Institutional Investors See Ninth Consecutive Positive Quarter

The Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service (Wilshire TUCS) saw a median return of 3.59% for all plan types in the fourth quarter, the longest string of positive quarterly returns for all plan types since June 1998.

By PA

Institutional assets tracked by the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service (Wilshire TUCS) saw a median return of 3.59% for all plan types in the fourth quarter and a median one-year gain of 14.72%.

This compares to a 60/40 portfolio, which trailed the median plan return, at 14.52%.

“This quarter marked the ninth consecutive positive quarter, the longest string of positive quarterly returns for all plan types since June 1998, which marked a string of 14 positive quarters in a row,” says Robert J. Waid, managing director, Wilshire Associates. “Fourth quarter returns boosted the one-year return to 14.72% for the year ending December 31, 2017, compared to 7.24% for the year ending December 31, 2016. This was the best one-year return since the year ending June 30, 2014, ended with 15.51% and fourth consecutive quarter to post an annual return above 10%.”

Wilshire TUCS returns were supported by continued strong performance across all major asset classes. The Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index returned 6.39% for the fourth quarter and 20.99% for the year ending December 31, 2017, while the MSCI AC World ex U.S. for international equities rose 5% in the fourth quarter and 27.19% for the year. The Wilshire Bond Index also gained 0.89% in the fourth quarter and 4.82% for the year.

This resulted in a positive range of median plan-type returns in the fourth quarter, as the low median return was 2.76% for Taft Hartley Health and Welfare funds and the high median return was 3.74% for Public funds with assets greater than $1 billion. For one-year returns, the low median return was 12.30% for Taft Hartley Health and Welfare funds and the high median return was 15.96% for Public funds with assets greater than $5 billion.

Corporate funds had a fourth quarter return of 3.51% and a one-year return of 14.61%. Public funds had a fourth quarter return of 3.73% and a one-year return of 15.17%. For foundations and endowments, returns were 3.57% and 14.72%, respectively, and for Taft Hartley defined benefit (DB) plans they were 3.7% and 15.06%, respectively.

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