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Stadion Tactical Defensive Fund Commentary September 2019

October 14, 2019

After an increase in volatility in August, markets rallied back to near all-time highs in September on the positive news of good faith coming out of the U.S. and China trade negotiations.  Markets are starting to see mixed results in economic data as unemployment remains low and housing data as strong as ever, but manufacturing numbers are starting to take a hit with the U.S. seeing a decrease in in manufacturing as reflected in current numbers reported by the Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI).  Overall, the S&P 500 Index ended the month up 1.87%, the NASDAQ Composite Index increased 0.54%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index rose 2.05%.  The global economy is still struggling to improve its growth outlook as many countries are currently or on the brink of recession.  Even still, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index ended September up 1.91% and the MSCI EAFE Net Total Return Index gained 2.87%.

The Stadion Tactical Defensive Fund began September invested in 75% fixed income and 25% equity as the long-term model called for half equity and the short-term model called for a fully defensive allocation.  The market experienced a run up in the beginning of September back to near all-time highs and the short-term technical indicators quickly improved to a fully invested satellite portfolio.  Since then however, the market has been stuck in a very tight trading range which has impacted our models, as they become more sensitive to daily moves (especially our short-term model).  The slight down move from the September highs has forced our short-term model back to a half defensive allocation.  The Tactical Defensive Fund ended the month in 50% equity and 50% fixed income.

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 September, the Tactical Defensive Fund’s A-share returned -0.07% versus its benchmark of the Morningstar Moderate Target Risk Index of 1.47%.

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

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.

The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector. The PMI is based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment.

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 Index consists of 23 economies including Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. The MSCI is a float-adjusted market capitalization index. As a total return index, it tracks the capital gains of a group of stocks over time and assumes reinvestment of any cash distributions.

The MSCI EAFE Net Total 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. As a total return index it tracks the capital gains of a group of stocks over time and assumes reinvestment of any cash distributions.

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.