BlackRock Total Return
Objective And StrategyObjective
Total return consistent with income generation and prudent investment management.
Typically invests more than 90% of its assets in a diversified portfolio of fixed-income securities such as corporate bonds and notes, mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities, convertible securities, preferred securities and government obligations. Both U.S. and foreign companies and governments may issue these securities. Under normal circumstances, the Fund invests at least 80% of its assets in bonds and invests primarily in investment grade fixed-income securities. The Fund may invest in fixed-income securities of any duration or maturity. The Fund will invest most of its assets in securities issued by U.S. issuers, but may also invest a portion of its assets in securities issued by foreign issuers. The Fund may also invest in derivative securities for hedging purposes or to increase the return on its investments, and may also enter into dollar rolls. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in fixed-income securities that are rated below investment grade by at least one of the recognized rating agencies or in unrated securities of equivalent credit quality.
Tax Inefficient Fund
* This portfolio invests in securities of foreign issuers which involves risks not typically associated with domestic issuers, including currency fluctuations and the possibility of political and economic instability. Emerging markets involve risks in addition to those generally associated with foreign securities, because political and economic structures in many emerging markets may be undergoing significant evolution and rapid development.
* This portfolio can leverage or use leveraged instruments or derivatives. Portfolios that use leverage, that is, borrow money, are subject to the risk that the cost of borrowing money to leverage will exceed the returns for the securities purchased or that the securities purchased may actually go down in value. Thus the portfolio's net asset value can decrease more quickly than if the portfolio had not borrowed. Portfolios that use leveraged instruments or derivatives such as futures, options and swap agreements, may expose the portfolio to additional risks that it would not be subject to if it invested directly in the securities underlying those derivatives. The more a portfolio invests in leveraged instruments, the more the leverage will magnify any gains or losses on those investments.
* The portfolio invests substantial assets in real estate investment trusts (REITS) that present risks not associated with investing in stock.
* The Fund could lose money if the issuer of a debt security is unable to meet its financial obligations or goes bankrupt. This fund may invest in securities rated below investment grade or "junk bonds." Junk bonds may sensitive to economic changes, political changes, or adverse developments specific to a company.
* The value of your investment in a Fund is based on the net asset value ("NAV") of the underlying funds and, in turn, the securities that the underlying funds hold. The Funds are subject to the risk that one or more underlying funds will not perform as expected or will under perform other similar funds or that the combination of underlying funds selected by the Funds' investment will not perform as expected. The Funds will be exposed to all of the risk of an investment in the underlying Funds.
* Fixed income securities are subject to interest rate risk because the prices of fixed income securities tend to move in the opposite direction of interest rates. When interest rates rise, fixed income security prices fall. When interest rates fall, fixed income security prices rise.
* Credit risk is the risk that the issuer of a security may be unable to make interest payments and/or repay principal when due. A downgrade to an issuer’s credit rating or a perceived change in an issuer’s financial strength may affect a security’s value, and thus, impact the VA Short-Term Fixed Portfolio’s performance.
* During periods of declining interest rates, the issuer of a security may exercise its option to prepay principal earlier than scheduled, forcing the portfolio to reinvest in lower yielding securities.
* Generally, a security is liquid if the Portfolio is able to sell the security at a fair price within a reasonable time. Liquidyt is generally related to the market trading volume for a particular security.
* Sovereign debt securities are subject to the risk that a government entity may delay or refuse to pay interest or repay principal on its sovereign debt.
Bonds - Intermediate09/2004
- Fund Prospectus and Other Forms