Early fear of a Coronavirus pandemic notwithstanding, February was shaping up to be another good month. However, as reports circulated that the virus was spreading across the globe markets began pricing in a “worst case scenario” in which a full blown pandemic could trigger global recession. With this sentiment in mind stocks plunged during the last week of February. The S&P 500 fell 12.7% from its mid-February peak and, across the month’s final seven trading sessions the Dow Jones Industrial Index lost 13.32%. As investors sought flight-to-quality investments yields on U.S. Treasury notes fell to record lows. Federal Reserve policy is one of the most important economic indicators at month’s end the market was already pricing-in a rate cut.
For the month the S&P 500 Index fell -8.23%, the NASDAQ Composite Index - 6.22%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index -9.75%. Emerging and Developed markets suffered as well as the MSCI Emerging Net Total Return Index was off -5.27%i, and the MSCI EAFE Net Total Return Index lost -9.04%.
The Tactical Defensive Fund was fully invested through most of the month until price action became weak enough to move our faster moving technical model into a fully defensive posture on the 25th of February resulting in the fund closing the month with 50% allocated to equities, and 50% allocated to defensive holdings of fixed income and cash. Our longer-term Cyclical trend model has yet to flip to a more defensive reading, but another week like last week might be enough to make it flip. However, stocks could bounce from here and we will appreciate the diversification of the multi-model approach we use in the Tactical Defensive fund.
The Stadion Tactical Defensive Fund is a conservative equity fund seeking to participate in expanding market cycles and retains the ability to become 100% defensive if conditions deteriorate. Over a full market cycle, the Stadion Tactical Defensive Fund tends to have a conservative profile that combines two elements of trend following: a focus on longer-term cyclical trends (the core portfolio) and the balance of risk-mitigation and returns-seeking among shorter to intermediate trends (the satellite portfolio). The goal of these collaborative strategies is capital appreciation as measured across full market cycles.
In February, the Tactical Defensive Fund’s I-share returned -4.80% versus its benchmark of the Morningstar Moderate Target Risk Index that returned -4.43%.
To view the most recent performance for the Stadion Tactical Defensive Fund, click here.
The S&P 500 Index is the Standard & Poor’s Composite Index of 500 stocks and is a widely recognized, unmanaged index of common stock prices.
The NASDAQ Composite is a stock market index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and it is highly followed in the U.S. as an indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Net Total Return Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance of emerging markets.
The MSCI EAFE Index (Europe, Australasia, Far East) is an unmanaged free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the US & Canada.
The Morningstar Target Risk Index family is designed to meet the needs of investors who would like to maintain a target level of equity exposure through a portfolio diversified across equities, bonds and inflation-hedged instruments. The Morningstar Moderate Target Risk Index seeks approximately 60% global equity exposure.
One cannot invest directly in an index.
The Report’s commentary, analysis, opinions, advice, and recommendations represent the personal and subjective view of the author and are subject to change at any time without notice.
There are additional costs and potential risks associated with investing in domestic and international Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Investment in the Fund is subjective to investment risks, including, without limitation, market risk, management style risk, risks related to “fund of funds” structure sector risk, fixed income risk, tracking risk, risks related to ETF net asset value and market price, foreign securities risk, risks related to portfolio turnover and small capitalization companies’ risk. Since each Stadion fund is a “fund of funds”, an investor will indirectly bear fees and expenses charged by the underlying ETFs and investment companies in which a Stadion Fund invests in addition to a Stadion Fund’s direct fees and expenses. More information about these risks and other risks can be found in the Fund’s prospectus.
There are risks associated with the potential investment of the Fund’s assets in fixed income investments which include credit risk, interest rate risk, and maturity risk among others. These risks could affect the value of investments of the Fund, possibly causing the Fund’s share price and total return to be reduced and fluctuate more than other types of investments. Additional information about fixed income risks can be found in the Fund’s statement of additional information (“SAI”). Investment Objective: Seek long-term capital appreciation.
The Fund’s foreign investments generally carry more risks than funds that invest strictly in U.S. Assets including currency risk, geographic risk, and emerging market risk. Risks can also result from varying stages of economic and political development, differing regulatory environments’ trading days and accounting standards, and higher transaction costs of non-U.S. markets.
An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the Stadion Funds carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information about the Funds. A copy of the prospectus is available by calling Stadion Funds directly at (866) 383-7636 or Stadion Money Management, LLC., the investment advisor, at (800) 222-7636. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing.
The Stadion Funds are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. An investment in the Funds involves risk, including loss of principal.