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Alaska's Permanent Fund notches nifty $2.2 billion return in last quarter

Alex DeMarban
Aaron Jansen illustration

Alaska’s Permanent Fund continued to swell in the first three months of the fiscal year, gaining $2.2 billion to reach a total of $47 billion, according to the corporation that manages Alaska’s biggest account.

The fund, the piggy bank that puts money into Alaskans' pockets each fall, is invested conservatively and returned 4.6 percent during the 90-day stretch starting in July, said a statement from the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. For all of fiscal year 2013, the fund increased in value $4.3 billion.

About half the fund is invested in stocks, and those stocks fueled the growth as U.S. and overseas markets overcame troubling moments.

“The path wasn’t completely smooth. Concern over whether the Fed would continue its stimulus program lead to a dip in U.S. stocks mid-quarter, but the Fed held steady, leading to a September rally," said Michael Burns, CEO of the Permanent Fund corporation.

Here's a snapshot of some key areas: 

• The fund's U.S. stocks returned 8.3 percent. The non-U.S. and global portfolios gained 8.8 and 8.0 percent respectively.

• Bond portfolios grew more slowly. The U.S. and non-U.S. bond portfolios returned 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.

• Real estate holdings were up 1.7 percent.

Only a portion of the fund's growth will eventually make it into your pocket as a dividend check. Of the $2.2 billion made in the quarter, $298 million will eventually become part of the wad of money that's handed out to Alaskans each October. 

Things are going well so far this month too, apparently. The fund was at $48.3 billion as of Tuesday.  

Contact Alex DeMarban at alex(at)alaskadispatch.com