Neuberger Berman AMT Sustainable Equity Portfolio
The Fund seeks long-term growth of capital by investing primarily in securities of companies that meet the Fund's environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.
To pursue its goal, the Fund seeks to invest primarily in common stocks of mid- to large-capitalization companies that meet the Fund's quality oriented financial and ESG criteria. The Fund defines mid-capitalization companies as those with a total market capitalization of $2 billion and above and large-capitalization companies as those with a total market capitalization of $10 billion and above, both at the time of initial purchase.
The Fund seeks to reduce risk by investing across many different industries.
The Portfolio Managers employ a research driven and valuation sensitive approach to stock selection, with a focus on long term sustainability. This sustainable investment approach seeks to identify high quality, well-positioned companies with leadership that is focused on ESG as defined by best in class operating practices. As part of their focus on quality, the Portfolio Managers look for solid balance sheets, strong management teams with a track record of success, good cash flow, the prospect for above-average earnings growth and the sustainability of those earnings, as well as of the company's business model, over the long term. They seek to purchase the stock of businesses that they believe to be well positioned and undervalued by the market. Among companies that meet these criteria, the Portfolio Managers look for those that show leadership in environmental, social and governance considerations, including progressive workplace practices and community relations.
In addition, the Portfolio Managers typically look at a company's record in public health and the nature of its products. The Portfolio Managers judge firms on their corporate citizenship overall, considering their accomplishments as well as their goals. While these judgments are inevitably subjective, the Fund endeavors to avoid companies that derive revenue from gambling or the production of alcohol, tobacco, weapons, or nuclear power. The Fund also does not invest in any company that derives its total revenue primarily from non-consumer sales to the military.
Please see the Statement of Additional Information for a detailed description of the Fund's ESG criteria.
Although the Fund invests primarily in domestic stocks, it may also invest in stocks of foreign companies.
The Portfolio Managers follow a disciplined selling strategy and may sell a stock when it reaches a target price, if a company's business fails to perform as expected, or when other opportunities appear more attractive.
As a sustainable fund, the Fund is required by the federal securities laws to have a policy, which it cannot change without providing investors at least 60 days' written notice, of investing at least 80% of its net assets in equity securities selected in accordance with its ESG criteria. The 80% test is applied at the time the Fund invests; later percentage changes caused by a change in Fund assets, market values or company circumstances will not require the Fund to dispose of a holding. In practice, the Portfolio Managers intend to hold only securities selected in accordance with the Fund's ESG criteria.
Valuation Sensitive Investing. In addition to employing traditional value criteria – that is, looking for value among companies whose stock prices are below their historical average, based on earnings, cash flow, or other financial measures – the Portfolio Managers may buy a company's shares if they look more fully priced based on Wall Street consensus estimates of earnings, but still inexpensive relative to the Portfolio Managers' estimates. The Portfolio Managers look for these companies to rise in price as they outperform Wall Street's expectations, because they believe some aspects of the business have not been fully appreciated or appropriately priced by other investors.
Most of the Fund's performance depends on what happens in the stock market, the Portfolio Managers' evaluation of those developments, and the success of the Portfolio Managers in implementing the Fund's investment strategies. The market's behavior can be difficult to predict, particularly in the short term. There can be no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its goal. The Fund may take temporary defensive and cash management positions; to the extent it does, it will not be pursuing its principal investment strategies.
The actual risk exposure taken by the Fund in its investment program will vary over time, depending on various factors including the Portfolio Managers’ evaluation of issuer, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments. There can be no guarantee that the Portfolio Managers will be successful in their attempts to manage the risk exposure of the Fund or will appropriately evaluate or weigh the multiple factors involved in investment decisions, including issuer, market and/or instrument-specific analysis and valuation.
The Fund is a mutual fund, not a bank deposit, and is not guaranteed or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The value of your investment may fall, sometimes sharply, and you could lose money by investing in the Fund.
Each of the following risks:, which are described in alphabetical order and not in order of importance, can significantly affect the Fund's performance. The relative importance of, or potential exposure as a result of, each of these risks will vary based on market and other investment-specific considerations.
Currency Risk. To the extent that the Fund invests in securities or other instruments denominated in or indexed to foreign currencies, changes in currency exchange rates could adversely impact investment gains or add to investment losses. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time and can be affected unpredictably by intervention, or failure to intervene, by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks or by currency controls or political developments in the U.S. or abroad.
ESG Criteria Risk. The Fund's ESG criteria could cause it to sell or avoid stocks or other instruments that subsequently perform well. The Fund may underperform funds that do not invest in stocks or other instruments based on ESG criteria.
