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  • Mergers and acquisitions: More volume on the horizon?
    investing IMPORTANT RISK CONSIDERATIONS Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal Past performance does not guarantee future results Investments in small and or medium sized companies typically exhibit greater risk and higher volatility than larger more established companies Mergers and acquisitions M A refers to two types of transactions 1 mergers in which two or more companies are combined and one of the companies survives as a legal entity and 2 acquisitions in which one company takes a controlling interest in another company but the acquired company continues operating as a separate entity Francis X Morris CIO Core Equity View bio More from Francis X Morris Recent market volatility has implications from Shanghai to D C Small cap companies remain fundamentally healthy Valuation and correlation See all from this author See all from this team Francis X Morris biography Francis X Morris Senior Vice President Chief Investment Officer Core Equity Francis X Morris joined Delaware Investments in 1997 as a vice president and portfolio manager and is currently the chief investment officer for Core Equity investments He is also a member of the firm s asset allocation committee which is responsible for building and managing multi asset class portfolios In addition Morris serves as a Trustee for the Delaware Management Holdings Inc Delaware Investments 401 k and Retirement Plan Prior to joining the firm Morris was vice president and director of equity research at PNC Asset Management He received a bachelor s degree from Providence College and holds an MBA from Widener University He is currently a member of the Business Advisory Council of the Providence College School of Business Morris is a past president of the CFA Society of Philadelphia and is a member of the CFA Institute He is a former officer of the National Association

    Original URL path: http://www.delawareinvestments.com/individual-investors/literature/insights/2014/mergers-and-acquisitions-more-volume-on-the-horizon (2016-04-26)
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  • On adversity and opportunity in Russia and Ukraine
    The rise of a middle class Russia has resulted in an increase in automobile ownership and private transport In 2013 Greater Moscow had a population of over 11 million people and 7 million cars 4 Indeed Russia is now the third largest auto producing nation in Europe after Germany and France 5 Too many people have come too far in our opinion and enough of them remember the unspeakably horrible history that either they or their parents lived through to want to throw it all away in continued violence and revenge That said another one of our guiding principles is We love growth opportunities in emerging markets But with rare exceptions we prefer to access these growth opportunities through the activities of well run well governed companies based in developed markets It is said that when asked for his stock market forecast the famous J P Morgan replied It will fluctuate And emerging markets including and especially those in Eastern Europe will indeed fluctuate due to the volatility of commodity prices the dysfunction and unpredictability of their politics and prevalence of state or family owners with interests very different from those of Western shareholders So with occasional exceptions such as our holding in Russia s leading wireless player we will participate in the opportunities in Russia and Ukraine via positions in companies based outside the region These include a Danish company that just happens to be the dominant beer company in Russia as well as a generic pharmaceutical company in Germany whose business is booming in Russia We will attempt to capture opportunities when adversity rears its head but when we believe the odds for improvement are good And as a percentage of our portfolios we won t put more than a few eggs lovely Ukrainian and Russian Easter eggs in that one basket 1 Timothy Snyder Bloodlands Europe between Hitler and Stalin New York Basic Books 2010 2 Source Reuters March 3 2014 Russia is Europe s biggest gas supplier providing around a quarter of continental demand which at current daily flows of 270 million cubic metres mcm is worth almost 100 million a day Around a third of Russia s gas is exported through Ukraine 3 Source WSJ Tuesday March 4 2014 p C4 article by Tony Dreibus and Neena Rai entitled Wheat Sprouts on Crisis The key sentence in the article reads The US Dept of Agriculture expects Ukraine to be the fifth biggest exporter of wheat by volume and the third largest shipper of corn this year 4 Sources Autostat PwC estimates Pearson Education 5 OICA 2013 International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Paris France www oica net The views expressed represent the Manager s assessment of the market environment as of March 2014 and should not be considered a recommendation to buy hold or sell any security and should not be relied on as research or investment advice Views are subject to change without notice and may not reflect the Manager s views Carefully consider

    Original URL path: http://www.delawareinvestments.com/individual-investors/literature/insights/2014/on-adversity-and-opportunity-in-russia-ukraine (2016-04-26)
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  • Harnessing potential in the energy sector
    on as research or investment advice Carefully consider the Funds investment objectives risk factors charges and expenses before investing This and other information can be found in the Funds prospectuses and their summary prospectuses which may be obtained by visiting the fund literature page or calling 800 523 1918 Investors should read the prospectus and the summary prospectus carefully before investing IMPORTANT RISK CONSIDERATIONS Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal Investments in small and or medium sized companies typically exhibit greater risk and higher volatility than larger more established companies There is no guarantee that dividend paying stocks will continue to pay dividends Past performance does not guarantee future results All third party marks cited are the property of their respective owners Christopher S Beck CIO Small Cap Value Mid Cap Value Equity View bio More from Christopher S Beck M A activity s record year Reasons for continued optimism Recent market volatility has implications from Shanghai to D C Corporate spending tilted toward shareholder friendly activities See all from this author See all from this team Christopher S Beck biography Christopher S Beck CFA Senior Vice President Chief Investment Officer Small Cap Value Mid Cap Value Equity Christopher S Beck leads the firm s Small Cap Value Mid Cap Value Equity team Prior to joining Delaware Investments in 1997 as a vice president and senior portfolio manager he was vice president at Pitcairn Trust from 1995 to 1997 where he managed small capitalization stocks and analyzed equity sectors Before that he was chief investment officer of the University of Delaware from 1992 to 1995 and held management positions during his seven years at Cypress Capital Management and four years at Wilmington Trust Beck earned a bachelor s degree at the University of Delaware and an MBA

