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 the top Investment Managers in each class.

Investment Strategy

BTCF’s investment strategy [PDF, 153KB] 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.

Investment Pools & Performance

End of Year Market Review [PDF]

May Market Review [PDF]

POOL  Q1 2018
  Primary Managed Pool 0.0  0.0  11.3  7.4  8.0  7.1  6.5  $130M
Managed Pool Benchmark* -0.2  -0.2  10.7  6.0  7.1  6.5  5.2 N/A
  Traditional 65% Equities /
  35% Bond Index
-0.1 -0.1 12.1 6.5 6.6 6.0 4.8 N/A
  Socially Responsible Pool -0.9  -0.9  7.9  5.9  8.4  7.1  N/A  $8.3M
  Income Pool -0.8  -0.8  2.1  2.1  1.5  2.8  4.3  $0.58M
  Minimum Risk Pool 0.3  0.3  0.8  0.2  0.2  0.1  0.2  $3.0M

Managed Pool Performance

Based on preliminary performance, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s managed pool portfolio posted a flat return for the first quarter in 2018, comparing favorably to the modest declines in the policy benchmark (-0.2%) over the same period. For the trailing 12 months, the foundation advanced 11.3%, and ahead of the policy benchmark (10.7%).

Long‐term, risk‐adjusted results remain favorable, with the portfolio leading the benchmarks over the 3‐, 5‐, 7‐ and 10‐year periods. Since inception (August 1999), the portfolio’s 6.8% annualized return has outperformed the global blended benchmark (65% MSCI AC World Index/35% Barclays Global Aggregate Index), which returned 5.0% over the same period. The foundation’s portfolio has also experienced lower volatility (as measured by standard deviation) relative to the global blended benchmark. Over the past 10 years, the portfolio’s standard deviation was 9.6% versus 11.9% for the global blended benchmark.

Amid increased market volatility over the latest quarter, stocks and bonds posted negative returns. Market declines were largely driven by concerns over potential tariffs, rising interest rates and the sell-off in technology stocks partially resulting from the Facebook scandal. The dollar showed further yet modest weakness despite another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. In fixed income markets, U.S. Treasury yields were higher by approximately 30-35 basis points and the yield curve was slightly flatter.  

Notwithstanding the more challenging market environment, the foundation’s portfolio fared better than broad markets, helped by positive returns from the flexible capital segment, which represents almost 25% of the portfolio. Long/short managers held up well during the period and protected capital amid the increased level of market volatility. In comparison, global public equities (approximately 59% of assets) performed largely in line with benchmarks, retreating -0.5% and -1.6% for domestic and international equities respectively. While the portfolio’s fixed income segment also experienced a modest decline, (-0.9%), the fund’s exposure benefited from less interest rate sensitivity. A shorter-than-benchmark duration contributed to the better-than-benchmark performance compared to the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index, which experienced a 1.5% loss for the period.

The foundation’s portfolio is diversified and has been built for a variety of market conditions in an effort to generate long‐term growth in excess of inflation and spending needs. While mindful of the market environment, the investment committee remains committed to the long‐term, strategic management of portfolio assets, making only modest adjustments to the asset allocation and underlying managers when necessary. The portfolio is highly liquid and well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities as they are identified. Total assets in the managed pool at March 31 were just shy of $130 million, with a distribution of 58.9% global public equity, 7.5% global private equity, 24.2% flexible capital, 8.3% global fixed income and 1.1% liquid capital.

For more information on the foundation’s investment performance and managers, please contact Vice President for Finance and Administration A. J. Pietrantone by email or by phone at 413-229-0370.

*The managed pool benchmark is calculated as a weighted average of standard financial industry indices in each asset class and appropriate to individual managers based on objectives.

Managed Pool Current Performance [PDF]

6.0% 10-year average annual return* / 8.9% 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.

SRI Pool Current Performance [PDF]

7.7% 7-year average annual return* / 10.0% 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 0.37% and the allocation is 60% equities and 40% fixed income and cash equivalents.

*Net of investment manager fee

Income Pool Current Performance [PDF]

4.5% 10-year average annual return* / 1.7% 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 fee

Minimum Risk Pool Current Performance [PDF]

0.3% 10-year average annual return* / 0.1% 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 fee

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

Investment Policies & Forms