Investment firm gives assessment for city's pension fund



Two investment firms presented their quarter four (Q4) assessment of the city’s pension fund to the City of New Castle Comprehensive Municipal Pension Trust Fund Board of Trustees Tuesday night.

“The good news is we have a really good performance to talk about this evening,” said the board’s solicitor Randall Rhoades of Rhoades Law in Gibsonia. “I think we’ve had decent success over the years.”

Michael Richards, a managing partner with Capital A Wealth Management of New Castle, laid out the numbers of the comprehensive pension trust valuable, return, activity and portfolio metrics.

According to the report, the beginning value in Q4 was $20,002,554.80 and the ending value was $21,218,570.46 creating a 5.89 percent portfolio return.

“Needless to say, it was a really good quarter,” said Richards, who joked he’s “passionate about investments.”

The top sectors pertain to technology, financial services, healthcare and industries. 

According to the portfolio metrics in Richards’ report, the city’s pension fund top 10 holdings are in Microsoft, Amazon, Broadcom, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard, Facebook, CME Group, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, Visa and Alphabet.

Richards predicts there will not a recession in 2020, but said some of the headwinds for this year’s economy include the coronavirus in China and Iranian tensions.

Eugene Gabriel, a financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial Services of New Castle, presented the pension plan assets.

According to the report, the beginning value was $20,148,418 and the ending value was $21,474,090 creating a 6.39 percent Q4 return.

The current portfolio mix includes 51 percent in U.S. stocks, 28 percent in bonds, 18 percent in foreign stocks, two percent in cash and one percent in enhanced fix income.

The top five stock holdings are with Microsoft, Amazon, Visa, Alibaba and Facebook.

According to Rhoades, the city has had “tremendous asset growth” since 2007 due to a $21 million increase over the past 12 years.

The board only meets four times a year. The next scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. May 12.

“This board has done a really good job over a long period of time,” said Rhoades. “The thing is we still have a lot of work to do.”

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