Investments - Learn About BTCF - Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation preserves and protects your investments and charitable intentions forever. When you establish an endowment through BTCF, your gift continues to grow and benefit your community now and in the future. The pooled resources of BTCF’s many donors gives you access to a highly diversified portfolio with world-class money managers who would not otherwise be available to you.

As stewards of the charitable resources entrusted to us, BTCF works to manage your investments guided by our nationally recognized Investment Committee – a group of board and community members with deep institutional investment experience. The Committee employs top Investment Managers in each class.

Investment Strategy

BTCF’s investment strategy is to maximize return while preserving capital and liquidity, producing consistent and stable growth with low to moderate risk. Our goal is to grow your endowment so that you can grant more to the causes you care about. Learn more about our investment program by watching our 2019 Investing for Good webinar.

Investment Pools & Performance

POOL  Q1 2020
  Primary Managed Pool -13.4 -13.4 -4.3 3.6 4.3 5.6 6.2 $125.9M
Managed Pool Benchmark* -11.8 -11.8 -3.7 3.2 3.4 4.9 5.7 N/A
  Traditional 65% Equities /
  35% Bond Index
-14.3 -14.3 -5.7 2.5 3.0 4.0 4.9 N/A
  Socially Responsible Pool -12.3 -12.3 -3.5 3.0 3.8 6.1 6.1 $11.7M
  Income Pool -0.1 -0.1 4.5 3.4 2.8 2.2 3.3 $1.3M
  Minimum Risk Pool 0.3 0.3 1.7 1.4 0.9 0.6 0.4 $2.1M

Primary Managed Pool Performance as of March 31, 2020

Following a year of strong gains in 2019, the managed pool declined by 13.4% in the first quarter of 2020, bringing total assets to $125.9 million. The portfolio lagged the managed pool benchmark and outperformed the 65%/35% passive index for the quarter. Nevertheless, the portfolio remains ahead of both the policy and actual indices on a trailing three-, five-, seven- and 10-year basis, largely due to strong absolute and relative performance within the global equity and flexible capital segments.

In absolute terms, global equities were the biggest detractor from relative portfolio returns. Domestic equities outperformed international equities, as the portfolio’s U.S. equity sleeve returned -20.5% as compared to -27.5% for non-U.S. developed equities and -29.8% for emerging market equities. Global private equity returned 4.4% for the quarter. The flexible capital lineup returned -4.6%, finishing well ahead of industry results as measured by the HFRI Fund-of-Funds Composite Index -7.3%. The portfolio’s fixed income holdings posted a modest loss (-0.7%) and struggled on a relative basis due to the higher credit exposure relative to the Barclays U.S. Aggregate index. Cash was the only segment of the portfolio to post a positive absolute return during the quarter.

The foundation’s managed pool portfolio is diversified and is designed to perform well in a variety of market conditions to generate long‐term growth in excess of inflation and meet spending needs. The Investment Committee remains focused on the long‐term, strategic management of portfolio assets, and makes judicious adjustments to the asset allocation and underlying managers when necessary.

The portfolio remains highly liquid and well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities as they are identified. Total assets in the managed pool at Dec. 31 were allocated 50.4% to global public equity, 13.5% to global private equity, 26.1% to flexible capital, 7.1% to global fixed income and 2.9% to liquid capital. The portfolio’s asset allocation remains within our target ranges for each asset class.

SRI Portfolio Performance as of March 31, 2020

The SRI portfolio also declined during the quarter by -12.3%, above its policy benchmark of -14.9%. Portfolio assets now stand at $11.7 million.

This portfolio is competitive with our managed pool and includes two portfolio screens:

  • 100% exclusion of: Nuclear power, fracking, tar sands, carbon reserves, coal, and oil, gas and consumable fuels.
  • Less than 5% of revenue: Gambling, civilian firearms, alcohol, for-profit prisons, adult entertainment.

Prime Buchholz, our independent consultant, has recertified our portfolio as being in compliance with our social impact screens.

Income Pool Performance as of March 31, 2020

The income pool portfolio declined by -0.1% during the first quarter, due to higher credit exposure than the policy benchmark. Total assets at the end of the quarter were $1.3 million.

For more information on the foundation’s investment program, please contact Vice President of Finance and Administration Joe Baker by email or at 413.229.0370 x112.

*The foundation’s investment benchmarks are calculated as a weighted average of standard financial industry indices in each asset class and appropriate to individual managers based on objectives.

End of Year Market Review 2019

View Managed Pool Current Performance

6.2% 10-year average annual return* / 4.3% 5-year annual return*

Created for the bulk of our funds’ assets and structured on the premise that a bias toward quality equity investments will ensure the best total return over time, although it may be more volatile over the short-term. Average annual investment manager fees total 1%.

*Net of investment manager fees

View a description of the asset mix.


View SRI Pool Current Performance

6.1% 10-year average annual return* / 3.8% 5-year annual return*

Created in March 2009 for those individuals or organizations that want fund assets invested with an environmental, social and governance screen, and are willing to forgo annual return potential in certain market segments of the broader economy, that may or may not affect total return. The average annual investment management fee is 0.45% and the allocation is 60% equities and 40% fixed income and cash equivalents.

*Net of investment manager fees

View Income Pool Current Performance

3.3% 10-year average annual return* / 2.8% 5-year annual return*

Appropriate for funds where minimizing risk and not being subject to short-term equity volatility is important. This pool does not take advantage of potential long-term equity growth. The average annual investment management fee is 0.46% and the allocation is 100% fixed income and cash equivalents.

*Net of investment manager fees

View Minimum Risk Pool Current Performance

0.4% 10-year average annual return* / 0.9% 5-year annual return* 

Accommodates funds that are generally short term in nature and are focused on investment of capital with minimal risk. The return fluctuates with daily money market rates. The investment management fee is 0.0% for this Pool.

*Net of investment manager fees

About This Photo
About This Photo
Columbia County, NY. Photo by David Lee

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