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Stadion Tactical Defensive Fund Commentary January 2020

The beginning of 2020 saw a rally in the first 3 weeks of January based on good news.  Reports that lifted investor sentiment included improving U.S. – China trade relations, the signing of the revised United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), as well as positive consumer data.  The market also shrugged off any negative news from the impeachment hearings.   It looked like 2020 was off to a historic start but the world was introduced to an event that has since rattled markets: The Coronavirus.  A pandemic is an extremely hard scenario to price-in (i.e. account for when considering and valuing investments) which is why we saw a risk-off mood in the markets as the Coronavirus has spread globally at an alarming rate.  The virus has impacted future earnings forecasts as uncertainty has begun about how future business will be conducted in China-the world’s second largest economy.  For the month of January, the S&P 500 Index ended down -0.04% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index lost -0.89%.  The NASDAQ Composite Index gained 2.03% on solid earnings from Apple and Amazon as technology remains the growth leader in markets.  International markets were hit hard by the Coronavirus news as the MSCI Emerging Markets Net Total Return Index lost -4.66% and the MSCI EAFE Net Total Return Index declined -2.09%. 

Even as markets saw a risk-off environment in the final week of trading, the Tactical Defensive Fund did not experience a trade in January.  The longer-term cyclical trend model’s underlying technical indicators remained extremely strong as there as been a solid up-trend since October.  It will take some consolidation in markets before we see a change in the Core Portfolio.  As for the shorter-term dynamic model, it could only take a couple more days of risk-off selling for there to be a change in the Fund’s allocation.  The satellite portfolio reacts much quicker to price action and will get a head start on defensive positioning if the Coronavirus escalates to an even larger pandemic and sends markets into a panic.

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 January, the Tactical Defensive Fund’s I-share returned -0.34% versus its benchmark of the Morningstar Moderate Target Risk Index of -0.26%.

To view the most recent performance for the Stadion Tactical Defensive Fund, click here.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments are subject to risk, and any of Stadion’s investment strategies may lose money. The investment strategies presented are not appropriate for every investor and financial advisors should review the terms and conditions and risks involved. Stadion’s actively managed portfolios may underperform during bull markets. Some information contained herein was prepared by or obtained from sources that Stadion believes to be reliable. There is no assurance that any of the target prices or other forward-looking statements mentioned will be attained. Any market prices are only indications of market values and are subject to change.

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a free trade agreement between the three nations and is a renegotiated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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.

Risks

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.

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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.