Money Matters

The value of New Castle’s employee pension fund experienced a drop in the second quarter of the year.

Largely reflecting a drop in the stock market during the quarter, the fund showed a loss of $870,173, or 3.41 percent.

The total of the portfolio as of June 30 was $24,660,831 as reported by the investment managers at the quarterly meeting of the pension fund’s board of trustees Monday night.

The board is made up of the mayor, the five city council members and three employees representing police, firefighters and non-uniformed personnel.

Huntington Private Financial Group’s value was $13,699,035, while Ameriprise Financial Services’ value was $10,961,796.

Ameriprise showed a loss of $504,998, or 4.44 percent and Huntington had a loss of $365,175, or 2.59 percent.

Combined, the portfolio underperformed the benchmark index, which showed a drop of 1.61 percent. The benchmark index is a composite of Standard and Poors, Morgan Stanley, Barclays and U.S. Treasury Bills.

Despite the poor second quarter, Eugene Gabriel of Ameriprise told the board it has to take the long-term view of how the fund performs.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint.”

He noted that for the first six months, Amerprise has showed a gain of 6.87 percent. Huntington has showed a gain of 5.41 percent. Combined, the portfolio has increased by 6.07 percent.

The benchmark was up by 6.11 percent for the period.

Joseph Sniezek of Huntington echoed Gabriel’s sentiments.

“It’s not a sprint, it’s a longterm haul.”

In that respect, he said, “we’re looking pretty good.”

Gabriel said that on the positive side, there was slow, but steady economic growth during the second quarter. He pointed out that since July 1 Ameriprise has shown an increase in value of 2.2 percent.

Sniezek said Huntington “is looking positive so far for the third quarter.”

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)

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