Editorial: Keep wary eye on W.Va. Investments

Some West Virginians may not think about it much, but hundreds of thousands of us “play” the stock market indirectly. Billions of dollars in our retirement funds are invested in shares of companies whose stocks are traded on the various exchanges. That makes the tariff battle between the United States and China a concern for us, because it affects stock prices and thus, our retirement investments.

Thoughtful members of the Legislature pay attention to the economy, too, because they understand it may affect the state budget.

Since 1997, the state Investment Management Board has been investing in stocks. At last count, it had about $19 billion in assets, of which more than $14 billion represented two big state pension funds, the Teachers’ Retirement System and the Public Employees Retirement System. About 60% of the money handled by the IMB is invested in stocks.

State investments have performed well, often earning more than the 7.5% annually that is a benchmark. But, as the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports, that has not been the case during recent months. In December, the year-to-date value of state investments had decreased by 4.5%. …

Read more: http://www.theintelligencer.net/opinion/editorials/2019/05/keep-wary-eye-on-investments/


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