MainStay Absolute Return Multi-Strategy Fund

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Fund Management

New York Life Investment Management LLC serves as the Fund’s Manager and provides the day-to-day portfolio management services for the Fund. The Manager uses the New York Life Multi-Asset Solutions Group to manage the Fund's investments.



A leading European multi-specialist asset manager with a 20-year track record. Located in Brussels, Paris, and Luxemburg with experienced sales force covering Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. Candriam has won European accolades including the 2013 Hedgeweek Award for Best Fixed Income Manager.


 Cushing Assest Management

Cushing Asset Management, LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Swank Capital, LLC, is a SEC-registered investment advisor headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The firm serves as investment advisor to registered and unregistered funds, which invest primarily in securities of MLPs and other natural resource companies.


 MacKay Shields

MacKay ShieldsMacKay Shields LLC is an affiliate of New York Life Investment Management LLC. MacKay Shields has specialized in money management for over 70 years. They offer a broad range of fixed income related strategies and solutions for a wide array of global clients including pension funds, government and financial institutions, family offices, high net worth individuals, endowments and foundations, and retail clients.

  • Summary
  • Performance
  • Portfolio
  • Distributions
    & Yields
  • Fees &

Fund Objective: Seeks long-term growth of capital.

  • Portfolio diversification
    The Fund invests globally across complementary alternative strategies and is designed to provide low correlation to traditional equity and fixed income markets. Under normal market conditions, the Manager will not allocate more than 30% of the fund's assets to any one strategy with each Subadvisor.

  • Volatility management
    The Fund seeks to have lower volatility than the broad equity market through diversified exposure to alternative strategies.

  • Capital appreciation potential
    The Fund’s absolute return investment approach seeks to provide positive returns over a complete market cycle. There can be no assurance that the investment objective will be met.

Class A & INV: 5.5% maximum initial sales charge; a 1% CDSC may be imposed on certain redemptions made within 18 months of the date of purchase on shares that were purchased without an initial sales charge. Class C: 1% CDSC if redeemed within one year. Class I: No initial sales charge or CDSC.

Returns represent past performance which is no guarantee of future results. Current performance may be lower or higher. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, and shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Performance figures reflect a contractual fee waiver and/or expense limitation agreement in effect through 8/31/18, without which total returns may have been lower. This agreement shall renew automatically for one-year terms unless written notice is provided prior to the start of the next term or upon approval of the Board.

Before You Invest

All mutual funds are subject to market risk, including possible loss of principal. Before considering an investment in the Funds, you should understand that you could lose money. The Fund seeks to have low correlation to traditional equity and fixed income markets. However, the Fund’s performance may be correlated with traditional equity or fixed income markets over short- or long-term periods.

The Fund’s absolute return investment approach seeks to provide positive returns over a complete market cycle. However, the Fund’s returns may be negative during certain periods within or over a complete market cycle.

Loss of Money Risk: Before considering an investment in the Fund, you should understand that you could lose money.

Market Changes Risk: The value of the Fund's investments may change because of broad changes in the markets in which the Fund invests, which could cause the Fund to underperform other funds with similar objectives. From time to time, markets may experience periods of acute stress that may result in (i) increased volatility; and (ii) increased redemptions. Such conditions may add significantly to the risk of volatility in the net asset value of the Fund's shares.

Management Risk: The investment strategies, practices and risk analyses used by a Subadvisor may not produce the desired results.

Multi-Manager Risk: The Fund’s performance relies on the skill of the Manager in selecting and monitoring the Subadvisors. The Fund’s performance also is dependent upon the Manager’s skill in determining strategic allocations of the Fund’s assets among the Subadvisors and the Subadvisors’ skill in implementing their respective strategy or strategies. The Subadvisors’ investment strategies may not always be complementary to one another and, as a result, the Subadvisors may make decisions that conflict with one another, which may adversely affect the Fund’s performance. For example, a Subadvisor may purchase an investment for the Fund at the same time that another Subadvisor sells the investment, resulting in higher expenses without accomplishing any net investment result. Alternatively, several Subadvisors could purchase the same investment at the same time, causing the Fund to pay higher expenses because they did not aggregate their transactions. The multimanager approach may also cause the Fund to invest a substantial percentage of its assets in certain types of securities, which could lead to large beneficial or detrimental effects on the Fund’s performance. The Manager may influence a Subadvisor in terms of its management of a portion of the Fund’s assets, including hedging practices, investment exposure and risk management. The Subadvisors may underperform the market generally and may underperform other subadvisors that the Manager could have selected. One or more Subadvisors may have limited or no experience in managing assets of a registered investment company, which is subject to daily inflows and outflows of investor cash and certain legal and tax-related restrictions on its investments and operations.

