Gifts to the Acorn Foundation become part of a permanent endowment, which means they will benefit our community forever. We invest our donors’ gifts so they continue to grow over time and maximise the resources available to Acorn to address community needs.
For endowed funds, our investment goals are to preserve the original value of gifts in terms of inflation and grow our assets as much as market conditions allow, so we can:
- Invest in programs that address community needs now; and
- Ensure there will be resources available to address community needs in the future.
Donations to the Acorn Foundation are pooled and invested in perpetuity (but each donor fund is tracked and recorded individually). The investment income is used to make distributions to local community organisations each year, in accordance with the donors' wishes.
Acorn trustees appoint an Investment Advisory Committee, whose role it is to oversee the performance of the fund manager (currently Craigs Investment Partners) and to ensure adherence to the investment policy.
Asset allocation is undertaken in a way that reflects the Foundation's low-risk preferences:
The primary role of the fixed income portfolio is to provide regular income and preservation of capital. A key intention of these guidelines is to minimise credit risk by constraining the core of the portfolio to investment grade securities and limiting exposures to any individual issuer.
The Acorn Foundation Fund will be managed with a Socially Responsible Investment framework which reflects the Foundation’s Vision. The fund will endeavour to exclude investments in alcohol, armaments, tobacco, pornography, and gambling.
Acorn Investment Beliefs, as updated in 2018:
- Diversification within and across asset classes is a critical risk management mechanism.
- The strategic asset allocation (or asset mix) decision is the most important factor in determining investment return and risk in the long-term.
- Whilst less predictable in the short to medium term, asset classes tend to deliver predicable returns over the long-term.
- Acorn’s portfolio is long-term in nature, and therefore it can ride out volatility that may impact short-term investment performance.
- Regular portfolio rebalancing helps to maintain an appropriate level of risk exposure.
- Tactical asset allocation (or market timing) cannot be expected to consistently add value in the long-term.
- High quality assets are a crucial element of risk control in a portfolio. Risk of permanent loss of capital should be minimised to the greatest extent possible.
- Shares in companies are ultimately valued based on cashflow returned to stakeholders. Assets generating sustainable and growing cashflow returns offer better risk adjusted returns long-term.
- Where active management is determined not to add value, such as in markets deemed to be highly efficient, passive management is the default choice.
- Costs (administration, investment management fees, custodial fees, etc.) have a significant impact on long-term results and need to be carefully monitored and controlled to ensure value.
- Any new types of investments under consideration should be carefully investigated to understand their risk/return characteristics in the context of the whole portfolio.
Past ten year annual returns: