Finance Committee

2023-2024 Annual Report

It is my pleasure to report on behalf of the Finance Committee for the previous year.

The committee reviews the statements from our investment consultant, Fiducient, monthly and then we meet with them in-person quarterly. During these meetings, we review the performance of our investments, analyze how our investment performance is impacting the budgetary needs of the Valley, and listen to Fiducient’s recommendations regarding our asset allocations and underlying portfolio managers. We also continue to have one of our money managers present at our quarterly meetings to provide a more in-depth look at their rationale for investing. The committee then takes our recommendations to the Board of Directors.

The Valley has an external audit done every year, and our audit is available for members to view at any time in the office during normal business hours.

Overall, 2023 was a much-needed comeback when it comes to both stock and the bond market performance. The S&P 500 index rose to an all-time high. Stocks were supported by a resilient economy, encouraging earnings and expectations that both inflation and interest rates have likely peaked. Heading into 2024, the questions are whether the economy will avoid recession, whether inflation will stay on its moderate path, and whether the Fed will cut rates. Over the last couple of years, we have strategically taken money out of the market near the market’s highs and taking the dividends and interest from the portfolio to fund the operations of the Valley. In January, we shifted a 5% allocation out of the large cap stocks and invested it into our bond portfolio, which reduced our overall portfolio risk with expectations of about the same portfolio return, taking advantage of the higher interest rates and locking in those bonds. The Valley owns individual bonds, not bond mutual funds and they will mature at full value.

The Valley of Chicago is financially sound thanks to the hard work of the finance committee. I would like to thank the committee members William Tienken, Brandon Zears and Daryl Selock, as well as, our President Andrew Keppy, our Treasurer Ken Armbruster, our Deputy’s Representative Chuck August and Active Anthony Cracco for their advice, counsel and commitment of time during this past year.

Respectfully Submitted,

Brian J. Owen
Finance Committee Chairman