general pool disclosure. These parts are bound together and are incomplete if not distributed together to prospective participants.
COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION
RISK DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER YOUR FINANCIAL CONDITION PERMITS YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN A COMMODITY POOL. IN SO DOING, YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT COMMODITY INTEREST TRADING CAN QUICKLY LEAD TO LARGE LOSSES AS WELL AS GAINS. SUCH TRADING LOSSES CAN SHARPLY REDUCE THE NET ASSET VALUE OF THE POOL AND CONSEQUENTLY THE VALUE OF YOUR INTEREST IN THE POOL. IN ADDITION, RESTRICTIONS ON REDEMPTIONS MAY AFFECT YOUR ABILITY TO WITHDRAW YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE POOL.
FURTHER, COMMODITY POOLS MAY BE SUBJECT TO SUBSTANTIAL CHARGES FOR MANAGEMENT, AND ADVISORY AND BROKERAGE FEES. IT MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THOSE POOLS THAT ARE SUBJECT TO THESE CHARGES TO MAKE SUBSTANTIAL TRADING PROFITS TO AVOID DEPLETION OR EXHAUSTION OF THEIR ASSETS. THIS DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF EACH EXPENSE TO BE CHARGED TO THIS POOL, AT PAGES 75 THROUGH 79, AND A STATEMENT OF THE PERCENTAGE RETURN NECESSARY TO BREAK EVEN, THAT IS, TO RECOVER THE AMOUNT OF YOUR INITIAL INVESTMENT, AT PAGES 75 THROUGH 78.
THIS BRIEF STATEMENT CANNOT DISCLOSE ALL THE RISKS AND OTHER FACTORS NECESSARY TO EVALUATE YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THIS COMMODITY POOL. THEREFORE, BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS COMMODITY POOL, YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY STUDY THIS DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT, INCLUDING A DESCRIPTION OF THE PRINCIPAL RISK FACTORS OF THIS INVESTMENT, AT PAGES 12 THROUGH 48.
YOU SHOULD ALSO BE AWARE THAT THIS COMMODITY POOL MAY TRADE FOREIGN FUTURES OR OPTIONS CONTRACTS. TRANSACTIONS ON MARKETS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING MARKETS FORMALLY LINKED TO A UNITED STATES MARKET, MAY BE SUBJECT TO REGULATIONS WHICH OFFER DIFFERENT OR DIMINISHED PROTECTION TO THE POOL AND ITS PARTICIPANTS. FURTHER, UNITED STATES REGULATORY AUTHORITIES MAY BE UNABLE TO COMPEL THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE RULES OF REGULATORY AUTHORITIES OR MARKETS IN NON-UNITED STATES JURISDICTIONS WHERE TRANSACTIONS FOR THE POOL MAY BE EFFECTED.
SWAPS TRANSACTIONS, LIKE OTHER FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS, INVOLVE A VARIETY OF SIGNIFICANT RISKS. THE SPECIFIC RISKS PRESENTED BY A PARTICULAR SWAP TRANSACTION NECESSARILY DEPEND UPON THE TERMS OF THE TRANSACTION AND YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES. IN GENERAL, HOWEVER, ALL SWAPS TRANSACTIONS INVOLVE SOME COMBINATION OF MARKET RISK, CREDIT RISK, COUNTERPARTY CREDIT RISK, FUNDING RISK, LIQUIDITY RISK, AND OPERATIONAL RISK.
HIGHLY CUSTOMIZED SWAPS TRANSACTIONS IN PARTICULAR MAY INCREASE LIQUIDITY RISK, WHICH MAY RESULT IN A SUSPENSION OF REDEMPTIONS. HIGHLY LEVERAGED TRANSACTIONS MAY EXPERIENCE SUBSTANTIAL GAINS OR LOSSES IN VALUE AS A RESULT OF RELATIVELY SMALL CHANGES IN THE VALUE OR LEVEL OF AN UNDERLYING OR RELATED MARKET FACTOR. IN EVALUATING THE RISKS AND CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH A PARTICULAR SWAP TRANSACTION, IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER THAT A SWAP TRANSACTION MAY, IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, BE MODIFIED OR TERMINATED ONLY BY MUTUAL CONSENT OF THE ORIGINAL
-4

PARTIES AND SUBJECT TO AGREEMENT ON INDIVIDUALLY NEGOTIATED TERMS. THEREFORE, IT MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE FOR THE COMMODITY POOL OPERATOR TO MODIFY, TERMINATE, OR OFFSET THE POOL’S OBLIGATIONS OR THE POOL’S EXPOSURE TO THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH A TRANSACTION PRIOR TO ITS SCHEDULED TERMINATION DATE.

THIS PROSPECTUS DOES NOT INCLUDE ALL OF THE INFORMATION OR EXHIBITS IN THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT OF THE TRUST. INVESTORS CAN READ AND COPY THE ENTIRE REGISTRATION STATEMENT AT THE PUBLIC REFERENCE FACILITIES MAINTAINED BY THE SEC IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE TRUST WILL FILE QUARTERLY AND ANNUAL REPORTS WITH THE SEC. INVESTORS CAN READ AND COPY THESE REPORTS AT THE SEC PUBLIC REFERENCE FACILITIES IN WASHINGTON, D.C. PLEASE CALL THE SEC AT 1-800-SEC-0330 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.
THE FILINGS OF THE TRUST ARE POSTED AT THE SEC WEBSITE AT WWW.SEC.GOV.
REGULATORY NOTICES
NO DEALER, SALESMAN OR ANY OTHER PERSON HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED TO GIVE ANY INFORMATION OR TO MAKE ANY REPRESENTATION NOT CONTAINED IN THIS PROSPECTUS, AND, IF GIVEN OR MADE, SUCH OTHER INFORMATION OR REPRESENTATION MUST NOT BE RELIED UPON AS HAVING BEEN AUTHORIZED BY THE TRUST, ANY OF THE FUNDS, THE SPONSOR, THE AUTHORIZED PARTICIPANTS OR ANY OTHER PERSON.
THIS PROSPECTUS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION TO SELL OR A SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO BUY, NOR SHALL THERE BE ANY OFFER, SOLICITATION, OR SALE OF THE SHARES IN ANY JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH OFFER, SOLICITATION, OR SALE IS NOT AUTHORIZED OR TO ANY PERSON TO WHOM IT IS UNLAWFUL TO MAKE ANY SUCH OFFER, SOLICITATION, OR SALE.

AUTHORIZED PARTICIPANTS MAY BE REQUIRED TO DELIVER A PROSPECTUS WHEN TRANSACTING IN SHARES. SEE “PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION” IN PART TWO OF THIS PROSPECTUS.
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PROSHARES TRUST II
Table of Contents
 
SUMMARY
4
Important Information About the Funds
4
Overview
5
The VIX Futures Fund
5
The Natural Gas Funds
5
The Precious Metals Funds
5
The Currency Funds
6
Purchases and Sales in the Secondary Market
7
Creation and Redemption Transactions
7
Breakeven Amounts
8
Important Tax Information
8
RISK FACTOR SUMMARY
9
Risks Related to All Funds
9
Risks Specific to the Geared Funds, VIX Futures Fund, Natural Gas Funds, Precious Metals Funds, and Currency Funds
10
RISK FACTORS
12
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
49
DESCRIPTION OF EACH FUND’S BENCHMARK
50
DESCRIPTION OF THE MID-TERM VIX FUTURES FUND’S INDEX
50
The S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures Index
50
Information about the Index Licensor
51
DESCRIPTION OF THE NATURAL GAS FUNDS’ BENCHMARK
52
Bloomberg Natural Gas SubindexSM
52
Information About the Index Licensor
52
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRECIOUS METALS FUNDS’ BENCHMARKS
53
Bloomberg Silver SubindexSM
53
Information About the Index Licensor
54
Bloomberg Gold SubindexSM
55
Information About the Index Licensor
55
DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENCY FUNDS’ BENCHMARKS
56
Euro
56
Japanese Yen
56
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
56
Investment Objectives
56
Principal Investment Strategies
57
PERFORMANCE OF THE OFFERED COMMODITY POOLS OPERATED BY THE COMMODITY POOL OPERATOR
67
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
74
CHARGES
75
Breakeven Table
75
MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
79
Status of the Funds
80
U.S. Shareholders
81
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Page
GENERAL POOL DISCLOSURE
PERFORMANCE OF THE OTHER COMMODITY POOLS OPERATED BY THE COMMODITY POOL OPERATOR
93
USE OF PROCEEDS
100
WHO MAY SUBSCRIBE
100
CREATION AND REDEMPTION OF SHARES
101
Creation Procedures
102
Redemption Procedures
103
Creation and Redemption Transaction Fee
105
Special Settlement
105
LITIGATION
105
DESCRIPTION OF THE SHARES; THE FUNDS; CERTAIN MATERIAL TERMS OF THE TRUST AGREEMENT
106
Description of the Shares
106
Principal Office; Location of Records; Fiscal Year
106
The Funds
106
The Trustee
107
The Sponsor
107
Duties of the Sponsor
110
Ownership or Beneficial Interest in the Funds
111
Management; Voting by Shareholders
111
Recognition of the Trust and the Funds in Certain States
111
Possible Repayment of Distributions Received by Shareholders
111
Shares Freely Transferable
111
Book-Entry Form
111
Reports to Shareholders
112
Net Asset Value (“NAV”)
112
Indicative Optimized Portfolio Value (“IOPV”)
113
Termination Events
113
DISTRIBUTIONS
113
THE ADMINISTRATOR
113
THE CUSTODIAN
114
THE TRANSFER AGENT
114
THE DISTRIBUTOR
114
Description of SEI
114
THE SECURITIES DEPOSITORY; BOOK-ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM; GLOBAL SECURITY
114
SHARE SPLITS OR REVERSE SPLITS
115
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
115
MATERIAL CONTRACTS
117
Administration and Accounting Agreement
117
Transfer Agency and Service Agreement
117
Custody Agreement
117
Distribution Agreement
118
PURCHASES BY EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS
118
General
118
“Plan Assets”
119
Ineligible Purchasers
119
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Page
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
120
Buying and Selling Shares
120
Authorized Participants
120
Likelihood of Becoming a Statutory Underwriter
120
General
121
LEGAL MATTERS
121
EXPERTS
121
WHERE INVESTORS CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
121
RECENT FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND ANNUAL REPORTS
122
PRIVACY POLICY
122
The Trust’s Commitment to Investors
122
The Information the Trust Collects About Investors
122
How the Trust Handles Investors’ Personal Information
122
How the Trust Safeguards Investors’ Personal Information
123
INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS
123
FUTURES COMMISSION MERCHANTS
125
Litigation and Regulatory Disclosure Relating to FCMs
125
Margin Levels Expected to be Held at the FCMs
210
SWAP COUNTERPARTIES
210
Litigation and Regulatory Disclosure Relating to Swap Counterparties
211
APPENDIX A—GLOSSARY OF DEFINED TERMS
A-1
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PART ONE
OFFERED SERIES DISCLOSURE
SUMMARY
Investors should read the following summary together with the more detailed information in this Prospectus before investing in Shares of any of the Funds, including the information under the caption “Risk Factors,” and all exhibits to this Prospectus and the information incorporated by reference in this Prospectus, including the financial statements and the notes to those financial statements in the Trust’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, and the Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports, if any, on Form 8-K. Please see the section entitled “Incorporation by Reference of Certain Documents” in Part Two of this Prospectus. Investors should also read any updated Prospectus, supplements to this Prospectus, notices and press releases, and other important information about the Funds which are posted on the Sponsor’s website at www.ProShares.com.
For ease of reference, any references throughout this Prospectus to various actions taken by any or all of the Funds are actually actions taken by the Trust on behalf of such Funds.
The definitions of capitalized terms used in this Prospectus can be found in the Glossary of Defined Terms in Appendix A and throughout this Prospectus.
Important Information About the Funds
THE FUNDS PRESENT SIGNIFICANT RISKS NOT APPLICABLE TO OTHER TYPES OF FUNDS. THE FUNDS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR ALL INVESTORS. THE VIX FUTURES FUND INCLUDES RISKS RELATING TO INVESTING IN AND SEEKING EXPOSURE TO VIX FUTURES CONTRACTS. THE GEARED FUNDS THAT USE LEVERAGE ARE RISKIER THAN SIMILARLY BENCHMARKED EXCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS THAT DO NOT USE LEVERAGE. AN INVESTOR SHOULD ONLY CONSIDER AN INVESTMENT IN A GEARED FUND IF HE OR SHE UNDERSTANDS THE CONSEQUENCES OF SEEKING DAILY LEVERAGED, DAILY INVERSE OR DAILY INVERSE LEVERAGED INVESTMENT RESULTS, INCLUDING THE IMPACT OF COMPOUNDING ON GEARED FUND PERFORMANCE.
THE RETURN OF A GEARED FUND FOR A PERIOD LONGER THAN A SINGLE DAY IS THE RESULT OF ITS RETURN FOR EACH DAY COMPOUNDED OVER THE PERIOD AND USUALLY WILL DIFFER IN AMOUNT AND POSSIBLY EVEN DIRECTION FROM THE GEARED FUND’S STATED MULTIPLE TIMES THE RETURN OF THE FUND’S BENCHMARK FOR THE SAME PERIOD. THESE DIFFERENCES CAN BE SIGNIFICANT.
THE FUNDS’ INVESTMENTS MAY BE ILLIQUID (I.E., DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE TO SELL AT THE DESIRED PRICE) AND/OR HIGHLY VOLATILE AND THE FUNDS MAY EXPERIENCE LARGE LOSSES FROM BUYING, SELLING OR HOLDING SUCH INVESTMENTS. AN INVESTOR IN ANY OF THE FUNDS COULD POTENTIALLY LOSE THE FULL PRINCIPAL VALUE OF HIS/HER INVESTMENT WITHIN A SINGLE DAY.
SHAREHOLDERS WHO INVEST IN THE FUNDS SHOULD ACTIVELY MANAGE AND MONITOR THEIR INVESTMENTS,
AS FREQUENTLY AS DAILY.
Each UltraShort Fund seeks daily investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond to two times the inverse (-2x) of the performance of its benchmark for a single day, not for any other period. Each Ultra Fund seeks daily investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond to two times (2x) the performance of its benchmark for a single day, not for any other period. The return of a Geared Fund for a period longer than a single day is the result of its return for each day compounded over the period and usually will differ in amount and possibly even direction from the Geared Fund’s stated multiple times the return of the Geared Fund’s benchmark for the same period. These differences can be significant. Daily compounding of a Geared Fund’s investment returns can dramatically and adversely affect its longer-term performance, especially during periods of high volatility.
Volatility has a negative impact on Geared Fund performance and the volatility of a Geared Fund’s benchmark may be at least as important to a Geared Fund’s return as the return of the Geared Fund’s benchmark. Each Geared Fund uses leverage and should produce returns
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for a single day that are more volatile than that of its benchmark. For example, the return for a single day of an Ultra Fund with a 2x multiple should be approximately two times as volatile for a single day as the return of a fund with an objective of matching the same benchmark. The return for a single day of an UltraShort Fund with a -2x multiple should be approximately two times as volatile for a single day as the return of a fund with an objective of matching the same benchmark.
THE VIX FUTURES FUND PRESENTS DIFFERENT RISKS THAN OTHER TYPES OF FUNDS, INCLUDING RISKS RELATING TO INVESTING AND SEEKING EXPOSURE TO VIX FUTURES CONTRACTS. AN INVESTOR SHOULD ONLY CONSIDER AN INVESTMENT IN THE VIX FUTURES FUND IF HE OR SHE UNDERSTANDS THE CONSEQUENCES OF
SEEKING EXPOSURE TO VIX FUTURES CONTRACTS.
The VIX Futures Fund is benchmarked to the S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures Index (the “Index”), an investable index of VIX futures contracts. The VIX Futures Fund is a matching fund (the “Matching Fund”) which seeks results, before fees and expenses, that over time match the performance of the Index. The VIX Futures Fund is not benchmarked to the VIX Index (which is commonly referred to as the “VIX”). The VIX is a non-investable index that measures the implied volatility of the S&P 500. For these purposes, “implied volatility” is a measure of the expected volatility (i.e., the rate and magnitude of variations in performance) of the S&P 500 over the next 30 days. The VIX does not represent the actual volatility of the S&P 500. The VIX is calculated based on the prices of a constantly changing portfolio of S&P 500 put and call options. The index underlying the VIX Futures Fund consists of mid-term VIX futures contracts.
THE PERFORMANCE OF THE INDEX AND THE VIX FUTURES FUND CAN BE EXPECTED TO BE VERY DIFFERENT
FROM THE ACTUAL VOLATILITY OF THE S&P 500 OR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE VIX INDEX.
Unlike certain other asset classes that, in general, have historically increased in price over long periods of time, the volatility of the S&P 500 as measured by the VIX has historically reverted to a long-term average level over time. This means that the potential upside of an investment in the VIX Futures Fund may be limited. In addition, gains of the VIX Futures Fund, if any, may be subject to significant and unexpected reversals. Investors holding Shares of the VIX Futures Fund beyond short-term periods have an increased risk of losing a substantial portion of their investment. Historically, the longer an investor’s holding period in the VIX Futures Fund, the greater the potential of loss. The VIX Futures Fund generally is intended to be used only for short-term investment horizons.
Overview
Each Fund is listed below along with its respective benchmark.
The VIX Futures Fund
Fund Name
Benchmark
ProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF
S&P 500® VIX Mid-Term Futures Index
The Natural Gas Funds
Fund Name
Benchmark
ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas
Bloomberg Natural Gas SubindexSM
ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Natural Gas
Bloomberg Natural Gas SubindexSM
The Precious Metals Funds
Fund Name
Benchmark
ProShares UltraShort Silver
Bloomberg Silver SubindexSM
ProShares UltraShort Gold
Bloomberg Gold SubindexSM
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The Currency Funds
Fund Name
Benchmark
ProShares Ultra Euro
The U.S. dollar price of the euro
ProShares UltraShort Euro
The U.S. dollar price of the euro
ProShares Ultra Yen
The U.S. dollar price of the Japanese yen
ProShares UltraShort Yen
The U.S. dollar price of the Japanese yen
The VIX Futures Fund
The VIX Futures Fund is sometimes referred to herein as the “Matching Fund.” This Fund offers investors the opportunity to obtain “matching” (i.e., not leveraged, inverse or inverse leveraged) exposure to its underlying benchmark, as described herein.
The Geared Funds
The Geared Funds currently include the following Funds: the Natural Gas Funds, the Precious Metals Funds and the Currency Funds.
Each “UltraShort Fund” seeks daily investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond to two times the inverse (-2x) of the performance of its benchmark. Each “Ultra Fund” seeks daily investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond to two times (2x) of the performance of its benchmark. The Geared Funds do not seek to achieve their stated objective over a period greater than a single day. A “single day” is measured from the time the Fund calculates its net asset value (“NAV”) to the time of the Fund’s next NAV calculation.
Each Geared Fund seeks to engage in daily rebalancing to position its portfolio so that its exposure to its benchmark is consistent with its daily investment objective. The impact of changes to the value of a Fund’s benchmark each day will affect whether such Fund’s portfolio needs to be rebalanced. For example, if an UltraShort Fund’s benchmark has risen on a given day, net assets of such Fund should fall (assuming there were no Creation Units issued). As a result, inverse exposure will need to be decreased. Conversely, if an UltraShort Fund’s benchmark has fallen on a given day, net assets of such Fund should rise (assuming there were no Creation Unit redemptions). As a result, inverse exposure will need to be increased. For an Ultra Fund, the Fund’s long exposure will need to be increased on days when such Fund’s benchmark rises (assuming there were no Creation Unit redemptions) and decreased on days when such Fund’s benchmark falls (assuming there were no Creation Units issued). The time and manner in which a Geared Fund rebalances its portfolio may vary from day to day at the discretion of the Sponsor depending upon market conditions and other circumstances.
DAILY REBALANCING AND THE COMPOUNDING OF EACH DAY’S RETURN OVER TIME MEANS THAT THE RETURN OF EACH GEARED FUND FOR A PERIOD LONGER THAN A SINGLE DAY WILL BE THE RESULT OF EACH DAY’S RETURNS COMPOUNDED OVER THE PERIOD, WHICH WILL VERY LIKELY DIFFER FROM A MULTIPLE (2X) OR AN INVERSE MULTIPLE (-2X) OF THE RETURN OF THE GEARED FUND’S BENCHMARK FOR THE SAME PERIOD. A GEARED FUND WILL LOSE MONEY IF ITS BENCHMARK’S PERFORMANCE IS FLAT OVER TIME, AND A GEARED FUND CAN LOSE MONEY REGARDLESS OF THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS BENCHMARK, AS A RESULT OF DAILY REBALANCING, THE BENCH
MARK’S VOLATILITY, COMPOUNDING AND OTHER FACTORS.
All Funds
Each of the Funds intends to invest in Financial Instruments to gain the appropriate amount of exposure to its benchmark in the manner and to the extent described herein. “Financial Instruments” are instruments whose value is derived from the value of an underlying asset, rate or benchmark (such asset, rate or benchmark, a “Reference Asset”) and include futures contracts, swap agreements, forward contracts, option contracts, and other instruments. The Funds will not invest directly in any commodities or currencies.
In seeking to achieve the Funds’ investment objectives, the Sponsor uses a mathematical approach to investing. Using this approach, the Sponsor determines the type, quantity and mix of Financial Instruments that the Sponsor believes, in combination, should produce daily returns consistent with the Funds’ objectives.
The Funds are not actively managed by traditional methods (e.g., by effecting changes in the composition of a portfolio on the basis of judgments relating to economic, financial and market conditions with a view toward obtaining positive results under all market conditions).
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Each Fund seeks to remain fully invested at all times in Financial Instruments and money market instruments that, in combination, provide exposure to its underlying benchmark consistent with its investment objective, even during periods in which the benchmark is flat or moving in a manner which causes the value of a Fund to decline.
The Sponsor has the authority to change a Fund’s investment objective, benchmark or investment strategy at any time, or to terminate the Trust or a Fund, in each case, without shareholder approval or advance notice, subject to applicable regulatory requirements.
ProShare Capital Management LLC, a Maryland limited liability company, serves as the Trust’s Sponsor and commodity pool operator. The principal office of the Sponsor and the Funds is located at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, 21st Floor, Bethesda, Maryland 20814. The telephone number of the Sponsor and each of the Funds is (240) 497-6400.
Purchases and Sales in the Secondary Market
The Shares of each Fund are listed on NYSE Arca, Inc. with the exception of Shares of the VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF which are listed for trading on the Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange”) under the ticker symbols shown on the front cover of this Prospectus. Secondary market purchases and sales of Shares are subject to ordinary brokerage commissions and charges.
Creation and Redemption Transactions
Only an Authorized Participant may purchase (i.e., create) or redeem Shares with the Funds. Authorized Participants may create and redeem Shares only in large blocks of Shares known as “Creation Units”, each of which consists of 50,000 Shares (25,000 Shares with respect to the VIX Futures Fund). An “Authorized Participant” is an entity that has entered into an Authorized Participant Agreement with the Trust and the Sponsor. Creation Units are offered to Authorized Participants at each Fund’s NAV. Creation Units in a Fund are expected to be created when there is sufficient demand for Shares in such Fund that the market price per Share is at a premium to the NAV per Share. Authorized Participants will likely sell such Shares to the public at prices that are expected to reflect, among other factors, the trading price of the Shares of such Fund and the supply of and demand for the Shares at the time of sale. Similarly, it is expected that Creation Units in a Fund will be redeemed when the market price per Share of such Fund is at a discount to the NAV per Share. The Sponsor expects that the exploitation of such arbitrage opportunities by Authorized Participants and their clients will tend to cause the public trading price of the Shares to track the NAV per Share of a Fund over time, though there can be no guarantees this will be the case. Retail investors seeking to purchase or sell Shares on any day effect such transactions in the secondary market at the market price per Share, rather than in connection with the creation or redemption of Creation Units.
A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (“SEI” or the “Distributor”), generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits a specified amount of cash (unless as provided otherwise in this Prospectus) in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. Similarly, Shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for cash (unless as provided otherwise in this Prospectus). Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable. The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of the NAV after an order is received in proper form, as described in the Authorized Participant Agreement and the related Authorized Participant Procedures Handbook. From time to time the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may impose limits on the number of Creation Units that may be created each day by each Authorized Participant, or on the total number of Creation Units that may be created by all Authorized Participants on such day, or may suspend the purchase and/or redemption of Creation Units altogether. For example, the Sponsor may impose such limits or suspension if it believes doing so would help a Fund manage its portfolio, such as by allowing a Fund to comply with counterparty or position limits, or to manage or otherwise comply with Share registration requirements, or in response to significant and/or rapid increases in the size of a Fund as a result of an increase in creation activity. The manner by which Creation Units are purchased and redeemed is governed by the terms of this Prospectus, the Authorized Participant Agreement and Authorized Participant Procedures Handbook. Creation and redemption orders are not effective until accepted by the Distributor and may be rejected or revoked. By placing a purchase order, an Authorized Participant agrees to deposit cash (unless as provided otherwise in this Prospectus) with The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”, the “Custodian”, the “Transfer Agent” and the “Administrator”), acting in its capacity as custodian of the Funds.
Creation and redemption transactions must be placed each day with SEI by the create/redeem cut-off time (stated below) to receive that day’s NAV. The Sponsor may require orders to be placed earlier if, for example, the Exchange or other exchange material to the valuation or operation of such Fund closes before such cut-off time. Because the primary trading session for the commodities and/or futures contracts
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underlying certain of the Funds have different closing (or fixing) times than U.S. Equity markets, the create/redeem cut-off time and NAV calculation time for each Fund may differ. See the section entitled “Net Asset Value” for additional information about the NAV calculations.
Underlying Benchmark
Create/Redeem Cut-off
NAV Calculation Time
S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures Index
2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Bloomberg Natural Gas SubindexSM
2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Bloomberg Silver SubindexSM
1:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
1:25 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Bloomberg Gold SubindexSM
1:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
1:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Euro
3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Yen
3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Breakeven Amounts
A Fund will be profitable only if returns from the Fund’s investments exceed its “breakeven amount.” Estimated breakeven amounts are set forth in the table below. The estimated breakeven amounts represent the estimated amount of trading income that each Fund would need to achieve during one year to offset the Fund’s estimated fees, costs and expenses, net of any interest income earned by the Fund on its investments. Estimated amounts do not represent actual results, which may be different. It is not possible to predict whether a Fund will break even at the end of the first twelve months of an investment or any other period. See “Charges—Breakeven Table,” beginning on page 75, for more detailed tables showing Breakeven Amounts.
Fund Name
Breakeven Amount
(% Per Annum of
Average
Daily NAV)*
Assumed
Selling
Price
Per Share*
Breakeven Amount
($ for the
Assumed Selling
Price Per Share)*
ProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF
0.85%
$35.00
$0.30
ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas
1.38%
$100.00
$1.38
ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Natural Gas
1.41%
$25.00
$0.36
ProShares UltraShort Silver
1.29%
$30.00
$0.39
ProShares UltraShort Gold
1.17%
$30.00
$0.35
ProShares Ultra Euro
0.83%
$10.00
$0.08
ProShares UltraShort Euro
0.83%
$25.00
$0.21
ProShares Ultra Yen
0.83%
$35.00
$0.29
ProShares UltraShort Yen
0.83%
$50.00
$0.42

*
The breakeven analysis set forth in this table assumes that the Shares have a constant NAV equal to the amount shown. The amount approximates the NAV of such shares based on recent NAV history as of May 31, 2022, rounded to the nearest $5. The actual NAV of each Fund differs and is likely to change on a daily basis. The numbers in this chart have been rounded to the nearest 0.01.
Important Tax Information
Please note that each Fund will distribute to each shareholder a Schedule K-1 that will contain information regarding the shareholder’s share of income and expense items of the Fund. Schedule K-1 is a complex form and shareholders may find that preparing tax returns may require additional time or may require the assistance of an accountant or other tax preparer, at an additional expense to the shareholder.
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RISK FACTOR SUMMARY
Risks Related to All Funds
Each Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective even during periods when the performance of the Fund’s benchmark is flat or when the benchmark is moving in a manner that may cause the value of the Fund to decline.
There is no guarantee that any Fund will achieve its investment objective.
Potential negative impact from rolling futures positions; there have been extended periods in the past where the investment strategies utilized by the Funds have caused significant and sustained losses.
The number of underlying components included in a Fund’s benchmark may impact the volatility of such benchmark, which could adversely affect an investment in the Shares.
Possible illiquid markets may cause or exacerbate losses; the large size of the positions the Funds may acquire increases these risks.
Changes implemented by the benchmark provider that affect the composition and valuation of the benchmark could negatively impact the performance of the benchmark and therefore the performance of the Funds.
For the Funds linked to a benchmark, changes implemented by the benchmark provider that affect the composition and valuation of the benchmark could negatively impact the performance of the Funds.
The particular benchmark used by a Fund may underperform other asset classes and may underperform other indices or benchmarks based upon the same underlying Reference Asset.
A Fund may change its investment objective, benchmark and investment strategies, and/or may terminate, at any time without shareholder approval.
There may be circumstances that could prevent or make it impractical for a Fund to operate in a manner consistent with its investment objective and investment strategies.
Historical correlation trends between Fund benchmarks and other asset classes may not continue or may reverse, limiting or eliminating any potential diversification or other benefit from owning a Fund.
The lack of active trading markets for the Shares may result in losses upon the sale of such Shares.
Investors may be adversely affected by redemption or creation orders that are subject to postponement, suspension or rejection under certain circumstances.
The NAV per Share may not correspond to the market price per Share.
Investors may be adversely affected by an overstatement or understatement of a Fund’s NAV due to the valuation method employed or errors in the NAV calculation.
The liquidity of the Shares may also be affected by the withdrawal from participation of Authorized Participants, which could adversely affect the market price of the Shares.
Shareholders that are not Authorized Participants may only purchase or sell their Shares in secondary trading markets, and the conditions associated with trading in secondary markets may adversely affect investors’ investment in the Shares.
A Fund’s listing exchange may halt trading in Shares of the Fund which would adversely impact investors’ ability to sell Shares and could lead to investor losses.
Shareholders do not have the protections associated with ownership of shares in an investment company registered under the 1940 Act.
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Regulatory changes or actions may alter the operations and profitability of the Funds.
Regulatory and exchange daily price limits, position limits and accountability levels may cause the Sponsor to restrict the creation of Creation Units which could have a negative impact on the operation of each Fund, prevent a Fund from achieving its investment objective, and disrupt secondary market trading of Fund Shares.
The use of futures contracts may expose the Funds to liquidity and other risks, which could result in significant loss to the Funds.
Margin requirements and position limits applicable to futures contracts and the ability of and market required by swap counterparties may limit a Fund’s ability to achieve sufficient exposure and prevent a Fund from achieving its investment objective.
The insolvency of a futures commission merchant (“FCM”) or clearinghouse or the failure of an FCM or clearinghouse to properly segregate Fund assets held as margin on futures transactions may result in losses to the Funds.
A Fund’s performance could be adversely affected if an FCM reduces its internal risk limits for the Fund.
The use of swap agreements may expose the Funds to liquidity risk, counterparty credit risk and other risks, which could result in significant loss to the Funds.
The use of derivatives, such as swap agreements and forward contracts, exposes the Funds to counterparty credit risks.
The use of options strategies may expose the Funds to significant loss and liquidity, counterparty and other risks.
Use of an options strategy is costly and may not protect a Fund.
Shareholders’ tax liability may exceed cash distributions on the Shares.
Investors in our Funds may be exposed to various tax risks, as described in further detail below.
Natural disasters and public health disruptions, such as the COVID-19 virus (including any variants), may have a significant negative impact on the performance of each Fund; the risks and other information described herein could become outdated as a result of such events.
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the ongoing conflict between those two countries, the U.S. and other countries, as well as the European Union, have issued broad-ranging economic sanctions designed to impose severe pressure on Russia’s economy. Such sanctions, and the conflict generally, may have adverse effects on regional and global economic markets, and may result in increased volatility and could have a negative impact on the performance of a Fund and its or the liquidity and price of Fund Shares.
Financial markets, including the benchmark and Financial Instruments used by a Fund and Fund Shares may be subject to unusual trading activity, volatility, and potential fraud and/or manipulation by third parties, which could have a negative impact on the performance of the benchmark and the Fund or the liquidity and price of Fund Shares.
Benchmark changes and market transactions, including the daily rebalancing of futures contracts by the Funds may have a significant impact on the trading, liquidity and price of the futures contracts underlying the benchmark and, in turn, a significant impact on the performance of the benchmark and the Funds and the trading, liquidity, and price of Fund Shares.
Purchases of Creation Units by Authorized Participants may be limited or suspending by the Sponsor in its sole discretion. For example, the Sponsor may limit or suspend the purchase of Creation Units if it believes doing so would help a Fund manage its portfolio, such as by allowing a Fund to comply with counterparty or position limits, or to manage or otherwise comply with Share registration requirements, or in response to significant and/or rapid increases in the size of a Fund as a result of an increase in creation activity. This may, among other things, cause Fund Shares to trade at a premium to NAV or otherwise have a negative impact on the liquidity and trading of Fund Shares.
Risks Specific to the Geared Funds, VIX Futures Fund, Natural Gas Funds, Precious Metals Funds, and Currency Funds
The use of leveraged or inverse leveraged positions increases risk and could result in the total loss of an investor’s investment within a single day.
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Due to the compounding of daily returns, a Geared Fund’s returns over periods longer than a single day will likely differ in amount and possibly even direction from the Fund’s stated multiple times the return of its benchmark for such period. Intraday price performance of Geared Fund shares will likely differ from the Fund’s stated daily multiple times the performance of its benchmark for such day.
Intraday price performance of Geared Fund shares will likely differ from the Fund’s stated daily multiple times the performance of its benchmark for such day.
To achieve a high degree of correlation with their applicable underlying benchmarks, the Geared Funds seek to rebalance their portfolios daily to keep exposure consistent with their respective investment objectives. Various market factors may adversely affect such Geared Funds’ ability to adjust exposure to requisite levels.
The Natural Gas Funds are linked to an index of natural gas futures contracts, and are not directly linked to the “spot” price of natural gas. Natural Gas futures contracts may perform very differently from the spot price of natural gas.
The Precious Metals Funds do not hold gold or silver bullion. Rather, the Precious Metals Funds use Financial Instruments to gain exposure to gold or silver bullion. Using Financial Instruments to obtain exposure to gold or silver bullion may cause tracking error and subject the Precious Metals Funds to the effects of contango and backwardation as described herein.
Currency exchange rates may be susceptible to distortion, manipulation and their values may fluctuate drastically.
VIX futures contracts can be highly volatile and the Fund may experience sudden and large losses when buying, selling or holding such instruments.
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RISK FACTORS
Investing in the Funds involves significant risks not applicable to other types of investments. The Funds may be highly volatile and you could potentially lose the full principal value of your investment within a single day. Before you decide to purchase any Shares, you should consider carefully the risks described below together with all of the other information included in this Prospectus, as well as information found in documents incorporated by reference in this Prospectus. These risk factors may be amended, supplemented or superseded from time to time by risk factors contained in any periodic report, prospectus supplement, post-effective amendment or in other reports filed with the SEC in the future.
The assets that the Funds invest in can be highly volatile and the Funds may experience sudden and large losses when buying, selling or holding such instruments; you can lose all of your investment within a single day.
Investments linked to commodity or currency markets can be highly volatile compared to investments in traditional securities and the Funds may experience sudden and large losses. These markets may fluctuate widely based on a variety of factors including changes in overall market movements, political and economic events, wars, acts of terrorism, periods of recession and/or sustained elevated inflation, natural disasters (including disease, epidemics and pandemics) and changes in interest rates or inflation rates. High volatility may have an adverse impact on the performance of the Funds. An investor in any of the Funds could potentially lose the full principal value of his or her investment within a single day.
Risks Specific to the Geared Funds
The use of leveraged or inverse leveraged positions increases risk and could result in the total loss of an investor’s investment within a single day.
Each of the Geared Funds utilizes leverage in seeking to achieve its investment objective and will lose more money in market environments adverse to its daily investment objective than funds that do not employ leverage. The use of leveraged and/or inverse leveraged positions increases risk and could result in the total loss of an investor’s investment within a single day. The more a Fund invests in leveraged positions, the more this leverage will magnify any losses on those investments. A Fund’s investments in leveraged positions generally requires a small investment relative to the amount of investment exposure assumed. As a result, such investments may give rise to losses that far exceed the amount invested in those instruments.
For example, because the Ultra Funds and the UltraShort Funds offered hereby include a two times (2x) or a two times inverse (-2x) multiplier, a single-day movement in the benchmark for one of these Funds approaching 50% at any point in the day could result in the total loss or almost total loss of an investment in such Fund if that movement is contrary to the investment objective of the Fund. This would be the case with downward single-day or intraday movements in the underlying benchmark of an Ultra Fund or upward single day or intraday movements in the benchmark of an UltraShort Fund, even if the underlying benchmark maintains a level greater than zero at all times and even if the benchmark subsequently moves in an opposite direction, eliminating all or a portion of the prior adverse movement. It is not possible to predict when sudden large changes in the daily movement of a benchmark may occur.
Due to the compounding of daily returns, a Geared Fund’s returns over periods longer than a single day will likely differ in amount and possibly even direction from the Fund’s stated multiple times the return of its benchmark for such period.
Each of the Geared Funds is “geared” which means that each has an investment objective to seek daily investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond either to two times (2x) or two times the inverse (-2x) of the performance of a benchmark for a single day, not for any other period. A single day is measured from the time a Fund calculates its respective net asset value (“NAV”) to the time of the Fund’s next NAV calculation. The NAV calculation times for the Funds typically range from 7:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time); please see the section entitled “Summary–Creation and Redemption Transactions” above for additional details on the NAV calculation times for the Funds. The return of a Geared Fund for a period longer than a single day is the result of its return for each day compounded over the period and usually will differ from two times (2x) or two times the inverse (-2x) of the return of the Geared Fund’s benchmark for the same period. Compounding is the cumulative effect of applying investment gains and losses and income to the principal amount invested over time. Gains or losses experienced over a given period will increase or reduce the principal amount invested from which the subsequent period’s returns are calculated. The effects of compounding will likely cause the performance of a Geared Fund to differ from the Geared Fund’s stated multiple times the return of its
-12

benchmark for the same period. The effect of compounding becomes more pronounced as benchmark volatility and holding period increase. The impact of compounding will impact each shareholder differently depending on the period of time an investment in a Geared Fund is held and the volatility of the benchmark during the holding period of an investment in the Geared Fund.
A Geared Fund will lose money if its benchmark’s performance is flat over time, and a Geared Fund can lose money regardless of the performance of an underlying benchmark, as a result of daily rebalancing, the benchmark’s volatility, compounding and other factors. Longer holding periods, higher benchmark volatility, inverse exposure and greater leverage each affect the impact of compounding on a Geared Fund’s returns. Daily compounding of a Geared Fund’s investment returns can dramatically and adversely affect performance, especially during periods of high volatility. Volatility has a negative impact on Geared Fund performance and the volatility of a Geared Fund’s benchmark may be at least as important to a Geared Fund’s return for a period as the return of the Fund’s benchmark.
Each of the Ultra Fund and UltraShort Fund uses leverage and should produce returns for a single day that are more volatile than that of its benchmark. For example, the return for a single day of an Ultra Fund with a 2x multiple should be approximately two times as volatile for a single day as the return of a fund with an objective of matching the performance of the same benchmark. The return for a single day of an UltraShort Fund with a -2x multiple should be approximately two times as volatile for a single day as the inverse of the return of a fund with an objective of matching the performance of the same benchmark.
The Geared Funds are not appropriate for all investors and present different risks than other funds. The Geared Funds use leverage and are riskier than similarly benchmarked exchange-traded funds that do not use leverage. An investor should only consider an investment in a Geared Fund if he or she understands the consequences of seeking daily leveraged, daily inverse or daily inverse leveraged investment results for a single day. Shareholders who invest in the Geared Funds should actively manage and monitor their investments, as frequently as daily.
The hypothetical examples below illustrate how daily geared fund returns can behave for periods longer than a single day. Each involves a hypothetical fund XYZ that seeks returns that are two times (2x) the daily performance of benchmark XYZ, before fees and expenses. On each day, fund XYZ performs in line with its objective (two times (2x) the benchmark’s daily performance before fees and expenses). Notice that, in the first example (showing an overall benchmark loss for the period), over the entire seven-day period, the fund’s total return is more than two times (2x) the loss of the period return of the benchmark. For the seven-day period, benchmark XYZ lost 3.26% while fund XYZ lost 7.01% (versus -6.52% (or 2 x -3.26%)).
 
Benchmark XYZ
Fund XYZ
Level
Daily
Performance
Daily
Performance
Net Asset
Value
Start
100.00
 
 
$100.00
Day 1
97.00
-3.00%
-6.00%
$94.00
Day 2
99.91
3.00%
6.00%
$99.64
Day 3
96.91
-3.00%
-6.00%
$93.66
Day 4
99.82
3.00%
6.00%
$99.28
Day 5
96.83
-3.00%
-6.00%
$93.32
Day 6
99.73
3.00%
6.00%
$98.92
Day 7
96.74
-3.00%
-6.00%
$92.99
Total Return
 
-3.26%
-7.01%
 
Similarly, in another example (showing an overall benchmark gain for the period), over the entire seven-day period, the fund’s total return is considerably less than two times (2x) that of the period return of the benchmark. For the seven-day period, benchmark XYZ gained 2.72% while fund XYZ gained 4.86% (versus 5.44% (or 2 × 2.72%)).
 
Benchmark XYZ
Fund XYZ
Level
Daily
Performance
Daily
Performance
Net Asset
Value
Start
100.00
 
 
$100.00
Day 1
103.00
3.00%
6.00%
$106.00
-13

 
Benchmark XYZ
Fund XYZ
Level
Daily
Performance
Daily
Performance
Net Asset
Value
Day 2
99.91
-3.00%
-6.00%
$99.64
Day 3
102.91
3.00%
6.00%
$105.62
Day 4
99.82
-3.00%
-6.00%
$99.28
Day 5
102.81
3.00%
6.00%
$105.24
Day 6
99.73
-3.00%
-6.00%
$98.92
Day 7
102.72
3.00%
6.00%
$104.86
Total Return
 
2.72%
4.86%
 
These effects are caused by compounding, which exists in all investments, but has a more significant impact in geared funds. In general, during periods of higher benchmark volatility, compounding will cause an Ultra Fund’s returns for periods longer than a single day to be less than two times (2x) the return of its benchmark (or less than two times the inverse (-2x) of the return of its benchmark for an UltraShort Fund, respectively). This effect becomes more pronounced as volatility increases. Conversely, in periods of lower benchmark volatility (particularly when combined with higher benchmark returns), an Ultra Fund’s returns over longer periods can be greater than two times (2x) the return of its benchmark (or greater than two times the inverse (-2x) of the return of its benchmark for an UltraShort Fund). Actual results for a particular period are also dependent on the magnitude of the benchmark return in addition to the benchmark volatility. Similar effects exist for an UltraShort Fund, and the significance of these effects may be even greater with such inverse, inverse leveraged or leveraged funds.
The graphs that follow illustrate this point. Each of the graphs shows a simulated hypothetical one-year performance of a benchmark compared with the performance of a geared fund that perfectly achieves its geared daily investment objective. The graphs demonstrate that, for periods greater than a single day, a geared fund is likely to underperform or overperform (but not match) the benchmark performance times the multiple stated as the daily fund objective. Investors should understand the consequences of holding daily rebalanced funds for periods longer than a single day and should actively manage and monitor their investments, as frequently as daily. A one-year period is used solely for illustrative purposes. Deviations from the benchmark return times the fund multiple can occur over periods as short as two days (each day as measured from NAV to NAV) and may also occur in periods of a single day, or even intra-day. To isolate the impact of daily leveraged, inverse or inverse leveraged exposure, these graphs assume: a) no fund expenses or transaction costs; b) borrowing/lending rates of zero percent (to obtain required leveraged, inverse or inverse leveraged exposure) and cash reinvestment rates of zero percent; and c) the fund consistently maintaining perfect exposure (-2x or 2x) as of the fund’s NAV time each day. If these assumptions were different, the fund’s performance would be different than that shown. If fund expenses, transaction costs and financing expenses greater than zero percent were included, the fund’s performance would also be different than shown. Each of the graphs also assumes a volatility rate of 47% which is an approximate average of the five-year historical volatility rate of the most volatile benchmark referenced herein (the daily performance of Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex) as of March 31, 2022. A benchmark’s volatility rate is a statistical measure of the magnitude of fluctuations in its returns.HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE MANY INHERENT LIMITATIONS. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY BENCHMARK OR FUND WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE GAINS OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN OR WILL EXPERIENCE VOLATILITY SIMILAR TO THAT SHOWN. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE CHART BELOW IS FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY.
-14

One-Year Simulation; Benchmark Flat (0%)
(Annualized Benchmark Volatility 47%)
The graph above shows a scenario where the benchmark, which exhibits day-to-day volatility, is flat or trendless over the year (i.e., provides a return of 0% over the course of the year), but the Ultra Fund (2x) and the UltraShort Fund (-2x) are both down.HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE MANY INHERENT LIMITATIONS. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY BENCHMARK OR FUND WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE GAINS OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN OR WILL EXPERIENCE VOLATILITY SIMILAR TO THAT SHOWN. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE CHART BELOW IS FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY.
One-Year Simulation; Benchmark Down 38%
(Annualized Benchmark Volatility 47%)
-15

The graph above shows a scenario where the benchmark, which exhibits day-to-day volatility, is down over the year, but the Ultra Fund (2x) is down less than two times the benchmark and the UltraShort Fund (-2x) is up less than two times the inverse of the benchmark.HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE MANY INHERENT LIMITATIONS. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY BENCHMARK OR FUND WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE GAINS OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN OR WILL EXPERIENCE VOLATILITY SIMILAR TO THAT SHOWN. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE CHART BELOW IS FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY.
One-Year Simulation; Benchmark Up 38%
(Annualized Benchmark Volatility 47%)
The graph above shows a scenario where the benchmark, which exhibits day-to-day volatility, is up over the year, but the Ultra Fund (2x) is up less than two times the benchmark and the UltraShort Fund (-2x) is down less than two times the inverse of the benchmark.
The historical five-year average volatility of the benchmarks utilized by the Funds ranges from 6.58% to 46.95% as of March 31, 2022, as set forth in the table below.
Benchmark
Historical
Five-Year Average
March 31, 2022
S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures Index
36.15%
Bloomberg Natural Gas SubindexSM
46.95%
Bloomberg Silver SubindexSM
29.36%
Bloomberg Gold SubindexSM
14.70%
The U.S. dollar price of the euro
6.58%
The U.S. dollar price of the Japanese yen
6.85%
Historical average volatility does not predict future volatility, which may be significantly higher or lower than historical averages.
Fund performance for periods greater than a single day can be estimated given any set of assumptions for the following factors: a) benchmark volatility; b) benchmark performance; c) period of time; d) financing rates associated with leveraged exposure; and e) other Fund expenses. The tables below illustrate the impact of two factors that affect a geared fund’s performance: benchmark volatility and benchmark return. Benchmark volatility is a statistical measure of the magnitude of fluctuations in the returns of a benchmark and is calculated as the standard deviation of the natural logarithms of one plus the benchmark return (calculated daily), multiplied by the square root of the number of
-16

trading days per year (assumed to be 252). The tables show estimated fund returns for a number of combinations of benchmark volatility and benchmark return over a one-year period. To isolate the impact of daily leveraged, inverse or inverse leveraged exposure, these tables assume: a) no fund expenses or transaction costs; b) borrowing/lending rates of zero percent (to obtain required leveraged, inverse or inverse leveraged exposure) and cash reinvestment rates of zero percent; and c) the fund consistently maintaining perfect exposure (2x, -2x) as of the fund’s NAV time each day. If these assumptions were different, the fund’s performance would be different than that shown. If fund expenses, transaction costs and financing expenses were included, the fund’s performance would be different than that shown.
The first table below shows an example in which a geared fund has an investment objective to correspond (before fees and expenses) to two times (2x) the daily performance of a benchmark. The geared fund could incorrectly be expected to achieve a 20% return on a yearly basis if the benchmark return was 10%, absent the effects of compounding. However, as the table shows, with a benchmark volatility of 40%, such a fund would return 3.1%. In the charts below, shaded areas represent those scenarios where a geared fund with the investment objective described will outperform (i.e., return more than) the benchmark performance times the stated multiple in the fund’s investment objective; conversely areas not shaded represent those scenarios where the fund will underperform (i.e., return less than) the benchmark performance times the multiple stated as the daily fund objective.HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE MANY INHERENT LIMITATIONS. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY BENCHMARK OR FUND WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE GAINS OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN OR WILL EXPERIENCE VOLATILITY SIMILAR TO THAT SHOWN. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE CHART BELOW IS FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY.
Estimated Fund Return Over One Year When the Fund’s Objective is to Seek Daily Investment Results, Before Fees and Expenses, that Correspond to Two Times (2x) the Performance of a Benchmark for a Single Day.
One Year
Benchmark
Performance
Two Times (2x)
One Year
Benchmark
Performance
Benchmark Volatility
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
45%
50%
55%
60%
65%
70%
-60%
-120%
-84.0%
-84.0%
-84.2%
-84.4%
-84.6%
-85.0%
-85.4%
-85.8%
-86.4%
-86.9%
-87.5%
-88.2%
-88.8%
-89.5%
-90.2%
-55%
-110%
-79.8%
-79.8%
-80.0%
-80.2%
-80.5%
-81.0%
-81.5%
-82.1%
-82.7%
-83.5%
-84.2%
-85.0%
-85.9%
-86.7%
-87.6%
-50%
-100%
-75.0%
-75.1%
-75.2%
-75.6%
-76.0%
-76.5%
-77.2%
-77.9%
-78.7%
-79.6%
-80.5%
-81.5%
-82.6%
-83.6%
-84.7%
-45%
-90%
-69.8%
-69.8%
-70.1%
-70.4%
-70.9%
-71.6%
-72.4%
-73.2%
-74.2%
-75.3%
-76.4%
-77.6%
-78.9%
-80.2%
-81.5%
-40%
-80%
-64.0%
-64.1%
-64.4%
-64.8%
-65.4%
-66.2%
-67.1%
-68.2%
-69.3%
-70.6%
-72.0%
-73.4%
-74.9%
-76.4%
-77.9%
-35%
-70%
-57.8%
-57.9%
-58.2%
-58.7%
-59.4%
-60.3%
-61.4%
-62.6%
-64.0%
-65.5%
-67.1%
-68.8%
-70.5%
-72.3%
-74.1%
-30%
-60%
-51.0%
-51.1%
-51.5%
-52.1%
-52.9%
-54.0%
-55.2%
-56.6%
-58.2%
-60.0%
-61.8%
-63.8%
-65.8%
-67.9%
-70.0%
-25%
-50%
-43.8%
-43.9%
-44.3%
-45.0%
-46.0%
-47.2%
-48.6%
-50.2%
-52.1%
-54.1%
-56.2%
-58.4%
-60.8%
-63.1%
-65.5%
-20%
-40%
-36.0%
-36.2%
-36.6%
-37.4%
-38.5%
-39.9%
-41.5%
-43.4%
-45.5%
-47.7%
-50.2%
-52.7%
-55.3%
-58.1%
-60.8%
-15%
-30%
-27.8%
-27.9%
-28.5%
-29.4%
-30.6%
-32.1%
-34.0%
-36.1%
-38.4%
-41.0%
-43.7%
-46.6%
-49.6%
-52.6%
-55.7%
-10%
-20%
-19.0%
-19.2%
-19.8%
-20.8%
-22.2%
-23.9%
-26.0%
-28.3%
-31.0%
-33.8%
-36.9%
-40.1%
-43.5%
-46.9%
-50.4%
-5%
-10%
-9.8%
-10.0%
-10.6%
-11.8%
-13.3%
-15.2%
-17.5%
-20.2%
-23.1%
-26.3%
-29.7%
-33.3%
-37.0%
-40.8%
-44.7%
0%
0%
0.0%
-0.2%
-1.0%
-2.2%
-3.9%
-6.1%
-8.6%
-11.5%
-14.8%
-18.3%
-22.1%
-26.1%
-30.2%
-34.5%
-38.7%
5%
10%
10.3%
10.0%
9.2%
7.8%
5.9%
3.6%
0.8%
-2.5%
-6.1%
-10.0%
-14.1%
-18.5%
-23.1%
-27.7%
-32.5%
10%
20%
21.0%
20.7%
19.8%
18.3%
16.3%
13.7%
10.6%
7.0%
3.1%
-1.2%
-5.8%
-10.6%
-15.6%
-20.7%
-25.9%
15%
30%
32.3%
31.9%
30.9%
29.3%
27.1%
24.2%
20.9%
17.0%
12.7%
8.0%
3.0%
-2.3%
-7.7%
-13.3%
-19.0%
20%
40%
44.0%
43.6%
42.6%
40.8%
38.4%
35.3%
31.6%
27.4%
22.7%
17.6%
12.1%
6.4%
0.5%
-5.6%
-11.8%
25%
50%
56.3%
55.9%
54.7%
52.8%
50.1%
46.8%
42.8%
38.2%
33.1%
27.6%
21.7%
15.5%
9.0%
2.4%
-4.3%
30%
60%
69.0%
68.6%
67.3%
65.2%
62.4%
58.8%
54.5%
49.5%
44.0%
38.0%
31.6%
24.9%
17.9%
10.8%
3.5%
35%
70%
82.3%
81.8%
80.4%
78.2%
75.1%
71.2%
66.6%
61.2%
55.3%
48.8%
41.9%
34.7%
27.2%
19.4%
11.7%
40%
80%
96.0%
95.5%
94.0%
91.6%
88.3%
84.1%
79.1%
73.4%
67.0%
60.1%
52.6%
44.8%
36.7%
28.5%
20.1%
45%
90%
110.3%
109.7%
108.2%
105.6%
102.0%
97.5%
92.2%
86.0%
79.2%
71.7%
63.7%
55.4%
46.7%
37.8%
28.8%
50%
100%
125.0%
124.4%
122.8%
120.0%
116.2%
111.4%
105.6%
99.1%
91.7%
83.8%
75.2%
66.3%
57.0%
47.5%
37.8%
55%
110%
140.3%
139.7%
137.9%
134.9%
130.8%
125.7%
119.6%
112.6%
104.7%
96.2%
87.1%
77.5%
67.6%
57.5%
47.2%
60%
120%
156.0%
155.4%
153.5%
150.3%
146.0%
140.5%
134.0%
126.5%
118.1%
109.1%
99.4%
89.2%
78.6%
67.8%
56.8%
HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE MANY INHERENT LIMITATIONS. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY BENCHMARK OR FUND WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE GAINS OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN OR WILL EXPERIENCE VOLATILITY SIMILAR TO THAT SHOWN. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE CHART BELOW IS FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY.
-17

