Optimum International Fund seeks long-term growth of capital. The Fund may also seek income.
The Fund invests primarily in non-U.S. securities, including securities of issuers located in emerging markets, but, in any event, will invest at least 65% of its net assets in non-U.S. securities. The Fund considers non-U.S. securities to include those securities issued by companies: (i) whose principal securities trading markets are outside the U.S.; (ii) that derive 50% or more of their total revenue from either goods or services produced or sales made in markets outside the U.S.; (iii) that have 50% or more of their assets outside the U.S.; (iv) that are linked to non-U.S. dollar currencies; or (v) that are organized under the laws of, or with principal offices in, a country other than the U.S. The Fund does not limit its investments to issuers within a specific market capitalization range.
The Fund intends to invest primarily in common stocks, but it may also invest in other securities that the sub-advisers believe provide opportunities for capital growth and income, such as preferred stocks, warrants, and securities convertible into common stocks. In keeping with the Fund's investment objective, the Fund may also invest in futures, options, and other derivatives; and fixed income securities, including those rated below investment grade.
The Fund's manager, Delaware Management Company (Manager), has selected EARNEST Partners LLC (EARNEST) and BlackRock Advisors, LLC (BlackRock) to serve as the Fund's sub-advisers. Each sub-adviser is responsible for the day-to-day investment management of the portion of the Fund's assets that the Manager allocates to the sub-adviser. The Manager may change the allocation at any time. The relative values of each sub-adviser's share of the Fund's assets also may change over time. Each sub-adviser selects investments for its portion of the Fund based on the sub-adviser's own investment style and strategy.
In managing its portion of the Fund's assets, EARNEST normally employs a fundamental, bottom-up investment process. The first step in EARNEST’s investment process is to screen the relevant universe to identify stocks that it believes are likely to outperform based on their financial characteristics and the current environment. Using an approach called Return Pattern Recognition, EARNEST seeks to identify the financial and market characteristics that have been in place when an individual company has produced outstanding performance. These characteristics include valuation measures, market trends, operating trends, growth measures, and profitability measures. EARNEST screens companies and selects for an in-depth fundamental review those exhibiting the set of characteristics that it believes indicate outperformance. The screening process allows EARNEST to review the relative universe of companies and focus on those it considers the best prospects.
In managing its portion of the Fund's assets, BlackRock applies an active investment process that is highly disciplined, research-intensive, global in its frame of reference, and risk-informed. BlackRock's approach combines proprietary, multi-factor quantitative analysis with independent fundamental research to construct portfolios with desired characteristics. Quantitative multi-factored models are used to provide objective, quantitative descriptions of sub-industries and companies. Stock selection is based on bottom-up fundamental company and sub-industry research. Portfolio strategy and risk management are integral components of the portfolio construction process. The investment team believes that this integrated approach is critical to achieving its goal of consistently generating superior, risk-adjusted returns. Companies are purchased that BlackRock believes possess strong and/or improving industry and company fundamentals and/or favorable risk/reward outlooks.
In response to market, economic, political, or other conditions, a sub-adviser may temporarily use a different investment strategy for defensive purposes. If a sub-adviser does so, different factors could affect the Fund's performance and the Fund may not achieve its investment objective. The Fund's investment objective is nonfundamental and may be changed without shareholder approval. However, the Fund's Board of Trustees (Board) must approve any changes to nonfundamental investment objectives, and the Fund will notify shareholders at least 60 days prior to a material change in the Fund's objective.
|Capital gains paid*||December|
The performance quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance quoted.
Total returns may reflect waivers and/or expense reimbursements by the manager and/or distributor for some or all of the periods shown. Performance would have been lower without such waivers and reimbursements.
|Average annual total return as of month-end (02/28/2014)|
|YTD||1 year||3 year||5 year||10 year||Lifetime||Inception date|
|NAV (view definition)||1.27%||19.37%||5.73%||16.33%||5.46%||7.37%||08/01/2003|
|Max offer price||n/a||12.50%||3.68%||14.96%||4.83%||6.77%|
|Average annual total return as of quarter-end (12/31/2013)|
|QTD||YTD||1 year||3 year||5 year||10 year||Lifetime||Inception date|
|NAV (view definition)||6.96%||20.56%||20.56%||6.87%||10.86%||5.74%||7.37%||08/01/2003|
|Max offer price||0.83%||13.67%||13.67%||4.80%||9.56%||5.12%||6.76%|
|MSCI EAFE Index (Gross)||5.75%||23.29%||23.29%||8.66%||12.96%||7.39%||n/a|
|MSCI EAFE Index (Net)||5.71%||22.78%||22.78%||8.17%||12.44%||6.91%||n/a|
Returns for less than one year are not annualized.
Class A shares have a maximum up-front sales charge of 5.75% and are subject to an annual distribution fee.
