No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss
The following are some risks associated with investments in various Divisions. The assets of each of the Divisions of the Separate Account are invested exclusively in the shares of one of the portfolios of the underlying funds.
With fixed income securities, such as bonds, interest rates and bond prices tend to move in opposite directions. When interest rates fall, bond prices typically rise and conversely when interest rates rise, bond prices typically fall. This also holds true for bond mutual funds. When interest rates are at low levels there is risk that a sustained rise in interest rates may cause losses to the price of bonds or market value of bond funds that you own. At maturity, however, the issuer of the bond is obligated to return the principal to the investor. The longer the maturity of a bond or of bonds held in a bond fund, the greater the degree of a price or market value change resulting from a change in interest rates (also known as duration risk). Bond funds continuously replace the bonds they hold as they mature and thus do not usually have maturity dates, and are not obligated to return the investor’s principal. Additionally, high yield bonds and bond funds that invest in high yield bonds present greater credit risk than investment grade bonds. Bond and bond fund investors should carefully consider risks such as: interest rate risk, credit risk, liquidity risk and inflation risk before investing in a particular bond or bond fund. Currently, interest rates are at unprecedented historically low levels. A significant rise in interest rates in a short period of time would cause losses in the market value of any bonds or bond funds that you own.
Stocks of smaller or newer or mid-sized companies are more likely to realize more substantial growth as well as suffer more significant losses than larger or more established issuers. Investments in such companies can be both more volatile and more speculative. Investing in small company stocks involves a greater degree of risk than investing in medium or large company stocks. Their securities may also trade less frequently and in lower volumes, making their market prices more volatile..
Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the trust, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. Such funds are subject to some of the risks associated with direct ownership of real estate, including market value declines, risks related to general and local economic conditions and increases in interest rates. Investing in special sectors, such as real estate, can be subject to different and greater risks than more diversified investing.
Investors should be aware of the risks of investments in foreign securities, particularly investments in securities of companies in developing nations. These include the risks of currency fluctuation, of political and economic instability and of less well-developed government supervision and regulation of business and industry practices, as well as differences in accounting standards. Emerging and developing markets may be less liquid and more volatile because they tend to reflect economic structures that are generally less diverse and mature and political systems that may be less stable than those in more developed countries.
Each of the Divisions identified as a Russell LifePoints® Variable Target Portfolio Series Fund (“LifePoints® Fund”) is a fund of funds and diversifies its assets by investing, at present, in other mutual funds (the “Underlying Funds”). Each LifePoints® Fund seeks to achieve a specific investment objective by investing in different combinations of the Underlying Funds.
Each of the Divisions identified as the Balanced and Asset Allocation Portfolio may obtain exposure to domestic and foreign equity securities by investing in other portfolios of Northwestern Mutual Series Fund, Inc. (an “Underlying Portfolio”). Each of the Underlying Portfolios has its own investment risks, and the Balanced and Asset Allocation Portfolios are indirectly exposed to those risks and bear a pro rated share of the Underlying Portfolios’ expenses.
An investment in a Money Market Portfolio is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although a Money Market Portfolio seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in a Money Market Portfolio.
Funds that follow social policies may underperform similar funds that do not have such policies.
Greater liquidity and volatility can also be inherent in investments in complex securities. Funds with a limited number of holdings, including newer funds, may be more greatly affected by any single event or market development than funds that include more holdings.
The potential leverage created by the use of derivatives by Long-Term U.S. Government Bond Portfolio may cause the Portfolio to be more sensitive to interest rate movements and thus more volatile than other long-term U.S. Government bond funds that do not use derivatives.
Exposure to the commodities markets may subject the Credit Suisse Trust Commodity Return Strategy Portfolio to greater volatility than investments in securities, particularly if the investments involve leverage. The value of commodity-linked derivative instruments may be affected by changes in the overall market movements, commodity index volatility, changes in interest rates or sectors affecting a particular industry or commodity and international economic, political and regulatory developments. The use of leveraged commodity-linked derivatives creates an opportunity for increased return, but also creates the possibility for a greater loss.
Changes in the value of a hedging instrument may not match those of the investment being hedged.
The Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total Return is composed of futures contracts on 20 physical commodities. Investors cannot invest directly in an index.