In the first quarter of 2016, markets saw the first glimpse into a dismal tunnel of high volatility and negative returns. Virtually unseen since the last market downturn in 2008, equities sustained losses upwards of -10% across international and domestic markets over a two-month period. It was not until March that markets rebounded, making up for previous losses and then some. Over this time, the Pension Funding Index (PFI) made gains of approximately 1.2%, and the PFI with Milliman Managed Risk Strategy (MMRS) made 0.9%. However, MMRS was able to control overall portfolio volatility over the quarter, resulting in a realized volatility of 5.3% for the Milliman PFI with MMRS versus 5.7% for the underlying benchmark. Possible drivers of the large market upswing in March are discussed further in the update, and the question of how an equity hedge can control a portfolio primarily composed of bonds and alternative assets is addressed as well.
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Milliman analysis: Milliman pension funding index asset portfolio with MMRS returned 0.9% in Q1 2016
The first quarter of 2016 saw the second sputter inside of six months of a staggering stock market.