Equity Securities Risk: Investments in common stocks and other equity securities are particularly subject to the risk of changing economic, stock market, industry and company conditions and the risks inherent in the portfolio manager's ability to anticipate such changes that can adversely affect the value of the Fund's holdings. Opportunity for greater gain often comes with greater risk of loss.

Convertible Securities Risk: Convertible securities may be subordinate to other securities. In part, the total return for a convertible security depends upon the performance of the underlying stock into which it can be converted. Also, issuers of convertible securities are often not as strong financially as those issuing securities with higher credit ratings, are more likely to encounter financial difficulties and typically are more vulnerable to changes in the economy, such as a recession or a sustained period of rising interest rates, which could affect their ability to make interest and principal payments. If an issuer stops making interest and/or principal payments, the Fund could lose its entire investment.

Foreign Securities Risk: Investments in foreign securities may be riskier than investments in U.S. securities. Differences between U.S. and foreign regulatory regimes and securities markets, including less stringent investor protections and disclosure standards of some foreign markets, less liquid trading markets and political and economic developments in foreign countries, may affect the value of the Fund's investments in foreign securities. Foreign securities may also subject the Fund's investments to changes in currency rates.

Emerging Markets Risk: The risks related to investing in foreign securities are generally greater with respect to securities of companies that conduct their business activities in emerging markets or whose securities are traded principally in emerging markets. The risks of investing in emerging markets include the risks of illiquidity, increased price volatility, smaller market capitalizations, less government regulation, less extensive and less frequent accounting, financial and other reporting requirements, risk of loss resulting from problems in share registration and custody, substantial economic and political disruptions and the nationalization of foreign deposits or assets.

Currency Risk: Changes in the value of foreign (non-U.S.) currencies relative to the U.S. dollar may adversely affect the Fund’s investments in foreign currencies or in securities that trade in, and receive revenues in, or in derivatives that provide exposure to, foreign currencies. One or more Subadvisors seek to reduce currency risk by hedging all or part of the exposure to various foreign currencies of the Fund’s assets allocated to the Subadvisor(s) by engaging in hedging transactions, including swaps, futures, forward currency contracts and other derivatives. One or more Subadvisors may from time to time attempt to hedge all or a portion of the perceived currency risk by engaging in similar hedging transactions. However, these transactions and techniques may not always work as intended, and in certain cases the Fund may be worse off than if it had not engaged in such hedging practices. In addition, certain market conditions may make it impossible or uneconomical to hedge against currency risk.

Small-Cap and Mid-Cap Stock Risk: Stocks of small-cap and mid-cap companies may be subject to greater price volatility, significantly lower trading volumes, cyclical, static or moderate growth prospects and greater spreads between their bid and ask prices than stocks of larger companies. Because these businesses frequently rely on narrower product lines and niche markets, they can suffer isolated setbacks. Smaller capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse business or market developments.

Large-Cap Stock Risk: Although stocks issued by larger companies tend to have less overall volatility than stocks issued by smaller companies, larger companies may not be able to attain the high growth rates of successful smaller companies, especially during strong economic periods. In addition, larger companies may be less capable of responding quickly to competitive challenges and industry changes, and may suffer sharper price declines as a result of earnings disappointments. During a period when the performance of stocks issued by larger companies fall behind other types of investments, such as smaller capitalized companies, the Fund’s performance will lag those investments.

Short Selling Risk: If a security sold short increases in price, the Fund may have to cover its short position at a higher price than the short sale price, resulting in a loss. The Fund may have substantial short positions and must borrow those securities to make delivery to the buyer. The Fund may not be able to borrow a security that it needs to deliver or it may not be able to close out a short position at an acceptable price and may have to sell related long positions before it had intended to do so. Thus, the Fund may not be able to successfully implement its short sale strategy due to limited availability of desired securities or for other reasons. The Fund also may be required to pay a premium and other transaction costs, which would increase the cost of the security sold short. The amount of any gain will be decreased, and the amount of any loss increased, by the amount of the premium, dividends, interest or expenses the Fund may be required to pay in connection with the short sale.