Net expense ratio reflects a contractual waiver from certain fees and/or expense reimbursements from July 29, 2013 to July 29, 2014. Please see the fee table in the Fund’s prospectus for more information.
|Performance characteristics - as of 02/28/2014|
|Annualized standard deviation, 3 years (view definition)||15.50|
|Quarterly total returns @ NAV|
|Year||1st quarter||2nd quarter||3rd quarter||4th quarter||Annual return|
Delaware Management Company
EARNEST Partners LLC
Paul E. Viera
Chief Executive Officer and Partner
Start date on the Fund: October 2013
Paul E. Viera is chief executive officer and partner of EARNEST and has primary responsibility for the day-to-day management of EARNEST’s share of the Fund. Prior to founding EARNEST in 1998, he was a partner and senior member of the investment team at Invesco from 1991 to 1998. Prior to Invesco, Mr. Viera was a vice president with Bankers Trust between 1985 and 1991. Mr. Viera has held his Fund responsibilities since October 2013.
BlackRock Advisors, LLC
Thomas P. Callan, CFA
Start date on the Fund: December 2008
Thomas P. Callan, CFA, shares management responsibilities for BlackRock’s share of the Fund. Mr. Callan is head of BlackRock’s Global Opportunities Team and a member of the Leadership Committee. He is architect of the team’s investment process, leads the team’s Investment Strategy Group, and provides portfolio and risk management oversight for all of the team’s products. Prior to joining BlackRock’s Global Opportunities Team in 1996, Mr. Callan was with the PNC Asset Management Group, which he joined in 1992. He started as a health care analyst for PNC’s mutual fund group and later served as an international equity analyst. Mr. Callan began his investment career at PNC Bank as a personal trust portfolio manager in 1988. Callan has held his Fund responsibilities since December 2008.
Ian Jamieson, CFA
Start date on the Fund: March 2012
Mr. Jamieson is a member of BlackRock’s Global Opportunities equity team. He is lead portfolio manager for the consumer durables, retail, autos, and telecom industries, product manager for product manager for global and international equity portfolios, and a member of the team’s Investment Strategy Group. Mr. Jamieson moved to his current role in 2003. He was previously a member of BlackRock’s large cap core equity and Operations teams. Before joining BlackRock in 1999, Mr. Jamieson was a client relationship manager with Morgan Stanley Institutional Investment Management from 1996 to 1999. He began his career as an investment broker at RAF Financial in 1995. Mr. Jamieson earned a BS degree in finance from Pennsylvania State University in 1995. Mr. Jamieson has held his Fund responsibilities since March 2012.
Nigel Hart, CFA
Start date on the Fund: June 2012
Mr. Hart is a member of BlackRock’s Global Opportunities equity team. He is lead portfolio manager for the industrials, energy, materials and utilities sectors, product manager for Global and International equity portfolios, and a member of the team’s Investment Strategy Group. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2012, Mr. Hart was a managing partner and portfolio manager at ReachCapital Management, which he founded in 2000, and was responsible for long and short equity investing, specializing in international equities. Before assuming this role, Mr. Hart worked as a senior portfolio manager at Putnam where he ran a small and mid-cap equity fund. Prior to joining Putnam, he worked with Hill Samuel Asset Management (Lloyds Bank) as a portfolio manager where he assumed responsibility for International and European Equity funds. Mr. Hart began his career as an investment analyst covering real estate and insurance with Commercial Union Asset Management (Aviva) in 1989.
You may qualify for sales-charge discounts if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $75,000 in the Optimum Funds. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial advisor, in the Fund's prospectus under the section entitled "About your account," and in the Fund's statement of additional information under the section entitled "Purchasing shares."
The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund.
|Maximum sales charge (load) imposed on purchases as a percentage of offering price||5.75%|
|Maximum contingent deferred sales charge (load) as a percentage of original purchase price or redemption price, whichever is lower||none|
|Annual fund operating expenses|
|Distribution and service (12b-1) fees||0.25%|
|Total annual fund operating expenses||1.74%|
|Fee waivers and expense reimbursements||(0.09%)|
|Total annual fund operating expenses after fee waivers and expense reimbursements||1.65%|
The chart below lists the percentage of the Fund's total assets under management that each sub-advisor manages on behalf of the Fund. The percentages include securities, cash, and any other assets managed by each sub-advisor in its sleeve of the Fund. These percentage allocations should be updated some time after 30 days following a given month end.
|Date||BlackRock||EARNEST Partners LLC||Mondrian Investment Partners Ltd.||Total|
Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.
International investments entail risks not ordinarily associated with U.S. investments including fluctuation in currency values, differences in accounting principles, or economic or political instability in other nations.
Investing in emerging markets can be riskier than investing in established foreign markets due to increased volatility and lower trading volume.
High yielding, noninvestment grade bonds (junk bonds) involve higher risk than investment grade bonds.
The high yield secondary market is particularly susceptible to liquidity problems when institutional investors, such as mutual funds and certain other financial institutions, temporarily stop buying bonds for regulatory, financial, or other reasons. In addition, a less liquid secondary market makes it more difficult for the Fund to obtain precise valuations of the high yield securities in its portfolio.
The Funds may invest in derivatives, which may involve additional expenses and are subject to risk, including the risk that an underlying security or securities index moves in the opposite direction from what the portfolio manager anticipated. A derivative transaction depends upon the counterparties’ ability to fulfill their contractual obligations.