Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Very Bumpy Road: Rocky Mountain United Methodist Foundation comments on the markets

Given recent performance in the stock market, it is understandable that the Foundation’s investors may be concerned about the stability of their funds, particularly since many of the investments for churches are in the stock market.

“The important thing to remember about these past few days is that you should maintain perspective. Panic is not a strategy. Remember that the S&P 500 had still risen 77% off its bottom in March 2009 through Thursday. We did not see a BLACK MONDAY,” according to Janet Greiner, 5280 Magazine’s investment manager of the year.

It is also important to remember that the strategic approach of the Foundation’s investment manager* has served its clients very well throughout its 102 year history of investing in the markets. History has proven that market based investments will be able to ride out the storm and continue to realize long-term gains.

It is going to be a rocky road for the next few years, but ultimately the investment road is uphill – and that’s a good thing! For additional reading and market perspectives, visit

Here is a summary of the Foundation’s funds and how they have been affected by the markets this week so far:

Fixed Income Fund: This is a bond fund, not a stock fund. These funds have improved this week as the markets find bonds (including US Treasury bonds) a safe place to put their money.

Equity Income Fund: Comprised of 70% US stocks and 30% international stocks, this fund saw losses that reversed all gains year-to-date, taking funds back to levels of November 2010. The good news is that over time, the stock market has proven positive gains.

Balanced Fund: 65% stocks and 35% bonds; the stock piece of this fund fell, pulling the share price down a bit, but it could have been much worse! The bond piece of this fund will help minimize the losses.

Short Term Fund: This is our money market fund. It is not invested in the markets or banks. Instead it is invested in capital loans to churches from Texas to Montana. It has been and will continue to be a reliable investment that preserves principal and earns competitive interest rates.

Methodists Helping Methodists Fund: These certificates of participation earn interest by investing in loans to churches in only the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone Annual Conferences. This money is not invested in the markets or banks and continues to be a reliable investment opportunity. There have been NO losses in this fund’s 51 year history.

Please call the Foundation if you would like to discuss your specific accounts. 303-778-6370

*The Foundation’s investment manager is Wespath, a Division of the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church

Monday, August 1, 2011

2010 Annual Report is now available

• 8.2% increase in total deposits
• $16.3 million invested in the socially responsible investment funds
• $4.3 million invested in the Methodists Helping Methodists Fund
• $498,000 new loans to churches for capital projects
• Changed investment manager to Wespath, a division of the
General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits of the United
Methodist Church
• Created a new Balanced Fund investment option
• Provided free planned giving and endowment programs to
• Elected six new members to the Board of Directors
• Bid farewell to the retiring Executive Director, Marilyn Bierbach
• Hired a new Executive Director, Kristi Kinnison

Please click here to view the entire 2010 Annual Report.