Overall, 2021 was a good year.
We finished the year up 15.48%. The total return of the Fund for 2021 placed us in the top 33 percentile of the universe of 900 comparable funds, but our three- and five-year returns were much better. For the last five years, the EEF was up 11.98%, placing us in the top 21% of Morningstar Balanced Funds with equity between 50% and 70%, and for the past three years we were up 17.28%, which put the Easton Episcopal Funds (EEF) in the top 19th percentile.
We earned our Constant Rate of Return (CRR, the annual recommended prudent withdrawal rate) for one, three, and five years.
But the year was not without challenges. To allow us to ride the upswing of the broad market indices, we widened the maximum strategic bands in April, and in very late 2020, we raised our equity allocation, increasing our equity target to 72% +/- 3%. We finished the year just a tad below our policy maximum of 75% equity, reporting equity exposure of 73.43%.
It will come as no surprise that our fixed income portfolio has been facing significant headwinds for some time as result of the continuing low interest rate environment. We ended the year with 26.10% of our total assets in fixed income (the policy target is 27% +/- 2%). A 3-page downloadable PDF of end-of-year Fund allocations and totals is available here: December 2021 Snapshot.
Despite challenges, in 2021, we met our primary goals – to maintain the integrity of the Fund while producing performance that puts the EEF in the top third of the universe for comparable funds and provides returns for the investors that will support their missions. We look forward to 2022 as we continue to work steadily to provide the best investment option for our investors while always keeping an eye on the markets.