Until the Fund replaces a borrowed security, it is required to maintain a segregated account of cash or liquid assets with the Fund's custodian to cover the Fund's short position. Generally, securities held in a segregated account cannot be sold unless they are replaced with other liquid assets. The Fund's ability to access the pledged collateral may also be impaired in the event the broker fails to comply with the terms of the contract. In such instances the Fund may not be able to substitute or sell the pledged collateral. Additionally, the Fund must maintain sufficient liquid assets (less any additional collateral held with the broker), marked-to-market daily, to cover the short sale obligations. This may limit the Fund's investment flexibility, as well as its ability to meet redemption requests or other current obligations. Because losses on short sales arise from increases in the value of the security sold short, such losses are theoretically unlimited. By contrast, a loss on a long position arises from decreases in the value of the security and is limited by the fact that a security's value cannot go below zero.

By investing the proceeds received from selling securities short, the Fund could be deemed to be employing a form of leverage, which creates special risks. The use of leverage may increase the Fund's exposure to long positions and make any change in the Fund's net asset value greater than it would be without the use of leverage. This could result in increased volatility of returns. There is no guarantee that the Fund will leverage its portfolio, or if it does, that the Fund's leveraging strategy will be successful or that it will produce a higher return on an investment.

Regulatory authorities in the U.S. or other countries may prohibit or restrict the ability of the Fund to fully implement its short-selling strategy, either generally or with respect to certain industries or countries, which may impact the Fund's ability to fully implement its investment strategies.

Depositary Receipts Risk: Investments in depositary receipts may entail the special risks of foreign investing, including currency exchange fluctuations, government regulations, and the potential for political and economic instability.

Debt or Fixed-Income Securities Risk: The risks of investing in debt or fixed-income securities include (without limitation): (i) credit risk, i.e., the issuer may not repay the loan created by the issuance of that debt security; (ii) maturity risk, i.e., a debt security with a longer maturity may fluctuate in value more than one with a shorter maturity; (iii) market risk, i.e., low demand for debt securities may negatively impact their price; (iv) interest rate risk, i.e., when interest rates go up, the value of a debt security goes down, and when interest rates go down, the value of a debt security goes up; (v) selection risk, i.e., the securities selected by a Subadvisor may underperform the market or other securities selected by other funds; and (vi) call risk, i.e., during a period of falling interest rates, the issuer may redeem a security by repaying it early, which may reduce the Fund’s income if the proceeds are reinvested at lower interest rates. Interest rates in the United States are at, or near, historic lows, which may increase the Fund’s exposure to risks associated with rising interest rates. Moreover, rising interest rates or lack of market participants may lead to decreased liquidity in the bond markets, making it more difficult for the Fund to sell its holdings at a time when a Subadvisor might wish to sell. Decreased liquidity in the markets also may make it more difficult to value some or all of the Fund’s holdings.

Additional risks associated with an investment in the Fund include the following: (i) not all U.S. government securities are insured or guaranteed by the U.S. government—some are backed only by the issuing agency, which must rely on its own resources to repay the debt; and (ii) the Fund's yield will fluctuate with changes in short-term interest rates.

High-Yield Securities Risk: Investments in high-yield securities or non-investment grade securities (commonly referred to as "junk bonds") are sometimes considered speculative because they present a greater risk of loss than higher quality securities. Such securities may, under certain circumstances, be less liquid than higher rated securities. These securities pay investors a premium (a high interest rate or yield) because of the increased risk of loss. These securities can also be subject to greater price volatility. In times of unusual or adverse market, economic or political conditions, these securities may experience higher than normal default rates.

Floaters and Variable Rate Notes Risk: Floaters and variable rate notes provide for a periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the securities. The rate adjustment intervals may be regular and range from daily up to annually, or may be based on an event, such as a change in the prime rate. Floating and variable rate notes may be subject to greater liquidity risk than other debt securities, meaning that there may be limitations on the Fund's ability to sell the securities at any given time. Securities with floating interest rates generally are less sensitive to interest rate changes, but may decline in value if their interest rates do not rise as much or as fast as interest rates in general. Such securities also may lose value.

