Investments - Learn About BTCF - Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

As stewards of the charitable funds entrusted to us, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation is committed to seeking the best possible returns while minimizing risk so that donors can grant more to the communities and causes they care about—now and for years to come. 

BTCF's investment program is 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. Learn more about our investment program by watching our Investing for Good webinar.


QUARTERLY INVESTMENT RETURNS SUMMARY AS OF MARCH 31, 2022

POOL  Q1 2022
1-YR 
RETURN  
3-YR
RETURN  
5-YR
RETURN 
7-YR
RETURN  
10-YR
RETURN  
 ASSETS UNDER MGMT
  Primary Managed Pool -2.5 11.3 14.0 11.5 9.7 9.4 $189.7M
Managed Pool Benchmark* -3.2 9.3 13.2 10.6 8.6 8.7 N/A
  Traditional 65% Equities /
  35% Bond Index
-5.6 2.4 9.3 8.3 7.0 7.0 N/A
  Socially Responsible Pool -5.5 2.4 9.9 8.5 7.5 8.3 $20M
  Income Pool -3.8 -2.1 2.3 2.5 2.4 2.5 $2.1M
  Minimum Risk Pool 0.0 0.0 0.6 0.9 0.6 0.4 $2.8M

Primary Managed Pool Performance as of March 31, 2022

The first quarter of 2022 was a challenging time in the financial markets. Concerns about rising inflation and geopolitical events in Russia/Ukraine resulted in negative returns for most markets. 

Berkshire Taconic’s primary managed pool portfolio returned -2.5% during the first quarter of 2022. However, it did outperform its benchmark by 70 basis points during the quarter and continues to outperform over all time periods. Total assets of the portfolio stood at $189.7 million at quarter end. 

The S&P 500 returned -4.6% for the first quarter of 2022. The Russell 3000 Value -0.8% outperformed the Russell 3000 Growth -9.3%. Large caps were able to outpace small caps, returning -5.1% and -5.9%, respectively. Energy and utilities both had a positive quarter, while all other sectors were negative. Emerging market returns were dampened by a collapse in Russian equities and the resurgence of COVID-19 in China. 

Inflation continued to be a significant concern for the fixed income markets. The Federal Reserve meaningfully changed its trajectory for rate hikes and started to prepare markets for a rolldown of its balance sheet. At the end of March, the spread between the two- and 10-year Treasuries briefly inverted. Historically this type of inversion has often preceded a recession by 12 to 18 months. Bloomberg Aggregate returned -5.9% for the quarter.  

Global public equity returned -8.0% for the quarter, fueled by a drop of 11.5% in the emerging markets sector. Fixed income returned -3.6% while still managing to beat its benchmark by 230 basis points. Global private equity posted a strong 6.0% return, beating its benchmark by 90 basis points. Flexible capital also had a positive quarter, returning 1.0% and beating its index by 360 basis points.

SRI Portfolio Performance as of March 31, 2022

The SRI portfolio declined by 5.5% during the quarter, lagging the policy benchmark by 0.9%. Returns lagged the benchmarks due to the lack of exposure to fossil fuels, when energy was one of the few positive performing sectors during the quarter. The portfolio has $20 million in assets.  

This portfolio is designed to be competitive with our managed pool and seeks to minimize or avoid exposure to:

  • Nuclear power, fracking, tar sands, carbon reserves, coal, and oil, gas and consumable fuels.
  • Companies with greater than 5% revenue from gambling, civilian firearms, tobacco, alcohol, for-profit prisons, adult entertainment.

Prime Buchholz, our independent consultant, monitors the portfolio’s managers for adherence to our social impact screens.

Income Pool Performance as of March 31, 2022

The income pool portfolio dropped by 3.8% during the quarter. Total assets are $2.1 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.


MANAGED POOL

 

View Current Performance

9.1% 10-year average annual return** / 10.4% 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%. View a description of the asset mix.

 


SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT (SRI) POOL

 

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7.6% 10-year average annual return** / 6.9% 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, that is better aligned with their values and the foundation’s mission and vision. The average annual investment management fee is 0.45% and the allocation is 60% equities and 40% fixed income and cash equivalents.


INCOME POOL

 

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2.2% 10-year average annual return** / 2.0% 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.


MINIMUM RISK POOL

 

View Current Performance

0.4% 10-year average annual return** / 0.8% 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