Sierra Core Retirement Fund

The Sierra Core Retirement Fund has recently created three new share classes, Class A1, Class I1 and Institutional Class Y (minimum $20 million, not yet active and available). If you have client accounts custodied on the No Transaction Fee (NTF) side at Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity or Pershing, please be advised that the Class A and Class I share classes are no longer available for new purchases.

In their place are the new Class A1 and Class I1 shares, respectively. The only difference is that the new share classes have 12b-1 fees of 40 basis points per year versus the 25 basis points on the prior share classes.

• Please note that dividend reinvestment shares will be paid in Class A or Class I shares, as appropriate, continuously.

• If a client account holding Class A or Class I shares is moved in kind to a different custodian, that custodian is permitted to accept and hold those shares.

• However, you will not be able to add Class A or Class I shares to existing accounts. Instead, the Class A1 and Class I1 shares (as well as the Class R shares on the TF side, see below) will be available for new purchases.

As you may know, these four “supermarket” platforms have over the past 18 months raised their fees to mutual fund companies for assets custodied on the NTF side from 25 basis points to 40 bps. These asset-based platform fees are borne directly by the sponsoring mutual fund company, not paid out of the fund. Thus, in response, mutual fund companies are raising their 12b-1 fees in order to indirectly recover these increased platform fees.

We consider these very high platform fees to be exorbitant and unjustified. For some bond funds, for example, the platform fees are higher than the fees for the expert daily portfolio management provided by the fund company! We believe the cost to the custodians of servicing your NTF clients is quite trivial, but the custodian firms apparently feel that mutual fund companies are willing to pay these high fees in return for the visibility and availability on the NTF side of their platforms. Typically, through 12b-1 fees, mutual fund companies pass on these costs to shareholders who choose the NTF option.

As you may know, these four “supermarket” platforms have over the past 18 months raised their fees to mutual fund companies for assets custodied on the NTF side from 25 basis points to 40 bps. These asset-based platform fees are borne directly by the sponsoring mutual fund company, not paid out of the fund. Thus, in response, mutual fund companies are raising their 12b-1 fees in order to indirectly recover these increased platform fees.

We consider these very high platform fees to be exorbitant and unjustified. For some bond funds, for example, the platform fees are higher than the fees for the expert daily portfolio management provided by the fund company! We believe the cost to the custodians of servicing your NTF clients is quite trivial, but the custodian firms apparently feel that mutual fund companies are willing to pay these high fees in return for the visibility and availability on the NTF side of their platforms. Typically, through 12b-1 fees, mutual fund companies pass on these costs to shareholders who choose the NTF option.

We hope you can understand the reason for this change. We invite your communication to your custodian if you agree with us that the increased platform fees for NTF mutual fund shares are unjustifiably high.

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