Other Investment Companies Risk: The risks of owning another investment company are generally similar to the risks of investment directly in the securities in which that investment company invests. However, an investment company may not achieve its investment objective or execute its investment strategy effectively, which may adversely affect the Fund’s performance. In addition, because closed-end funds trade on a secondary market, their shares may trade at a premium or discount to the actual net asset value of their portfolio securities and their shares may have greater volatility because of the potential lack of liquidity.

Exchange Traded Fund ("ETF") Risk: The risks of owning an ETF generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities they are designed to track, although lack of liquidity in an ETF could result in it being more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities. Disruptions in the markets for the securities underlying ETFs purchased or sold by the Fund could result in losses on the Fund's investment in ETFs. ETFs also have management fees that increase their costs versus the costs of owning the underlying securities directly.

Mortgage-Backed/Asset-Backed Securities Risk: Prepayment risk is associated with mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities. If interest rates fall, the underlying debt may be repaid ahead of schedule, reducing the value of the Fund's investments. If interest rates rise, there may be fewer prepayments, which would cause the average bond maturity to rise, increasing the potential for the Fund to lose money. The value of these securities may be significantly affected by changes in interest rates, the market's perception of issuers, and the creditworthiness of the parties involved. The ability of the Fund to successfully utilize these instruments may depend on the ability of the Subadvisor to forecast interest rates and other economic factors correctly. These securities may have a structure that makes their reaction to interest rate changes and other factors difficult to predict, making their value highly volatile.

The use of foreign currency forwards may result in currency exchange losses due to fluctuations in currency exchange rates or an imperfect correlation between portfolio holdings denominated in a particular currency and the forward contracts entered into by the Fund.

Equity Market Neutral: This strategy seeks to profit by detecting and exploiting perceived pricing inefficiencies in individual equity securities and neutralizing exposure to market risk by maintaining approximately equal value exposure in long and short positions. The strategy will identify investment opportunities based on a model that reflects the input of relevant factors, including relative value, market sentiment, and the Subadvisor’s forecasts as to anticipated market volatility. The strategy may engage in short sales in order to generate returns that are independent of the direction of the underlying market.

Risk Arbitrage: This strategy implements event-driven arbitrage strategies on securities of companies that experience certain “special situations,” which are corporate events that are likely to create discontinuity in the price of a given security. The strategy invests primarily in announced merger arbitrage strategies by buying or selling the securities of companies involved in a merger based on the Subadvisor’s anticipation of the merger’s outcome. The strategy may also invest in securities of companies based on other event-driven strategies, such as holding discount arbitrage, share class arbitrage, spin-offs, asset sales, initial public offerings, minority buyouts, auctions or rights issues. Share class arbitrage involves capitalizing on perceived pricing inefficiencies of a particular share class in a multiple share class issuer. Discount arbitrage is when a discount option is purchased while an opposite transaction is taken in the underlying security.

Managed Futures: This strategy primarily takes long and short positions in futures contracts (directly or through derivatives, including total return swaps) across asset classes globally. The strategy seeks to exploit market trends and generate absolute returns utilizing a quantitative and systematic investment approach, which consists of analyzing financial markets through statistical models. These quantitative models produce buy or sell signals looking to benefit from the upward and downward movements of the asset classes covered based on market trends and patterns and contrarian views (i.e., instruments and strategies that may be out of favor in the broader market). The managed future strategy will be put in place through (i) investment in derivative instruments including swap agreements, exchange-traded futures and option contracts and forward contracts to gain exposure to a wide variety of global markets for currencies, interest rates, stock market indices, energy resources, metals and agricultural products and to hedge price risk, (ii) entering into swap agreements that provide exposure to the Candriam managed future program, or (iii) invest in some combination of (i) and (ii). This strategy will involve the use of one or more wholly-owned subsidiaries formed under the laws of the Cayman Islands. See “Subsidiary Risk” below for more information.

