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Fund Overview: Objective, Strategy and Holdings

  • The Inflation Protection Fund-I Series seeks to provide investors with current income and protect principal from loss of purchasing power due to inflation.
  • The Fund holds a combination of U.S. and foreign fixed income securities. The Fund also invests in commodity futures contracts and holds senior secured loans.

Fund Managers

The following individuals are responsible for the selection and monitoring of external asset managers:

Frank Holsteen image

Frank Holsteen

Director, Public Equities and Fixed Income

  • With Wespath since 2012
  • B.A. from Lake Forest College
Nízida Arriaga Image

Nízida Arriaga, CFA

Manager, Fixed Income

  • With Wespath since 2019
  • Bachelor's degree from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüéz
  • MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Management

Inflation Protection Fund-I Series (IPF-I) invests with five external investment firms that invest in assets that are expected to provide returns in excess of inflation over time. The Fund has 40% of its assets allocated to an enhanced U.S. TIPS strategy. The remainder is invested mostly in active strategies that hold inflation-linked bonds from both developed and developing countries. The Fund also attempts to modestly improve investment returns by investing up to 10% of its assets in commodity futures contracts and, up to 10% in senior secured loans.

External Asset Managers

* Signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

Please refer to the Investment Funds Description – I Series for a detailed description of the investment strategies used in managing the Fund.

** 80% Bloomberg Barclays World Government Inflation Linked Bond Index (Hedged), 10% Bloomberg Barclays Emerging Market Tradeable Inflation Linked Bond Index (Unhedged) and 10% Bloomberg Commodity Index.

Performance

Fund1,2 Performance, Net-of-Fees (as of 03/31/2020 )

  3 mo YTD 1 yr 3 yr 5 yr 10 yr
Inflation Protection Fund-I Series -5.38% -5.38% -0.27% - - -
IPF-I Benchmark3 -4.11% -4.11% 0.54% - - -

Strategy1,4 Performance, Net-of-Fees (as of 03/31/2020 )

As represented solely by the I Series4 As represented by the I Series beginning 1/1/19, as represented by the P Series prior to 1/1/19
  3 mo YTD 1 yr 3 yr 5 yr 10 yr
Inflation Protection (IPF) Strategy -5.38% -5.38% -0.27% 1.34% 1.35% 2.70%
IPF Strategy Benchmark3 -4.11% -4.11% 0.54% 2.03% 2.86% 3.66%

Universe Comparison

Inflation Protection Strategy4 vs. Peer Group Universe

Peer Group Performance Comparison

Peer group performance comparison

Annualized Performance (Gross-of-Fees)

  QTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Inflation Protection Strategy 1.6% 9.1% 3.7% 2.7% 3.4%
Median 1.0% 7.6% 2.7% 2.1% 2.7%
Rank in Universe 7th 7th 5th 13th 6th
# of Observations 216 215 189 159 95

Peer Group Performance Comparison and Annualized Performance (Net-of-Fees) data as of December 31, 2019.

Source: Lipper. The adjacent chart represents the range of investment returns for the Lipper mutual fund universe for inflation protected bonds. Wespath Benefits and Investment’s traditional source of comparative performance information, BNY Mellon, has insufficient data to provide a comparison for inflation-protected asset pools managed by other institutional investors.


Footnotes

See Risks and Disclosures for more information regarding net-of-fees performance.

1 The performance shown is for the stated time period only. Historical returns are not indicative of future performance. Investment performance is presented net-of-fees—that is, with the deduction of external investment management fees, custody fees, and administrative and overhead expenses. The investments of the Funds and Strategies may vary substantially from those in the applicable benchmark. The benchmarks are based on broad-based securities market indices, which are unmanaged, cannot be invested in and are not subject to fees and expenses typically associated with investment funds. Investments cannot be made directly in an index. This chart was produced using data from sources believed to be accurate. The bar chart and table assume reinvestment of distributions.

2 Please refer to the Investment Funds Description - I Series for more information about each Fund. This information is for informational purposes only and is not an offer to purchase securities. The investment funds are neither insured nor guaranteed by the government.

3 Benchmark descriptions can be found here.

4 The performance presented reflects the historical performance record of the strategy employed by: (a) Wespath Institutional Investments (WII) through funds called the I Series funds available as of January 1, 2019; and (2) an affiliated entity through funds called the P Series funds and available to certain Institutional Investors (as defined below) prior to January 1, 2019. The strategy for the applicable P Series fund before January 1, 2019 and the strategy for the applicable I Series fund have substantially similar investment objectives and investment strategies and are referred to collectively as “the Strategy.” Thus, the Strategy performance presented reflects the actual returns of the applicable P Series fund through December 31, 2018, and the actual returns of the applicable I Series fund from January 1, 2019 onward. The performance of the applicable P Series fund after January 1, 2019 is excluded from the performance of the Strategy because, as of January 1, 2019, all Institutional Investors invest in the Strategy through the I Series fund. The P Series funds are not available to Institutional Investors other than in exceptional circumstances agreed to by the P Series funds adviser.