    Original URL path: http://www.delawareinvestments.com/individual-investors/literature/insights/2014/harnessing-potential-in-the-energy-sector (2016-04-26)
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  • Does the U.S. Federal Reserve have us on a collision course?
    high levels To balance that condition policy makers are pursuing a so called macroprudential policy that will attempt to counter the liquidity by restricting risky ventures by regulated entities mainly commercial banks These policies have included minimum capital levels for banks restrictions on capital market activity the Volcker Rule in the U S for instance bonus rule adjustments for bank employees and simple leverage tests In my observation of the implementation of these macroprudential policies I have seen pushback that has disturbed me Particularly concerning is the pushback on simple leverage tests by both European and U S banks These simple leverage tests get around the games that can be played with risk based capital tests and truly provide a check on leverage in the system The simple leverage test restricts the ability of banking institutions to grow swiftly which they see as a threat to the valuation rewards that equity markets can provide There has also been pushback on activities related to the Volcker Rule Once again banks see this as a threat to their earnings capacity These rules need to have teeth in order to counter the massive liquidity It will be hard to control commercial and investment bank activities in a world with such advantageous funding levels It will also be the case that shadow banking activities will flourish without the checks that are slated to take effect China for instance has been notoriously lax in checking its shadow banking activity after the global financial crisis and it now has significant leverage issues in its financial system In an investment landscape saddled by the collision course described previously we see a need for flexibility when managing fixed income portfolios in 2014 We are not sold on analyst predictions for higher rates and robust equity market gains In fact current equity valuations may be a limiting factor on those gains Such valuations may also be a limiting factor on interest rate levels We ask investors to be careful with bond fund investments that have delivered attractive near term returns through investments in equity or equity like securities They may not be the diversifiers that investors can count on in bond type investments When managing the portfolios we are responsible for we will aim to move through this changing environment with an eye on proper diversification and prudent exposure to equity markets Interest rate sensitivity will likely be dampened but we will keep a keen eye on economic trends and the technical levels of interest rate hedging in the marketplace U S unemployment rate Data Bureau of Labor Statistics The chart above is for illustrative purposes only and is not representative of the performance of any specific investment Past performance does not guarantee future results Close U S labor force participation rate Data Bureau of Labor Statistics The chart above is for illustrative purposes only and is not representative of the performance of any specific investment Past performance does not guarantee future results Close S P Small Cap 600

    Original URL path: http://www.delawareinvestments.com/individual-investors/literature/insights/2014/does-the-us-federal-reserve-have-us-on-a-collision-course (2016-04-26)
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  • Market expectations and positioning
    by visiting the fund literature page or calling 800 523 1918 Investors should read the prospectus and the summary prospectus carefully before investing IMPORTANT RISK CONSIDERATIONS Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal The price to earnings ratio is a valuation ratio of a company s current share price compared to its earnings per share Value investors use a variety of analytical techniques in order to estimate the intrinsic value of securities in hopes of finding investments where the true value of the investment exceeds its current market value Investors should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements as a prediction of actual results In addition we disclaim any obligations to update any forward looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this document All third party marks cited are the property of their respective owners Not FDIC Insured No Bank Guarantee May Lose Value Ty Nutt Senior Portfolio Manager Team Leader View bio More from Ty Nutt Recent market volatility has implications from Shanghai to D C Valuations could hamper long term performance Stock market valuations may be fully priced but opportunity for value remains See all from this author See all from this team Ty Nutt biography Ty Nutt Senior Vice President Senior Portfolio Manager Team Leader D Tysen Nutt Jr is senior portfolio manager and team leader for the firm s Large Cap Value team Before joining Delaware Investments in 2004 as senior vice president and senior portfolio manager Nutt led the U S Active Large Cap Value team within Merrill Lynch Investment Managers where he managed mutual funds and separate accounts for institutions and private clients He departed Merrill Lynch Investment Managers as a managing director Prior to joining Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in 1994 Nutt was with