Estimated Fund Return Over One Year When the Fund’s Objective is to Seek Daily Investment Results, Before Fees and Expenses, that Correspond to Two Times the Inverse (-2x) of the Performance of a Benchmark for a Single Day.
One Year
Benchmark
Performance
Two Times
Inverse (-2x) of
One Year
Benchmark
Performance
Benchmark Volatility
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
45%
50%
55%
60%
65%
70%
-60%
120%
525.0%
520.3%
506.5%
484.2%
454.3%
418.1%
377.1%
332.8%
286.7%
240.4%
195.2%
152.2%
112.2%
76.0%
43.7%
-55%
110%
393.8%
390.1%
379.2%
361.6%
338.0%
309.4%
277.0%
242.0%
205.6%
169.0%
133.3%
99.3%
67.7%
39.0%
13.5%
-50%
100%
300.0%
297.0%
288.2%
273.9%
254.8%
231.6%
205.4%
177.0%
147.5%
117.9%
88.9%
61.4%
35.8%
12.6%
-8.0%
-45%
90%
230.6%
228.1%
220.8%
209.0%
193.2%
174.1%
152.4%
128.9%
104.6%
80.1%
56.2%
33.4%
12.3%
-6.9%
-24.0%
-40%
80%
177.8%
175.7%
169.6%
159.6%
146.4%
130.3%
112.0%
92.4%
71.9%
51.3%
31.2%
12.1%
-5.7%
-21.8%
-36.1%
-35%
70%
136.7%
134.9%
129.7%
121.2%
109.9%
96.2%
80.7%
63.9%
46.5%
28.9%
11.8%
-4.5%
-19.6%
-33.4%
-45.6%
-30%
60%
104.1%
102.6%
98.1%
90.8%
81.0%
69.2%
55.8%
41.3%
26.3%
11.2%
-3.6%
-17.6%
-30.7%
-42.5%
-53.1%
-25%
50%
77.8%
76.4%
72.5%
66.2%
57.7%
47.4%
35.7%
23.1%
10.0%
-3.2%
-16.0%
-28.3%
-39.6%
-49.9%
-59.1%
-20%
40%
56.3%
55.1%
51.6%
46.1%
38.6%
29.5%
19.3%
8.2%
-3.3%
-14.9%
-26.2%
-36.9%
-46.9%
-56.0%
-64.1%
-15%
30%
38.4%
37.4%
34.3%
29.4%
22.8%
14.7%
5.7%
-4.2%
-14.4%
-24.6%
-34.6%
-44.1%
-53.0%
-61.0%
-68.2%
-10%
20%
23.5%
22.5%
19.8%
15.4%
9.5%
2.3%
-5.8%
-14.5%
-23.6%
-32.8%
-41.7%
-50.2%
-58.1%
-65.2%
-71.6%
-5%
10%
10.8%
10.0%
7.5%
3.6%
-1.7%
-8.1%
-15.4%
-23.3%
-31.4%
-39.6%
-47.7%
-55.3%
-62.4%
-68.8%
-74.5%
0%
0%
0.0%
-0.7%
-3.0%
-6.5%
-11.3%
-17.1%
-23.7%
-30.8%
-38.1%
-45.5%
-52.8%
-59.6%
-66.0%
-71.8%
-77.0%
5%
-10%
-9.3%
-10.0%
-12.0%
-15.2%
-19.6%
-24.8%
-30.8%
-37.2%
-43.9%
-50.6%
-57.2%
-63.4%
-69.2%
-74.5%
-79.1%
10%
-20%
-17.4%
-18.0%
-19.8%
-22.7%
-26.7%
-31.5%
-36.9%
-42.8%
-48.9%
-55.0%
-61.0%
-66.7%
-71.9%
-76.7%
-81.0%
15%
-30%
-24.4%
-25.0%
-26.6%
-29.3%
-32.9%
-37.3%
-42.3%
-47.6%
-53.2%
-58.8%
-64.3%
-69.5%
-74.3%
-78.7%
-82.6%
20%
-40%
-30.6%
-31.1%
-32.6%
-35.1%
-38.4%
-42.4%
-47.0%
-51.9%
-57.0%
-62.2%
-67.2%
-72.0%
-76.4%
-80.4%
-84.0%
25%
-50%
-36.0%
-36.5%
-37.9%
-40.2%
-43.2%
-46.9%
-51.1%
-55.7%
-60.4%
-65.1%
-69.8%
-74.2%
-78.3%
-82.0%
-85.3%
30%
-60%
-40.8%
-41.3%
-42.6%
-44.7%
-47.5%
-50.9%
-54.8%
-59.0%
-63.4%
-67.8%
-72.0%
-76.1%
-79.9%
-83.3%
-86.4%
35%
-70%
-45.1%
-45.5%
-46.8%
-48.7%
-51.3%
-54.5%
-58.1%
-62.0%
-66.0%
-70.1%
-74.1%
-77.9%
-81.4%
-84.6%
-87.4%
40%
-80%
-49.0%
-49.4%
-50.5%
-52.3%
-54.7%
-57.7%
-61.1%
-64.7%
-68.4%
-72.2%
-75.9%
-79.4%
-82.7%
-85.6%
-88.3%
45%
-90%
-52.4%
-52.8%
-53.8%
-55.5%
-57.8%
-60.6%
-63.7%
-67.1%
-70.6%
-74.1%
-77.5%
-80.8%
-83.8%
-86.6%
-89.1%
50%
-100%
-55.6%
-55.9%
-56.9%
-58.5%
-60.6%
-63.2%
-66.1%
-69.2%
-72.5%
-75.8%
-79.0%
-82.1%
-84.9%
-87.5%
-89.8%
55%
-110%
-58.4%
-58.7%
-59.6%
-61.1%
-63.1%
-65.5%
-68.2%
-71.2%
-74.2%
-77.3%
-80.3%
-83.2%
-85.9%
-88.3%
-90.4%
60%
-120%
-60.9%
-61.2%
-62.1%
-63.5%
-65.4%
-67.6%
-70.2%
-73.0%
-75.8%
-78.7%
-81.5%
-84.2%
-86.7%
-89.0%
-91.0%
The foregoing tables are intended to isolate the effect of benchmark volatility and benchmark performance on the return of leveraged, inverse or inverse leveraged funds. The Funds’ actual returns may be greater or less than the returns shown above.
Correlation and Performance Risks Specific to the Geared Funds.
While the Geared Funds seek to meet their investment objectives, there is no guarantee they will do so. Factors that may affect a Geared Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective include: (1) the Sponsor’s ability to purchase and sell Financial Instruments in a manner that correlates to a Fund’s objective, including the Sponsor’s ability to enter into new positions and contracts to replace exposure that has been reduced or terminated by a counterparty or otherwise; (2) an imperfect correlation between the performance of the Financial Instruments held by a Fund and the performance of the applicable benchmark; (3) bid-ask spreads on such Financial Instruments; (4) fees, expenses, transaction costs, financing costs and margin requirements associated with the use of Financial Instruments and commission costs; (5) holding or trading Financial Instruments in a market that has become illiquid or disrupted; (6) a Fund’s Share prices being rounded to the nearest cent and/or valuation methodologies; (7) changes to a benchmark that are not disseminated in advance; (8) the need to conform a Fund’s portfolio holdings to comply with investment restrictions or policies, position limits and accountability levels, and regulatory or tax law requirements; (9) early or unanticipated closings of the markets on which the holdings of a Fund trade, limiting or preventing the Fund from executing intended portfolio transactions; (10) accounting standards; (11) differences caused by a Fund obtaining exposure to only a representative sample of the components of a benchmark, overweighting or underweighting certain components of a benchmark or obtaining exposure to assets that are not included in a benchmark; (12) large movements of assets into and/or out of a Fund, particularly late in the day; (13) significant and/or rapid increases in the size of the Fund as a result of an increase in creation activity that cause the Fund to approach or reach Share registration limits, position or accountability limits or other portfolio limits; and (14) events such as natural disasters (including disease, epidemics and pandemics) that can be highly disruptive to economies, markets and companies including, but not limited to, the Sponsor and third party service providers.
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In order to achieve a high degree of correlation with their applicable underlying benchmarks, the Geared Funds seek to rebalance their portfolios daily to keep exposure consistent with their respective investment objectives. A Geared Fund’s ability to achieve or maintain such exposure may be limited by a number of factors. For example, being materially under- or overexposed to the benchmarks may prevent a Geared Fund from achieving a high degree of correlation with their applicable underlying benchmarks. Market disruptions or closures, large movements of assets into or out of the Geared Funds, regulatory restrictions, market volatility, illiquidity, margin requirements, accountability levels, position limits, and daily price fluctuation limits set forth by the exchanges and other factors will adversely affect such Geared Funds’ ability to adjust exposure to requisite levels. The target amount of a Fund’s portfolio exposure may be impacted by changes to the value of its benchmark each day. Other things being equal, more significant movement in the value of its benchmark up or down will require more significant adjustments to a Fund’s portfolio. Because of this, it is unlikely that the Geared Funds will be perfectly exposed (i.e., 2x or -2x, as applicable) at the end of each day, and the likelihood of being materially under- or overexposed is higher on days when the benchmark levels are volatile at or near the close of the trading day.
The time and manner in which a Geared Fund rebalances its portfolio may vary from day to day at the discretion of the Sponsor, depending upon market conditions and other circumstances. Unlike other funds that do not rebalance their portfolios as frequently, each Geared Fund may be subject to increased trading costs associated with daily portfolio rebalancings. The effects of these trading costs have been estimated and included in the Breakeven Table. See “Charges–Breakeven Table” below.
Changes to a Benchmark and Daily Rebalancing of the Geared Funds May Impact Trading in the Underlying Futures Contracts.
Changes to a benchmark and daily rebalancing may cause the Geared Funds to adjust their portfolio positions. This trading activity will contribute to the trading volume of the underlying futures contracts and may adversely affect the market price of such underlying futures contracts.
Intraday Price/Performance of Geared Fund Shares Will Likely Differ from the Fund’s Stated Daily Multiple Times the Performance of its Benchmark for Such Day.
The intraday performance of Shares of a Geared Fund traded in the secondary market generally will be different from the performance of the Fund when measured from one NAV calculation-time to the next. When Shares are bought intraday, the performance of such Shares relative to its benchmark until the Geared Fund’s next NAV calculation likely will be greater than or less than the Fund’s stated daily multiple times the performance of its benchmark. These differences can be significant.
The amount of the discount or premium in the trading price of the Shares relative to their NAV may be influenced by non-concurrent trading hours between the Exchange (the exchange on which the Shares trade) and the exchanges on which futures contracts trade. While the Shares are expected to trade on the Exchange until 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time), liquidity in the markets for the futures contracts in which the Funds seek to invest is expected to be reduced whenever the principal markets for those contracts are closed. As a result, trading spreads, and the resulting premium or discount on Shares, may widen during these gaps in market trading hours and the value of the Fund’s holdings may vary, perhaps significantly. Whether Shares will trade above, below or at a price equal to the value of the Fund’s holdings cannot be predicted.
If an investor purchases Shares when a Fund’s secondary market price is higher than the Fund’s NAV, or sells Shares when a Fund’s secondary market price is lower than the Fund’s NAV, such investment may not be as profitable as the investment would have been if the secondary market price was equal to the Fund’s NAV.
Natural Disasters and Public Health Disruptions, such as the COVID-19 Virus, May Have a Significant Negative Impact on the Performance of Each Fund.
Natural or environmental disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and other severe weather-related phenomena generally, and widespread disease, including public health disruptions, pandemics and epidemics (for example, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 including its variants), have been and may continue to be highly disruptive to economies and markets. These conditions have recently led, and may continue to lead, to increased or extreme market volatility, illiquidity and significant market losses. Such natural disaster and health crises could exacerbate political, social, and economic risks, and result in significant breakdowns, delays, shutdowns, social isolation, civil unrest, periods of high unemployment, shortages in and disruptions to the medical care and consumer goods and services industries, and other disruptions to important global, local and regional supply chains affected, with potential corresponding results on the operating
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performance of the Funds and their investments. For example, the U.S. federal government, along with state and local governments, have adopted various laws and regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects and results of which are uncertain. A climate of uncertainty and panic, including the contagion of infectious viruses or diseases, may adversely affect global, regional, and local economies and reduce the availability of potential investment opportunities and accuracy of economic projections. Further, such events can be highly disruptive to economies and markets, significantly disrupt the operations of individual companies (including, but not limited to, the Funds, the Funds’ Sponsor and third party service providers), sectors, industries, markets, securities and commodity exchanges, currencies, interest and inflation rates, credit ratings, investor sentiment, and other factors affecting the value of the Funds’ investments. These factors can cause extreme market volatility, illiquidity, exchange trading suspensions and market closures. For example, market factors may adversely affect the price and liquidity of the Funds’ investments and potentially increase margins and collateral requirements in ways that have a significant negative impact on Fund performance or make it difficult, or impossible, for a Fund to achieve its investment objective. Under these circumstances, a Fund could have difficulty finding counterparties to transactions, entering or exiting positions at favorable prices and could incur significant losses. Further, Fund counterparties may close out positions with the Funds without notice, at unfavorable times or unfavorable prices, or may choose to transaction on a more limited basis (or not at all). In such cases, it may be difficult or impossible for a Fund to achieve the desired investment exposure with its investment objective. These conditions also can impact the ability of the Funds to complete creation and redemption transactions and disrupt Fund trading in the secondary market. For example, market factors may adversely affect the price and liquidity of the Funds’ investments and potentially increase margin and collateral requirements in ways that have a significant negative impact on Fund performance or make it difficult, or impossible, for a Fund to achieve its investment objective. Under these circumstances, a Fund could have difficulty finding counterparties to transactions, entering or exiting positions at favorable prices and could incur significant losses. Further, Fund counterparties may close out positions with the Funds without notice, at unfavorable times or unfavorable prices, or may choose to transact on a more limited basis (or not at all). In such cases, it may be difficult or impossible for a Fund to achieve the desired investment exposure consistent with its investment objective. These conditions also can impact the ability of the Funds to complete creation and redemption transactions and disrupt Fund trading in the secondary market.
The outbreak of COVID-19 (including any variants), or any future epidemic or pandemic similar to COVID-19, SARS, H1N1, or MERS, could have a significant adverse impact on the Funds and their investments, could adversely affect the Funds’ ability to fulfill its investment objectives, and could result in significant losses to the Funds. The extent of the impact of any outbreak on the performance of the Funds and their investments depend on many factors, including the duration and scope of such outbreak, the development and distribution of treatments and vaccines for viruses such as COVID-19, the extent of any such outbreak’s disruption to important global, regional and local supply chains and economic markets, and the impact of such outbreak on overall supply and demand, investor liquidity, consumer confidence and levels of economic activity, all of which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted.
Additionally, public health issues, war, military conflicts, sanctions, acts of terrorism, sustained elevated inflation, supply chain issues or other events could have a significant negative impact on global financial markets and economies. A widespread crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, may also affect the global economy in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen at the current time. How long such events will last and whether they will continue or recur cannot be predicted. Impacts from these events could have significant impact on a Fund’s performance, and the value of an investment in the Fund may decline significantly.
On February 24, 2022, Russia commenced a military attack on Ukraine. The ongoing hostilities between the two countries could result in more widespread conflict and could have a severe adverse effect on the region, the markets for gold, silver, oil, natural gas and other commodities, and the price of Financial Instruments based on such commodities, and other markets. In addition, sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and other countries, and any sanctions imposed in the future could have a significant adverse impact on the Russian economy and related markets. The price and liquidity of the Financial Instruments in which each Fund invests may fluctuate widely as a result of the conflict and related events. How long such conflict and related events will last and whether it will escalate further cannot be predicted. Impacts from the conflict and related events could have significant impact on a Fund’s performance, and the value of an investment in the Fund may decline significantly.
Risks of Government Regulation
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) issued a notice on March 8, 2022 seeking comment on measures that could prevent or restrict investors from buying a broad range of public securities designated as “complex products”—which could include the
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leveraged and inverse funds offered by ProShares. The ultimate impact, if any, of these measures remains unclear. However, if regulations are adopted, they could, among other things, prevent or restrict investors’ ability to buy the funds.
Risk that Current Assumptions and Expectations Could Become Outdated As a Result of Global Economic Shocks.
The onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its variants has caused significant shocks to global financial markets and economies, with many governments taking extreme actions in an attempt to slow and contain the spread of COVID-19. These actions have had, and likely will continue to have, a severe economic impact on global economies as economic activity in some instances has essentially ceased. Financial markets across the globe are experiencing severe distress at least equal to what was experienced during the global financial crisis in 2008. U.S. equity markets entered a bear market in the fastest such move in the history of U.S. financial markets in March 2020. Contemporaneous with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., crude oil markets experienced shocks to the supply of and demand for crude oil. This led to an oversupply of crude oil, which impacted the price of crude oil and futures contracts on crude oil and caused historic volatility in the market for crude oil and crude oil futures contracts. In April 2020, the market for crude oil futures contracts experienced a period of “extraordinary contango” that resulted in a negative price in the May 2020 WTI crude oil futures contract. The futures contracts held by the Funds may experience a period of extraordinary contango in the future. The effects of rolling futures contracts under extraordinary contango market conditions generally are more exaggerated than rolling futures contracts under contango market conditions and can result in significant losses. These and other global economic shocks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may cause the underlying assumptions and expectations concerning the investments, operations and performance of the Funds and secondary market trading of Fund Shares to become inaccurate or outdated quickly, resulting in significant and unexpected losses.
Each Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective even during periods when the performance of the Fund’s benchmark is flat or when the benchmark is moving in a manner that may cause the value of the Fund to decline.
The Funds are not actively managed by traditional methods (e.g., by effecting changes in the composition of a portfolio on the basis of judgments relating to economic, financial and market considerations with a view toward obtaining positive results under all market conditions). Each Fund seeks to remain fully invested at all times in Financial Instruments and money market instruments that, in combination, provide exposure to its benchmark consistent with its investment objective. This is the case even during periods in which the benchmark is flat or moving in a manner which causes the value of a Fund to decline. A Fund can lose money regardless of the performance of an underlying benchmark, due to the effects of daily rebalancing, volatility, compounding and other risk factors.
Risks Specific to the VIX Futures Fund
In addition to the risks described elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section, the following risks could apply to the VIX Futures Fund.
VIX futures contracts can be highly volatile and the Funds may experience sudden and large losses when buying, selling or holding such instruments; you can lose all or a portion of your investment within a single day.
Investments linked to equity market volatility, including VIX futures contracts, can be highly volatile and may experience sudden, large and unexpected losses. For example, in 2018 the S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures Index (the “VIX Mid-Term Futures Index” or “Index”), which is comprised of VIX futures contracts, had its largest one-day move ever of approximately 96%. In the future, the Index could have even larger single-day or intraday moves, up or down, that could cause investors to lose all or a substantial portion of their investment in a short period of time. VIX futures contracts are unlike traditional futures contracts and are not based on a tradable reference asset. The VIX is not directly investable, and the settlement price of a VIX futures contract is based on the calculation that determines the level of the VIX. As a result, the behavior of a VIX futures contract may be different from a traditional futures contract whose settlement price is based on a specific tradable asset and may differ from an investor’s expectations. The market for VIX futures contracts may fluctuate widely based on a variety of factors including changes in overall market movements, political and economic events and policies, wars, acts of terrorism, natural disasters (including disease, epidemics and pandemics), changes in interest rates or inflation rates. High volatility may have an adverse impact on the performance of the Funds. The UltraFund’s leverage factor (1.5x) increases the potential for loss on an investment in this Fund. An investor in any of the Funds could potentially lose the full principal of his or her investment within a single day.
Generally, a VIX of over 20 indicates a high degree of volatility. During February and March 2020, market volatility elevated to historic highs as measured by the VIX, which may be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the VIX started the year at a level of 12.47 on January 2, 2020, it spiked to 82.69 on March 16, 2020. However, there is no certainty that such levels will persist even if the scope and duration
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of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is prolonged or if other economic or political developments contribute to volatility and investor uncertainty. Such performance is not typical and may not continue for a sustained period of time.
The VIX Futures Fund is benchmarked to the VIX Mid-Term Futures Index. It is not benchmarked to the VIX or actual realized volatility of the S&P 500. As a result, the Index and the VIX Futures Fund should be expected to perform very differently from the VIX over all periods of time.
The performance of the VIX Mid-Term Futures Index is based on the value of the VIX mid-term futures contracts that comprise the Index. While there is a relationship between the performance of the Index and future levels of the VIX, the performance of the Index is not directly linked to the performance of the VIX, to the realized volatility of the S&P 500® or to the options that underlie the calculation of the VIX. As a result, the Index and the VIX Futures Fund should be expected to perform very differently from the VIX over all periods of time. In many cases, the Index (and thus the VIX Futures Fund) will underperform the VIX. Further, the performance of the Index and the VIX Futures Fund should not be expected to represent the realized volatility of the S&P 500®.
The VIX seeks to measure the market’s current expectation of 30-day volatility of the S&P 500® Index, as reflected by the prices of S&P 500® options. The market’s current expectation of the possible rate and magnitude of movements in an index is commonly referred to as the “implied volatility” of the index. Because S&P 500® options derive value from the possibility that the S&P 500® may experience movement before such options expire, the prices of S&P 500® options are used to calculate the implied volatility of the S&P 500®.
Unlike many indexes, the VIX is not an investable index. It is not practical to invest in the VIX as it is comprised of a constantly changing portfolio of options on the S&P 500®. Rather, the VIX is designed to serve as a market volatility forecast. The VIX Futures Fund is not benchmarked to the performance of the VIX or the realized volatility of the S&P 500® and, in fact, can be expected to perform very differently from the VIX and the realized volatility of the S&P 500® over all periods of time.
The prices of futures contacts based on a non-investable index such as the VIX may behave differently from the prices of futures contracts whose settlement price is based on a tradable asset.
As noted, the VIX Futures Fund is benchmarked against an underlying index of VIX mid-term futures contracts. The value of VIX futures contracts is based on the expected value of the VIX at a future point in time, specifically the expiration date of the VIX futures contracts. Therefore, VIX futures contracts represent the forward implied volatility of the VIX, and therefore the forward implied volatility of the S&P 500®, over the 30-day period following the expiration of such contract. As a result, a change in the VIX today will not necessarily result in a corresponding movement in the price of VIX futures contracts since the price of VIX futures contracts is based on expectations of the performance of the VIX at a future point in time. For example, a VIX futures contract purchased in March that expires in May, in effect, is a forward contract on what the level of the VIX, as a measure of 30-day implied volatility of the S&P 500®, will be on the May expiration date. The forward volatility reading of the VIX may not correlate directly to the current volatility reading of the VIX because the implied volatility of the S&P 500® at a future expiration date may be different from the current implied volatility of the S&P 500®. As a result, the Index and the VIX Futures Fund should be expected to perform very differently from the VIX over all periods of time.
It has been reported that in 2018 various U.S. regulators commenced inquiries into whether the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“Cboe”) VIX Index has been manipulated by one or more financial firms and algorithmic traders, and that a number of private lawsuits have been filed against the Cboe alleging the manipulation of the Cboe VIX Index. The regulators have not yet made public any determinations. On January 27, 2020, a federal judge dismissed a private lawsuit with prejudice, but on May 19, 2020, the plaintiffs filed notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. See In re Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index Manipulation Antitrust Litigation. Northern District of Illinois. No. 18-04171. The Trust and the Sponsor cannot predict the outcome of these reported inquiries and private lawsuits. Any finding of manipulation of the Cboe VIX Futures Index could materially adversely affect the VIX Futures Fund’s investments and its ability to continue to implement its trading strategy and achieve its investment objectives.
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The level of the VIX has historically reverted to a long-term mean (i.e., average) level and any increase or decrease in the level of the VIX will likely continue to be constrained.
