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Press Release:
Merk Hard Currency Fund Available Through Schwab’s Mutual Fund OneSource® Service

-- Investors can now seek protection against a declining dollar with the ease of investing in a no-load mutual fund --

PALO ALTO, Calif. — August 17, 2005 — In response to strong customer demand, Merk Investments has made the no-load Merk Hard Currency Fund™ (ticker symbol MERKX) available via the Schwab Mutual Fund OneSource® service. The Fund seeks to protect investors against declines in the US dollar by investing in a basket of hard currency denominated investments composed of high-quality, short-term money market instruments of countries pursuing sound monetary policy, and indirectly in gold.

“We are seeing an increasing interest to gain exposure to sound hard currencies among investors— not as a speculative play, but as a way to further diversify their holdings, said Axel Merk, president of fund manager Merk Investments. “We are excited that the Merk Hard Currency Fund is now available through Schwab’s Mutual Fund OneSource® service.

“In the face of the greatest financial imbalances of monetary history--as manifested by the enormous trade deficit-- the US dollar may be susceptible to further depreciation. An example of how these imbalances may be addressed is China’s realignment of the Yuan to a basket of currencies, Merk continued. “Through the Merk Hard Currency Fund, investors can seek protection against a declining dollar with the ease of investing in a no-load mutual fund. The Schwab Mutual Fund OneSource® service exemplifies the quality relationships we look for as we expand our opportunities to serve investment advisors and retail investors.”

For more information about the Merk Hard Currency Fund, including how to obtain a prospectus and to invest, please visit

About the Merk Hard Currency Fund and Merk Investments

The Merk Hard Currency Fund, a pure play on hard currencies, provides investors with a new fundamental investment option to gain exposure to hard currencies such as the euro, Swiss franc, Australian dollar and indirectly in gold. To gain access to a basket of hard
currencies without the Fund, investors must either determine which currencies they wish to invest in and gain exposure through buying those currencies directly; invest in funds that may include more speculative currencies in their portfolios; invest in international stock or bond funds that introduce stock market, credit and/or interest risks; or engage in complex and speculative derivative trading.

The Merk Hard Currency Fund is managed by Merk Investments, a money management firm that invests with discipline and long-term focus while adapting to changing environments.

Axel Merk, president of Merk Investments, makes all investment decisions for the Merk Hard Currency Fund. Mr. Merk founded Merk Investments AG in Switzerland in 1994; in 2001, he relocated to the US and transferred all investment advisory activities to Merk Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser.

Mr. Merk holds a BA in Economics (magna cum laude) and MSc in Computer Science from Brown University, Rhode Island. The institution awarded him the Class of 1873 Prize for Excellence in Economics in 1991. He has extensive experience and expertise in how global financial imbalances, as evidenced by an enormous trade deficit, affect the markets. He has published many articles describing complex economic phenomena in understandable terms and speaks on the topics of investment and global financial markets at conferences.

For more information on the Merk Hard Currency Fund, please visit For more information on Merk Investments, please visit

As with any mutual fund product, there is no guarantee that the fund will achieve its goals. Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks and charges and expenses of the Merk Hard Currency Fund carefully before investing. This and other information is in the prospectus, a copy of which may be obtained by visiting the Fund's website at or calling 866-MERK FUND. Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest.

The Fund’s investment value will fluctuate, and shares, when redeemed may be worth more or less than original cost. Principal investment risks include, but are not limited to, currency exchange rate risk, foreign instrument risk, gold related and derivative securities risk, interest rate risk, and non-diversification risk. For a more complete discussion of these risks please refer to the Fund’s prospectus. Foreside Fund Services, LLC, distributor.