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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pension Funds Flee Stocks

The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled "Pension Funds Flee Stocks In Search of Less-Risky Bets" that says the major commercial Pension Funds are reducing the amount of money they have in stocks as they have become too volatile for them and have not given the returns they need to get to keep the funding gap in check.  They are reducing their holdings anywhere from 10% to 50% which has taken billions of dollars out of the stock market and has moved this money into bonds (the next bubble) and hard assets (commodities).  The funds started moving their money out of stocks after the beating in 2009, which in my book was way to late, you have to wonder why they didn't make more of a move in 2007.  Some of the major funds were also underfunded, but Congress is allowing them to delay contributions to bring them back up to proper levels and is now allowing them to delay further contributions for the foreseeable future. What does this mean for Pensions, well in prior read articles Pension funds targeted a rate of return of 8%+ per year to stay in the black, well current bond prices are not even going to touch that and delaying contributions will only put them more in the red.  It will be interesting to see how the commercial pension funds do over the next few years as some are already underfunded by $10 Billion dollars.

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