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-advisors 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 Acadian Asset Management LLC (Acadian) to serve as the Fund's sub-advisors. Each sub-advisor is responsible for the day-to-day investment management of the portion of the Fund's assets that the Manager allocates to the sub-advisor. The Manager may change the allocation at any time. The relative values of each sub-advisor's share of the Fund's assets also may change over time. Each sub-advisor selects investments for its portion of the Fund based on the sub-advisor'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, Acadian utilizes a disciplined quantitative strategy to actively invest in non-U.S. developed and emerging markets equity strategies. All stocks in the non-U.S. equity universe are evaluated across multiple quantitative factors. Acadian’s quantitative investment process builds portfolios from the bottom up, using proprietary valuation models that measure approximately 20 stock factors, focusing on those that have proven most effective in predicting returns. The result is a rating of all securities in the Acadian database in terms of each stock’s expected return. A portfolio optimization program is used to balance the expected return on the stocks with factors such as company, country, or industry weightings of the Fund’s benchmark index; desired level of risk; estimated transaction costs; available liquidity; and other requirements.
In response to market, economic, political, or other conditions, a sub-advisor may temporarily use a different investment strategy for defensive purposes. If a sub-advisor 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 can be changed without shareholder approval. However, the Fund's Board of Trustees (Board) must approve any changes to nonfundamental investment objectives, and the Fund's shareholders would be given at least 60 days' notice prior to any such change.
|Dividends paid (if any)||Annually|
|Capital gains paid (if any)||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 (12/31/2014)|
|YTD||1 year||3 year||5 year||10 year||Lifetime||Inception date|
|NAV (view definition)||-8.69%||-8.69%||7.28%||3.54%||3.14%||5.86%||08/01/2003|
|Max offer price||-13.93%||-13.93%||5.18%||2.32%||2.53%||5.31%|
|MSCI EAFE Index (Gross)||-4.48%||-4.48%||11.56%||5.81%||4.91%||n/a|
|MSCI EAFE Index (Net)||-4.90%||-4.90%||11.06%||5.33%||4.43%||n/a|
|Average annual total return as of quarter-end (12/31/2014)|
|QTD||YTD||1 year||3 year||5 year||10 year||Lifetime||Inception date|
|NAV (view definition)||-4.51%||-8.69%||-8.69%||7.28%||3.54%||3.14%||5.86%||08/01/2003|
|Max offer price||-10.03%||-13.93%||-13.93%||5.18%||2.32%||2.53%||5.31%|
|MSCI EAFE Index (Gross)||-3.53%||-4.48%||-4.48%||11.56%||5.81%||4.91%||n/a|
|MSCI EAFE Index (Net)||-3.57%||-4.90%||-4.90%||11.06%||5.33%||4.43%||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, 2014 to July 29, 2015. Please see the fee table in the Fund’s prospectus for more information.
|Performance characteristics - as of 12/31/2014|
|Annualized standard deviation, 3 years (view definition)||12.07|
|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.
Acadian Asset Management, LLC
John R. Chisholm, CFA
Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
Start date on the Fund: January 2015
John R. Chisholm oversees Acadian's investment process and investment team. Chisholm continues to actively manage Acadian portfolios and direct research to enhance Acadian's approach, as he has since he joined the firm in 1987. Earlier in his career, Chisholm served as systems engineer at Draper Laboratories and as an analyst for the international asset management department at the State Street Bank and Trust Company (now SSgA). He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in management from MIT.
Brendan O. Bradley, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and Director, Portfolio Management
Start date on the Fund: January 2015
Brendan O. Bradley is director of portfolio management at Acadian. Bradley joined the company in September 2004 as a senior member of the research and portfolio management team. In 2010, he was appointed director of managed volatility strategies, and in 2013 became director, portfolio management, overseeing portfolio management policy. Prior to Acadian, Bradley was a vice president at Upstream Technologies, where he designed and implemented investment management systems and strategies. His professional background also includes work as a research analyst and consultant at Samuelson Portfolio Strategies. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Boston College and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Boston University.
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 (SAI) 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||1.61%|
|Fee waivers and expense reimbursements||(0.11%)|
|Total annual fund operating expenses after fee waivers and expense reimbursements||1.50%|
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||Total|
Total may not equal 100% due to rounding.
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.
Liquidity risk is the possibility that securities cannot be readily sold within seven days at approximately the price at which a fund has valued them.