In the past, the level of the VIX has typically reverted over the longer term to a historical mean, and its absolute level has been constrained within a band. As such, the potential upside of long or short exposure to VIX futures contracts may be limited as the performance of VIX reverts to its long-term average. In addition, any gains may be subject to significant and unexpected reversals as the VIX reverts to its long-term mean.
When economic uncertainty and other market risks increase, or are expected to increase, and there is an associated increase in expected volatility, the price of VIX futures contracts will likely also increase. Similarly, when economic uncertainty recedes, or is expected to recede, and there is an associated decrease in expected volatility, the price of VIX futures contracts will likely also decrease. Historically, each of these patterns have tended to reverse. These reversals may be significant and unexpected and have a negative impact on the performance of the VIX Futures Fund. During February and March 2020, market volatility elevated to historic highs as measured by the VIX. In 2020, the VIX started the year at a level of 12.47 on January 2, 2020, and it spiked to 82.69 on March 16, 2020. However, there is no certainty that such levels may persist even if the scope and duration of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is prolonged or if other economic or political developments contribute to volatility and investor uncertainty. Such performance is not typical and may not continue for a sustained period of time.
The value of the Shares of the VIX Futures Fund relates directly to the value of, and realized gain or loss from, the Financial Instruments and other assets held by the Fund. Fluctuations in the price of these Financial Instruments or assets could materially adversely affect an investment in Shares of the VIX Futures Fund.
A number of factors may affect the price and/or liquidity of VIX futures contracts and other Financial Instruments, if any, owned by the VIX Futures Fund, including, but not limited to:
Prevailing market prices and forward volatility levels of the U.S. stock markets, the S&P 500, the equity securities included in the S&P 500 and prevailing market prices of options on the S&P 500, the VIX, options on the VIX, the relevant VIX futures contracts, or any other financial instruments related to the S&P 500 and the VIX or VIX futures contracts;
Interest rates and investors’ expectations concerning interest rates;
Inflation rates and investors’ expectations concerning inflation rates;
Inflation rates may change frequently and drastically as a result of various factors, including unexpected shifts in the domestic or global economy, and a Fund’s investments may not keep pace with inflation, which may result in losses to investors;
Economic, financial, political, regulatory, geographical, judicial and other events that affect the level of the Mid-Term VIX Futures Index or the market price or forward volatility of the U.S. stock markets, the equity securities included in the S&P 500, the S&P 500, the VIX or the relevant futures or option contracts on the VIX;
Supply and demand as well as hedging activities in the listed and OTC equity derivatives markets;
The level of margin requirements;
The position and accountability limits imposed by futures exchanges and any position or risk limits imposed by Futures Commission Merchants (“FCMs”) or swap counterparties;
Disruptions in trading of the S&P 500, futures contracts on the S&P 500 or options on the S&P 500;
The level of contango or backwardation in the VIX futures contract market;
Global or regional political, economic, or financial events and situations (including political disruptions, societal breakdown, insurrection, terrorism, pandemics, sabotage and/or war) and investor expectations concerning such events;
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Weather, natural disasters (including disease, epidemics and pandemics), and other environmental conditions; and
Investment and trading activities of mutual funds, hedge funds and other market participants, including the Fund.
Each of these factors could have a negative impact on the price and/or liquidity of VIX futures contracts and other Financial Instruments, the Index and the VIX Futures Fund. These factors interrelate in complex ways, and the effect of one factor on the market value of the VIX Futures Fund may offset or enhance the effect of another factor.
Margin requirements for VIX futures contracts and position limits imposed by exchanges and/or FCMs may limit the VIX Futures Fund’s ability to achieve sufficient exposure and prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective.
The term “margin” refers to the minimum amount a Fund must deposit and maintain with its FCM in order to establish an open position in futures contracts. The minimum amount of margin required in connection with a particular futures contract is set by the exchange on which such contract is traded and is subject to change at any time during the term of the contract. Futures contracts are customarily bought and sold on margins that represent a percentage of the aggregate purchase or sales price of the contract.
An FCM may compute margin requirements multiple times per day and at least once per day. When a Fund has an open futures contract position, it is subject to daily variation margin calls by an FCM that could be substantial in the event of adverse price movements. Because futures contracts require only a small initial investment in the form of a deposit or initial margin, they involve a high degree of leverage. A Fund with open positions is subject to maintenance or variation margin on its open positions. When the market value of a particular open futures contract position changes to a point where the margin on deposit does not satisfy maintenance margin requirements, a margin call is made by the FCM. If the margin call is not met within a reasonable time, the FCM may close out a Fund’s position. If a Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements, it may need to sell Financial Instruments at a time when such sales are disadvantageous. Futures markets are highly volatile and the use of or exposure to futures contracts may increase volatility of a Fund’s NAV.
VIX futures contracts in particular have been subject to periods of sudden and extreme volatility. As a result, margin requirements for VIX futures contracts are higher than the margin requirements for most other types of futures contracts. In addition, the FCMs utilized by the Fund may impose margin requirements in addition to those imposed by the clearinghouse. Margin requirements are subject to change, and may be raised in the future by either or both of the clearinghouse and the FCMs. High margin requirements could prevent the Fund from obtaining sufficient exposure to VIX futures contracts and may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. An FCM’s failure to return required margin to the Fund on a timely basis may cause the Fund to delay redemption settlement dates and/or restrict, postpone or limit the right of redemption.
Futures contracts are subject to liquidity risk. Certain of the FCMs utilized by the Fund have imposed their own “position limits” on the Fund. Position limits restrict the amount of exposure to futures contracts the Fund can obtain through such FCMs. As a result, the Fund may need to transact through a number of FCMs to achieve its investment objective. If enough FCMs are not willing to transact with the Fund, or if the position limits imposed by such FCMs do not provide sufficient exposure, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective
The VIX Futures Fund generally is intended to be used as a trading tool for short-term investment horizons and investors holding shares of the Fund over longer-term periods may be subject to increased risk of loss.
The VIX Futures Fund generally is intended to be used only for short-term investment horizons. An investor in the Fund can lose all or a substantial portion of his or her investment within a single day. The longer an investor’s holding period in the Fund, the greater the potential for loss.
VIX futures contracts that the VIX Futures Fund invests in can be highly volatile and the Fund may experience large losses when buying, selling or holding such instruments; you can lose all of your investment within a single day.
Investments linked to equity market volatility, including VIX futures contracts, can be highly volatile and may experience sudden, large and unexpected losses. VIX futures contracts are unlike traditional futures contracts and are not based on a tradable reference asset. The VIX is not directly investable, and the settlement price of a VIX futures contract is based on the calculation that determines the level of the VIX. As a result, the behavior of a VIX futures contract may be different from traditional futures contracts whose settlement price is based on a specific
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tradable asset and may differ from an investor’s expectations. High volatility may have an adverse impact on the Fund. An investor could potentially lose the full principal value of his or her investment within a single day.
VIX Mid-Term Futures Index changes and market transactions, including the daily rebalancing of the futures contracts by the VIX Futures Fund may have a significant impact on the performance of the Index and the Fund and the trading, liquidity and price of Fund Shares.
Index changes and transactions by market participants in the futures contracts underlying the Index, including the daily rebalancing of such futures contracts by the VIX Futures Fund may have a significant impact on the trading, liquidity and price of such futures contacts and, in turn, impact on the performance of the Index and the Fund. The trading activity associated with such transactions will contribute to the existing open interest and trading volume of the underlying futures contracts and could have a significant adverse impact on the trading and price of such contracts. This, in turn, could have a negative impact on the performance of the Index and the Fund. The Fund has engaged, and may continue to engage, in futures transactions that may constitute holding a substantial portion (e.g., 50% or more) of the open interest and/or trading volume of the futures contracts underlying the Index. To the extent the Fund transactions in a relatively higher percentage of the open interest and/or trading volume of such futures contracts, the Fund’s activity may be more likely to have an impact which could be significant on the trading, liquidity, and price of such contracts. This in turn could have a significant negative impact on the performance of the Index and the Fund as well as the market for Fund Shares making it more difficult for investors to buy or sell Fund Shares at the desired price or at all.
Potential negative impact from rolling futures positions; there have been extended periods in the past where the strategies utilized by the VIX Futures Fund have caused significant and sustained losses.
The VIX Futures Fund invests in or has exposure to VIX futures contracts and is subject to risks related to rolling these positions. The contractual obligations of a buyer or seller holding a futures contract to expiration may be satisfied by settling in cash as designated in the contract specifications. Alternatively, futures contracts may be closed out prior to expiration by making an offsetting sale or purchase of an identical futures contract with a later expiration date. This process is referred to as rolling. The Fund does not intend to hold futures contracts through expiration, but instead intends to roll its positions as they approach expiration. Accordingly, the Fund is subject to risks relating to rolling.
When the market for these futures contracts is such that the prices are higher in the more distant delivery months than in the nearer delivery months, the sale during the course of the rolling process of the more nearby futures contract would take place at a price that is lower than the price of the more distant futures contract. This pattern of higher prices for longer expiration futures contracts is often referred to as contango. Alternatively, when the market for these contracts is such that the prices are higher in the nearer months than in the more distant months, the sale during the course of the rolling process of the more nearby futures contract would take place at a price that is higher than the price of the more distant futures contract. This pattern of higher prices for shorter expiration futures contracts is referred to as backwardation. The presence of contango in the relevant futures contracts at the time of rolling would be expected to adversely affect the Fund. In contrast, the presence of backwardation in certain futures contracts at the time of rolling such contracts would be expected to positively affect the Funds.
There have been extended periods in which contango or backwardation has existed in the VIX futures contract markets, and such periods can be expected to occur in the future. These extended periods have caused in the past, and may cause in the future, significant and sustained losses. Since the non-investable VIX Index is based on the price of a constantly changing portfolio of option contracts, rather than futures contracts subject to contango and backwardation, the VIX Index may experience less severe downturns or may even provide positive performance during periods where the Fund is experiencing poor performance. Additionally, because of the frequency with which the Funds may roll futures contracts, the impact of such contango or backwardation may be greater than the impact would be if a Fund experienced less rolling. In April 2020, the market for crude oil futures contracts experienced a period of “extraordinary contango” that resulted in a negative price in the May 2020 WTI crude oil futures contract. It is possible that the futures contracts held by the Funds also may experience periods of extraordinary contango in the future.
Concentration Risk
The VIX Futures Fund will typically concentrate its investments in first- and second-month VIX futures contracts. Investors should be aware that other volatility investments may be more diversified both in terms of the number and variety of instruments included and of the volatility exposure offered. Concentration exclusively in first- and second-month futures contracts may result in a greater degree of volatility and
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adverse performance of the VIX Futures Fund under specific market conditions and over time. Concentration in fewer futures contracts as opposed to exposure to a broader set of futures contracts may increase the risk of the VIX Futures Fund’s trading activity affecting such futures contracts and this may adversely affect the performance of the VIX Futures Fund. For example, such concentration and the large size of the positions the VIX Futures Fund may take (including positions resulting from significant and/or rapid increases in the size of the Fund as a result of an increase in creation activity or for any other reason) may cause the daily rolling or rebalancing of the VIX Futures Fund’s portfolio to adversely impact the market price of its concentrated portfolio of futures contracts and in turn the level of the VIX Mid-Term Futures Index and the performance of the VIX Futures Fund.
Risks Specific to the Natural Gas Funds and the Precious Metals Funds
In addition to the risks described elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section, the following risks could apply to the Natural Gas Funds and the Precious Metals Funds.
A number of factors may have a negative impact on the price of commodities, such as gold, silver and natural gas, and the price of Financial Instruments based on such commodities.
With regard to the Natural Gas Funds and the Precious Metals Funds, a number of factors may affect the price of these commodities and, in turn, the Financial Instruments and other assets, if any, owned by such a Fund, including, but not limited to:
Significant increases or decreases in the available supply of a physical commodity due to natural, technological or other factors. Natural factors would include depletion of known cost-effective sources for a commodity or the impact of severe weather or other natural events on the ability to produce or distribute the commodity. Technological factors, such as increases in availability created by new or improved extraction, refining and processing equipment and methods or decreases caused by failure or unavailability of major refining and processing equipment (for example, shutting down or constructing natural gas processing plants), also materially influence the supply of the commodity. General economic conditions in the world or in a major region, such as population growth rates, periods of civil unrest, government austerity programs, periods of recession or other periods of low or negative economic growth, periods of sustained elevated inflation, or currency exchange rate fluctuations may affect prices of underlying commodities.
The exploration and production of commodities are uncertain processes with many risks. The cost of extraction, completing and operating wells / mines is often uncertain, and a number of factors can delay or prevent operations or production of commodities, including: (1) unexpected extraction or drilling conditions; (2) pressure or irregularities in formations; (3) equipment failures or repairs; (4) fires or other accidents; (5) adverse weather conditions; (6) pipeline ruptures, spills or other supply disruptions; and (7) shortages or delays in the availability of extraction delivery equipment.
Significant increases or decreases in the demand for a physical commodity due to natural, technological or other factors. Natural factors would include such events as unusual climatological or health conditions (such as disease or pandemics) impacting the demand for commodities. Technological or other factors may include such developments as substitutes or new uses for particular commodities or changes in the demand for particular commodities. General economic conditions in the world or in a major region, such as population growth rates, periods of civil unrest, government austerity programs, or currency exchange rate fluctuations may affect prices of underlying commodities. For example, gold and silver are used in a wide range of industrial applications and demand for gold and silver is driven by, among other things, demand for jewelry. An economic downturn could have a negative impact on gold and silver demand and, consequently, their prices.
A significant change in the attitude of speculators and investors towards a commodity or in the commodity hedging activities of commodity producers. Should the speculative community take a negative or positive view towards any given commodity, or if there is an increase or decrease in the level of hedge activity of commodity producing companies, countries and/or organizations, such action could cause a change in world prices of any given commodity.
Large purchases or sales of physical commodities by the official sector. Governments and large institutions have large commodities holdings or may establish major commodities positions. For example, a significant portion of the aggregate world precious metals holdings is owned by governments, central banks and related institutions. Similarly, nations with centralized or
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nationalized energy production organizations may control large physical quantities of certain commodities. The purchase or sale by one of these institutions in large amounts could potentially cause a change in prices for that commodity.
Political activity such as the adoption of and changes to legislation, imposition of regulations, or entry into trade treaties, as well as political disruptions caused by societal breakdown, insurrection, terrorism, pandemics, sabotage and/or war may greatly influence commodities prices.
With regard to the Natural Gas Funds, the demand for natural gas correlates closely with general economic growth rates. The occurrence of recessions or other periods of low or negative economic growth will typically have a direct adverse impact on natural gas demand and natural gas prices. The supply and demand for natural gas may also be impacted by changes in interest rates, inflation, and other local or regional weather and market conditions, as well as by the development of alternative energy sources. The demand for natural gas has traditionally been cyclical, with higher demand during winter months and lower demand during summer months. Natural gas prices are subject to volatile, sudden, unpredictable and/or temporary price movements over short periods of time.
With regard to the Natural Gas Funds, competition from clean power companies, fluctuations in the supply and demand of alternative energy fuels, energy conservation, changes in consumer preferences regarding the use of renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels, and tax and other government regulations can significantly affect the price of natural gas.
The recent proliferation of commodity-linked, exchange-traded products and their unknown effect on the commodity markets.
The prices, supply and demand for gold and silver may also be impacted by changes in interest rates, inflation, and other local or regional market conditions, as well as by investor confidence. There can be no assurance that either gold or silver will maintain its long-term value in terms of future purchasing power. As of the date of this prospectus, gold and silver prices are at or near historically high levels. Gold and silver prices are volatile and subject to sudden, and unpredictable price movements, including reversals. Gold and silver markets also have historically experienced extended periods of flat or declining prices. There can be no assurance that either gold or silver prices will maintain their price levels as of the date of this prospectus.
On February 24, 2022, Russia commenced a military attack on Ukraine. The ongoing hostilities between the two countries could result in more widespread conflict and could have a severe adverse affect on the region and the markets for securities and commodities, including oil. In addition, sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and other countries, and any sanctions imposed in the future could have a significant adverse impact on the Russian economy and related markets. How long such conflict and related events will last and whether it will escalate further cannot be predicted. Impacts from the conflicts and related events could have significant impact on a Fund’s performance, and the value of an investment in a Fund may decline significantly.
Each of these factors could have a negative impact on the value of the Funds. These factors interrelate in complex ways, and the effect of one factor on the market value of a Fund may offset or enhance the effect of another factor.
The Natural Gas Funds are linked to an index of natural gas futures contracts, and are not directly linked to the “spot” price of natural gas. Natural Gas futures contracts may perform very differently from the spot price of natural gas.
The Natural Gas Funds are not directly linked to the “spot” price of natural gas. The price of a futures contract reflects the expected value of the commodity upon delivery in the future, whereas the spot price of a commodity reflects the immediate delivery values of the commodity. While prices of swaps, futures contracts and other derivatives contracts are related to the prices of an underlying cash market (i.e., the “spot” market), they may not be well correlated and have typically performed very differently. Natural gas futures contracts typically perform very differently from, and commonly underperform, the spot price of natural gas due to current (and future expectations of) factors such as storage costs, geopolitical risks, interest charges incurred to finance the purchase of the commodity, and expectations concerning supply and demand for the commodity. Derivatives contract prices may not be correlated to spot market prices and may be substantially lower or higher than the spot market prices for a number of reasons, including as a result of differences in derivatives contract terms or as supply, demand or other economic or regulatory factors become more pronounced in either the cash or derivatives markets. In April 2020, the market for crude oil futures contracts
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experienced a period of “extraordinary contango” that resulted in a negative price in the May 2020 WTI crude oil futures contract. The futures contracts held by the Natural Gas Funds may experience a period of extraordinary contango in the future.
The Precious Metals Funds do not hold gold or silver bullion. Rather, the Precious Metals Funds use Financial Instruments to gain exposure to gold or silver bullion. Using Financial Instruments to obtain exposure to gold or silver bullion may cause tracking error and subject the Precious Metals Funds to the effects of contango and backwardation as described herein.
Using Financial Instruments such as swaps, options, forwards and futures in an effort to replicate the inverse performance of gold or silver bullion may cause tracking error, which is the divergence between the price behavior of a position and that of a benchmark. While prices of Financial Instruments are related to the prices of an underlying cash market (i.e., the “spot” market), they may not be perfectly correlated and typically have performed differently. In addition, the use of forward or futures contracts exposes a Fund to risks associated with “rolling” as described herein (forward contracts are subject to the same risks as rolling futures contracts), including the possibility that contango or backwardation can occur. Gold and silver historically exhibit contango markets during most periods. The existence of historically prevalent contango markets would be expected to adversely affect the Precious Metals Funds. Alternatively, the existence of backwardated markets would be expected to be beneficial to the Precious Metals Funds. In April 2020, the market for crude oil futures contracts experienced a period of “extraordinary contango” that resulted in a negative price in the May 2020 WTI crude oil futures contract. The futures contracts held by the Precious Metals Funds may experience a period of extraordinary contango in the future.
Risks Specific to the Currency Funds.
In addition to the risks described elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section, the following risks could apply to the Currency Funds.
A number of factors may have a negative impact on the value of non-U.S. currencies or the U.S. dollar and the value of Financial Instruments based on such currencies.
A number of factors may affect the value of non-U.S. currencies or the U.S. dollar and, in turn, Financial Instruments based on such non-U.S. currencies or the U.S. dollar. These factors include:
Natural or environmental disasters and widespread disease, including public health disruptions, pandemics and epidemics (for example, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and its variants);
Debt level and trade deficit of the relevant foreign countries;
Inflation rates of the U.S. and the relevant foreign countries and investors’ expectations concerning inflation rates;
Inflation rates may change frequently and drastically as a result of various factors, including unexpected shifts in the domestic or global economy, and a Fund’s investments may not keep pace with inflation, which may result in losses to investors;
