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 the 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.

Investment Pools & Performance

End of Year Market Review 2018 [PDF]

June Market Review 2019 [PDF]

POOL  Q1 2019
  Primary Managed Pool 7.9  7.9  4.3  9.4  6.5  7.6  10.1  $136M
Managed Pool Benchmark* 7.5  7.5  3.2  8.0  5.5  6.8  9.4 N/A
  Traditional 65% Equities /
  35% Bond Index
8.6 8.6  1.8 7.5 4.7 6.0 9.0 N/A
  Socially Responsible Pool 8.3  8.3  4.8  7.7  6.5  7.7  8.9  $8.6M
  Income Pool 2.9 2.9  3.5  3.1  2.4  2.6  4.2  $0.65M
  Minimum Risk Pool 0.5  0.5  1.7  0.9  0.5  0.4  0.3  $1.3M

Primary Managed Pool Performance as of March 31, 2019

Based on preliminary performance, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s managed pool portfolio posted a gain of 7.9% in the first quarter of 2019 net of investment management fees. The portfolio outpaced the policy index (+7.5%) but trailed the actual index (+8.3%) as a result of some underperformance across the foundation’s international and flexible capital managers.

Long‐term risk‐adjusted results remain favorable with the portfolio leading the custom benchmarks over the three‐, five‐, seven‐ and 10‐year periods ended March 31. Since inception (August 1999), the portfolio has annualized at 6.7% net of fees, materially outperforming a global blended passive index comprised of the 65% MSCI AC World/35% Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate indexes which returned 4.9% 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 trailing 10 years, the portfolio exhibited 23% less volatility than the blended passive index.

Following a significant drawdown in 2019, global capital markets rebounded sharply in the first quarter. Indications of continued fiscal and monetary support coupled with signs of stabilization in select global economies, strong corporate performance and the easing of geopolitical tensions created a backdrop for a recovery in risk assets.

The foundation’s domestic portfolio performed in-line with the market while a bias toward value-oriented managers presented a headwind within the developed and emerging markets segments. Within the flexible capital segment, a bias towards credit-oriented managers—which was a benefit in the fourth quarter and over extended periods—resulted in underperformance in the quarter. The portfolio experienced outperformance across its private capital (lagged valuations) and fixed income holdings.

The first quarter marked the 10-year anniversary of the March 9, 2009, market bottom that followed the global financial crisis. Over the trailing 10-year period ended March 9, 2019, U.S. equity markets as represented by the Russell 3000 Index annualized at 17.4%. Non-U.S. markets annualized at just over 10% while long-dated treasuries annualized at 4.9% outpacing the Barclays Aggregate Index (+3.7%). Despite the recent uptick, volatility has been muted over the decade while active management and diversified asset allocation models have been challenged. Despite these headwinds, the foundation portfolio outperformed a composite 65% MSCI AC World/35% Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index by over 110 basis points annually after fees.

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 remains 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 above $135.5 million, with a distribution of 56.2% global public equity, 9.3% global private equity, 24.2% flexible capital, 8.3% global fixed income and 1.9% liquid capital.

For more information on the foundation’s investment performance and managers, please contact Interim Chief Financial Officer John Gillespie by email or 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]

10.1% 10-year average annual return* / 6.5% 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]

8.9% 10-year average annual return* / 6.5% 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]

4.2% 10-year average annual return* / 2.4% 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* / 0.5% 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

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