Read answers to common questions we receive about our investment policies and procedures.
1. How does American Funds approach “socially responsible” investing?
As investment professionals, we have a fiduciary responsibility to base our investment decisions solely on the financial objectives stated in each American Fund’s prospectus. We take into consideration all material factors in assessing the merits of an investment, including considerations like human rights issues. We recognize that these issues can be potentially significant factors in some companies’ long-term prospects for success. Considering these issues is therefore an important element of our investment research and analysis.
2. Does American Funds offer any “socially responsible” funds?
American Funds does not categorize any of its funds as “socially responsible.” However, since their introduction in the 1950s, American Mutual Fund® and Washington Mutual Investors Fund℠ have had policies that prohibit them from investing in securities of companies that derive a majority of their revenue from alcohol or tobacco.
3. Will American Funds divest its holdings of companies doing business in countries whose governments are accused of violating human rights?
At various times, individuals and groups urge investment firms to divest their holdings in all companies doing business in countries whose governments are violating or threatening the human rights of their own or other countries’ residents. They do so in the belief that total divestment from a country is the best way to bring about needed change.
While some believe total divestment is necessary for change, others generally prefer that the world stay engaged with the offending countries or governments because engagement provides the best — or only — opportunity to exert influence. Moreover, many recognize that divestiture can sometimes be counterproductive, especially when it harms not just the current government but also the economy on which the victims of repression depend for their livelihoods.
Other individuals or groups focus their attention not on whole countries but on individual companies. Shareholders in several mutual fund organizations have considered (and rejected) proxy proposals sponsored by investors that ask fund boards to adopt policies preventing the funds from investing in any company that the board determines is substantially contributing to human rights violations.
Human rights issues are important and are among the factors that can affect companies’ long-term prospects for success. Any human rights issues that may affect companies are considered by our investment professionals as part of the investment management process. This approach is consistent with the stated investment objectives and policies of the funds. We believe considering these issues on a company-by-company basis and as part of the investment management process is preferable either to having the fund boards make these decisions or to dealing with divestiture at the level of the entire country.
We will continue to weigh the impact of these issues and monitor relevant developments as part of our ongoing management of the American Funds.
4. Is American Funds guided by a code of ethics?
Yes. Employees of American Funds (part of the Capital Group Companies) are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards when conducting business. Read the The Capital Group Companies Code of Ethics (PDF).
5. Does American Funds have any sector funds?
American Funds’ conservative approach focuses on diversified, long-term investing. Since sector funds are generally not consistent with this philosophy, we do not choose to offer them.
6. Will American Funds allow transfers from other fund families at net asset value if the investor previously paid a sales charge?
No. Allowing new investors to transfer assets into American Funds at net asset value would be unfair to existing clients who have paid the appropriate sales charge. It is important to remember, however, that American Funds offers a series of breakpoints on investments starting at $25,000 that can substantially reduce or eliminate the sales charge. In addition, sales charges can be reduced through rights of accumulation or by purchasing under a statement of intention. Purchases that qualify for NAV are outlined in the funds’ prospectuses. Since transfer from other fund families is not included in the prospectus as a means of purchasing without a sales charge, American Funds Distributors® cannot make exceptions to this policy.
7. How often will my client receive statements?
Generally, account statements are mailed whenever there is activity in an account. If your clients have signed up to receive transaction confirmations or quarterly statements electronically, they will receive an e-mail when this information is available online. For information about a specific client account, you can log in to a client account.
8. How do consolidated statements work?
Consolidated statements, available for certain types of accounts, provide a summary of fund holdings and account transactions. They may be requested either verbally or in writing and will be mailed (or emailed if requested by the shareholder) quarterly. To check the eligibility of a specific account, please contact Account Services at (800) 421-0180.
9. What are American Funds proxy voting procedures and principles?
We view proxies of companies held by the portfolios as significant fund assets and proxy voting as an integral part of the overall investment process. Our procedures and principles summarize our views on various corporate governance proposals. Through the proxy voting process, we aim to protect the long-term financial interests of your clients.
Proxy voting procedures and principles:
10. How has American Funds voted proxies?
Throughout the year, we vote by proxy on thousands of proposals from all types of corporations, ranging from small businesses to international companies. In some situations, we don’t vote proxies for companies outside the U.S., particularly when the expense outweighs the benefit to shareholders, liquidity issues exist, documents are not sufficient to make an informed decision or if we are not notified of a scheduled meeting. The links below provide PDFs of the most recent proxy voting results available. (Results are posted within approximately 10 weeks after June 30.)
American Funds Proxy Voting Results
AMCAP Fund® (PDF)
American Balanced Fund® (PDF)
American Funds College 2018 Fund®
American Funds College 2021 Fund®
American Funds College 2024 Fund®
American Funds College 2027 Fund®
American Funds College 2030 Fund®
American Funds College 2033 Fund℠
American Funds College Enrollment Fund®
American Funds Developing World Growth and Income Fund℠ (PDF)
American Funds Global Balanced Fund℠ (PDF)
American Funds Inflation Linked Bond Fund®
American Funds Mortgage Fund®1
American Funds Short-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund®1
American Funds Strategic Bond Fund℠1
American Funds Tax-Exempt Fund of New York®1
American Funds U.S. Government Money Market Fund℠1
American Funds 2010 Target Date Retirement Fund®1
American Funds 2015 Target Date Retirement Fund®1
American Funds 2020 Target Date Retirement Fund®1
American Funds 2025 Target Date Retirement Fund®1
American Funds 2030 Target Date Retirement Fund®1
American Funds 2035 Target Date Retirement Fund®1
American Funds 2040 Target Date Retirement Fund®1
American Funds 2045 Target Date Retirement Fund®1
American Funds 2050 Target Date Retirement Fund®1
American Funds 2055 Target Date Retirement Fund®1
American Funds 2060 Target Date Retirement Fund℠
American High-Income Municipal Bond Fund®1 (PDF)
American High-Income Trust® (PDF)
American Mutual Fund® (PDF)
The Bond Fund of America® (PDF)
Capital Income Builder® (PDF)
Capital World Bond Fund® (PDF)
Capital World Growth and Income Fund® (PDF)
EuroPacific Growth Fund® (PDF)
Fundamental Investors℠ (PDF)
The Growth Fund of America® (PDF)
The Income Fund of America® (PDF)
Intermediate Bond Fund of America®1
International Growth and Income Fund℠ (PDF)
The Investment Company of America® (PDF)
Limited Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund of America®1
The New Economy Fund® (PDF)
New Perspective Fund® (PDF)
New World Fund® (PDF)
Short-Term Bond Fund of America®1
SMALLCAP World Fund® (PDF)
The Tax-Exempt Bond Fund of America®1
The Tax-Exempt Fund of California®1
U.S. Government Securities Fund®1
Washington Mutual Investors Fund℠ (PDF)
American Funds Insurance Series (AFIS) Proxy Voting Results
Asset Allocation Fund℠ (PDF)
Blue Chip Income and Growth Fund℠ (PDF)
Bond Fund℠1 (PDF)
Capital Income Builder®
Global Balanced Fund℠ (PDF)
Global Bond Fund℠ (PDF)
Global Growth and Income Fund℠ (PDF)
Global Growth Fund℠ (PDF)
Global Small Capitalization Fund℠ (PDF)
Growth Fund℠ (PDF)
Growth-Income Fund℠ (PDF)
High-Income Bond Fund℠ (PDF)
International Fund℠ (PDF)
International Growth and Income Fund℠ (PDF)
Managed Risk Asset Allocation Fund℠
Managed Risk Blue Chip Income and Growth Fund℠
Managed Risk Growth Fund℠
Managed Risk Growth-Income Fund℠
Managed Risk International Fund℠
New World Fund® (PDF)
Ultra-Short Bond Fund℠1
U.S. Government/AAA-Rated Securities Fund℠1