Second Quarter 2019

The U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund had a total return of 0.38 percent in the second quarter of 2019, underperforming its benchmark, the Bloomberg Barclays US Treasury Bills 6-9 Months Index, which returned 0.78 percent. See complete fund performance here.

The main source of underperformance came from bonds in the zero to one-year maturity range, as they underperformed the benchmark’s allocations.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance data quoted. The principal value and investment return of an investment will fluctuate so that your shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Strengths

  • The fund’s allocations to longer-term maturities were a positive contributor to performance, as yields generally dropped during the quarter.

Weaknesses

  • The fund’s allocation to floating rate bonds contributed negatively to performance, as they underperformed given generally lower yields.

Outlook

The Federal Reserve has signaled there could be a series of rate cuts in coming months as it moves to extend the current economic expansion amidst recent signs of slowing growth. Interest rates have been moving lower and may have room to fall further, given low inflation expectations and negative yields in many foreign countries. Additionally, the yield on short-term Treasuries has been higher than on long-term notes for more than 30 consecutive trading sessions, a sign that investors are concerned about the durability of the decade-long economic expansion.

The yield on three-month bills has exceeded that of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note by as much as 0.259 percentage points, the most since May 2007, before the financial crisis. Shorter-term bill yields tend to reflect expectations for Federal Reserve interest-rate policy, while those on longer-term securities move largely with expectations for growth and inflation. Most Fed officials agree that economic growth is decelerating from last year’s 2.9 percent pace. Economists say effects of changes in monetary policy operate with a lag, making it unclear how much or how quickly lower rates would affect slower growth. Nonetheless, the expectation is that pre-emptive Fed rate cuts will stabilize the economy and allow to continue to grow.

The Barclays U.S. Treasury Bills 6-9 Months Total Return Index tracks the performance of U.S. Treasury Bills with a maturity of six to nine months.

Net Asset Value
as of 09/20/2019

Global Resources Fund PSPFX $4.46 No Change Gold and Precious Metals Fund USERX $8.94 0.16 World Precious Minerals Fund UNWPX $3.27 0.05 China Region Fund USCOX $8.40 -0.11 Emerging Europe Fund EUROX $7.05 -0.03 All American Equity Fund GBTFX $24.81 -0.14 Holmes Macro Trends Fund MEGAX $16.91 -0.13 Near-Term Tax Free Fund NEARX $2.22 No Change U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund UGSDX $2.00 No Change