«TIAA-CREF Mid-Cap Value Fund of the TIAA-CREF Funds Class Ticker: Retail TCMVX Retirement TRVRX Premier TRVPX Institutional TIMVX This Prospectus ...»
MARCH 1, 2014
TIAA-CREF Mid-Cap Value Fund
of the TIAA-CREF Funds
Class Ticker: Retail TCMVX Retirement TRVRX Premier TRVPX Institutional TIMVX
This Prospectus describes the Retail, Retirement, Premier and Institutional Class shares offered by the
TIAA-CREF Mid-Cap Value Fund (the “Fund”). The Fund is one of the investment portfolios of the TIAACREF Funds (the “Trust”).
An investment in the Fund is not a deposit of any bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. An investor can lose money in the Fund and the Fund could perform more poorly than other investments.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
Table of contents Summary Information 3 Dividends and distributions 20 Investment objective 3 Taxes 21 Fees and expenses 3 Your account: purchasing, Shareholder fees 3 redeeming or exchanging shares 24 Annual Fund operating Retail Class 24 expenses 3 Eligibility – Retail Class 24 Example 4 Purchasing shares – Portfolio turnover 4 Retail Class 25 Principal investment strategies 4 Redeeming shares – Retail Class 28 Principal investment risks 5 Exchanging shares – Past performance 6 Retail Class 31 Portfolio management 8 Retirement Class 32 Purchase and sale of Eligibility – Retirement Class 32 Fund shares 8 Purchasing shares – Tax information 8 Retirement Class 33 Redeeming shares – Payments to broker-dealers and Retirement Class 37 other financial intermediary compensation 9 Exchanging shares – Retirement Class 39 Additional information about Premier Class 40 investment strategies and risks 9 Eligibilit
TIAA-CREF Mid-Cap Value Fund of the TIAA-CREF Funds Investment objective The Fund seeks a favorable long-term total return, mainly through capital appreciation, primarily from equity securities of medium-sized domestic companies.
Fees and expenses This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and
hold shares of the Fund:
SHAREHOLDER FEES (deducted directly from gross amount of transaction)
Portfolio turnover The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2013, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 46% of the average value of its portfolio.
Principal investment strategies Under normal circumstances, the Fund invests at least 80% of its assets in mid-cap equity securities. The Fund will invest primarily in equity securities of medium-sized domestic companies, as defined by the Fund’s benchmark index (the Russell Midcap® Value Index), that the Fund’s investment adviser, Teachers Advisors, Inc. (“Advisors”), believes appear undervalued by the market based on an evaluation of their potential worth. In particular, the Fund invests in equity securities of companies that Advisors believes may represent high growth industries or rapidly evolving areas of the economy. For purposes of the 80% investment policy, the term “assets” means net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes. Advisors considers medium-sized ■ 4 Prospectus TIAA-CREF Mid-Cap Value Fund companies to be those companies whose market capitalizations fall within the range represented by the Russell Midcap® Value Index at the time of the Fund’s investment.
Advisors uses a variety of comparative valuation criteria to determine whether shares of a particular company might be undervalued, including analyses of historical valuations of the same security; valuations of comparable securities in the same sector or the overall market; various financial ratios such as stock price-to-earnings, stock price-to-book value, free cash flow, debt-to-capital and, to a lesser extent, dividend yield.
The Fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in foreign investments.
Principal investment risks You could lose money over short or long periods by investing in this Fund. An investment in the Fund, due to the nature of the Fund’s portfolio holdings,
typically is subject to the following principal investment risks:
• Market Risk—The risk that market prices of portfolio investments held by the Fund may fall rapidly or unpredictably due to a variety of factors, including changing economic, political or market conditions. Market risk may affect a single issuer, industry or sector of the economy, or it may affect the market as a whole.
• Issuer Risk (often called Financial Risk)—The risk that an issuer’s earnings prospects and overall financial position will deteriorate, causing a decline in the value of the issuer’s financial instruments over short or extended periods of time.
• Mid-Cap Risk—The risk that the stocks of mid-capitalization companies often experience greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than the stocks of larger, more established companies.
• Small-Cap Risk—The risk that the stocks of small-capitalization companies often experience greater price volatility than large- or mid-sized companies because small-cap companies are often newer or less established than larger companies and are likely to have more limited resources, products and markets. Securities of small-cap companies are often less liquid than securities of larger companies as a result of there being a smaller market for their securities.
• Style Risk—The risk that use of a particular investing style (such as growth or value investing) may fall out of favor in the marketplace for various periods of time and result in underperformance relative to the broader market sector or significant declines in the value of the Fund’s portfolio investments.
• Risks of Value Investing—Securities believed to be undervalued are subject to the risks that the issuer’s potential business prospects are not realized, its potential value is never recognized by the market or the securities were appropriately priced when acquired. As a result, value ■ TIAA-CREF Mid-Cap Value Fund Prospectus 5 stocks can be overpriced when acquired and may not perform as anticipated.