Foreign Risk. Foreign securities involve risks in addition to those associated with comparable U.S. securities. Additional risks include exposure to less developed or less efficient trading markets; social, political, diplomatic, or economic instability; trade barriers and other protectionist trade policies (including those of the U.S.); fluctuations in foreign currencies or currency redenomination; potential for default on sovereign debt; nationalization or expropriation of assets; settlement, custodial or other operational risks; higher transaction costs; confiscatory withholding or other taxes; and less stringent auditing, corporate disclosure, governance, and legal standards. As a result, foreign securities may fluctuate more widely in price, and may also be less liquid, than comparable U.S. securities. World markets, or those in a particular region, may all react in similar fashion to important economic or political developments. In addition, foreign markets may perform differently than the U.S. market. The effect of economic instability on specific foreign markets or issuers may be difficult to predict or evaluate. Regardless of where a company is organized or its stock is traded, its performance may be affected significantly by events in regions from which it derives its profits or in which it conducts significant operations.
Securities of issuers traded on foreign exchanges may be suspended, either by the issuers themselves, by an exchange or by governmental authorities. Trading suspensions may be applied from time to time to the securities of individual issuers for reasons specific to that issuer, or may be applied broadly by exchanges or governmental authorities in response to market events. In the event that the Fund holds material positions in such suspended securities, the Fund's ability to liquidate its positions or provide liquidity to investors may be compromised and the Fund could incur significant losses.
Issuer-Specific Risk. An individual security may be more volatile, and may perform differently, than the market as a whole. The Fund's portfolio may contain fewer securities than the portfolios of other mutual funds, which increases the risk that the value of the Fund could go down because of the poor performance of one or a few investments.
Market Volatility Risk. Markets may be volatile and values of individual securities and other investments, including those of a particular type, may decline significantly in response to adverse issuer, political, regulatory, market, economic or other developments that may cause broad changes in market value, public perceptions concerning these developments, and adverse investor sentiment or publicity. Geopolitical and other risks, including environmental and public health risks may add to instability in world economies and markets generally. Changes in value may be temporary or may last for extended periods. If the Fund sells a portfolio position before it reaches its market peak, it may miss out on opportunities for better performance.
Mid- and Large-Cap Companies Risk. At times, mid- and large-cap companies may be out of favor with investors. Compared to smaller companies, large-cap companies may be less responsive to changes and opportunities. Compared to larger companies, midcap companies may depend on a more limited management group, may have a shorter history of operations, and may have limited product lines, markets or financial resources. The securities of mid-cap companies are often more volatile and less liquid than the securities of larger companies and may be more affected than other types of securities by the underperformance of a sector or during market downturns.
Recent Market Conditions. National economies are increasingly interconnected, as are global financial markets, which increases the possibilities that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact issuers in a different country or region. Some countries, including the U.S., are adopting more protectionist trade policies and moving away from tighter financial industry regulations. The rise in protectionist trade policies, changes to some major international trade agreements and the potential for changes to others, could affect the economies of many nations in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen at the present time. Equity markets in the U.S. and China have been very sensitive to the outlook for resolving the current U.S.-China "trade war," a trend that may continue in the future.
High public debt in the U.S. and other countries creates ongoing systemic and market risks and policymaking uncertainty and there may be a further increase in the amount of debt due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments and central banks have moved to limit the potential negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with interventions that are unprecedented in size and scope and may continue to do so, but the ultimate impact of these efforts is uncertain. Interest rates have been unusually low in recent years in the U.S. and abroad, and central banks have reduced rates further in an effort to combat the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because there is little precedent for this situation, it is difficult to predict the impact on various markets of a significant rate increase or other significant policy changes. Over the longer term, rising interest rates may present a greater risk than has historically been the case due to the current period of relatively low rates and the effect of government fiscal and monetary policy initiatives and potential market reaction to those initiatives.
The impact of the United Kingdom’s ("UK") vote to leave the European Union (the "EU"), commonly referred to as "Brexit," is impossible to know for sure until it is more completely implemented. The effect on the economies of the United Kingdom and the EU will likely depend on the nature of trade relations between the UK and the EU and other major economies following Brexit, which are subject to negotiation and the political processes of the nations involved. Although the UK formally left the EU on January 31, 2020, the parties are continuing to trade under the established rules while a new agreement is negotiated. The UK government has insisted that this agreement must be completed by December 31, 2020, which may be difficult to achieve. Thus, there is still a possibility that the parties will enter 2021 without a trade agreement, which could be disruptive to the economies of both regions.
Climate Change. Economists and others have expressed increasing concern about the potential effects of global climate change on property and security values. A rise in sea levels, an increase in powerful windstorms and/or a climate-driven increase in flooding could cause coastal properties to lose value or become unmarketable altogether. Economists warn that, unlike previous declines in the real estate market, properties in affected coastal zones may not ever recover their value. Large wildfires driven by high winds and prolonged drought may devastate businesses and entire communities and may be very costly to any business found to be responsible for the fire. Regulatory changes tied to concerns about climate change could adversely affect the value of certain land and the viability of certain industries.
