Third Quarter 2020

The U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund had a total return of 0.00 percent in the third quarter of 2020, underperforming its benchmark, the Bloomberg Barclays US Treasury Bills 6-9 Months Index, which returned 0.06 percent. See complete fund performance here.

The main source of underperformance came from allocations to bonds with maturities between 0 and 1 year.

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 allocation to bonds with maturities longer than a year was a positive contributor to performance.

Weaknesses

  • The fund’s allocation to bonds with maturities shorter than a year was a negative contributor to performance.

Outlook

During the Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole economic symposium, current Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced the conclusion of the study regarding the adequacy of the 2 percent inflation target. The outcome of the study marks a small but important shift. Instead of having 2 percent inflation a hard target, which may cause the Fed’s Open Markets Committee (FOMC) to tighten monetary policy as inflation approaches or hits 2 percent, it will instead use 2 percent as an average target. The revamp is designed to address the “reality of a quite difficult macroeconomic context of low interest rates, low inflation, relatively low productivity, slow growth and those kinds of things,” said Powell.

What does this mean for investors? To not expect the Fed to raise the Fed Funds Rate for at least the next year, even if the economy and employment rebound sharply from the current Covid-19 induced shock.

 

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. It is not possible to invest in an index.

Net Asset Value
as of 10/26/2020

Global Resources Fund PSPFX $4.83 -0.14 Gold and Precious Metals Fund USERX $13.23 -0.22 World Precious Minerals Fund UNWPX $4.73 -0.20 China Region Fund USCOX $9.42 -0.08 Emerging Europe Fund EUROX $5.39 -0.10 All American Equity Fund GBTFX $23.97 -0.39 Global Luxury Goods Fund USLUX $17.07 -0.33 Near-Term Tax Free Fund NEARX $2.24 No Change U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund UGSDX $2.00 No Change