Interest rates of the U.S. and the relevant foreign countries and investors’ expectations concerning interest rates;
Investment and trading activities of mutual funds, hedge funds and other market participants;
Global or regional political, economic or financial events and situations (including political disruptions, societal breakdown, insurrection, terrorism, pandemics, sabotage and/or war) and investor expectations concerning such events;
Sovereign action to set or restrict currency conversion;
Monetary policies and other related activities of central banks within the U.S. and other relevant non-U.S. markets;
Overall growth and performance of the economies of relevant countries; and
Non-U.S. financial markets may be closed on a day when U.S. domestic markets are open for trading. As a result, liquidity and/or pricing may be affected by the absence of trading in a specific currency.
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In periods of financial turmoil, capital can move quickly out of countries or geographic regions that are perceived to be more vulnerable to the other effects of the crisis than other countries or geographic regions, with sudden and severely adverse consequences to the currencies of those countries or geographic regions. Each of these factors could have a negative impact on the value of a Currency Fund. These factors interrelate in complex ways, and the effect of one factor on the market value of a Currency Fund may offset or enhance the effect of another factor. All of these factors are, in turn, sensitive to the monetary, fiscal and trade policies observed by the relevant countries and those of other countries important to international trade and finance. In addition, information relating to non-U.S. countries or currencies may not be as well-known or as rapidly or thoroughly reported as information regarding the U.S. or the U.S. dollar.
Currency exchange rates may be susceptible to distortion and manipulation.
The concentration of currency trading among a small number of market participants, combined with the relative lack of transparency and regulatory oversight over the manner in which currency exchange rates are determined compared to the markets for other Financial Instruments such as exchange-traded stocks, and other factors create the potential for a small number of market participants to have a distorting effect on exchange rates, including as a result of activities designed to manipulate currency exchange rates.
The value of the Euro could fluctuate drastically.
The European financial markets and the value of the euro have experienced significant volatility, in part related to unemployment, budget deficits and economic downturns. In addition, several member countries of the Economic and Monetary Union (the “EMU”) of the European Union (the “EU”) have experienced credit rating downgrades, rising government debt levels and, for certain EU member countries (including Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy), weaknesses in sovereign debt. Following a referendum in June 2016, the United Kingdom (the “UK”) formally exited the EU on January 31, 2020 (known as “Brexit”). During a transition period where the UK remained subject to EU rules but had no role in the EU law-making process, the UK and EU representatives negotiated the precise terms of their future relationship, reaching an agreement on December 24, 2020. On December 31, 2020, the transition period concluded and the terms of the new agreement went into effect on January 1, 2021. The complete impact of the new agreement, as well as the full scope and nature of the consequences of the exit, are not at this time known and are unlikely to be known for a significant period of time, but may impact the future direction of the value of non-U.S. currencies or the U.S. dollar and, in turn, affect the value of the Currency Funds. In addition, these uncertainties could increase volatility in the market prices of non-U.S. currencies or the U.S. dollar and, in turn, affect the value of the Currency Funds. The effects of Brexit will depend on agreements the UK negotiates to retain access to EU markets either during a transitional period or more permanently. Brexit could lead to legal and tax uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the UK determines which EU laws to replace and replicate.
In addition, it is possible that the euro could be abandoned in the future by countries that have already adopted its use. If this were to occur, the value of the euro could fluctuate drastically. Increased volatility related to the euro could exacerbate the effects of daily compounding on the Ultra Euro Fund’s performance over periods longer than a single day. If the euro is abandoned by all or a significant number of countries that have adopted its use, the Ultra Euro Fund may be forced to switch benchmarks or terminate.
The use of forward contracts may limit the Ultra Euro Fund’s ability to achieve sufficient exposure, and may prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective.
In order to attempt to gain exposure to the euro, the Ultra Euro Fund may enter into forward contracts to purchase or sell the cash value of the euro at a set price, with delivery and settlement at a specified future date. Unlike futures contracts, forward contracts are typically not cleared by a clearinghouse. There are no limitations on the percentage of its assets the Ultra Euro Fund may invest in forward contracts with a particular counterparty. Because a counterparty may stop trading with the Ultra Euro Fund, the Fund may need to transact through a number of counterparties in order to achieve its investment objective. If enough counterparties are not willing to transact with the Ultra Euro Fund, it may not be possible for the Fund to enter into another forward contract or to invest in other Financial Instruments necessary to achieve the desired exposure consistent with the Fund’s investment objective. This, in turn, may prevent the Ultra Euro Fund from achieving its investment objective. If the Ultra Euro Fund has insufficient cash to meet its collateral requirements, the Fund may need to sell Financial Instruments at a time when such sales are disadvantageous. The Ultra Euro Fund’s use of forward contracts involves counterparty credit risk – i.e., the risk that a counterparty is or is perceived to be unwilling or unable to make timely payments or otherwise meet its contractual obligations. A counterparty’s failure to return collateral to the Ultra Euro Fund on a timely basis may cause the Fund to delay redemption settlement dates and/or restrict,
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postpone or limit the right of redemption. If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations due to financial difficulties or other reasons, the Ultra Euro Fund could suffer significant losses on these contracts and the value of an investor’s investment in the Fund may decline.
The value of the Yen could fluctuate drastically.
The Japanese financial markets and the value of the yen may experience volatility and are exposed to other risks. Such risks include, but are not limited to (i) political, economic, or social instability in Japan; (ii) risks associated with Japan’s large government deficit; (iii) risks associated with an increasingly aging and declining population that is likely to strain Japan’s social welfare and pension systems; and (iv) relatively high unemployment. The Japanese economy has in the past been negatively impacted by government intervention and protectionism, an unstable financial services sector and a heavy reliance on international trade. Additionally, natural disasters have in the past had an adverse impact on the Japanese economy. As an island nation Japan has limited natural resources and land area, and the Japanese economy is heavily dependent on international trade and reliant on imports for its commodity needs. Consequently, Japan’s economy and export growth are impacted by economic development of its trading partners particularly the U.S. and the developing nations in Southeast Asia. Fluctuations or shortages in the commodity markets may negatively impact the Japanese economy. Slowdowns in the U.S. and/or China and other Southeast Asian countries, including economic, political or social instability in such countries, could have a negative impact on Japan.
The Japanese economy may be adversely impacted by currency fluctuations. The Japanese government has intervened in its currency market in the past, to maintain or reduce the value of the yen. Any such future intervention could cause the yen’s value to fluctuate and could cause losses to investors. Increased volatility related to the yen could exacerbate the effects of daily compounding on the Ultra Yen Fund’s and the UltraShort Yen Fund’s performance over periods longer than a single day.
Risks Related to All Funds
Potential negative impact from rolling futures positions; there have been extended periods in the past where the investment strategies utilized by the Funds have caused significant and sustained losses.
Each Fund intends to, or may, have exposure to futures contracts and each Fund is subject to risks related to “rolling” such futures contracts, which is the process by which a Fund closes out a futures position prior to its expiration month and purchases an identical futures contract with a later expiration date. The Funds do not intend to hold futures contracts through expiration, but instead intend to “roll” their respective positions as they approach expiration. The contractual obligations of a buyer or seller holding a futures contract to expiration may be satisfied by settling in cash as designated in the contract specifications. As explained further below, the price of futures contracts further from expiration may be higher (a condition known as “contango”) or lower ( a condition known as “backwardation”), which can impact the Funds’ returns.
When the market for these futures contracts is such that the prices are higher in the more distant delivery months than in the nearer delivery months, the sale during the course of the rolling process of the more nearby futures contract would take place at a price that is lower than the price of the more distant futures contract. This pattern of higher prices for longer expiration futures contracts is often referred to as “contango.” Alternatively, when the market for these futures contracts is such that the prices are higher in the nearer months than in the more distant months, the sale during the course of the rolling process of the more nearby futures contract would take place at a price that is higher than the price of the more distant futures contract. This pattern of higher prices for shorter expiration futures contracts is referred to as “backwardation.” The presence of contango in certain futures contracts at the time of rolling would be expected to adversely affect the Funds with long positions, and positively affect the Funds with short positions. Similarly, the presence of backwardation in certain futures contracts at the time of rolling such contracts would be expected to adversely affect the Funds with short positions and positively affect the Funds with long positions.
There have been extended periods in which contango or backwardation have existed in the futures contract markets for various types of futures contracts, and such periods can be expected to occur in the future. These extended periods have caused in the past, and may cause in the future, significant losses, and these periods can have as much or more impact over time than movements in the level of a Fund’s benchmark. Additionally, because of the frequency with which the Funds may roll futures contracts, the impact of such contango or backwardation on Fund performance may be greater than it would have been if the Funds rolled futures contracts less frequently.
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There have been times where WTI crude oil futures contracts experience “extraordinary contango or extraordinary backwardation.” For example, in April 2020, the market for crude oil futures contracts experienced a period of “extraordinary contango” that resulted in a negative price in the May 2020 WTI crude oil futures contract. The futures contracts held by the Funds may experience a period of extraordinary contango or backwardation in the future. If all or a significant portion of the futures contracts held by an Ultra Fund at a future date were to reach a negative price, investors in such Fund could lose their entire investment. Conversely, investors in an UltraShort Fund could suffer significant losses or lose their entire investment if prices reverse or were subject to extraordinary backwardation. The effects of rolling futures contracts under extraordinary contango or backwardation market conditions generally are more exaggerated than rolling futures contracts under more typical contango or backwardation market conditions. Either scenario may result in significant losses.
Each Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective even during periods when the performance of the Fund’s benchmark is flat or when the benchmark is moving in a manner that may cause the value of the Fund to decline.
The Funds are not actively managed by traditional methods (e.g., by effecting changes in the composition of a portfolio on the basis of judgments relating to economic, financial and market considerations with a view toward obtaining positive results under all market conditions). Each Fund seeks to remain fully invested at all times in Financial Instruments and money market instruments that, in combination, provide exposure to its benchmark consistent with its investment objective. This is the case even during periods in which the benchmark is flat or moving in a manner which causes the value of a Fund to decline. A Fund can lose money regardless of the performance of an underlying benchmark, due to the effects of daily rebalancing, volatility, compounding and other risk factors.
The number of underlying components included in a Fund’s benchmark may impact the volatility of such benchmark, which could adversely affect an investment in the Shares.
The number of underlying components in a Fund’s benchmark may impact the volatility of such benchmark, which could adversely affect an investment in the Shares. For example, certain of the Funds’ benchmarks are concentrated in terms of the number and type of commodities and currencies represented, and some of the benchmarks consist solely of a single commodity or currency exchange rate. Investors should be aware that other benchmarks are more diversified in terms of both the number and variety of investments included. Concentration in fewer components may result in a greater degree of volatility in a benchmark and the Fund which corresponds to that benchmark under specific market conditions and over time.
Possible illiquid markets may cause or exacerbate losses.
Financial Instruments and/or markets may be illiquid. In such cases and during such times it may be difficult or impossible to buy or sell a position at the desired price. For example, it may be difficult to execute a trade at a specific price when there is a relatively small volume of buy and sell orders in a market. Market disruptions or volatility can also make it difficult for a Fund to buy or sell a position or find a swap or forward contract counterparty willing to transact at a reasonable price and sufficient size. Illiquid markets and/or Financial Instruments may cause losses, which could be significant, for the Funds. The large size of the positions which the Funds may acquire increases the risk of illiquidity by both making their positions more difficult to liquidate and increasing the losses incurred while trying to do so. Any type of disruption or illiquidity will potentially be exacerbated due to the fact that each Fund typically invests in Financial Instruments related to a single benchmark, which is highly concentrated. Limits imposed by counterparties, exchanges or other regulatory organizations, such as accountability levels, position limits and daily price fluctuation limits, may contribute to a lack of liquidity with respect to some Financial Instruments and have a negative impact on Fund performance. During periods of market illiquidity, including periods of market disruption and volatility, it may be difficult or impossible for a Fund to buy or sell futures contracts or other Financial Instruments or for investors to buy or sell Fund Shares at desired prices or at all.
Fees are charged regardless of a Fund’s returns and may result in depletion of assets.
The Funds are subject to the fees and expenses described herein which are payable irrespective of a Fund’s returns, as well as the effects of commissions, trading spreads, and embedded financing, borrowing costs and fees associated with swaps, forwards, futures contracts, and costs relating to the purchase of U.S. Treasury securities or similar high credit quality, short-term fixed-income or similar securities. Additional charges may include other fees as applicable. These fees and expenses have a negative impact on Fund returns.
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For the Funds linked to a benchmark, changes implemented by the benchmark provider that affect the composition and valuation of the benchmark could negatively impact the performance of the Funds.
The Funds, other than the Currency Funds, are linked to benchmarks maintained by third-party providers that are unaffiliated with the Funds or the Sponsor. There can be no guarantee or assurance that the methodology used by the third-party provider to create the benchmark will result in a Fund achieving high, or even positive, returns. The policies implemented by each benchmark provider concerning the calculation or the composition of a benchmark could affect the value of a benchmark and, therefore, the value of such Fund’s Shares. A benchmark provider may change the composition of the benchmark, or make other methodological changes that could change the value of a benchmark. Additionally, a benchmark provider may alter, discontinue or suspend calculation or dissemination of a benchmark. Any of these actions could adversely affect the value of Shares of a Fund using that benchmark. There is no guarantee the methodology underlying the benchmark will be free from error. Benchmark providers have no obligation to consider Fund shareholder interests in calculating or revising a benchmark. Each of these factors could have a negative impact on the performance of the Funds.
In addition, for the VIX Futures Fund, the Cboe can make methodological changes to the calculation of the VIX that could affect the value of VIX futures contracts and, consequently, the value of the VIX Futures Fund’s Shares. There can be no assurance that Cboe will not change the VIX calculation methodology in a way which may affect the value of the VIX Futures Fund’s Shares. The Cboe may also alter, discontinue or suspend calculation or dissemination of the VIX and/or exercise settlement value. It is also possible that third parties may attempt to manipulate the value of the VIX Mid-Term Futures Index or the VIX. S&P Dow Jones Indices may also make changes to the equity securities underlying the S&P 500 or the futures contracts included in the Index, or make other methodological changes that could change the level of the S&P 500. Any of these actions could adversely affect the value of such Fund’s Shares.
Calculation of a benchmark may not be possible or feasible under certain events or circumstances that are beyond the reasonable control of the Sponsor, which in turn may adversely impact both the benchmark and/or the Shares, as applicable. Additionally, benchmark calculations are subject to error and may be disrupted by rollover disruptions, rebalancing disruptions and/or market emergencies, which may have a negative impact on the performance of the Funds.
The particular benchmark used by a Fund may underperform other asset classes and may underperform other indices or benchmarks based upon the same underlying Reference Asset.
The Funds, other than the Currency Funds, are linked to benchmarks maintained by third-party providers unaffiliated with the Funds or the Sponsor. There can be no guarantee or assurance that the methodology used by the third party provider to create the benchmark will result in a Fund achieving high, or even positive, returns. Further, there can be no guarantee that the methodology underlying the benchmark or the daily calculation of the benchmark will be free from error. It is also possible that the value of the benchmark or its underlying Reference Asset may be subject to intentional manipulation by third-party market participants. The particular benchmark used by each Fund may underperform other asset classes and may underperform other indices or benchmarks based upon the same underlying Reference Asset. Each of these factors could have a negative impact on the performance of a Fund.
Financial markets, including the Financial Instruments used by a Fund, and Fund Shares may be subject to unusual trading activity, volatility, and potential fraud and/or manipulation by third parties.
Financial markets, including the Financial Instruments in which the Funds invest, and Fund Shares, can be highly volatile and the Funds may experience sudden and large movements in price. Unusual trading activity that is unrelated to economic fundamentals, including activity that is considered market fraud and/or manipulation or excessive speculation, or significant and/or rapid increases in the size of a Fund as a result of an increase in creation activity, can potentially lead to unusual movements in the prices of the Financial Instruments in which the Funds invest as well as the price of Fund Shares, and increase the risk of investing in such Financial Instruments and in Fund shares. Market fraud and/or manipulation and other fraudulent trading practices (such as the intentional dissemination of false or misleading information (e.g., false rumors)) can, among other things, lead to disruption of the orderly functioning of markets, lead to significant market volatility and cause the value of a Fund and/or the Financial Instruments held by a Fund to fluctuate quickly and without warning. Such fluctuations could be significant and could be temporary or last for longer periods of time. High volatility may have an adverse impact on the performance of the Funds. The widespread demand for a commodity, currency, or security may cause price increases in the commodity, currency, or security, which could
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result in an increased demand for Shares. The Funds may experience difficulty in registering additional Shares in a timely manner in response to a high demand for Shares.
The UltraShort Natural Gas Fund experienced significantly higher than normal creation activity in mid-September of 2021. The Ultra Natural Gas Fund experienced significantly higher than normal creation activity in mid-November of 2021. Each Fund potentially could experience similar creation activity in the future. A Fund experiencing significant and rapid growth could potentially experience difficulty achieving appropriate exposure in response to significant increases in Fund assets, which could cause a Fund to limit or suspend purchases of Creation Units. Any limitation or suspension of Creation Units, among other things, could cause a Fund’s Shares to trade at a premium, widen trading spreads, or otherwise disrupt secondary market trading in a Fund’s Shares. Increases in the price of Financial Instruments and a Fund’s Shares as a result of the conditions described above are subject to significant and unexpected reversals. An investor in any of the Funds could potentially lose the full principal value of his or her investment within a single day.
A Fund may change its investment objective, benchmark and investment strategies, and/or may terminate, at any time without shareholder approval.
The Sponsor has the authority to change a Fund’s investment objective, benchmark or investment strategy at any time, or to terminate the Trust or a Fund, in each case, without shareholder approval or advance notice, subject to applicable regulatory requirements. Although such changes may be subject to applicable regulatory approvals, the Sponsor may determine to operate a Fund in accordance with its new investment objective, benchmark or investment strategy while the applicable approvals, if any, are pending. Such changes may expose shareholders to losses on their investments in a Fund. When a Fund’s assets are sold as part of the Fund’s termination, the resulting proceeds distributed to shareholders may be less than those that could have been realized in a sale outside of a termination context.
There may be circumstances that could prevent or make it impractical for a Fund to operate in a manner consistent with its investment objective and investment strategies.
There may be circumstances outside the control of the Sponsor and/or a Fund that could prevent or make it impractical to rebalance such Fund’s portfolio investments, to process purchase or redemption orders, or to otherwise operate the Fund in a manner consistent with its investment objective and investment strategies. Examples of such circumstances include: market disruptions; significant or extreme market volatility, particularly late in the trading day; difficulty achieving appropriate exposure in response to significant increases in Fund assets; natural disasters (including disease, epidemics and pandemics); public service disruptions or utility problems such as those caused by fires, floods, extreme weather conditions, and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy, and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the aforementioned parties, as well as the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”), or any other participant in the trading or operations of a Fund; and similar extraordinary events.
While the Sponsor has implemented and tested a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan designed to address circumstances such as those above, these and other circumstances may prevent a Fund from being operated in a manner consistent with its investment objective and/or investment strategies and could cause significant losses to the Funds.
The Funds use investment techniques that may be considered aggressive.
Some investment techniques of the Funds, such as their use of Financial Instruments, may be considered aggressive. Risks associated with Financial Instruments include potentially dramatic price changes (losses) in the value of the instruments and imperfect correlations between the price of the contract and the underlying Reference Asset. The use of Financial Instruments may increase the volatility of a Fund and may involve a small investment of cash relative to the magnitude of the risk assumed.
Historical correlation trends between Fund benchmarks and other asset classes may not continue or may reverse, limiting or eliminating any potential diversification or other benefit from owning a Fund.
To the extent that an investor purchases a Fund seeking diversification benefits based on the historic correlation (whether positive or negative) between the returns of the Fund or its underlying benchmark and other asset classes, such historic correlation may not continue or may reverse itself. In this circumstance, the diversification or other benefits sought may be limited or non-existent. The diversification or other
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benefits sought by an investor in a Fund may also become limited or cease to exist if the Sponsor determines to change the Fund’s benchmark or otherwise modify the Fund’s investment objective or investment strategy.
