Foundation’s investment returns continue to outperform national peer groups

Posted on February 19, 2016

In a globally challenging investment environment, the Community Foundation of St. Clair County continues to outperform larger peer groups throughout the country. 

While no comprehensive summary report has yet been released on the overall investment performance of community foundations for the year-ending December 31, 2015, a sampling of those reporting on-line from California, Boston and Oregon showed mostly negative returns as low as -3.5 percent by much larger community foundations.

The performance of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County’s investments in 2015 mirrors its relative success from 2014, with a total return of 2.4 percent for the year ending December 31, 2015.

“Since the recession of 2008 and 2009 our investments have actually done quite well,” said Randy Maiers, president of the Community Foundation. “We have an outstanding advisor, a talented committee, and we avoid an overly complicated investment approach.” 

According to a recent press release from Commonfund, the average investment return for the same period was 2.4 percent based on their survey of more than 800 colleges and universities throughout America. The Community Foundation announced a 4.6 percent investment return for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. 

According to the same press release, the average college and university investment performance for the period ending June 30, 2014 was 15.5 percent while the Community Foundation’s return for the same period was 17.8 percent. The Community Foundation has a relatively modest total asset base of $50 + million.

Compared to other community foundations in Michigan that reported an average investment return of 4.6 percent in 2014, according to the Council of Michigan Foundations, the Community Foundation of St. Clair County had an investment return of 6.44 percent in that same time period.

Maiers said the Community Foundation doesn’t try to match the market highs, but has also been able to avoid the market lows. 

“We keep in mind the perspectives of our donors, and the trust they have placed in us to manage their charitable gifts,” he said. “So we need to be able to explain and justify our investments in plain language to our donors.”

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