The Foundation released the investment summary for first quarter. The rapid escalation of the COVID-19 virus into a global pandemic drove U.S. equity markets to record high volatility levels, as measured by the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). The VIX hit an all-time high of 82.7 on March 16, which was just above its peak during the 2008 financial crisis.
The rapid escalation of the COVID-19 virus into a global pandemic drove U.S. equity markets to record high volatility levels, as measured by the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). The VIX hit an all-time high of 82.7 on March 16, which was just above its peak during the 2008 financial crisis.
The S&P 500 declined nearly 34% between February 19 and March 23, representing both the fastest bear market decline and fastest 30% decline, exceeding records set during the Great Depression. This was followed by the largest daily percentage gain ever for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Oil had its worst quarterly performance ever due to slowing demand from COVID-19 mitigation efforts, as well as a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The West Texas Intermediate crude oil price fell 66% year to date to $20.48 per barrel at month end.
The Federal Reserve (Fed) implemented a large and rapid monetary policy response, cutting interest rates by 150 bps and enacting programs designed to stabilize markets and provide liquidity to investors.
U.S. lawmakers passed a $2.2 trillion emergency aid bill that will provide funds to individuals, state and local governments, healthcare facilities, and businesses severely impacted by the crisis.
New jobless claims totaled nearly 10 million in the two weeks ending March 28, each surpassing the previous weekly record of 695,000 filed in 1982. Non-farm payrolls, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) declined by 701,000 jobs through March 14. This does not include significant claims at month end, which the BLS will include in its April release.
In March, the Multiple Asset Fund-I Series, U.S. Equity Fund-I Series, International Equity Fund-I Series, Fixed Income Fund-I Series and Inflation Protection Fund-I Series all underperformed their respective benchmarks.
Market Commentary is provided by Wespath Institutional Investments. Click here for Wespath Institutional Investment's full March 2020 Investment Report.
March Update from Wespath:
Wespath Institutional Investments will hold its Quarterly Investment Webinar on Thursday April 23 at 1:00 p.m. Click here to register.
Dave Zellner, Chief Investment Officer with Wespath Institutional Investments, shared a Markets at a Glance update for March 2020. Click here to listen to the update.
Fund Asset Allocations
Balanced Fund: The Balanced Fund seeks to maximize long-term investment returns, including current income and capital appreciation, while reducing short-term risk by investing in a broad mix of investments. This fund provides a simple solution for long-term legacy investments, with an asset allocation of 65% Equity and 35% Fixed Income.
Equity Fund: Seeks to earn long-term capital appreciation primarily from a broadly diversified portfolio of foreign and domestic funds, with a target mix of 55% U.S. Equity Fund and 45% International Equity Fund.
Fixed Income Fund: Seeks to earn current income by investing in a broadly diversified portfolio of fixed-income instruments.
Short Term Fund: The Short Term Fund seeks to provide a low risk investment option for the preservation of capital. This funds is a competitive option for shorter term investment needs, such as renovations, capital campaign pledges, known capital needs, etc.