Permanent Fund drops $3.1 billion in value

The Alaska Permanent Fund is no longer worth over $40 billion after a suffering a $3.1 billion decline in value for the first three months of the fiscal year.

Fund managers say investments returned a negative 8.3 percent for the first quarter of the fiscal year. That was largely attributed to slow growth, and political and economic difficulties around the world.

Most of the decline in the fund’s value because of the recent drop in stocks. August was a particularly rough month with equity markets plunging as much as 19 percent in just days.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Burns said when they reported more than a 20 percent return for the last fiscal year, he said his enthusiasm was tempered because bull markets don’t last forever.

Burns said in a written statement issued Wednesday that they don’t chase returns or take a reactive approach to investing. Instead, he said they build an all-weather portfolio that doesn’t change to reflect market conditions.

Stocks may have declined, but Burns said their real estate holdings remained essentially flat and they had modest returns on their bond holdings. Burns said that’s how such a portfolio is supposed to work.

The statutory net income for the quarter, used to calculate dividends, totaled about $468 million.

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