Weakness in global economy lowers Rotary’s investment returns

At the October meeting of the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, the Investment Committee advised of weaker-than-expected returns on Rotary’s investments, primarily due to negative returns in commodities and emerging-market assets.

During fiscal year 2015, which ended 30 June, the Annual Fund, excluding the operating reserve, recorded a loss of 0.2 percent; the RI General Fund was down 2.8 percent. Both the PolioPlus Fund and the Endowment Fund were up, but had minimal gains of 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

For the most recent quarter, Rotary anticipates negative returns for the Annual Fund, Endowment Fund, and RI General Fund owing to the impact on financial markets of global concerns about China’s slowing economy. PolioPlus Fund returns are expected to be slightly positive for the quarter.

Despite the recent negative returns, Rotary’s funds have performed well over the long term. Almost all current losses remain unrealized and The Rotary Foundation has more than enough cash to cover operating needs, though it may have to dip into funds from the RI General Fund to support Rotary’s working capital needs.

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