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Press Release:
Merk Hard Currency Fund Manager Axel Merk to Speak at the American Association of Individual Investors

-- Axel Merk to discuss the Transition at the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) from Retiring Chairman Alan Greenspan to Ben Bernanke --

PALO ALTO, Calif. — January 11, 2006— Axel Merk, manager of the Merk Hard Currency Fund, will present “A New Era at the Fed: Is Your Investment Portfolio Ready?” hosted by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) San Francisco Chapter in Berkeley.

The presentation will address issues including:
- What implications will this transition have on Fed policy and your investment portfolio?
- Inflation is rising just as the economy is slowing. How will the Fed guide the economy?
- How can you diversify your portfolio to take advantage of the transition to this new era of economic policy?

HS. Lordships Restaurant – at the Berkeley Marina waterfront
199 Seawall Drive
Berkeley, CA

11:00 AM PT, Saturday, January 21, 2006

The meeting is open to the general public. Please visit for registration details.

Mr. Merk will be available for interviews at the meeting. For information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Barbara Wahli
Merk Investments
(650)323 4341

Opinions expressed in this meeting announcement and at the chapter meetings are not necessarily those of AAII.

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 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.