Idaho Endowment Fund lost $400 million last fiscal year

The fund is spread out into various equity markets as well as fixed income and real estate
(Jake Manuel Brasil/KMVT)
(Jake Manuel Brasil/KMVT)(KMVT)
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 3:07 PM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Endowment Fund that distributes money to public schools and other entities lost $400 million in the fiscal year that wrapped up at the end of June, state officials said Tuesday.

Investments Manager Chris Anton told the Idaho Land Board the fund lost about 13% of its value, dropping from $3.1 billion to $2.7 billion during what has been a tough stretch for investors. However, the fund is up 5.9% over the last three years and 8.3% over the last 10 years.

“We are rather aggressive, and there are going to be years when we’re down,” Anton told the board. “But, as you’ve all seen, the strategy has paid off over the long term.”

He said his primary concern going forward was federal monetary policy aimed at controlling inflation without causing a severe recession.

Anton noted that in fiscal year 2021, the endowment fund grew by nearly 30%, gaining about $750 million.

“So we’re still in a better place than we were two years ago, but it’s always painful to see the numbers going down,” he said.

The fund is spread out into various equity markets as well as fixed income and real estate. Real estate is the only investment in the portfolio that went up in the last fiscal year, climbing nearly 28%. But only about 8% of the fund is invested in real estate.

The endowment fund is part of a financial strategy that’s combined with 3,900 square miles (10,100 square kilometers) of land Idaho received at statehood that generates money mainly through timber sales. The Land Board manages investments and land holdings to get the greatest long-term financial return for state beneficiaries, mainly public schools.

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