Alaska Oil Fund Loses $2 Billion

Wednesday, 10 Aug 2011 02:13 PM

 

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska  — If you think your retirement account has taken a hit with the wild swings on Wall Street, consider this.

The Anchorage Daily News reports the Alaska Permanent Fund's value dropped more than $1 billion Monday when the Dow Jones Industrial average fell 634 points.

The fund was established decades ago to share Alaska's oil wealth with its residents.

The fund reported a value of $40.1 billion on June 30, its highest-ever finish to a fiscal year.

But since then, it has lost about $2 billion, including a $394 million drop on Friday and more than $1 billion on Monday. The market was down again early Wednesday.

"These are a couple pretty volatile days," Michael Burns, chief executive of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. told the Daily News. "I want to remind people we are very long term investors."

This year, the fund expects to transfer $800 million to the dividend division for checks to Alaskans. Last year, $858 million was transferred.

The amount of investment earnings allocated to dividends is based on a five-year rolling average of permanent fund performance, so this week's volatility won't be a factor in this year's dividend checks.

Last year, nearly 641,600 Alaskans were deemed eligible to receive checks of $1,281.

When the fund reported its year-end balance at $40.1 billion, it said stocks comprised about half its total value with other holdings in real estate, bonds and alternative assets.

Permanent Fund officials decided early Tuesday to move $400 million, mostly from the bond market, and into stocks as part of its rebalancing strategy.

"The discipline of rebalancing your assets is, and this is hard to do, but you take money out of what's working and put it where it isn't working," Burns said. "That forces you to buy when things are down."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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