Historical returns are not indicative of future performance. Except as otherwise noted, the Strategy performance is net-of-fees—that is, with the deduction of investment management fees, custody fees, and administrative and overhead expenses. The I Series funds’ fees and expenses are described in the Investment Funds Description – I Series, and the P Series funds’ fees and expenses are described in the Investment Funds Description - P Series. The performance shown is for the stated time periods only. Differences in timing of transactions and market conditions prevailing at the time of investment by the applicable I Series or P Series fund could lead to divergence between the results of the I Series and P Series fund. The future performance of the I Series funds may be better or worse than the performance of the P Series funds. Factors that could affect performance differences between the I Series funds and the P Series funds include, but are not limited to, portfolio composition, strategy constraints, investor universe, size of the portfolio, fees, expenses and the timing of cash flows.

Units of the I Series funds are available to organizations related to The United Methodist Church and organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, benevolent, fraternal, charitable, or reformatory purpose: (1) no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual; or (2) which is or maintains certain pooled income funds, collective trust funds, collective investment vehicles or similar funds for the collective investment and reinvestment of assets of certain designated vehicles available for charitable investments. All such organizations shall qualify as permissible investors in a fund excepted from the definition of “investment company” contained in Section 3(c) (10) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (and are referred to as “Institutional Investors”). Certain, but not all, Institutional Investors were eligible to invest in the P Series prior to January 1, 2019.

Allocations

Holdings-Based Sector Allocations as of December 31, 2019

Sector IPF-I Actual
(%)
IPF-I Benchmark
(%)
Difference
(%)
TIPS 54.2% 36.2% +18.0%
Global Inflation-Linked Bonds (Developed) 13.6% 43.8% -30.2%
Senior Secured Loans (Floating Rate) 9.7% 0.0% +9.7%
Emerging Market Inflation-Linked Bonds 8.9% 10.0% -1.1%
Commodities 10.4% 10.0% +0.4%
Cash 3.2% 0.0% +3.2% 


Future asset allocations may be different than those stated above.

 

Characteristics

Fund Characteristics as of December 31, 2019

  IPF-I IPF-I Benchmark
Effective Duration 7.29 11.54
Effective Convexity 1.13 0.93
Real Yield to Worst* 0.8% 0.1%
Effective Maturity 8.53 12.76
 

* Does not reflect the deduction of fees.

 

Fund Distribution by Credit Quality as of December 31, 2019

IPF-I Fund Distribution by Credit Quality

Risks & Disclosures

All investments carry some degree of risk that will affect the value of the Fund’s holdings, its investment performance and the price of its units. As a result, loss of money is a risk of investing in the fund. IPF-I is subject to the following principal investment risks: market risk, investment style risk, security-specific risk, credit risk, country risk, currency risk, derivatives risk, interest rate risk, deflation risk, liquidity risk and prepayment risk.

Because U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) are debt obligations issued and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, they are considered to have low credit or default risk. Inflation Protected Securities issued by foreign governments, particularly governments of emerging countries, risk the possibility of loss due to credit risk.

Historical returns are not indicative of future performance. For further discussion of the Fund’s investment strategies and risks, please refer to "Principal Investment Strategies and Principal Investment Risks of the Funds — Inflation Protection Fund - I Series" in the Investment Funds Description – I Series. This is not an offer to purchase securities.

Lending of Portfolio Securities

The Fund seeks to earn additional income by lending a portion of its portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other financial institutions. The loans are secured at all times by cash and liquid high-grade debt obligations. As with any extension of credit, there are risks of delay in recovery and in some cases even loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower fail financially. In addition, losses could result from the reinvestment of the cash collateral received on loaned securities.

The Fund generally does not invest in companies that derive more than 10% of their revenue from gambling or from the manufacture, sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages, tobacco-related products, adult entertainment, weapons, or the management or operation of prison facilities.


Expense Ratio

The estimated expense ratio set forth above is based on projected asset balances, fees and expenses, and various other assumptions. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s actual expense ratio will match this estimate. The fund expense ratio may vary depending on, among other things, market events, portfolio size, transaction costs, timing of Fund inflows and outflows, and applicable third party fees.

All fees and expenses of the Fund are deducted from the Fund’s net asset value. The fees and expenses paid by the Fund include external investment management fees paid to subadvisors, and the fund's prorated portion of the bank custodial fees and administrative and overhead expenses incurred by the overall Wespath Benefits and Investments (WBI) organization in connection with providing investment, operating and administrative support to the Fund and other funds, and the cost of WBI’s and its subsidiaries’ other activities and operations. These expenses are paid directly by the Fund, and are reflected in the unit price calculated for the Fund. The unit price is multiplied by the number of units held in each client’s account to determine the total value of the client’s holdings in the Fund. More information about the calculation of these fees and expenses is available in the definition of Expense Ratio set forth in the Glossary of Terms of the Investment Funds Description – I Series.