The lack of active trading markets for the Shares may result in losses upon the sale of such Shares.
Although the Shares are publicly listed and traded on the Exchange, there can be no guarantee that an active trading market for the Shares will develop or be maintained. If investors need to sell their Shares at a time when an active market for such Shares does not exist, the price investors receive for their Shares, assuming that investors are able to sell them at all, likely will be lower than the price that investors would receive if an active market did exist.
Investors may be adversely affected by redemption or creation orders that are subject to postponement, suspension or rejection under certain circumstances.
In respect of any Fund, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, limit or suspend the right of creation or redemption or may postpone the redemption or purchase settlement date. For example, the Sponsor may limit or suspend purchases or postpone settlement for (1) any period during which the Exchange or any other exchange, marketplace or trading center, deemed to affect the normal operations (e.g., valuation) of such Fund, is closed, or when trading is restricted or suspended on such exchanges in any of the Funds’ Financial Instruments or underlying Reference Assets, (2) any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which the fulfillment of a purchase order or the redemption distribution is not reasonably practicable, or (3) such other period as the Sponsor determines, in its sole discretion, to be appropriate for the protection of the Fund, the shareholders of the Fund or otherwise in the interest of such Fund (for example, in response to, or anticipation of, a period of significant and/or rapid increases in the size of a Fund as a result of an increase in creation activity). In addition, a Fund will reject a redemption order if the order is not in proper form as described in the Authorized Participant Agreement or if the fulfillment of the order might be unlawful. Any such limitation, postponement, suspension or rejection could adversely affect a redeeming Authorized Participant. For example, the resulting delay may adversely affect the value of the Authorized Participant’s redemption proceeds if the NAV of a Fund declines during the period of delay. The Funds disclaim any liability for any loss or damage that may result from any such limitation, postponement, suspension or rejection. Investors should be aware that during any period where creations or redemptions have been limited, postponed, suspended or rejected, the public trading price per Share of a Fund may be materially different from the NAV per Share of the Fund (i.e., the secondary market price may trade at a material premium or discount to NAV), the bid-ask spreads on a Fund’s Shares may widen, and/or the number of Shares on which quotes may be available could decrease. These events could increase the trading costs to investors, cause a Fund to not perform consistent with its investment objective, and otherwise result in significant losses for investors.
Purchases of a Fund’s Creation Units may be limited or suspended which may prevent a Fund from achieving appropriate exposure.
In situations where a Fund may have difficulty achieving, or be unable to achieve, appropriate exposure in response to significant increases, or anticipated significant increases, in Fund assets, a Fund may place upper limits or other restrictions on the number of Creation Units Authorized Participants may purchase or may suspend purchases of Creation Units altogether. The Funds disclaim any liability for any loss or damage that may result from any such suspension or limits. The Sponsor expects that such limits or suspensions will not impact the ability of Authorized Participants to redeem Creation Units during such period.
As a result of such limits or suspension, secondary market trading of a Fund’s Shares may be halted or disrupted. Investors should be aware that during periods in which the purchase of Creation Units is suspended or limited, the public trading price per Share of a Fund may be materially different from the NAV per Share of the Fund (i.e., the secondary market price may trade at a material premium or discount to NAV), the bid-ask spreads on a Fund’s Shares may widen, and/or the number of Shares on which quotes may be available could decrease. These events could increase the trading costs to investors, could cause a Fund’s trading price to not perform consistent with its investment objective and otherwise lead to significant losses for the Fund and investors. These conditions could reverse suddenly and without warning when the suspension or limitation on Authorized Participants’ ability to purchase Creation Units is lifted or modified, causing losses for Fund investors.
The NAV per Share may not correspond to the market price per Share.
The NAV per Share of a Fund changes as fluctuations occur in the market value of the Fund’s portfolio. Investors should be aware that the public trading price per Share of a Fund may be substantially different from the NAV per Share of the Fund (i.e., the secondary market price may trade at a substantial premium or discount to NAV). The price at which an investor may be able to sell Shares at any time, especially in
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times of market volatility, may be significantly less than the NAV per Share of the Fund at the time of sale. Consequently, an Authorized Participant may be able to create or redeem a Creation Unit of a Fund at a discount or a premium to the public trading price per Share of that Fund.
Authorized Participants or their customers may have an opportunity to realize a profit if they can purchase a Creation Unit at a discount to the public trading price of the Shares of a Fund or can redeem a Creation Unit at a premium over the public trading price of the Shares of a Fund. The Sponsor expects that the exploitation of such arbitrage opportunities by Authorized Participants and their clients and customers will tend to cause the public trading price to track the NAV per Share of the Funds closely over time.
Investors who purchase Fund Shares in the secondary market and pay a premium purchase price over a Fund’s indicative optimized performance value (“IOPV”) could incur significant losses in the event such investor sells such Fund Shares at a time when such premium is no longer present in the marketplace.
The value of a Share may be influenced by non-concurrent trading hours between the Exchange and the market in which Financial Instruments (or related Reference Assets) held by a Fund are traded. The Shares of each Fund trade on the Exchange from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). The Financial Instruments (and/or the related Reference Assets) held by a particular Fund, however, have earlier fixing or settlement times or, in the case of the VIX Futures Fund, a later fixing time. Consequently, liquidity in the Financial Instruments (and/or the Reference Assets) may be reduced after such fixing or settlement time. As a result, during the time when the Exchange is open for trading but after the applicable fixing or settlement time of an underlying component, trading spreads and the resulting premium or discount on the Shares of a Fund may widen, and, therefore, may increase the difference between the price of the Shares of a Fund and the NAV of such Shares. Also, during the time when the Exchange is open for trading but the Fund’s NAV has already been determined (or, in the case of the VIX Futures Fund, closed for trading but before the determination of its NAV), there could be market developments or other events that cause or exacerbate the difference between the price of the Shares of such Funds in the secondary market and the NAV of such Shares or otherwise have a negative impact on the value of an investment in the Shares.
The VIX futures contracts in which the VIX Futures Fund invests may be traded throughout the day, including between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. As a result, during the time when the Exchange is closed for trading but before the determination of NAV, there could be market developments or other events that cause or exacerbate the difference between the price of the Shares of the VIX Futures Fund in the secondary market and the NAV of such Shares or otherwise have a negative impact on the value of an investment in the Shares.
Investors may be adversely affected by an overstatement or understatement of a Fund’s NAV due to the valuation method employed or errors in the NAV calculation.
Under normal circumstances, the NAV of a Fund reflects the value of the Financial Instruments held by the Fund, as of the time the NAV is calculated. The NAV of the Funds includes, in part, any unrealized profits or losses on open Financial Instrument positions. In certain circumstances (e.g., if the Sponsor believes market quotations do not accurately reflect fair value of an investment, or a trading halt closes an exchange or market early), the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, choose to determine a fair value price as the basis for determining the market value of such position for such day. The fair value of an investment determined by the Sponsor may be different from other value determinations of the same investment. Such fair value prices generally would be determined based on available inputs about the current value of the underlying Reference Assets and would be based on principles that the Sponsor deems fair and equitable. A swap counterparty may have the right to close out a Fund’s position due to the occurrence of certain events (for example, if the counterparty is unable to hedge its obligations to the Fund, or if the Fund defaults on certain terms of the swap agreement, or if there is a material decline in the Fund’s benchmark on a particular day) and request immediate payment of amounts owed by the Fund under the agreement. If the level of a Fund’s benchmark has a dramatic intraday move, the terms of the swap agreement may permit the counterparty to immediately close out a transaction with the Fund at a price set by the counterparty, which may not represent fair market value. A swap counterparty may also have the right to close out a Fund’s position for no reason, in some cases with same day notice. The valuation method used to calculate NAV or errors in calculation of a Fund’s NAV may cause the Fund’s NAV to be overstated or understated and may affect the performance of the Fund and the value of an investment in the Shares.
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Trading on exchanges outside the United States is generally not subject to U.S. regulation and may result in different or diminished investor protections.
To the extent that a Fund places trades on exchanges outside the United States, trading on such exchanges is generally not regulated by any U.S. governmental agency and may involve certain risks not applicable to trading on U.S. exchanges, including different or diminished investor protections. In trading contracts denominated in currencies other than U.S. dollars, the Shares are subject to the risk of adverse exchange rate movements between the dollar and the functional currencies of such contracts. Investors could incur substantial losses from trading on foreign exchanges which such investors would not have otherwise been subject had the Funds’ trading been limited to U.S. markets.
Competing claims of intellectual property rights may adversely affect the Funds and an investment in the Shares.
The Sponsor believes that it has obtained all required licenses or the appropriate consent of all necessary parties with respect to the intellectual property rights necessary to operate the Funds. However, other third parties could allege ownership as to such rights and may bring legal action asserting their claims. The expenses in litigating, negotiating, cross-licensing or otherwise settling such claims may adversely affect the Funds. Additionally, as a result of such action, a Fund could potentially change its investment objective, benchmark or investment strategies. Each of these factors could have a negative impact on the performance of the Funds.
The liquidity of the Shares may also be affected by the withdrawal from participation of Authorized Participants, which could adversely affect the market price of the Shares.
In the event that one or more Authorized Participants which have substantial interests in the Shares withdraw from participation, the liquidity of the Shares will likely decrease, which could adversely affect the market price of the Shares and result in investors incurring a loss on their investment.
Shareholders that are not Authorized Participants may only purchase or sell their Shares in secondary trading markets, and the conditions associated with trading in secondary markets may adversely affect investors’ investment in the Shares.
Only Authorized Participants may create or redeem Creation Units. All other investors that desire to purchase or sell Shares must do so through the Exchange or in other markets, if any, in which the Shares may be traded. Shares may trade at a premium or discount to NAV per Share.
The Exchange may halt trading in the Shares of a Fund which would adversely impact investors’ ability to sell Shares.
Trading in Shares of a Fund may be halted by the Exchange due to market conditions or, in light of the applicable Exchange rules and procedures. In addition, trading is subject to trading halts caused by market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules that require trading to be halted for a specified period based on a specified decline or rise in a market index (e.g., the Dow Jones Industrial Average) or in the price of a Fund’s Shares. There can be no assurance that the requirements necessary to maintain the listing of the Shares of a Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.
Shareholders do not have the protections associated with ownership of shares in an investment company registered under the 1940 Act.
The Funds are not subject to registration or regulation under the 1940 Act. Consequently, shareholders do not have the regulatory protections provided to investors in investment companies registered under the 1940 Act. These protections include, but are not limited to, provisions in the 1940 Act that limit transactions with affiliates, prohibit the suspension of redemptions (except under limited circumstances), require a board of directors that must include disinterested directors, limit leverage, impose a fiduciary duty on the fund’s manager with respect to the receipt of compensation for services, require shareholder approval for certain fundamental changes, limit sales loads, and require proper valuation of fund assets.
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The value of the Shares will be adversely affected if the Funds are required to indemnify Wilmington Trust Company (the “Trustee”) and/or the Sponsor.
Under the Trust Agreement, the Trustee and the Sponsor each has the right to be indemnified for any liability or expense incurred without gross negligence or willful misconduct. That means the Sponsor may require the assets of a Fund to be sold in order to cover losses or liability suffered by it or by the Trustee. Any such sale would decrease the value of an investment in an impacted Fund.
Although the Shares are limited liability investments, certain circumstances, such as the bankruptcy of a Fund could increase a shareholder’s liability.
The Shares are limited liability investments; investors may not lose more than the amount that they invest plus any gains or income recognized on their investment. However, shareholders could be required, as a matter of bankruptcy law, to return to the estate of a Fund any distribution they received at a time when such Fund was in fact insolvent or in violation of the Trust Agreement.
A court could potentially conclude that the assets and liabilities of one Fund are not segregated from those of another series of the Trust and may thereby potentially expose assets in a Fund to the liabilities of another series of the Trust.
Each series of the Trust is a separate series of a Delaware statutory trust and not itself a separate legal entity. Section 3804(a) of the Delaware Statutory Trust Act, as amended (the “DSTA”), provides that if certain provisions are in the formation and governing documents of a statutory trust organized in series, and if separate and distinct records are maintained for any series and the assets associated with that series are held in separate and distinct records (directly or indirectly, including through a nominee or otherwise) and accounted for in such separate and distinct records separately from the other assets of the statutory trust, or any series thereof, then the debts, liabilities, obligations and expenses incurred, contracted for or otherwise existing with respect to a particular series are enforceable against the assets of such series only, and not against the assets of the statutory trust generally or any other series thereof, and none of the debts, liabilities, obligations and expenses incurred, contracted for or otherwise existing with respect to the statutory trust generally or any other series thereof shall be enforceable against the assets of such series. The Sponsor is not aware of any court case that has interpreted Section 3804(a) of the DSTA or provided any guidance as to what is required for compliance. The Sponsor maintains separate and distinct records for each series and accounts for them separately, but it is possible a court could conclude that the methods used did not satisfy Section 3804(a) of the DSTA and thus potentially expose assets of a Fund to the liabilities of another series of the Trust.
Due to the increased use of technologies, intentional and unintentional cyber-attacks pose operational and information security risks.
With the increased use of technologies such as the Internet and the dependence on computer systems to perform necessary business functions, the Funds and their service providers are susceptible to operational and information security risks. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber-attacks include, but are not limited to gaining unauthorized access to digital systems for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyber-attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites. Cyber security failures or breaches of a Fund’s third party service provider (including, but not limited to, index providers, the administrator and transfer agent) or the issuers of securities in which the Funds invest, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses, the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and/or additional compliance costs. In addition, substantial costs may be incurred in order to prevent any cyber incidents in the future. The Funds and their shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result. While the Funds have established business continuity plans and systems to prevent such cyber-attacks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and risk management systems including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified. Furthermore, the Funds cannot control the cyber security plans and systems of each Fund’s service providers, market makers, Authorized Participants or issuers of securities in which each Fund invests.
Investors cannot be assured of the Sponsor’s continued services, the discontinuance of which may be detrimental to the Funds.
Investors cannot be assured that the Sponsor will be able to continue to service the Funds for any length of time. If the Sponsor discontinues its activities on behalf of the Funds, the Funds may be adversely affected, as there may be no entity servicing the Funds for a period
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of time. If the Sponsor’s registrations with the CFTC or memberships in the National Futures Association (the “NFA”) were revoked or suspended, the Sponsor would no longer be able to provide services and/or to render advice to the Funds. If the Sponsor were unable to provide services and/or advice to the Funds, the Funds would be unable to pursue their investment objectives unless and until the Sponsor’s ability to provide services and advice to the Funds was reinstated or a replacement for the Sponsor as commodity pool operator could be found. Such an event could result in termination of the Funds.
It may not be possible to gain exposure to the benchmarks using exchange-traded Financial Instruments in the future.
The Funds intend to utilize exchange-traded Financial Instruments. It may not be possible to gain exposure to the benchmarks with these Financial Instruments in the future. If these Financial Instruments cease to be traded on regulated exchanges, they may be replaced with Financial Instruments traded on trading facilities that are subject to lesser degrees of regulation or, in some cases, no substantive regulation. As a result, trading in such Financial Instruments, and the manner in which prices and volumes are reported by the relevant trading facilities, may not be subject to the provisions of, and the protections afforded by, the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended (the “CEA”), or other applicable statutes and related regulations that govern trading on regulated U.S. futures exchanges, or similar statutes and regulations that govern trading on regulated U.K. futures exchanges. In addition, many electronic trading facilities have only recently initiated trading and do not have significant trading histories. As a result, the trading of contracts on such facilities, and the inclusion of such contracts in a benchmark, may be subject to certain risks not presented by U.S. or U.K. exchange-traded futures contracts, including risks related to the liquidity and price histories of the relevant contracts.
Regulatory changes or actions, including the implementation of new legislation, may alter the operations and profitability of the Funds.
The U.S. derivatives markets and market participants have been subject to comprehensive regulation, not only by the CFTC but also by self-regulatory organizations, including the NFA and the exchanges on which the derivatives contracts are traded and/or cleared. The regulation of commodity interest transactions and markets, including under the Dodd-Frank Act, is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to ongoing modification by governmental and judicial action. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act has expanded the regulation of markets, market participants and financial instruments. The regulatory regime under the Dodd-Frank Act has imposed additional compliance and legal burdens on participants in the markets for futures and other commodity interests. For example, under the Dodd-Frank Act new capital and risk requirements have been imposed on market intermediaries. Those requirements may cause the cost of trading to increase for market participants, like the Funds, that must interact with those intermediaries to carry out their trading activities. These increased costs can detract from the Funds’ performance.
As with any regulated activity, changes in regulations may have unexpected results. For example, changes in the amount or quality of the collateral that traders in derivatives contracts are required to provide to secure their open positions, or in the limits on number or size of positions that a trader may have open at a given time, may adversely affect the ability of the Funds to enter into certain transactions that could otherwise present lucrative opportunities. Considerable regulatory attention has been focused on non-traditional investment pools which are publicly distributed in the United States. There is a possibility of future regulatory changes altering, perhaps to a material extent, the nature of an investment in the Funds or the ability of the Funds to continue to implement their investment strategies.
In addition, the SEC, CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the retroactive implementation of speculative position limits or higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading. The regulation of swaps, forwards and futures transactions in the United States is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. The effect of any future regulatory change on the Funds is impossible to predict, but could be substantial and adverse.
In particular, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) has made and will continue to make sweeping changes to the way in which the U.S. financial system is supervised and regulated. Title VII of the Dodd Frank Act sets forth a legislative framework for OTC derivatives, including certain Financial Instruments, such as swaps, in which certain of the Funds may invest. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act makes broad changes to the OTC derivatives market, grants significant new authority to the SEC and the CFTC to regulate OTC derivatives and market participants, and, pursuant to regulations that have been and will continue to be adopted by the regulators, requires the clearing and exchange trading of many types of OTC derivatives transactions.
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Pursuant to regulations adopted by the CFTC, swap dealers are required to be registered and are subject to various regulatory requirements, including, but not limited to, margin, recordkeeping, reporting and various business conduct requirements, as well as minimum financial capital requirements.
Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, regulations adopted by the CFTC and the federal banking regulators that are now in effect require swap dealers to post and collect margin (comprised of specified liquid instruments and subject to a required haircut) in connection with a Fund’s trading of swaps that are not traded on an exchange or cleared by a clearinghouse. These requirements may increase the amount of collateral the Funds are required to provide and the costs associated with providing such collateral.
Swap agreements submitted for clearing are subject to minimum margin requirements set by the relevant clearinghouse, as well as margin requirements mandated by the CFTC, SEC and/or federal banking regulators. Swap dealers also typically demand the unilateral ability to increase a Fund’s collateral requirements for swap agreements that are cleared by a clearinghouse beyond any regulatory and clearinghouse minimums. Such requirements may make it more difficult and costly for investment funds, such as the Funds, to enter into customized transactions. They may also render certain investment strategies in which a Fund might otherwise engage impossible or so costly that they will no longer be economical to implement. If a Fund decides to execute swap agreements through an exchange or swap execution facility, the Fund would be subject to the rules of the exchange or swap execution facility, which would bring additional risks and liabilities, and potential requirements under applicable regulations and under rules of the relevant exchange or swap execution facility.
With respect to cleared OTC derivatives, a Fund will not face a clearinghouse directly but rather will do so through a swap dealer that is registered with the CFTC or SEC and that acts as a clearing member. A Fund may face the indirect risk of the failure of another clearing member customer to meet its obligations to its clearing member. This risk could arise due to a default by the clearing member on its obligations to the clearinghouse triggered by a customer’s failure to meet its obligations to the clearing member.