These losses could adversely affect corporate issuers and mortgage lenders, the value of mortgage-backed securities, the bonds of municipalities that depend on tax or other revenues and tourist dollars generated by affected properties, and insurers of the property and/or of corporate, municipal or mortgage-backed securities. Since property and security values are driven largely by buyers’ perceptions, it is difficult to know the time period over which these market effects might unfold.
Redemption Risk. The Fund may experience periods of heavy redemptions that could cause the Fund to sell assets at inopportune times or at a loss or depressed value. Redemption risk is greater to the extent that one or more investors or intermediaries control a large percentage of investments in the Fund. In addition, redemption risk is heightened during periods of declining or illiquid markets. Heavy redemptions could hurt the Fund's performance.
Sector Risk. From time to time, based on market or economic conditions, the Fund may have significant positions in one or more sectors of the market. To the extent the Fund invests more heavily in particular sectors, its performance will be especially sensitive to developments that significantly affect those sectors. Individual sectors may be more volatile, and may perform differently, than the broader market. The industries that constitute a sector may all react in the same way to economic, political or regulatory events.
Value Stock Risk. Value stocks may remain undervalued or may decrease in value during a given period or may not ever realize what the portfolio management team believes to be their full value. This may happen, among other reasons, because of a failure to anticipate which stocks or industries would benefit from changing market or economic conditions or investor preferences.
A summary of the Fund’s additional principal investment risks is as follows:
Risk of Increase in Expenses. A decline in the Fund’s average net assets during the current fiscal year due to market volatility or other factors could cause the Fund’s expenses for the current fiscal year to be higher than the expense information presented in "Fees and expenses."
Operational and Cybersecurity Risk. The Fund and its service providers, and your ability to transact with the Fund, may be negatively impacted due to operational matters arising from, among other problems, human errors, systems and technology disruptions or failures, or cybersecurity incidents. Cybersecurity incidents may allow an unauthorized party to gain access to fund assets, customer data, or proprietary information, or cause the Fund or its service providers, as well as the securities trading venues and their service providers, to suffer data corruption or lose operational functionality. It is not possible for the Manager or the other Fund service providers to identify all of the cybersecurity or other operational risks that may affect the Fund or to develop processes and controls to completely eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects. Most issuers in which the Fund invests are heavily dependent on computers for data storage and operations, and require ready access to the internet to conduct their business. Thus, cybersecurity incidents could also affect issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, leading to significant loss of value.
Risk Management. Risk is an essential part of investing. No risk management program can eliminate the Fund’s exposure to adverse events; at best, it may only reduce the possibility that the Fund will be affected by such events, and especially those risks that are not intrinsic to the Fund’s investment program. The Fund could experience losses if judgments about risk prove to be incorrect.
Valuation Risk. The Fund may not be able to sell an investment at the price at which the Fund has valued the investment. Such differences could be significant, particularly for illiquid securities and securities that trade in relatively thin markets and/or markets that experience extreme volatility. If market or other conditions make it difficult to value some investments, SEC rules and applicable accounting protocols may require the Fund to value these investments using more subjective methods, known as fair value methodologies. Using fair value methodologies to price investments may result in a value that is different from an investment’s most recent price and from the prices used by other mutual funds to calculate their NAVs. The Fund’s ability to value its investments in an accurate and timely manner may be impacted by technological issues and/or errors by third party service providers, such as pricing services or accounting agents.
|Year to Date||1.70%|
|Prior 3 Months||12.60%|
|Prior 1 Year||6.37%|
|Prior 3 Years||N/A|
|Prior 5 Years||N/A|
|Prior 10 Years*||7.90%|
The performance data shown represent past performance, which is not a guarantee of future results. Investment returns and unit values will fluctuate so that units, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Investment Fund total return performance currently may be lower or higher than the figures stated above.
The total return performance data are based on a hypothetical investment of $1,000, which is redeemed at the end of the periods shown. The total return figures reflect the reinvestment of investment income and capital gains and losses, and are net of expenses which include a contract fee, an expense risk fee, administrative charges, a distribution expense charge and Underlying Funds fees and expenses.
The total return figures for periods extending beyond a year are average rates of return and do not reflect the Funds' actual year-to-year results, which varied over the periods shown. Contributions or withdrawals made within a period would experience different rates of return based on the unit values on the dates of such transactions.
Portfolio Turnover Rate(%): 13%**Excludes all short-term securities.
|Industry||% of Portfolio|
|Cash and Other||2.4%|
|Company||% of Portfolio|
|Alphabet Inc. Cl A||3.8%|
|Comcast Corp. Class A||3.6%|
|Becton, Dickinson & Co.||3.6%|
|Mastercard, Inc. Class A||3.2%|
Ingrid S. Dyott is a Managing Director of the Manager. She has been co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2003 and before that was an Associate Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 1997. Sajjad S. Ladiwala, CFA, is a Managing Director of the Manager. He has been co-Portfolio Manager of the Fund since February 2016 and before that was an Associate Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2003.