Master Limited Partnerships (“MLPs”) and Other Energy Companies: This strategy seeks to deliver both high current income and total return by investing in a portfolio of domestic and foreign publicly traded partnerships and/or other issuers (including U.S. and Canadian royalty trusts and Canadian energy companies) engaged in the transportation, storage, processing, refining, marketing, exploration, production or mining of crude oil, natural gas, minerals or other natural resources (“Energy Companies”). The Subadvisor implements this strategy by identifying companies it believes will benefit from increased crude oil, natural gas, or natural gas liquids production resulting in greater energy infrastructure needs. The Fund will invest no more than 25% of its total assets in securities of MLPs that are qualified publicly traded partnerships (“QPTPs”), which are treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Credit Long/Short or Non-Traditional Fixed-Income: This strategy seeks to exploit opportunities in the global fixed-income markets based on top-down and bottom-up analysis. The strategy may invest in various credit strategies that involve being long and short different financial instruments, and the credit instruments involved will range from high grade to high yield (known as “junk bonds”) and distressed debt. The strategy may also invest in credit derivatives. The portfolio managers responsible for this strategy dynamically allocate capital to the sectors and securities that they believe offer the best balance of risk and return, unrestricted by benchmark constraints.

Tactical Allocation: The Manager may manage a portion of the Fund’s assets directly. The Manager may invest the Fund’s assets in a range of asset classes, including equity securities, fixed-income instruments, futures, options and swaps (including total return swaps) and affiliated and unaffiliated open-end funds, closed-end funds and exchange traded funds, to manage or gain access to certain market exposures or to exploit perceived structural inefficiencies in the markets. Additionally, positions in broad asset classes or themes may be pursued on a long or short basis either to take advantage of perceived investment opportunities or to counter exposure from other strategies in the Fund.

Other Strategies: The Manager may modify the strategies summarized above and allocate the Fund’s assets among or to other strategies developed or implemented to further optimize risk reward expectations based on, among other factors, changing market conditions. In addition to the instruments described above, such other strategies may include taking long and/or short positions in a wide range of instruments, including, but not limited to, commodities and real estate investment trusts (“REITs”).

Such investments may be made without restriction as to issuer capitalization, country (including emerging markets), currency, maturity or credit rating and within the context of a range of investment programs or strategies, including, but not limited to, carry strategies, relative value strategies, and various forms of arbitrage.


1. POP (Public Offering Price) is the NAV (Net Asset Value) plus a sales charge. All POPs are subject to revision and include the maximum sales charge.

2. Average annual total returns include the change in share price and reinvestment of dividends and capital gain distributions. Class I shares are generally available only to corporate and institutional investors.

4. No sales charge applies to Class A and Investor Class share investments of $1,000,000 or more ($250,000 or more with respect to MainStay California Tax Free Opportunities Fund, MainStay High Yield Municipal Bond Fund, MainStay New York Tax Free Opportunities Fund, MainStay Tax Advantaged Short Term Bond Fund, and MainStay Tax Free Bond Fund; or $500,000 or more with respect to MainStay Floating Rate Fund and MainStay Short Duration High Yield Fund). For purchases of Class A and Investor Class shares of each MainStay Fund made without an initial sales charge on or after August 1, 2017, a contingent deferred sales charge of 1.00% may be imposed on certain redemptions made within 18 months of the date of purchase.

Investment Definitions

The Hedge Fund Absolute Return Index (HFRX) measures the comprehensive overall returns of hedge funds. Since hedge funds explore unique investment strategies and seek to obtain absolute returns rather than focus on beating the benchmark, the HFRX is representative of all hedge fund strategies.

The P/E Ratio (price-to-earnings) denotes the weighted average of all the P/Es of the securities in the Fund's portfolio. The P/B Ratio (price-to-book) is the weighted average of all the P/Bs of the securities in the Fund's portfolio. Return on Equity (ROE) is the weighted average of all the ROEs of the securities in the Fund's portfolio. ROE is calculated by dividing net income by book value. Standard deviation measures how widely dispersed a fund's returns have been over a specified period of time. A high standard deviation indicates that the range is wide, implying greater potential for volatility. Beta is a measure of historical volatility relative to an appropriate index (benchmark) based on its investment objective. A beta greater than 1.00 indicates volatility greater than the benchmark's. Alpha measures a fund's risk-adjusted performance and is expressed as an annualized percentage. R-Squared measures the percentage of a fund's movements that result from movements in the index. The Sharpe Ratio shown is calculated for the past 36-month period by dividing annualized excess returns by annualized standard deviation. The Annual Turnover Rate is as of the most recent annual shareholder report. Upside/Downside Market Capture measures a manager's performance in up/down markets relative to the Fund's benchmark.