Swap dealers also are required to post margin to the clearinghouses through which they clear their swaps with customers instead of using such margin in their operations, as was widely permitted before Dodd-Frank. This has increased and will continue to increase swap dealers’ costs, and these increased costs are generally passed through to other market participants such as the Funds in the form of higher upfront and mark-to-market margin, less favorable trade pricing, and the imposition of new or increased fees, including clearing account maintenance fees.
While certain regulations have been promulgated and are already in effect, the full impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on any of the Funds remains uncertain. The legislation and the related regulations that have been and may be promulgated in the future may negatively impact a Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective either through limits on its investments or requirements imposed on it or any of its counterparties. In particular, new requirements, including capital requirements and mandatory clearing of OTC derivatives transactions, which may increase derivative counterparties’ costs and are expected to generally be passed through to other market participants in the form of higher upfront and mark-to-market margin, less favorable trade pricing, and the imposition of new or increased fees, including clearinghouse account maintenance fees, may increase the cost of a Fund’s investments and the cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.
Regulatory bodies outside the U.S. have also passed or proposed, or may propose in the future, legislation similar to that proposed by Dodd-Frank or other legislation containing other restrictions that could adversely impact the liquidity of and increase costs of participating in the commodities markets. For example, the European Union Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2014/65/EU) and Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 600/2014) (together “MiFID II”), which has applied since January 3, 2018, governs the provision of investment services and activities in relation to, as well as the organized trading of, financial instruments such as shares, bonds, units in collective investment schemes and derivatives. In particular, MiFID II requires European Union (the “EU”) Member States to apply position limits to the size of a net position which a person can hold at any time in commodity derivatives traded on EU trading venues and in “economically equivalent” OTC contracts. By way of further example, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 648/2012, as amended) (“EMIR”) introduced certain requirements in respect of OTC derivatives including: (i) the mandatory clearing of OTC derivative contracts declared subject to the clearing obligation; (ii) risk mitigation techniques in respect of OTC derivative contracts that are not cleared by a clearinghouse, including the mandatory margining of such contracts; and (iii) reporting and recordkeeping requirements in respect of all derivatives contracts. In the event that the requirements under EMIR and MiFID II apply, these are expected to increase the cost of transacting derivatives.
In addition, regulations adopted by U.S. federal banking regulators will require certain bank-regulated swap dealer counterparties and certain of their affiliates and subsidiaries, including swap dealers, to include in certain financial contracts, including many derivatives contracts,
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such as swap agreements, terms that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties, such as a Fund, to terminate such contracts, foreclose upon collateral, exercise other default rights or restrict transfers of credit support in the event that the counterparty and/or its affiliates are subject to certain types of resolution or insolvency proceedings. Similar regulations and laws have been adopted in the UK and the EU that apply to the Funds’ counterparties located in those jurisdictions. It is possible that these new requirements could adversely affect the Funds’ ability to terminate existing derivatives agreements or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements.
CFTC rules do not apply to all of the physically settled forward contracts entered into by the Funds. Investors, therefore, may not receive the protection of CFTC regulation or the statutory scheme of the CEA in connection with each Fund’s physically settled forward contracts. The lack of regulation in these markets could expose investors to significant losses under certain circumstances, including in the event of trading abuses or financial failure by participants.
Regulatory and exchange daily price limits, position limits and accountability levels may have a negative impact on the operation and performance of each Fund.
Many U.S. futures exchanges limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single trading day by regulations referred to as “daily price fluctuation limits” or “daily limits.” Once the daily limit has been reached in a particular contract, no trades may be made that day at a price beyond that limit or trading may be suspended for specified periods during the trading day. Derivatives contract prices could move to a limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading thereby preventing prompt liquidation of or entry into derivatives positions and potentially subjecting the Fund to substantial losses or periods in which the Fund does not create additional Creation Units.
In addition, the CFTC, U.S. futures exchanges and certain non-U.S. exchanges have established limits referred to as “speculative position limits” or “accountability levels” on the maximum net long or short futures positions that any person may hold or control in futures contracts traded on U.S. and certain non-U.S. exchanges. The CFTC’s rules require that all accounts owned or managed by an entity that is responsible for such accounts’ trading decisions, their principals and their affiliates be aggregated for position limits. The CFTC amended these aggregation rules in December 2016.
In connection with these limits, the Dodd-Frank Act amended the Commodity Exchange Act, and as a result, the CFTC has adopted regulations establishing speculative position limits applicable to regulated futures and OTC derivatives and impose aggregate speculative position limits across regulated U.S. futures, OTC positions and certain futures contracts traded on non-U.S. exchanges. The CFTC has sought to amend its position limits rules for several years and on October 15, 2020 the CFTC adopted rules on position limits with respect to the 25 physical delivery commodity futures contracts and options on futures, as well as to swaps that are economically equivalent to such contracts and futures and options thereon that are directly or indirectly linked to the price of such contracts or to the same commodity underlying such contracts (e.g., cash-settled look-a-like futures).
Exchanges may establish accountability levels applicable to futures contracts instead of position limits. An accountability level is not a strict limit, but when a person holds or controls a position in excess of a position accountability level, the relevant exchange may convert the accountability level to a limit based on information that it collects from the person as to the person’s investment intentions and strategy as part of the position accountability process and market conditions. In addition, the relevant exchange may order a person who holds or controls a position in excess of a position accountability level not to further increase its position, to comply with any prospective limit that exceeds the size of the position owned or controlled, or to reduce any open position that exceeds the position accountability level if the exchange determines that such action is necessary to maintain an orderly market. Position accountability levels could adversely affect each of the Fund’s ability to establish and maintain positions in commodity futures contracts to which such levels apply, if the Funds were to trade in such contracts. Such an outcome could adversely affect each of the Fund’s ability to pursue its investment objective.
Currently, the Sponsor and the Funds are subject to position limits and accountability levels established by the CFTC and exchanges. Accordingly, the Sponsor and the Funds may be required to reduce the size of outstanding positions or be restricted from entering into new positions that would otherwise be taken for the Fund or not trade in certain markets on behalf of the Fund in order to comply with those limits or any future limits established by the CFTC and the relevant exchanges. These restrictions, if implemented, could limit the ability of each Fund to invest in additional futures contracts, add to existing positions in the desired amount, or create additional Creation Units and could otherwise have a significant negative impact on Fund operations and secondary market trading.
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In addition, the Sponsor may be required to liquidate certain open positions in order to ensure compliance with the speculative position limits at unfavorable prices, which may result in substantial losses for the relevant Funds. There also can be no assurance that the Sponsor will liquidate positions held on behalf of all the Sponsor’s accounts, including any proprietary accounts, in a proportionate manner. In the event the Sponsor chooses to liquidate a disproportionate number of positions held on behalf of any of the Funds at unfavorable prices, such Funds may incur substantial losses and the value of the Shares may be adversely affected.
A person is generally required by CFTC or exchange rules, as applicable, to aggregate all positions in accounts as to which the person has 10% or greater ownership or control. However, CFTC and exchange rules provide certain exemptions from this requirement. For example, a person is not required to aggregate positions in multiple accounts that it owns or controls if that person is able to satisfy the requirements of an exemption from aggregation of those accounts, including, where available, the independent account controller exemption. Any failure to comply with the independent account controller exemption or another exemption from the aggregation requirement could obligate the Sponsor to aggregate positions in multiple accounts under its control, which could include the Funds and other commodity pools or accounts under the Sponsor’s control. In such a scenario, the Funds may not be able to obtain exposure to one or more Financial Instruments necessary to pursue their investment objectives, or they may be required to liquidate existing futures contract positions in order to comply with a limit. Such an outcome could adversely affect each of the Fund’s ability to pursue its investment objective or achieve favorable performance.
The Funds are currently subject to position limits and accountability levels and may be subject to new or more restrictive position limits or accountability levels in the future. A Fund that experiences significant and/or rapid increases in size may reach position limits or accountability levels and/or become subject to daily limits. Funds reaching or approaching such limits would be unable or limited in their ability to establish new futures positions or add to existing positions until they were back below such limits and their ability to engage in future transactions on a going-forward basis could be severely limited. This could prevent each Fund from achieving its investment objective and otherwise have a significant negative impact on the performance of each Fund. To the extent a Fund reaches or approaches position limits or accountability levels, such a Fund may limit or suspend the purchase of Creation Units since the Fund may be unable to invest the cash received from such Creation Units in sufficient futures transactions to meet its investment objective. As discussed elsewhere herein, the limitation or suspension of Creation Unit purchases could cause a Fund’s Shares to trade at significant premiums or discounts and otherwise disrupt secondary market trading of Fund Shares.
If a Fund approached or reached a position limit, accountability level or daily limit, the Sponsor would likely seek to cause the Fund to invest in swap transactions that provide exposure to the benchmark or components of the benchmark. There can be no guarantees that this strategy would be successful or that a Fund would achieve sufficient exposure through swap transactions to achieve its investment objective. In addition, the Trust or the Sponsor may apply to the CFTC or to the relevant exchanges for relief from certain position limits, accountability levels and daily limits. There can be no guarantee that the CFTC or relevant exchange would grant such a request. If the Trust or Sponsor is unable to obtain such relief, a Fund’s ability to invest in additional futures contracts, achieve its investment objective, and issue new Creation Units would be limited as described herein.
The UltraShort Natural Gas Fund experienced significantly higher than normal creation activity in mid-September of 2021. The Ultra Natural Gas Fund experienced significantly higher than normal creation activity in mid-November of 2021. Each Fund potentially could experience similar creation activity in the future. The VIX Futures Fund, the Shares of which are offered by this prospectus, along with ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF, ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF and ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF, the shares of which are offered under a different prospectus (collectively, the “Four VIX Funds”), are subject to an aggregate VIX futures contract accountability level. During the period from January 1, 2021 to October 31, 2021, the net VIX contract positions held by the Four VIX Funds in the aggregate ranged from 19% to 52% of the VIX futures contract accountability level applicable to them (the “Accountability Level Percentage”). The Accountability Level Percentage should be expected to change on a daily basis and will be affected by, among other things, changes in the size of each of the Four VIX Funds, market conditions, investor demand for each of the Four VIX Funds, and the number and mix of long and short VIX futures contract positions held by the Four VIX Funds. There can be no guarantee or assurance that the Accountability Level Percentage will continue to be within such range in the future, and the Accountability Level Percentage may be higher or lower in the future.
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The Funds and the Sponsor are subject to extensive legal and regulatory requirements.
The Funds are subject to a comprehensive scheme of regulation under the federal commodity futures trading and securities laws, as well as futures exchange rules and the rules and listing standards for their Shares. Each Fund and the Sponsor could each be subject to sanctions for a failure to comply with those requirements, which could adversely affect the Fund’s financial performance and its ability to pursue its investment objectives. Each Fund is subject to significant disclosure, internal control, governance, and financial reporting requirements because its Shares are publicly traded.
For example, the Funds are responsible for establishing and maintaining internal controls over financial reporting. Under this requirement, the Funds must adopt, implement and maintain an internal control system designed to provide reasonable assurance to its management regarding the preparation and fair presentation of published financial statements. The Funds are also required to adopt, implement, and maintain disclosure controls and procedures that are designed to ensure information required to be disclosed by the Funds in reports that they file or submit to the SEC is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified by the SEC. There is a risk that the Funds’ internal controls over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures could fail to operate as designed or otherwise fail to satisfy SEC requirements. Such a failure could result in the reporting or disclosure of incorrect information or a failure to report information on a timely basis. Such a failure could be to the disadvantage of shareholders and could expose the Funds to penalties or otherwise adversely affect each of the Fund’s status under the federal securities laws and SEC regulations. Any internal control system, no matter how well designed, has inherent limitations. Therefore, even those systems determined to be effective may provide only reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation and presentation and other disclosure matters.
In addition, the SEC, CFTC, and exchanges are empowered to intervene in their respective markets in response to extreme market conditions. Those interventions could adversely affect the Funds’ ability to pursue their investment objectives and could lead to losses for the Funds and their shareholders.
The discontinuance of the U.S. dollar London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) could cause or contribute to market volatility and could affect the market value and/or liquidity of the Funds’ investments.
Shareholders should be aware that (i) relevant regulatory announcements about the phase out of LIBOR, (ii) the possibility of changes being made to the basis on which LIBOR is calculated and published (or its ceasing to be published), (iii) uncertainty as to whether or how any alternative reference rate may replace LIBOR, (iv) the ability of the Funds’ third-party service providers and/or counterparties to support and process the Funds’ investments based on an alternative reference rate, and (v) any other actions taken by the ICE Benchmark Administration, the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) or any other entity with respect to LIBOR or its replacement (if any), could cause or contribute to market volatility and could negatively affect the market value, availability and/or liquidity of the Funds’ investments. The unavailability or replacement of LIBOR may affect the valuation of certain Fund investments. Any pricing adjustments to a Fund’s investments resulting from a substitute reference rate may also adversely affect the Fund’s performance and/or NAV. However, it is not possible at this time to predict or ascertain what precise impact these will have on the Funds.
The use of futures contracts may expose the Funds to liquidity and other risks, which could result in significant loss to the Funds.
Risks of futures contracts include: (i) an imperfect correlation between the value of the futures contract and the underlying commodity or commodity index; (ii) possible lack of a liquid secondary market; (iii) the inability to close a futures contract when desired; (iv) losses caused by unanticipated market movements, which may be significant; (v) an obligation for a Fund to make daily cash payments to maintain its required margin, particularly at times when the Fund may have insufficient cash or must sell investments to meet those margin requirements; (vi) the possibility that a failure to close a position may result in a Fund receiving an illiquid commodity; (vii) unfavorable execution prices from rapid selling; and (viii) inability to achieve desired exposure because of position limits or accountability levels. The use of futures contracts exposes a Fund to risks associated with “rolling” as described herein, including the possibility that contango or backwardation can occur. In addition, futures contracts may be subject to contractual or other restrictions on resale and may lack readily available markets for resale.
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Margin requirements and position limits applicable to futures contracts may limit a Fund’s ability to achieve sufficient exposure and prevent a Fund from achieving its investment objective.
Each Fund may enter into written agreements with one or more FCMs governing the terms of the Fund’s futures transactions cleared by such FCM. Because futures contracts typically require only a relatively small initial investment, they may involve a high degree of leverage. A Fund must provide margin when it invests in a futures contract. Such margin requirements are subject to change suddenly and without warning at any time during the term of the contract and could be substantial in the event of adverse price movements or volatility. High margin requirements could prevent a Fund from obtaining sufficient exposure to futures contracts and may prevent or have a significant adverse impact on a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. If a margin call is not met within a reasonable time, an FCM may close out a Fund’s position which may prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective. If a Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily margin requirements, it may need to sell Financial Instruments at a time when such sales are disadvantageous. An FCM’s failure to return required margin to a Fund on a timely basis may cause the Fund to delay redemption settlement dates and/or restrict, postpone or limit the right of redemption and could also have a negative impact on a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.
Exchanges impose futures contract position limits and accountability levels on the Funds and the Funds may be subject to new or more restrictive position limits or accountability levels in the future. If a Fund reaches a position limit or accountability level or becomes subject to a daily limit, its ability to issue new Creation Units or reinvest in additional commodity futures contracts may be limited to the extent these restrictions limit its ability to establish new futures positions, add to existing positions, or otherwise transact in futures.
Certain of the FCMs utilized by the Funds may impose their own “position limits”, or risk limits, on the Funds. Any such risk limits restrict the amount of exposure to futures contracts that a Fund can obtain through such FCMs. These risk limits may, for example, be imposed as a result of significant and/or rapid increases in the size of the Fund as a result of an increase in creation activity. As a result, a Fund may need to transact through a number of FCMs in order to achieve its investment objective. If enough FCMs are not willing to transact with a Fund, or if the risk limits imposed by such FCMs do not provide sufficient exposure, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective. In addition, in such instances, a Fund may limit or suspend the purchase of Creation Units since the Fund may be unable to invest the cash received from such Creation Unit in sufficient futures transactions to meet its investment objective. As discussed elsewhere herein, the limitation or suspension of Creation Units could cause a Fund’s Shares to trade at significant premiums or discounts and otherwise disrupt secondary market trading of Fund Shares.
Futures markets are highly volatile, and may become more volatile during periods of general market and/or economic volatility, and the use of or exposure to futures contracts may increase volatility of a Fund’s NAV.
VIX futures contracts in particular have been subject to periods of sudden and extreme volatility. As a result, margin requirements for VIX futures contracts are higher than those for most other types of futures contracts. In addition, the FCMs utilized by the Funds may impose margin requirements in addition to those imposed by the clearinghouse. Margin requirements are subject to change, and may be raised in the future by either or both of the clearinghouse and the FCMs. High margin requirements could prevent a Fund from obtaining sufficient exposure to VIX futures contracts and may adversely affect a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. An FCM’s failure to return required margin to a Fund on a timely basis may cause such Fund to delay redemption settlement dates and/or restrict, postpone or limit the right of redemption.
The insolvency of an FCM or clearinghouse or the failure of an FCM or clearinghouse to properly segregate Fund assets held as margin on futures transactions may result in losses to the Funds.
The CEA requires FCMs to segregate client assets received as margin on futures transactions from their own proprietary assets. However, in the event of the FCM’s bankruptcy or if an FCM fails to properly segregate Fund assets deposited as margin, a Fund may not be able to recover any assets held by the FCM, or may recover only a limited portion of such assets.
Furthermore, customer funds held at a clearinghouse in connection with any futures contracts are permitted to be held in a commingled omnibus account that does not identify the name of the clearing member’s individual customers. A clearinghouse may use assets held in such accounts to satisfy payment obligations of a defaulting customer of the FCM to the clearinghouse. As a result, in the event of a default of one or more of the FCM’s other clients together with the bankruptcy or insolvency of the FCM, a Fund may not be able to recover the assets deposited by the FCM on behalf of the Fund with the clearinghouse.
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In the event of a bankruptcy or insolvency of any exchange or a clearinghouse, a Fund could experience a loss of the funds deposited through its FCM as margin with the clearinghouse, a loss of any profits on its open positions on the exchange, and the loss of unrealized profits on its closed positions on the exchange.
A Fund’s performance could be adversely affected if an FCM reduces its internal risk limits for the Fund.
CFTC rules require clearing member FCMs to establish risk-based limits on position and order size. As a result, the Trust’s FCMs may be required or may choose to reduce their internal limits on the size of the positions they will execute or clear for the Funds, and the Funds’ ability to transact in futures contracts could be reduced or eliminated. Under these circumstances, the Trust may seek to use additional FCMs, which may increase the costs for the Funds, make the Funds’ trading less efficient or more prone to error, or adversely affect the value of the Shares. If enough FCMs are not willing to transact with a Fund, it may not be possible for the Fund to transact in futures contracts or to invest in other Financial Instruments necessary to achieve the desired exposure consistent with the Fund’s investment objective.
The use of swap agreements may expose the Funds to liquidity risk, counterparty credit risk and other risks, which could result in significant loss to the Funds.
Each Fund may enter into swaps referencing its benchmark or particular futures contracts comprising its benchmark. Swaps are contracts between two parties who agree to exchange the returns on, among other things, a particular predetermined security, commodity, interest rate or index for a fixed or floating rate of return with reference to a predetermined notional amount of money. The Funds trade swaps that are not cleared by a clearinghouse. There are no limitations on the percentage of its assets a Fund may invest in swaps with a particular counterparty. A swap counterparty or affiliate thereof may be an Authorized Participant or shareholder of one or more Funds. Swap agreements do not have uniform terms. A swap counterparty may have the right to close out a Fund’s position due to the occurrence of certain events (for example, if a counterparty is unable to hedge its obligations to a Fund, or if the Fund defaults on certain terms of the swap agreement, or if there is a material decline in the Fund’s benchmark on a particular day) and request immediate payment of amounts owed by the Fund under the agreement. If the level of a Fund’s benchmark has a dramatic intraday move, the terms of the swap agreement may permit the counterparty to immediately close <