• Active Management Risk—The risk that Advisors’ strategy, investment selection or trading execution may cause the Fund to underperform relative to the benchmark index or mutual funds with similar investment objectives.
• Foreign Investment Risk—Foreign markets can be more volatile than the U.S. market due to increased risks of adverse issuer, political, regulatory, currency, market or economic developments and can result in greater price volatility and perform differently from financial instruments of U.S. issuers.
This risk may be heightened in emerging or developing markets. Foreign investments may also be less liquid and more difficult to value than investments in U.S. issuers.
Please see the non-summary portion of the Prospectus for more detailed information about the risks described above.
Past performance The following chart and table help illustrate some of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s performance from year to year. The bar chart shows the annual total returns of the Institutional Class of the Fund, before taxes, in each full calendar year for the last ten years. Because the expenses vary across share classes, the performance of the Institutional Class may vary from the other share classes. Below the bar chart are the best and worst returns of the Institutional Class for a calendar quarter during the period covered by the bar chart. The performance table following the bar chart shows the Fund’s average annual total returns for the Institutional Class, Retirement Class, Premier Class and Retail Class over the one-year, five-year, ten-year and since-inception periods (where applicable) ended December 31, 2013, and how those returns compare to those of the Fund’s benchmark index. After-tax performance is shown only for Institutional Class shares, and after-tax returns for the other classes of shares will vary from the after-tax returns presented for Institutional Class shares.
The returns shown below reflect previous agreements by Advisors to waive or reimburse the Fund for certain fees and expenses. Without these waivers and reimbursements, the returns of the Fund would have been lower. Past performance of the Fund (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how it will perform in the future. The benchmark index listed below is unmanaged, and you cannot invest directly in the benchmark index. The returns for the benchmark index reflect no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes.
For current performance information of each share class, including performance to the most recent month-end, please visit www.tiaa-cref.org.
Purchase and sale of Fund shares Retail Class shares are available for purchase through certain financial intermediaries or by contacting the Fund directly at 800 223-1200 or www.tiaacref.org. Retirement Class and Premier Class shares are generally available for purchase through employee benefit plans or other types of savings plans or accounts. Institutional Class shares are available for purchase directly from the Fund by certain eligible investors or through financial intermediaries.
• The minimum initial investment for Retail Class shares is $2,000 for Traditional IRA, Roth IRA and Coverdell accounts and $2,500 for all other account types. Subsequent investments for all account types must be at least $100.
• There is no minimum initial or subsequent investment for Retirement Class shares. Retirement Class shares are primarily offered through employersponsored employee benefit plans.
• There is a $100 million aggregate plan size and $1 million initial minimum plan-level investment requirement for Premier Class shares. Premier Class shares are primarily offered through certain financial intermediaries and employer-sponsored employee benefit plans.
• The minimum initial investment is $2 million and the minimum subsequent investment is $1,000 for Institutional Class shares, unless an investor purchases shares by or through financial intermediaries that have entered into an appropriate agreement with the Fund or its affiliates.
Redeeming or Exchanging Shares. You can redeem (sell) or exchange your shares of the Fund on any day that the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) is open for business. Exchanges may be made for shares of the same share class of other funds offered by the Trust. If your shares are held through a third party, please contact that entity for applicable redemption or exchange requirements. If your shares are held directly with the Fund, contact the Fund directly in writing or by telephone.
Tax information The Fund intends to make distributions to shareholders that may be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains. Distributions made to tax-exempt shareholders or shareholders who hold Fund shares in a tax-deferred account are generally not ■ 8 Prospectus TIAA-CREF Mid-Cap Value Fund subject to income tax in the current year, but redemptions made from taxdeferred accounts may be subject to income tax.
Payments to broker-dealers and other financial intermediary compensation If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Fund and/or its related companies may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services or for other investor services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
Additional information about investment strategies and risks Additional information about the Fund This Prospectus describes the Fund and its investment objective, principal investment strategies and restrictions and principal investment risks. An investor should consider whether the Fund is an appropriate investment. The investment objective of the Fund and its non-fundamental investment restrictions may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (“Board of Trustees”) without shareholder approval. Certain investment restrictions described in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) are fundamental and may only be changed with shareholder approval.
As noted in the “Principal investment strategies” section of this Prospectus, the Fund has a policy of normally investing at least 80% of its assets (net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes) in mid-cap equity securities. Shareholders will receive at least 60 days’ prior notice before changes are made to the 80% policy.
Advisors may, for temporary defensive purposes, invest some or all of the Fund’s assets in cash and money market instruments, although Advisors is not obligated to do so. In doing so, the Fund may be successful in reducing market losses but may otherwise not achieve its investment objective.
The use of a particular index as the Fund’s benchmark index is not a fundamental policy and can be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval. The Fund will notify you before such a change is made.
The Fund is not appropriate for market timing. You should not invest in the Fund if you are a market timer.
There can be no assurances that the Fund will achieve its investment objective and investors should not consider an investment in this Fund to be a complete investment program.