    Original URL path: http://www.delawareinvestments.com/individual-investors/literature/insights/2014/market-expectations-and-positioning (2016-04-26)
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  • Valuation and correlation
    advice Carefully consider the Funds investment objectives risk factors charges and expenses before investing This and other information can be found in the Funds prospectuses and their summary prospectuses which may be obtained by visiting the fund literature page or calling 800 523 1918 Investors should read the prospectus and the summary prospectus carefully before investing IMPORTANT RISK CONSIDERATIONS Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal Investments in small and or medium sized companies typically exhibit greater risk and higher volatility than larger more established companies Index performance returns do not reflect any management fees transaction costs or expenses Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the small cap segment of the U S equity universe Not FDIC Insured No Bank Guarantee May Lose Value Francis X Morris CIO Core Equity View bio More from Francis X Morris Recent market volatility has implications from Shanghai to D C Small cap companies remain fundamentally healthy Mergers and acquisitions More volume on the horizon See all from this author See all from this team Francis X Morris biography Francis X Morris Senior Vice President Chief Investment Officer Core Equity Francis X Morris joined Delaware Investments in 1997 as a vice president and portfolio manager and is currently the chief investment officer for Core Equity investments He is also a member of the firm s asset allocation committee which is responsible for building and managing multi asset class portfolios In addition Morris serves as a Trustee for the Delaware Management Holdings Inc Delaware Investments 401 k and Retirement Plan Prior to joining the firm Morris was vice president and director of equity research at PNC Asset Management He received a bachelor s degree from Providence College and holds an

    Original URL path: http://www.delawareinvestments.com/individual-investors/literature/insights/2014/valuation-and-correlation (2016-04-26)
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  • Subdued inflation can be costly
    of being put to productive use throughout the economy these assets are sitting idle on bank balance sheets Data Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis Quarterly observations Close Right now significant excesses in labor supply and manufacturing capacity mean that two of the traditional routes by which inflation embeds itself escalating wages and rising prices for finished goods are absent In addition the dramatic monetary stimulus provided by the Fed is largely being kept out of circulation in the form of excess bank reserves see chart A third point to consider Until consumers begin to believe that prices for expensive items such as cars and appliances will rise in the future they have little incentive to purchase now which presents a headwind to economic growth Slow economic growth has been a persistent problem here in the U S and it has been exacerbated by inflation levels that have remained too low for too long A measured dose of inflation could provide an antidote The views expressed represent the Manager s assessment of the market environment as of November 2013 and should not be considered a recommendation to buy hold or sell any security and should not be relied on as research or investment advice Views are subject to change without notice and may not reflect the Manager s views IMPORTANT RISK CONSIDERATION Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal Paul A Matlack Senior Portfolio Manager Fixed Income View bio More from Paul A Matlack Bond market playbook Diversification risk control and patience Labor market could continue to stanch inflation Delaware Investments A proprietary independent view of credit research See all from this author See all from this team Paul A Matlack biography Paul A Matlack CFA Senior Vice President Senior Portfolio Manager Fixed Income Strategist Paul A Matlack

    Original URL path: http://www.delawareinvestments.com/individual-investors/literature/insights/2013/inflation-too-low (2016-04-26)
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  • Small-cap stocks: As U.S. economy improves, M&A activity could rise
    we entered 2013 we believed that the vast majority of the structural impediments had been cleared or at least answered and we were anticipating an improved year for M A activity Fast forward to today and the question remains in our minds as to why M A has not accelerated particularly considering that corporate balance sheets and cost structures are clean for the most part In some cases potential acquisition targets have amassed high cash positions which is a strong positive Financing costs continue to remain attractive with the markets open to raise capital in all forms So why the low number of transactions We believe the following two factors have contributed to the weakness U S economic growth while improving remains below expected trends Generally speaking companies have taken to instituting or raising dividends and or repurchasing shares instead of engaging in M A activity In our opinion the two points above are interrelated in that companies have spent the past five years rationalizing cost structures and in some cases reliquefying balance sheets and many of them believe that today s environment is still not ripe for acquisitions In the minds of many chief financial officers dividends and buybacks have become safe and efficient uses of capital putting them on equal footing with M A M A activity within our portfolios Despite the disappointing year to date figures we continue to believe that as economic activity improves so will M A volume In contrast to the overall trends in the marketplace the Small Cap Core Fund portfolio that we oversee has experienced a number of M A transactions this year see chart below M A transactions within Delaware Investments Small Cap Core Fund portfolio 2013 YTD Stock Sector Acquirer Premium to prior day s close Berry Petroleum Energy LinnCo 28 Lufkin Industries Capital goods General Electric 35 Buckeye Technologies Basic materials Georgia Pacific 27 ExactTarget Technology Salesforce com 50 Cooper Tire Rubber Credit cyclicals Apollo Tyres 39 SHFL Entertainment Consumer services Bally Technologies 24 Boise Paper Basic materials Packaging Corp of America 26 Greenway Medical Healthcare Vista Equity Partners 19 Data Delaware Investments internal reports using Bloomberg applications While we never invest based solely on a company s takeout potential we view the volume of takeout activity within our portfolios as substantiation of the research process conducted by our investment team Our focus remains on finding companies with in our view competitive market advantages and strong financial metrics that are attractively priced relative to their intrinsic value 1 Based on analysis conducted internally by Delaware Investments The views expressed represent the Manager s assessment of the market environment as of October 2013 and should not be considered a recommendation to buy hold or sell any security and should not be relied on as research or investment advice Views are subject to change without notice and may not reflect the Manager s views Carefully consider the Funds investment objectives risk factors charges and expenses before investing This and other information

    Original URL path: http://www.delawareinvestments.com/individual-investors/literature/insights/2013/small-cap-stocks (2016-04-26)
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